Our insolvency and restructuring team is vastly experienced and has advised the firms finance clients for the past two decades on all aspects of insolvency legislation.
Keeping ahead of changes in legislation
Even before the wholesale changes to the insolvency regime were brought in by the Enterprise Act 2001 (which affected the entire approach to insolvency), our team has been ahead of the curve on the impact of legislative changes for its clients. One example were the sweeping changes from September 2003 when financiers could no longer appoint their own administrative receivers and had to learn to adopt “out of court” administrations under their qualifying floating charges – something which can often cause conflict between secured lenders and their appointed insolvency practitioners, who have an overriding duty to all creditors.
Case law has also developed significantly over the last two decades with cases such as Spectrum Plus having a major detrimental impact of secured lenders by
- setting out the strict requirements as regards fixed charges on book debts; and
- bringing into question the validity of fixed charges over other assets purportedly secured by fixed charges where adequate controls have not been exercised in practice.
The increasing consequence of these changes is that insolvency practitioners are eager to regard security as floating, meaning that realisations are impacted by the deduction of fees and costs of the administration and a prescribed part being set aside for unsecured creditors before the lender receives any surplus.
Practical assistance for our banking clients
Our team has advised asset based lenders and financiers for many years on practical steps which can be taken to better preserve its security and assist in the appointment process with insolvency practitioners best suited for each appointment. Our banking clients take great comfort in knowing that having Francis Wilks & Jones as the chosen legal advisors to insolvency practitioners appointed, the insolvency practitioner will be properly advised by a firm which fully understands the lender’s product and can ensure a collaborative approach to assist in ensuring the best possible recovery.
Practical assistance for our SME clients
Our team receives many enquiries from company directors and business owners facing financial distress but who are reluctant to see their businesses enter into formal insolvency proceedings for a variety of reasons, such as
- reputational damage;
- termination of key contracts; or
- confidence that their businesses can be turned around with some professional help.
We are fortunate in being well placed to handpick the right professional partners, including asset based lenders an alternative financiers to assist with refinancing as part of any restructuring plan depending on business size, sector and geographical location.
As Francis Wilks & Jones is a specialist banking and asset based lending law firm, our insolvency and restructuring team works closely with our banking and finance team to ensure robust document drafting up front and a collaborative approach with our litigation team to ensure that we take every step to maximise recoveries for our clients.
Please contact Tim Francis or Mike Lockton should you wish to discuss any financial distress situation experienced by your clients.