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Insolvency and corporate recovery in South East

Boyes Turner

Boyes Turner's practice is characterised by the range and complexity of its work, with the firm being instructed in contentious and non-contentious matters, a portion of which has a cross-border dimension. Reflective of its first-rate reputation, the firm acts for a sizeable number of insolvency practitioners nationwide. Practice head Phil Smith and recently promoted partner Oliver Fitzpatrick are the names to note at the firm, which excels in handling administrations, LPA receiverships, sales of insolvent businesses and contentious corporate/personal insolvency matters. Smith is acting for the security trustee for the senior lenders of the energy company, Arlington Infrastructure Limited, which went into administration in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Phil Smith

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Fitzpatrick

Testimonials

‘A genuine specialist department within a multi-disciplinary regional powerhouse. Quick to react and always with pinpoint accurate advice. Experts in their field led by Phil Smith and Oliver Fitzpatrick.’

For me they are the unparalleled best insolvency specialist; often punching above their weight and outwitting far larger organisations.’

‘Oliver Fitzpatrick is always responsive and equally comfortable providing highly technical analysis or commercial advice. Always my ‘go to’ solicitor. Highly personable and very easy to work with.’

‘Phil Smith is an incredibly experienced head of insolvency; again equally adept at being commercial or highly technical.

‘Strong team with good strength in depth.’

‘Phil Smith is a very experienced and commercial lawyer.’

‘Oliver Fitzpatrick is a very good young lawyer. Proactive and commercial.’

Key clients

KPMG

Manolete Partners

BDO

C Hoare & Co

HJS Recovery

CMB Partners

Begbies Traynor

Smith & Williamson

Harrisons Business Recovery

Antony Batty & Company

Work highlights

  • Advising the Joint Administrators of payday lender DJS (UK) Limited, aka “PiggyBank”, with particular emphasis of analysing and reporting on the validity of almost 50 different securities and dealing with competing claims regarding their validity and priority status.
  • Acting for the Trustee in Bankruptcy of Vernon James Burke, a former solicitor who was struck-off by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal in 2017.
  • Acting for the joint liquidator of Cradle Arc Plc, a company with shareholdings in various mineral exploration projects in Africa.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans' credentials as a market-leader are reflected by the breadth and complexity of its work for a wide range of stakeholders in the insolvency and corporate recovery arena. Led by Suzanne Brooker, the team acts for clients such as insolvency practitioners, banks, investors, directors and creditors. In one matter, Brooker and legal director David Williams are acting for the joint administrators on the administration of Oyster Marine Limited and Oyster Marine Holdings Limited. Elsewhere, other key workstreams include advice on restructurings, exit strategies, receiverships, liquidations and CVAs. In a notable development, Alexander Wood joined from Coffin Mew LLP in 2020. Stacey Jones and Rick Munro are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Brooker

Other key lawyers:

Stacey Jones; Alexander Wood; Rick Munro; David Williams

Testimonials

‘Suzanne Brooker, Stacey Jones and the team are easy to talk to and offer great advice on all matters.’

‘The team at BDP Pitmans constantly demonstrate a genuine desire to impress their clients. Whether it is their first engagement or 10th engagement they strive to improve the work they deliver to clients across all divisions of the business.’

‘Stacey Jones is, without a doubt, the best insolvency lawyer I have had the privilege of working with. Her work ethic and desire to complete any assignment when she says and with the best possible outcome for all stakeholders sets a precedent from which others should be judged. Her relentless pursuit for personal development is refreshing to experience first hand.’

‘Agile team with a broad skillset that achieves an excellent balance of technical knowledge and commerciality in challenging situations. Work with their clients in a collaborative and flexible way, but equally as effective in delivering defined scope advice on request in a focused manner.’

‘Stacey Jones has a strong personality and is clear in her advice. Provides the clients with confidence in her and her team.’

‘Very good strength in depth, wide range of experience.’

‘Stacey Jones is an exceptional young lawyer. Amazing work ethic and very practical advice.’

‘The restructuring and corporate insolvency team at BDB Pitmans are elite. They are super responsive and always go the extra mile.’

Key clients

KPMG LLP

PwC

FRP Advisory

BDO LLP

Begbies Traynor (formerly CVR Global LLP)

Opus Restructuring

Quantuma LLP

UHY Hacker Young LLP

RSM

Azets Holdings Limited (formerly Wilkins Kennedy LLP)

Work highlights

  • Advised KPMG on the need to appoint administrators as part of an overall restructuring and on the successful sale of the business and assets, preserving jobs and the “Oyster” brand.
  • Advising the Trustees in Bankruptcy with the realisation of a bankruptcy assets worth more than £12m and adjudication of bankruptcy claims which total more than £24m.
  • Advising Natural Resources Wales on treatment of civil penalties to be paid to Regulators of power stations for emissions and impact of those and wider policies on conduct of administration and CVA of power station operators

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's first-rate team, which is led by James Hyne , demonstrates expertise in fraud cases and high-value insolvency litigation, transactions related to company restructurings (such as pre-pack administrations and CVAs) and advice to directors and creditors prior to formal insolvencies, among other areas. Roger Elford specialises in property insolvency matters, while senior associate Melania Constable is recommended for advice on sales and acquisitions of insolvent businesses. In addition to being a major player in the domestic market, the firm is also a first port of call in cross-border insolvencies and restructurings. Its work spans a number of industries, including retail, real estate and sport. Recent highlights included acting for an investor on the collapse of the Carlauren group of companies.

Practice head(s):

James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Roger Elford; Melania Constable

Testimonials

‘The partners and associates are very hands-on. They always have the interests of their clients in their minds and are not afraid to give good direct advice. They are also one of the more diverse groups in the restructuring and insolvency world.’

‘Roger Elford is extremely competent and really good with clients. Really clever but never big headed. Always listens carefully to more junior members of the team and gives them a lot of responsibility so that they learn although he is always there supervising.’

‘Mel Constable is a really brilliant senior associate. A real team player. ’

‘James Hyne is one of the brightest and sharpest insolvency lawyers in the market. Quick, extremely commercial and able to grasp the nub of the problem quickly. And has buckets of charm!’

‘James Hyne – commercially excellent. Roger Elford – combines excellent technical knowledge with a practical approach.’

