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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Banking and finance

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

Our Manchester Legal Reimagined event will focus on the value proposition for the in-house function, but with a greater focus on reimagining how teams manage both the strategic risk challenge and effective outsourcing solutions.

Legal Reimagined goes beyond the ‘talk shop’, focussing on outcome-based and solution-orientated discussion. Conversation will be led by our Advisory Group of North West based general counsel and supported by insights from KPMG partners Nick Roome, Ed Bartlett and Paul Kelly. We welcome guest contributors on risk (Annabel Reoch) and value in the supply chain (Nicola Brooks).

Be part of it: peer-to-peer experience, knowledge-sharing and insights to transform ideas into solutions and action.

12 September 2019 | One St Peters Square, Manchester

Addleshaw Goddard's 'hardworking and pragmatic' team 'always delivers' and is active across asset-based lending, asset finance, corporate banking, leveraged finance, project finance and real estate finance for both borrower and lender clients. The team advised The Hut Group on the amendment and restatement of its £515m term and revolving facilities provided by a banking syndicate comprising of Barclays Bank, RBS, HSBC Bank and others; advised Tosca Debt Capital LLP on a £10.2m second lien term loan to Verna Group Bidco in connection with the purchase of the business and assets of Synergy Health and the redemption of existing facilities with RBS; and advised Radius Payment Solutions on £255m term and revolving facilities and £50m accordion facilities in connection with the minority acquisition of Radius Payment Solutions by Inflexion Equity Partners LLP. RBS Invoice Finance, Investec Asset Finance, Speedy Hire, Dechra Pharmaceuticals and Radius Payment Solutions are also clients. The six-partner team is headed by Martin O’Shea, who is an 'excellent communicator'. Andrew Maskill, who is noted for his 'commercial approach' and heads the asset finance practice with Rebecca Williams, which includes managing associate Louise Jones. Also recommended are Simon Prendergast, who specialises in asset-based lending and trade finance work; the 'exceptional' Richard Oman, who focuses on corporate lending and leveraged acquisition finance; Katie Ridehalgh, who leads the real estate finance practice; legal directors Richard Chandler  and 'strong negotiator' Caroline Gray, who was promoted in 2017; and managing associate Ben Edwards.

The team at DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘well-resourced, has a good depth of quality and has excellent market awareness’ and is renowned for its experience across debt finance and asset-based lending in addition to alternative and complex debt structures, benefitting from its international network of offices in cross-border mandates. Headline work included advising McBride on its €175m syndicated refinancing, advising LGT European Capital on its unitranche funding for the acquisition of IT hosting business, The Bunker, and advising HSBC Bank on all aspects of the acquisition of Brand Addition by Elysian Capital. Booths Supermarkets and Conviviality are also clients. Department head Matthew Christmas has a ‘clear ability to structure his advice with a view to legal issues and commercial considerations’; he is experienced in debt finance, private equity buyouts and alternative credit structures. Other key figures include Joseph Frew, who leads on asset-based lending transactions for lenders and borrowers; recently promoted senior associate Charles Weems, who ‘takes the time to understand the client’ and is experienced in alternative debt structures; and associate Alastair Carruthers.

The ‘first-rate’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of transactions spanning syndicated lending, real estate finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, asset-based lending, securitisations and debt capital markets work. Clients include lenders as well as public sector bodies. Headline work includes advising a group of seven lenders to Radius Payment Solutions in relation to the acquisition of a minority stake in the company by Inflexion, and advising a group of ten lenders on the financing of The Hut Group. The team also advised HSBC Bank in connection with the refinancing of Vernacare, to support the acquisition of HCS. Select Property Group, P J Livesey Group, Investec Bank and Tyman are also clients. Department head Matthew Morgan is an ‘excellent technical lawyer’ and is experienced across real estate finance, corporate financings and acquisition finance. Samantha Rollason regularly advises on the restructuring of real estate transactions and real estate funds and is also active on public sector and education finance-related mandates. 'Brilliant' senior associate Tim Fearn  specialises in corporate financing, acquisition finance and asset-based lending.

