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Insolvency and corporate recovery in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Described as the ‘go-to team to get deals done under time pressure and in complex situations’, the practice at Addleshaw Goddard stands out for its in-depth expertise and handles a wide array of high-profile complex restructuring and insolvency matters. The team’s specialisms span distressed real estate work, distressed acquisitions and litigation related to restructuring and insolvency issues, an area in which legal director Jean Boldero plays a key role. Ged Barnes, who is a leading name in the insolvency space, heads up the practice and Tim Taylor, who has particular experience in advising on non-contentious corporate insolvencies, is a name to watch.

Practice head(s):

Ged Barnes

Other key lawyers:

Tim Taylor; Jean Boldero

Testimonials

‘Jean Boldero – excellent knowledge and experience; good industry/sector knowledge; understands client needs and demands; gives sensible, practical advice.’

‘Probably the best corporate restructuring team in the UK.’

‘The Addleshaw team gives first class technical legal advice as you’d expect, but with recognition of commercial dynamics and a strength in depth that differentiates them in the market. They are the go-to team to get deals done under time pressure and in complex situations, and they bring practical solutions to be able to transact in pressurised environments.’

‘Speed of delivery and turnaround of documents, combined with great commercial acumen. The best restructuring team in NW by some distance.’

‘Team has specialist capability spanning transactional, contentious and real estate insolvency which sets them apart from the competition. High quality advice always received. A commercial approach and real value for money delivered. Extremely collaborative team.’

Responsiveness, commerciality and technical ability sets them apart from the competition.

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

All of the Big 4 Accountants

Grant Thornton UK LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Endless LLP

The HLD Group

Avison Young

Viscount of the Royal Court of Jersey

Duff & Phelps Limited

Alvarez & Marsal

JD Sports Fashion plc

Work highlights

  • Advising the Viscount of the Royal Court of Jersey in her capacity as administrator of the en désastre (bankruptcy) estates of Orb a.r.l. and a doctor in relation to matters of English Law, including the recognition of her appointments by the High Court, the exercise of her investigatory powers, and the conduct of complicated and high value (£400m+) proprietary claims in proceedings in the High Court involving the Serious Fraud Office and 45 other interested parties.
  • Advising Deloitte LLP as administrators of the Cartwright Group, a North-West based manufacturer, hirer, servicer and broker of finance for trailers.
  • Advised JD Sports Fashion plc on its acquisition of the business and assets of Go Outdoors.

DLA Piper

Leveraging the firm’s global reach, DLA Piper‘s team is able to handle cross-jurisdictional mandates for a client list that ranges from large clearing banks and accounting firms to alternative lenders and distressed companies. The team has expertise in all aspects of restructuring and insolvency work, including contentious issues, financial restructurings and business and asset acquisitions in distressed situations. ‘Outstanding’ restructuring expert Robert Russell leads the practice and is also head of the firm’s UK restructuring team. Christopher Roberts, who has notable strength in corporate recovery, restructuring and turnaround mandates, is also a key name to watch.

Practice head(s):

Robert Russell

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Roberts

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable and entrepreneurial.’

‘Robert Russell – outstanding.’

‘Led by Rob Russell and Chris Roberts – largest team in the North West with good experienced staff across the levels. It is a stable team so depth known.’

‘Rob Russell approaches all situations with an empathy to the client which is expressed and outworked through his team reflecting his values. Rob engages well with clients in a very natural, personable way. There is no sense of self aggrandisement but one of good sound sense being expressed by someone who knows his subject and is patient in explanation to bring all to a point of clarity on the challenge and potential next steps. I would recommend Rob without hesitation.’

‘Smart, commercial, practical, sophisticated and down-to-earth lawyers.’

‘Rob Russell is a joy to work with, he is relentless in his focus on his client’s objectives and priorities and creative in the considered solutions to be proposed.’

‘Good experienced team, actively involved in key cases involving recent legislative changes.’

‘Robert Russell has worked with me for many years now and understands the businesses and interactions well and is able to pitch his advice in a way that supports informed business decisions and solutions tailored to our businesses. His advice is not just provision of information and Rob looks to understand the underlying commercial issues beyond the pure legalities.’

Key clients

Aurelius

Close Brothers

Deloitte

Duff & Phelps

Ernst & Young LLP

Gordon Brothers Europe

HSBC Bank PLc

Lloyds Bank Plc

PWC

BDO

Opus Restructuring Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte on all real estate matters arising out of its appointment as administrators to the Arcadia Group of Companies.
  • Acted for Gordon Brothers Brands on its acquisition of the long established and iconic Laura Ashley brand.
  • Acted for EY as administrators of KSR, an automotive supplier.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Hands-on partnerDavid Gray leads the restructuring practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP across the North West; he supports clients on all aspects of debt and equity restructuring and insolvency work. The team advises on administrations, assists corporate clients with the restructuring of debt and handles directors' duties. In addition to large clearing banks and accounting firms, the client list also includes alternative lenders and debt acquirers. Principal associate Sarah Duignan’s expertise includes advising pension trustees on restructurings and insolvencies relating to sponsoring employers.