‘They get the job done with talented lawyers, who are genuinely nice to work with. Commercial and pragmatic, they think about and put the client’s needs front and centre. Very good communicators and always responsive out of hours. They seem to work hard on developing teams and it’s good to see strong evidence of diversity within the teams.’

‘James Hyne is a no-nonsense but nonetheless thoughtful insolvency lawyer, with a sharp eye for the right answer. Always keeps an eye on the big picture and frames his advice and legal strategy accordingly. Good fun to work with.’

‘Roger Elford has extensive and wide-ranging technical expertise in all aspects of restructuring and insolvency. Commercially astute and pragmatic in advice. Good fun to work with.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse (UK) Limited

AlixPartners Services UK LLP

Deloitte UK LLP

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Grant Thornton UK Limited

Moore Kingston Smith LLP

KRE Corporate Recovery

Alvarez & Marsal

KPMG UK Limited

Leonard Curtis Business Recovery

James Cowper Kreston

FRP Advisory Limited

Begbies Traynor Corporate Recovery

MBI Coakley Restructuring and Insolvency

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Central Bank of Bahrain

Work highlights

  • Advised the administrators of JB Global Limited on their appointment as administrations and the pre-pack administration sale of the company’s assets and business known as Oak Furnitureland to Davidson Kempner Capital Management.
  • Acting as External Administrator of Bahraini bank, Awal Bank B.S.C, appointed by Bahrain’s banking regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain. Continuing to pursue the recovery of Awal’s $5.8bn of balance sheet assets, whilst defending those assets from hostile creditor.
  • Continuing to advise the joint liquidators of LBGP on the winding-up of 5 collective investment schemes arising out of the Lehman Brothers insolvency with claims exceeding $1bn.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Cripps Pemberton Greenish's insolvency and restructuring practice leverages the firm's strengths in commercial litigation and corporate work. On the non-contentious side, practitioners are sought after in intra-group reorganisations, solvent schemes of arrangement, demergers and pre-sale restructurings. Contentious work covers claims arising from antecedent transactions and breaches of directors' duties, as well as winding-up petitions, among other matters. As part of an ongoing trend, the firm has seen an uptick in administrations and insolvency litigation. The practice is led by Joanna Ford, who led a cross-departmental team that acted for Crowe UK LLP as the administrators of Simply Scuba Limited in 2020. Other members of the group include managing associate John Kirkwood and contentious insolvency specialist Hannah Proctor, who was recently promoted to senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Ford

Other key lawyers:

John Kirkwood; Hannah Proctor

Testimonials

‘A diverse team, very knowledgeable.’

‘Hannah Proctor is very competent leading claims/defences relating to directors duties disputes and claims arising post-insolvency. She understands the key issues and proactively deals with issues that arise. She is someone you want on your team. ’

‘Jo Ford thinks clearly, works hard for her clients and gets the right result.’

‘The people in this team are empathetic, professional, personable, thorough and dedicated with superb specialist knowledge and make everything seem so effortless given the unprecedented year we have been through.’

‘So personable and kind without losing their edge for a moment. Joanna Ford has been a guide and a rock throughout some very challenging times.’

The commercial advice was very positive and practical and not lost in legalese wording. Cripps positive responses to the two matters they dealt with for me were efficient, timely and effective in demonstrating that the claims was of no substance. For one of the claims, other national law firms were involved but Cripps was not overshadowed by them and took the lead in our response. The other major matter is that their fees were extremely reasonable and significantly lower than if I had used a London firm.’

‘The partner I dealt with was Joanna Ford. I found her accessibility outstanding compared to my experience of other firms.She was always available to discuss matters as they arose and to give practical advice – a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

The Conduit

Crowe U.K. LLP

Quantuma LLP

Cadogan Estates Limited

Green Box Recycling (Kent) Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Edge Recovery Limited

East Kent College

FRP Advisory Trading Limited

Smith & Williamson LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised The Conduit, a private members’ club in Mayfair, on its financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing winding-up petition issued by its landlord.
  • Acted for EKC Group on the acquisition of a further education college from the Hadlow Group, the country’s first education administration.
  • Acted for the defendants in a reported six-day High Court trial concerning breach of directors’ duties.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's team in Reading is led by Nicola Kirk, who has practised in the Thames Valley market since 1995, and is experienced in highly complex insolvencies, restructurings and other engagements. With the group forming a key part of a large national practice, it is a strong choice for high-profile assignments in the South East and further afield. Illustrative of the firm's excellent reputation, it undertakes a significant amount of work for the largest and most active insolvency practitioners nationally. In addition, other key clients include directors, creditors, shareholders, landlords/tenants and investors. Kirk has leading the advice to RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP as the administrators of a construction company. Elsewhere, the firm has expertise in matters concerning civil fraud, tax evasion, investigations, proceeds of fraud recoveries and fraud prevention, among others. It also handles bankruptcies, statutory demands and matters concerning directors' duties.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Kirk (Reading); Mark Wilson (National)

Testimonials

‘Advice is explained and delivered in a clear and robust manner, but most importantly demonstrates excellent clarity of thought. I have found this particularly useful when dealing with more unusual and complex legal matters and have been particularly appreciative of how quickly matters are turned around.’

‘Great technical abilities with a down-to-earth team that gives you commercial, not just legal, advice.’

‘Good straightforward advice from a very knowledgeable team.’

‘Nicola Kirk is a very experienced but extremely approachable lawyer.

‘Nicola Kirk is my primary contact ; hardworking, well connected and very able.’

‘Nicola Kirk – really cares about doing an exceptional job every time.’

‘The team is always available to offer advice and is approachable no matter how large or small the matter is.’

‘The team is strong in client relations and case management. The team does not shy away from difficult points but faces into them and finds answers to difficult questions.’

Key clients

BDO

Grant Thornton

Quantuma

Azets Holdings

RSM Restructuring Advisory

KPMG

Leonard Curtis

EY LLP

PwC LLP

Cable Capital Partners

Metro Bank

RBS Invoice Finance

KRE Corporate Recovery

James Cowper Creston

PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co

FRP Advisory

Deloitte

Secure Trust Bank

HSBC Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cable Capital Partners on the purchase and recapitalisation of the marine services firm, Marine and Towage Services Group Limited.
  • Acting for Leonard Curtis Limited as the administrators of Spud-u-Like Limited and its associated companies T&G Fast Foods Developments Limited, Courts Quality Foods Limited and Spudulike Group Limited on property-related matters relating to the 37 retail sites and the sale of the business and certain assets.
  • Acting for Quantuma Advisory Limited on a variety of corporate and personal insolvency matters. Instructions have included acting for the administrators in the negotiation and completion of sale and purchase agreements for the business and assets of various companies, as well as advice on property matters and a variety of contentious matters, including advising Trustees in Bankruptcy on the sale and realisation of assets and property court proceedings.

