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Our team is able to provide a full range of services to insolvency practitioners in both corporate and personal insolvency matters.

We have decades of combined experience acting for a broad range of insolvency practitioners from small firms and sole practitioners to multi-national accountants. Whatever an office-holders needs, our team has the strength in depth to help. 

We understand that claims and disputes in an insolvency process are rarely simple. That’s why Francis Wilks & Jones’ insolvency practitioners are equipped with a broad range of specialist experience from the Official Receiver’s office, accountancy and professional insolvency entities as well as the legal world in city, regional and international firms.

Insolvency solicitors

We can provide expert advice in the following areas

Administration

Access to valid, reliable and expedient administration appointments is crucial to any insolvency practitioner. We provide comprehensive pre-appointment strategic advice and regularly assist insolvency practitioners in taking office. 

Our specialist team can then guide our insolvency practitioner clients in all aspects of a matter post appointment and we strive to provide a bespoke approach based on the funding available in a particular administration estate and the feasibility or proportionality of any potential causes of action.

Our team can help walk you through your administration appointment options and overall strategy.

Antecedent transactions

The financial affairs of a company entering any form of insolvency process are often extremely complex, particularly where the former directors attempt to leverage their control of the company pre-insolvency to improve their own position or those of their business associates, often at the expense of the company’s creditors. 

The recovery of these antecedent transactions is understandably a high priority for insolvency practitioners. Our specialist insolvency team is highly experienced in unravelling often complex transactions and ensuring payments are made back in to the insolvency estate by those at fault. 

Asset tracing and recovery

At Francis Wilks & Jones, our expertise and experience in all forms of insolvency estates puts us at the forefront of insolvency and asset recovery. We regularly assist our insolvency practitioner clients with asset tracing and recovery advice, all of which helps maximise returns in to the insolvency estate.

Our team is experienced at

  • locating;
  • identifying;
  • and recovering assets

both in this country and abroad.

We take a flexible approach to each claim as every insolvency estate is different. As such, we work with Insolvency Practitioners to devise and implement asset recovery solutions which ensure that the strategies we implement for the recovery of assets are financially beneficial and make commercial sense.

Bankruptcy

The specialist insolvency team at Francis Wilks & Jones are highly experienced in all aspects of personal insolvency and regularly tackle the complex situations which often arise when an individual is made bankrupt.

We utilise the full spectrum of insolvency powers available to investigate, locate, preserve and recover assets and our team have experience dealing with cases involving elements of fraud, regulatory breaches and cross-border claims. If you have any questions regarding the service that we provide to trustees in bankruptcy, do not hesitate to contact one of our dedicated insolvency experts for an informal discussion.

Creditor services

Our team works closely with our clients’ creditor services teams, regularly assisting with communications with creditors and collating support for an appointment.

Our broad client and contact base (particularly in the asset based lending industry), combined with our significant debt recovery offering means that we are often in the position to refer work to the right creditor services team. We use our experience in all forms of formal insolvency to ensure that clients take office in the most cost-effective, efficient and reliable way possible during more complex creditor-led appointment applications.

Cyroptocurrency

Insolvency Practitioners spend much of their working lives dealing with the property of others. Usually this is in the form of cash, shares, real property, cars and other tangible assets. However, attention is increasingly turning to non-tangible assets such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”). This is in part due to their surge in popularity amongst both institutional and retail investors, as well as their inherently unregulated nature which makes them an attractive store of wealth.

Insolvency Practitioners have a duty to realise the cryptocurrency and face exposure where they fail to take the necessary practical steps to identify, recover, insure and take control of the asset or where they fail to adopt a credible disposal strategy. The cryptocurrency market is volatile and as such, the value of cryptocurrency can drastically rise or fall. The timing of sale of cryptocurrency is therefore key as is taking advice surrounding whether the cryptocurrency should be sold in one or multiple tranches. If you are an Insolvency Practitioner with an estate that may contain Cryptocurrency, we can assist to advise you regarding your options, the steps available to maximise the return to creditors and to lower the risk of personal exposure.

Our guide for Insolvency Practitioners on Cryptocurrency and Insolvency can be accessed here.

Debt recovery

We are superb at debt recovery. Effective recovery of outstanding book debts and other assets for the benefit of creditors is crucial to the vast majority of insolvency estates. The specialist insolvency team at Francis Wilks & Jones (in connection with our highly established debt recovery and litigation teams) can assist with all aspects of insolvency recovery work to maximize realisations with commerciality and expedience.

  • Francis Wilks & Jones has been on the panel of a number of well-known and high profile secured lenders for many years;
  • we draw on this experience broad experience in debt recovery for our insolvency practitioner clients and understand that maximizing asset realisations is crucial to effectively manage and progress an insolvency process.

We operate a highly bespoke insolvency debt recovery system that enables easy and quick sales ledger recovery. It has been specifically developed to assist Insolvency Practitioners to maximise recoveries in to the insolvent estate.

Liquidation

Liquidations remain a valuable tool for insolvency practitioners, allowing office-holders to proceed with an efficient wind-down of the estate unencumbered by the purpose-led duties of the administration process and empowering insolvency practitioners to disclaim onerous property and contracts for the benefit of creditors.

Our team frequently provide expert advice to Insolvency Practitioners throughout the course of a liquidation, including

  • the different forms of entry into formal insolvency;
  • the potential feasibility of a voluntary or solvent liquidation; and
  • the statutory obligations of a liquidator to realise and distribute assets to different classes of creditors.

If you are a liquidator and would like to discuss your obligations or any difficulties you are facing with asset realisation, antecedent transactions or possible claims against directors, feel free to contact our team of liquidation specialists today to discuss your options.

Receiverships

Although administrative receiverships have all but been phased out as a result of the Enterprise Act, LPA and fixed-charge receiverships are still an important, bespoke tool to protect financiers in circumstances where other formal insolvency processes are less desirable or inappropriate.

Where dealing with receiverships as an insolvency practitioner, however, it is important to have a legal team that you can rely on to help you navigate the varied duties and responsibilities incumbent on a receiver as opposed to those operating in more routine liquidation or administration appointments.

The specialist insolvency team at FWJ regularly works closely with receivers and has extensive experience providing guidance throughout the course of a receivership appointment to minimise potential challenges from borrowers and third parties and ensure that any realisation of charged assets is effected in the most seamless and cost-effective way possible.  

Restructuring

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and its introduction of a new ‘Restructuring Plan’ and supervisory moratorium have brought corporate restructuring to the forefront of the minds of many directors and Insolvency Practitioners alike, providing important new tools to avoid the entry into a formal insolvency process.

Our specialist restructuring team works closely with directors, insolvency practitioners, alternative financiers and accountancy firms to achieve a turnaround or rescue of struggling companies. Whether this involves a reorganisation of the company’s debts, the sale of certain assets, hiving off unprofitable parts of the Company or parts of a group, we are able to advise the professionals appointed and tasked with keeping the company going to ensure the best possible outcome.


Whatever the nature of your enquiry, contact one of our friendly legal team today. We are here to help.

Key contacts

Rebecca Robinson

Rebecca Robinson

Senior Associate

Barry McGouran

Barry McGouran

Associate

Tim Francis

Tim Francis

Partner

View full team

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