Practice head(s):

David Gray

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Duignan

Testimonials

‘In the North West, the group is led by David Gray who is a very hands on partner, hugely approachable and responsive individual. The team is small but has good national connections to flex with demand. Wider connectivity with their Firm is also visible and a key strength.’

Key clients

Ernst & Young

KPMG

Deloitte

PwC

BDO

Duff & Phelps

Begbies Traynor

Alix Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Alix Partners as administrators of the Casual Dining Group, which comprised the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas brands, on the sale of the business and assets of the brands, all follow-on property issues, and all other aspects of the administration.
  • Acted for Ernst & Young as the administrators of the API Group, a multi-jurisdictional packaging manufacturer.
  • Advising PwC as administrators of various companies in the Marcus Worthington Group on all aspects of the administration including the realisation of a high-value and complex portfolio of properties.

Gateley Plc

The ‘technically sound, commercial and responsive’ team at Gateley Plc handles financial restructurings and turnarounds as well as acquisitions and disposals for a client roster that includes accounting firms, sureties and corporate clients. The practice has recently acted in several high-profile insolvencies in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Andrew Buchanan leads the practice; he operates nationally, playing a lead role on high-value restructuring matters and advising boards of directors in distressed situations. Stuart Tait is also a key practitioner, acting on restructurings and high-profile administrations.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Buchanan

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Tait; Gavin Clarke; Aneesh Prasad

Testimonials

‘A very strong team with width and depth. Leaders in thought and technical ability second to none. A quality practice.’

‘Andrew Buchanan, Gavin Clarke and Aneesh Prasad. Led by Andrew who I admire immensely from a professional perspective, his team and colleagues reflect the culture of the practice. Technically sound, commercial, responsive and client care at the utmost to their thoughts and advice. On top of that all of the team a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Byron Hamburgers Limited

City Football Group Limited (Manchester City)

BDO UK LLP

Duff & Phelps

Great American International Insurance (EU) DAC

Total Polyfilm Limited

Beechbrook

Beesley Corporate Recovery Limited

Mitchell Charlesworth LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of national casual dining chain Byron Hamburgers on restructuring options, then KPMG LLP on the accelerated sale of the business through administration.
  • Advising Manchester City in respect of matters resulting from the liquidation of Thomas Cook, including in relation to a demand for payment of circa £4.5m alleged to be payable by Manchester City.
  • Initially instructed to secure the appointment of Concurrent Administrators of Pochin Construction Limited and Pochin’s Limited. Subsequently advising the Concurrent Administrators in relation to any antecedent transactions, dealings and affairs of the Company in order to establish viable claims, actions or proceedings which could be taken against third parties with a view to increasing recoveries for creditors.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for clients nationally and internationally, and is noted for its wide array of sector expertise, spanning the retail, travel and leisure, manufacturing and education industries. The team, which is praised for its ‘understanding and grasp of commercial circumstances’, regularly advises on corporate restructurings and complex administrations and has also supported local authorities with investment mandates. Practice head James Cameron has nearly two decades of experience in the area and is noted for his pensions restructuring expertise, with key support from associate Samantha Latham.

Practice head(s):

James Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Latham; Tim Fearn

Testimonials

‘The team worked really hard to deal with many different moving parts on a complex cross jurisdictional mandate.’

‘Tim Fearn managed the process with great patience and commerciality.’

‘Stable team providing balanced and rational advice based on a good understanding and grasp of commercial circumstances.’

‘Highly responsive when required. Service delivery has not been impacted by pandemic despite obvious challenges.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Deloitte

EY

PwC

BDO

Hilco Capital

KPMG

Duff and Phelps

RSM

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte on administration of Piccolino/RBG dining.
  • Advised on the receivership of the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, Chester.
  • Advising KPMG following its appointment as administrators of gas and electricity supplier Eversmart Energy Ltd.

Freeths LLP

Described by clients as 'highly impressive', the team at Freeths LLP focuses on acting for insolvency practitioners ranging from large accountancy firms to niche boutique practices. The team also handles personal insolvency work as well as restructuring and non-contentious mandates. Insolvency litigator Joey Byrne leads the group and specialises in asset recovery issues at a national and international level. ‘Excellent non-contentious insolvency lawyerKevin Pinkerton is dual-qualified as a solicitor and licensed insolvency practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Joey Byrne

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Pinkerton; Graeme Danby; Miles Hacking

Testimonials

‘Freeths are highly impressive instructing solicitors. They have a wealth of internal resources and it is clear that there is a committed team of people working on a case where appropriate. They have a high degree of experience and professionalism which shines through.’

‘They use the strengths of each team member, whatever grade, to provide the best advice without thinking about maximising the fee.’

