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



Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Michael Stevens - Tilly Bailey & Irvine

The group at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is able to draw on the firm's wider restructuring expertise, often working closely with the banking, private equity, pensions, employment, real estate and regulatory teams. It also has a strong non-performing loan (NPL) portfolio practice. The team is led by non-contentious restructuring and insolvency expert Paul Dutton.

Practice head(s):Paul Dutton

Key Clients

HSBC Bank plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Pepper (UK)





Work highlights

  • Acting for KRE North East in the pre-pack sale of Express Managed Services Limited, a manufacturing business, back to the existing management team.
  • Acting for the management team of Godfrey Syrett Limited in the purchase of shares in that company by RCapital. This required corporate and banking advice.
  • Acting for the administrators (KPMG LLP) in the sale of property owned by Dual Compendium Limited, a shopfitting business based in the north east.
  • Acting for the administrators (Grant Thornton) in the administration of Thos Proctor & Sons. This was a high profile transaction in the NE business market and involved a number of property sales.
  • Acting for the adminstartors (KPMG) in the sale of property owned by Dual Compendium Limited, a shopfitting business based in the north east.

Ward Hadaway's team handles all aspects of personal and corporate, contentious and non-contentious insolvency. The group is also instructed on restructuring and post-formal insolvency matters, transactions, investigations and claims in no-asset insolvencies. Clients include Big 4 accountancy firms and major insolvency practitioners. The department is co-led by Jane Garvin and Steven Petrie.

Practice head(s):Jane Garvin; Steven Petrie

Other key lawyers:Laura Keegan


'Ward Hadaway's team is fabulously dedicated, client focused and commercial'

'Steven Petrie is extremely approachable and works with his clients for the best results'

'Jane Garvin provides excellent input and advice, and is able to introduce responsive Insolvency Practitioners around the country'

Key Clients



Baker Tilley Creditor Services


Begbies Traynor

Grant Thornton


Smith and Williamson


Work highlights

  • The firm acted for RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP, the administrators of NJM Clothing Limited, in the leading case looking at the process of appointing an administrator and in particular, the contents of a "Notice of Appointment of Administrators".

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's team leverages the firm's strong national presence, with expertise in restructuring matters, including directors duties, debt and securities restructuring, the sale and purchase of distressed or insolvent businesses, asset recovery for creditors and insolvency practitioners and the disqualification of directors. Julian Gill leads the non-contentious restructuring and insolvency practice and the asset recovery team alongside Peter Maxwell .

Practice head(s):Julian Gill; Peter Maxwell

Other key lawyers:Sally Dallow

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group




Deloitte LLP

The Insolvency Service


Grant Thornton (UK) LLP

KSA Group

KRE Corporate Recovery

Work highlights

  • Womble Bond Dickinson acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in successfully winding up UK and overseas companies on public interest grounds following investigations by the Insolvency Service.
  • Acted for the Joint Administrators of J. Hughes Construction Limited (in administration) to novate construction contracts, preserving the business and employment of the company's staff and maximising recoveries for creditors.
  • Acted for the Joint Administrators of DBS Law Limited (in administration), a legal practice with offices in Birmingham and Nottingham, in relation to a 'pre-pack' sale of the business and assets to another legal practice,  which included obtaining the approval of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority to the sale.

Insolvency boutique Clarke Mairs LLP services insolvency practitioners and other stakeholders in the insolvency process, predominantly acting in contentious insolvency cases. The group has also developed a practice in non-contentious restructuring and turnaround work. Co-practice head Susan Mairs often acts in high-value claims against multiple respondents, and has experience in conducting mediations. Paul Rushworth, who co-leads the team alongside Mairs, handles both contentious and non-contentious cases.

Practice head(s):Susan Mairs; Paul Rushworth

Other key lawyers:Louise Ager; Clare Summerhayes

Muckle LLP's team is frequently instructed by insolvency practitioners on coplex pre-pack administrations, in addition to advising businesses in distress and secured lenders on debt recovery. The multi-disciplinary team combines restructuring and insolvency specialists with experts in other areas, such as real estate, employment, and banking and finance. Practice head Kelly Jordan focuses on transactional corporate recovery work.

