Insolvency Lawyers

Our corporate insolvency experts are here to assist with every step of the insolvency process.

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Corporate Insolvency

Our corporate insolvency team has vast experience in both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of insolvency, recovery and restructuring, regularly helping clients through difficult distressed situations.

Herrington Carmichael provides its expert advice to licenced insolvency practitioners, private companies, individuals and creditors on a full suite of insolvency, recovery and restructuring arrangements.

Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA)
Debt Recovery
Directors in insolvency
Distressed Business Sales or Purchases
Insolvency Disputes
Statutory Demands
Winding-up Petitions 


Placing a company into administration is not always the end of the road for a company. Administration is a process under which a licenced insolvency professional takes charge of a company’s affairs and, where possible, allows the business to trade on by itself or be sold to an appropriate third party to save the underlying business and employees’ jobs.

Administration is therefore an extremely useful process that can be undertaken by companies, and our corporate insolvency experts are on hand to firstly assess whether administration is the right option for your company, and also to guide you through the administration process.

Having acted for insolvency practitioners and directors across the UK in administrations, our corporate insolvency team has the wealth of experience to effect a smooth transition through the administration process with minimal stress.

Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA)

A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is a useful strategic tool that allows a company in financial distress to reach a compromise with its creditors and continue trading.

Our corporate insolvency team are experts in navigating the intricate legal framework relating to Company Voluntary Arrangements and providing commercially simple solutions to complex issues, tailored to suit the relevant situation.

Having an extensive track record in guiding businesses and creditors through the CVA process, we offer comprehensive legal advice, meticulous planning and effective negotiation to ensure the best possible position is reached for all parties.

Debt Recovery

We have a specialist Debt Recovery Team a cost-effective service for office holders in need of collecting book debts for companies following insolvency.

Debt Recovery

Directors in insolvency

The UK insolvency framework imposes a number of strict requirements on directors with high levels of accountability, and so it is important to take advice promptly.

In particular, directors are obliged to comply with their statutory duties, and this will influence a company’s trading activities and actions.

Directors are required to minimise the risks for and losses of a company’s creditors when there is a risk of insolvency, and there are strict rules as to what actions and omissions directors can take as a result.

Failure by directors to comply with these duties and obligations could result in personal liability being incurred, or even criminal offences being committed.

It is therefore essential that directors obtain expert advice as soon as there is any indication of insolvency arising in relation to their company.

Herrington Carmichael’s corporate insolvency team has been advising directors for a number of years as to their responsibilities in insolvency, and has assisted in reducing the scope and liability of directors across the UK.

Distressed Business Sales or Purchases

Our corporate insolvency team has vast experience advising on business acquisitions and sales that are driven by insolvency.

Frequently working alongside industry-leading insolvency practitioners, Herrington Carmichael is able to provide swift and effective advice to complete transactions within tight timeframes, with a tailored service for the requirements of each individual transaction.

Our corporate insolvency team’s pragmatic services also extend to assisting with the regulatory considerations that parties to accelerated and distressed M&A need to make, thereby providing a full service to its valued client base.

M&A Services


Our corporate insolvency experts are able to assist with every step of the liquidation process.

Whether you are a business owner seeking to wind-up your company, or a creditor pursuing your rights, our experienced insolvency solicitors are tailored to assist you through the intricacies of the liquidation process.

Our dedicated insolvency team works diligently to ensure the liquidation process is effected as efficiently as possible, minimising the stress of the insolvency process for all involved and maximising the results for our clients.

Insolvency disputes

Whether you are an office holder, a creditor, a director, debtor, shareholder or a holder of security. Our Insolvency Dispute Lawyers can assist with pragmatic and commercial advice about seeking the recovery of assets in an insolvency situation.

Our services to office holders included advising on asset recovery and the pursuit of book debts. We can help you obtain information from former directors explaining how the company became insolvent and what happened to the assets. We can assist liquidators in pursuing directors and shadow directors for breaches of their director’s duties and shareholders, directors and associated parties in respect of preferences. We can assist in the unwinding of transactions at an undervalue.

Our expertise is also called upon by parties being pursued by liquidators claiming that there has been an unlawful dissipation of assets – and seeking the recovery of funds into the liquidation. Whether the claim is an allegation of misfeasance claims, or that there has been a preference, a transaction at an undervalue or an unlawful distribution of dividends, we will undertake a swift assessment of the legal and commercial issues. We will assist in negotiating with office holders based on the risk and where appropriate defend the claims being threatened.