‘The team has a very clear alignment with what a client wants in insolvency.’

‘The clear top of the department is Joey Byrne, who has an edge on service in about 5 levels – best advice/most commercial/fastest response of any lawyer I deal with.’

‘I have worked with Miles Hacking. He is always available and responds quickly with sound commercial advice. He is an excellent lawyer.’

‘The team has a real depth and breadth of insolvency experience and deals with a number of large or complex corporate and personal insolvencies.’

‘They are robust and very knowledgeable and assist me with my insolvency advice. They are different from their competitors in that they listen to what me as the client says and they model their approach to take account of that.’

Key clients

Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP

Begbies Traynor Group PLC

Clarke Bell Ltd

Cromwell Insolvency

Currie Young Group

CVR LLP

Fortis Insolvency Limited

FRP Advisory Group

Grant Thornton UK LLP

KBL Advisory Ltd

Kennway Francis

KPMG LLP

Leading Business Services Ltd

Leonard Curtis Group

Mazars LLP

PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Quantuma

Work highlights

  • Acting for Fortis Insolvency Limited on the administration of School Lettings Solutions Limited, which was a national provider within the education sector.
  • Acted for Leonard Curtis on the administration of AIM Engineering Limited in dealing with the appointment and all post appointment legal matters.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP’s restructuring practice has been active in advising on large administrations related to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team has expertise in contentious and non-contentious insolvency, corporate recovery and restructuring work, with clients including international and regional accounting firms, corporates and debt advisers. Practice head Paul Spence leads on international and high-value distressed real estate matters. Ahead of Gavin Jones’ departure for JMW Solicitors LLP in December 2020, the team was strengthened with the recruitment of experienced practitioner Will Jones from Knights plc in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Paul Spence

Other key lawyers:

Will Jones

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Will Jones for over 10 years. I can rely on his advice being technically excellent as well as being commercially astute.’

‘Hill Dickinson LLP is a large, multi-disciplinary law firm but with the ability to nurture and retain relationships at a granular level. They are accessible and visible at partner/director level without a large practice billing mentality.’

‘Paul Spence and his team have a genuine “can do” attitude. They provide sensible and proactive advice. I have worked with them for years and they never let me down.’

‘They have a good commercial approach and more importantly create innovative solutions rather than problems. Good proactive advice is always given.’

‘Very approachable and deal with all members of our team irrespective of seniority on the same basis. Good understanding of the law and able to give immediate advice.’

‘The Insolvency and Corporate Recovery team are thorough, technically proficient and carry out their work worth pragmatism. I feel comfortable passing contentious and non-contentious work to the team, as I know it will be treated with commerciality and great attention to detail. I’d thoroughly recommend working with the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery team.’

‘Will Jones is particularly bright, thorough and a step ahead of the opposition when dealing with tricky, commercial situations. He’s approachable and puts my more junior team members at ease when we’re faced with difficult cases. He has fantastic knowledge of the insolvency market and can make connections, pulling together relevant specialisms to assist with ease.’

‘As well as being technically strong, Paul also brings a strong practical and commercial awareness to his advice.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

RSM

Duff & Phelps

Grant Thornton

Begbies Traynor

Leonard Curtis

Mazars

Cowgills

Dow Schofield Watts

Campbell Crossley & Davis

Marshall Peters

Work highlights

  • Advising the board of CMV Group and latterly administrators at Duff & Phelps on the financial restructuring and subsequent administration of group companies.
  • Advised FRP on the administration and sale of the national currency exchange business chains of both No1 Currency Limited and Thomas Exchange Global Limited (connected companies) to Currency Exchange Corporation Limited.
  • Advised Rekom Group as purchasers on the acquisition of certain parts and venues of the Deltic Group out of administration.

JMW Solicitors LLP

The team at JMW Solicitors LLP, which handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency work, has expanded and strengthened its capabilities with several noteworthy hires. New practice head Gavin Jones, who joined from Hill Dickinson LLP in January 2021, is experienced in high-value insolvency litigation and major business disposals. James Williams joined in August 2020 from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and contributes notable strength in property insolvencies, while Julie Agnew came from Hill Dickinson LLP in March 2021 and brings experience in non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Jones

Other key lawyers:

James Williams; Julie Agnew

Testimonials

‘Great strength in depth and specialist knowledge.’

‘My experience of working with JMW has been only positive. At times of stress we need our advisers to be focused and commercial, and that has been my experience, to the extent that they have felt like an extension of my own team. I am also appreciative of the follow up on relevant matters that JMW have identified as being relevant for cases I am dealing with – it is this extra layer of commerciality and understanding of the market that makes me consider JMW as a go-to advisor.’

‘Over the course of the last 12 months, I have worked a great deal with James Williams, and he is truly excellent and a great capture for the JMW team. Solid pragmatic advice at all times, absolutely relevant to the circumstances and sector. Often, some can default to a position of the law without applying it to the situation, whereas James is able to use his knowledge of the law to apply it to the circumstances, meaning that as the client I get the best service possible.’

