5th January 2016
According to Simon Rowe, the traditional view of an insolvency practitioner is as the harbinger of doom. However, he emphasises that it is important to recognise that the skill sets possessed by the team at Milsted Langdon LLP are used widely in helping clients overcome difficulties outside the formal insolvency environment.
Milsted Langdon has undertaken a considerable amount of work in helping people who discover that they have a problem which requires a pragmatic solution from someone who is used to dealing with difficult situations with little or no notice.
“The reality of this work is that it can be very varied and defining the circumstances where it can be of assistance is not easy,” says Simon. “The below should provide a flavour of some of the cases where we have helped clients through difficult periods.”
“We were undertaking consulting work for a retail business which required help on succession planning. Unfortunately, during this process, the MD was taken seriously ill and was out of action for six months. There was no-one immediately available to take over the helm and we were asked to step in on an interim basis. Whilst management were able to maintain the business on a day-to-day basis, we became involved in sorting out unanticipated difficulties as and when they arose. When the MD recovered from his illness, he was able to pick up the business largely unaffected by his absence due to illness.”
An unhappy separation
“Milsted Langdon was approached by both directors of a pseudo-partnership who had fallen out in dramatic fashion and could no longer operate the business together. As it stood, the business was solvent although both parties felt pressured into placing the company into some form of insolvency as it could not function effectively with the breakdown in management. Unfortunately, the particular type of business, guardianship for overseas students, meant that any insolvency would have seen a disproportionate level of costs and result in 50 children not receiving the care and support they needed.
“We worked with both parties to find a workable solution that allowed the company to see out its existing contractual obligations and cease to trade without requiring any insolvency process and without any breaches of its service obligations.”
Where there’s a will there’s a way
“In this case, we were engaged by the family of a sole practitioner solicitor who had sadly passed away. He had died whilst still running his practice and the family had found themselves suddenly responsible for it. Discussions with the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) had not resulted in an intervention on their part and the family were at a loss as to what to do.
“We worked with the family to ensure that the ‘live’ cases the practice was dealing with were re-homed elsewhere, the client account balances were returned to the rightful homes, run-off cover was obtained and the closed cases were archived and appropriately stored. The SRA were engaged in the process and all the appropriate regulations were adhered to, leaving the SRA, the family and the clients all satisfied with the outcome.”
Loss of capacity
“My team were instructed in a sad set of circumstances to help an individual who, following a serious car accident, found that he was no longer capable of running his two companies and needed someone to step in and trade them whilst a buyer was found. We were able to undertake this work and found a purchaser for one of the companies. Whilst the other did not prove to be saleable, we were able to wind down its operations in a controlled and orderly fashion.”
An early retirement
“A client had traded his business for many years and was thinking of retirement. However, deteriorating health left him feeling unable to deal with the wind down of his business. A freehold property meant that all creditors, including redundancy costs, would eventually be paid, but it would take time for the realisation to take place and creditors, including stocking loans, needed to be dealt with in this time.
“We assisted in the closure of the business, including employee related issues, and communicated with creditors (including HMRC), whilst the freehold was marketed to obtain the optimum value, and then managed the discharge of the liabilities, without the need for any formalised insolvency procedure.”
All of these cases led to satisfied clients with enhanced outcomes and costs considerably lower than they would have been otherwise. If you believe that you have a client who could benefit from our assistance, or if you require our assistance, please contact us to see how we may be able to help.