Hill Dickinson LLP is active across a range of corporate and real estate finance transactions, and asset-based lending and private equity are key areas of activity for the department. It  acted for Soda Software Labs on its transformative debt package from Clydesdale Bank and on the accompanying equity investment made by NVM Private Equity; advised Hyde Park Finance on a £16m facility made available to Ivy League Devco Birmingham to fund the cost of a student residence in Birmingham; and advised Halewood International on its £50m refinance from Lloyds to RBS Invoice Finance. Advising Downing, on the funding of its £439m student accommodation joint venture with European Property Investors Special Opportunities, was another key highlight. HSBC Bank, RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Bibby Financial Services are also clients. In Liverpool, the ‘fantastic’ Richard Capper heads the firm’s banking and finance team, where legal director Deepak Purushothaman, who joined in 2017 from Riverview Law, legal director Helen Penfold and associates Rebecca Layton and Emma Howard are also based. Alasdair Mackinnon heads the Manchester-based team, which includes real estate finance specialist Chris Johnston. Beverley Bentley left the firm in 2017 for an in-house role.

Squire Patton Boggs is praised for its ‘outstanding industry knowledge’. The team handles a range of financing transactions, with expertise spanning asset-based lending, real estate finance and acquisition finance, and the team often advises on cross-border mandates. It advised NFFC Group Holdings and Fawaz Al-Hasawi on the sale of Nottingham Forest Football Club to NF Football Investments and advised RBS on the funding and intercreditor arrangements for the development of a residential tower block with commercial units in Salford, Greater Manchester. The team also advised new client Allied Irish Banks which, along with H2 Private Equity, funded the acquisition of Northern Ireland-based company, BA Kitchen Components.  Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and Clydesdale Bank are also clients. The ‘very personable’ Claire Shepherd is active across property finance, asset-based lending, acquisition finance, project finance, restructuring and general corporate lending work, while real estate finance expert Debra Cooper is ‘always responsive’ and ‘works phenomenally hard’ for the client, and Matthew Ingram is active across acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, asset-based lending, restructuring and refinancing transactions, and often handles cross-border work. Director Graham Ball is also noted.

Brabners LLP's expertise spans acquisition finance, property investment and development finance, as well as bridging and mezzanine finance mandates, and the team is particularly active across housing finance and sports finance transactions. Svenska Handelsbanken instructed the team on the provision of new facilities to Chargepoint Technology, as part of the secondary buyout of Chargepoint Technology by LDC and Arbuthnot Latham & Co instructed the team on a £11.5m loan to fund the acquisition of an investment property from a pension fund. The team also advised Liverpool Mutual Homes on the provision of new loan facilities to it by The Housing Finance Corporation, acted for Marlowe on the increase in its loan facilities from Lloyds Bank to £17.5m and advised acted Restore on the increase in its syndicated facilities from Barclays Bank and RBS to £114.5m. In Manchester, department head Tony Harper, and recently promoted partner Russel Forward, who also operates from the Liverpool office and is noted for property finance and restructuring transactions, are recommended. In Liverpool, the ‘experienced’ Andrew O’Mahony is the key contact. Charlotte Round has joined Fieldfisher.

DWF is experienced across corporate banking and public sector finance mandates, with an emphasis on asset-based lending, acquisition finance, property finance, project finance, structured finance and restructurings. It advised NatWest on the amendment and restatement of the £40m revolving credit facility with £10m accordion to GA Pet Food Partners and advised Greater Manchester Housing Fund on a £10.3m development finance facility for the funding of a 91-unit residential apartment building in Manchester city centre. The team also advises the Homes and Communities Agency on a range of transactions, and acts for Warrington Borough Council, North East Combined Authority, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and Santander UK. The ‘brilliant’ Helen Corner handles asset-based lending, corporate lending, real estate finance, development and investment, restructurings and secured lending. James Szerdy acts for banks and other financial institutions, as well as borrowers, on secured and unsecured lending including structured finance, acquisition finance and real estate investment and development finance. Paul Brown represents lenders and borrower clients on public and private sector funding. Associates Katherine Tyas and Charlotte Walden, who was recently promoted, are also noted. Former national head of corporate banking Jonathan Edwards recently joined Browne Jacobson LLP.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a strong following among corporate borrowers in the region and is noted for its experience across real estate finance, corporate banking work and private equity transactions. The education and renewables sectors are also key areas of focus for the team. Highlights included advising Morses Club on the amendment and restatement of a £40m facility agreement made between Morses Club and Santander Bank; acting for Footasylum on its proposed listing and associated pre-transaction refinancing; and assisting Barchester Finco 2017 with £280m facilities provided by Citigroup Global Markets and Laser International for the refinancing of existing care homes. The team also acted for Renold and its English subsidiaries on the exercise of its accordion facility and amendment of its facility agreement, which included an amendment and restatement to the underlying facility agreement, to increase the facility to £61.5m. Jason Wurzal heads the ‘first-rate’ department, which includes Taslima Salam, who heads the real estate finance team and ‘speaks without using jargon in an easy to understand and friendly manner’, and the ‘experienced’ Richard Cowan, who recently joined from Gateley Plc as a principal associate.