‘Gavin Jones has recently joined them. He is technically superb and a very good strategist, I would expect him to form a formidable partnership with Richard Wolff.’

‘Gavin Jones is the person I deal with a lot of the time at the firm. Gavin is a fantastic lawyer, giving commercial decisions based on his years of experience in the insolvency sector. Gavin really understands what the client is wanting to achieve and will do his best to achieve the clients aims and ambitions. I happily speak to Gavin when I need commercial legal advice, particularly in tricky situations.’

Key clients

Castle Trust Capital PLC

Wellesley Finance PLC

Begbies Traynor

Alvarez and Marsal

Quantuma LLP

Moorfields Advisory LLP

Geoffrey Martin PKF

FRP Advisory LLP

Avison Young

Sumec Light Industry Textiles & Co Limited

HJS Recovery (UK)

Manolete Partners PLC

Azets

Work highlights

  • Appointment of Moorfields Advisory Limited as administrators to FCA registered Moneything Capital Limited and advice relating to the peer to peer lending structure.
  • Appointment of Begbies Traynor as administrators to Millican Limited, including advice on international sale agreements and realisation of goods at sea and pre-pack sale.

Shoosmiths LLP

The ‘fantastic team’ at Shoosmiths LLP acts for a wide range of clients spanning accounting firms, corporate directors, management teams, banks and asset-based lenders. The firm has recently advised on a range of successful CVAs for high street retailer and hospitality clients. Practice head Sarah Teal has particular expertise in contentious insolvency work and advising boards of directors on duties and responsibilities in distressed situations. Associates Hollie Wrigley and Hannah Gaskell also play a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Teal

Other key lawyers:

Hollie Wrigley; Hannah Gaskell

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable and practical team.’

‘They have their eye on getting the job done as opposed to point scoring against the opposing lawyer.’

‘A fantastic team of lawyers.’

‘Sarah Teal is outstanding in her work.’

‘Sara Teal is an experienced insolvency lawyer and very easy to work with.’

Key clients

Moss Bros Group Ltd

Robinson Webster (Holdings) Limited

Poundstretcher Limited

Discovery (Northampton) Limited, Discovery (Nuneaton) Limited, Southampton Estates Limited, Discovery (Torquay) Limited, Discovery (Folkestone) Limited, Discovery (Harrogate) Limited, Sportsdirect.com Retail Limited and Sports Direct International PLC

KPMG LLP

Duff & Phelps Ltd

Beach Resorts Investments Limited

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

FRP Advisory Trading Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Poundstretcher in connection with its successful CVA affecting 450 stores and preserving employment for 5,500 employees.
  • Advised Beach Resorts Investments Limited as creditors in the successful challenge of a scheme of arrangement of a company which provided serviced offices, facilities, management and construction services in Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • Acted for PwC LLP as the joint administrators of Relyon Limited on the sale of the bed manufacturing company saving 280 jobs.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs acts nationally as well as internationally, handling complex cross-border restructuring matters for a client list that includes the Big Four accounting firms, large companies, clearing banks and asset-based lenders. The practice is also noted for its expertise in pensions-related insolvency work and distressed real estate matters. With the retirement of Susan Kelly, director Mark Prior, who has nearly two decades of experience in the restructuring and insolvency arena, now leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mark Prior

Key clients

Aspinal of London

Barclays Bank

BDO

Close Invoice Finance limited

CNG Financial Corporation

Co-op

Deloitte

EY

FRP Advisory

Grant Thornton

KPMG

Lloyds Banking Group

Manchester Building Society

PNC Business Credit

Praetura Commercial Finance

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Shawbrook Bank

Wuhu Anrui Optoelectronics

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of Aspinal of London on its financing and restructuring and on the implementation of its CVA.
  • Advised Deloitte with regard to the administration of Marcus Worthington (Properties) Limited, including the sale of two multi-million pound retail parks and dealing with other properties.
  • Advising FRP Advisory Trading Limited as the administrators of Inview Technology Limited on various matters including negotiating a number of intellectual property licences around the world.

TLT

TLT’s practice stands out for its involvement in an array of high-profile restructurings and insolvencies and the varied, in-depth expertise of its team. Practice head Alastair Lomax specialises in non-contentious and advisory work; he has led cross-disciplinary teams on various complex corporate restructuring assignments. The practice cooperates closely with the firm’s specialist sector teams, particularly for retail and leisure clients. Claire Graham and Jon Hainey lead the contentious practice, which is noted for acting on the behalf of public bodies in public interest winding-up cases; it also has strong ties to The Insolvency Service and expertise in fraud investigations.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Lomax

Other key lawyers:

Claire Graham; Jon Hainey; Antoniya Mercer

Testimonials

‘TLT’s Manchester office has strength in depth in their insolvency team including experienced partners Jon Hainey and Claire Graham and associate Antoniya Mercer.’

