Insolvency & Restructuring
With a vast number of specialists in insolvency and restructuring, our members regularly appear in courts and tribunals of every level in England and Wales (including the Privy Council) and internationally (particularly in the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands).
We have been instructed in relation to many of the major domestic and international insolvencies of the last few decades across a wide variety of industries, including banking and financial services, retail, tech, sport, construction and charities. Particularly significant cases include BCCI, Barlow Clowes, Enron, Barings, Northern Rock, MG Rover, Lehman Bros, Kaupthing Bank, MF Global, Fairfield Sentry (and other Madoff schemes), Force India Formula One, Cambridge Analytica, Farepak, GAME, Carillion, Debenhams and Kids Company to name only some.
Notably, our members have represented and continue to act for a diverse client base, frequently advising and appearing for officeholders, creditors (secured, unsecured and those acting in a representative capacity), directors, debtors (whether corporations, individuals, partnerships or estates), shareholders, other contributories and the Crown. As such, we are experienced in a wide range of restructuring and insolvency matters, handling many different issues arising in the context of corporate and personal insolvencies, including cross-border matters.
Maitland and its members are – and have been for many years – highly ranked in the legal directories for insolvency and restructuring. Moreover, matters falling within such fields regularly engage other legal disciplines, including company law, directors’ duties, fraud and asset recovery, trusts, property rights and various interim applications. Our particular strength lies in the multi-specialism expertise of our members and in our ability to provide a team of silks and juniors with a breadth of appropriate expertise in cross-disciplinary matters, however complex the case. Our members – from the most senior QCs to the most junior members – therefore provide the full range of advisory and advocacy services for clients involved in insolvency and restructuring matters, including asset recovery.
For further information regarding specific areas of our expertise in the field of Insolvency and Restructuring, please see below.
Corporate, Partnership & Personal Insolvency
Our members provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of corporate, partnership and personal insolvency law, including:
- Bankruptcy proceedings, winding-up petitions, administration applications and applications in relation to all other types of insolvency arrangements
- Matters arising in or related to compulsory and voluntary liquidations (both CVLs and MVLs), administrations, receiverships, partnership insolvencies, bankruptcy, and individual and company voluntary arrangements (IVAs and CVAs)
- Public interest winding-up petitions
- Disputed creditor claims, expenses and distribution of assets
- Other applications for directions made by or to be given to officeholders
- Validation orders
- Insolvency issues relating to pension schemes
- Corporate restructuring
- Leave to act in relation to companies with prohibited names
- Debt relief orders
- Administration of insolvent estates
- Asset recovery claims
Asset Recovery and Office Holder Claims
Maximising the size of the insolvent estate is a crucial part of any insolvency process.
Claims to recover assets for an insolvent estate or creditors are extremely varied and often involve a wide range of legal disciplines, such as fraud, property rights, company law, trusts, directors’ duties, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt, as well as raising issues of private international law. We have expertise in all these areas making us particularly well-placed to advise and act in these matters, on behalf of those making and defending such claims alike.
Our members advise and act in the whole range of claims which might arise in the administration of an insolvent estate, including:
- Breach of directors’ statutory and fiduciary duties
- Personal and proprietary remedies against directors or third parties
- Unlawful distributions/dividends and other restitution claims
- Issues relating to nominee, de facto, non-executive and shadow directors, and their duties and potential liability
- Directors’ and other officeholders’ misfeasance proceedings
- Wrongful/fraudulent trading
- Transaction avoidance claims, including shams, transactions at an undervalue, preferences, extortionate credit, transactions defrauding creditors (as well as non-insolvency related claims under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986)
- Associated applications for interim relief
Property Issues in Insolvency
Property issues arise frequently in an insolvency context and vice versa. In addition to the recognition that we receive for our insolvency work, Maitland is also recommended in property law in both Chambers UK and in The Legal 500. We can therefore additionally draw on our property law expertise to provide comprehensive, all-round advice and advocacy services in relation to such matters. For full details of Maitland’s property expertise, please see the Real Estate section of our website here.
Members of Chambers have experience in acting for landlords of retail and restaurant premises who have found themselves unfairly prejudiced by company voluntary arrangements or disadvantaged by Part 26A restructuring. They have also advised companies with onerous leases on alternatives to CVAs.
In addition, we have found that landlords, tenants and insolvency practitioners benefit from advice on topics such as relief from forfeiture, disclaimer, the proper treatment of rent as an expense, retention of title, hire purchase agreements, fixtures and fittings and other such issues arising on insolvency. Members of Chambers appeared both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in the GAME Group litigation, a leading decision on the treatment of rent as an expense of the administration.
International and Cross Border Insolvency
Much large-scale insolvency work has an international or cross-border element.
We have considerable experience of issues arising under or in relation to the retained EU Insolvency Regulation (including COMI), applications under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006, section 426 of the Insolvency Act 1986, the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933 and enforcement in England and Wales of orders made in foreign insolvency proceedings at common law.
Large-scale international insolvencies regularly throw up complex issues requiring not only cross-disciplinary expertise but also experience in making a range of applications, such as for anti-suit injunctions, permission to serve out of the jurisdiction, freezing and proprietary injunctions, and the enforcement of arbitral awards. We are particularly well placed to provide this multi-specialist advice and representation at hearings.
Our members are often instructed to provide insolvency advice and assistance in a range of jurisdictions, including the Caribbean, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. A number of our members are already called to the Bar of some of these jurisdictions and others are willing to be called on an ad hoc or permanent basis where the need arises.
Proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
For many years members of Chambers have advised and appeared for the Secretary of State and the Official Receiver as well as for defendant directors in relation to many and varied claims under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
Our members have acted in some of the most high profile disqualification claims in recent years, including in relation to Barings, Blackspur, Atlantic Computers, Blue Arrow, Allied Carpets, Farepak and Kids Company to name but a few. They also deal with applications for leave to act under section 17 of the CDDA 1986.
Some of our members also contribute to the leading practitioner text Mithani on Directors Disqualification and we are home to one of its general editors.
Below are examples of related articles. To view all articles by members of Maitland Chambers, please click here.