Insolvency and corporate recovery in South East

Boyes Turner

Boyes Turner's insolvency practice advises on contentious and non-contentious insolvencies across a range of sectors, including manufacturing, payday lending, and the growing area of restaurants. The practice also advises insolvency practitioners on personal bankruptcies, working alongside the firm's debt recovery team to offer clients a full service. The practice is led by the highly experienced Phil Smith, who handles both contentious and non-contentious work and frequently advises on administrations, LPA receiverships and the sale of insolvent businesses. Associate Ollie Fitzpatrick is also recommended. 

Practice head(s):

Phil Smith

Other key lawyers:

Ollie Fitzpatrick

Testimonials

‘The insolvency team have a network of overseas associates who they can call upon when there are insolvencies with assets in different jurisdictions. Very practical and willing to continue to work on a case even with uncertain assets, continuing to give it their full attention.’

‘Oliver Fitzpatrick is very practical and progresses matters without the need to be chased.’

‘Ollie Fitzpatrick has an eye for detail and practical advice.’

‘A regional firm offering top quality service and advice.’

Key clients

KPMG

Grant Thornton

BDO

CVR Global

HJS Recovery

CMB Partners

Begbies Traynor

Portland Business and Financial Solutions

Harrisons Business Recovery

Antony Batty & Company

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Joint Administrators of the Brazilian-themed dining chain, Cabana Restaurants Ltd, which led to the sale of five London sites and the preservation of over 150 jobs.
  • Acted as UK advisors to Huntington Bank (a US bank) in respect of the UK aspects of the restructuring of Addition Manufacturing Technologies, a global manufacturing technology company.
  • Acted as advisors to the Joint Administrators of DJS (UK) Limited, which traded under the name “PiggyBank”-at one point the UK’s fastest growing pay-day lender.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans' dedicated team of insolvency and restructuring lawyers has extensive experience of a range of insolvency matters. The team receives referrals from insolvency practitioners, banks, private equity and accountants to advise on insolvency matters, including those with cross-border elements. They also directly advise troubled companies on restructuring and insolvency options. The team is led by the 'accomplished' Suzanne Brooker, who also serves as the national head of the insolvency department. Brooker, a licensed insolvency practitioner, has over 25 years' experience in this area. Stacey Jones is another key contact; she acts in all areas of insolvency law and is praised as a 'first-rate lawyer'.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Brooker

Other key lawyers:

Stacey Jones; Tim Evans

Testimonials

‘BDB Pitmans is extremely well respected in the insolvency and corporate recovery sector. In litigation, they often come up against much bigger firms, demonstrating how good they are and the confidence that their clients have in them. The team is technically excellent but importantly, they’re also really nice people. It’s a winning combination as far as clients are concerned.’

‘Stacey Jones is fantastic. She is a first rate lawyer but she’s also absolutely great company. Clients absolutely love her. You would always want Stacey on your side; she fights tooth and nail for her clients. Tim Evans, while still junior, is one to watch for the future. He is technically excellent and great with clients.’

‘Suzanne Brooker and her team took a calm and pragmatic approach their engagement. At all times they displayed great competence and a work rate second-to-none. They were a pleasure to work with during what were trying circumstances. I couldn’t have had anyone better in my corner. Suzanne Brooker was the lead partner on the project. She was supportive, calming and reassuring throughout, with a degree of competence that I have found hard to match elsewhere.’

‘Suzanne Brooker has an excellent understanding of the law providing commercial answers to difficult situations.’

‘The team comprises a set of individuals who combine to give a service which is efficient and practical and given in a timely way. The team compares well to other firms.’

‘The individuals in the BDB Pitmans team that I work with are very committed to finding a practical way through the inevitable problems that occur – and their skill is such that they always do succeed in this regard. Partner Stacey Jones is in particular very tenacious and she is very effective at progressing matters in a practical and sensible manner.’

‘Led by the outstanding Suzanne Brooker who as well as being a very capable lawyer is a trusted adviser to her clients. City quality lawyers at a more attractive level of cost. Occupying the middle ground of the market but comfortably competing with the very best in the market.’

‘Suzanne Brooker is an accomplished lawyer and brings strategic analysis to cases that her competitors simply cannot apply.’

Key clients

KPMG

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Grant Thornton UK

BDO

CVR Global

Deloitte

Quantuma

UHY Hacker Young

RSM Baker Tilly Creditor Services

Wilkins Kennedy

Work highlights

  • Advised Goal Soccer Centres on early options, director duties, shareholder and listing duties and obligations and on AMA process
  • Acted for Oyster Marine on advisory pre-appointment issues, on appointment of administrators and on sale of business and assets.
  • Acting for PricewaterhouseCoopers on the recovery from director of compensation and loans due to insolvent company in excess of £1.5m.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The Guildford team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP - which 'easily rivals many London firms' - advises insolvency practitioners, banks, troubled companies, and individuals on a wide range of matters. In 2019, the team's work included advising on cross-border administrations, acting for banks in the recovery of secured debts from insolvent borrowers, and aiding an FCA-regulated company out of administration through the recapitalisation of the business. Practice head James Hyne specialises in contentious work, particularly fraud-related matters.

Practice head(s):

James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Roger Elford

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable, pragmatic, work with you to provide the solution. Capable and straightforward to deal with. Will always give the best advice.’