Gateley Plc regularly acts for borrower and lender clients and is active across real estate finance, private equity, acquisition finance, structured finance, secured finance and investment work. Highlights included advising Beechbrook Capital on the acquisition and refinance of mezzanine facilities provided to Brand Addition and advising Praetura Asset Finance which borrowed facilities from RM Secured Direct Lending to allow a partial refinance of the British Business Banks facilities and the growth of Praetura Asset Finance. It also advised Beechbrook UK SME Credit on a term loan to enable ICP Nurseries to acquire two companies and to fund further acquisitions. Welbeck Capital Partners is also a client. The ‘fantastic’ Richard Sealy heads the team. Richard Cowan recently joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

gunnercooke LLP handles a range of corporate banking, real estate finance, leveraged finance and asset-based lending transactions for leading financial institutions and corporate clients. The team acted for Bluemantle and its associated companies  on the amendment and restatement of its senior and mezzanine debt facilities with HSBC Bank and ICG-Longbow, and acted as English legal counsel for Grupo Tradebe Medio Ambiente and its English subsidiaries in relation to syndicated term loan facilities of €265m provided to the group. The team also advised Principality Building Society in relation to the annual update of its £1bn medium term loan programme, and on the subsequent issuance of £300m senior loan notes; and acted for Skipton Building Society in its capacity as issuer regarding the annual update of its £2bn euro medium term loan programme and on the subsequent issuance of £350m senior loan notes. Rob Fawke is ‘highly regarded’ and leads the team with Georgina Tripp . Real estate finance lawyer Jill Parker is also recommended.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP is ‘always proactive' and provides 'commercial and proportionate’ advice across a range of banking and real estate finance transactions, with notable expertise in recoveries, restructuring and business lending mandates. The team advised Broadoak Private Finance on the £6m provision of purchase and development funding for the redevelopment of Manchester Hall in Manchester city centre and advised Broadoak Private Finance on the £4m provision of development funding for the redevelopment of a printing hall in Wigan into a Holiday Inn Express hotel. The team also acted for Allied Irish Bank on the provision of funds for Just Childcare. Bank of Scotland, Cambridge & Counties Bank and Atom Bank are also clients. David Marlor ‘consistently offers appropriate, sensible advice and practical solutions’ and advises banks and other lenders in connection with property backed lending. Also recommended are Alison Kellett, who acts for lenders on the acquisition or remortgage of property; and recently promoted senior associate Meave O’Neill, who specialises in investment and development finance. George Macmillan heads the banking and real estate finance team.

Shoosmiths LLP ‘delivers a very good service’ and is active across real estate finance, acquisition finance and general corporate lending mandates, acting for lender and borrower clients in instructions across the healthcare, marine, retail, energy and leisure sectors. Demonstrating its real estate finance expertise, the team advised Vita Edinburgh 1 on a loan facility to fund the development of student accommodation, advised Affinity Living Riverside Holdco a loan facility to fund the development of high-end residential and commercial property, and advised Allied London Quay Street Two on a significant mezzanine loan facility from Pramerica Real Estate Capital to fund the acquisition of Astley House and Byrom House in Manchester, and also advised on subsequent significant senior funding from Aimco in order to finance the development of the property. Mint Bridging, Greater Manchester Housing Fund, Park Lane Properties and Lesmoir Gordon Boyle are also clients. Team head Liz Sweeney is ‘brilliant on real estate finance transactions’. Tim McNamara and Barbara Rollin are also recommended.

The ‘highly-rated’ team at Irwin Mitchell is active across commercial and corporate banking matters, with expertise in asset-based lending, leveraged finance, structured finance, acquisition finance, property and development finance, restructuring and private equity funding. The team advised the Arora Group on its purchase of the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick Airport with financing from RBS and advised Edge Real Estate Property Investments (EREPIL) in relation to a term loan facility provided by ICG Longbow Debt Investments No4 to assist it with the purchase of 15 properties in the UK. It was also instructed by Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance on a new asset-based finance facility made available to several Lancashire based manufacturing companies. Team head Dean Gormley has a ‘strong reputation’. Recently promoted senior associate Vanessa Rickard heads the real estate finance team.

