Do you have concerns about your business?

Our brilliant company rescue team can help whatever business difficulties you may face. If tackled early, problems can be resolved and the business returned to profit. But even if the situation is more longstanding, there are nearly always things which can still be done to help. Our expertise and associated professional contacts make us the right choice for any business.

Our approach to company rescue

Our expert team of company rescue lawyers has many years of experience helping businesses of all shapes and sizes. It is highly unlikely there will be a company rescue situation we haven’t seen before in our decades of combined experience acting for companies and business owners.

Our team not only draws on our own experience, but also works with a range of additional experts, such as restructuring experts, banks, invoice financiers, insolvency practitioners and accountants. We provide a fully rounded service to find the right solution for you. We can help you with business turnaround, company rescue or ways to bring about the safe termination of a business using a formal insolvency process.

They were extremely responsive and their assistance proved invaluable in resolving these matters such that the risks we faced were removed entirely. Our company continues to trade having survived this as a result of FWJ’s input.

A client to whom we provided urgent assistance regarding regulatory and compliance duties

Is company rescue right for you?

If your business is facing solvency challenges right now, our company rescue experts can help. No matter what the issues, we can point you in the right direction to turn your business around or discuss with you options on formal insolvency process that suit your situation. Whatever your concerns, the earlier you speak to us, the more options you will have, not only for your company, but to protect your own position as a director and business owner.

Our team can provide expert advice in the following areas:

Company voluntary arrangements (CVAs)

A company voluntary arrangement, or CVA, is a binding contract between a company and its creditors.

It can be a very useful business recovery tool for a viable company that just needs some breathing space from pressing creditors.

It removes the threat of legal proceedings by reaching an agreement with the majority of creditors not to take legal action during the CVA. All creditors at the time the CVA is signed are bound by it.

A CVA can be attractive to creditors because, while they may not be repaid in full, they are often likely to achieve a better return than an alternative.

If you think your company would benefit from a CVA and is in a financial position to meet the terms of a repayment agreement with creditors, then this could be the right company rescue option for you. Contact our team for more details.

Business rescue

There are many methods of business rescue available. The best method for you depends on your business and the issues you are facing.

For example:

  • if you have poor cash flow because you are not being paid on time, this can seriously affect business. An effective debt recovery plan can be vital to business rescue
  • you may not have the right level or number of people required to run your business successfully. A review of staff at all levels and possible restructure might assist
  • you may not have sufficient market share, but you may not adequate capital financing for the expansion needed to survive. We can help you talk to alternative funders to get the right financing at the right level for you
  • you may be under severe pressure from creditors and need breathing space to introduce an effective rescue strategy. A company voluntary arrangement (CVA), or a trading administration might be the right option to give time for recovery without immediate creditor pressure

These are just some of the options for successful business rescue. Our team of business rescue experts at Francis Wilks & Jones is available to discuss the issues facing your business and consider with you the best options for business rescue for your company.

Business recovery

For a company experiencing prolonged financial difficulties, business recovery is the ultimate goal. Our experience has shown that a business that seeks out and follows the advice of a business recovery expert at an early stage has a far greater chance of business recovery and survival than a business that tries to struggle on alone.

  • an independent business recovery expert can objectively assess the needs of the business and devise a recovery strategy tailored to the individual requirements of that business to return it to growth and profit
  • there are many options for business recovery available
  • using the right strategy for your business, at the right time, is vital

At Francis Wilks & Jones, we can work with you to advise on your business and the tools that could be used to bring about full business recovery. Where appropriate, we will work with our network of accountants, restructuring experts, valuation agents, banks, invoice financiers and other business experts to ensure the most suitable strategy is found for your business to allow it to recover.

Failing companies

At Francis Wilks & Jones, our team is frequently instructed by failing companies needing help.

A company can fail for all sorts of reasons. They may be suffering severe problems following major business interruption events such as:

  • the coronavirus pandemic
  • cash flow problems
  • employee or management issues
  • lack of funding
  • over expansion
  • any number of problems relevant to their particular industry and sector

What is important however, is what you do with that failing company. Our team of experts at Francis Wilks and Jones works with our clients to review the problems and determine if there are options for business rescue for that company using one of the many business recovery strategies available. Alternatively if the company has no reasonable prospect of turnaround, then we can go over the best way to bring the company to an end in the interests of the creditors and the business owners.

Company restructuring and turnaround solutions

If your business is facing financial difficulties and you are worried about the future, things may not be as bad as you think. Our company restructuring and turnaround team has experts in helping businesses.

