Firms To Watch: Insolvency and corporate recovery

DWF’s growing team advises on both local and national matters via its northern office network. Liverpool-based senior associate Thomas Murphy joined from Weightmans LLP in mid-2021.
Horwich Farrelly has been building up its restructuring capabilities of late, with recent hires including practice head Mark Dennis and former Kuit Steinart Levy LLP restructuring and insolvency head Richard Palmer.
Christopher Love's team at Primas provides bespoke restructuring advice with an emphasis on real estate and finance-related restructurings; Love joined from JMW Solicitors LLP in early 2020.

Insolvency and corporate recovery in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

One of the go-to insolvency practices in the North West, Addleshaw Goddard‘s team is known for its work advising major banks and companies on their restructuring and insolvency matters. Its distressed real estate arm, led by legal director John Duffy, is particularly well regarded for its advice on property-related restructurings. Distressed acquisitions and contentious services round out the team’s overall offering. Ged Barnes and Tim Taylor lead the team from Manchester. Both advise on non-contentious matters, with an emphasis on distressed acquisitions and investments. Recently promoted partner Sarah Foster is also recommended for her significant experience with retail insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Ged Barnes; Tim Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Foster; John Duffy

Testimonials

‘The principal members of the team who have assisted me have been constant throughout a long-running matter. They clearly have a strong and positive working relationship, which makes working with them easy. They have a lot of experience in the field and provide sensible and commercial advice. They understand what the client wants and make the client feel valued.’

‘The Addleshaw Goddard team are extremely responsive to any requests with excellent turnaround times when speed is of the essence on transactions. The advice received is also extremely commercial in providing their advice against challenging circumstances and timescales.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

PWC

EY LLP

Teneo Financial Advisory Limited

Interpath Ltd

Grant Thornton UK LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Endless LLP

The HLD Group

Avison Young

Elaine Millar, Viscount of the Royal Court of Jersey

Kroll Limited

Alvarez & Marsal

Svella Plc

Solutions 30 UK Services Limited

Route Finance

JD Sports Fashion plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Kroll Limited as administrators of Arena Television.
  • Acted for Svella PLC in its “pre-pack” purchase of the telecommunications, plant hire, transport and accommodation divisions of NMCN PLC.
  • Acted for Route in the appointment of Quantuma as administrators of One Islington Plaza Limited.

DLA Piper

As a key part of the firm’s huge global platform, DLA Piper‘s Manchester team is well-suited to act on insolvencies throughout the UK and abroad. Team members are often involved in matters for market-leading companies, such as Arcadia Group, that cross over into multiple European countries and into the Caribbean. It offers equal strength on non-contentious mandates, including financial restructurings, and contentious cases, covering investigations, litigation, and enforcements. Christopher Roberts leads the North West branch and Robert Russell heads the UK-wide restructuring team, both out of Manchester. Katy Seago advises on distressed real estate matters, and associate Grace Imafidon acts on contentious matters.

Other key lawyers:

Katy Seago; Grace Imafidon; Rob Lyons

Testimonials

‘We found the team to be extremely reactive, and resilient in a fast moving situation where a full, vertical team was needed, both on contentious and non-contentious matters.’

‘I would have no hesitation in recommending the DLA insolvency team both for depth of experience and professional agility.’

‘Very commercial and approachable. Excellent client relationship skills an not unduly bogged down in legal niceties to see the bigger picture. Rob Russell leads a strong team always commercial and on point. Focused on solutions with a great feel for the risk appetite of their client.’

‘Chris Roberts is an excellent communicator and problem solver.’

Katy Seago is a hard working, available and knowledgeable part of the DLA team. She consistently performs above lawyers used at other firms for her approach to customers in delicate situations and is consistently prepared.’

‘Chris Roberts guided us through an exceptionally difficult trading period and insolvency process driven by Covid-19.’

‘Chris Roberts is a great sounding board, always available to offer advice which is pragmatic and commercial, combined with strong technical knowledge.’

‘Robert Russell – an excellent team lead but also available as needed to be involved on the detail. Quality of service is always high.’

Key clients

Kroll Advisory Ltd

Ernst & Young LLP

Teneo Restructuring Limited

Interpath Limited

Close Brothers Limited

Aurelius Investments Limited

Gordon Brothers International

ABN AMRO Asset Based Finance NV

PwC

Alteri Partners LLP

Work highlights

  • Engaged by Alteri Partners LLP to provide advice in relation to its significant investment into Missguided Limited.
  • Acting for the Administrators of the Arcadia Group of companies in relation to all real estate matters and associated secured lender issues.
  • Advising on a trading administration of two North West based online retailers, followed by the sale of the entirety of both businesses.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's Manchester insolvency team is known for its energy sector strength, having advised the administrators for both Green Network Energy and People’s Energy. Other strengths include advice on major distressed acquisitions, and on pension plan restructurings. Though he has recently taken a larger role in building the firm’s Yorkshire practice, David Gray continues to be a key player in the market, advising on multiple complex restructurings. Sarah Duignan leads the Manchester team and offers a unique strength advising alternative lenders.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Duignan

Other key lawyers:

David Gray

Testimonials

‘David Gray is supported by an experienced team. Exceptional experience, practical solutions, good value.’