TLT provides a ‘very good service’, delivers in a ‘timely and helpful manner’ and ‘goes the extra mile to solve problems’. The practice focuses on real estate and housing finance in addition to corporate lending mandates. Clients include Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC Bank, Svenska Handelsbanken, RBS, Santander UK and The Co-operative Bank. Team head Paul Crighton is ‘always on hand when needed with commercial advice’.

The ‘well organised’ team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP handles a range of real estate finance transactions, advising on property investment finance, development finance, bridging finance, and finance from institutional investors. It is also noted for its housing finance expertise. The team advised Thor Properties on the funding aspects of the acquisition of the Stadium Plaza, a leisure complex adjacent to the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, which involved advising on a £10.3m facility agreement with Lloyds Bank. It also acted as UK counsel on the ForViva Group's debut private placement, and on the refinancing of the group's existing bank facilities and acted on the funding aspects of a merger between two housing associations: Mosscare Housing and St Vincent's Housing Association. Recently promoted partner Eleanor James is ‘technically excellent, a tough negotiator, is commercial in terms of what she does for her clients and is very hands on in relation to transactions’. Neil Waller heads the team.

Weightmans LLP is highly regarded for its experience in public sector funding mandates and highlights included providing funding advice to Blue Sky Corporate Finance in connection with the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and advising FRP Advisory on the restructuring of investments from a subfund of the European NWF Fund. The team also advised AIB Bank on the £5m financing of two hotels in the North West and acted for Progressive Living on all aspects of funding for its development of a key site at Angel Square Manchester. Liverpool-based Patricia Grinyer heads the firm’s finance team and is noted for her experience in the establishment of European Funds and advises banks and borrowers on bilateral and syndicated facilities.

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

Our Manchester Legal Reimagined event will focus on the value proposition for the in-house function, but with a greater focus on reimagining how teams manage both the strategic risk challenge and effective outsourcing solutions.

Legal Reimagined goes beyond the ‘talk shop’, focussing on outcome-based and solution-orientated discussion. Conversation will be led by our Advisory Group of North West based general counsel and supported by insights from KPMG partners Nick Roome, Ed Bartlett and Paul Kelly. We welcome guest contributors on risk (Annabel Reoch) and value in the supply chain (Nicola Brooks).

Be part of it: peer-to-peer experience, knowledge-sharing and insights to transform ideas into solutions and action.

12 September 2019 | One St Peters Square, Manchester

Addleshaw Goddard handles complex restructuring and insolvency cases, distressed real estate work and contentious insolvency matters, in addition to acting for corporate clients on distressed acquisition work. The team is particularly experienced in advising on  matters relating to distressed legal practices. Highlights included advising Ernst & Young as administrators of the Hewden Plant Hire Group, acting for the Viscount of Jersey in her capacity as administrator of the estates en désastre of Orb, and advising Deloitte, as administrators of Angelic Interiors, on the sale of a portfolio of 400 mixed-use properties. HLD Group, Duff & Phelps, FRP Advisory and HSBC Bank are also clients. The ‘very experienced’ Ged Barnes heads the department, which includes the 'excellent' Andy Bates, who also operates from the Leeds office. Also recommended are legal directors Tim Taylor, who handles corporate insolvencies with a non-contentious focus; John Duffy, who is a specialist distressed property lawyer; Jean Boldero, who is ‘pragmatic, solutions-focused, and willing to stand her ground in the face of a challenge’; and Sarah Foster, who handles non-contentious insolvency work.