‘Most of my work is with the team in Guildford and they easily rival many London firms.’

‘I have worked with numerous individuals in the insolvency teams at CRS in the last year. Dan Moore is an up-and-coming senior associate with good quality work. I would particularly note his good judgement and case management skills.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse (UK)

Alix Partners Services UK

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Grant Thornton UK

Alvarez & Marsal

Leonard Curtis Business Recovery

James Cowper Kreston

MBI Coakley Restructuring and Insolvency

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Central Bank of Bahrain

Work highlights

  • Advised Martin Armstrong and James Patchett of Turpin Barker Armstrong as joint administrators of three community rehabilitation companies providing probation and employment services to offenders, as well as the parent company, Working Links.
  • Acted for the founder and CEO of Glint, Jason Cozens and others in relation to Glint’s rescue from administration. This involved fund raising from existing and new investors, in a sum in excess of £5m in order to re-capitalise the business and to provide for the costs of the administration.
  • Advising Bruce Mackay and Matthew Haw of RSM Restructuring Advisory, acting as joint liquidators of LBGO on the winding-up of five collective investment schemes arising out of the Lehman Brothers insolvency.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Cripps Pemberton Greenish's insolvency and restructuring team advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice is a part of the firm's corporate division, which is led by James Beatton; the insolvency practice frequently draws on support from lawyers from the corporate and commercial litigation teams, and also collaborates with other teams such as property. Joanna Ford is recommended; she acts in both contentious and non-contentious matters, including handling claims against directors and acting for insolvency practitioners and creditors. She is praised for her 'excellent judgement in navigating complex litigation'.

Practice head(s):

James Beatton

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Ford; Hannah Proctor

Testimonials

‘A top-drawer regional firm which offers strength and depth to rival many London firms. Its commercial litigation department is particularly strong.’

‘Joanna Ford is a calm and commercially minded solicitor who exercises excellent judgement in navigating complex litigation. She is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Hannah Proctor is a very bright and incredibly capable associate who operates at a level well beyond her years. She is incredibly hard working, and goes the extra mile for the client.’

Key clients

Paydens

BDO

Park Holidays UK

Crowe U.K.

Day Lewis

Holiday Extras

Smith & Williamson

Quantuma

Cadogan Estates

Green Box Recycling (Kent)

Work highlights

  • Advising an international manufacturer and distributor of toys and gamesin relation to breach of warranty issues following acquisition of a UK entity.
  • Advising the independent and family owned pharmacy operator Paydens on its simplification of its group structure to create one trading entity through a tax neutral method.
  • Acting for a non-executive director of a company in administration being pursued for millions of pounds in relation to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's sizeable insolvency and restructuring team has a varied client base, including major insolvency practitioners, directors, and shareholders. The firm is on the panel of most of the major clearing banks, and also acts for asset-based lenders and VCs. In 2019, the team handled a number of insolvencies of FCA-regulated entities. Practice head Nicola Kirk is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, and also has a specialism in aiding troubled businesses in returning to profitability. She is praised as 'great with clients and very experienced'.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Kirk

Testimonials

‘Nicola Kirk has a great following in the south east mid-market, working with a broad range of insolvency practitioners and finance houses. She practises in insolvency and in broader commercial litigation. She is great with clients and is very experienced.

‘Nadine Herman is a very thoughtful litigator, who leaves no stone unturned in analysing her cases and weighing all the possible outcomes. The care and thought she brings to her cases really shows.’

‘A really nice set of people to work with. Readily available and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

BDO

Grant Thornton

Quantuma

Wilkins Kennedy

KRE Corporate Recovery

RSM Restructuring Advisory

PricewaterhouseCoopers

KPMG

Deloitte

Leonard Curtis

James Cowper Kreston

Smith & Williamson

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Cable Capital

Balder Capital

Secure Trust Bank

Metro Bank

Bibby Financial Services

Moore Barlow

In May 2020, Moore Blatch LLP and Barlow Robbins LLP merged to form Moore Barlow. The newly formed team works on the full range of insolvency and restructuring matters, both contentious and non-contentious. In the past year this has included advising insolvency practitioners on the securing and sale of assets, investigating allegations of fraud relating to insolvency on behalf of liquidators, and acting for creditors to recover property from insolvent estates. Many of these cases had additional complicating elements; for example, in one matter the firm advised administrators on the ongoing management of a portfolio of rental properties while the portfolio was being sold. The team also receives referrals from accountants, debt collection agents, and other solicitors. Practice head Heather Dobson is dual qualified as an insolvency practitioner, demonstrating her depth of knowledge in this area.

Practice head(s):

Heather Dobson

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Chaplin

Testimonials

‘Good technical knowledge.’

‘Heather Dobson really knows her area and deploys her knowledge very effectively; she is extremely hard-working, has sound judgement, is very pleasant to work with, and has a good, collaborative approach.’

‘Rebecca Chaplin also has a really good knowledge of the technical detail of the subject, and is also very hardworking, friendly and pleasant to work with.’

‘Very approachable and easy to work with, great professional attitude.’

‘Heather Dobson – great professional, friendly and approachable; willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Rebecca Chaplin – exceptional client service, easy to get hold of and quick to respond.’

‘Moore Barlow is an approachable and skilled firm that has expertise in all areas. They make clients feel valued and confident that they are receiving exceptional advice and service.’