‘Antoniya Mercer very helpful and user-friendly.’

‘Alastair Lomax has great technical knowledge which is combined with strong commerciality.’

Key clients

boohoo.com

JD Sports Fashion plc

Barburrito

NatWest

Deloitte LLP

KPMG LLP

BDO LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Innova Capital

Insolvency Service / Official Receiver

Begbies Traynor

Grant Thornton LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte on the prepackaged sale of Go Outdoors to JD Sports Fashion and subsequently on aspects of the administration.
  • Acted for leading online fashion retailer boohoo on its purchases of the IPR and digital assets of Debenhams and, subsequently, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis from the administrators.
  • Advised an investor group on its purchase of the business and assets of the Mexican fast food restaurant group, Barburrito.

Aaron & Partners LLP

Praised for its 'deep subject matter knowledge and skills’ the practice at Aaron & Partners LLP regularly advises directors of distressed companies, and has a new focus on advising liquidators on breach of duty claims against directors resulting from tax avoidance schemes. Head of the litigation group Nick Clarke leads the practice together with national personal insolvency specialist Mark Davies. Promoted to partner in 2020, Chris Mitchell also plays a key role in the team.

Practice head(s):

Nick Clarke; Mark Davies

Other key lawyers:

Chris Mitchell; Jan Chillery

Testimonials

‘Deep subject matter knowledge and skills, robust governance and excellent results.’

‘Jan Chillery was direct, she made my options very clear and when I tried to deviate from that she explained very clearly what I could and could not do and any subsequent possible consequences of my actions.’

‘I have been working with Aaron and Partner’s Insolvency & Corporate Recovery practice for over 4 years on related cases. They have given me considerable support and advice during what was an extremely difficult period, bringing in considered advice from outside sources where needed. They kept billing regular and realistic and have currently recovered far more that we had initially hoped for.’

‘I have to say I would consider the partner I was working with Jan Chillery more of a mentor than a solicitor. She has been a stalwart supporter of myself and the business during the often painstakingly slow procedures acting as a superb guide through the myriad of complicated laws surrounding the position we were in. She dealt with all matters herself and was always available when needed.’

‘Very good communicators, Very good range of expertise within the firm. The range of subjects they cover in informal local CPD for the business community here in Chester is always pertinent and well-prepared.’

Key clients

Development Bank Wales

KPMG LLP

Grant Thornton

Menzies

SPK Financial Solutions Ltd

Baker Tilly

Dains LLP

Opus Restructuring LLP (Liverpool & London offices)

Leonard Curtis

Alvaraz & Marsal (Manchester office)

Work highlights

  • Advised Opus Restructuring LLP and Anderson Brookes as joint liquidators of Dyserth Falls Ltd.
  • Advised SPK as Administrator of Primary Care Connect Ltd.
  • Advised the boards of directors of the Hawk group of companies as to the fiduciary duties in the period leading to the appointment of EY as administrators.

Bermans

Led by Phil Farrelly, who is known for advising insolvency practitioners, invoice finance companies and other lenders, the team at Bermans handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. Martin March, who is a recent addition to the team with over 20 years of experience in this space, plays a key role in the practice and regularly handles property related insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Phil Farrelly

Other key lawyers:

Martin March; James Whittaker

Testimonials

‘Phil Farrelly – Solid commercial advice and timely response.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory LLP

IGF Invoice Finance

Bibby Financial Services

RSM

Begbies Traynor

Work highlights

  • Acted for BV Corporate Recovery as Administrators on the sale of Miller Metcalfe Surveyors from administration to Connells Group.
  • Advised Skipton Business Finance and Begbies Traynor as Administrators for Cookeze Limited.
  • Advised Cirrus Property Group Limited as investors after work permanently halted the development of flats in Newcastle’s 273 apartment Sky Building.

Brabners LLP

With key insolvency specialists across the firm’s three offices in Liverpool Preston and Manchester, the team at Brabners LLP acts for a broad client base in the North West. The practice has expertise in the sports and retail sectors and has recently been strengthened with the addition of experienced practitioner Jennifer Lockhart in September 2020 from Hillyer McKeown; based in Liverpool, Lockhart specialises in contentious insolvencies. Practice head Robert Turner in Manchester handles contentious and non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Robert Turner

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Lockhart; Nicola Whittle

Testimonials

‘Brabners are a very commercial regional practice. Their restructuring team are responsive and provide a good level of technical and practical advice. They are supported by other specialist colleagues which provides a one-stop shop covering employment, banking, insolvency and property assistance on cases. They provide good quality advice at reasonable fees compared to some of the other mid tier/regional firms.’

‘Nicola Whittle is a very well respected and high performing lawyer. She is incredibly knowledgeable and provides a City standard service at county level prices.’

‘Rob Turner and Nicola Whittle have provided the team with good quality advice over the past year. They are all approachable, provide good advice and are responsive at turning round documents within short timescales.’