DLA Piper UK LLP has the ‘ability to combine a technical answer with commercial awareness’. The team handles numerous cross-border restructuring mandates and it ‘works well with its counterparts in other jurisdictions to provide a joined-up service’. The team acted for Ernst & Young on the pre-packaged sale of shares in the Help-Link group of companies to Homeserve and is instructed by BDO LLP as administrators of Float Glass Industries and its parent company Wright and Offland Holdings. The Co-operative Bank, Deloitte, Duff & Phelps and Endless LLP are also clients. Department head Robert Russell offers an ‘excellent partner-led service and ensures that his advice fully meets the needs of the client’ and is noted for his retail-sector work and cross-border expertise. Christopher Roberts ‘works to reach a commercial solution that works for all parties’ and is active on non-contentious restructuring, turnaround and insolvency mandates, and heads the restructuring asset-based lending practice. Legal director Bethan Moore regularly handles major financial and debt restructurings.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team is praised for its ‘depth of knowledge’ and ‘swift and accurate advice’. Key areas of expertise include the real estate, pensions, retail, professional services, energy, infrastructure, construction and further education sectors. The practice recently acted for KPMG as administrators of Entu, a listed supplier and installer of double glazing; advised RSM in its role as administrator on the sale of certain aspects of the business and assets of Debt Free Direct and Fairpoint Group. Lloyds Bank, The Co-operative Bank, RBS, Wellesley Finance and HSBC Bank are also clients. David Gray heads the team and advises lenders, insolvency practitioners and corporate clients on all aspects of debt and equity restructuring and is active across the real estate, industrial, retail and sports sectors. Principal associate Sarah Duignan  and senior associate James Williams are also recommended.

Gateley Plc's ‘very experienced and knowledgeable’ team regularly handles contentious insolvency work including provisional liquidations, corporate fraud, and offshore litigation. The team advised Specialist Print Services as buyer in the pre-packaged sale of SPS Print Group and advised Bilta (UK) and its liquidator Grant Thornton UK in long-running litigation in which Bilta claimed that its directors, in conspiracy with others, directed most of the money due to Bilta to other parties, leaving it insolvent.  Andrew Buchanan  heads the firm's national restructuring team, which includes Stuart Tait, who  ‘not only explores the necessary legal complexities of the situation but also keeps an eye on the best likely commercial view in terms of outcome’. Also recommended are legal director Gavin Clarke, who handles a range of restructuring mandates, senior associate Danielle Haston, who is active in complex project litigation, and Aneesh Prasad (also a senior associate), who advises on distressed transactional projects.

Praised for its ‘ability to think commercially’, Pinsent Masons LLP's team regularly acts for banks, asset-based lenders, insolvency practitioners, corporates, directors, private equity houses, distressed investors, pension trustees and public sector clients on a range of restructuring mandates. The education, retail, energy, construction, financial services and charity sectors are key areas of focus. The team advised the independent director of VP Realisations, which went into liquidation to trigger the Hoover Pension Scheme's entry into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). It also advised Plexus Cotton on a company voluntary arrangement, acted for SEA Equity on its acquisition of Pyroban and Pyropress from Caterpillar, and advised PwC on its appointment as interim manager over the Park Charitable Trust. Department head James Cameron ‘comes up with commercial solutions to problems’ and is noted for his pensions restructuring expertise. Senior associate Louise Taylor and associate Daniella Thompson are also key members of the team.

Squire Patton Boggs regularly acts for accountants, clearing banks, international companies and asset-based lenders on complex cross-border restructuring matters. The retail, oil and gas, real estate, chemicals, manufacturing, construction and technology sectors are key areas of focus for the practice, which also has a strong track record in pensions-related insolvency work is a mainstay of the practice. The team acted for FRP Advisory as the administrators of Must Have Ltd, which entered administration with more than $100m in secured debt due to financiers across the UK and USA, and acted for FRP Advisory as administrators of Stevens Group Ltd and Dataprocess Stevens Ltd, which involved assisting with its appointment and on the sale of the business following the collapse of its Italian parent company. Additional highlights included advising CNG on its global restructuring which included in the sale of its UK subsidiaries. Key figures include Susan Kelly, who heads the restructuring practice for UK and Europe, and director Mark Prior, who is experienced in real estate related restructuring mandates.

