Southampton 02380 482 482
Winchester 01962 679 777

corporate restructuring and insolvency icon

Corporate restructuring & insolvency

Legal 500 2021 Leading Firm Ranked in Chambers

Appointments during Coronavirus lockdown

During these difficult and unprecedented times, please rest assured that the corporate restructuring & insolvency team at Paris Smith is still available to support you and your business, should you need us. Whether you are an existing client or somebody who needs assistance for the first time, we can still meet or speak with you via Skype, Facetime or other video conferencing facilities.

For more information, please call either the head of our corporate restructuring & insolvency team, Mike Pavitt on 023 8048 2275; or visit our team and individual lawyers’ pages for our contact details.

Our Expertise

The CR&I team deals with all 3 of the main limbs of insolvency-related legal work:

  • 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)

We act on a huge variety of transactions, issues and estates ranging in value from just a few thousand to many millions of pounds.

The team advises and assists on matters including:

  • 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
  • enforcement of creditor / landlord rights in insolvent situations

We advise on all issues which may arise including the drafting and negotiation of sale and purchase documentation (including specialist bankruptcy conveyancing, debentures and guarantees), review and release of existing security.

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Our Service

The team is focused on delivering a service which is:

  • cost transparent
  • client focused
  • commercial and pragmatic
  • partner led
  • proactive
  • sensitive

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.

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Our Clients

The team’s insolvency practitioner clients include:

  • RSM
  • Begbies Traynor
  • CVR Global
  • 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
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Our Team

The team comprises specialist lawyers in the fields of banking, company, corporate, creditor services, crime and regulatory, employment, intellectual property, landlord and tenant, licensing, property and (of course) pure insolvency (both corporate and personal).

Pick the right team for YOU: Read the team bios below


Nicola Davies(read Nicola’s full profile)

Position CF (Associate)

Seasons with Club – 5

Legal disciplines – Property and commercial litigation

Specialist attributes – Property related insolvency disputes, commercial leases

Specialist skills – Commercial approach/strategic negotiator

Nicola Davies an Associate Solicitor in our litigation department. Nicola has a strong track record of recovering debt from reluctant players and takes a no-nonsense strategic approach to all her matches. She has experience in undertaking possession proceedings, bankruptcy and winding up petitions for creditors. 

Stephen Stafford (read Stephen’s full profile)

Position SS (Chartered Legal Executive)

Seasons with Club – 18

Legal disciplines – Commercial debt recovery/Personal disputes

Specialist attributes – Consumer credit/Hire and lease purchase

Specialist skills – Efficient systems/acting for individuals

Steve joined Paris Smith in 2002 and he is currently working towards his qualifications as a member of ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Solicitors). His work for IPs has included the pursuit of personal and intercompany guarantees and negotiating personal injury claims for officeholders. 

Peter Taylor (read Peter’s full profile)

Position GK (Managing Partner)

Seasons with Club – 29

Legal disciplines – Dispute resolution/Business advice

Specialist attributes – Accredited mediator/liability claims/professional negligence

Specialist skills – Business risk management/strategy/communication

Peter joined Paris Smith in 1991 and in January 2015 became Managing Partner of the firm. Whilst chiefly calling the shots from the dugout in insolvency terms, Peter is very much a player manager, maintaining a diverse portfolio of advice and guidance to a wide spread of the firm’s clients. He has on many occasions worked closely with insolvency practitioners to produce desired outcomes for clients. 

Ed Power (read Ed’s full profile)

Position SS (Partner)

Seasons with Club – 16

Legal disciplines – Real estate/Secured finance

Specialist attributes – Not for profit/asset based lenders

Specialist skills – Sales by/purchases from IPs

Ed joined Paris Smith in 2004 and is the first port of call for most insolvency-related property work undertaken at the firm. He has dealt with a large number of transactions involving insolvency practitioners and financially distressed contracting parties. 

Clive Thomson (read Clive’s full profile)

Position SS (Consultant)

Seasons with Club – 44

Legal disciplines – Commercial and insolvency litigation/Trust and probate litigation

Specialist attributes – ADR accredited commercial mediator/Full member ACTAPS

Specialist skills – Arbitration/Licensing/Inheritance

Clive joined Paris Smith as long ago as 1975 and is an experienced commercial and insolvency litigator. He has dealt with a very large number of claims, many of high value for and against office holders. Clive is part of the ‘spine’ of the team and one of the firm’s leading contacts for insolvency work. 

Laura Trapnell (read Laura’s full profile)

Position LB (Partner)

Seasons with Club – 8

Legal disciplines – Intellectual property/Information technology

Specialist attributes – IP strategy & management/client focus

Specialist skills – IP exploitation/Contract drafting & IP in commercial business

Laura joined Paris Smith in 2012 having run her own, successful niche practice. She has run “IP for IPs” seminars for insolvency practitioners and is experienced in providing both contentious and non-contentious support on IPR issues affecting insolvency practitioners as well as insolvent businesses and individuals. 

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COVID-19 Insolvency related FAQs

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we have been receiving more insolvency related faqs than normal. We set these out and our answers on a separate page. As new questions arise this page will be updated.

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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

Thank you for being such a reassuring and effective support system to us through a very rocky time. We are pleased that life has moved on since then and that we are re-building our lives.


Mr and Mrs R, Chichester

They say that when we’re going through turmoil and feel like the entire world is crashing down around us, one way of getting through this is by turning our focus to all things we are grateful for. I have been very fortunate and am ever so grateful to have had your guidance and support. Thank you very much!


Mrs P, London

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