‘Heather Dobson’s knowledge and experience is second to none. I like to think of Heather as part of my wider team and the go to person for all insolvency related matters.’

Key clients

CVR Global

FRP Advisory

James Cowper Kreston

KPMG

Mazars

Menzies

Moore Kingston Smith

Moore Stephens(South) R&I

Moorfields Corporate Recovery

Quantuma

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Work highlights

  • Advising the liquidators of MITS Wallington Limited (in Liquidation) on a variety of claims including unpaid share capital linked to a complex company restructure and a tax mitigation scheme.
  • Advising the administrators of Waycon Precast Limited (in Administration), an engineering company, on a pre pack administration.
  • Advising a lender who is a creditor of a deceased individual whose estate is insolvent.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP's Guildford team is known for its experience in advising on insolvencies in the insurance and financial services sectors. The firm's work in this area includes advising boards of directors on possible administrations or schemes of arrangement, as well as assisting insolvency practitioners who are handling the administration or liquidation of companies in this sector. Retail and personal insolvencies are other areas of expertise for the practice, which is adept at managing cross-border considerations. The team is led by Tim Carter and David Steinberg. Carter handles all areas of insolvency law and is 'very approachable and knowledgeable', while the 'extremely capable' Steinberg leads on insurance-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Tim Carter; David Steinberg

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledgeable team of restructuring and insolvency experts based in Guildford. Easy to approach and very good to work with.’

‘Tim Carter is very approachable and knowledgeable in his field. Tim is an excellent commercial solicitor who provides practical advice in a timely manner. Highly recommend.’

‘David Steinberg is an extremely capable, experienced partner who is well known and respected within the industry he services. He provides concise, accurate and reliable advice in strict timeframes. Very personable. A great asset for Stevens & Bolton.’

‘Experienced, price competitive and still retain a personal touch.’

‘David Steinberg is very knowledgeable, practical and easy to work with.’

Key clients

Graham White & Co Ltd t/a Porky Whites (in administration) and Administrators from Smith & Williamson

Chilli Pickle Limited (in administration) and Administrators from Kreston Reeves

Software Power Tools Limited (in liquidation) – liquidators from Quantuma LLP

Directors of Elite Insurance Company Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

BDO – liquidators of Collateral UK Limited

The Home Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Advising BDO as liquidators of Collateral, a peer-to-peer lending platform, which had been carrying on regulated activities without the necessary FCA permissions.
  • Acted for the administrators on the sale of the business and assets of Chilli Pickle Limited.
  • Acted for EY as provisional liquidators of The Home Insurance Company’s UK branch and as scheme administrators under the companies act scheme of arrangement which was implemented with the company’s UK branch creditors in 2004.

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP advises a broad range of clients - including insolvency practitioners, creditors and debtors - on insolvency matters, and in the past year has been particularly active advising on insolvencies in the construction sector. The team offers clients a full service, drawing on expertise across the wider firm. Practice head Laurence Weeks is known for his work on contentious insolvencies; he also serves as head of the firm's commercial litigation and dispute resolution practice. Legal director Matthew Weston handles both contentious and non-contentious matters from the firm's office in Chelmsford, and is praised as a 'fantastic lawyer'.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Weeks

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Weston

Testimonials

‘A large regional firm, with experts in each office. Capable of dealing with both small and larger matters.’

‘Very thorough and prepared, and know the legal merits. Matt Weston doesn’t go looking for the spotlight, but is a fantastic lawyer.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Price Bailey

CVR Global

Mazars

Ensors

RSM (formerly Baker Tilly)

Thornton Rones

McTear Williams & Wood

Haslers

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Work highlights

  • Advising RSM Restructuring Advisory on the administration of F.H. Gilman & Co.
  • Advising Resolve Partners on the administration of the Mitcham Partnership.
  • Advising FRP Advisory on the sale of a private hospital.

EMW Law LLP

EMW Law LLP's insolvency practice has a client base focused on entrepreneurial and scale-up businesses, as well as lenders such as 'challenger banks'. The firm's work for these clients includes advising on risk management, aiding lenders in the recovery of loans from insolvent debtors, and helping SMEs avoid insolvency.  Frank Bouette became head of the practice in November 2019 following Damon Watt's departure. Bouette is experienced in banking and private wealth matters, and handles both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work.

Practice head(s):

Frank Bouette

Testimonials

‘This is the best insolvency team in my opinion. They are technically very strong, give pragmatic advice and give excellent client service.’

‘Frank Bouette is an excellent lawyer. He knows his stuff, gives you good advice quickly and he is pragmatic. You feel safe in Frank’s hands.’

Key clients

AIB Group (UK)

MHA Macintyre Hudson

FRP Advisory

Carter Backer Winter

Quantuma

Amicus Finance

Begbies Traynor

CVR Global

IGF Business Credit

Manolete Partners

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's 'very engaged and proactive' insolvency and restructuring team has a proven track record of advising clients, particularly corporates and stakeholders such as shareholders and banks, on a range of insolvency matters. In 2019, the firm continued to expand its presence in the financial services and energy sectors, including advising on the first administration of a consumer energy company. Andrew Walker leads both the Gatwick and national insolvency teams, and is a 'strong tactician and astute negotiator' with experience in cross-jurisdictional insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Walker

Testimonials

‘A coordinated national practice that works well across the country with areas of specialism. Strong, experienced team that can deal with all types of assignments.’