Moore Barlow

At Moore Barlow, practice head Heather Dobson holds a non-appointment-taking insolvency licence and her standing in the market is further reflected by her work for insolvency practitioners, directors, creditors and lenders, among other clients. Another key individual is Rebecca Chaplin, who (like Dobson) has a strong track in corporate and personal insolvency work. The team collectively advises on administrations, winding-up petitions, restructurings and reorganisations, and tax-efficient exit planning, as well as matters involving an interface between insolvency and property/family law.

Practice head(s):

Heather Dobson

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Chaplin

Testimonials

‘Excellent staff with good communication and flexibility. The partners are happy to integrate with our team to work together and achieve the best results.’

‘Heather Dobson and Rebecca Chaplin always find time to give us and our cases the appropriate attention despite how busy they are.’

‘High level of technical knowledge about a complex area of law, very strong work ethic.’

‘Heather Dobson is a specialist insolvency lawyer; very experienced, very sound, very reliable. Rebecca Chaplin is also very good, and adds useful litigation experience to balance the team.’

‘Great team – all partners are excellent and professional, extremely competent and available. They have good delivery and contact is relevant and maintained throughout.’

‘Heather Dobson – very competent, friendly and approachable, understanding, commercial and reliable.’

‘Very responsive and grasp issues swiftly. Appropriate cutting edge advice. Go the extra mile when required to do so. Get the job done.’

‘Heather Dobson and Rebecca Chaplain for superb advice, highlighting potential pitfalls and ensuring that such pitfalls are avoided. Both really know their stuff.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

Benedict Mackenzie

FRP Advisory

James Cowper Kreston

Kewans

Kirks

KPMG

Mazars

McTear Williams & Wood

Menzies

Moore Kingston Smith

Moorfields Corporate Recovery

PKF GM

Portland Business and Financial Solutions

Quantuma

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Work highlights

  • Advising the administrators on the pre-pack administration of a car manufacturing and racing team.
  • Advising the liquidators on complex creditor claims connected with the liquidation of Experto Credite Limited.
  • Advising a bankrupt on a highly complex and contentious bankruptcy.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP distinguishes itself in insolvency matters with a nexus to insurance and other sectors in the financial services arena; David Steinberg has an outstanding reputation in this space. In addition, the firm is well-known for handling high-profile assignments in the retail/casual dining industry. The practice covers a full spectrum of mandates for clients, including corporate group restructurings, distressed asset sales, formal appointments and litigation. In addition to being active in the domestic market, the firm is increasingly seen in cross-border insolvency and restructuring mandates. In 2020, Steinberg, Tim Carter and managing associate Matthew Padian were among the advisers to Airpush Inc and its administrators on the pre-packaged sale through administration of the intellectual property rights and other assets of the business to Airpush Plc. Senior associate Lucy Trott is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Tim Carter; David Steinberg

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Padian; Lucy Trott

Testimonials

‘The practice has the benefit of sufficient size and resource, to enable it to compete, whilst being small enough to remain approachable and caring.’

‘I have worked with Tim Carter on a specific matter for a number of years. Not once has he failed to return my calls, or emails, promptly and has always behaved in a courteous and professional manner. He is clever, articulate and applies innovation and practicality to his proposals. He has shown immense stamina and commitment to our case, from the outset. A good man to have in your corner.’

‘Pragmatic advice from a knowledgeable partner, Tim Carter. He has given us an appropriate amount of time and it has been easy to maintain contact with him. Lawyers can so often talk down to clients – Tim Carter does not do so. His advice and input has given the directors a good level of comfort during a difficult period.’

‘ They provide magic circle advice and service at regional law firm prices.’

‘ David Steinberg – professional, practical, easy to work with and very responsive. ’

‘A regional powerhouse in insolvency. Quality team and a highly effective approach.’

Key clients

Jascots Wine Merchants Limited (in administration) and administrators from RSM

Airpush, Inc.

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

Pizza Hut UK Limited

BDO – liquidators of Collateral UK Limited

Ernst & Young, as insolvency officeholders appointed to The Home Insurance Company and to CX Reinsurance Company Limited

The Directors of Casual Dining Limited

Celtic Roads Group (Waterford) DAC

Work highlights

  • Advised Pizza Hut Restaurants Limited on devising and implementing a company voluntary arrangement with its landlords and other creditors during the pandemic.
  • Advised Irish toll road operator Celtic Roads (Waterford) DAC on implementing an English law scheme of arrangement with its financial creditors.
  • Advised Jascots Wine Merchants Limited (in administration)/administrators (RSM) on both the sale of the company’s subsidiary and business and assets.

Birketts LLP

At Birketts LLP, legal director Matthew Weston and associate William Arran are the key contacts in the Chelmsford office, with Laurence Weeks in Cambridge overseeing the team. The firm has been notably active recently in major administrations in the shipping and construction sectors. Elsewhere, it has a strong track record in insolvency litigation, with a focus on cases arising from antecedent transactions. In addition, restructurings, liquidations and receiverships, are among other areas of strength. Recent highlights included Weston acting for CVR Global on the administration of a company which ran a business selling wine online.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Weeks (Cambridge); Matthew Weston (Chelmsford)

Other key lawyers:

William Arran

Testimonials

‘Local team providing expert insolvency advice at good value.’

‘The team combines an understanding of legal problems arising in foreign jurisdictions involved in cross-border insolvency cases with business awareness.’

‘William Arran is analytical, attentive to detail and a clear communicator. He tackles problems quickly while bearing in mind client objectives. ’

‘A highly experienced and impressively connected firm, does not hesitate to pull in support from other sector specialisms as necessary to get the job done.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Price Bailey

CVR Global

Mazars

Ensors

RSM (formerly Baker Tilly)

Thornton Rones

McTear Williams & Wood

Haslers

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Work highlights

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

Irwin Mitchell

Andrew Walker is the national head of Irwin Mitchell's restructuring and insolvency practice, and he also leads the specialist team in Gatwick, which excels in litigation and advisory work. The firm is increasingly instructed in complex international mandates, as was evidenced recently when Walker and others acted for Mazars on the administration of Supremia International Limited. Other clients turning to the firm for advice on a wide range of distressed and insolvency scenarios include corporates, shareholders, private equity funds, banks and asset-based lenders.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Walker

Testimonials

‘Irwin Mitchell have an excellent nationwide team of partners and staff. They are perfectly placed to provide quality advice across a range of sectors.’

