Insolvency and corporate recovery in South West

Ashfords LLP

Technically strong, efficient, reliable and always willing to help', Ashfords LLP has a ‘very strong insolvency team with a broad skillset across corporate and personal insolvency cases'. The firm has ‘lots of experience’ in transactional work, professional practice insolvency, cross-border advisory work and litigation concerning director conduct. Alan Bennett leads the team and is ‘one of the most experienced insolvency litigators in the business’. Also notable is David Pomeroy, who is ‘technically competent and pragmatic in providing advice'.

Practice head(s):

Alan Bennett

Other key lawyers:

David Pomeroy

Testimonials

‘Unlike other specialist insolvency firms outside London, Ashfords deals with a high volume of cross-border insolvency cases, both personal and corporate’

‘David Pomeroy and Alan Bennett complement each other nicely. They both have excellent technical skills’

‘Quality advice with practical solutions’

‘David Pomeroy is always available and provides practical solutions’

‘Ashfords is unique because of the extremely high quality of its individual lawyers’

‘They punch very considerably above their weight in terms of significant litigation conducted’

‘What makes Ashfords different from its competitors is the way the team works so collaboratively together’

‘Crispin Jones and Amy Gallimore are hugely experienced insolvency lawyers, both of whom have undertaken the JIEB exams, with a compelling track record of achievement. They work seamlessly together’

Key clients

Quantuma LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

PKF Francis Clark LLP

Bishop Fleming LLP

Milsted Langdon LLP

Albert Goodman

Kirks inc Neville & Co

Lameys

CVR Global LLP

Thomas Westcott Business Recovery LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for CVR Global LLP, as the liquidator of Implement Consulting Limited, in pursuing directors for employee benefit trusts and the sums they paid to themselves through these.
  • Advised Quantuma LLP on the insolvency of a South West-based law firm.
  • Advising Smith & Williamson LLP as the liquidator of a construction company which had prior to liquidation been in a dispute with a subcontractor which had been the subject of proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court.

Burges Salmon LLP

The 'very approachable and knowledgeableBurges Salmon LLP is ‘well regarded in the field’. The firm is experienced in handling debt restructurings and insolvencies for a range of clients, including banks, financial institutions, corporates, funds and distressed investors. The practice acts in multi-jurisdictional matters and has particular expertise in insolvency work involving pension law issues, as well as contentious insolvency matters. Andrew Eaton leads the team and advises on debt and equity restructurings, contingency planning and formal insolvency in the public and private sector. Also notable are Colin Ligman, who specialises in development and investment finance secured on commercial real estate assets, and senior associate Emily Scaife, who focuses on corporate restructuring and insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Eaton

Other key lawyers:

Emily Scaife; Colin Ligman

Testimonials

‘Great team of individuals who work well together and provide timely, commercial advice’

‘Andrew Eaton is a knowledgeable partner with an excellent pedigree’

‘Emily Scaife is a rising star in the sector and one to watch. Great to work with’

‘The Burges Salmon insolvency and corporate recovery team offer an excellent service at competitive prices’

‘The team effortlessly mix quality legal advice with common sense which stems from their experience and expertise in the marketplace’

‘They always make themselves available and are very user friendly in their approach right from the associates all the way up to the partners’

‘Andy Eaton has provided us with great support over a number of years on transactions where some form of restructuring has been required. He provides excellent legal advice in a relaxed manner and in a straightforward way such that non-legal people can easily understand his advice’

Key clients

Causeway Capital

FRP Advisory LLP

Trustees of the Silent Night Pension Scheme

AlixPartners Services UK LLP

FSCS

Menzies LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

BDO LLP

HSBC UK Bank plc

PWC

Work highlights

  • Advising private equity fund Causeway Capital Partners on its purchase of well-known café chain Patisserie Valerie out of administration.
  • Acting for BDO as the joint administrator of Bathstore.com, the UK’s largest specialised bathroom retailer, including advising on ongoing trading matters and assisting with the sale of some of the chain’s assets to Homebase.
  • Advising a subsidiary of National Express on the acquisition of the business and assets of the Accessible Transport Group out of administration.