‘David Gray is very experienced, and has lots of common sense. He looks at a problem from all sides and seeks creative solutions.’

Key clients

Teneo Restructuring Limited (formerly Deloitte LLP)

PwC

Interpath Advisory (formerly KPMG Restructuring)

Ernst & Young

Work highlights

    Gateley Plc

    Gateley Plc‘s insolvency and corporate recovery team acts for all major accountancy firms, banks and investors on major restructurings and related acquisitions. It is particularly known for its work in the construction and hospitality industries, advising on solvent and insolvent recovery options and advising banking stakeholders. Andrew Buchanan leads the team and is known for high profile financial restructuring arrangements. Stuart Tait advises on significant administrations and distressed acquisitions.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew Buchanan

    Other key lawyers:

    Stuart Tait; Gavin Clarke; Aneesh Prasad

    Testimonials

    ‘They have the breadth of experience and expertise to deal with any recovery issue. Advice is practical and understandable. They are a great firm to deal with.’

    ‘Aneesh Prasad is excellent. His professionalism, expertise and advice is outstanding.’

    ‘Andrew Buchanan leads an exceptionally skilled team. Lots of experience. Sensible solutions to issues. Aggressive stance when necessary.’

    ‘Aneesh Prasad, Andrew Buchanan, Gavin Clarke combine to make an excellent team at different levels. Particularly strong in construction and property aspects.’

    ‘The team are commercial and proactive.’

    ‘Value for money’

    ‘Gateley Manchester have a great divesity of talent throughout the team with good and relevant industry knowledge . They are always willing to go the extra mile to help us reach our objectives and spend time with us to help us understand the intracasies of a case . I would have no hesitation recommended them and especially Andrew Buchanan who has been excellent.’

    ‘Andrew Buchanan has massive in-depth legal experience and is happy to impart this to help us achieve our objectives . He is diplomatic and very good in sensitive cases.’

    Key clients

    Patrick Lannagan and Julien Irving of Mazars LLP

    Andrew Palmer and Kerry Bailey of BDO LLP

    City Football Group Limited

    TradeRiver Finance Limited

    Damian Webb and Gordon Thomson of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

    Tokio Marine HCC

    Domus BWW Funding LLC

    Work highlights

    • Advising Mazars LLP, the Joint Administrators of Provincial Hotels & Inns Limited, on their appointment and application for declaratory relief from the court.
    • Advising City Football Group Limited in respect of matters resulting from the liquidation of Thomas Cook.
    • Acting for Aviva Insurance Limited, QBE UK Limited, HCC International Insurance Company PLC, Great American International Insurance (EU) Designated Activity Company and Fidelis Underwriting Limited, all of who have provided construction related bonds to Create Construction Limited (in Administration).

    Pinsent Masons LLP

    Pinsent Masons LLP advises a mix of banks, alternative lenders, trustees and corporations on high-value insolvency and corporate recovery mandates. The team has notable experience in special administration regimes, including the education, social housing, and energy sectors, where it has advised numerous distressed suppliers. It also is known for its unique pension restructuring expertise, led by experienced team head James Cameron, and its work with private equity houses. Associate Samantha Latham acts on large restructuring transactions.

    Practice head(s):

    James Cameron

    Other key lawyers:

    Samantha Latham

    Testimonials

    ‘They have a very practical commercial approach, and an excellent grasp of the law.’

    ‘James Cameron is stand out. An exceptional lawyer with oodles of sound commercial judgement. He does not miss a beat; he is calm and very intelligent. He gets to the heart of a legal issue with ease and applies clear strategic input. A pleasure to work with especially on complex knotty matters..’

    ‘Open, responsive, proactive and technically astute team.’

    ‘The team worked in an incredibly collaborative way, ensuring that all tasks were completed to the highest standard and on time. It felt like we were all working as one team, which was critical to the eventual successful outcome.’

    ‘We worked with the team at Pinsent Masons on an acquisition of a small business that had branches on two continents. The transactions were happening in the middle of lockdowns, and everyone was getting their heads around this new way of working. The team was flexible and keen to help – even at unsocial hours. They were professional, thorough and good value for money.’

    Key clients

    FRP Advisory

    Teneo

    EY-Parthenon

    PwC

    BDO

    Hilco Capital

    Interpath Advisory

    Kroll

    RSM

    Grant Thornton

    Work highlights

    • Advised Interpath as administrators of B2B gas and electricity supplier Hub Energy.
    • Advising Interpath as administrators of CNG Energy and CNG Electricity.
    • Acted for Sphinx Technology Limited on its purchase of the business and certain assets of the PASS Technology group out of administration.

    TLT

    TLT‘s team has continued on a rising trajectory, acting on a number of major mandates in the retail and leisure sectors. The non-contentious team, led by Alastair Lomax, has advised administrators, insolvency practitioners, and banks on the restructuring of businesses such as BarBurrito and Go Outdoors. On the contentious side, Claire Graham and Jon Hainey act on insolvency investigations, with an emphasis on misfeasance claims and on matters involving public bodies. Associate Lynsey Robinson is regarded for her financial services sector work.

