Insolvency and corporate recovery in Scotland

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard’s large restructuring team is spread across Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Recent highlights included acting for Caledonian Marine Asset on the high profile administration of Ferguson Marine Engineering. Practice head Jamie McIntosh handles insolvencies, turnarounds and corporate restructurings. Addi Spiers is an expert in distressed debt, restructuring turnaround and recovery, and has a focus on distressed real estate. Tim Cooper and associate Kirsten Fleming are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jamie McIntosh

Testimonials

‘Approachable, transparent knowledgeable and firm but fair in litigious matters.’

‘Always available, understand the clients needs quickly and provide the range of options and costs associated there with in a clear and concise manner.’

‘The tenacity of this team is outstanding and the focus to deliver commercial solutions is excellent.’

‘Tim Cooper led the assignment superbly and made himself available to solve all challenges. He was supported by Kirsten Fleming who was first class.’

 

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank Of Scotland

Santander Bank

Clydesdale Bank PLC

HSBC

Barclays Bank plc

KPMG LLP

OakNorth Bank plc

Cable Capital Partners Limited

Aldermore Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Caledonian Marine Asset Limited on the impact of the insolvency of Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited (FEML) and developed an innovative strategy with the other key stakeholders in order to preserve value for our client but also rescue the business of FMEL.
  • Acting for CNIM Groupe on the restructure and subsequent acquisition of the business and assets of Clugston Construction Limited.
  • Advising US bank, TCF National Bank (as collateral security holder) on the UK subsidiary of the global Superwinch business, headquartered in the US and indebted to the US bank client for over $100m, on the global restructuring and insolvency of the Superwinch group of companies.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is noted for its strength in contentious and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency work. Its team acts for high-profile banking and accountant clients and also advises on Scots law matters for City and US firms. Practice head Michael Thomson handles advisory and transactional work for lenders and borrowers, and insolvency and enforcement advice and action. Gary Moffat has over 25 years of experience of insolvency litigation and represents the Insolvency Service.

Practice head(s):

Michael Thomson

Other key lawyers:

Gary Moffat; Allana Sweeney

Testimonials

‘Michael Thompson is a “go to” partner at Burness Paull for Scottish insolvency advice, he is responsive and his knowledge of the law is extremely good’.

‘Michael Thomson is an exceptional character’.

‘Michael is proactive, technically good and commercial’.

‘Burness Paull is a firm which is forward looking and which employs talented and innovative people’. 

‘You get a real feeling they work together and there is an absence of the silo approach sometimes encountered’.      

‘Michael Thomson has been fantastic to work with and he and his team have consistently provided solid practical advice’.

‘Gary Moffat is a very skilled lawyer, he has specialist knowledge in company and insolvency matters and also significant experience in commercial litigation’.

‘The team is very knowledgeable, responsive and great to work with’.

Key clients

Arcadia Group

The Pension Protection Fund

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Clydesdale Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

HSBC

KPMG

Deloitte

Ernst & Young

Highlands & Islands Enterprise

Work highlights

  • Acted alongside Ashurst for KPMG and AlixPartners in the highly publicised sale of the high street stores of Thomas Cook to Hays Travel.
  • Acting for a syndicate of lenders alongside several City law firms as Scots counsel in relation to the restructuring of 5 sterling facilities entered into and various US dollar designated notes issued by Interserve plc.
  • Acted for Arcadia Group alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in the proposal of a company voluntary arrangement (“CVA”), geared at restructuring and reducing the group’s liabilities to its landlords, pension scheme and other creditors.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The Pinsent Masons LLP restructuring team is renowned for its expertise in the oil and gas, retail, renewables, care homes and financial services sectors. It is particularly experienced in advising on under-performing and distressed businesses for all stakeholders, distressed loan sale and purchases, and UK bank ring-fencing projects. Group head Claire Massie is supported by Colin McIntosh, who is on the Law Society Insolvency Specialist Accreditation Committee. Stacey Bairner is also recommended, as are senior associates Ainslie Benzie, Natalie Colaluca and Jennifer McCormick.

