Insolvency and corporate recovery in West Midlands

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is instructed for matters of local, national and international significance, delivering a sector-focused service which encompasses the manufacturing, automotive, hospitality and leisure, food production, real estate and financial services industries. Huw Dolphin serves as practice head and handles an array of financial structure, reconstruction and workout matters on behalf of companies, lenders and investors; he is also regularly engaged by accountants working on restructuring assignments and is thoroughly experienced in advising boards of directors in paramount negotiations and crisis management. The other key name is recently promoted legal director Deborah Brown, a specialist in working with real assets involved in formal appointments, financial restructures and distressed business disposal.

Practice head(s):

Huw Dolphin

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Brown

Key clients

Samworth Brothers Limited

Grant Thornton

HSBC UK Bank plc

EY- Parthenon

Lloyds Banking Group

National Westminster plc

Alvarez and Marsal Europe LLP

PwC LLP

KPMG

Deloitte

Work highlights

  • Acted for and advised Samworth Brothers Limited in its acquisitions of the Urban Eat brand and certain plant and machinery from the Adelie Foods Group and its appointed administrators.
  • Acted for Grant Thornton LLP, as administrators of Wicksteed Park Limited (in administration) and the subsequent sale of its business and certain of its assets.
  • Represented HSBC UK Bank plc in relation to the administration and  pre-pack sale of the business and certain assets of The Deltic Group companies (in administration).

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

A ‘forward-thinking, commercial’ practice, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP caters to a client roster of banks, mezzanine and asset-based lenders, private equity and distressed funds, as well as corporates and insolvency practitioners. The team has been involved in several significant insolvencies in the retail and casual dining space over the past year and, owing to the sector expertise of the ‘exceptionally goodAndrew Jordan, is also an active participant in the automotive supply chain, education, energy and healthcare industries. Jenna Poulton co-heads the department alongside Jordan and is acclaimed for her work on real estate, senior, mezzanine and solvent restructurings in addition to asset-based lending. Beyond partner level, legal director Anne-Louise Lawrence earns acclaim for her 'in-depth knowledge' of real estate-related restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Jordan; Jenna Poulton

Other key lawyers:

Anne-Louise Lawrence; Kiran Khakh

Testimonials

‘This firm is forward-thinking, commercial and quickly understand the key drivers which marks success. They have been proactive in thinking about new ways in their negotiation techniques in order to gain a successful outcome for all parties.’

‘Andrew Jordan is exceptionally good at picking up the commercial complexities of each case and delivering a legal pragmatic strategy in order to achieve swift success and avoiding undue costs in the process.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable, easy to work with.’

‘Always very responsive with excellent advice and guidance.’

‘Strong team, high quality professionals and with the strength and depth of a large practice.’

‘The specific individuals and indeed the team as a whole are a very impressive outfit, commercially minded and the fees & costs are good value.’

‘Anne-Louise Lawrence provides in-depth knowledge of insolvency and corporate recovery, real estate and banking and finance law; she also has a very rational understanding of real estate and real estate markets.’

‘Very commercial minded and is driving solutions to assist in a difficult area of practice.’

Key clients

HSBC Bank PLC

The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC

Santander UK Bank PLC

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

KPMG LLP

Deloitte LLP

Alvarez and Marsal

Boparan Restaurant Group

Livingbridge

Work highlights

  • Advising Boparan Restaurant Group on the high-profile acquisition of the business, property and assets of Carluccio’s Limited from its Joint Administrators; FRP Advisory.
  • Advising KPMG LLP in relation to all aspects of the administrations of Antler (Holdings) Limited and Antler Limited (the luggage retailer) including administration funding arrangements, business and assets sales, ongoing trading advice, wind down of the retail footprint and overseas distribution issues.
  • Advising Livingbridge (as equity sponsor) on the pre-packaged administration acquisition of Bistro Pierre and its related subsidiaries, including advising on all debt financing for the acquisition.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plccombines technical expertise with a highly commercial approach’; the team enjoys a formidable capacity for contentious insolvency proceedings and has acted on a number of international disputes in Ukraine, Russia and Cyprus, among other jurisdictions, of late. The group also advises on financial and organisational restructurings, security structures, enhancement and enforcement, business sales and exits, as well as corporate simplification. ‘Strategic thinkerMark Wilson is primarily experienced in litigation involving offshore entities, allegations of fraud and breach of duty whereas Daniel French, ‘one of the leading restructuring advisors in the Midlands’, is particularly busy in the retail and real estate fields. Other key sectors include healthcare, leisure, construction, manufacturing and logistics.