Practice head(s):Kelly Jordan


'The team is extremely knowledgeable in the insolvency and corporate recovery side of work'

'Very pro-active with their assessment of any issues that may arise'

'Accessible and experienced in their field'

Key Clients

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

RMT Accountants & Business Advisors Limited

FRP Advisory LLP

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Baldwins Restructuring & Insolvency LLP

Leather Matthews Restructuring LLP

Northpoint Associates Limited

Handelsbanken plc


KRE (North East) Limited

O’Brien Aggregates Marsden Limited

Work highlights

  • Following months of discussions with administrators, the firm helped O’Brien Aggregate Marsden acquire Marsden Quarry, saving around 30 jobs put at risk following the collapse of civil engineering firm, Owen Pugh.

  • Kelly advised Dynamic Distance Learning on the sale of its business and assets prior to it going into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Short Richardson & Forth's team specialises in insolvency litigation, often including detailed and forensic investigations, leading to claims such as misfeasance, preference claims and asset- and receipt-based claims. The group is also called upon to defend directors against accusations of civil wrongdoing by insolvency office-holders and disqualification proceedings. With a focus on contentious insolvency recovery actions, fraud, modern chancery contentious work and high-value contract litigation, Tim Berg leads the team.

Practice head(s):Tim Berg

Other key lawyers:Alexandra Withers


'Tight-knit, knowledgeable team, handling heavyweight insolvency litigation'

'Tim Berg is unflappable, with a great legal mind'

'Alexandra Withers is an energetic, knowledgeable and practical litigator'

Work highlights

  • Investigating and pursuing claims for a liquidation of a fraudulent payroll company that was also engaged in MTIC metal fraud.
  • Acting for a liquidator of a company engaged in importation and sale of alcohol.  Losses to HMRC involve diversion fraud and alcohol duty evasion.
  • Acting for a Trustee in Bankruptcy in realising the assets of the debtor with issues concerning capacity of the bankrupt.

Archers Law LLP is instructed by insolvency practitioners on a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters, including transactions, liquidations and bankruptcy proceedings. Team head Kenton Bazeley joined the team in July 2018.

Practice head(s):Kenton Bazeley

Other key lawyers:Helen Lyne; Richard Flounders


'They have great connections with local business, and have a good sense of the commercial realities in which their clients operate and always look for the best commercial solution for their clients'

'Richard Flounders is dogged in seeking to get the best result for his clients'

'Tight-knit, knowledgeable team, committed to achieving results for its clients'

Work highlights

  • Statutory Demand and Winding Up Petition in respect of a Personal Guarantee.
  • Claim against Director in respect of breached directors’ duties.
  • Proposed liquidation of a company and potential bankruptcy of individual

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP's team is predominantly focused on transactions, providing advice on complex structures and arrangements for companies in administration. The group is led by corporate lawyer John Nicholson, who has significant experience in non-contentious corporate recovery and insolvency issues, particularly acting in the sale or acquisition of distressed businesses.

Practice head(s):John Nicholson

Other key lawyers:Paul Hughes; Stewart Irvine; Peter Robinson

Key Clients

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

RMT Business Advisors and Accountants

Homecare Plus

Hotel 52 Group

MJF Facilities Management

FRP Advisory

Work highlights

  • The team acted for Homecare Plus in relation to its pre-pack acquisition by Homecare Plus of (i) the domiciliary care businesses of both Nurtured Care Limited (in administration) and (ii) Age Concern Newcastle (in administration) in separate transactions at different times.
  • The firm advised Hotel 52 Group regarding the acquisition of the Parkmore Hotel in Yarm (a prominent hotel and wedding venue) from its administrators.
  • The team were initially instructed by Steven Ross and Allan Kelly of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP on their appointment as joint-administrators of DB Security and Fire Systems Ltd (in administration) and subsequent sale of its business and assets to Intruder Detection and Surveillance Limited on a pre-pack
  • The team were instructed by MJF Facilities Management on the acquisition of the business and assets of Swift Facilities Management UK Limited.

Work for insolvency practitioners and medium-sized companies is at the core of Tilly Bailey & Irvine's practice, but it also advises individuals, larger companies and lenders on a range of insolvency matters, including bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidations, restructurings and receiverships. The group is led by corporate specialist Craig Malarkey. Kenton Bazeley moved to Archers Law LLP in 2018.

Practice head(s):Craig Malarkey

Other key lawyers:Michael Stevens; Nigel Broadbent; Sara Garnett

Work highlights

  • Successful application for Orders granting permission for directors to use a prohibited name under s216 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of a haulage company in respect of a pre-pack sale, debt recovery and director misfeasance.
  • Acting for the Joint Liquidators in respect of preference payments and illegal dividends of a company in the solar energy industry.

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