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

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

With a strong track record handling cross-border corporate restructuring, refinancing and insolvency issues, DLA Piper UK LLP has outstanding expertise advising clients from a wide range of sectors, including automotive, retail, construction and manufacturing, as well as lenders, investors and insolvency practitioners. Led by 'very good lawyer' Huw Dolphin, the team also features real estate sector specialist John Jeffreys and Charlotte Duce, who focuses on non-contentious transactional matters.

Practice head(s):Huw Dolphin

Other key lawyers:Charlotte Duce; John Jeffreys

Testimonials

'Technical excellence, pragmatism and commercial approach.'

'The team is very reactive and their approach to transactions and general advice complements our needs perfectly.'

'John Jeffreys is a technically excellent lawyer who delivers outstanding customer service.'

'Huw Dolphin is always supportive and uses his experience to provide great advice.'

'John Jeffreys is always accessible and takes a very pragmatic approach. He is technically strong and able to communicate complex matters in a clear manner.'

'Huw Dolphin is very responsive, attentive and keen to find a resolution.'

'Great team spirit, friendly and approachable and easy to engage.'

'Huw Dolphin and John Jeffreys have a great rapport - they are both strong technically and very commercially minded.'

'Charlotte Duce is very capable - she is highly valued as an adviser to me on all legal matters.'

'Tom Swain is strong organisationally and maintains the pace on all projects.'

'John Jeffreys' knowledge and commercial application is excellent.'

'A national practice, but with a Birmingham office, offers the added value of lower costs combined with an excellent team of solicitors who provide the desired results.'

'John Jeffreys provides excellent service  - he is readily contactable and proactive in finding solutions and anticipating road blocks. He is an expert in his field, with wide knowledge in other areas too; a thorough professional but friendly and very approachable.'

Key Clients

Deloitte

HSBC

PWC

Lloyds Banking Group

Grant Thornton

Boparan Private Office

Ernst & Young

Colliers International

EWS

Solai Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing the Conviviality Group and PwC on the lead-up to and eventual pre-packaged sale of the wholesale business of Conviviality.
  • Acting for HSBC and EY to secure the sale to a private equity investor of the business and assets of the Greentray Group of companies.
  • Represented Leonard Curtis as administrators of a business with several overseas operations and co-ordinated a cross-jurisdiction realisation of assets and repatriation of funds.
  • Acted for Alvarez & Marsal, the liquidators of Joannou & Paraskevaides, a business with extensive operations in the Middle East and Southern Europe, in relation to the funding and completion of various valuable contracts.
  • Advising HSBC and Mazars, the administrators of H&E Knowles, on the realisation of assets and potential office holder claims.

As well as acting for administrators of insolvent businesses in the retail, energy, financial services, real estate, education and leisure sectors, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is well-known for advising lenders on refinancing, restructuring and transactional matters, as evidenced by its appointment to numerous bank panels. Practice head Andrew Jordan is particularly experienced in restructurings in the retail, financial services, automotive and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):Andrew Jordan

Other key lawyers:Jenna Poulton; Laura Taylor; Anne-Louise Lawrence

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

HSBC Bank Plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc

Santander UK Bank Plc

Handelsbanken

Allied Irish Bank

KPMG LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Deloitte LLP

Ernst & Young

Work highlights

  • Advising PwC on the administration of Extra Energy Supply.
  • Advising on the restructuring of Hawk Hire.
  • Assisting Deloitte on the administration of various businesses and acting on the disposals of business and assets, as well as preparing a number of Company Voluntary Arrangements for the rescue of the businesses.
  • Advising KPMG on the administration of Russell Hume.
  • Acting for Duff & Phelps as the administrators of the Feather & Black retail chain, advising on trading issues and the disposal of assets.

'Fantastic lawyer' Mark Wilson heads the 'superb' team at Gateley Plc, which also features the 'excellent' and highly regarded Daniel French. The team acts for banks, insolvency practitioners and corporate clients in contentious and non-contentious matters relating to the liquidation and administration of distressed businesses. Advising on business restructuring is another mainstay of the practice. Former senior associate Louise Gill left to join Coventry Building Society in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Mark Wilson

Other key lawyers:Daniel French; Kathryn Hacking; Victoria Portman; Helen Jones

Testimonials

'Gateley has an extremely good offering.'