‘Andrew Walker is one of the standout partners in bringing knowledge and advice in the areas of business recovery and insolvency. Andrew provides concise advice on matters that are often particularly challenging. ’

‘Well rounded team, offering a good level of expertise and value for money.’

‘Andrew Walker – very knowledgeable with a good commercial attitude.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank PLC

National Westminster Bank PLC

Lloyds Bank PLC

RSM

Begbies Traynor

Close Brothers Invoice Finance

Mazars

Duff & Phelps

SME Invoice Finance (aka Metro Bank ABL)

FRP

BDO

Smith & Williamson

Menzies

Quantuma

Kreston Reeves

MHA McIntyre Hudson

KPMG

Arbuthnot Latham ABL

CVR Global Kent (now Begbies)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Smith & Williamson on the sale of Bishop’s Move to AGM Relocations Limited.
  • Advising Mazars LLP and the lenders on the appointment of administrators over Supremia International Limited, in light of the complex directorship and shareholding position, following the insolvency of a number of international group companies.
  • Acting for the liquidators of a company which dealt with the purchase and maintenance of aviation components including determining ownership of substantial monies held and whether subject to a Quistclose or other trust based on collateral evidence as well as having to deal with complex insurance issues arising as a result of Storm Dennis.

Isadore Goldman

Insolvency and restructuring boutique Isadore Goldman is particularly highly reputed for insolvency disputes and litigation, including cases involving alleged fraud, personal insolvency, directors disqualification, property and construction; director Nick Oliver, who heads up the practice, has a track record in this space dating back more than 20 years. In 2020, he was the lead adviser to Spotcap Netherlands (as a lender creditor) on a contested winding-up petition. Reflective of the team's reputation, in addition to attract mandates regionally, it generates a strong flow of referral work nationally. Also notable is that the firm is often seen in litigation and fraud-related matters that have a cross-border dimension; recent mandates involved jurisdictions such as Belgium, Gibraltar, India and the US. On the non-contentious side, director Stephen Ryde-Weller is experienced in asset sales and reorganisations. Consultant David Oliver is another key figure.

Practice head(s):

Nick Oliver

Other key lawyers:

David Oliver; Stephen Ryde-Weller

Testimonials

‘Nick Oliver demonstrates an extraordinary grasp of the law in complex matters, is diligent, hugely able, and compassionate. He has always made himself available to advise me and I cannot speak highly enough about the service he provides. His supporting team reflect his concern for a friendly, professional approach. I have no reservations in my satisfaction with his work.’

‘An original South Coast powerhouse. Very experienced at acting for insolvency practitioners and directors, covering all aspects of insolvency law.’

‘Nick Oliver is incredibly hard working and commercially focused with a huge knowledge of insolvency law.’

‘I have been, and remain, extremely impressed with Isadore Goldman. They are one of the few insolvency boutiques and are experts in both corporate and personal insolvency matters. In the insolvency sector, a lot of firms have small insolvency teams where the specialist knowledge is based. Isadore Goldman is strong across the board as they specialise in this area of law.’

‘Nick Oliver is an extremely experienced insolvency lawyer with an excellent technical understanding of insolvency law. He would be my first port of call on an insolvency matter.’

‘Isadore Goldman punches above its weight in terms of the type and value of insolvency matters that it deals with. It offers a small but talented team of lawyers at every level of qualification.’

‘Nick Oliver – fantastically knowledgeable, personable, and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘I have worked with Nick Oliver for a number of years. He is a high calibre insolvency specialist, with excellent client skills and his ability to think out of the box is second to none. If I was asked to summarise him in one word it would be ‘outstanding’.’ 

Key clients

Investec Bank Plc / Investec Asset Finance Plc

RSM

Portland Business and Finance Solutions

McTear, Williams & Wood

BDO

Griffins

Grant Thornton

KPMG

Quantuma (Insolvency Practitioners

Mazars

Purnells (Insolvency Practitioners

Hereford Capital

Spotcap

Pay 4

FRP

CVR

Work highlights

  • Acted for individual and company defending claims brought by a trustee in bankruptcy, including successful appeal to Court of Appeal. The case involved complex technical arguments regarding the interpretation of the Insolvency (England & Wales) Rules 2016.
  • Acted for administrators at longstanding client Quantuma in respect of the sale of the business of Pixipixel (in administration) to Merino Private Equity LLP, a complex transaction requiring advice on a range of legal issues including security held by third parties.
  • Advised liquidators at Portland Business and Finance Solutions in relation to the investigation of the use of tax schemes by a number of companies and the claims that arose as a result against the directors and third parties.

Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP now houses three specialist restructuring and insolvency partners in Southampton, with Rebecca Walker having joined the firm from Irwin Mitchell in 2020. Practice head Nick Keitley and Melia Hirst are the other key partners in the group, which is best known for its involvement in non-contentious work, including administrator and liquidator appointments, insolvency and LPA receivership appointments involving property assets, and solvent restructurings. It is notably active in the charities, hospitality and leisure, marine and healthcare sectors. Keitley is leading a cross-practice team which is acting for RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP on the administration of Food & Fuel Limited.

Practice head(s):

Nick Keitley

Other key lawyers:

Melia Hirst; Rebecca Walker

Testimonials

‘Nick Keitley is a quality solicitor. His knowledge is second to none and he is hugely approachable. We have also been pleased with the quality of work from Melia Hirst, who is an excellent lawyer, approachable and friendly.’

‘The team clearly have a wealth of experience in dealing with companies and organisations in distress. This experience covers a number of business sectors and also insight from their work with other professionals such as IPs and accountancy firms.’

‘Having worked with Melia Hirst on a number of matters including the provision of in house training, we found Melia to be highy knowledgeable with lots of experience. Melia provides sound commercially focused solutions that we could take forward.’

Working with Melia Hirst feels more like a collaboration rather than an engement of external legal resource. Her no nonsense and plain talking style is very much appreciated by the legal and senior leadership team.’