    Practice head(s):

    Alastair Lomax

    Other key lawyers:

    Claire Graham; Jon Hainey; Lynsey Robinson

    Testimonials

    ‘Claire Graham is simply excellent. 20 years’ experience acting for the Insolvency Service including experience as a Certified Investigator. Her knowledge is second to none. She is an expert in her field. She knows her clients inside out and is a safe pair of hands.’

    ‘Alistair Lomax is excellent, always accessible and great value. Provides clear advice. trustworthy and helpful works as a team to get the best result.’

    ‘TLT works as an excellent team with each solicitor providing quality and focussed advice. They are responsive, user friendly and approachable and provide a highly professional approach to litigation.’

    ‘Claire Graham, Jon Hainey and Lynsey Robinson are excellent. They are engaged and immersed in the detail of their cases, provide quick and strategic advice and are approachable and a pleasure to work with.’

    ‘I have found Alastair Lomax to be extremely responsive and very commercial. His advice is always on the ball, clear and concise.’

    ‘Alastair Lomax has a sharp mind, clarity of thought and an engaging manner. He is a standout partner in Manchester office’

    ‘TLT are a high class firm that are well placed to provide technically excellent and strategically commercial advice. They are stock full of sector experts and I would always recommend them to any client. Great firm.’

    ‘Alastair Lomax is just a brilliant restructuring lawyer. He is responsive, emotionally intelligent and a great communicator who quickly cuts through complexity and gets to the nub of issues efficiently.’

    Key clients

    boohoo

    JD Sports Fashion plc

    Quantuma

    Insolvency Service / Official Receiver

    NatWest

    Teneo Financial Advisory Limited

    Interpath Ltd

    BDO LLP

    FRP Advisory LLP

    Innova Capital

    Grant Thornton LLP

    Begbies Traynor

    Work highlights

      Freeths LLP

      Freeths LLP‘s Manchester-based restructuring and insolvency practice is known for its breadth of expertise, covering a blend of personal and corporate insolvency mandates. On the corporate side, the team offers a unique creditor services practice, led by Graeme Danby. It is also known for its expertise with nil-asset cases. Joey Byrne leads the team and is known for asset recovery work. Kevin Pinkerton has an additional qualification as a licensed insolvency practitioner, and associate Miles Hacking offers advice on personal insolvency matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Joey Byrne

      Other key lawyers:

      Kevin Pinkerton; Graeme Danby; Miles Hacking

      Testimonials

      ‘The team has a fundamental focus on complex issues and excellent service levels, which makes everything done at the more simple levels also of a high standard.’

      ‘Joey Byrne has extensive investigation and litigation experience in many of the most complex reported judgments in the field.’

      ‘I have been very impressed with the team’s expertise and turnaround. The team’s fees are reasonable for the excellent service level.’

      ‘I have worked with Miles Hacking for a number of years now. He is very responsive and offers practical advice for resolving complex issues.’

      ‘Kevin Pinkerton – knowledgeable approachable, commercial. Joey Byrne – recognised as amongst leading contentious insolvency solicitors in Manchester. Astute and tactical.’

      ‘Miles Hacking – technically excellent and commercially minded!’

      ‘They provide practical solutions to some very complex problems. They are efficient and provide guidance for the best possible outcome for insolvency matters – from a sale of a business to the pursuit of antecedent transactions, their pragmatic approach provides answers to almost any scenario faced by an Insolvency Practitioner.’

      ‘Kevin Pinkerton and Miles Hacking are a very good team, providing overall leadership and guidance on a wide variety of matters. They are both available at the end of a telephone call and can accommodate your requirements for advice efficiently. Just knowing that they are on the end of a telephone means that as an IP, you always have good backup.’