Michelmores LLP

The 'highly effective, savvy and commercial' Michelmores LLP handles a range of financially distressed situations, from complex debt restructuring to individual voluntary arrangements. The firm provides particular expertise in transactional work, contentious asset investigation and recovery work. Non-contentious restructuring and insolvency expert Charles Maunder leads the practice. Notable in his team are Sacha Pickering, whose experience includes business and asset sales by office holders and antecedent transaction advice, and Karen Williams, who primarily advises on personal and corporate insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Charles Maunder

Other key lawyers:

Sacha Pickering; Karen Williams

Testimonials

‘Very client focused, approachable and technically excellent’

‘Excellent at putting together a team using their internal resources and expertise and also external resources as required’

‘Karen Williams is very charismatic, decisive and responsive. She is great at anticipating issues before they arise and works really well with others’

‘Sacha Pickering is charming and extremely capable’

‘Luke Elstone is very thorough and efficient’

‘Strong specialist insolvency team’

‘Karen Williams has broad experience, and is personable and willing to work quickly as required’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Wilkins Kennedy

BDO

Begbies Traynor

Duff & Phelps

KPMG

Leonard Curtis Recovery

Grant Thornton

Board of Directors of Flybe

Smith & Williamson

Lameys

Richard J Smith & Co

Moore Stephens

Bishop Fleming

Hazlewoods LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for FRP Advisory, as the trustee in bankruptcy, in relation to international investigations and asset realisations in various jurisdictions, including Iran, BVI, France, Monaco and the UK.
  • Advised the board of Flybe PLC in relation to its duties and responsibilities during the company’s financial difficulties prior to the sale of the business to a Virgin-led consortium.
  • Acting for BDO as the liquidator of Jamie Oliver’s former restaurant Fifteen Cornwall.

Osborne Clarke

Acting for a banking and corporate client base, Osborne Clarke provides international expertise and a sector focus in financial services, energy, real estate and digital business. The firm specialises in pension restructuring matters. Nigel Boobier leads the team and has particular experience in complex, cross-border restructuring and insolvency. Also notable is legal director Claire Bundy, who advises a range of clients in the area, including lenders, investors, creditors, LPA receivers, trustees and directors.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Boobier

Other key lawyers:

Claire Bundy

Testimonials

National in approach, and their team based in Bristol and London operates as one and is very experienced and capable. Excellent value for money too.’

Nigel Boobier, partner, hugely experienced and superb at client management -a very shrewd operator, and easy to under estimate. He has seen it all before.’

Claire Bundy, legal director – outstanding and superb at managing assignments, commercial in approach, excellent at bringing in other departments expertise within OC’s as required whilst still managing and owning the project. One the best lawyers and you want her on your side.’

Nigel Boobier and Claire Bundy are a great team that together bring a huge level of experience to situations. They cover all the angles and give me the confidence that I can rely on them and their advice.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank Plc

KPMG LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Deloitte LLP

BDO LLP

Pension Protection Fund

Alder King

Grant Thornton

Rcapital

Allsop LLP

Begbies Traynor Group PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised the Pension Protection Fund on the pension fund trustee security when Countrywide Farmers PLC entered administration, as well as on the appointment of fixed charge receivers over the large property portfolio of more than 30 sites owned by Countrywide.
  • Acting for KMPG as the administrator of Pulse Flexible Packaging Limited, the former operator of two manufacturing sites.
  • Acted for FRP Advisory in connection with the administrations of Indio Enterprises Limited, Heathside Preparatory School Limited, Heathside Enterprises Limited and Remus White Limited.

TLT

TLT is ‘responsive and able to move quickly', acting primarily for financial institutions, funds and private equity houses, as well as advising on a number of national strategic projects for the government through the Insolvency Service. The firm is particularly active in the renewables and retail sectors. James Forsyth leads the team and focuses on advising lenders, directors and stakeholders. Also notable is Peter Carney, who specialises in restructuring, asset sales, and portfolio acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

James Forsyth

Other key lawyers:

Peter Carney

Testimonials

‘It is a large and experienced team, able to act on matters involving all of the main lenders by virtue of being on their panels’

‘They have access to colleagues within the wider firm to provide additional advice where necessary’

‘James Forsyth and Peter Carney are both able to provide unique insights and ideas in potentially sticky situations’

‘I have been impressed by the team workings within TLT and how the different departments work together to achieve the best result for our office within the instructions given’

‘Very responsive and engaged in the details’

‘Emily Reeve is excellent and should be one to watch’

Key clients

KPMG

The Insolvency Service

FRP Advisory LLP

Wolf Minerals

Menzies LLP

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc

Grant Thornton

Begbies Traynor

BDO

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for Wolf Minerals in two sale processes in respect of a mine site and a further transaction to dispose of its interest in the bonding arrangements in respect of the site.
  • Advising the board of Links of London on restructuring issues, working closely with the global strategy being implemented by its Greek parent company.
  • Advised KPMG on the administration of Gulliver’s Truck Hire group, which was based across multiple sites, including Manchester and Bristol.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP has experience in a range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency work. The firm acts in breach of duty claims, as well as Insolvency Act and related civil recovery claims. Martin Askew specialises in insolvency litigation and misfeasance-related claims. He co-leads the practice with Ken MacLennan, who advises on a wide variety of insolvency matters, including complex pre-packs, trading bankruptcies and antecedent transactions.