‘Nick Keitley and Melia Hirst offer a one stop insolvency law service, particularly on the transactional side of things.’

‘Nick is probably the most experienced transactional insolvency lawyer, takes things calmly and works out the best way to achieve what they want.

Melia Hirst’s attention to detail is second to none, she misses nothing whilst delivering outstanding service to clients. She is also experienced in insolvency litigation.’

‘Melia Hirst is an absolute delight to work with. She is extremely personable, but also very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor (incorporating CVR Global)

BTG Advisory

FRP Advisory Trading Limited

James Cowper Kreston

JWS Business Recovery

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Menzies LLP

Moore UK

Moorfields Advisory

Portland Business & Financial Solutions Limited

Quantuma Advisory Trading Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Santander Bank

Smith & Williamson LLP

White Maund LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised on the appointment of the administrators of Chiquito Limited, which operated the Mexican themed national restaurant chain. The appointment took place in March 2020 following the onset of the pandemic, which forced the company to close all of its restaurants.
  • Advised Smith and Williamson LLP on the administration of the Southampton Nuffield Theatre Trust, which operated two theatres in the City of Southampton and at the Southampton University campus (in the latter case, for nearly 40 years). The appointment took place in the wake of the pandemic, which forced the theatres to close.
  • Advised the administrators on the administration of Aronex Developments, which operated a buy-to-let investment scheme selling long-leasehold units in hotels and student accommodation blocks in its development portfolio, including to overseas purchasers.

Paris Smith LLP

Mike Pavitt leads Paris Smith LLP's corporate restructuring and insolvency practice, which serves a diverse client base including companies, lenders directors and other individuals. The firm is also highly regarded by insolvency practitioners, as is evidenced by the fact that it generates a strong flow of referrals from KPMG, RSM and Quantuma, among various others. Pavitt, who has focused almost exclusively on insolvency since qualifying as a solicitor in 1999, undertakes a mix of contentious, non-contentious and technical advisory work. In 2020, he advised the joint liquidators of Kinsale Construction LLP on prospective claims against two former members, one living and one deceased, for an account of assets, transactions and actions undertaken by them in respect of the business's final period of trading.

Practice head(s):

Mike Pavitt

Testimonials

‘I always know and take comfort that when I engage the team I will get solid legal advice. It so important these days and often key when looking to achieve a recovery for the benefit of creditors.’

‘Headed by the hugely experienced Mike Pavitt, the team covers all aspects of insolvency law, both contentious and non-contentious. Now also act for litigation funders.’

‘Mike Pavitt has worked in insolvency for years and should be treated as a leading insolvency lawyer and not just in the south. He is, without doubt, one of the best insolvency lawyers in the south. His practice covers personal and individual insolvency. He puts his heart and should into a case, without losing sight of the commercial needs of a client. He goes the extra mile.’

‘The insolvency team are accessible and down to earth; providing timely, relevant and sound advice. They explain in plain terms the consequences of any courses of action and provide realistic solutions and clear advice.’

‘Mike Pavitt provides detailed knowledge and foresight of potential consequences of actions. Always confirms own instructions, provides fullest information and clear recommendations.’

‘The team has a strong technical knowledge for both contentious and non contentious matters. It is well supported by a wider practice.’

‘The team at Paris Smith, ably led by Mike Pavitt, provides a responsive, value for money service. Instead of just saying they are client-focused, they demonstrate this in all they do.’

‘Mike Pavitt’s knowledge of the both the law and of the way in which the insolvency profession operates is second to none. He is an able practitioner who is nevertheless willing to listen to alternative views.’

Key clients

Hampshire Trust Bank

Interbay Funding Limited

James Cowper LLP

KPMG

Kreston Reeves LLP

Manolete Partners PLC

Mayflower Theatre Trust Limited

Peter Hall SKS Benedict Group

Quantuma Advisory Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Work highlights

  • After Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) went into administration in 2020, the firm advised Mayflower Theatre Trust Limited on the administration purchase and bidding process, which saw Mayflower Theatre take over the NST City site.
  • Acted for Manolete Partners PLC and secured judgment with damages to be assessed against one de jure director, with proceedings continuing against a de facto, disqualified director.

Birkett Long LLP

Birkett Long LLP, which primarily generates work from clients in the East Anglia and Essex region, is primarily known for handling contentious work for insolvency practitioners and individual directors; areas of activity in this space include nil-asset recovery actions and proceedings brought under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Practice head Kevin Sullivan, who has over 20 years of contentious insolvency law experience, works with senior associate Tracy England.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Sullivan

Other key lawyers:

Tracy England

Testimonials

‘They take great care to understand the issues and research the legal context pertaining to the issue before making recommendations. This has given us a competitive edge in negotiation and resolution of the problems. They are responsive and proactive towards meeting deadlines and effective at sourcing and briefing legal counsel where appropriate.’

‘Extremely prompt responses, very practical and good commercial advice. Very commercial and excellent value for money.’

‘Excellent relationship with team. Good understanding of insolvency legislation and innovative approach to case progression.’

‘Very proactive and can mange all issues. They are led well and have a sound base of quality through all areas I need.’

‘Kevin Sullivan is very personable, responsive and a technically good lawyer. He is methodical and commercial in approach. He is aware of costs and always has an eye on the finishing line and doesn’t get distracted from that, which some lawyers can do.’

‘A small team but with a depth of expertise to rival much bigger competitors. The team is extremely experienced and is a safe pair of hands on corporate and personal insolvency matters and cross-over matters such as shareholder disputes. Their mixed corporate and IP client base gives them an enviable perspective lost by some more partisan firms.’

‘Kevin Sullivan is excellent. A careful strategist who leaves no stone unturned for his clients. He is a formidable litigator but also provides pragmatic commercial advice to his clients.’

