We work with the full range of stakeholders involved in the insolvency process before, during and after formal insolvency. Where appropriate we try to avoid a formal insolvency process through restructuring, informal settlement and corporate finance. This includes liaising closely with banks, other institutional lenders, private equity and venture capital firms, angel and crowd funders, major suppliers, HMRC and landlords.

Our clients include insolvency practitioners, funders, creditors, debtors and those looking to purchase assets from an insolvent company or individual. In the case of corporate insolvency, we often advise directors in respect of their fiduciary duties and the risk of personal liability arising out of a company or LLP insolvency. In the case of personal insolvency, we help individuals subject to the insolvency process or those owed money by insolvent individuals including spouses in the context of divorce proceedings.

Our insolvency team is drawn from a variety of different service areas within the firm including litigation and dispute resolution, corporate and commercial, debt recovery, property and family.

Business rescue and insolvency

When your business is in financial difficulty, you need sensible commercial and legal advice quickly. Our lawyers are known for their innovative solutions to legal problems and are able to work to tight timescales.

If a business is capable of rescue, our lawyers provide guidance on the technical and procedural aspects of the Insolvency Act and Insolvency Rules 1986. Any rescue plan must comply with insolvency law at the same time as guarding directors against personal liability.

Where it is in our client’s best interests, we make introductions to specialist insolvency practitioners who can be appointed as office holders under insolvency law. They use one of the following forms of insolvency process to rescue the company

  • administration
  • receivership
  • company or individual voluntary arrangements (CVAs or IVAs)
  • schemes of arrangement.

Where it is not possible to rescue the company, we advise on the orderly winding up of the business’ affairs. Again, in appropriate cases we make introductions to specialist insolvency practitioners. Winding up a business’ affairs can include

  • creditor’s voluntary liquidation
  • member’s voluntary liquidation (where the company is solvent on a balance sheet basis)
  • compulsory liquidation
  • bankruptcy (in the case of sole traders or partnerships).

Our lawyers also regularly advise insolvency practitioners on all technical aspects of the insolvency process such as the appropriate form of appointment, the order of priority of creditors and procedural applications to the court.

Insolvency and Restructuring news

What Clients Say
  • The dispute resolution team is well regarded in the insolvency sector. Debenhams Ottaway’s insolvency team are exposed to more complex, higher value disputes, than you would normally expect of firms in this category. I frequently refer work to the firm where my firm are conflicted and have had only positive feedback.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Alexander Neale heads up an extremely competent team focusing on insolvency and restructuring from the debt recovery end to large scale corporate restructuring.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Alexander Neale is technically brilliant, charming and easy to deal with which means that as an opposing solicitor there is no game playing or unnecessary correspondence, just hard facts and options, which is very refreshing.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • I have instructed Debenhams Ottaway on many cases and they have never failed to deliver anything less than excellence. A practical, commercial and user friendly approach combined with expertise in the law, practice and procedure of contentious insolvency.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • They are all hard-working, commercial and pragmatic lawyers who go the extra mile for clients. The firm has a good collegiate culture and a modern settlement-focused approach to litigation.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Alex Neale is a fantastic lawyer. Great to work with and always puts in the extra effort for clients. He is very capable and conscientious and is excellent at settling disputes.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023