- Insolvency law and practice
- Insolvency litigation
- Cross-border insolvency
- EC law and Human Rights aspects of insolvency
- Commercial and private client disputes
Mike is an experienced, driven insolvency lawyer who takes genuine delight in helping clients achieve their objectives. Clients come to Mike because he is a market leader and true specialist, but he hopes they also find him friendly and accessible, which he considers no less important when dealing with adversity.
Formerly regional head of insolvency at Blake Morgan, Mike joined Paris Smith in 2011 to lead the firm’s Corporate restructuring & insolvency team, a role which involves both technical and contentious insolvency work. Having enjoyed an exclusively insolvency-based caseload for more than 15 years, he is one of the most experienced insolvency lawyers in the region, and remains completely engaged at all times because of the incredible variety of the work.
His practice is as broad as the range of situations in which business and individuals find themselves affected by – actual or potential – insolvency. His clients accordingly range from regional and national qualified insolvency practitioner accountants to major corporates concerned about a supply chain, right through to individuals worried about the impact of an impending bankruptcy on their homes or other assets. He makes every effort to provide to each client the clear focus and urgent attention they require.
Mike is currently Chairman of R3 (the Association of Business Recovery Professionals) in the Southern Region, one of only 3 lawyers to have held that post, and he is a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and INSOL International
Mike is a regular commentator on insolvency matters through his active Twitter account the Paris Smith insolvency blog and through Linked In, where he enjoys a network of over 1,500 contacts and manages the group Southern Business Recovery. Mike is often asked for comment on regional press articles on an insolvency theme (see for example the Southern Daily Echo article, 20 June 2016; the Southern Daily Echo article, 10 January 2017 and his article in the Business Magazine June edition P.16). He is also a regular contributor to Recovery magazine, the leading journal for insolvency practitioners (see for example his opinion piece in the Summer 2016 edition; and ‘Insolvency Queries Q&A’ article in the Autumn 2016 edition).
- Personal insolvency rates in the Central South: Latest statistics reveal startling disparities across region
- The truth about CVAs and insolvent tenants
- Insolvency law in a Brexit environment – the dangers of winding back the winding up clock
- The inaugural R3 Southern Area Conference: 7 key lessons and a validation of the work of R3’s Regional Committees
- Court in the Act? Is our courts system working for the insolvency profession?
Work Highlights/Reported Decisions
(Owing to the sensitive and discreet nature of Mike’s advice he cannot give more detail)
- Acting for various insolvency practitioners in claims against third parties and assets including bankruptcy involving unregistered commercial land in London and an administration involving a disputed charge over the assets of a bus company
- Advising various creditors with their claims in insolvencies, including one who was a secured creditor seeking to protect a multi-million pound VAT appeal recovery
- Pursuing and defending various claims for misfeasance, wrongful trading and disqualification against directors of limited companies, including one with a claim value in excess of £4m
- Advising overseas investors and professional trustee executors on legal transactional and restructuring options for leisure industry interests, including hotels and golf venues both in and outside of CVAs
- Assisting with numerous sales by or acquisitions from insolvency practitioners, including purchases of a theme park and the assets of a Channel Islands based shipping company and freight forwarder, and sales of multiple convenience stores from administration
- Assisting colleagues in the Firm’s corporate, commercial property and banking teams on aspects of a major refinancing and redevelopment project with an aggregate deal consideration of around £72m
Reported decisions on cases with which Mike has been involved in recent years include:
- Re Rathore (In Bankruptcy) B.P.I.R. 501 (relief sought against bankrupt’s spouse re value of shareholding transferred at an undervalue)
- Steinhardt v Eichler  B.P.I.R. 1293 (a leading case on bankruptcy tourism)
- Chapper v Jackson  B.P.I.R. 257 (a leading case on trustee in bankruptcy duties)
- Chambers and Partners 2019: He has noted expertise in contentious bankruptcy matters. Clients say: “He’s diligent, very accurate and has a good knowledge of insolvency.” He also deals with both contentious and non-contentious insolvency issues and is particularly recognised for personal insolvency work. Clients say: “Mike has excellent technical knowledge and provides quality service.“
- Legal 500 2018-19: Noted as ‘a considered individual and complex thinker’.
The depth of Mike’s technical knowledge and his ready understanding of his clients’ broader aims make it easy to give him instructions.
- David Green, RSM
Legal 500 has variously recognised Mike Pavitt over the years for being:
- extremely detailed in his approach;
- the first port of call for anything with a cross-border issue;
- good, practical advice;
- very in-depth knowledge; and
- being “very thorough and risk-aware”
I just wanted to say a big thank you for your help, patience and understanding throughout the duration of the case and eventually achieving a comprehensive settlement for myself and my family.
I am particularly grateful to you for the periods when I was finding it quite difficult to remain focused , but your calm and reassuring manner helped me to understand and get over those uncertain and psychologically demanding times
- Mr S, Middlesex regarding Mike Pavitt
Chambers nominates me as a leader in my field both regionally and UK-wide, saying I am:
- a notable presence within the market… technically excellent and highly rated;
- praised for his focused dedication to his clients; and
- his technical advice, speed of response and client service are highlighted by sources.
Chambers & Partners Legal Directory
Thank you for your most excellent and diligent work on behalf of our son. Without your support and advice, we both feel the situation could have become much worse. Your experience and correctness showed through many times throughout the drawn out process. We would certainly seek your advice should we ever need further help in litigation. With very grateful thanks
- Mr and Mrs E, West Sussex
On a purely personal level, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the honest and knowledgeable support you provided in a very human way when I was frightened and unsure of a direction, I cannot overstate how your approach and manner helped in a time of horrible uncertainty.
Mr N, a client from Poole