Practice head(s):

Mark Wilson; Andrew Buchanan; Richard Healey

Other key lawyers:

Brendan McGeever; Daniel French; Victoria Portman; Fiona Emms; James Baty

Testimonials

‘A very solid restructuring team which is well known in local market and well connected. Excellent technical and commercial knowledge.’

‘Dan French is a pragmatic lawyer who is great with clients and has great technical knowledge. Very dependable in difficult situations. ’

‘Well established and experienced team willing and able to take on the most complex of assignments’

‘Willingness to invest time in thinking outside the box gives rise to a much wider range of recovery opportunities.’

‘Their commercial approach, flexibility and ability to work with clients to achieve a result. They are flexible in their approach to fees and committed to delivering quality results.’

‘Mark Wilson is a strategic thinker, with a keen eye and understanding of commercials for a case. He is focused on client service and available to his team and clients in ensuring the delivery of quality results. Fiona Emms and James Baty and are diligent, good at keeping the client informed of progress and developments, deliver against tight deadlines and proactive in their approach.’

‘Very strong and commercial firm. A strong part of the local professional market and well thought of in the restructuring market space.’

‘Dan French is well known and respected in the local marketplace. ’

‘Gateley combine technical expertise with a highly commercial approach, necessary for our investments where we need to move fast and often take a view to work to a tight timetable.’

‘Gateley are able to call on a range of colleagues across legal disciplines which add value to our deal, in particular property and corporate where they have a deep understanding of the needs of private equity.’

‘Dan French is undoubtedly one of the leading restructuring advisors in the Midlands. Dan is highly commercial and is a great deal coordinator, bringing the wider disciplines within Gateley together to deliver what for us is always a complex deal. Often the advice we need in a deep restructuring is personal to directors, and Dan always ensures that our personal position is considered and key decisions documented, I always know with Dan that he is looking out for me as a client and not just focusing on legal delivery.’

Key clients

Duff and Phelps LLP

Elwell, Watchorn & Saxton LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Deloitte UK LLP

BDO LLP

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Ernst & Young LLP

KPMG LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Haslers LLP

Azets Holdings Limited

AIB

Santander

FRP Advisory

Smith and Williamson

Butcher Woods

Rcapital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised D&P in relation to the administration of Vapiano Limited (in administration), which operated a chain of restaurants with a number of sites in London, along with one in each of Manchester and Edinburgh.
  • Advised the administrators on the administration of George Boyden & Son Limited (in administration), which owned various publications including the Stratford upon Avon Herald newspaper.
  • Instructed by the joint administrators of Feather & Black in relation to the administration of the company and the pre-pack sale of certain of the company’s business and assets to Dreams Limited.

Pinsent Masons LLP

With a restructuring and insolvency practice that is ‘well-thought of in the Midlands and nationally’, Pinsent Masons LLP enjoys a formidable reputation among major clearing banks, asset-based lenders and various insolvency practitioners. Practice head Amy Flavell, hailed as a ‘market leader’, supports on all facets of solvent and insolvent restructurings with specialist knowledge of retail CVAs, tourism, automotive, education and charities-related matters. Elsewhere, Edward Sunderland fronts the asset-based lending and structured finance practice, regularly acting on related restructuring and recovery matters, while Samantha Palmer is well-versed in restructuring affairs within the professional services sphere. The team also enjoys notable depth beyond partner level with associate Sarah Jennings and senior associate Stuart Taylor, hailed as 'well-known and well-respected'. Other key points of differentiation for the practice include its dedicated restructuring dispute resolution and asset recovery practice, as well as its prowess in the debt trading and pensions fields.

Practice head(s):

Amy Flavell

Other key lawyers:

Edward Sunderland; Samantha Palmer; Victoria Baker; Carl Scott; Sarah Jennings; Stuart Taylor

Testimonials

‘There is expertise and capability within team to provide the support required for the diversity of work we engage the team in.’