Practice head(s):

Claire Massie

Testimonials

‘I have worked with the Glasgow based restructuring team at Pinsent Masons over a number of years and have always found they have provided excellent advice and service’.

‘The local Pinsent Masons team always provide a partner-led service which is ably supported by an extremely capable team’.

‘The stand out qualities for me are the responsiveness to my requirements which enables an appropriate response to be delivered to customers to drive forward difficult situations’.

‘We know that they will be able to deliver solutions quickly and effectively even if they have a number of other cases that require attention’.         

‘My main contacts within the firm are Claire Massie and Ainslie Benzie who have have delivered an excellent service to me on a wide range of engagements over a number of years providing’.

‘Very experienced individuals with strong technical knowledge and ability’.

‘Partners have a deep understanding of key issues; provide timely and clear advice; and leverage other teams in their firm when required to ensure correct advice given’.

‘Clear communications and input into key matters’.

Key clients

Deloitte LLP

Elli Finance and the Four Seasons Group

KPMG LLP

Albert Bartlett & Sons (Airdrie) Limited

HSBC Bank plc

Hutchison Networks Limited

French Duncan LLP

Ernst & Young LLP

PWC

Leonard Curtis

Work highlights

  • Acted for Deloitte LLP as administrators of Goals Soccer Centres plc on all matters arising from a sale of the business and assets by way of pre-pack administration.
  • Advised KPMG LLP on the sale of the undertaking and certain assets of an international technology company.
  • Acted for Elli Finance (UK) Plc and the rest of the Four Seasons Group, advising on governance, directors’ duties, launching and running a robust sale process requiring interaction with the boards of over 50 entities.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn stands out for its broad expertise, which spans transactional, financial and contentious restructuring and insolvency. Gillian Carty leads the contentious side of the practice, while Fiona McKerrell focuses on financial restructurings. Paul Hally is also recommended.

Testimonials

The Shepherd & Wedderburn restructuring team appears to have the most experienced senior team in Scotland’. 

‘The blend of expertise from the team provides both a technically sound and commercial approach to cases’.             

‘The team works in an inclusive way, and regardless of when you are making an enquiry, they are able to provide up to date information and guidance’.

‘Fiona McKerrell is among the most longstanding and widely recognised leaders in the corporate insolvency and restructuring profession in Scotland’.

‘The whole team is reliable and knowledgeable’.

‘Gillian Carty’s team are approachable, knowledgeable and effective in understanding’.

Key clients

Ernst and Young (EY)

KPMG (UK and Ireland)

FRP Advisory

BDO

Johnston Carmichael

Deloitte

PwC

Latham & Watkins

Allen & Overy

Leonard Curtis

Sidley Austin

Work highlights

  • Advising Deloitte LLP on the administration of Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd – Scotland’s last operating shipyard.
  • Advising FRP Advisory LLP on the preparations for, and the appointment of, administrators to Morisons LLP.
  • Acting for the Insolvency Service in progressing the first compensation act under Sections 15A and 15B of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP advises on all aspects of restructuring and insolvency matters across all sectors. The team generates mandates from global corporates, Scottish and UK based groups, and SMEs. Peter Kelly has over 20 years of experience of restructuring matters, mainly acting for banks. Kelly co-heads the practice with Bruce Stephen, who is recommended for specialised insolvency processes involving credit institutions and related Banking Act requirements. Lucy McCann was promoted to partner. Former practice head Rachel Grant left the firm for an in-house position at Manolete Partners.

Practice head(s):

Peter Kelly; Bruce Stephen

Testimonials

 

‘Brodies are well regarded in the market as a strong, commercial and approachable team. Their technical knowledge is first class and they always provide sensible, commercial advice relevant to each situation.’

‘Shirley Li-Ting is an excellent restructuring lawyer. Shirley combines strong technical skills with good commercial awareness, ensuring that the advice and support provided on engagements is always clear and concise.