Key clients

Larking Gowen LLP

FRP Advisory Trading Ltd

McTear, Williams & Wood Ltd

Price Bailey LLP

Moore Kingston Smith & Partners LLP

CVR Global LLP (now part of Begbies Traynor)

Bretts Business Recovery Ltd

LB Insolvency Solutions Ltd

DKF Insolvency Ltd

InsolvePlus

Work highlights

  • Acted for two insolvency practitioners from FRP Advisory Trading Ltd as liquidators of a company in the pursuit of a civil recovery claim worth in excess of £800,000 against two directors. The claim went to a two-day trial where the Judge found in favour of the liquidators on all heads of claim awarding them c.£1m including interest.
  • Acted for one of the joint liquidators (from Moore Kingston Smith & Partners LLP) of a company in relation to sizeable misfeasance claims against the director following significant payments made out of the company in the period leading up to and after presentation of the winding up petition.
  • Acted for an insolvency practitioner from Bretts Business Recovery Ltd as liquidator of a company in relation to claims against the two directors which included recovery of unlawful dividends and the misapplication of company funds whereby the directors made payments for their personal benefit and that of another associated company.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP acts for nearly all of the insolvency practitioners operating in the Thames Valley region, as well as those in London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Southampton. In addition, the firm's client roster includes banks, directors and investors. Practice head Katie James has extensive expertise in the gamut of formal and informal insolvency arrangements. In 2020, she led the advice to Begbies Traynor as the proposed administrators of a carpentry business on a pre-pack sale. Elsewhere, James has particular expertise in distressed care homes, having previously dealt with the administration of eight different care home groups. The firm also generates insolvency and restructuring work in connection with various other industries, including retail, leisure, manufacturing and utilities. Senior associate Andrew Murphy recently joined from Ogier.

Practice head(s):

Katie James

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Murphy

Key clients

Critchleys LLP

Rollings Butt LLP

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Manolete Partners

Begbies Traynor

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Fox Linton Limited

KPMG

Griffins

Shaw Gibbs Corporate Recovery

Work highlights

  • Advised Quantuma on the validity of security, a deed of priority and the appointment of administrators. The firm was then instructed to advise on the sale of subsidiary SPV’s valued at £14m. However, administrators were then appointed in respect of the SPV’s, which was successfully challenged.
  • Acted on the appointment of Turpin Barker Armstrong as administrators and the sale by the administrators of the business and assets of three public houses. This was a company that owned and operated seven pubs, but due to COVID had to close. Three of the pubs were considered to be salvageable, but the remaining four had to be closed. Advice was given in relation to the employees, furlough, licences to occupy, deeds of surrender, assignment of the leases as well as the sale and purchase agreement.
  • Advised Fox Linton Limited on the various options available to it with the aim of negotiating a surrender of its lease at Chelsea Harbour in London. The firm worked with BDO to review the financial position of the company and consider a sale of its assets to its parent company by way of a pre-liquidation sale. However, the landlord engaged in a negotiation process and a compromise was reached so that the liquidation was no longer necessary.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

David Murray is the head of Blandy & Blandy LLP's practice, which draws on support from other departments (including corporate, employment and property) to provide a wide range of services to insolvency practitioners, banks, directors and landlords, among others. Equally strong in contentious and non-contentious matters, the firm advises on risk management, administrations, CVAs, receiverships and insolvency-related investigations, among other areas.

Practice head(s):

David Murray

Testimonials

‘The partner in the insolvency practice was exceptional. Responsive, with clear and sensible advice which he was able to action immediately.’

Key clients

BDO LLP

Quantuma LLP

KRE Corporate Recovery LLP

Critchleys LLP

Brachers

Brachers has a strong track record acting for insolvency practitioners from across the UK on a full range of matters. including restructurings, administrations, liquidations and bankruptcies. Graham Wallis heads up the insolvency portfolio management unit within the debt recovery team. In addition, the firm offers niche expertise in technically complex areas of insolvency, such as asset tracing; Paul Abdey is experienced in this type of work. Michael Oatham, who is the head of litigation, has 20 years of corporate insolvency experience.

Practice head(s):

Michael Oatham

Other key lawyers:

Graham Wallis; Paul Abdey

Testimonials

‘Paul Abdey – excellent, thorough instructions and very responsive.’

‘A firm with a solid insolvency litigation practice and a good understanding of the complexities that such litigation can bring. They combine a pragmatic approach with an ability to obtain results in court.’

‘Paul Abdey is both knowledgeable and good with the detail. He is also someone who is very pleasant to work with.’

Key clients

Mazars LLP

KPMG

Grant Thornton

Baker Tilly

BDO

Bretts Business Recovery

CCW Recovery Services

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Kreston Reeves

Azets (previously Wilkins Kennedy)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the joint liquidators in a claim against the sole director of Nevix Limited for misfeasance/misappropriation of company funds.
  • Acting for a company director as the third respondent in the High Court case of Beighton & Others -v- Drake, Drake and Hewitt. Re Medway Fuels Limited (in Liquidation).
  • Acting for the joint trustees in a bankruptcy case where the bankrupt purchased a property with his wife after being made bankrupt.

Coffin Mew LLP

Ian Dawes is the head of restructuring and insolvency at Coffin Mew LLP. His extensive experience of contentious matters sees him handle insolvency disputes, director’s disqualification proceedings and asset recovery cases. Senior associate Edward Bible is another name to note in the team.

DMH Stallard LLP

In February 2021, Oliver Jackson joined DMH Stallard LLP from Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP, taking over from Simon Elcock as the head of the restructuring and insolvency practice. Tim Symes joined Stewarts Law LLP in 2020. Jackson is experienced in undertaking a full spectrum of insolvency work for corporates and individuals, with a particular strength in contentious matters. The scope of the work in this space includes cases involving alleged misfeasance by directors, antecedent transactions and wrongful trading. James Colvin's experience includes insolvency-related fraud cases involving misappropriation and concealment of assets. Beyond contentious work, non-contentious mandates (in relation to corporate and personal insolvency) also drive activity. The firm undertakes a significant amount of work for insolvency practitioners in the South East and London. In addition, its client base includes company directors, banks and asset-based lenders, and investors.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Simon Elcock; James Colvin

Testimonials

‘DMH has a great reputation and strength and depth of team that means it is capable of dealing with SME and large businesses in equal ability and experience. the team at DMH is no nonsense, very practical and approachable and a first class, hands-on solicitors firm.’

‘James Colvin is an expert in the insolvency field with many years of experience and capable of providing clever solutions to complex problems.’

‘Oliver Jackson is friendly, bright and experienced and provides innovative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. his calm manner makes him ideal for dealing with clients facing a crisis.’