      Key clients

      AABRS

      Adcroft Hilton Limited

      Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd

      Antony Batty LLP

      Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP

      Bailey Ahmad

      Beesley Group

      Begbies Traynor Group PLC

      Bell Advisory

      Bespoke Insolvency Solutions

      BHP Corporate Solutions

      Bridge Newland

      Bridgestones

      CFS LLP

      Clarke Bell Ltd

      CMD Partners UK Limited

      Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery LLP

      Crawford Accountants LLP

      Critchleys LLP

      Cromwell Insolvency

      Currie Young Group

      CVR LLP

      DMC Recovery

      Dodd & Co Services Ltd

      Dow Schofield Watts Business Recovery LLP

      Duff & Phelps LLC

      Durkan Cahill

      Focus Insolvency Group

      Fortis Insolvency Limited

      FRP Advisory Group

      FS Capital Limited

      Grant Thornton UK LLP

      Greenfield Recovery Limited

      Griffins Insolvency Practitioners LLP

      Henderson & Jones Ltd

      Horsfields Limited

      Ideal Corporate Solutions

      Johnson Geddes Ltd

      Kay Johnson Gee Corporate Recovery Limited

      KBL Advisory Ltd

      Kennway Francis

      Leading Business Services Ltd

      Leonard Curtis Group

      Lucas Johnson Limited

      Mackenzie Golderg Johnson

      Manolet Partners PLC

      Marshall Peters Limited

      Mazars LLP

      McTear Williams Wood

      Menzies LLP

      Mercury Corporate Recovery Solutions Limited

      Michael Chamberlain & Co

      Milner Boardman & Partners

      MB Insolvency

      Moore Kingston Smith LLP

      Opus Restructuring

      Oliver Elliot

      Oury Clark

      Poppleton & Appleby

      Price Bailey

      PWC

      Quantuma

      Restart Business Turnaround & Insolvency

      RG Insolvency

      Robson Scott Associates

      Royce Peeling Green Limited

      RSM

      SC Finance Limited

      Seneca Insolvency Practitioners

      Simply Corporate

      SFP Restructuring Limited

      Smith & Williamson Ltd

      The Business Debt Advisor Limited

      Umbrella Accountants LLP

      West Gate Restructuring Ltd

      Wilson Field Group

      TH Financial Recovery Ltd

      Debt Movement Ltd

      Interpath Ltd

      Keystone Recovery Ltd

      Asertis Litigation Funding

      KW Recovery Ltd

      Buchler Phillips Group LLP

      Work highlights

      • Acted for the Joint Administrators at Leonard Curtis in relation to their appointment over a wholesaler to the foodservice industry.
      • Acted for Andrew Rosler of Ideal Corporate Solutions as Liquidator in relation to claims against a Maltese company and Estonian based Respondents.

      Hill Dickinson LLP

      Hill Dickinson LLP's Manchester team, which is led by Paul Spence, handles a wide variety of insolvency and restructuring matters, including pre-pack sales and acquisitions, advising well-known administrators, and providing board-level guidance on trading issues. The practice has particular expertise in the shipping and commodities industries, and works in tandem with the wider firm's marine and corporate specialists on complex matters. Other key team members include Will Jones and senior associate Paul Speight; the practice was strengthened in mid-2021 by the arrival of consultant Mark Lund from Knights plc.

      Practice head(s):

      Paul Spence

      Other key lawyers:

      Will Jones; Chris Parry

      Key clients

      Alvarez and Marsal

      BDO LLP

      Cowgills

      FRP

      Interpath

      Leonard Curtis

      Grant Thornton

      Mazars

      Begbies Traynor

      David Rubin & Partners

      Kroll

      Marshall Peters

      Avison Young

      Cushman & Wakefield

      CG Recovery

      ReSolve

      Work highlights

      • Advised Leonard Curtis as administrators of HH Law Limited and the subsequent disposal of the company’s assets.
      • Advised Kroll as administrators of LOR Construction Limited.
      • Advised Corp Capital on its acquisition of Ferrous Protection Limited.

      JMW Solicitors LLP

      JMW Solicitors LLP‘s team has been shifting its focus, supplementing its well-regarded personal insolvency practice with new clients in the mid-to-upmarket accountancy segment. The team offers a blend of contentious and non-contentious services and has been working alongside its real estate practice to generate high-value property receiverships. Gavin Jones leads the group in Manchester and has experience in high-profile litigations. James Williams offers additional banking expertise. Richard Wolff left for Pannone Corporate LLP in May 2021.

      Practice head(s):

      Gavin Jones

      Other key lawyers:

      James Williams; Julie Agnew

      Testimonials

      ‘Gavin Jones is very experienced in his field. He has excellent technical skills and acts in a very commercial manner.’

      ‘Julie Agnew is punchy as required and looks for practical and effective solutions.’

      ‘James Williams is accessible, knowledgeable and clear in his advice.’

      ‘Julie Agnew has been on top of the evidence and the procedure at every step of the way in complex and challenging litigation, and has kept me fully informed and advised throughout. A user friendly approach that delivers good legal advice combined with commercial acumen.’

      ‘Gavin Jones is a really good communicator and an expert in the insolvency and restructuring field.’

      ‘The restructuring team are very impressive. Gavin Jones, James Williams and the rest of the team in Manchester provide consistent and excellent advice legally and practically. They also demonstrate that they have the ability to tackle a range of engagement sizes from the relatively small to large complex ones. A great bunch.’

      ‘Gavin Jones is hugely experienced and very well respected in the market. Calm and authoritative, he is able to support clients to reach their desired outcomes whilst being alive to the difficulties they might have in their cases.’

      ‘Over a period of time Julie Agnew has been my go-to resource. I know with Julie I will get a clear assessment and the appropriate transparency on a matter which I can take back to the business and apply. I feel that when I call on any assistance that I am give priority, even if that is not the case!’

      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

      Interpath Advisory

      EY Parthenon

      Assetz Capital Trust Company Limited

      HJS Recovery

      Manolete Partners PLC

      Azets

      Hampshire Trust Bank PLC

      Work highlights

      • Acting for Quantuma advisory as joint administrators of a group of companies involved in peer-to-peer property lending.
      • Acting for Manolete Partners in a £7.5m breach of trust/fiduciary duty claims against 4 former directors.
      • Acting for Alvarez and Marsal as administrators of Pure Legal Costs Consultants Limited in relation to a sale of the business.