Key Clients

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Deloitte UK LLP

BDO LLP

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Ernst & Young LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

KPMG LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for Baldwins Restructuring & Insolvency on the administration of Showpla Plastics.
  • Acting for FRP Advisory on the administration of EA 234 and EA 234 Holdings, including negotiating an abortive and then a successful third party pre-pack administration sale of the business and assets of the companies.
  • Advising Maven Capital Partners, an investor in hotel room letting company Chic Lifestyle, which went into administration following a decision by HMRC to remove tax relief for investors.

Pinsent Masons LLP is one of the top firms in the West Midlands for insolvency and lending work. Led by 'great lawyer' Amy Flavell, the team advises banks and insolvency practitioners and on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious issues. Specific sector expertise includes education, automotive, retail and energy. Samantha Palmer joined from Ashfords LLP in June 2018 while senior associate Stuart Taylor joined in May 2018 from Shakespeare Martineau LLP.

Practice head(s):Amy Flavell

Other key lawyers:Edward Sunderland; Stuart Taylor

Testimonials

'From a legal and technical point of view, the team are excellent at focusing on the right things; they are practical, very commercial in their approach and impressive in their ability to throw time at urgent situations.'

'A diverse team, very strong at building and maintaining client and stakeholder support with multiple proactive touch points throughout the year.'

'Equally blessed in legal skills and emotional intelligence, Amy Flavell gains a deep understanding of her clients, refreshingly lacks in an ego, takes a collaborative approach and has strong ethics - I cannot recommend her enough.'

'Edward Sunderland is a pleasure to work with - highly professional and knowledgeable but also very commercial.'

Key Clients

Grant Thornton UK LLP

KPMG

PwC LLP

Moore Stephens

FRP Advisory

EY

Crown Commercial Service

Homes England

Charity Commission Interim Managers

Bank of Ireland Group plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Grant Thornton as the liquidators of the All Leisure Group, which formerly provided holidays operating under the Travelsphere and Just You brand.
  • Acting for Deloitte as the administrators of Perfect Home Finance and associated group company Temple Retail.
  • Advising PwC as administrators in relation to their appointment over CoastRetail and other group companies.
  • Advising Moore Stephens on the administration of the Arensis Group.
  • Advising Ernst & Young on complex real estate, legislative and procedural elements of the House of Fraser Group's company voluntary arrangement and subsequent real estate transactions.

With a nationwide reach, Gowling WLG covers a wide scope of insolvency and restructuring work, advising lenders, investors, private equity companies as well as insolvency practitioners and distressed businesses. Jasvir Jootla stands out for her corporate recovery and debt restructuring expertise, while Ian Weatherall specialises in insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):Jasvir Jootla

Other key lawyers:Ian Weatherall; Tom Stockley

Key Clients

PwC LLP

Deloitte LLP

Duff & Phelps

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM

EY LLP

Cranfield Business Recovery

Griffins

FRP

Work highlights

  • Advised Lloyds Bank on the distressed refinancing of a further education college, including negotiations with the Department for Education Transaction Unit.
  • Advising the administrators of Albemarle Shoreham Airport around all aspects of the administration.
  • Advising RSM Birmingham on all aspects of the enforcement, administration and sale of business and assets of the Safe Patient Group of companies.
  • Advised HSBC on the restructuring of the UK banking facilities into Jamie Oliver's restaurant group.

'Top notch law firm' Harrison Clark Rickerbys is particularly well-regarded for its work advising leading insolvency practitioners on the administration and liquidation of businesses in the construction, retail and technology sectors. In other work, the team acts for lenders, creditors, distressed companies and purchasers of distressed assets in advisory and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):Sam Payne

Other key lawyers:Hayley Phelps; Alan Meiklejohn

Key Clients

Smith & Williamson

Close Invoice Finance

Butcher Woods

KPMG

Leonard Curtis

Oneway Bike Industry BV

Begbies Traynor

Quantuma

Opus

RSM Recovery London

ThinCats

BDO

Work highlights

  • Acting for Butcher Woods as the liquidator of a group of golf course management companies, in relation to various retention of title claims and queries on management contracts and leases in place.
  • Advising KPMG as the administrators of Countrywide Farmers.
  • Acted for Smith & Williamson as the joint administrators on the sale of the business and assets of a voice biometrics company.
  • Acting for Gemini Repairs in the purchase of the business and assets of Bodykraft, a company in administration.
  • Advising RSM Recovery in its role as administrators of Leisure & Development, a property holding company in the hotels & leisure industry.