‘The culture of team is very much solution-focused – they are not afraid to challenge processes/procedures or ways of thinking. Amy Flavell provides the confidence that each engagement is given the upmost attention. I also value the attention given to each engagement in that I know that Amy and the team will deliver an exceptional piece of work, and in doing so, share knowledge with my team to help them learn. We feel safe to ask questions in a secure environment – teamwork at its best!’

‘Quality of advice provided, speed of response, collaborative approach bringing in relevant in house expertise when required, understanding of commercial issues, consistent brilliant level of customer service – a trusted business partner.’

‘We continue to receive great service on a regular basis – this is categorised by subject expertise, speed of advice, responsiveness, and a team-based approach.’

‘Amy Flavell and Sarah Jennings have very good client skills and the quality of advice has been of a generally very high standard.’

‘Amy Flavell is market-leading in her level of support, frequently providing exceptional commercial advice that enhanced the business.’

‘Well-thought of firm in the local Midlands market place and nationally. Strong in terms of sector advice and insight and regularly sends strong content and insight into the market.’

‘In restructuring, Amy Flavell is the lead local partner and is very well-thought-of in the local market. Stuart Taylor and Sarah Jennings are also well-known and well-respected. The team provides exceptional client service.’

Key clients

Grant Thornton LLP

Police Mutual Assurance Society

Pomvom UK Limited

Ernst and Young LLP

FRP Advisory Trading LLP

Begbies Traynor

Butcher Woods

Duff & Phelps

Work highlights

  • Acting for Grant Thornton as Supervisors on the ground breaking Regis CVA litigation, a key test case involving defending a challenge to a retail CVA.
  • Acting for EY on the administration and restructuring of an office supplies business at the outset of the pandemic.
  • Acting for Police Mutual Assurance Society on its £18m securitisation of certain loans provided by distressed FCA regulated consumer loan provider Neyber Limited and on the appointment of BDO LLP as administrators of Neyber and subsequent sale to Salary Finance.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP is a major player in the retail sector, where it has been involved in a number of prominent CVAs and administrations in recent months. The practice is fronted by James Keates who is well-regarded by banks, asset-based lenders, company directors, private equity holders and insolvency practitioners for the full-spectrum of distressed lending, corporate recovery and corporate insolvency affairs; he is supported by Aaron Harlow, a financial services sector expert, as well as Charlotte Duce who recently joined from DLA Piper and arrives with a history of handling financial restructurings on behalf of major clearing banks.

Practice head(s):

James Keates

Other key lawyers:

Aaron Harlow; Charlotte Duce

Testimonials

‘James Keates and Aaron Harlow are excellent practitioners, very personable to deal with and great client service. Pioneering in the use of CVAs.’

‘A very knowledgeable and inventive team.’

‘They are solution-driven – they avoid the point-scoring traits of many other lawyers.’

Key clients

Deloitte LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

KPMG LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

RBS

Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Duff & Phelps Ltd

ReSolve Advisory LLP

Bibby Financial Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised FRP Advisory Trading Limited in connection with their appointment as administrators of Monsoon Accessorize Limited and Accessorize Limited and the subsequent pre-pack sale of the business and assets of these companies.
  • Advised the board of directors of Cath Kidston Limited in the period leading up to the company’s insolvency, and thereafter advised Alvarez and Marsal Europe LLP in connection with their appointment as administrators of Cath Kidston Limited.
  • Together with KPMG LLP as nominees and supervisors, advised Poundstretcher Limited in connection with its successful CVA.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has a well-established reputation for contentious insolvency and asset recovery work led by Mike Gilmour, who has many year of experience handling litigation relating to corporate failures and bankruptcy. The 'technically excellent, commercially savvy and cost-effective' practice received a significant boost in August 2020 with the arrival of John Jeffreys, formerly of DLA Piper; he is tasked with overseeing the firm’s expansion into the non-contentious front, leveraging his renowned expertise in transactional, restructuring, accelerated M&A, formal insolvency procedure and distressed property affairs.

Practice head(s):

John Jeffreys; Mike Gilmour

Testimonials

‘Strong East and West Midlands-based legal team.’