Freeths LLP handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency mandates, acting for a number of national and regional insolvency practitioners. The team defended one of the three directors of Main Realisations Ltd (in liquidation) on a £2m wrongful trading claim against its liquidators and represented the liquidator of GP Aviation Group International who faced a £1.7m challenge from the company directors. The team also advised the joint administrators of Mellwood Construction. Begbies Traynor, KPMG, PwC, Crawfords Accountants and BDO are clients. Litigator and asset recovery specialist Joey Byrne heads the national restructuring and insolvency practice; he is ably supported by Kevin Pinkerton, who is experienced in restructuring, corporate recovery, bankruptcy and insolvency. Director Chris Ali handles transactional restructuring and insolvency matters and is experienced in insolvency-related real estate issues. Senior associate Henry Clappison is also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP's contentious and non-contentious insolvency expertise spans corporate recovery, restructuring and high-value litigation. Property-related insolvency, pension-related insolvencies and restructurings and asset-based lender-related insolvencies are key areas strength for the department, which acted for the liquidator of Enterprise Insurance Company, Grant Thornton (Gibraltar) on the UK aspects of its appointment as liquidator, and related issues with Ozon Solicitors. It also advised Duff & Phelps on the liquidation of GCC Management, which involved concerns about investment returns promised by GCC to investors, and acted for RSM as administrator of First4Skills.  Paul Spence, who focuses on shipping-related restructuring issues and distressed real estate, leads the team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of the ‘brilliant’ Gavin Jones  from DWF. Senior associate Richard Palmer and legal director Kathryn Maclennan, who handles personal insolvency matters, are also key members of the team.

Turner Parkinson LLP  regularly handles mandates relating to the administration of SMEs, acts in bankruptcy cases, and also advises business owners on turnaround matters. The team acted for the administrators of the pet retail chain, Just For Pets, on the sale of the business and assets for £1.5m, and advised the administrators of potato processing company M & F Ltd on the sale of assets. Other highlights included acting for Linwood Raker and Maltby Forman on the £3.2m pre-pack purchase of the business of Derbyshire packaging business, Charapak Ltd, from the administrators. Team head Mark Lund has a ‘wealth of experience’ and is ably supported by David Higgins, who specialises in contentious corporate and personal insolvency work. Also recommended are Will Jones, who is experienced in non-contentious corporate insolvency and advisory work; and associates Laura Lucas, Nikesh Patel, Sebastian Lang and Mark Hague, who was recently promoted. Legal director Martin March recently joined from TLT.

The ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ department Aaron & Partners LLP ‘punches above its weight’. The practice regularly handles contentious insolvency mandates and is often engaged by insolvency practitioners in relation to insolvent solicitor practices; it also handles personal insolvency work. Development Bank Wales, KPMG, Menzies, Poppleton & Appleby and RSM are clients. Key figures include personal insolvency specialist Mark Davies, who regularly acts for office holders, individuals, directors and creditors; Simon Edwards, who handles cases for office holders, defendants and creditors, and often advises on IVAs for solicitors and other professional services clients as does Jan Chillery; and dispute resolution and insolvency department head Nick Clarke, who handles complex insolvency-related litigation.

Bermans is active across personal and corporate insolvency work, and is often instructed by insolvency practitioners, lenders, landlords and other creditors, companies and directors. The team also stands out for its experience in invoice and asset finance. It advised Leonard Curtis, as administrator, on the sale of the business and assets of Harbur Construction; advised RSM as administrators of the Bolton Textiles Group; and advised IGF Invoice Finance and KPMG on the administration of TT Express Haulage. Department head Phil Farrelly is recommended for his ‘commercial acumen’ and acted for FRP Advisory in relation to the sale of Cambrian Park and Leisure Homes to Sovereign Holdings. Also recommended are Dave Gledhill, who acts for asset-based lenders in distressed situations, and senior associate Joanne Culley, who specialises in corporate and personal insolvency and is experienced in contentious transactional mandates.

Brabners LLP is regularly called on to handle complex and high-value insolvency and restructuring matters for insolvency practitioners, banks, secondary lenders and corporate clients. The team acted for Versatile International Trading on the acquisition of the business and assets of Greenwoods Menswear from its administrators and advised RSM as the joint administrators of Glide Pharmaceutical Technologies. Manchester-based team head Robert Turner handles contentious and non-contentious matters for administrators, liquidators, banks and asset-based lenders. Preston-based senior associate Nicola Whittle acts for directors and administrators in contentious and non-contentious insolvency mandates.

DWF's team is noted for its ‘pragmatic and well-thought-through’ advice, and for its expertise in administrations involving substantial property assets, in addition to complex contentious insolvency instructions. Highlights included advising NMS Projects on the acquisition of the business and assets of Qualitycourse Ltd. Barclays Bank Restructuring and Recoveries Panel, Begbies Traynor, Ernst & Young and BDO are also clients. Liverpool-based Katharine Lawrenson is the firm’s national head of personal insolvency and co-heads the restructuring team with Manchester-based director Julie Agnew, who handles a range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency work. Other key figures include senior associate Alicia Renshaw, who specialises in distressed property-related mandates, and associate Amy Crighton. Sean McGrath left the firm in January 2018.