It’s often difficult as a business owner to see the wood for the trees:

  • some directors or business owners are unrealistically optimistic about their business
  • others think their business problems are terminal, when in reality there are many ways of company rescue, using tried and tested company restructuring and turnaround solutions

Either way, it is vital to take independent expert business turnaround advice as soon as possible.  The earlier a problem is addressed, the less likely it is to turn into a problem that can no longer be solved.

At Francis Wilks & Jones we have many years of experience working with businesses, acting on turnaround solutions for their successful business recovery. We might look at your cash flow problem and may suggest a new debt recovery strategy.  We might look at your management or staff structure and suggest changes for more efficiency.  We will look at how you are currently financed, whether this is sufficient for your business, and suggest beneficial changes.  We can take a look at the business as a whole to consider whether non profit-making aspects can be sold or whether targeted asset sales can ease a cashflow situation. 


Administration is formal insolvency process brought by a company or its creditors.  A court makes an administration order over the company, and from that point on, an administrator is appointed who acts for the company during the administration. A company administration can last up to a year, or longer if the court agrees it is necessary.

  • the main purpose of administration is to rescue the business as a going concern, or to provide an overall better result for the company’s creditors than if the company were wound up
  • one major benefit of putting a company into administration is that the company enjoys protection from its creditors due to a ban on legal proceedings being brought against the company while in administration 
  • this gives valuable breathing space to rescue a company, giving it time to recover, or time to negotiate a sale of some or all of the business or assets, which in turn can save jobs and provide a better return to creditors

The administration procedure is only suitable for businesses that remain viable at least in part, and needs some breathing room in which to trade and consider options for the business. 


There are three types of liquidation process available to businesses – two for insolvent companies and one for solvent:

1. Members voluntary liquidation (MVL)

A members voluntary liquidation (MVL) is a solution used by a solvent company to bring about an orderly end to the company.  A liquidator is appointed over the company who will collect in and liquidate assets.  The proceeds will be distributed to outstanding creditors and the surplus will go back to the shareholders.  This process is best if a simple application to come off the Companies Register is not appropriate.

2. Creditor voluntary liquidation (or winding up)

A creditor voluntary liquidation (or winding up) a process brought by the company itself when it is insolvent and there is no real prospect of recovery.  Although it almost always means the end of trading for a company, it can have the benefit of allowing all involved to move on, following the orderly winding up of the company.  A liquidator is appointed to collect in and liquidate assets, which will then be distributed for the benefit of the creditors, before the company is dissolved.

3. Compulsory liquidation

A compulsory liquidation is a process usually brought by a creditor of the company without the consent of the company.  It is often used as a last resort by a creditor owed money but ignored by the company.  Once the hearing is advertised following the application to court, the negative publicity for the company can have devastating consequences, including your bank freezing your account, so a winding up application should never be ignored.

If the company is wound up by the court, an Official Receiver is appointed, and they, or a liquidator appointed by them, will collect in the assets and distribute them, and eventually dissolve the company.

For directors in either type of insolvent liquidation, the liquidator must report on any unfit conduct.

Company Rescue – Frequently asked questions

Read more about Company Rescue – and our expert answers to common questions we are regularly asked about the topic of company rescue.

How do I revive a dying business?
Preventing a company from being dissolved – what can be done?
How does business rescue work?
What is a turnaround strategy in business?
How can poor cash flow affect a business?
How do you handle a cash flow shortage?
What does turnaround mean in business?
What to do if business is going down
Ten top tips to help when needing business rescue

What are the first steps to take?

Knowing what is the right thing to do when you have a business facing difficulties can seem like an impossible task.  Potential personal liability can be a huge concern for directors, and the wrong move can sometimes make matters worse. 

Our team of company rescue and restructuring experts at Francis Wilks & Jones has seen every type of business situation over our many years of experience.  We are available to offer guidance and advice to anyone wondering where to start.

Expert advice from our team is recommended at the earliest sign of financial difficulty to help identify whether company rescue is an option open to you, and to help guide you through the insolvency processes available and answer questions on your own personal liability.  Contact us today for further help.

Having worked with Tim and Andy, the founding partners of Francis Wilks & Jones since 2003 and before at their previous practice, I thoroughly value the expertise and flexibility brought to every assignment by them and their team. As a relatively new insolvency practice, BM Advisory has carefully selected its business partners who share a similar enthusiasm to find workable solutions for our mutual clients often in distressed situations. Francis Wilks & Jones fits this bill well and we would have no hesitation in recommending the firm to anyone who requires a sound law firm who are approachable and easy to talk to.

Andy Pear, partner at BM Advisory

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Tim Francis


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