‘John Jeffreys is a strong local restructuring partner.’

‘John Jeffreys is an outstanding partner who can balance legal and technical guidance with commercial advice.’

‘Strong restructuring experience and credentials.’

‘Technically excellent, commercially savvy and cost-effective – a great combination.’

‘Strong practice in the mid-market with a good selection of corporate clients.’

‘John Jeffreys is a very seasoned practitioner and is well known in the local Midlands market – I am very comfortable recommending him.’

Key clients

BDO LLP

FRP Advisory

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP

Savills

Mazars

Allied Irish Bank (GB)

Grant Thornton

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Begbies Traynor

The Deltic Group Limited

Colliers International

Hilco Global

K J Watkin & Co

Opus Restructuring & Insolvency

Work highlights

  • Advising the board of The Deltic Group Limited on directors’ duties, options analysis and on an accelerated M&A process to sell the business.  Subsequently acting for the administrators of the company on the pre-pack sale of its business and assets and ongoing matters.
  • Advising the administrators of Blue Bear Management Limited, the owner and developer of student accommodation in Coventry.
  • Acting for the liquidator of a market leading and award-winning exhibition stand, shop fitting, set building and showroom contractor.

Gowling WLG

At Gowling WLG, Jasvir Jootla now serves as head of restructuring and corporate recovery; former practice head Julian Pallett recently stepped down as partner but has remained at the firm in a consultancy role. Jootla is extensively experienced in corporate recovery, debt restructuring and relevant advisory work. The pair split their time between the Birmingham and London offices and frequently collaborate with colleagues in Asia, Canada and the Middle East on multi-jurisdictional affairs. The team serves a notably broad client base, handling distressed and insolvency matters on behalf of lenders, insolvency practitioners, government departments, company directors and pension trustees. A key differentiator for the group is that it excels in the handling of IP rights within the context of restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Jasvir Jootla

Other key lawyers:

Julian Pallett; Ian Weatherall; Tom Stockley

Testimonials

‘Genuinely a great team to work with. Responsive and proactive.’

‘Jasvir Jootla is technically very competent, is willing to go the extra mile. I formed a great working relationship with Jasvir over the months I worked with her. She reached “trusted adviser” status very quickly.’

Key clients

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Grant Thornton (UK) LLP

Deloitte UK LLP

BDO LLP

KPMG LLP

EY UK LLP

Lloyds Bank plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

The Board of the Pension Protection Fund

FRP Advisory

Smith & Williamson LLP

ABN Amro

RSM

Dalriada Trustees Limited

ITS Limited

Alder King LLP

Work highlights

  • Worked with Deloitte on the administration of gas and electricity energy retailer Tonik Energy Limited, advising the board of directors on trading matters and contingency planning in the lead-up to administration.
  • Worked with Deloitte on the administration of Retig Limited, advising the board of directors on their duties and contingency planning.  
  • Advised the administrators on taking their appointment and the subsequent sale and purchase of the business and assets of Amco Services (International) Limited (in administration) to CBW Resources Limited.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is renowned for its highly experienced’ and ‘commercial, concise advice’, is particularly active in the construction, defence and security, finance, healthcare and education sectors. Sam Payne spearheads the firm’s national practice, dividing his time between Birmingham and London – he represents a broad spread of clients from boutique insolvency practices through to names from the Big 4 such as KPMG. Payne is supported at partner level by Alan Meiklejohn, who acts for office holders, secured creditors and other stakeholders on the full array of recovery and insolvency options, as well as turnaround specialist Jon Whitbread.

Practice head(s):

Sam Payne

Other key lawyers:

Hayley Phelps; Alan Meiklejohn; Jon Whitbread

Testimonials

‘A hands-on team, offering concise and commercial advice that is appropriate for the circumstances. Well established client relationships with a reputation for offering a personal service at reasonable cost.’

‘The team of Sam Payne and Alan Meiklejohn are great to work with. Not only have they provided me with good advice when required, I have witnessed them do likewise with mutual clients. The advice that they provide is high quality and without waffle – they tell their clients what they need to know given the scenario and are commercial in their approach.’

‘A powerhouse in the industry.’

‘Sam Payne is a heavy hitter in the insolvency world.’