      Shoosmiths LLP

      Shoosmiths LLP is known for its strength with company voluntary arrangements, serving local and national clients via its Manchester office. It has expanded this expertise into the real estate sector due to the addition of Bethan Moore from DLA Piper, who is known for her retail and distressed real estate work. Sarah Teal leads the team and offers advice on major contentious matters. Senior associate Hannah Gaskell is another key figure in the practice.

      Practice head(s):

      Sarah Teal

      Other key lawyers:

      Bethan Moore; Hannah Gaskell; Hollie Wrigley

      Testimonials

      ‘Sarah Teal is very responsive and helpful.’

      ‘The team, headed up by Sarah Teal, has one of the strongest profiles in Manchester.’

      ‘As well as being technically strong, the team also stand out from competitors as having a strong market profile and having strength and depth within the team. Sarah Teal, Bethan Moore and Hollie Wrigley are all great ambassadors for their firm and clearly love working there.’

      ‘Very commercial, with a strong profile, and are involved in a large number of cases.’

      ‘Sarah Teal is a leading figure – very commercially aware and astute.’

      Key clients

      BDO LLP

      Bibby Financial Services Limited

      Close Brothers Limited and Close Invoice Finance Limited

      Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery

      FRP Advisory Trading Limited

      Interpath Advisory

      Kroll Advisory Limited

      Moss Bros Group Limited

      MV Commercial Limited

      PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

      Shawbrook Bank

      Teneo Restructuring Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advising the Manchester-based administrators of Arcadia Group on the disposal of circa 35 properties.
      • Advised Moss Bros Group on its successful CVA in respect of its 128-store portfolio.
      • Advising the Bolton based administrators of a Manchester-based property development company in respect of their appointment and sale of a multi-million-pound residential development site.

      Squire Patton Boggs

      Squire Patton Boggs‘ team advises a mix of domestic and international clients and is contacted for large scale, cross-border corporate restructuring mandates. Pensions are a key area of expertise for the group, with a particular strength advising on defined benefit scheme restructurings. Clients include a blend of lenders, accountancy groups and borrowers, with a particular strength advising asset-based lenders. Mark Prior leads the Manchester team, offering excellent real estate insolvency knowledge.

      Practice head(s):

      Mark Prior

      Testimonials

      ‘Established specialist team with the ability to link into larger specialist teams in London and elsewhere that don’t seem “siloed” in approach.’

      ‘Mark Prior has managed to bring together differing legal aspects and wider advice in order to formulate a considered yet commercial response.’

      ‘Strong regional and very experienced team in Manchester.’

      ‘Responsive, experienced and thorough.’

      Key clients

      BDO

      Close Invoice Finance

      Co-op

      EY

      FRP Advisory Trading

      Grant Thornton

      Interpath Advisory

      Lloyds Banking Group

      Manchester Building Society

      Mazars

      Sun Securities

      Teneo

      Work highlights

      • Advising Hong Kong client Sun Securities on its opposition to $1bn US restructuring plan of China Fisheries.
      • Advised Total Fitness Health Clubs on its restructuring and turnaround via company voluntary arrangement.
      • Advised administrators at Mazars on the disposal of the headquarters of developer GM Jones.

      Aaron & Partners LLP

      Aaron & Partners LLP provides strong insolvency services from its Chester office, acting for a mix of banks, administrators and insolvent corporations. Advising insolvency practitioners on bankruptcies is the team’s core offering, though the team’s corporate portfolio has been growing. Mark Davies leads the team and is known for personal insolvency work. Chris Mitchell is known for his work advising on contentious matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Mark Davies

      Other key lawyers:

      Chris Mitchell; Jan Chillery

      Testimonials

      ‘Mark Davies is a very accessible individual and always keen to take calls, answer questions and progress cases.’

      ‘Between them, the team at Aaron & Partners have a great breadth of knowledge and have consistently delivered the work we needed both professionally and on time.’

      ‘I have to say that working with Jan Chillery over the past couple of years has been a breath of fresh air. With a pragmatic view on costs and sensible views on when to move forward and when not to she has actively guided me through the difficult process of Escheat and I would have no hesitation in recommending her and her team.’

      ‘Strong in the insolvency field.’

      ‘Chris Mitchell is knowledgeable, good to work with, and has a good rapport with clients.’

      ‘The knowledge and skill of the firm and the quality of their connections to other third parties relevant to your specific circumstances was excellent. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris Mitchell and the firm.’

      ‘While the service you receive is very professional, Chris Mitchell never lost that personal touch and he went over and beyond the level of service, you would expect from a firm of that size, checking we were okay both professionally and personally. His knowledge of the subject matter and the applicable legislation was second to none and the speed at which he was able to respond and keep the case progressing in a timely manner could not be faulted.’

      Key clients

      Development Bank Wales / FW Capital

      Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP / RSM

      SPK Financial Solutions Ltd

      Poppleton & Appleby

      Smith & Williamson

      Work highlights

      • Acting for Manolete Partners plc in £3m of claims against directors for breach of duty arising from the use of tax avoidance schemes.
      • Acting for Menzies LLP as liquidators of IWG Limited pursuing recovery of £230k outstanding director’s loan account.
      • Advising Poppleton & Appleby as Trustee in Bankruptcy in their realisation of interests in various properties.