‘Shirley Li-Ting has good knowledge of the key insolvency market drivers and is well respected within the Scottish restructuring market.’

 

Key clients

KPMG LLP

Ernst & Young LLP

Grant Thornton  LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

BDO LLP

Aver Corporate Advisory Services Limited

Dunedin Advisory

Tennent Caledonian Breweries UK Limited

Moorfields Advisory Limited

Campbell Dallas

AlixPartners UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

French Duncan LLP

Duff & Phelps LLP

Leonard Curtis Business Recovery Limited – Scotland

Deloitte LLP

PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP

Johnston Carmichael

Stirling Toner

Work highlights

  • Acting for BDO LLP, as joint liquidators of RFC 2012 plc in a high-profile football insolvency.
  • Advising directors of a shipbuilding company during a high profile period of financial distress and during the subsequent administration.
  • Advising on aircraft detention in a high profile airline insolvency.

CMS

The Scottish corporate recovery team at CMS is led by Siân Aitken, who has a strong track record advising insolvency practitioners, banks and corporates on restructurings, risk management, directors’ duties and insolvency. Other areas of focus include co-venturer insolvencies, defaults, acquisitions of assets in distressed situations and decommissioning liabilities.

Practice head(s):

Siân Aitken

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Antonelli

Dentons

Dentons' restructuring team generates significant mandates on the ground in Scotland, under the leadership of Douglas Blyth and Derek McCombe. Its varied workload covers restructurings, insolvencies and advice to directors and purchasers of distressed companies. Blyth is recommended for his contentious insolvency expertise. McCombe is sought out by banks and insolvency practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Blyth; Derek McCombe

Other key lawyers:

Craig Kennedy

Testimonials

‘Douglas Blyth is a very bright and commercially savvy solicitor with a broad range of litigation experience and a strong understanding of the Scottish market.’

‘Very knowledgeable and practical team. They listen to what you want to achieve, and are able to give legal advice with that in mind. Good under pressure, and able to think strategically in the midst of litigation.’

‘Douglas Blythe is commercially astute and able to spot opportunities and angles that others often miss. Great lawyer, and the kind of person you want in the room with you during difficult negotiations.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Spectre on its £5.7m off market acquisition of Bonmarche Holdings plc (Bonmarche), followed by a corporate restructure and the subsequent administration of Bonmarche.
  • Advised KPMG on their appointment as Administrators of Kaiam Europe Limited (Kaiam) and the resulting sale of the business and assets of Kaiam.
  • Advised the Official Receiver and Special Managers of Carillion across over 400 separate work streams on the largest insolvency in the UK in the last 11 years.

Morton Fraser

Morton Fraser draws upon strengths across multiple disciplines to undertake restructuring and insolvency work, including litigation, banking, property, employment, financial crime and asset-based lending. It advises a wide variety of stakeholders, including banks, financial institutions, unsecured creditors and insolvency practitioners, businesses, creditors and directors. Corporate insolvency and restructuring head  Alan Meek works alongside corporate sector head Iain Young.

Practice head(s):

Iain Young; Alan Meek

Testimonials

‘The breadth of experience within the team at Morton Fraser is impressive and you can always have confidence that no matter how small or large the assignment it will be handled with skill and professionalism.’

‘The individuals we work with a very approachable and not afraid to give advice as opposed to regurgitating the law. Alan Meek and Nicola Ross have excelled.’

‘Yvonne Brady is THE senior restructuring lawyer in Scotland’.

‘Yvonne Brady has a wealth of experience to deal with the most complex and challenging cases’.

 

Key clients

RSM

KPMG LLP

French Duncan LLP

FRP Advsory LLP

The Environment Agency

Geoghegan & Co

Ernst & Young Legal

Interserve Group Limited

Wylie & Bissett

Bibby Financial Services

Work highlights

  • Acted for Environment Agency (instructed via the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland) in relation to a £15m claim for environmental liabilities in the administration of the Dawson International group of companies.
  • Advised French Duncan as liquidator of The Scotsman (Edinburgh) Company Ltd on various complex and high-value litigation.
  • Advised Interserve Group Limited on high-value debt restructuring.

