Insolvency & recovery

Leathes Prior is well known for its niche insolvency practice and is one of only a handful of law firms in the East of England that has lawyers dedicating all of their time to insolvency law and practice. The team offers specialist advice on insolvency and recovery for both businesses and individuals.

Our Insolvency solicitors provide specialist assistance with corporate recovery and turnaround procedures including Company and Partnership Voluntary Arrangements, Voluntary and Compulsory Liquidations and Administrations, advising both office holders and directors. Our expertise also covers director’s disqualification proceedings and defended misfeasance and wrongful trading actions against directors.

Advice to Companies

Whether the company is being pursued by one or more creditors who have served a statutory demand, presented a winding up petition or where there is general creditor pressure, we can advise the company and directors on various formal and informal procedures to alleviate creditor pressure including:

  • Informal arrangements with creditors
  • Company Voluntary Arrangements
  • Administrations
  • Receiverships
  • Voluntary and Compulsory liquidation and Compulsory liquidation

Advice to Directors

Whilst nearly all companies have the benefit of limited liability, the protection for directors and shareholders is often compromised by the giving of personal guarantees and/or granting of security over personal assets to banks, finance companies and sometimes key suppliers. We can assist directors by advising on their potential liability and, as appropriate, by negotiating with the creditor concerned, which may lead to a substantial reduction in the director’s liability. Alternatively we can advise the director on the personal insolvency procedures available to him. If a company is placed into liquidation, the Liquidator is obliged by law to investigate the conduct of the director whilst he was managing the company’s business and if it is found that the director’s conduct falls below what is reasonably expected of him, he may find himself subject to:

  • Director’s Disqualification Orders and Undertakings where the director may be prevented from acting as a director of a company in the future
  • Wrongful trading where the director may be held liable to pay some, or all, of the debts of the company
  • Fraudulent trading where the director may be held liable to pay some, or all of the debts of the company and may face imprisonment for up to seven years
  • Misfeasance where the director has breached his fiduciary duties to the company.
  • Preference transactions where creditors of the company (including the director) have been preferred by the company to the detriment of other creditors
  • Transactions at undervalue where assets of the company have been purchased from the company by the director or his family in the period of two years prior to liquidation

Directors should therefore seek advice as soon as possible to minimise their potential liability.

Advice to Office Holders

Leathes Prior advises many Licensed Insolvency Practitioners, both locally and nationally, who accept appointments as Liquidator, Trustee in Bankruptcy, Supervisor, Administrator or Receiver. The team advises on all aspects and legal problems faced by Insolvency Practitioner. At Leathes Prior we recognise that Office Holders may not be in funds to finance litigation and therefore we are prepared to act on formal or informal conditional fee agreements, with or without the benefit of after-the-event insurance protection.

Personal Insolvency

The team advises on all aspects of personal insolvency including Bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Arrangements, acting for Trustees in Bankruptcy, Supervisors and individuals with financial difficulties. The team specialises in:

  • Advice to debtors
  • Advice to trustees in bankruptcy
  • Advice to bankrupts
  • Bankruptcy offences
  • Matrimonial home
  • Bankruptcy annulment and termination of bankruptcy
  • Debt Relief Orders
  • Debt management plans and other informal alternatives of debt relief

The team’s expertise was recently recognised at the ‘Finance Monthly Awards 2015’ as Leathes Prior Solicitors won the Personal Insolvency Firm of the yearaward.