‘Highly experienced team, able to adapt to matters in front of them and offer pro-active, solution orientated, straightforward advice. Acutely aware of the commercial realities of working on restructuring and insolvency assignments.’

‘Fantastic initial engagement and focus on the issues.’

‘Alan Mieklejohn has breadth of experience which can be applied in complex situations to deliver great results.’

‘A firm which has not lost its ability to provide very good advice on a regional level despite its large expansion nationally.’

‘Very knowledgeable individuals, Alan Meiklejohn has always provided an outstanding service and highly commercial advice in insolvency matters.’

Key clients

RSM

Thincats

Smith Cooper

KPMG

Mazars

Butcher Woods

FRP

MBI

Duff & Phelps

Smith & Williamson

Ratesetter (now part of Metro)

Hilco

SKG Capital

RCapital

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Opus Business Advisory Group in relation to the administration of Gilo Industries Group Limited. The team acted on a sale of the company’s business and assets, to include a number of subsidiaries.
  • Instructed by RSM Restructuring Advisory as administrators of Lendy Limited, a crowd-funding lender which publicly collapsed and entered administration in 2019.
  • Acted for RSM Restructuring Advisory, a leading financial and professional services firm, as administrators of Andrew Grant LLP, a well-established and reputable estate agent firm in the Midlands.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell counts asset-based lending as the core pillar of its practice and routinely advises on security issues, risk and credit reviews, option reviews for distressed businesses and every stage of related formal insolvency processes. Practice head Stephen George enjoys a prominent reputation for pensions deficit-led restructuring and insolvency assignments and is supported by Amy Keogh, an up-and-coming senior associate with a track record of acting for major corporates, institutional lenders, creditors and practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Stephen George

Other key lawyers:

Amy Keogh

Testimonials

‘Strong, all-round, joined-up advice’

‘Stephen George is an excellent partner who has a calm, balanced approach in all dealings coupled with commercial and practical application of the law.’

 

Key clients

PWC

Azets Restructuring & Insolvency

FRP

RSM Advisory

Grant Thornton

Mazars

Lloyds Banking Group

Shawbrook Bank Plc

Close Brothers Invoice Finance Ltd

Bibby Financial Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the board of directors of Deloitte and NatWest on financial planning, directors’ duties and a sales and marketing programme for Drayton Manor Park Limited, Drayton Manor Hotels Limited and Drayton Manor Catering Limited, the operating companies for one of the UK’s leading theme park and leisure attractions.
  • 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.
  • Advising Smith & Williamson as administrators of a leading SIPP administration business, including concluding a sale of the business on a pre-packaged basis to Hartley Pensions Limited, liaising with FOS, FCA and other regulators, and advising on the impact of mis-selling claims and toxic pension investments.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is instructed by insolvency practitioners, lenders and corporates for transactional, advisory and project matters, in addition to contentious affairs, and is particularly knowledgeable of the banking and financial services, energy and education sectors. The ‘highly technicalAndrew Taylor leads the department, running a broad workload which consists of restructuring and turnaround options and formal insolvency work such as asset sales and undertakings, validity of securities and directors’ conduct affairs; he is supported by Sheena Tandy, a legal director particularly knowledgeable of distressed asset sale, validity of appointment and security documentation matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Helen Readett; Sheena Tandy

Testimonials

‘They will take a pragmatic and commercial view of clients challenges and quickly become part of the client team.’

‘Andrew Taylor is able to step back from the detailed legal position and consider the commercial practicalities.’

‘Shakespeare Martineau take a pragmatic approach when providing legal advice and invariably, their advice is clear and commercial. They are able to navigate their way through complex situations and manage situations with multiple stakeholders well.’

‘Majority of our interactions are with Andrew Taylor. He provides clear advice to stakeholders in often challenging circumstances and ensures that matters progress.’

‘The insolvency & corporate recovery practice at Shakespeare Martineau is very experienced, responsive and commercial. I like using them on the basis they provide advice and proper recommended courses of action rather than just flagging options and risks. The charge-out rates are also very reasonable in the context of the quality of advice given.’

‘Andrew Taylor always provides excellent, unequivocal advice and is very responsive. I always get personal service and partner-led advice.’

