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Black Friday- risks and opportunities for UK retailers

You may have noticed from the emails flooding into your inbox (even in this post-GDPR world) that this Friday 23 November is “Black Friday”. The event, originating in the US, takes place the day after Thanksgiving and is now synonymous with heavy discounting by retailers, especially those online. Less than a decade ago, this would … Continue Reading

HMRC, Insolvency and Post-Budget Preferential Status

Following the Enterprise Act 2002, the preferential status which HMRC had enjoyed in an insolvency was abolished, rendering HMRC the same as any other unsecured creditor. The effect of this was to swell the pot of assets available to be applied to all unsecured creditor claims. Philip Hammond announced in Monday’s budget that HMRC’s preferential … Continue Reading

Squire Patton Boggs: offering certainty to restructuring and insolvency in the face of an uncertain future post-Brexit

No one knows for certain what the future will hold for the UK and the remaining EU countries post 29 March 2019 but in the context of cross-border insolvency we do know that if there is a no-deal Brexit, that the Recast Regulation on Insolvency Regulation (EU) 2015/848 will be repealed. So, what does this mean … Continue Reading

Can’t Prove it? You’ll lose it.

Summary The High Court has issued a judgment dismissing the entirety of the Claimants’ claim in a long-running dispute commenced by a pair of property developers against a Judicial Factor to the estate of a Scottish businessman (the “Deceased”). Squire Patton Boggs represented the successful Defendant, who was awarded the majority of his costs on the … Continue Reading

BHS CVA: landlords win on penalties

Background BHS agreed a CVA with its creditors in March 2016. As with so many large, high-profile CVAs the key issues for BHS were the rental burdens arising out of their store network- they are known as “landlord CVAs”. The CVA followed a now common format where landlords were placed into different categories according to … Continue Reading

Government proposes legislation to enhance UK insolvency regime

On 26 August, the Government announced that it will be making changes to UK insolvency legislation. The changes are intended to support distressed companies and address issues highlighted by major company failures and include: the ability for all companies to apply for a moratorium a new insolvency process – the “restructuring plan”, enabling companies to cram … Continue Reading

Let’s fly away…..

In the holiday season many of us jet-set to foreign shores – but do we ever think  about how we might get home if our budget airline goes bust or are we just hunting for the best deals to make the pound stretch further? The last decade has seen a number of airlines collapse or … Continue Reading

Secured creditors – don’t be too involved with your customer’s administration!

The case of Davey v Money and Anor (2018) EWHC 766 (Ch) should serve as a gentle warning to secured creditors to be aware of the level of their involvement in the administration of a customer. Background Angel House Development Limited (“AHDL“), a property development company, borrowed £16 million from Dunbar Assets Plc (“Dunbar“) in … Continue Reading

Post-LAPSO landscape – how have the changes affected insolvency claims?

The Ministry of Justice is seeking feedback from key stakeholders on the impact of Part 2 of the LAPSO reforms, which abolished the recoverability of success fees under CFAs and after the event insurance premiums. Until April 2015 insolvency claims were exempt, enabling insolvency practitioners to pursue claims and if successful recover any success fee … Continue Reading

Insolvency Professionals – you need to know about this!! – proposals to increase the powers of The Pensions Regulator (“TPR”) may have an adverse impact on rescues and deter companies and their directors from seeking insolvency advice

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a consultation paper which seeks to strengthen the powers of TPR in connection with defined benefit pension plans, coming in response to recent corporate failures which had pension plans with significant deficits. The proposals introduce four new “notifiable events” in addition to those that already exist, the … Continue Reading

Revised Insolvency Practice Direction Published

The revised Insolvency Practice Direction has been published and approved with effect from 4 July.  This replaces the PD published in April this year.  The revisions (primarily dealing with the distribution of specialised insolvency work) widen the scope of work which can be undertaken in local courts, whilst also giving the ability to transfer insolvency … Continue Reading

Will Amazon Flood the Premier League with Cash?

With the start of the World Cup, attention has understandably turned to football! Whilst for England, starting off with a couple of wins has for once raised hopes and taken the limelight away from the Premier League, preparations continue for the coming domestic season and recent events that have received relatively little media attention are to have huge … Continue Reading

Spotlight on CVAs – the British Property Federation gives Squire Patton Boggs its views on the recent spate of “landlord” CVAs

Cathryn Williams and Paul Muscutt, partners in the Squire Patton Boggs Restructuring & Insolvency team in London, interview Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy (Real Estate) of the BPF (the trade association for UK residential and commercial real estate companies) to get the BPF’s views on the recent spate of CVAs seeking to reduce/compromise lease liabilities.… Continue Reading

New Guidance Note Anticipated on Collective Redundancies in Insolvency

The Insolvency Service intends to publish a new guidance notice to address the issues faced by employers in dealing with collective consultation when a company is facing insolvency, following consultation with the industry last year. The guidance note is expected to require insolvency practitioners to notify the government in advance of collective redundancy proposals and … Continue Reading

Professional firms – in the fee firing line again

In the last week we have seen MPs criticise accountancy firms, KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PWC in their first report on the collapse of Carillion, describing the big four as “a cosy club” and calling for the firms to be forcibly broken up.  Whilst not suggesting that the firms were to blame for the collapse, … Continue Reading

Taking advice from professionals is not a “get out of jail free” card for directors in the event of insolvency

Directors of a company in financial distress will often turn to their professional advisors to assist in making decisions about the company’s future; whether that be their lawyers, accountants, bank, tax advisors or insolvency professionals. It is often a period of high pressure, where the right or wrong decision may have far-reaching consequences for an … Continue Reading

Supermarket wars or sweep?

In a retail world that is ever changing, could the big four supermarket giants become the big three? Sainsbury’s and Yorkshire-based supermarket Asda (the second and third largest supermarkets in the UK) have announced they are at an ‘advanced’ stage in proposed merger talks. The merger could result in approximately 2,800 stores and represent over … Continue Reading

Insolvency Practice Direction 2016 now in force

The new Insolvency Practice Direction 2016 has finally been given approval by the Lord Chancellor and came into force yesterday (25 April) bringing with it changes to reflect the new Insolvency Rules 2016 and recent changes to the CPR.  The new practice direction replaces that of 2014 with immediate effect.  Key changes include: clarity on … Continue Reading

Tax abuse and insolvency – an HMRC consultation

HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) has issued a consultation entitled “Tax Abuse and Insolvency: A Discussion Document” on how it proposes to confront those who misuse insolvency law as a means of avoiding or evading their tax liabilities. HMRC often describes itself as an “involuntary creditor” because it does not choose to trade with debtors. … Continue Reading

Failure to follow deemed consent procedure did not invalidate appointment

In the recent case of Cash Generator Limited v Fortune and others [2018] EWHC 674 (Ch), the Court determined that non-compliance with the deemed consent procedure for nominating liquidators did not invalidate their appointment. The case provides a useful summary on the relatively new provisions governing the deemed consent procedure and welcome relief to Insolvency … Continue Reading
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