Insolvency & Asset Recovery

  • Overview
  • Case studies
  • Our team has extensive experience in advising office holders, lenders and corporate and public bodies in a variety of service sectors in connection with a broad range of insolvency and asset recovery matters and provides a full range of technical and litigation support.

    We have a demonstrated ability to deal with the insolvency of foreign entities which raise both complex high value cross-border insolvency and the full range of UK insolvency issues involving a number of competing interests and stakeholders. We work closely with insolvency practitioners where appropriate to ensure that insolvent estates are administered efficiently and effectively to the benefit of creditors. We advise clients on the drafting of and understanding the impact of insolvency provisions in contractual documents, as well as on all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency including assisting clients who have made overpayments in error or have been overpaid as creditors of an insolvent entity.

    We also work with clients to recover debts. We ascertain at the outset relevant commercial and practical considerations and any wider issues which should be taken into account to ensure any recovery steps taken will deliver best value. Our debt recovery work includes large scale recoveries for clients such as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as well as in relation to commercial contracts, invoice debt, tenant arrears and enforcing court judgments and securities.

    Working with clients

    Organisations enter into contractual arrangements with a wide range of third party providers of goods and services which increases exposure to the risk of being owed monies from a business which gets into financial difficulty and may become subject to an insolvency procedure. Such an eventuality is likely to significantly reduce the prospect of being paid any debt in full (or at all) and increases the risk of disruption to key services.

    Bevan Brittan has a clear understanding of how corporate financial distress and insolvency affects our clients. For many years we have successfully advised clients across various sectors that have been touched by the distressed financial status or insolvency of commercial entities.

    Our team acts for a large number of public bodies including local authorities, regulators, NHS trusts and ombudsman in resolving complex commercial, regulatory and public law disputes as well as for private sector clients in commercial disputes.

    We have been involved in some of the most high profile insolvencies to have affected firms in the legal services market. Our practical advice on issues relating to client money and client files, for example, has ensured that firms have met their legal obligations. It has also meant that value has been retained.

    We also know that maintaining supply is crucial for public bodies and health boards. Insolvency threatens this. And when it happens, we negotiate, on an individual or collective level, to ensure critical supply is kept up.

    Our insolvency and asset recovery team has extensive experience in insolvency procedures (both individual and corporate and in respect of both UK and cross-border insolvencies) as well as asset tracing and debt recovery. We also work closely with colleagues in other fields to ensure you are provided with comprehensive advice and support.

  • How we support our clients

    • Our Regulatory Team played a key role in most of the large firm insolvencies including: Dewey LeBoeuf, Halliwells, Challinors, Davenport Lyons, Cobbetts and Pennington Manches. Our work in this area was recognised by the Lawyer Magazine Awards for the Regulatory Team of the Year in 2014 which noted the proactive and innovative approach we adopted.
    • We have acted for the Local Government Association (LGA) and the 123 affected local authorities and other public sector bodies in relation to the Icelandic banking crisis and secured their status as priority creditors, increasing their anticipated overall recoveries by £650 million. Our work included dealing with Icelandic District Court and Supreme Court insolvency-related proceedings; attending Open Creditors' meetings and Informal Creditors' Committee meetings (in London and Reykjavik) in respect of the insolvent Icelandic banks; and reporting to four client sub-groups on progress and strategy in connection with both the litigation and work out of assets from the insolvent estates. We were shortlisted for Litigation Team of the Year in both the Legal Business Awards and The Lawyer 2012 in recognition of our success in the significant recoveries made.
    • We acted on behalf of 51 UK local authorities and 2 higher education institutions in relation to the negotiated settlement of 81 claims brought by the insolvent Icelandic bank, Glitnir hf in respect of an alleged overpayment. We successfully negotiated a significant discount on the original claimed amount in our clients' favour.
    • Advising a financial services regulator on pursuing recoveries in excess of £400m in insolvencies of group companies of a failed property fund subject to jurisdictions of various Caribbean countries. Our work involves playing a key role in forcing the entities into administration which in turn requires consideration of complex cross-border insolvency issues and issues of fraud.

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