Gorvins Solicitors’ ‘brilliant team’ is active across corporate and personal insolvency mandates and advises insolvency practitioners, businesses and individuals on contentious and non-contentious matters. Acting for directors on personal liability and disqualification proceedings is also a key focus of the team. Begbies Traynor, Auker Rhodes, FRP Advisory, Currie Young and RSM are clients. Insolvency and corporate recovery team head David Guest specialises in corporate and personal insolvency. Other key figures include dispute resolution head Mark Deverell, who specialises in winding-up proceedings, and consultant Paul Lupton, who handles corporate restructuring and insolvency matters.

Hillyer McKeown’s ‘solid and reliable team is very attentive, commercial and produces good results’. It is particularly noted for its contentious insolvency expertise and the team handles corporate and personal insolvency, and personal bankruptcy. Asset recovery is also a key area of focus. Team head Paul Marsh (‘very knowledgeable in insolvency matters and great to deal with’) continued to advise CVR Global in relation to a French national who was made bankrupt in the UK, and acted for KPMG in relation to a bankrupt individual who claimed that they were not the bankrupt but a third party unconnected with the bankrupt. The ‘brilliant’ Jennifer Lockhart, who was recently promoted to partner, advised CVR Global in relation to an individual who was made bankrupt as a result of criminal activity; she also advised Leonard Curtis on the liquidation of a law firm. PCR (London), Begbies Traynor and Harper Macleod are also clients.

Irwin Mitchell is experienced in business restructurings in the manufacturing and construction sectors and is praised for its ‘commercial approach’. Recent work includes acting for the purchasers of the business and assets of a glass processor and manufacturer through a pre-pack sale in administration, and advising the joint administrators (Mazars) of J Bryan (Victoria) on a range of matters including environmental issues and the sale of property. Team head John Vickery is ‘technically excellent’, ‘responds quickly to queries and is able to turn matters around very quickly’. Rebecca O’Callaghan recently joined Addleshaw Goddard.

JMW Solicitors LLP’s department regularly advises on administrations, the acquisition of businesses and assets out of formal insolvency processes, voluntary and compulsory liquidations, bankruptcy, IVAs, directors’ disqualifications, HMRC liability inquiries and fraud investigations. The transport, retail, leisure, legal, recruitment and manufacturing sectors are all areas of expertise. Recent work includes acting for the joint administrators of Vickers Electronics, Duff & Phelps, which involved the transfer of certain IP rights and the formal surrender of leased premises, and advising Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency as administrators of Prestige Homes on the disposal of its property portfolio. The team also advised Bennett Verby Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Services as liquidator of Charles Owen and Company (Bow) and advised the management of the Viva Brazil chain of restaurants on the purchase of several restaurant businesses out of administration. The team is led by Richard Wolff, who specialises in corporate and personal insolvency, and includes the ‘excellent’ Christopher Love and associate Antoniya Mercer.

Mills & Reeve LLP s ‘polite, prompt and professional’ team has ‘excellent legal knowledge’. The team is noted for its corporate and personal insolvency litigation expertise and also advises on directors’ and officers’ liability as well as the administration of insolvent deceased estates. Department head Helen Fyles is praised for her ‘good knowledge and client skills’; her expertise encompasses complex advisory matters, investigations and contentious insolvency cases. Laura Smith recently joined Kennedys.

The team at Shoosmiths LLP works closely with its national network of offices to act for a client base comprising insolvency practitioners, banks, asset-based lenders and other distressed lenders. The team's expertise covers a range of restructuring and insolvency mandates, and acts for Santander in relation to distressed borrowers in the hotel, leisure, retail and care home sectors. Other clients include Aldermore Invoice Finance, for which it handles issues surrounding distressed customers, and Vital Pet Products, for which it handles the restructuring and acquisition of a distressed business, including the purchase of factory premises. Beyond Funding, Factor 21, Close Invoice Finance, BDO and RSM are also on the client roster. Sarah Teal leads the team in Manchester, which includes associate Hollie Wrigley.