Key clients

RSM Restructuring

Dow Schofield Watts

Begbies

CG&Co

Grant Thornton

Cowgills

FVWL Football Limited (Bolton Wanderers Football Club)

Leonard Curtis

Hope Capital Ltd

Mazars

Work highlights

  • Acting for the administrators in selling the three businesses of K3 Business Technologies Ltd.
  • Acting for the administrators of the Square Chapel Trust in Halifax. Dealing with the sale of the business to another charity.
  • Providing directors duties advice to the directors of large van and truck dealership during a period of financial distress for the company.

DTM Legal LLP

Praised for its ‘excellent depth of knowledge’, DTM Legal LLP has developed longstanding and strong relationships with many of its clients. The team acts on a range of restructuring and insolvency-related matters, including complex contentious matters and property-related work. Practice head Richard Thomas stands out and is dual-qualified as a solicitor and insolvency practitioner. Kate Roberts, who has expertise in insolvencies and litigation, is also a name to watch.

Practice head(s):

Richard Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Kate Roberts; Ed Barnes

Testimonials

‘DTM’s team is partner led and always gives sound commercial advice.’

‘Richard Thomas and Ed Barnes are the people we work most closely with. As above, we always get good attention and sound advice.’

‘I have worked with DTM Legal over many years in Insolvency matters and have always found them to be well prepared and highly experienced.’

‘I have worked primarily with Kate Roberts and her team – Kate is always well prepared and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Excellent depth of knowledge. Always available. Understanding of problem. Willingness to discuss level of fees. Personable and approachable.’

Key clients

Parkin S Booth

Funding Circle

Philmore & Co

Opus Business Recovery

CVR Global

Edge Recovery

Grant Thornton

Kreston Reeves

Kay Johnson Gee

Begbies Traynor

Handelsbanken Plc

CCI Credit Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting a liquidator with asset recovery in a liquidation.
  • Regular instructions from Kay Johnson Gee including acting on behalf of Joint Liquidators in relation to a misfeasance, breach of duty/trust claim against the directors of a company.
  • Advising CCI Credit Management Ltd on an application to challenge the rejection of a proof of debt by liquidators.

Harrison Drury & Co

The 'supportive and competent‘ team at Harrison Drury & Co handles a range of work for insolvency practitioners and business stakeholders, including advising on the acquisition and disposal of insolvent company assets. The team also undertakes dispute resolution work in relation to insolvent and distressed companies, including claims against directors for antecedent transactions. Team head James Robbins, who is described by clients as ‘very capable‘, is dual-qualified as a solicitor and insolvency practitioner.

Practice head(s):

James Robbins

Testimonials

‘The staff are always helpful and willing to assist and advise on matters.’

‘The individuals we work with are very well-qualified and are comfortable giving an opinion based on the facts of a case and advising of the best course of action, whilst mindful of our needs as a business. James Robbins is always very helpful and very capable in the role.’

‘Finance, insolvency and recovery is often an emotive area. My experience of Harrison Drury is that they are both supportive and competent.’

‘I have dealt mainly with James Robbins who I have been really impressed with. Just as I was recommended to him, I would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone I know.’

‘James Robbins. He has an unusual knowledge and interest in legal points as well as handling all practical/client side of being a solicitor well and provides excellent, patient support to Counsel and others. He is very good value to his clients.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

Marshall Peters

FRP Advisory

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Simply Corporate

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of FRP Advisory LLP as the Joint Administrators of Lunar Caravans Limited (the Company) in relation to claims by its parent company, Lunar Holdings Limited, for unpaid rent and dilapidations amounting to around £1.5m.
  • Acting on behalf of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group as Joint Administrators in a pre-pack administration sale.
  • Acting on behalf of Marshall Peters Limited as the Administrator of Bulk Products Limited, a cleaning products manufacturer based in Crewe, and advising on the sale of the business and assets of the company.

Hillyer McKeown

Hillyer McKeown’s client base includes large international and boutique insolvency practitioners. The team has strength in contentious insolvency work and is regularly involved in personal bankruptcy cases. The practice also has experience in recovering wrongfully appropriated or distributed assets. Paul Marsh, who is described as ‘one of the country’s leading personal insolvency solicitors’ and became consultant solicitor in October 2020, leads the team. Jennifer Lockhart departed to Brabners LLP in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Paul Marsh

Testimonials

‘Paul Marsh is one of the country’s leading personal insolvency solicitors. As well as first rate technical skills, particularly on bankruptcy matters, Paul is commercial and provides an excellent responsive service at competitive rates.’

‘Paul Marsh is a well regarded and experienced insolvency solicitor who I have known for many years and whose opinion I value.’