      Bermans

      Bermans’ insolvency team is known for advising a blend of lenders, invoice finance companies and insolvency practitioners on major corporate insolvency matters. It also offers notably speciality expertise on investor funded property schemes, with partner Martin March a key name in this segment. Philip Farrelly leads the team out of the firm’s Manchester office.

      Practice head(s):

      Philip Farrelly

      Other key lawyers:

      Martin March; James Whittaker

      Testimonials

      ‘Good quality regional  practice with strength in depth. Well connected to ABL market. Good experience of insolvency litigation.’

      ‘Phil Farrelly – very well known and respected in the market.’

      ‘Martin March – popular and approachable partner.’

      ‘We have always received extremely competent advice from Bermans and their service levels are second to none. They are always available to advise on contentious and non-contentious matters, all of which are delivered efficiently.’

      ‘Phil Farrelly is very knowledgeable in all insolvency matters and is the first person I would seek advice from for any technical points as he has a broad range of experience. Phil is friendly and approachable whilst remaining professional throughout.’

      Key clients

      FRP Advisory LLP

      IGF Invoice Finance

      Bibby Financial Services

      RSM

      Begbies Traynor

      Manolete Partners PLC

      Work highlights

      • Acted for FRP Advisory Trading Limited as administrators of Utility Exchange Online Limited in relation to its pre-pack sale of the business and assets.
      • Advised PD&MS Group in acquisition of company in administration
      • Advised Time Invoice Finance in relation to its appointment of Alvares & Marsal as administrators of Pure Legal Costs Consultants Limited.

      Brabners LLP

      Well known for its diverse areas of expertise, Brabners LLP acts for lead accountancy firms and companies on its insolvency matters. It has exceptionally strong links in the retail and sport sectors, notably advising on the acquisition of Wigan Athletic from its administrators. Robert Turner, who is known for his work with insolvency practitioners leads the team from Manchester. Liverpool-based Jennifer Lockhart offers strong personal insolvency services and contentious advice.

      Practice head(s):

      Robert Turner

      Other key lawyers:

      Jennifer Lockhart; Nicola Whittle

      Testimonials

      Jennifer Lockhart has a considered approach to all situations and a very sound understanding of the more technical areas of insolvency law and combines that with her approachability.’

      Key clients

      RSM Restructuring

      Dow Schofield Watts

      Begbies Traynor Group

      CG&Co

      Grant Thornton UK LLP

      Cowgills

      Interpath Advisory

      Leonard Curtis

      Mazars

      Manolete Partners PLC

      Quantuma

      Opus Business Advisory Group

      Lucas Ross

      Finn Associates

      BM Advisory

      Kroll Advisory

      SKSi

      Work highlights

      • Acting on the acquisition of Wigan Athletic Football Club from its administrators.
      • Acting for the Administrators of Hi-Line Contractors S.W. Ltd in a sale of the business and assets.
      • Acting for the Administrators of Ferrous Protection Ltd in the sale of its business and assets.

      DTM Legal LLP

      Liverpool-based DTM Legal LLP is well-regarded for its technical expertise, advising corporate clients on contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. Kate Roberts‘ profile has grown over the past year, serving as a go-to solicitor for a number of major corporate recovery groups. The practice is led by Richard Thomas who is dual qualified as a solicitor and insolvency practitioner.

      Practice head(s):

      Richard Thomas

      Other key lawyers:

      Kate Roberts

      Key clients

      Parkin S Booth

      Funding Circle

      Philmore & Co

      Opus Business Recovery

      CVR Global (now Begbies Traynor)

      Edge Recovery

      Grant Thornton

      Kreston Reeves

      Kay Johnson Gee

      Begbies Traynor

      Handelsbanken Plc

      CCI Credit Management Limited

      Work highlights

      • Instructed by Opus to assist with asset recovery in a number of insolvent estates.
      • Acting on behalf of Joint Liquidators in relation to a misfeasance, breach of duty/trust claim and preference claim against the directors of the company.
      • Acting on multiple ongoing instructions for Azzurro Associates.

      Harrison Drury & Co

      Harrison Drury & Co offers a blend of corporate and business insolvency work, with an emphasis on working for insolvency practitioners and key business stakeholders. Though much of its work involves pre-insolvency advisory work, it also offers expertise on distressed acquisitions and contentious advice. James Robbins leads the team in Preston and offers a strong cross-border practice.

      Practice head(s):

      James Robbins

      Testimonials

      ‘Harrison Drury offers an excellent level of service, ensuring the relevant timings are adhered to and ensuring clients fully understands the process and implications.’

      ‘James Robbins is extremely knowledgeable in all insolvency matters and we have always received an excellent level of service from him and his team.’

      ‘Always available to answer queries and more than happy to explain things in detail. Always respond to emails and correspondence in a timely manner and really take on board the client’s views and wishes with the direction of a case.’

      ‘James Robbins’ wealth of knowledge is second-to-none. He always makes himself available to us and takes the time to explain matters in a way that helps the client to understand the progression and direction of the case.’