Active in the automotive, manufacturing, and mining sector, the restructuring and insolvency team at Irwin Mitchell features the highly regarded Stephen George and 'great lawyer' Amy Keogh and handles restructurings, insolvencies and transactions for insolvency practitioners, distressed businesses and lenders. The practice has particular expertise in the asset-backed lending space.

Practice head(s):Stephen George

Other key lawyers:Amy Keogh

Key Clients

Shawbrook Bank Ltd

Lloyds Banking Group

ABN AMRO Commercial

Finance Holdings B.V.

Close Brothers Invoice Finance Ltd

Grant Thornton

Baldwins Restructuring & Insolvency

FRP Advisory

Duff & Phelps

BDO

Bibby Financial Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ABN Amro and Grant Thornton UK on the restructuring and sale of Covpress, securing a deal worth in excess of £45m, while protecting more than 800 employees and the first pension scheme out of administration.
  • Advised Duff & Phelps, ABN AMRO Asset Based Finance and Barclays Bank on the sale of Cardinal Security, a security and loss prevention business, involving a number of stakeholders, dealing with marshalling and subrogation issues.
  • Advising Leonard Curtis as the liquidators of Dongray on an assignment of multimillion-dollar claims involving cross-border considerations in Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Advising Moorfields Advisory, ABN AMRO Asset Based Finance and Lombard North Central on the administration of Sunline Direct Mail.

The 'great' team at Shoosmiths LLP acts for a range of insolvency practitioners and distressed businesses on all matters arising from distressed lending, corporate recovery and corporate insolvency, and also handles restructuring work for corporates and directors, including CVAs. Practice head James Keates has particular expertise in the retail sector, while Aaron Harlow specialises in the disposals and acquisitions of insolvent businesses.

Practice head(s):James Keates

Other key lawyers:Aaron Harlow; Charles Williams

Key Clients

RBS

Duff & Phelps

Deloitte LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

RSM Restructuring LLP

KPMG LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Bibby Financial Services Limited

BDO LLP

Aldermore Invoice Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Karen Millen in connection with its acquisition of the business and assets of high street fashion retailer Coast from administrators PwC.
  • Advised Monarch Aircraft Engineering on its restructuring following the collapse of the Monarch Airlines Group in October 2017, including negotiation of settlement terms in relation to certain creditor claims, exit from the Monarch Airlines Group, and subsequent launch of a CVA.
  • Advising SUK Retail and SUK Oldco on their restructuring through linked CVAs.
  • Advised RSM Restructuring and Advisory in connection with the appointment as administrators of mechanical engineering company Cyrus-RW.
  • Advised FRP Advisory in connection with their appointment as administrators of Feathers Hotel Ludlow and Ceney Development.

Squire Patton Boggs handles a range of insolvency work for administrators and lenders, and also had a significant presence in the restructuring area. The team is active in a wide variety of sectors, including pensions, retail, automotive and hospitality. Devinder Singh stands out for his contentious insolvency expertise; Russell Hill and Oliver Ward-Jones are other key members of the practice.

Practice head(s):Devinder Singh

Other key lawyers:Russell Hill; Oliver Ward-Jones

Testimonials

'Very professional, high quality advice and excellent turnaround times.'

'A client focused partner led approach and a pragmatic and commercial outlook that always has the objective of meeting difficult client expectations. The team is always very responsive and give realistic advice around delivery to timetable and likely outcomes.'

'Russell Hill is extremely client focused, commercial and driven. He delivers exceptional service with empathy in sometimes challenging situations and is able to communicate complex issues with clarity and confidence.'

