Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency


Reaching a solution in an incredibly difficult and complex situation like insolvency, requires expert help from a team that are cost transparent, commercially minded, pragmatic, proactive and sensitive. The legal rights and remedies need careful handling; we are here to help.

Key insolvency and restructuring services

Our expert team of lawyers can help you in the following restructuring and insolvency areas:

  • transactional insolvency (buying and selling distressed businesses and assets);
  • contentious insolvency (disputes, potential claims and litigation);
  • insolvency and restructuring advisory (everything else, including procedural input);
  • options in event of financial distress;
  • business turnaround and corporate restructuring;
  • effect of all forms of formal insolvency procedure including applicable moratoria;
  • employees in insolvent situations;
  • negotiation and realisation of assets, including debts and bankruptcy properties;
  • cross-border insolvency;
  • exposures (including risk of prosecution) arising on insolvency and phoenixism;
  • powers and duties of office holders, including appointments;
  • administration of insolvent businesses and estates;
  • all forms of litigation under insolvency legislation, including bankruptcy annulment;
  • directors duties and disqualification; and
  • enforcement of creditor / landlord rights in insolvent situations.

Our insolvency clients

The team’s insolvency practitioner clients include:

  • RSM
  • Begbies Traynor
  • James Cowper Kreston
  • KPMG
  • Mazars
  • Portland Business & Financial Solutions
  • Smith & Williamson
  • Quantuma

We also act for and/or on referrals from:

  • funders e.g. banks, building societies, asset-based lenders
  • domestic and overseas suppliers, trading partners, landlords, other creditors
  • company directors
  • bankrupts, their spouses and other family members and guarantors
  • non-IP LPA receivers
  • non-specialist solicitors

Examples of restructuring and insolvency work

  • In recent years the team undertook its single largest assignment to date, assisting the administrators of a major chain of convenience stores to maximise realisations and save jobs through the disposal of numerous trading outlets and associated premises.
  • 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
  • Advising various spouses of bankrupt individuals on defending claims being made by the bankrupt’s trustees in bankruptcy in respect of preferences and/or transaction at undervalue claims.
  • Advising company directors’ on the use of ‘prohibited names’ under section 216 Insolvency Act 1986 and the exemptions available to them to avoid criminal prosecution
  • Acting for insolvency practitioners to assist them in bringing applications under the Insolvency Act 1986 for increases to their fee remuneration.
  • Advising bankrupt individuals generally as to their rights when considering the position of their trustees in bankruptcy.

How we’ve helped our clients

“The team at Paris Smith are true experts; thorough and detailed, whilst maintaining balance on risk and commerciality. They approach each assignment holistically and pragmatically in driving towards the optimum result for their client.”

Ed Thomas, Director – Mazars UK

Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2021

The Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency team regularly tackles a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters, such as the sale and purchase of distressed assets including residential and commercial real estate. Notable for its work in the leisure, retail and financial services sectors. Works for a range of local and national organisations, as well as individual directors and trustees in bankruptcy. A client states “They are professional, experienced and offer the full range of commercial and private client service”.

Legal 500 2021

Paris Smith LLP’s core insolvency work involves advising the firm’s base of commercial clients on any insolvency-related issues they face, such as dealing with insolvent trading partners and pursuing or defending against winding up petitions. Additionally, the firm handles work such as the appointment of administrators and pre-pack sales for insolvency practitioners, many of whom are long-term clients of the firm. Practice head Mike Pavitt is experienced in contentious and non-contentious insolvency work; he is valued by clients for his combination of technical ability and a commercial approach.

Clients say ‘The team has a strong work ethic and are genuinely client-focused. They are highly responsive and provide value for money.’ Another states ‘The team is ably led by the very personable Mike Pavitt who is both a highly skilled lawyer and commercial in his approach. He sets the standard and his team follows.’ Another source says they received ‘Insightful, detailed and practical advice delivered in a timely manner. Paris Smith are one of the leaders in this field.

Introducing your key contact

Mike Pavitt
Partner – Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency; Commercial Disputes



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