Our focus is you

We understand the unique factors at play when businesses and individuals are facing financial distress.  We work with an array of stakeholders and are well placed to resolve issues using both formal and informal insolvency procedures where appropriate, restructuring strategies and dispute resolution.

If formal insolvency is the right route for a business, we can make introductions to trusted insolvency practitioners with whom we work as a team; and provide expert legal assistance and advice throughout that process.  Where informal insolvency options are more viable, we work to deliver alternative effective outcomes, whether rebuilding, reorganising or demerging. We also advise lenders and individuals affected by businesses in financial distress, addressing issues around security enforcement, claims against directors, directors disqualification, misfeasance, and bankruptcy.

Who we help

Lenders and borrowers

DMH Stallard works with a wide range of lenders, creditors, businesses, boards of directors and insolvency practitioners – advising on numerous areas of the borrowing and lending journey.

What happens if the borrower is unable to pay?

We advise on a wide range of sensitive positions, aiming to guide our clients to a sensible and pragmatic position. From a strategic review to implementing active protectionist strategies, we use our collective experience and expertise to effectively engage all available contractual and statutory tools to achieve a client’s aims. This might encompass advising on debt options (including security reviews) and working through contingencies, debt management, restructuring plans, schemes of arrangement, or we will consider the steps leading to more formal insolvency options (liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements), such as reservations of rights and demand letters. We work closely with all stakeholders to limit and manage their risks.

How can we help lenders (and borrowers)? 

We have strong and independent working relationships with major lenders, businesses and insolvency practitioners and work hand in hand with them to achieve results.

When acting for borrowers, we bring an experienced eye to proceedings, using our market knowledge and position to assist the borrower in dealing with its distressed position.

Insolvency practitioners

We regularly act for insolvency practitioners leading up to and post their appointment in a formal insolvency process and advise on appointments over both corporates and individuals. We advise administrators, liquidators, supervisors, receivers, and trustees in bankruptcy.

How can we assist insolvency practitioners? 

We have an experienced and pragmatic Restructuring and Insolvency team, with various discrete areas of specialism covering the wide and broad range of challenges that insolvency practitioners face in their day-to-day roles.  From pre-appointment considerations, receiverships, trading administrations, disputed liquidations, through to antecedent transaction claims, we have a team dedicated to assisting the appointment-taker from commencement to closure of their file.

How can we maximise value? 

We have particular expertise in the transactional insolvency space. On the transactional side, we advise on all areas of restructuring, including on lender documentation, debt-restructurings, creditor-management, and sales and purchases.

On the contentious side, we advise on all areas of insolvency. These include discrete insolvency actions; remuneration applications and disputes; debt claims; director claims and antecedent transaction claims; asset-tracing & recovery; and fraud claims.

Where appropriate, we work alongside our specialist financial, regulatory and property colleagues who can assist in advising on specialist issues and claims that may arise during the insolvency process. Our utilization of their combined knowledge across the firm enables us to deal with complex matters faced by insolvency practitioners in a practical manner that is cohesive, agile and cost-effective.

Businesses and entrepreneurs

We advise directors, shareholders, businesses (PLCs, limited companies, LLPs, partnerships and sole traders) and creditors on their options when faced with distressed positions.

What do businesses need to consider when in a financial distressed position? 

When a business is facing insolvency, understanding the legal duties that directors may owe to either the company and/or its creditors is critical.  Alongside this, addressing the viable options available to them in a pragmatic commercial manner is vital.  Clear independent legal advice as early as possible is crucial in enabling you to take control of and effectively manage the situation at an early stage.

How can we help you and your business or your business investment? 

We advise on all issues faced by businesses and their leaders. This includes creditor actions, threatened insolvency proceedings, advising on directors’ duties, cross and/or director guarantees and advising on director disqualification.

With our legal experience and market expertise, we can assist businesses working alongside its lenders or other advisers, such as insolvency practitioners.

Clients who are restructuring

From corporate to personal insolvency procedures, we have the in-depth knowledge to guide clients through the varied restructuring procedures that arise in this area.

Corporate procedures

Our specialist Restructuring and Insolvency team advises stakeholders, lenders, businesses, creditors, insolvency practitioners and individual investors on all areas of corporate restructuring and insolvency.  This includes advising on restructuring plans, schemes of arrangement, CVA’s (Company Voluntary Arrangements) through to the more formal steps leading to or arising from liquidations (Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL), Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and Compulsory Liquidation, and Administrations (whether the administrators are appointed by a Qualifying Floating Chargeholder (QFCH), directors or the administration is creditor-led).

Personal procedures 

Our Restructuring and Insolvency team also advises lenders, creditors, individuals and other interested parties on all aspects of individual insolvency procedures. Work includes: Debt Relief Orders; Individual Voluntary Arrangements; Bankruptcy; and Bankruptcy Restriction Orders.

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Chambers & Partners UK 2024 Frank Bouette
Frank Bouette
Jo Rovery
Keith Pearlman

Recent work

Restructuring and Insolvency

Acting for the administrators of a property development company in default of lending facilities

This was a complex matter because the development in question was part complete and partly tenanted. The building was also the subject of Grenfell cladding issues.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Acting for a creditor in a special administration

Involving a complex interplay of cross-border and sanctions issues within the English and Welsh insolvency legal framework, this leading case concerned how Special Administrators were looking to sell/distribute the company’s (in special administration) assets with a value of US$233 million held in Russia.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Representing administrators of a national logistics company

The administrators faced a decision on whether to risk the expense of keeping the administration process open while large scale, class action litigation from which the company in administration might benefit proceeded.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Acting for offshore lender in dispute with defaulting borrower

Our client advanced several million in loans to a company developing short-term accommodation. The project fell into difficulties early on, to the extent that it would not be completed within budget so that our client lender would never be repaid in full. We provided extensive advice to the lender on its options, including the possibility of appointing administrators and/or receivers to take control of the borrower/property and transfer it into a joint venture.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Advising national group of companies on restructure

Our client has a revolving credit facility with a UK clearing bank, plus various other loans. The COVID-19 pandemic had a serious effect on the client’s business, which it started to recover from during 2022.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Acting for liquidators of publishing firm

We advised the liquidators on the sale of various company assets, including its trading business immediately before liquidation and related assets, such as the sale of intellectual property rights owned by it.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Using mediation to reach settlement following liquidation

We acted for the liquidators of a building contractor that fell into insolvent liquidation owing nearly £1million to creditors, many of them consumers. Following an extended mediation and extensive negotiations, we reached a settlement on terms acceptable to the client.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Acting for individual director of private limited company

We are instructed by the director of a construction company which went into liquidation with creditor claims exceeding several million. Our client faces a claim for misfeasance for allowing the payments to be made to shareholders in preference to the creditors which the Company had at the time. The client disputed all the claims on various grounds, including arguing that the company was in fact insolvent when he resigned given the projects the company had underway and in the pipeline.

Partner liability during insolvency

Acting for the partner of a solicitor’s firm that entered into administration on his liabilities to repay capital due to a former (retired) partner; his liabilities as regards the insolvent firm; and his duties generally in respect of the administration.

News and Insights

Penalties for breaching environmental legislation

Insights

An overview of the environmental regulator’s approach to the enforcement and prosecution of environmental offences which outlines the potential penalties and other implications for a businesses who breaches environmental legislation

25/02/2015

Enforcing possession orders – how not to do it

Insights

We explain how not to enforce possession orders, as shown in London Borough of Southwark -v- AA [2014] EWHC 500 (QB)

29/09/2015