      Key clients

      Marshall Peters Limited

      Begbies Traynor

      FRP Advisory

      Simply Corporate

      Leonard Curtis

      Opus Restructuring

      RSM UK Restructuring Advisory

      Credit Limits International

      Work highlights

      • Advised Mullet Conversion Limited and the Trustees of the Honourable R.C. Assheton’s Settlement on the insolvency of the Assheton Arms pub.  
      • Acted for Carter Halliwell, in the complex transfer in the region of 280 Individual Voluntary Arrangements and 20 trust deeds.
      • Negotiated a settlement for the joint administrators of Lunar Caravans Limited.

      Mills & Reeve LLP

      Mills & Reeve LLP is known for its quality contentious offering, with unique expertise advising on sport insolvencies and director disqualifications. Neil Smyth leads the team from London; senior associate Jacob Walker is a key name in Manchester - he advises on breach of duty claims for corporate clients.

      Practice head(s):

      Neil Smyth

      Other key lawyers:

      Jacob Walker

      Testimonials

      ‘Jacob Walker  is thorough and well prepared in his approach.’

      ‘A strong base of associates with great leadership from partners.’

      ‘Jacob Walker is my standout associate. Works hard, takes ownership and brings ideas to the table.’

      ‘When working with Mills & Reeve I am always confident I will receive sound advice, and that there will be someone available on the other end of the phone.’

      ‘Jacob Walker is highly skilled in reviewing instructions issued and providing clear, concise advice, which has been thoroughly considered. He deals effectively and expeditiously with complex and contentious insolvency matters. We are always confident that all bases are covered, and our position protected, in a timely manner when working with Jacob.’

      Key clients

      The Insolvency Service

      Official Receiver Services

      Begbies Traynor

      Manolete Partners PLC

      Cage Litigation

      Mazars, London

      Asertis

      Menzies

      BDO, Manchester

      FRP

      Work highlights

      • Acted for Cage Consultants Ltd in Cage Consultants Ltd v Iqbal & Anor, which confirmed for the first time at appeal level that both claims and proceeds of the actions are assignable.
      • Acted for the trustee in bankruptcy in Edwards v Aurora Leasing Ltd & Anor.
      • Acted for the Professional Footballers Association in relation to several recent high-profile football club administrations.

      Farleys Solicitors LLP

      Split across Preston and Manchester, Farleys Solicitors LLP is known for its advice on distressed asset acquisitions and personal insolvency matters. Ian Liddle and Mark Hague co-lead the team, with Hague particularly regarded for his advice to individuals on Company Directors Disqualification Act claims.

      Practice head(s):

      Ian Liddle; Mark Hague

      Testimonials

      ‘Mark Hague is user-friendly, responsive and flexible.’

      ‘Intuitive and supportive, excellent advice.’

      ‘The team is proactive, decisive and provides clear advice. They’re a pleasure to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending them to colleagues.’

      ‘Mark Hague is a proactive, smart and commercial insolvency solicitor who achieves the desired result. He’ll cut to the chase with the aim of bringing the matter to a conclusion sooner rather than later.’

      Key clients

      Menzies LLP

      Mazars LLP

      Begbies Traynor

      Cowgill Holloway

      Royce Peeling Green

      Moore Kingston Smith

      Manolete Partners PLC

      McIntyre Hudson

      Leonard Curtis

      Kennway Francis

      FRP Advisory LLP

      JT Maxwell

      T H Financial Recovery

      Work highlights

      • Advised administrators of Sky Apartments 2018 Limited on the sale of a £2.15m failed student development complex.
      • Advised the joint administrators of The Lyceum Manchester Limited on the sale of a property to its secured creditors for £1.1m.
      • Advised a liquidator on obligations regarding criminal proceedings commenced prior to liquidation relating to a fatal accident that occurred in the workplace.

      Gorvins Solicitors

      Gorvins Solicitors is able to provide a blend of individual insolvency work, primarily representing directors in fraud cases, and corporate clients in wind-up proceedings. Mark Deverell, David Guest and Paul Lupton lead the Stockport-based team, respectively advising on litigation, personal insolvency and corporate insolvency matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Mark Deverell; David Guest; Paul Lupton

      Work highlights

      • Advised private clients in unfair prejudice proceedings resulting in the purchase of shares for £10.6m.
      • Advised Revive Recovery as Trustee in bankruptcy involving the bankrupt’s alleged forgery of title documents.
      • Advised Revive Recovery as Liquidator of a Company with significant claims against director in the directors matrimonial proceedings.

      Napthens LLP

      Napthens LLP‘s Preston-based insolvency team advises a blend of insolvency practitioners and corporate clients on business recovery matters, with a particular emphasis on distressed dispositions and litigations. The ‘highly intelligent and commercially aware’ Grahame Love leads the team and adds further experience advising individuals on potential criminal matters relating to insolvencies.

      Practice head(s):

      Grahame Love

      Other key lawyers:

      Laura Hartley-Willams

      Testimonials

      ‘Very approachable, highly experienced and knowledgeable. Partner-led service.’

      ‘Grahame Love – a wealth of experience. Highly intelligent and commercially aware.’