Practice head(s):

Martin Askew; Ken MacLennan

Key clients

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

CVR Global LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Kingston Smith & Partners

KPMG LLP

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Mazars LLP

Menzies LLP

Quantuma LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

The Insolvency Service

Umberto Ferioli, as curatore of Estate Service S.A.S Di Toniolo Lucia Catherine & C.

Wilkins Kennedy

WSM Marks Bloom LLP

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton

Work highlights

  • Acting for Moore Kingston Smith as a liquidator in a claim against in excess of 60 respondents in respect of their use of an NIC and PAYE avoidance scheme.
  • Acting for Quantuma LLP, as the joint trustee in bankruptcy, in trading and selling a healthcare business and advising on numerous trading-related issues and litigation.
  • Advised Leonard Curtis Recovery Limited as the administrator of companies providing critical emergency support vehicles, equipment and staff to NHS trusts across the nation.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable and always provides the best advice'. The firm advises on formal insolvencies, security issues, distressed debt, restructurings, supply chain insolvency and accelerated M&A. ‘Brilliant lawyerGiles Hindle leads the team and handles domestic and international insolvency matters. Also recommended is the ‘fantastic, helpful and always availableKevin Hawthorne, who has expertise in asset tracing, recovery and insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):

Giles Hindle

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Hawthorne; Chris Stoate

Testimonials

‘The team have the experience and ability to deal with all types of insolvency, restructuring and related assignments, no matter how complex or novel’

‘They provide bespoke solutions to problems and their approach means that I have complete trust in what they do, to the extent that I see them as an integral part of my business, something I have not previously experienced with a law firm’

‘Kevin Hawthorn has a depth of knowledge and a skill set that means he is capable of dealing with any situation in a way which benefits my business, no matter how complex or sensitive. He is a true trusted adviser’

‘They are a brilliant team who are always available’

‘They are my first point of contact as an insolvency practitioner when I need advice’

‘Giles Hindle is extremely knowledgable, provides in-depth answers and advice, and is always at the end of the phone’

‘Chris Stoate is always helpful and provides an excellent service’

Key clients

Smith & Williamson

KPMG

BDO

Leonard Curtis

Imperial Tobacco

Quantuma

Royal Mail Group

Mazars

CVR Global

Western Union

RSM

Cork Gully

Kingston Smith

Shawbrook Bank

Baker Tilly

Boost & Co Private Equity

Savills

Work highlights

  • Advising Smith & Williamson, as the administrator, on issues arising from the administration of Loot Financial Services Limited.
  • Advising a consortium of NHS Trusts on contingency planning and board advice in respect of the perceived threat of insolvency of one of its key suppliers.
  • Provided advice on the administration of Mothercare Plc to one of its major suppliers, including on its remedies and recourse to debt security.

Foot Anstey

The 'multi-disciplinary, communicative and fairly priced' team at Foot Anstey has experience in the full spectrum of issues arising from corporate and personal insolvency, with particular expertise in the financial services sector. 'Extremely knowledgeable, attentive and commercially measured' practice head Joanne Rumley advises boards of directors and key stakeholders in relation to turnaround and distressed company trading. The team also includes legal director Tim Pritchard, who specialises in corporate insolvency, restructuring, rescue and turnaround.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Rumley

Other key lawyers:

Tim Pritchard

Testimonials

‘As a whole we get a great level of service, which is delivered not only with great expertise but also in a clear and concise manner’

‘The advice is always delivered in its true context and in a commercial manner’

‘Joanne Rumley is an absolute star and always a pleasure to work with. Her advice is first class and always delivered in a client-focused manner’

‘Joanne Rumley is one of the best restructuring solicitors I have worked with. She knows when to be measured and, when required, knows the right time to bring out the legal cannons. I have used her and her team in numerous hostile appointments and she is always by your side providing sage counsel’

‘The team are excellent, in particular Tim Pritchard and Brett Eeles’ 

Key clients

KPMG LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

Grant Thornton LLP

Mazars LLP

Richard J Smith & Co LLP

Catalyst Business Finance Limited

BDO LLP

PFK Geoffrey Martin & Co Limited

Quantuma LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising Smith & Williamson LLP as  joint special administrator of Reyker Securities plc.
  • Advising Smith & Williamson LLP as  joint special administrator of Stand Capital Limited.
  • Acted for FRP Advisory LLP as joint administrator of Koovs plc on the pre-pack administration sale of the business and assets of Koovs to SGIK 3 Investments Limited.