Key clients

Grant Thornton LLP

KPMG LLP

CVR Global LLP

PCR (London) LLP

Begbies Traynor Group

Mazars LLP

Harper Macleod LLP

Finn Associates (Business Care Limited)

Bretts Business Recovery

FRP Advisory LLP

Antony Batty & Company LLP

Haslers

Opus Business Services Group

Duff and Phelps Limited

Smith and Williamson LLP

Dunham Dean Advisory

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP’s insolvency and corporate recovery practice in Manchester is headed up by Chris Keane, who acts on a broad range of personal and corporate insolvency matters, with a particular focus on contentious insolvency work.

Practice head(s):

Chris Keane

Farleys Solicitors LLP

With a presence in Manchester and Preston, the insolvency and corporate recovery team at Farleys Solicitors LLP undertakes work for administrators, liquidators, receivers, insolvency practitioners and businesses. Ian Liddle heads up the practice together with Mark Hague, who covers both contentious and non-contentious work, including acting for insolvency practitioners and directors in various claims arising from insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hague; Ian Liddle

Key clients

Mazars LLP

Begbies Traynor

Cowgill Holloway

Royce Peeling Green

McIntyre Hudson

Leonard Curtis

Kennway Francis

FRP Advisory LLP

JT Maxwell

T H Corporate Recovery

Work highlights

  • Acting for the liquidators of a utility services company in claims against the director and five associates in respect of breaches of duty, misfeasance, transactions at an undervalue, preferences and transactions defrauding creditors.
  • Acting for a company and proposed administrators in a novel application for administration followed by a back-to-back Paragraph 71 Schedule B1 Insolvency Act 1986 order, regarding a large student accommodation development.
  • Handling a claim against directors of a packaging company that entered liquidation as a result of misappropriation of funds by the directors.

Gorvins Solicitors

The team at Gorvins Solicitors advises directors on personal liability issues and has experience acting in insolvency-related claims of misconduct, fraud or breach of duty against individuals. Mark Deverell, who is active in matters involving companies facing winding-up proceedings, co-leads the practice with David Guest, who specialises in corporate and personal insolvencies, and Paul Lupton, who has particular experience in advising small to medium-sized businesses.

Practice head(s):

Mark Deverell; David Guest; Paul Lupton

Kennedys

With particular expertise in insolvency litigation matters, Kennedys' practice acts for a client base that includes insolvency practitioners, insurers and corporate clients, and draws on sector expertise in the construction, aviation and healthcare industries. London-based Dino Paganuzzi is at the helm of the team, and senior associate Laura Smith is the key name in Manchester; she specialises in corporate and personal insolvency issues.

Practice head(s):

Dino Paganuzzi

Other key lawyers:

Laura Smith

Testimonials

‘Laura Smith, Senior Associate is outstanding in my opinion. She has excellent specialist knowledge, is extremely diligent and has very good inter-personal skills. She is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Kennedy’s have assisted us on several matters throughout 2020 and have provided advice of a high standard. They have provided efficient turnaround on all cases and have acted as a support and a partner for us over the past 12-18 months.’

‘Laura Smith: always straightforward and solutions focused, excellent communication skills, knowledgeable within insolvency and corporate recovery, provides timely advice and produces high quality legal documentation.’

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP’s practice handles insolvency litigation and advises official receivers on investigations. It is also instructed by The Insolvency Service, undertaking investigations into the conduct of directors, pursuing disqualification proceedings and undertaking public interest winding up petitions. With the departure Helen Fyles in May 2021 to Knights plc, London-based Neil Smyth is now head of the team. Associate Jacob Walker is the key contact in Manchester.

Practice head(s):

Neil Smyth

Other key lawyers:

Jacob Walker

Key clients

The Insolvency Service

Official Receiver Services

BDO

Manolete Partners PLC

CAGE LITIGATION

Mazars

Asertis

Griffins

B V Corporate Recovery and Insolvency

Beesley Corporate Recovery

Pannone Corporate LLP

The team at Pannone Corporate LLP handles the full spectrum of corporate recovery and insolvency issues including administrations, liquidations, voluntary arrangements, restructurings and bankruptcies. Department head Daniel Clarke covers all aspects of corporate recovery and insolvency work with particular expertise in local authority recovery mandates. The team was strengthened with the arrival of senior associate Heather Morris from DWF.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Clarke

Other key lawyers:

Heather Morris

Testimonials

‘The team seemed very well joined up and give a sense of good co-operative working.’

‘Heather Morris is a pleasure to deal with.’

‘The team are always ready to help and have found innovative solutions to technical problems.’

‘We have found Heather very helpful dealing with changes in working practices over the last 12 months. Dan and Heather make themselves available to assist and approach all their work in a friendly manner.’

‘The team has a great depth of knowledge; they are approachable, flexible, calm and reasoned in their communication styles. They are also very commercially-focused, so they have the professionalism to balance recovery to a client with the cost of fees expended, something which is an infrequent trait in lawyers; sometimes it is more important to get a good financial outcome than it is to be right – not all firms have that attitude and the culture spans wider than just the insolvency team too. I have never had my expectations underserved!’