TLT’s ‘strong’ team ‘benefits from full UK coverage’ and has ‘vast sector-specific knowledge’. The team acts for mid-market corporates and turnaround specialists undertaking restructurings and also advises private equity funds in relation to distressed businesses. Pension-related restructuring mandates are also a key area of focus for the team. It advised Latium Management Services and Latium Capital on the purchase of the business and assets of Entu (UK). The team has particular experience in advising clients on acquisitions, disposals and restructurings in the healthcare sector and advised Deloitte as administrators of a group of companies which owned and operated eight care homes and a block of flats. Clients also include BDO, Begbies Traynor, GVA, FRP Advisory and RBS. Alastair Lomax is ‘a great project manager’, is praised for his ‘sharp commercial mind’ and his ‘knowledge and contacts within the industry make difficult cases straightforward’. Andy Bell and Patrick Sheehan are active on real estate-related restructuring matters. Martin March recently joined Turner Parkinson LLP.

DTM Legal LLP's‘impressive’ team handles a range of insolvency-related mandates for individuals, businesses and office holder clients. Chester-based team head Richard Thomas (‘on the ball and very client focused’) advised four directors pursued by the Secretary of State in relation to £4m misfeasance and antecedent transaction claims. Kate Roberts, who is based in the firm’s Liverpool office, is ‘highly experienced, knowledgeable and really fights her client’s corner’; she is advising Begbies Traynor as administrators of a company which owns an occupied property on an alleged be a sham lease. Funding Circle, Grant Thornton, Opus Business Recovery and Edge Recovery are also clients.

Kennedys regularly advises insolvency practitioners, businesses, creditors and individuals on highly complex banking and finance disputes involving restructuring and insolvency. It also handles directors’ disqualifications, IVAs and bankruptcies for high-net-worth individuals. The team advised the insolvency practitioner ahead of placing a company, with £54m annual turnover, into administration and was instructed by an international property developer in a case relating to a disputed personal guarantee. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Laura Smith from Mills & Reeve LLP; she regularly advises on contentious and transactional mandates as well as personal insolvency, and is experienced in advising on insolvent deceased estates. Senior associate Chris McDuff heads the team and is experienced in cross-border insolvencies and restructurings.

The team at Nexus Solicitors Limited ‘punches above its weight’ and handles contentious, advisory and transactional insolvency and restructuring mandates.  It continued to advise Blue Gate Capital in relation to the failure and liquidation of the Connaught Investment Fund Series 1 and on the related FCA regulatory enforcement investigation. The team also advised the board of directors of a regional newspaper in relation to the administration of the newspaper business and advised Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery as administrators following the insolvency of an architectural practice. ‘Insolvency heavyweight’ Andrew Tonge is a ‘first-rate litigator with an excellent feel for the market’ and is ‘tough but canny and gets great results for his clients’.

Pannone Corporate LLP regularly acts for insolvency practitioners on corporate recovery matters, in addition to handling compulsory liquidation and personal insolvency cases, investigatory insolvency matters and businesses recovery and restructuring mandates. The team also has experience in advising on local government matters and is advising Manchester City Council in relation to an annulment and rescission application made by a debtor in respect of council tax debt. BDO, Beever & Struthers and Cheshire West & Chester Council are also clients. Dermot Preston  heads the department and advises on corporate restructuring and insolvency mandates including refinancing, administrations, receiverships and liquidations. Director Daniel Clarke is noted for contentious insolvency cases and handles council tax and non-domestic rates recovery and insolvency work on behalf of local authorities.

SAS Daniels LLP is active across contentious and non-contentious personal and corporate insolvency matters and is experienced in advising on insolvent deceased estates. Baker Tilly, Begbies Traynor, KPMG and Mazars are clients. Paul Formby heads the insolvency and corporate recovery team, which includes senior associate Hannah Leese. Chris MacCafferty recently retired.

The team at Taylors LLP is ‘technically excellent’ and delivers ‘pragmatic and commercial legal advice’. It is focused on the SME market and handles a range of insolvency and corporate recovery mandates for insolvency practitioners, businesses, lenders and individuals. The team advised the charity trustees of Lifeline Project on restructuring options for the business. It also advised RSM as administrator regarding the assets of Central Catering Services. Andrew Livesey is ‘prepared to roll his sleeves up and deal with the nitty gritty issues; he gets to grips with the key issues very quickly and focuses on the things that matter’. ‘ery organised’ associate Stuart Beatson is also recommended.

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