VWV

The ‘always very approachable and friendlyVWV has a ‘good balance of technical expertise and commerciality', as well as ‘particularly strong credentials in relation to charities and private schools'. The firm also provides expertise in the energy sector and insolvency litigation. The ‘calm, methodical and unflappableEd Husband leads the team and is ‘highly knowledgeable with a keen sense of his clients' commercial needs'. Also notable is senior associate Kelly Johnson, who has experience in a range of insolvency and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Ed Husband

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Johnson; Nick Martindale

Testimonials

‘It has experience in dealing with complex litigation and cases involving multiple parties’

‘Whenever I receive a new instruction from VWV, I know that the papers will be thoroughly prepared and they will have given careful thought to both the technical and practical aspects of the case’

‘Nick Martindale is energetic and enthusiastic’

‘Kelly Johnson is diligent and pragmatic’

‘VWV has a very able team in Bristol that is competent in handling a broad range of insolvency cases, both personal and corporate and contentious and non-contentious’

‘Ed Husband leads the firm’s insolvency offering and is very easy to work with and technically strong. He also understands the bigger commercial picture of cases’

‘I have so far never had an issue that they couldn’t help resolve’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

CVR Global

Milsted Langdon

SFP

Mazars LLP

Smith & Williamson

Codenode Space & Events Limited

Bibby Financial Services

Grant Thornton

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

KPMG

Work highlights

  • Advised Begbies Traynor as the administrator of Quintel Technology Limited on potential claims exceeding £40m arising out of the failure of the company.
  • Advised Milsted Langdon as the administrator of Aqua Italia on the pre-pack sale and closure of a long-established chain of restaurants.
  • Advised Mazars LLP as the administrator of Blackdown Hills Enterprises Limited on the successful settlement of significant claims against third parties.

Stephens Scown LLP

Stephens Scown LLP provides 'specialist insolvency lawyers and a commercial team'. The firm handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, including advising liquidators on investigations into director conduct and claims against directors for breach of duty and loss to the company. The ‘personable, sociable and competentAndrew Knox leads the team and acts for insolvency practitioners, lenders, directors, debtors and creditors on a range of matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Knox

Other key lawyers:

Toby Claridge; Sean Jenner

Testimonials

‘Strong technically and good value for money’

‘They always answer the phone and provide initial advice when most needed’

‘Charges are reasonable and the team are prepared to write off time when required’

‘Sean Jenner is strongly commercial’

‘An approachable and engaging team who combine technical excellence and commercial awareness to get the job done’

‘Andrew Knox is excellent to work with: he remains calm and focused even in the most challenging of cases, applying his deep technical and commercial knowledge to achieve the optimal result’

‘Always really good value!’

Key clients

Corporate Recovery Specialists Limited t/a Purnells

Richard J Smith & Co LLP

Bishop Fleming LLP

PKF Francis Clark LLP

Lameys

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Thomas Westcott Business Recovery LLP

F+W Media Inc.

Castle Hill Insolvency Limited

CVR Global LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead UK counsel to the US restructuring team of the F&W Group, advised on English law issues arising from the group and its UK subsidiary entering into US Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure.
  • Advised Bishop Fleming LLP as liquidator of Park Interiors Limited on a successful claim against HMRC for the return of payments made by the company in liquidation contrary to section 239 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Advising PKF Francis Clark LLP as administrators of Broadreach House.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP specialises in advising on financially distressed and insolvent businesses, particularly mid-sized owner-managed businesses. The firm has notable strength in the agriculture, retail, financial services and technology sectors. Mark Cullingford is known for corporate strategic advice, negotiation over corporate restructuring and litigation. He co-leads the practice with Melissa George, whose clients include investors, lenders, private banks, entrepreneurs, directors, landlords and creditors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Cullingford; Melissa George

Testimonials

‘Sound, practical advice’

‘Mark Cullingford gets into the detail and identifies what is important’

‘Melissa was absolutely fantastic in pulling out all the stops with an acquisition we had due to tight timelines’

‘Melissa George takes it upon herself to make sure the transaction gets done with speed and safety. She is extremely methodical and meticulous in her work whilst also maintaining a very friendly and personable manner’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP as the joint liquidator of a company on pursuing a claim for preference, pursuant to section 239 of the Insolvency Act 1986, against its parent company, and on the parent company’s claim in the liquidation estate and the application of insolvency set-off.
  • Advising various SMEs on the acquisition of the business and assets of certain companies from administrators and liquidators.
  • Advising an investment and property management company on proposals to enter into a management contract with the administrators of substantial property trading interests and, by option or purchase, acquire the underlying property assets.