Eleanor Stephens

Eleanor Stephens


Eleanor provides expert advice to Francis Wilks & Jones’ restructuring and insolvency clients.

She is a highly skilled legal consultant with many years of experience acting for administrators, official receivers, liquidators, trustees in bankruptcy, company directors, bankrupts, creditors and others on a broad range of areas, including director disqualification proceedings. Prior to this role, she was head of Restructuring & Insolvency at Lexis Nexis PSL, and before that a partner and head of Business Recovery & Insolvency at a large regional firm.

Eleanor assists clients in effectively planning and managing what can be very complex circumstances to reach the best possible outcome for them.

Clients appreciate her hands-on approach. Fast and responsive, she is always there to talk through an issue to reach a workable solution.

She is familiar with the specific needs of businesses and individuals in various sectors and brings extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency issues.

She is also a Legal Expert on the Lexis Ask Panel for Lexis Nexis, a leading research organisation for the legal industry, and led the development of Lexis PSL Restructuring & Insolvency, a fully comprehensive online legal guidance facility for insolvency lawyers and insolvency practitioners.

Eleanor regularly acts for:

  • SMEs, directors and shareholders, advising and acting on the best course of action for their particular situation which might include entering formal insolvency or a process of rescue and recovery involving negotiation with creditors
  • private clients requiring advice on debt management, bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangements or any personal insolvency issues
  • insolvency practitioners from start to finish on all types of matter, providing them with guidance and advice to effectively undertake their duties in whatever process they are involved in

SME, director and shareholder highlights:

  • acting for the Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills in proceedings to disqualify directors, including applications brought for leave to act as a director while disqualified and to act as a director using a prohibited name. Acting for the prosecution for many years has given Eleanor invaluable knowledge of Insolvency Service policies and priorities, and enables her to advise directors facing disqualification claims or wishing to make applications for leave to act very effectively

Private client highlights:

  • acting for bankrupts in annulling bankruptcy orders and a return to trading
  • acting in many successful bankruptcy petition defences to avoid bankruptcy
  • acting for a successful entrepreneur in successfully using a prohibited name following the liquidation of their previous business

Insolvency practitioner highlights:

  • advising the administrators of a milkshake company with multiple franchises and properties around the country
  • advising the administrators of a signage company on a pre-pack administration sale with a number of property and finance issues to be resolved
  • acting for liquidators dealing with a variety of retention of title claims

Eleanor has also undertaken a 9-month secondment with the Pensions Regulator, providing insolvency advice on pensions matters.