'The market leading restructuring practice in the Midlands, with a client focused, partner-led approach and a pragmatic and commercial outlook that always has the objective of meeting difficult client expectations.'

'The team are always very responsive and give realistic advice around delivery to timetable and likely outcomes. The team are a pleasure to work with.'

'The team offers a fast, efficient service with excellent knowledge and experience.'

'Russell Hill takes a commercial view while always protecting our position. He offers exceptional service and a strong relationship.'

'Devinder Singh always adopts a very pragmatic approach, drawing on experience to ensure we are always protected. He is always available to discuss cases and provide appropriate advice.'

'Devinder Singh is an experienced insolvency lawyer who is as adept in non-contentious situations as he is in litigation.'

Key Clients

KPMG

FRP Advisory

PWC

Grant Thornton

Cambridge & Counties Bank

Leonard Curtis

Lloyds Bank

Barclays Bank

HBL Bank (formerly Habib Bank)

R Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising the pension trustees of a group company pension scheme following a restructure of the group of companies.
  • Advised Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Commercial Finance in respect of the restructure of the facilities of Knights of Old Group.
  • Advising KPMG, the administrators of Russell Hume, on the collection of debts due from a number of debtors.
  • Advising Duff and Phelps, the administrators of Ideabright, on the sale of the business and assets.
  • Advising Envirogen Group on the cross-border restructure and ultimate refinance of their banking facilities.

North Midlands-based Beswicks Legal handles work for a range of national and regional liquidators and administrators on non-contentious insolvency and recovery work. On the contentious side, practice head Richard Preston often acts for liquidators and directors in claims brought against former directors and shareholders of insolvent companies.

Practice head(s):Richard Preston

Key Clients

FRP Advisors

Duff & Phelps

RSM

Moore Stephens

Smith & Williamson

BCR

Lucas Johnson

Smith Cooper

TH Financial Recovery

Dains

Acting for a diverse client roster including creditors, insolvency practitioners and directors, Clarke Willmott LLP is active in the private and public sector and handles contentious and non-contentious matters relating to corporate insolvency and recovery of assets. Senior associate Sheena Tandy left to join Shakespeare Martineau LLP in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Stephanie Slinn

Key Clients

KPMG

FRP

Smith & Williamson

The Insolvency Service

Bridgewood

CBA Recovery

Duff & Phelps

CVR

RSM

Moore Stephens

Santander UK

K J Watkin

Work highlights

  • Advised a retail operator on the acquisition of a number of stores of Countrywide Farmers Plc from the administrators.
  • Advising Duff & Phelps as administrators on the sale of trading hotels for significant sums.
  • Advised the director of a prominent brand in the gardening sector on duties and options for rescue and restructure in the face of hostile appointment.
  • Advising the liquidators on asset tracing and expedited recovery of assets and real estate in a case where the director had stolen books and records and used them in a new company.

The majority of DWF's work revolves around real estate finance restructuring and insolvency. Richard Holmes is the key member of the practice, regularly advising insolvency practitioners, receivers, owner-managed businesses and creditors insolvency and security matters.

Practice head(s):Richard Holmes

The majority of FBC Manby Bowdler LLP's work revolves around contentious matters, spanning the representation of insolvency practitioners and businesses in claims against directors as well as the defence of directors against misfeasance and disqualifications actions. In other non-contentious work, the team acts for companies in transactional matters.

Practice head(s):Gareth Ruddock

Other key lawyers:James Sage

Key Clients

Leonard Curtis Recovery

Muras Baker Jones

Dains LLP

Savills UK

Trigroup

Butcher Woods

Work highlights

  • Advising Hill Steels on the recovery of assets and restructuring.
  • Representing an individual in misfeasance claims brought against directors with cross-jurisdictional property assets.

At Higgs & Sons, the insolvency and business recovery team led by David Ellis handles regional insolvencies for liquidators and creditors as well as for the insolvent companies themselves, and also assists clients with transactional matters. Handling personal bankruptcies for the debtors is another area of expertise.