‘Always available outside of usual working hours, will provide advice and assistance even when there is some doubt as to whether the instruction will be a fee paying assignment; this applies to both Andrew Taylor and Sheena Tandy.’

Key clients

Deloitte

Duff & Phelps

Lloyds Banking Group

RCapital

KPMG LLP

PwC LLP

FRP Advisory

Mazars

BDO

RSM

Leonard Curtis

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Worked with Mazars on the administration of 11 companies encompassing 37 individual care homes.
  • Advised the Board of Robin Hood Energy on the sale of its business to Centrica and the subsequent administration with partners from Deloitte being appointed as administrators of the business.
  • Advised Duff & Phelps on the administration of various parts of the Signature Property Group, including various real estate assets and other assets including the Hotel featured in the BBC documentary The Grand Party Hotel, a cruise-liner and the shareholdings in 70 separate subsidiaries within the Signature Group.

Squire Patton Boggs

Noted for its specialist knowledge of the high-street, hospitality, retail, education, pensions and automotive sectors, Squire Patton Boggs operates on a local, national and international scale; the restructuring and insolvency team has recently been active across Spain, Sweden, the UAE and US, among other jurisdictions. The ‘excellentDevinder Singh leads the group and is particularly busy on the contentious front, acting for major clearing banks, insolvency practitioners, asset-based lenders, corporates and creditors alike. The team also includes Russell Hill, hailed as an ‘excellent restructuring adviser’, along with ‘important’ senior associate Oliver Ward-Jones.

Practice head(s):

Devinder Singh

Other key lawyers:

Russell Hill; Oliver Ward-Jones

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of the local restructuring market.’

‘Russell Hill has a very good balance between commercial, practical and legal knowledge which is invaluable when delivering solutions for clients.’

‘Quick to respond, excellent legal advice. Proactive.’

‘The SPB team has strength in-depth and can always pull on the wider legal team for in depth sector or specialist area knowledge. Their responsiveness is always good and all the work is partner led, with clear, sound advice.’

‘Devinder Singh and Russell Hill are both excellent lawyers who lead the team from the front. They have excellent detailed legal knowledge and are always prepared to support us as a team as part of our long standing and close relationship. They are good guys to deal with and both ver personable.’

‘My main contact is Russell Hill who is both pragmatic and user friendly in highly charged matters which restructuring can often involve. Oliver Ward-Jones is an important part of the team. Devinder Singh is good on the contentious litigation side and we regularly work with him’

‘SPB’s restructuring practice is one of the leading mid market players in the UK, driven capably by Russell Hill who is one of our few go-to lawyers for complex situations.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank

Barclays Bank

KPMG

Ernst and Young

Grant Thornton

Duff & Phelps

Leonard Curtis

BDO

Cambridge & Counties Bank

RCapital

FRP Advisory

Secure Trust Bank

Thincats

Smith and Williamson

PNC

Sanko Gosei UK Limited

Litigation Funding Solutions Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Sanko Gosei UK Limited on the purchase of the business of Paintbox (Birmingham) Limited (in administration).
  • Continuing to act for Grant Thornton as liquidators of Economy Energy Ltd on multimillion-pound claims received from institutional creditors raising questions of entitlement and subrogation.
  • Acting for the administrators in the administration of Redeem UK Limited (Now R Realisations 1 Limited) and Redeem Holdings Limited (now R Realisations 2 Limited) in relation to the two separate disposals of the business known as Envirofone and a Spanish subsidiary.

Clarke Willmott LLP

At Clarke Willmott LLP, Stephanie Slinn is praised for being ‘excellent to work with and knowing the market well. She has a particular focus on contentious, property and construction-related insolvency matters. Slinn's workload is primarily drawn from insolvency practitioners though she also represents stakeholders and purchasers, frequently supporting on corporate recovery mandates in addition to business and asset sales.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Slinn; Martin Askew

Testimonials

‘Stephanie Slinn is decisive, logical, practical, persistent and easy to work with.’

‘Not only are the team all very approachable and easy to get hold of, they have a depth of practical knowledge from the least experienced through to partner level. This is unusual, but allows a swift response when called for.’