‘Andrew Walker leads a very engaged and proactive team who have been extremely supportive of our business and have an excellent understanding of the market and its dynamics.’

‘Andrew Walker is very commercial and has been willing to provide significant support with security reviews, in the knowledge that costs are unlikely to be covered but realising that this is the way to build a network and advocates. A strong tactician and astute negotiator. He is also proactive in bringing new developments to our attention.’

‘Excellent depth of resource. Pragmatic approach.’

‘Andrew Walker stands out as he is always helpful and knowledgeable. Irrespective of the size of business or experience of individuals, Andrew has a knack of being able to speak to them all on their level. ‘

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank

National Westminster Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland

Lloyds Bank

KPMG

IGF Commercial Finance

RSM

Mazars

FRP

Begbies Traynor

BDO

Smith & Williamson

Quantuma

Kreston Reeves

Menzies

BM Advisory

Kallis & Co

CVR

Parker Andrews

Work highlights

  • Advised on the administration of Begbies Traynor/Brilliant Energy, the first ever administration of a supplier of gas and electricity.

Isadore Goldman

Specialist insolvency firm Isadore Goldman has a proven track record in advising insolvency practitioners, company directors, and creditors on insolvency issues, providing them with technical advice and where necessary acting for them in litigation. The team has a particular specialism in working with directors, defending individuals from disqualification and claims from insolvency practitioners and HMRC, as well as advising boards on rescue plans. With 25 years experience in this area, practice head Nick Oliver handles all areas of insolvency and has advised on a number of particularly high profile personal bankruptcies.

Practice head(s):

Nick Oliver

Testimonials

‘Nick Oliver is an excellent litigation lawyer with a very good brain and a very good tactical instinct. He is aggressive but not overly so and has fine attention to detail. His drafting is excellent. If I had my own insolvency litigation issue he would be at or near the top of lawyers I want to represent me.

‘Sarah Phillips is more junior but she is very conscientious, thorough and enthusiastic. Like Nick she is robust and fights hard in the interests of her clients.’

‘The team led by Nick Oliver was very dynamic and efficient with our case. It felt as a client that they were really prioritising our work and made us feel heard and were very dynamic to situations changing.’

‘Nick Oliver was a very calm individual and had no ego. He was extremely open to new ideas and did not mind entertaining our ideas as some of them ended up becoming pivotal in our case. I have seen other solicitors stifle clients’ creative solutions and needs, to protect their ego/right to charge fees. Nick and the team at Isadore Goldman had no ego and were committed to getting the result by any means.’

‘Isadore Goldman has an extremely strong national reputation in insolvency and corporate recovery. Indeed, it is one of the very few remaining specialist players in the area. The recent addition of a south coast team (led by Nick Oliver and the former Verisona team) adds to the firm’s expertise. The south coast team act for insolvency practitioners and defendants across the whole of the south of England and have bags of experience in high-profile insolvency liquidation. They combine real insolvency expertise with excellent regional connections and the support of a large, specialist insolvency firm.’

‘All the team members are knowledgeable, passionate and focused on delivering the right outcomes to clients. The team is led by Nick Oliver, who is a specialist insolvency lawyer and well-known in the field. Nick has a deep technical understanding of insolvency law and combines that with a pragmatic approach to litigation, with a focus on getting to the right result as efficiently and effectively as possible.’

Key clients

Investec Bank/Investec Asset Finance

RSM

Portland Business and Finance Solutions

McTear, Williams & Wood

BDO

Griffins

Grant Thornton

KPMG

Quantuma

Mazars

Purnells

Hereford Capital

Spotcap

Pay 4

FRP

Work highlights

  • Assisted with a complex group reorganisation and restructuring of a longstanding construction company with a turnover in excess of £20 million. The team took the lead in project managing the transaction.
  • Acted for Progressio Ltd, a group of unsecured creditors, owed in excess of £1m, in a successful court application for an administration order against a multi-million turnover training and education company whose parent was listed in the USA. The application was opposed by the company who were seeking a CVA.
  • Assisted the trustee in bankruptcy, BDO, with the bankruptcy of an individual who defrauded investors out of millions of pounds. Resolved complex property issues leading to the sale of valuable properties for the benefit of the estate and the creditors.

Lester Aldridge LLP

Based in Southampton, Lester Aldridge LLP is known for advising insolvency practitioners on non-contentious matters, including the appointment of administrators, procedural applications to court, and transactions related to insolvency.  The team also frequently collaborates with the wider firm's real estate practice on insolvencies involving property. Practice head Nick Keitley works closely with many major insolvency practitioners, as well as advising boards of directors on restructurings and insolvencies. He is valued by clients for his 'sensible commercial approach'. Melia Hirst leads on many advisory and transactional matters, and also works with corporate and disputes colleagues on insolvency-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Nick Keitley

Other key lawyers:

Melia Hirst; Rebecca Walker

Testimonials

‘Very good technical knowledge. Work is turned around in short order. Large number of disciplines within the practice so able to call upon these, for example dealing with complex GDPR issues following the insolvency of a medical professional.’

‘Melia Hirst has very good technical knowledge.’

‘Nick Keitley is commercial.’

‘The team are particularly good at dealing with the more unusual aspects of insolvency law.’