Practice head(s):David Ellis

With sector expertise in banking and financial services, education and energy, Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises administrators, liquidators and trustees on non-contentious insolvency, recovery of assets and transactional work, and is regularly involved in advisory matters. Legal director Stuart Taylor left to join Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2018, although his departure was offset by the addition of Sheena Tandy, who joined from Clarke Willmott LLP in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Andrew Taylor

Other key lawyers:Sheena Tandy

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group

RCapital

KPMG LLP

PwC LLP

FRP Advisory

Mazars

BDO

RSM

Leonard Curtis

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Working with Mazars to negotiate the sale of Key Forensic Services, ultimately saving 238 jobs and securing the continuation of the business.
  • Advised RSM on the compulsory liquidation and subsequent administration of Hotel Company 42 The Calls.
  • Advising Moore Stephens as liquidators of The NMB Group.
  • Advising Bridgewood Financial Solutions as trustee on a complex £1m personal bankruptcy.
  • Advising the joint trustees in bankruptcy in securing the recovery of assets where there were parallel Confiscation Order proceedings against the bankrupt who had served a lengthy prison sentence for drugs and firearms offences.

Sydney Mitchell LLP provides comprehensive advice to lenders, insolvency practitioners and trustees on a range of insolvency and bankruptcy issues, including the recovery and sale of assets and claims involving transactions defrauding creditors. Leanne Schneider-Rose is the key member of the practice.

Practice head(s):Leanne Schneider-Rose

Testimonials

'A balanced approach and quality legal advice.'

'Leanne Schneider-Rose will always respond quickly, giving accurate and concise advice.'

'Leanne Schneider-Rose works really hard for her clients and is focused on getting results. She is a pleasure to work with.'

'Very proactive, knowledgeable about insolvency and good to work with.'

Key Clients

AIB Group (UK) Plc

West Bromwich Building Society

Dains LLP

Poppleton & Appleby

FRP Advisory LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for lenders in cases involving the Land Registration Act 2002 to validate an otherwise invalid legal charge.
  • Acting for the trustees in bankruptcy and advising upon the vesting of property assets in a bankruptcy estate subject to alleged trust issues.
  • Dealing with applications under the Insolvency Act to defer the dissolution of a company from the company register.
  • Advising a liquidator on the status of an inquorate Liquidation Committee and dealing with obtaining fee approval via an application to the court for directions.
  • Advising a liquidator of a member's voluntary liquidation in respect of converting to a creditor's voluntary liquidation when new claims place the company into an insolvent position.

Led by the highly regarded Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard, the insolvency and corporate recovery practice at Thursfields Solicitors covers contentious and non-contentious matters relating to corporate and personal insolvencies, advising insolvency practitioners, bankrupt individuals and distressed businesses. Dispute resolution lawyer Stephen Rome joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in April 2018.

Practice head(s):Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard

Other key lawyers:Tim Edwards; Stephen Rome

Testimonials

'The team is willing to take on extremely difficult and high value work and to fight tenaciously for their clients.'

'Steven Rome is an absolute star - he's technically very able, great to deal with as counsel, can manage difficult clients and their expectations, and enjoys the respect of the opposing solicitors.'

With expertise in both contentious and non-contentious corporate and personal insolvency, Wright Hassall LLP in Leamington Spa acts for insolvency practitioners in their capacity as liquidator, administrator or trustee on the recovery of assets, director misfeasance claims and other bankruptcy-related matters. The team also stands out for its work for one of the leading insolvency litigation funders.

Practice head(s):Caroline Benfield

Testimonials

'Provides practical and commercial quality advice at all times.'

'Caroline Benfield has great strength and determination in litigation.'

Key Clients

KPMG

Grant Thornton

Mazars

Quantuma

BDO LLP

BRI

Cranfield Business Recovery

Accura Accountants Business Recovery Turnaround Limited

Tri Group Limited (formally Burton Sweet)

Robert Day and Company Limited

Fieldstead Insolvency Limited

Wilkins Kennedy LLP

Work highlights

  • Acting for the trustee in the bankruptcy of a debtor adjudged bankrupt as a result of council tax liabilities.
  • Acting for Manolete in respect of a claim against the former director and shadow director of a company for breach of their statutory and fiduciary duties and breach of trust.
  • Acting for the liquidator of a film production company.

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