BBM Solicitors

BBM Solicitors is well-known for its insolvency and restructuring work, which includes formal appointments, administrations and liquidations. Contentious insolvency is an area of focus for the practice, which is also noted for it strengths in fraud-related cases, as well as asset recovery and related matters. The firm is seeing an increase in instructions from large English and international firms in relation to the Scottish aspects of insolvencies. Edinburgh-based Eric Baijal heads up the team.

Practice head(s):

Eric Baijal

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Simpson

Key clients

FRP Advisory LLP

Manolete Partners Plc

French Duncan

Johnston Carmichael

RSM Restructuring

Anderson, Anderson Brown

MLM Solutions

Henderson Loggie

Thomson Cooper

AABRS

Work highlights

  • Acting for the joint liquidators of a financial services business in relation to two commercial court litigations arising from the insolvency.
  • Acting for liquidator of construction company in relation to all matters arising from the insolvency including advising in relation to rights and claims relating to JV enterprises, land issues, contract issues and issues in relation to claims against former directors.
  • Acting for a trustee in sequestration in relation to gratuitous alienation proceedings in the Court of Session.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP handles a broad range of restructuring and insolvency matters, including bank-led restructures and refinancings, administrations and liquidations. The firm is seeing an uptick in instructions from new entrants to the lending market, such as challenger banks and crowdfunded lenders. The team (which has notable expertise in the sports sector) includes Gordon Hollerin, who has over 30 years of experience handling restructurings, as well as corporate recovery and insolvency matters. James Lloyd, who jointly heads up the team with Hollerin, is an expert in personal insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Hollerin; James Lloyd

Other key lawyers:

John Pringle

Testimonials

‘A very practical and commercial firm with a wealth of experience at a senior level.’

‘Gordon Hollerin is a very highly respected restructuring lawyer with a huge amount of experience on cases that range in size and complexity. He brings a lot of practical and commercial experience to the table and takes a robust but practical approach to what can at times be difficult situations to deal with.’

 

Key clients

KPMG LLP

RSM UK

BDO

FRP Advisory

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Campbell Dallas

Johnston Carmichael

Lloyds Banking Group Business Support Unit

Clydesdale Bank Strategic Business Services

Allied Irish Bank Financial Solutions Group

HCC International Insurance Company PLC

Work highlights

  • Instructed by FRP to assist with the Scottish aspects of the administration of Bonmarche Limited.
  • Advised the priority ranking charge holder HCC International Insurance Company PLC, (“HCCI”) and its English law advisers, Mills and Reeve, on the high-profile administration and subsequent effective restructuring of Scotland’s last remaining commercial shipyard, Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited.
  • Acted successfully for Scott Moncreiff as liquidators of Grampian MacLennan Distribution Services Limited in the Supreme Court, radically altering the statutory interpretation of the concept of gratuitous alienation in Scotland.

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine is noted for its focus on the real estate sector, where it handles insolvency and corporate recovery matters. Clients include high-net-worth individuals, SMEs, large corporations, insolvency practitioners and financial institutions. Ross Webb in Edinburgh is the head of the team. David Orr was promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Ross Webb

Other key lawyers:

David Orr

Key clients

KPMG LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Griffins

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Santander

Lloyds Banking Group

Begbies Traynor Central LLP

French Duncan LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Campbell Dallas

Moorfeild Advisory Limited

Middlebrooks

Meston Reid

Moorfield Advisory Limited

Shepherd Surveyors

Hardies LLP

Watershed (Scotland) Limited

DASH Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Griffins as liquidators for FEP Heatcare Limited.
  • Advising DASH Properties Limited and Derek Milne following director and shareholder deadlock to petition the Court of Session (Scotland’s Highest Civil Court) to wind up the company on just and equitable grounds.
  • Advising Moorfield Advisory Limited on the insolvency of a lease-holding property company with two large industrial assets in the north-east of Scotland.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern advises on the full range of insolvency and restructuring work, and is well known for its contentious corporate insolvency experience. The firm is instructed by insolvency practitioners, financial institutions and government agencies on domestic and cross-border cases. Team head Katrina Lumsdaine is recommended for her strength in insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):

Katrina Lumsdaine

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Jamieson

Testimonials

‘A strong restructuring team with a huge amount of experience.’