‘Melia Hirst deserves particular mention. Not only is she on top of all aspects of the case, she is also a very pleasant person to work with.’

‘I would describe the team as knowledgeable, professional in their conduct, always providing insight and support both on technical and practical levels, willing to share ideas and solutions on complex and/or challenging issues. Whilst these strengths are not necessarily unique, as a package, I find them unrivalled in my geographical location.’

‘Nick Keitley is passionate about delivering first class guidance and support. Nick’s experience is evident throughout my dealings on various different case instructions. Melia Hirst shares Nick’s passion for delivering class leading advice and support, she too is regarded by me as a go to person if I need legal advice on case assignments.’

‘Nick Keitley is very good at explaining issues simply and takes a relaxed approach. Melia Hirst is easy to get on with.’

‘Nick Keitley knows his area extremely well, is very thoughtful, and has a sensible commercial approach.’

‘Rebecca Walker is an excellent technical solicitor, very responsive and knowledgeable. Excellent understanding of insolvency and restructuring and a go-to lawyer for technical queries.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

JWS Business Recovery

Leonard Curtis Recovery

Moore

Peter Hall Limited

Portland Business & Financial Solutions

Quantuma

RSM Restructuring and Advisory

Santander

Smith & Williamson

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP's core insolvency work involves advising the firm's base of commercial clients on any insolvency-related issues they face, such as dealing with insolvent trading partners and pursuing or defending against winding up petitions. Additionally, the firm handles work such as the appointment of administrators and pre-pack sales for insolvency practitioners, many of whom are long-term clients of the firm. Practice head Mike Pavitt is experienced in contentious and non-contentious insolvency work; he is valued by clients for his combination of technical ability and a commercial approach.

Practice head(s):

Mike Pavitt

Testimonials

‘The team has a strong work ethic and are genuinely client-focused. They are highly responsive and provide value for money.’

‘The team is ably led by the very personable Mike Pavitt who is both a highly skilled lawyer and commercial in his approach. He sets the standard and his team follows.’

‘Insightful, detailed and practical advice delivered in a timely manner. Paris Smith are one of the leaders in this field.’

‘Mike Pavitt will provide detailed advice yet deliver the message in a practical manner that give confidence to any course of action.’

Key clients

BDO

Beacon Licensed Insolvency Practitioners

Begbies Traynor

Hampshire Trust Bank

Interbay Funding

James Cowper Kreston

KPMG

Kreston Reeves

Manolete Partners PLC

Mazars

Portland Business & Financial Solutions Ltd NoQuantumaNoRSMNoSmith & Williamson

Work highlights

  • Following assignment of claims from the liquidator of a company in liquidation to Manolete Partners PLC, the firm advised and subsequently issued proceedings against ex-directors (including shadow directors) of the company in liquidation for breach of duty claims in connection with various acts undertaken whilst the company was trading.
  • Advising on the administration of the company trading as Central Working – a coworking space company – with revenue of c. £10.4m and creditors owed a total of c.£7.5m.
  • Advised Bell & Bain, a Scottish print company, on the prospective purchase of an ailing target company with a view as to saving the business and retaining jobs.

Birkett Long LLP

Birkett Long LLP has a proven track record of contentious insolvency work, and is particularly known for its representation of directors facing disqualification. In 2019, the firm handled a variety of matters, including acting for liquidators against directors for misfeasance, securing the appointment of liquidators, and advising on potential civil recovery claims against directors. From its Colchester office, the firm services clients throughout Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. The team is led by the 'incredibly diligent and savvy' Kevin Sullivan, and handles referrals from many Essex-based accountancy firms and insolvency practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Sullivan

Testimonials

‘City of London expertise with regional prices and approachability, led by the very diligent and knowledgeable partner Kevin Sullivan.’

‘Kevin Sullivan is an incredibly diligent and savvy partner heading up the insolvency department. Able to see the argument from all sides, he gives sound commercial advice.’

‘We work with other law firms too, but I would rank Birkett Long the highest.’

‘We work with Kevin Sullivan and Tracy England on insolvency work mainly – very prompt response time & efficient. Good clear advice.’

‘My experience was very satisfactory. The partner I spoke with gave an initial consultation but did not push me for further involvement as felt I did not require further advice at that time. When a situation escalated the partner made himself immediately available and worked into the evening on a time-sensitive matter.’

Key clients

MHA Larking Gowen

FRP Advisory

Price Bailey

Moore Kingston Smith

CVR Global

Bretts Business Recovery

LB Insolvency Solutions

DKF Insolvency

Work highlights

  • Acted for two insolvency practitioners from Price Bailey LLP as liquidators of a company which was the subject of a fraud (and other illegal activities) by its director, advising in relation to possible recovery action with a potential seven-figure value.
  • Acted for two insolvency practitioners from FRP Advisory LLP as liquidators of a company in the pursuit of a civil recovery claim worth £800,000 against two directors.
  • Acted for two insolvency practitioners from MHA Larking Gowen as liquidators of a company in relation to sizeable claims against the director including a transaction at an undervalue arising out of the sale of the business shortly before presentation of the winding up petition.