‘The team at Pannone take customer service very seriously, and client needs appear to be paramount, both in terms of outcome and timeliness of delivery. Dan Clarke in the insolvency team is organised, measured and astute with the delivery of service and the tactics he deploys to achieve outcomes. He is good at introducing other specialisms where it is relevant and appropriate.’

Dan Clarke continues to grow in experience and stature as head of their insolvency offering, with a real grip of complex property and bankruptcy related issues – he gets to the point in a cost effective way.’

Key clients

Anthony Batty & Company LLP

Asertis Ltd

Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP

BDO LLP

Beevers & Struthers Chartered Accountants

Dunham Dean Advisory

Duff & Phelps Ltd

Dow Schofield Watts

Griffins

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Freshways Dairies

Horsfields

KPMG LLP

Quantuma Advisory Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Mazars

KBL Advisory Limited

Moore Kingston Smith & Partners

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Manchester City Council

Focus Insolvency Group

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for the administrators of Anorton Holdings Limited on the sale of the business and assets of the company to a listed Australian business.
  • Acting for a debenture holder in relation to an enforcement action against a defaulting debtor company including placing the company into administration and pursuing personal guarantee liabilities.

Prosperity Law LLP

Prosperity Law LLP’s insolvency practice, formed in 2019, has expanded and solidified its client base, which includes asset-based lenders, insolvency practitioners, corporate clients and individuals. While also active on the non-contentious side, the team is known for its contentious work, with niche expertise in claims against directors and third parties involving antecedent transactions. Practice head Simon Gerrard has developed a specialism in pursuing the recovery of government bounce-back loans that have been misapplied and dissipated by company directors in liquidation.

Practice head(s):

Simon Gerrard

Testimonials

‘Efficient team with fast response times, good communication, accurate billing and good use of technology.’

‘Simon Gerrard is really effective, the type of person you want acting for you when you’re in a dispute, enjoyable to work with, knowledgeable in litigious insolvency matters, strong reputation for this sort of work.

‘Prosperity’s quick growth and relative flexibility make them an excellent firm to deal with. Partners are consistently available and willing to deal with the issues brought to them and are not caught up in office politics, which is incredibly refreshing. They’re focused on the commercial aspect of the work brought to them and the resulting honesty can often result in lower fees and quicker outcomes.’

‘Simon Gerrard is a fantastic solicitor and incredibly commercially minded. His tenacity over contentious matters makes him a genuine asset to the firm backed up by his legal expertise. I have no hesitation contacting Simon regardless on the size of the matter or its complexity as I know he will gladly deal with it all.

Key clients

Hope Capital Limited

Kay Johnson Gee

Path Business Recovery

DS Insolvency

Begbies Traynor

Inquesta

Mulholland Spence Accountants

Moneytree Wealth Management

Woodstream Finance Ltd

Work highlights

  • Regularly instructed by Kay Johnson Gee to pursue claims on behalf of insolvency practitioners ranging from pursuing substantial actions against former officers of insolvent companies involving antecedent transactions through to pursuing claims against debtors of the companies.
  • Advising DS Insolvency on a large portfolio of claims against directors of companies in liquidation concerning the misapplication of bounce back loans and breaches of fiduciary duties, as well as claims against third parties involving antecedent transactions.
  • Advising Hope Capital in connection with a security restructuring, as well as the enforcement of security and claims against companies and individuals following defaults on loan facilities.

Taylors LLP

Commercial law firm Taylors LLP’s business recovery and insolvency practice is praised for its ‘ very commercial and pragmatic advice’ and has recently been involved in several restructurings. Andrew Livesey heads up the group; he has over 35 years of experience and has advised commercial lenders and liquidators on a variety of issues.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Livesey

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Beatson

Testimonials

‘Andrew Livesey is a good insolvency lawyer. Stuart Beatson is a good insolvency lawyer.’

‘Very strong technically and very commercial and pragmatic advice with a view to achieving speedy realisation on cases. Very good at keeping me updated on progress of case and good communication / transparency.’

‘Andrew Livesey, Partner – very experienced and leads from the front and ensures case progression. Very good communicator and always cuts through the issues and delivers quality and practical advice. Technically very good.’

Key clients

RSM Business Advisory LLP

FRP Advisory

Duff & Phelps

Cowgill Holloway

Quantuma

Alvarez & Marsal

Smith & Williamson

Mitchell Charlesworth

Advantage Commercial Finance

WeDo Finance

Work highlights

  • Advising on the ongoing restructuring of the Henri Lloyd group of companies.
  • Acting for RSM Restructuring Advisory as the office holders in the case of Paperback Collection and Recycling Limited which clarified the relationship between provable claims in a liquidation, expenses of liquidation and ranking of POC fines and compensation orders.
  • Handled the restructuring of a SIPP platform, which had potential solvency issues with regard to esoteric overseas SIPP investments by investors.