‘Katrina Lumsdaine in particular is a solicitor who has a wealth of experience and knowledge that she applies in a very practical and commercial way. I have always found Katrina to be very responsive and engaged, she demonstrates a very practical and robust approach to what can be difficult situations, and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Well resourced, knowledgeable team led by the very experienced Katrina Lumsdaine.’

‘Katina Lumsdaine  is always available, has a comprehensive knowledge of insolvency legislation and a pragmatic commercial approach. Gets to the nub of the problem.’

 

Key clients

HMRC

Accountant in Bankruptcy

Hastings & Co

Begbies Traynor (Scotland) LLP

Johnston Carmichael LLP

RSM Tenon

Wylie Bissett

MLM Solutions

Thomson Cooper Accountants

KPMG

Work highlights

  • Acting for the administrators of Pihl UK Limited in Administration in relation to all aspects of this administration.
  • Acting for the Trustee in Sequestration of Man Hen Lui in a long running litigation.
  • Acting for the Administrators of Birkwood Estates Limited.

Blackadders LLP

Blackadders LLP handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious corporate and personal insolvency work. It also advises clients on post-insolvency issues. Practice head Ryan McKay is noted for his experience of contentious insolvency matters, as well as related areas, such as property litigation, agricultural disputes, commercial disputes and debt recovery cases.

Practice head(s):

Ryan McKay

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Carr; Richard Godden

Key clients

William Duncan (Business Recovery) Ltd

Campbell Dallas

KPMG

Dunedin Advisory

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP is noted for its expertise in insolvency litigation and related disputes, including shareholder and boardroom disputes, and disqualification proceedings. It also advises directors on other pre and post-insolvency issues, such as directors’ duties and personal liability. Dorothy Hatfield and Grant Hunter are the joint heads of the insolvency side of the practice, while Alastair Dunn handles advisory (including restructuring) work.

Gilson Gray

The recovery, restructuring and insolvency group at Gilson Gray covers the gamut of contentious and non-contentious issues for clients. The practice is jointly led by three partners; Steven Jansch is an insolvency litigation specialist; Craig Darling is a restructuring and banking specialist and David Alexander focuses on debt recovery.

Testimonials

‘Personal service from David Alexander, sets them apart from competitors in sector’.

‘Knowledge and experience of debt recovery processes is second to none’. 

‘This practice has a modern approach which is also tailored to clients’ needs’. 

‘You are always aware of the particular stages of your instructions without the need to enquire’. 

‘All of the individuals within the team are prepared to offer a personal advice and reassurance if necessary from partner level down’. 

‘Ability to always be ahead of market in coming up with new service lines for clients whilst making it cost-effective’. 

‘Steven Jansch has great advocacy skills in court, the confidence to run a case, and is a strong litigator  ‘.

‘They provide a high-quality service and timely pragmatic advice and I find their rates to be good value’.    

Key clients

KPMG

Armstrong Watson

Bridging Loans Limited

Leonard Curtis

William Duncan

Anderson Anderson and Brown

Dunedin Advisory

Condies Business Recovery

Begbies Traynor

Campbell Dallas

French Duncan

Grainger Corporate Recovery

Grant Thornton

Middlebrooks Business Recovery

RSM UK

WRI Associates

Wylie & Bisset

Johnston Carmichael

Work highlights

  • Acted for KPMG as administrators of Watt Brothers (Glasgow and Edinburgh) Limited.
  • Represented social enterprise GTS Solutions CIC in relation to HMRC winding-up petitions.
  • Acted for WRI Associates as liquidators of CMC Properties Limited.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

The team at Ledingham Chalmers LLP is experienced in restructuring, insolvency and litigation work. Led by Aberdeen-based partners Tim Thomas and Jody Mitchell, it is sought out by regional insolvency practitioners, as well as liquidators, administrators and trustees located nationally.

