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Work 020 7628 7576
Fax 0870 608 9390
Leeds, London

Jim Varley

Work 020 7880 4376
Devonshires Solicitors LLP

Work Department

Commercial Litigation


Jim is an insolvency partner with extensive knowledge of forensic recovery and contentious insolvency. Over 20 years he has built a strong expertise in reorganisations, administrations, pre-packs, administrative receiverships and LPA receiverships, voluntary arrangements and bankruptcy situations.

His work includes advising creditors in relation to their rights and options in relation to unsecured liabilities in both liquidations and bankruptcies, and also advising and assisting Insolvency Practitioners in seeking to recovering assets and liabilities in usually zero asset insolvencies. Jim’s recent experience includes:

  • acting for a liquidator in seeking to recover moneys from a former director resulting in a recovery of £1m;
  • acting for a liquidator in a claim against a former director for the recovery of company moneys spent by him for his personal use resulting in full recovery plus interest and full indemnity costs;
  • acting for a provisional liquidator and special manager of a partnership accused of alcohol diversion fraud involving multi-jurisdictional aspects in the USA, France etc;
  • advising an estate in relation to a multi-million, multi-jurisdictional VAT evasion fraud in which they recovered large sums;
  • undertaken a search and seizure application in the United States;
  • examination of witnesses in a court in India;
  • advising insolvency practitioners in relation to asset recovery from bankrupts;
  • advising in relation to directors' liability arising from their conduct in running various insolvent companies and successful recovery from them;
  • forensic investigation for insolvency practitioners; advising in relation to bankruptcies of partners of a large accountancy practice that went into liquidation; and
  • advising in relation to the retention of title claims made following the collapse of a large retail organisation.


Trained at Hugh Cartwright Solicitors, qualified in 1995. Jim began his career as a legal executive at Wilkinson Solicitors in 1988 moving as a partner to Hugh Cartwright Solicitors before qualifying as a solicitor in 1995. He then began work at Moon Beever Solicitors undertaking pure insolvency work, before becoming an associate at Davies Arnold Cooper and a consultant at Salans LLP. He was one of the founding partners of Locke Lord (UK) LLP in 2012 and recently moved to Devonshires Solicitors LLP to head their insolvency and debt recovery practice. Partner Devonshires 2015.


Fellow of R3 and a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and INSOL.


Nottingham Law School; Fellowship of the Institute of Legal Executives.

London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

Devonshires Solicitors LLP's 'pragmatic, economic and client-focused practice' is  well known for its large client base of housing providers. The team's disputes experience includes insolvency, debt recovery, fraud, regulatory issues and private finance initiatives. Philip Barden, James Dunn and Jim Varley are the key contacts.

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Debt recovery

Within: Debt recovery

Devonshires Solicitors LLP's clients include a mix of City SMEs, financial institutions, large multinational businesses, social housing landlords and local authorities. The team, which is spread across London, Colchester and Leeds, handles all forms of secured and unsecured debt recovery. Robert Edge and Jim Varley co-lead the team. Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs left the firm after a seven-year stint to join Keystone Law in May 2018.

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