‘Stephanie Slinn is excellent to work with. She knows her market well, her advice is sound, and she has a knack of getting matters resolved sensibly and quickly without significant fuss or conflict.’

Key clients

Duff & Phelps

K J Watkin & Co

KPMG

FRP Advisory

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton

Santander

Cambridge & Counties Bank

Arbuthnot Latham

Stratford on Avon District Council

Smith & Williamson

Work highlights

  • Advised a large online retailer on refinancing and restructuring options including protection of the business and safeguarding the stakeholder interests.
  • Advised administrators Duff & Phelps on complex security documentation for pension fund creditors including a novel means of assessment and distribution which required court approval.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

A ‘very professional set-up with bright solicitors and strong support teams’, FBC Manby Bowdler LLP handles contentious and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency matters alike, working in tangent with the firm’s employment, property and IP departments where applicable. The group is particularly acclaimed for its expertise in director and officeholder claims, misfeasance and other forms of asset recovery work and is headed by Gareth Ruddock, hailed as a ‘clever litigator, well-rehearsed in complex insolvency litigation’. James Sage is also prominent figure, owing to his track record in corporate deals arising from administrations and liquidations.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Ruddock

Other key lawyers:

James Sage

Testimonials

‘A very professional set-up, with bright solicitors working there and strong support teams. Always easy to work with.’

‘Gareth Ruddock is a clever litigator and well-rehearsed in complex insolvency litigation. Always easy to work with.’

‘The team has a good range of very capable and diligent lawyers at all levels, which enables it to provide an excellent service to its clients. The team is extremely approachable and very easy to work with. ’

‘Gareth Ruddock is a longstanding partner who is extremely experienced in both insolvency and commercial matters. He is very popular with his clients and always delivers.’

Key clients

Leonard Curtis Recovery Limited

Muras Baker Jones Limited

Telent Technology Services Limited

Savills (UK) Limited

BCRS Business Loans Limited

Work highlights

  • Dealing with a significant claim arising out of a liquidation concerning wrongful trading, preference and misfeasance.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP is extremely active on the contentious front, acting for insolvency practitioners on proceedings including preference and director’s misfeasance claims, as well as transactions defrauding creditors. Practice head Leanne Schneider-Rose is also instructed by directors faced with disqualification, companies dealing with financial difficulties and banks seeking asset recovery; she is also an authority in the field of receivers, regularly giving seminars on the topic.

Practice head(s):

Leanne Schneider-Rose

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable, responsive coupled with high professional standards.’

‘Accessibility, transparency and a high degree of legal technical knowledge.’

‘My experience of working with this team is that it has strength at all levels and all individuals work incredibly hard when there is a difficult matter that requires a lot of attention to get over the line for the client. Client care is second to none. ’

‘Leanne Schneider-Rose has been at the firm a long time and is a well-respected and valued partner. Leanne always puts her clients first and goes above and beyond for them. She pays attention to detail and ensures that everything has been thought of.’

‘The insolvency team at Sydney Mitchell LLP benefit from a wealth of experience in respect of both personal and corporate insolvency. They are a trusted adviser.’

‘The team is very hands-on, and reacts quickly to situations. You are always assured of good advice.’

Key clients

Dains Business Recovery Ltd

Poppleton & Appleby

FRP Advisory LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising a bridging lender on its options to recover a loan where the loan was obtained by fraud and deception;  obtaining a freezing order against the assets of the parties to the fraud and deception.
  • Advising a bridging lender in respect of the appointment of a receiver over a property from which the borrower traded a Wimpey franchise.
  • Advising a receiver upon issues arising during her appointment relating to trading a business, tenants and renovations made to a property without planning permission which came to light following appointment.

The Wilkes Partnership

The Wilkes Partnership has a dedicated business recovery and turnaround team fronted by ‘charismatic’ department head David Cleary; he advises all stakeholders, including officeholders, directors, shareholders and creditors, on all components of corporate insolvency and restructuring matters. Cleary's expertise is complimented by the contentious prowess of Andrew Garland and John Cooper, well-versed in substantial reviewable transactions as well as relevant property, business and asset disposals.