‘DMH Stallard have an extremely capable team of partners and staff. They have the ability to deal with complex situations and bring the relevant skills to the table to deal effectively and efficiently with the assignments. ’

‘I have worked with a number of individuals, all of whom have been able to call on the firm’s experts in different areas to deal with complex cases. James Colvin has been particularly key in driving forward some very complex and challenging business recovery and insolvency matters.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory (Brighton)

CVR Global

Quantuma

Begbies Traynor

Firestones

Compass Financial Recovery & Insolvency Limited

Frost Group

White Maund

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's multidisciplinary team is led by Ian Wood-Smith, who has more than 20 years of experience handling restructurings and corporate insolvencies. The group advises on a comprehensive range of matters, including administrations, liquidations, LPA receiverships and bankruptcies. Contentious work includes claims over wrongful and fraudulent trading, preferences and undervalues, among other areas. Bill Dixon has expertise in asset tracing and fraud-related matters, while Jeremy Parkes advises on security validity issues. In addition to having a strong regional presence, the practice has a wider geographical footprint, as is reflected by its work for insolvency practitioners nationally. Other clients include company directors, investors and funders.

Practice head(s):

Ian Wood-Smith

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Parkes; Bill Dixon; Robert Woodhouse

Key clients

KRE Corporate Recovery LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised KRE as administrators of Neptune Rum Limited, an award winning rum manufacturer, which had fallen into financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP, which is highly reputed for personal and corporate insolvency matters, has well-established relationships with a number of the most prominent insolvency practitioners in the market; clients include Quantuma, Opus, FRP and Mazars. The Milton Keynes team, which is led by Simon Hobbs, is particularly known for advising insolvency practitioners and operators in the national drinks and hospitality sector; the work in this space includes advice on the acquisition/disposal of assets of national pub and restaurant chains. In Oxford, the team supports the wider national group on various matters and also acts for companies/directors facing insolvency or allegations of wrongful trading, preferences and director malfeasances. Duncan Crine has more than 25 years of litigation experience.

Practice head(s):

Simon Hobbs; Duncan Crine

Other key lawyers:

Adam Boyd; Andrew Dashwood-Begg

Key clients

FRP

Quantuma

Mazars

Opus

Wilkins Kennedy

Fortis

PDT Solicitors

With William Angas and Dawn Shadwell at the helm, PDT Solicitors' team serves as a one-stop-shop for advice on administrations, liquidations, voluntary arrangements and fixed-charge receiverships. Elsewhere, restructurings and refinancings are other key pillars of activity and the firm's historical strength in asset-based lending and invoice finance dovetails with its insolvency work. In addition, contentious work is another mainstay of the practice; this includes cases concerning directors' misfeasance, wrongful and fraudulent trading, and antecedent transactions. Ian LindleyCraig Burton and Ben Ashworth are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

William Angas; Dawn Shadwell

Other key lawyers:

Noel Ruddy; Ian Lindley; Craig Burton; Ben Ashworth

Testimonials

‘Ben Ashworth is a personable lawyer who is very experienced and knowledgeable of bankruptcy matters.’

‘A team which punches well above its weight. Very commercial and a high partner involvement.’

‘Noel Ruddy is arguably the leader in his field. Bright and highly personable. His technical knowledge is second to none.’

‘All members of the team are always quick to help, and if any staff member is unavailable the matter is still handed by another member of staff/ the matter handed over. They are friendly and approachable and have become our ‘go to’ firm.’

‘Ian Lindley is always happy to help with obscure questions and offer ad hoc advice pre-engagement, which is something we value when deciding on an adviser, rather than being provided with a quote straight from the start and not providing any initial guidance.’

‘PDT are a responsive and knowledgeable practice. Their restructuring team are always on hand to respond swiftly to issues that may arise, quickly grasping the issue and providing strong and appropriate guidance. PDT compares favourably to other practices in the industry and as a firm, we always feel confident of receiving a quality service. The prices are also extremely competitive and the service represents value for money, which is particularly important in insolvency scenarios.’

‘Ian Lindley is an excellent lawyer. Calm and clear in his approach, Ian is an effective communicator and he has exceptional legal knowledge. Ian is also commercial too and will always provide useful commentary around issues.’

‘Dawn Shadwell is a fantastic lawyer and will be on hand to assist whenever needed.’

Key clients

Harrisons Business & Recovery Insolvency (London) Limited

Quantuma LLP

BDO LLP

SFP Restructuring Limited

Menzies LLP

Work highlights

  • Assisted in the conclusion of a long Administration involving a CCTV distributor.
  • Acted for the administrators of Mash Purveyors, a wholesale produce distributor based in London and Paris, specialising in sourcing and supplying high quality products to hotels, restaurants and food service businesses.
  • Assisted the liquidators of Event Exhibition & Design Limited with dealing with a liquidation sale of substantially all of the business and assets of an events company whose business had been severely impacted by the Covid pandemic.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious issues associated with high-profile restructurings and insolvencies. The firm has lawyers based in a number of key South East markets, including recently promoted partner Rebecca Andrews-Walker in Oxford. She is dual-qualified as a solicitor and insolvency practitioner, and has a notable niche in football insolvencies, acting for the League Managers Association, the trade union for English football managers. Other clients of the firm include insolvency practitioners, receivers, banks and corporates. The group, which also generates mandates from London-based clients and referrers, also includes Guildford-based partner David Kendall, who handles restructurings and insolvency-related corporate transactions, and John Chater in Reading, whose strengths in restructurings and insolvencies are complemented by his banking expertise.

Testimonials

‘Rebecca Andrews-Walker is very charismatic. Incredible work ethic. Very good knowledge of the law – she is also a qualified insolvency practitioner. I would certainly recommend her to anyone who I knew who faced an insolvency issue.’

‘The team is very experienced, and those individuals I work with are effective at advising their clients in a pragmatic and realistic way, always with their commercial interests in mind.’

‘Rebecca Andrews-Walker has just been made partner, which is thoroughly deserved. She is not intimidated by the macho attitude prevalent at some other larger firms. She stayed really focused and we obtained an amazing result. Nothing is too much for her – she just gets on with it.’

‘Really client-friendly and constantly ensuring the client knows what is going on and the risks. Also real thinkers out of the box providing a great service. Heavy promotion of minorities.’

‘Rebecca Andrews-Walker acted for us in respect of one particular matter, which needed to be dealt with quickly and was very important to us. Rebecca did a fabulous job at ultimately getting us an even better result than we had expected. The matter was high pressure but Rebecca always remained calm and professional.’

‘The team were sympathetic and very supportive. This type of team is handling businesses in distress and therefore it’s important to have the right bedside manner! They were great.’