      ‘They are a small but efficient team that provides excellent practical support and assistance across the breadth of insolvency and restructuring. Their links and contacts in the wider industry provide invaluable support beyond their main roles as legal advisors providing a connected and comprehensive team approach.’

      ‘Grahame Love provides excellent commercial and pragmatic advice. One key attribute that differentiates him from most other solicitors is that he is always upfront with the bad news when needed. He has a tremendous level of knowledge and experience that would be easily at home in one of the biggest national legal firms but his work within a smaller regional firm means that he can maintain a hands on approach with direct involvement on every case.’

      ‘Grahame Love and Laura Hartley-Williams are both knowledgeable, eloquent and willing to assist on complex matters.’

      ‘Napthens offers a ‘heavy’ insolvency service which stands out in the Preston market. The team can handle technical restructuring situations and insolvency litigation.’

      ‘I have worked with Grahame Love for years. He is an excellent technical lawyer. He is also pragmatic which is essential in this kind of work. Great with clients and with other parties and stakeholders – again hugely important on the non-litigious work but no less in litigation work.’

      Key clients

      Armstrong Watson LLP

      Begbies Traynor

      Dow Schofield Watts Business Recovery LLP

      KBL Advisory Limited

      Lucas Ross Limited

      Mackenzie Goldberg Johnson

      RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

      KBL Advisory Limited

      Opus Business Advisory Group

      Manolete Partners PLC

      TH Corporate Recovery

      Work highlights

      • Advised Offsite Engineered Products UK Limited on acquisition of business and assets of OEP Building Services Ltd.
      • Advised a not-for-profit developer on a secured loan facility default, demand, security review and appointment of Fixed Change Reciever.
      • Advised the secured lenders of four failed hotel development schemes on their administrations and on recovery maximisation.

      Pannone Corporate LLP

      Pannone Corporate LLP provides ‘good strong advice in difficult circumstances’, to a range of clients in the creditor services market. It also offers expertise on local government recovery matters. Daniel Clarke leads the Manchester-based team.

      Practice head(s):

      Daniel Clarke

      Testimonials

      ‘Good strong advice in difficult circumstances.’

      ‘Friendly, flexible and available.’

      ‘A very good reputation as one of the better teams in the North West. They place great importance on client service and making sure the right person is selected for the job.’

      ‘The team is very strongly integrated, with a collaborative approach across a range of seniority that promotes availability and efficiency. It enjoys a wealth of experience and specialist knowledge in the field.’

      ‘Daniel Clarke is a stand-out member of the team. He is on top of his subject area, and is always very pragmatic and client-oriented in his approach. He makes himself available to engage on the issues requiring of his input, and delegates well and effectively to more junior members of the team.’

      Key clients

      Asertis Ltd

      Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP

      BDO LLP

      Beever & Struthers

      Grant Thornton UK LLP

      Dow Schofield Watts

      Horsfields

      Interpath Advisory (formerly KPMG)

      RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

      Mazars

      Moore Kingston Smith

      Manchester City Council

      Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

      Quantuma Advisory Ltd

      Macintyre Hudson

      KBL Advisory

      Freshways Dairies

      Begbies Traynor

      Kroll Advisory

      Total Fitness

      DHL

      Work highlights

        Prosperity Law LLP

        Prosperity Law LLP‘s growing team advises a blend of corporate recovery firms, lenders, and insolvency practitioners on their insolvency-related matters. Simon Gerrard leads the team from Manchester, advising on complex litigation, and Tom McCue supports on non-contentious work.

        Practice head(s):

        Simon Gerrard

        Other key lawyers:

        Tom McCue

        Testimonials

        ‘Simon Gerrard is an excellent solicitor. He is thorough and commercial inn his approach to any query or instruction passed his way. I have no reservation in picking up the phone to him and know he will be available to speak or calling me back with urgency. Simon drives this team forward and is responsible for its success.’

        ‘Client focused team that will act quickly for you and communicate with you every step of the way.’

        ‘Simon Gerrard is really effective at what he does, and the type of person you want acting for you with insolvency. He is knowledgeable in litigious insolvency matters and has built a strong reputation for this sort of work, especially in Manchester. Simon is also enjoyable to work with.’

        Key clients

        Hope Capital Limited

        Kay Johnson Gee Corporate Recovery

        Path Business Recovery

        DS Insolvency

        Begbies Traynor

        Inquesta

        Manolete Partners Plc

        Mulholland Spence Accountants

        Q-railing Europe GMBH Holdings

        Moneytree Wealth Management

        Precious Glimpse

        DTE Holdings (North West) Ltd

        Castelite Limited

        Woodstream Finance Ltd

        Work highlights

        • Acting for Hope Capital on a portfolio of claims ranging from £250,000 to £3,600,000 including defaulting borrowers and professional negligence claims.
        • Recieving frequent instructions from Kay Johnson Gee to pursue claims on behalf of insolvency practitioners appointed in respect of insolvent companies.
        • Acting on behalf of a Hong Kong national in respect of a claim against him by the joint administrators of a failed flexible office space solutions provider in the United Kingdom.