Practice head(s):

David Cleary

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Garland; John Cooper; Emma Hutchison

Testimonials

‘The insolvency team at Wilkes go above and beyond to ensure the job gets done. ’

‘David Cleary and Emma Hutchinson always provide an efficient and commercial service. They have an ability to advise on the nuances and technicalities of insolvency law whilst balancing the commerciality of real world insolvency work.’

‘This practice has worked well during the challenges of the pandemic, and i have not seen the speed of quality of the progression of my cases affected. They have a unique way of cutting through the issues, both in terms of their advice and being commercial in their approach.

‘Andrew Garland is tremendously detailed in his analysis and thought process, but not to the extent of losing commercial focus. He is great to work with, collaborative and usually one step or more ahead of me!’

‘John Cooper is thoughtful yet efficient and moves cases along proficiently. He has a loyal following of IPs which demonstrates his user-friendly approach and capability.’

‘David Cleary is really clever, seeking and finding solutions for almost impossible cases.

‘Emma Hutchison is a good and clear lawyer retaining the abiality to balance legal advice with commerciality.’

‘David Cleary is charismatic and modest. He would never admit it, but he is really rather good intellectually too.’

Key clients

AABRS

Begbies Traynor

Rendle & Co

Bridgewood

K J Watkin

Butcher Woods

Muras Baker Jones

Poppleton & Appleby (Birmingham)

EWS

Advantage Commercial Finance Ltd

Manolete & Partners

RGI Insolvency

FRP Birmingham

RSM Hull

Azets

Quantuma

CVR Global

TRI Advisory

Cirrus Professional Services

Ballard Business Recovery

Thursfields Solicitors

At Thursfields Solicitors, department head Stephen Rome has a track record of work on multimillion-pound insolvency claims and is acclaimed as a ‘clever litigator with a good breadth of experience’. His team is also active on the non-contentious front where it provides business rescue and restructuring advice and also supports office holders, buyers and liquidators on  disclaiming leases and asset sales.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Rome

Testimonials

‘A very professional set-up, with bright solicitors working there and strong support teams. Have coped well in the pandemic and used technology very well.’

‘Stephen Rome is a clever litigator with a good breadth of experience. Always available and friendly.’

‘The practice allows individuals to express themselves fully, enabling them to craft their own individual style, stand out in their sector and become work winners in their own right.’

‘Very personable and tenacious team. Always act with the client’s interests put first.’

Key clients

Ivy and Alldey Loveridge, Bewdley Caravan Sales Ltd and Kingsford Caravan Park Ltd

Ward Sheldrake Consultancy

Manolete plc

Begbies Traynor

Durkan Cahill

Work highlights

  • Advising the majority shareholders in defending a claim for just and equitable winding up made by their son in respect of five family companies valued around £20m.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP supports insolvency practitioners on a broad range of matters and is known for offering a 'full package' of services, with a 'coherent team ethic'. The team also routinely advises on antecedent transactions, including those with a TUV and multi-jurisdictional element. Department leader Caroline Benfieldformulates clear advice on complex matters’, overseeing a team which is also well-versed in all aspects of personal insolvency as well as contentious wrongful trading, misfeasance and directors’ duties proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Benfield

Other key lawyers:

Robert Lee; Elizabeth Taylor; Joel Woolf; Terry Dickson

Testimonials

‘Technically strong with a broad skillset. Strong insolvency team is well supplemented by an excellent corporate team and VAT experts.’

‘Caroline Benfield is technically strong with a broad skillset; able to understand complex matters and formulate clear advice; responsive and client-friendly.’

‘Exceptional insolvency expertise.’

‘Caroline Benfield has acted for me over a number of years and I have always been very impressed with her work and the results she achieves. Caroline is a joy to work with, she is always there for the client and takes everything that litigation can throw in her stride, calm, competent and the ultimate professional.’

‘Very good and coherent team ethic, with different disciplines able to work together to offer a full package of services when required.’

‘Very approachable and commercial.’

Key clients

KPMG

Grant Thornton

Mazars

Quantuma

BDO LLP

BRI

Ballard Business Recovery

Accura Accountants Business Recovery Turnaround Limited

Robert Day and Company Limited

Fieldstead Insolvency Limited

FRP Advisory LLP

Manolete Partners Plc

Opus Restructuring and Insolvency

Merchant Money