Blake Morgan LLP

Led by Katie James, the practice at Blake Morgan LLP advises clients including banks, landlords, insolvency practitioners and directors of distressed companies on the full range of insolvency work. Based in Reading, the team's client base is spread across the South and London. James has broad experience in insolvency law, and has particular expertise in advising on distressed care homes. She is praised by clients as 'an outstanding lawyer'.

Practice head(s):

Katie James

Testimonials

‘Blake Morgan have been friendly and responsive, and are adequately resourced to provide a good level of service. They are receptive to feedback and have a positive attitude to suggested amendments to draft documents and correspondence.’

‘This team has built up from a standing start and now has a wide variety of high quality insolvency clients. This team gives a lot of responsibility to the more junior members of the team but the outcome of this is that the junior solicitors quickly learn the job and become very accomplished at an early stage.’

‘Katie James heads up the team. Katie is the reason for the success of the insolvency team at Blake Morgan’s Reading office. She remains very engaged in the day to day matters despite having the responsibility of heading up the team and bringing work in. Katie is an outstanding lawyer, she’s very intelligent and not afraid to take bold and difficult decisions. At the same time Katie has a great manner with clients which means she has a very successful practice (evidenced by the way she has built this team). I have spoken at webinars with Katie and she presented in an excellent manner. I should also mention that Katie values diverse routes into the profession and works hard to promote these routes; for example, Blake Morgan are now taking apprenticeships.’

‘They provide clarity of advice, commerciality, speed of response, and friendliness.’

‘We valued their breadth of experience, honesty, commercial approach, availability (when it suits us) and tenacity. Katie James has all of these qualities and leads a growing team that demonstrate the same. Put simply, they are invaluable as a panel firm for us.’

Key clients

Metro Bank

Shaw Gibbs Corporate Recovery

Quantuma

Opus Restructuring

Manolete Partners

KPMG

Griffins

Gibson Hewitt

Begbies Traynor

Critchleys

Work highlights

  • Advised Metro Bank on the validity of a personal guarantee, given by three directors of a company that had gone into administration. The directors were arguing that the guarantee was not enforceable because the agreements with the company had been novated to a purchaser of the company’s business and assets.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

In addition to acting for many leading insolvency practitioners, Blandy & Blandy LLP advises companies and landlords on the insolvencies of creditors, as well as advising the distressed companies themselves. The team is a part of the international Law Firm Network, from which it is referred work involving cross-border matters. Philip D’Arcy leads the overall dispute resolution team, while David Murray is the lead insolvency partner.

Practice head(s):

Philip D’Arcy; David Murray

Key clients

BDO

Quantuma

KRE Corporate Recovery

Critchleys

Work highlights

  • Advising a company in its role as Landlord in relation to the Company Voluntary Arrangements of two of its tenants, namely, childwear company, Mothercare and restaurant chain, Prezzo. Advice included consideration of complex CVA documents and advice to clientabout its status and options. Provided further advice to client regarding demand by Mothercare for return of substantial security deposit.
  • Advising a client on the high profile insolvency of British Steel.

Brachers

Led by Michael Oatham, Brachers' insolvency team handles both contentious and non-contentious matters for clients including some of the most prominent insolvency practitioners in the UK. The practice offers insolvency practitioners pre and post appointment services, including realising assets and acting in misfeasance claims against directors, as well as more technical work such as asset tracing. Graham Wallis leads the team's Insolvency Portfolio Management unit, managing insolvent portfolios for institutional creditors.

Practice head(s):

Michael Oatham

Other key lawyers:

Graham Wallis

Testimonials

Very efficient.

‘Paul Abdey and Annette Hampshire are both very experienced and thorough.’

 

Key clients

Mazars

KPMG

Grant Thornton

Baker Tilly

BDO

Bretts Business Recovery

CCW Recovery Services

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Kreston Reeves

Wilkins Kennedy

Coffin Mew LLP

Coffin Mew LLP's insolvency team handles corporate and financial restructurings, and also advises on related matters for private equity clients. The team is led by Ian Dawes. Alexander Wood is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Ian Dawes

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Wood

Dentons

Dentons' insolvency and restructuring practice has strong working relationships with many of the UK's leading clearing banks. The team also advises corporate clients on matters related to insolvency, and receives instructions from insolvency practitioners and liquidators. The practice includes counsel Andrea Dunsby, a 'first class insolvency lawyer', who was based in the Cayman Islands for 13 years, and continues to advise on matters with links to that jurisdiction. Insolvency executive Mark Goward is also a key part of the team, and advises on contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. While the team was previously based in the firm's Watford office, the base was closed during 2020 after a successful shift to remote working during the coronavirus lockdown. Lawyers and staff formerly based there will now work remotely with the option to use the Milton Keynes office when necessary.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Dunsby

Other key lawyers:

Mark Goward

Testimonials

‘Dentons have a strong insolvency and corporate recovery team. Any team with Andrea Dunsby in it is a good team.’

‘Andrea Dunsby is the standout performer for me. She is as good as any solicitor I have worked with in this area. Really excellent legal knowledge, including of Cayman and other Caribbean procedural and substantive law. Great client handling skills – keeping calm and managing even the most difficult of clients. I would entrust her with my litigation!’

‘Andrea Dunsby is a first class insolvency lawyer.’