Practice head(s):

Tim Thomas; Jody Mitchell

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts LLP  is noted for its contentious insolvency advice but it has recently seen an uptick in instructions relating to non-contentious matters. It continues to see an increase in cross-border insolvencies and instructions from English lawyers and insolvency practitioners. It also handles the sale and purchase of businesses on behalf of insolvency practitioners. Leon Breakey is the head of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Leon Breakey

Other key lawyers:

Ian Bowie

Testimonials

‘Good legal skills combined with good commercial awareness.’

‘MacRoberts are approachable and responsive with great attention to detail.’

‘Leon Breakey gave an outstanding performance on our behalf at a mediation and achieved an excellent settlement.’

 

Key clients

Campbell Dallas

KPMG

French Duncan

AlixPartners

WRI Associates

Johnston Carmichael

Wylie & Bisset

FRP Advisory

Mazars

Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths’ insolvency practice draws on expertise from across a range of practice areas at the firm including corporate, recoveries services, employment, and real estate. It handles cross-border insolvencies, restructuring and litigation. Team head Stuart Clubb is a solicitor advocate. Kim Pattullo, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard as head of employment, advises businesses on employment-related insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Clubb

Testimonials

‘Very approachable team who are always at the end of the phone’. 

‘No legal problem is an issue as they provide a safe pair of hands and also reassure me on the right road to take’. 

‘They have a very joined-up way of working, ensuring the right person is put on the job’.       

‘Stuart Clubb provides prompt turn-around, concise advice with no caveats, just clear legal advice with good knowledge on commercial realities that need to be considered’.

‘Strong insolvency knowledge’.

‘Stuart Clubb is a great client partner who co-ordinates work within his team’. 

‘Stuart Clubb is a great people person and very approachable and friendly’.

‘Very user-friendly, good legal skills combined with good commercial sense’.

Key clients

KPMG

Grant Thornton

Campbell Dallas

Middlebrooks Business Recovery & Advice

BDO

Johnston Carmichael

French Duncan

Quantuma

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a specialist insolvency claims acquisition company in the pursuit of a high value gratuitous alienation claim.
  • Acting on behalf of a director in director disqualification proceedings, and in a subsequent application for leave to act.
  • Advising a trustee in sequestration in relation to potential challengeable transactions and claims.

TLT

TLT acts for accountants, insolvency practitioners, creditors, distressed businesses and directors. In addition to being active in the corporate insolvency sphere, the firm also handles personal insolvency cases. The practice generates mandates in the food and hospitality, healthcare, intellectual property, telecommunications, financial services and renewables sectors. Alan Munro leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Alan Munro

Testimonials

‘From my point of view TLT have a good combination of insolvency, licencing and employment law.’

‘Alan Munro is my go to solicitor when it comes to anything to do with personal insolvency and liquidation in Scotland. What makes Alan different from other solicitors is that he always has time to help answer specific queries and provide expert and also practical advice. Alan is technically very strong whilst still being commercially minded.’

‘The team are able to provide pragmatic legal advice, that both covers the legal aspects as well as the corporate aspects of a particular situation.’

‘Alan Munro possesses the gravitas of the best lawyers but is equally approachable and receptive to ideas.’

‘I feel the team at TLT combines a very commercial and practical approach with a very good understanding of our position as insolvency practitioners. They are always very responsive and react very quickly to the sometimes time pressured situations we often have to deal with.’

‘Alan Munro in particular has a very commercial approach and has an excellent understanding of the issue being faced by insolvency practitioners.’