‘Rebecca Andrews-Walker is friendly, communicative and easy to work with – giving commercial and focused advice.’

‘Rebecca Andrews-Walker’s depth of knowledge and experience in this area is excellent – she knows insolvency law inside and out and is very effective at delivering results for her clients. She is very personable and an excellent collaborator.’

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors is particularly active in advising insolvency practitioners in their capacities as administrators, liquidators and supervisors of CVAs. In addition, it also handles work from other stakeholders, including asset-based lenders, company directors, banks and fixed charge receivers. Barry Niven heads up the practice, which is equally strong in corporate and personal insolvency work. Robert Cherry's experience includes antecedent transactions, as well as bringing and defending wrongful trading, transactions at an undervalue and preference claims.

Practice head(s):

Barry Niven

Other key lawyers:

Robert Cherry

Key clients

KRE Corporate Recovery LLP

Azets Holdings Limited (Formerly Wilkins Kennedy LLP)

Downs Solicitors LLP

At Downs Solicitors LLP, senior partner Chris Millar and Martin Steer have a wealth of experience handling contentious personal and corporate insolvency litigation. Beyond contentious work, the firm is a strong choice for advice on pre-insolvency risk management (including refinancing and restructuring), administrations, liquidations, receiverships and CVAs. The team can also offer transactional support.

Practice head(s):

Chris Millar

Other key lawyers:

Martin Steer

Testimonials

‘Chris Millar incisively gets to and understands the point, then pragmatically provides ways forward without wedging himself on a fence.’

‘A friendly, local practice but with the depth of team to cover more complex situations.’

‘We have been working mostly with Martin Steer who is an extremely dependable litigator.’

‘Chris Millar is a very clever lawyer whose advice has been invaluable to me over the years.’

‘Responsive, realistic and commercial. Quick at understanding the commercial objectives and constraints and respond accordingly.’

Despite being based across a number of offices in Surrey, the team is hugely responsive. They have garnered a strong following amongst local businessmen, insolvency practitioners, and real estate professionals. This has enabled them to attract a calibre of work which is perhaps more regularly found at the kind of City firms that Downs routinely find themselves against.’

‘Martin Steer is an experienced litigator who seems to attract an enviable range of commercial, insolvency, and real-estate related work. He is good on the law and hard-working. However, he really excels at understanding the bigger tactical picture and explaining that bigger picture to lay clients in a digestible, reassuring way.’

‘Chris Millar is very experienced and a solid lawyer. He has a nose for the commercial answer to a problem. He gets through a huge amount of work, even leaving aside the admin and management that must comes with his role.’

Key clients

Piper Thompson

PKF Geoffrey Martin

CVR Global

Bailey Ahmed

MBI Coakley

WSM Marks Bloom

Crowe UK LLP

Furley Page Solicitors

Furley Page Solicitors advises directors on a wide ambit of issues, including directors disqualification claims and misfeasance proceedings, as well as winding-up petitions. It also acts for companies on the issue of statutory demands, notices of intention to appoint administrators and settlement agreements with liquidators/administrators. In addition to being active in corporate insolvency matters, personal insolvency work is another key workstream for the firm, with it acting for bankrupt individuals and partners of bankrupts. Peter Hawkes is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Peter Hawkes

Key clients

Grupo Antolin Leamington Limited/Grupo Antolin UK Limited

Breakthrough Funding Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Gupo Antolin Leamington Limited /Grupo Antolin UK Limited on five separate proceedings commenced by a vexatious litigant, seeking and obtaining costs orders against the litigant and petitioning for his bankruptcy and advising client on cross jurisdictional enforcement issues.
  • Advising Breakthrough Funding Limited following compulsory winding up against four companies (all with costs orders on a full indemnity basis). Working closely with the Official Receiver and Liquidator to consider disqualification proceedings against the directors.

Spratt Endicott

Petra van Dijk has been successful in growing Spratt Endicott's insolvency and restructuring practice since joining the firm in 2011. She has a particularly strong reputation in contentious insolvency matters, where she assists clients with issuing and defending against winding-up petitions, as well as claims involving wrongful trading and misfeasance, transactions at an undervalue and applications to set aside statutory demands, among other areas. Non-contentious matters are also a key workstream, including administration and liquidation asset sales. Van Dijk is ably assisted by practitioners in other departments across the firm, including corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, employment and property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Petra van Dijk

Testimonials

‘Impressive technical insolvency knowledge for the size of firm.’

‘Petra Van Dijk combines technical knowledge of insolvency with commercial common sense.’

Key clients

Critchleys

stevensdrake

stevensdrake's insolvency department, which is led by Gavin Pickering, provides a full scope of services to clients such as insolvency practitioners, company directors, asset-based lenders and creditors. On the contentious side, it is highly active in bringing and defending Insolvency Act and Companies Act claims, and also demonstrates strong credentials in directors disqualification proceedings. In addition, the department works with the debt collection group to pursue debt and asset recoveries cases on a volume basis for creditors.

Testimonials

‘Stevensdrake are a joy to work with. Their team is highly motivated and always a pleasure to talk to. Whoever you talk to, you are guaranteed to have a great interaction, as well as an opinion you can truly trust. They are quick to give a proactive steer, and they are first class in presenting the options with just the right amount of guidance to help you make an informed decision.’

Tees Law

At Tees Law, seasoned litigator David Perry attracts a strong flow of referral work from accountants, insolvency practitioners and other law firms. Under his leadership, the practice is seen as a go-to for high-value and complex contentious insolvency cases. Perry particularly excels in acting for both insolvency practitioners and individuals or directors who are faced with proceedings against them. Matters involve issues such as wrongful trading, fraud, and validity and enforcement of security, among others.

Practice head(s):

David Perry

Testimonials

‘I am impressed with the knowledge and experience of the partner I have been dealing with.’

‘The partner always responds in a timely manner, often outside of normal working hours. I am made to feel confident and supported.’

‘David Perry is the standout partner for commercial litigation. He can can be counted on for realistic, commercially savvy and almost encyclopaedic knowledge of insolvency law.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a director of a company in respect of insolvency proceedings brought against him by HMRC and the subsequent satellite litigation worth in excess of £110 million.
  • Acting for the respondents in proceedings brought by the liquidators of a holiday business against its former directors and company secretary for breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful trading.
  • Providing bespoke insolvency advice to a parent company client on debts owed to its subsidiary.