Key clients

BDO

Avison Young (GVA Grimley)

Begbies Traynor

Eddisons Commercial

Alsop

Jones Lang LaSalle

Lambert Smith Hampton Group

Griffins

Lamberts

Work highlights

  • Advised a merchant service provider to Debenhams on its rights as Debenhams approached a CVA, and whether it could insist on contractual rights to security and if so when such rights should be exercised.
  • Advising an investor in a Cayman Islands hedge fund, in which the investment manager is in insolvency. Provided assistance on whether to lodge a claim directly in the liquidation of the investment manager, and the prospects of appointing a provisional liquidator to the fund.
  • Assisting a  client offering invoice financing, who brokered a deal in which a travel company sold its book debts to a German bank. The travel company subsequently went into liquidation and is facing claims of breach of duty by the German bank.

DMH Stallard LLP

Led by Tim Symes, DMH Stallard LLP's Gatwick-based team acts for insolvency practitioners in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm's client base also includes banks, directors, and creditors. Symes frequently acts alongside partners from the firm's commercial litigation practice, and is praised by a client as a 'superb litigator'. He is active in advising on transactions related to insolvencies, such as pre-pack sales.

Practice head(s):

Tim Symes

Testimonials

‘Hugely thorough, very detailed letters of advice, excellent performance overall.’

‘Tim Symes is a superb litigator who consistently is able to analyse the facts of a case and offer “outside the box” thinking for innovative approaches to claims.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Mazars

CVR Global

Quantuma

Begbies Traynor

Firestones

Work highlights

  • Acting for a liquidator in a multi-million pound Gold Bullion Employee Benefit Trust Misfeasance claim.
  • Acting for a national corporate recovery and insolvency specialist in a multi-million pound bankruptcy involving alleged fraudulent conduct.
  • Acting for a national corporate recovery and insolvency specialist firm in respect of a south coast construction company owing creditors over £1million.

Downs Solicitors LLP

Led by Chris Millar in Dorking, Downs Solicitors LLP is involved in all areas of insolvency law. The team has recently become increasingly active in matters involving property and cross-border aspects, and frequently acts alongside the firm's corporate and commercial practice. Millar, a specialist in contentious insolvency, offers clients 'particularly strong insolvency and general commercial experience' while Martin Steer acts in 'an enviable range of insolvency-related work' and has previously argued cases before the Court of Appeal.

Practice head(s):

Chris Millar

Other key lawyers:

Martin Steer

Testimonials

‘Downs are an outstanding regional firm with extremely good knowledge of this area of practice. They are also a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend them.’

‘Chris Millar has particularly strong insolvency and general commercial experience. He is an extremely impressive and experienced litigator.’

‘Excellent client service. Standout lawyers are Nigel Cook for transaction work and Martin Steer for litigation.’

‘With Chris Millar leading the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery team, Downs provide effective technical advice in a very efficient and timely way.  They provide pragmatic views on the way forward rather than just giving you a range of options without any real direction. Downs have had the confidence to give me advice in difficult areas and have never failed to support me 100%.’

‘Martin is an experienced litigator who seems to attract an enviable range of insolvency-related work. Typical of his team, his knowledge extends to commercial and property litigation so he is able to spot points that some insolvency specialists might miss. He is good on the law, hard-working, and excellent at presenting the bigger tactical picture to the lay client in a digestible way. He is also good fun to work with.’

‘All of the individuals I have encountered at Downs Solicitors have been very professional, technically excellent but importantly they are able to deliver advice which cuts to the heart of often complex issues in a sensitive and easy to jargon free manner. In particular, I have enjoyed working with Charmaine Dudman who has shown a great attention to detail and excellent technical knowledge.’

‘Martin Steer has always provided updates as required, without the need for chasing at any point. He has also provided advice when required, explaining matters in a clear and concise way.’

‘The team members have experience not just of insolvency work but of broader commercial and property litigation. In broad terms, this means two things: that the team has access to work other than from traditional insolvency channels; and that in performing that work, the team can spot related issues in different areas of practice which might otherwise be lost on an insolvency specialist.’

Key clients

Piper Thompson

PKF Geoffrey Martin

CVR Global

Bailey Ahmed

MBI Coakley

WSM Marks Bloom

Crowe UK

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on a broad range of insolvency matters, including pre-pack sales, the acquisition of assets from an insolvent company, and the appointment of administrators. The team also handles litigation related to insolvency. Practice head Ian Wood-Smith has over 20 years advising on insolvencies and restructurings, and the team receives instructions from both national and regional insolvency practitioners, as well as companies and boards of directors.

Practice head(s):

Ian Wood-Smith

Key clients

KRE Corporate Recovery

Quantuma LLP

Deanestor

BDO

Work highlights

  • Advised two partners at KRE Corporate Recovery LLP on a multimillion pound pre-pack sale of a global slipper manufacturer and further advised on a claim against the company in liquidation.
  • Advised Deanestor Limited on the purchase and assignment of the intellectual property of a commercial furniture manufacturer and installation specialist which had appointed administrators.
  • Advised KRE Corporate Recovery LLP on their appointment as administrators and issues arising out of the administration of a technology consultancy business.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP is known for its work advising on insolvencies in the drinks and hospitality sectors, assisting on matters such as the acquisition or disposal of assets owned by insolvent companies. The firm's experience also extends to advising insolvency practitioners on administrations and liquidations across a range of other sectors. The practice also supports the firm's corporate and real estate teams on insolvency-related matters. With offices in Milton Keynes and Oxford, the insolvency team is co-headed by Simon Hobbs  in Milton Keynes and Duncan Crine in Oxford. Hobbs has experience in both contentious and non-contentious insolvencies, while Crine specialises in litigation.

Practice head(s):

Simon Hobbs; Duncan Crine

Key clients

FRP

Quantuma

Mazars

Wilkins Kennedy

Work highlights

  • Advising Opus on the appointment of administrators for Basingstoke-based Gematech and advising on effecting the sale of the business and assets.
  • Advising Mazars on the appointment of administrators for Milton Keynes-based Saxon Bridge Automotive.
  • Acting for FRP Advisory against former directors of company in administration in relation to alleged loans taken by them and alleged wrongful trading.

PDT Solicitors

PDT Solicitors advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring matters, and in particular has a proven track record advising on invoice finance and asset-based lending. The team is also increasingly active in the area of personal insolvencies. The practice is led by William Angas and Dawn Shadwell. Angas, who also leads the firm's dispute resolution team, specialises in insolvency litigation, particularly in the recovery of unlawful dividends or unauthorised renumeration from shareholders and directors. Shadwell handles much of the team's advisory work.

Practice head(s):

William Angas; Dawn Shadwell

Spratt Endicott

Based in Banbury, Spratt Endicott handles both contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring matters. The practice frequently acts in tandem with other Spratt Endicott teams such as debt recovery, employment, and property litigation. Led by associate Petra van Dijk, the team advises both creditors and debtors. Van Dijk is particularly experienced in litigation, but also advises on transactions related to insolvent businesses and the appointment of administrators.

Practice head(s):

Petra van Dijk

Testimonials

‘The firm is a full service Oxfordshire law firm which acts both for regional clients and a number of international companies. This gives them a breadth of expertise which can be adapted to any given situation.’

‘I have worked with Petra Van Dijk for a number of years in both commercial litigation and insolvency matters. She has a thorough understanding of the technicalities of insolvency law, as well as the commercial realities under which most insolvency practitioners operate.’

Key clients

Critchleys

BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency

Begbies Traynor (Central)

John Harlow Insolvency & Corporate Recovery

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors represents clients including asset-based lenders, banks, directors of companies, creditors and other stakeholders and debtors, handling both contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. The team also receives referrals from insolvency practitioners, advising on matters such as the appointment of administrators and liquidators and the realisation of assets. The practice is led by Barry Niven, who has experience of a wide range of corporate and personal insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Barry Niven

Key clients

KRE Corporate Recovery

Wilkins Kennedy

Furley Page Solicitors

Led by Peter Hawkes, the team at Furley Page Solicitors advises on bankruptcies, director disqualification proceedings, and winding-up proceedings, amongst other insolvency and restructuring issues. Clients include directors, individual business-owners, and corporate entities. The firm is particularly active in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Hawkes also serves as head of the firm's dispute resolution team; George Crofton-Martin is another key contact in the insolvency team.

Practice head(s):

Peter Hawkes

Other key lawyers:

George Crofton-Martin

Key clients

Exclusive Furniture

Grupo Antolin Leamington/Grupo Antolin

Breakthrough Funding

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Tara

Tara Plant Hire

Work highlights

  • Advising Gupo Antolin Leamington/Grupo Antolin UK on five separate proceedings commenced by a vexatious litigant, seeking and obtaining costs orders against the litigant and petitioning his bankruptcy.
  • Advising Breakthrough Funding following compulsory winding up against four companies (all with costs orders on a full indemnity basis) and the Claimant’s preferred choice of liquidator has been appointed. Working closely with the Official Receiver who has interviewed the directors of the companies involved and are considering bringing disqualification proceedings against the directors.
  • Advising the directors of Exclusive Furniture in relation to the Directors Conduct Report both pre and post submission which stemmed from the winding up of another related company.

stevensdrake

Led by Gavin Pickering, stevensdrake specialises in advising creditors, acting in conjunction with the firm's debt recovery practice. The firm is particularly involved in acting for asset-based lenders. Additionally, they also receive instructions from directors on Insolvency Act claims, and advise the firm's commercial clients on insolvency-related issues that arise in the course of the business.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Pickering

Testimonials

‘Gavin Pickering has vast experience in personal insolvency and is a good technical individual in the field.’

Tees Law

Tees Law has a track record of defending directors and other individuals involved in insolvencies against litigation, such as allegations of fraud and misfeasance. The practice is led by David Perry, who often receives work through referrals from insolvency practitioners and accountants. The team is praised for its 'depth of knowledge'.

Practice head(s):

David Perry

Testimonials

‘Our business has a very diverse range of clients with an equally diverse range of issues. We have always found Tees Law to be able to find someone able to give sound advice from their previous experiences which in turn has given us confidence in the advice we have passed on to our clients. They are not a company which reaches for the “charge clock” as soon as initial advice is requested. There is certainly depth of knowledge within the team.’

‘Our primary contact is David Perry who we have consulted with over a number of years. We have always found him to have a wealth of knowledge in the field of insolvency and happy to give his opinion on clients issues whether the company be a major limited company or small sole trader. Although the actual case may be handled by one of his staff we have always found that he continues to maintain an interest and able to discuss the issues that may be involved. You get a straight answer to a straight question.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

Brett Business Recovery