We recognise that insolvency events can also throw up deeply contentious issues including fraudulent trading or other types of fraud. Our Contentious Insolvency Team have a broad range of experience acting for office holders and directors when making or facing claims involving allegations of dishonesty.

We also have experience dealing with injunctive relief in insolvency situations, whether that is dealing with freezing orders, search and seizure orders, Norwich Pharmacal Orders or information disclosure applications within the Insolvency Act 1986, we are adept at providing immediate and proactive advice and representation for such interim remedies. Our Contentious Insolvency Team has a track record of helping parties navigate the fallout from an insolvency event.

Our contentious insolvency services include:

  • Allegations of fraud and dishonesty
  • Breach of director’s duties
  • Director Misfeasance
  • Enforcement of security
  • Personal Insolvency: statutory demands and bankruptcy petitions
  • Preferences
  • Transactions at an undervalue
  • Unlawful distributions of dividends
  • Winding up petitions

Statutory Demands

Statutory demands are formal legal demands for payment of an undisputed debt, giving the debtor 21 days to pay the due sum.

Failing to comply with the terms of a legitimate statutory demand allows a creditor to petition for the winding-up of the company in question.

Given the power and implications of statutory demands, it is important from a creditor’s perspective that they are served properly, and from a company’s perspective that advice is obtained as to how best to respond to a statutory demand.

Herrington Carmichael’s insolvency team are experts at advising both creditors in the process of serving statutory demands, and also companies responding to statutory demands.

Winding-up Petitions 

Our corporate insolvency team specialises in providing comprehensive legal advice to creditors seeking to initiate winding-up petitions and to companies defending such petitions.

Herrington Carmichael’s bespoke services ensure that we understand the unique aspects of each situation, allowing us to provide strategic and effective solutions, extending from the initial steps of filing the petition to finalising the winding-up process.

With a practical understanding of UK insolvency law, our corporate insolvency team are able to navigate the nuanced landscape of winding-up petitions.


Do I have personal liability as a director when my company is insolvent?

Directors have a vital role to play when a company is in financial distress. They are responsible for ensuring the company’s creditors are protected as best as possible, and as such the legislation in the UK imposes a series of strict obligations on them. Breaching these obligations can cause a director to incur personal liability, and so legal advice should be sought as soon as there is a concern about a company’s financial position

If my company cannot pay its debts, do I have to wind it up?

Unless you and / or your company’s creditors want to wind up your company, winding-up a company is usually a process of last resort. There are a number of alternative procedures and structures that can be adopted to assist a company undergoing financial difficulties. Which approach to take will vary depending upon the situation, and so professional insolvency advice is required to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken.

Can I wind-up a company that owes me money?

If you are owed money by a company, there are a number of options available to you, including serving the company with a statutory demand which is a precursor to winding-up action. Such steps will need to be considered carefully however, as winding-up a company as a creditor, especially where there is no security involved, may not be the best way to actually recover your money. Legal advice should therefore be sought as to what the best step is to take in relation to your specific situation.

Can I sell my business while it is struggling financially?

The short answer – yes! The long answer is slightly more complicated, and depends on the type of sale that is being planned. Directors need to be wary of the duties applicable to them when companies are in financial difficulty, and this will inevitably influence how to structure and the timing of any business sale for companies financially struggling. In any event, directors should obtain the advice of an insolvency expert to determine whether a sale is appropriate and how to proceed.

Can I buy the business and assets of my insolvent company using a new company and continue trading?

This is a complex question, as there are a number of legislative provisions in the UK that are designed to prevent directors and shareholders “phoenixing” their companies having rid themselves of creditors. While it is possible, it is important that legal advice is sought to ensure that the legislation is not breached and the relevant individual does not commit an offence and incur personal liability.

Can I buy a company that is in administration?

Yes! Acquiring a company that is in administration is a slightly different process to acquiring a solvent trading business, as you will need to agree the acquisition with the appointed administrator. Usually administrators will look to sell businesses as quickly as possible if an appropriate buyer is found and so having appropriate legal advice to ensure a smooth transaction is required.

Recent Work

EV Car Administration

Pre-pack administration sale of national electric car charger installation business. 

Our corporate insolvency team advised the appointed administrators in the pre-pack sale of a national electric car charger installation business

Voluntary Liquidation

Sale of business and assets of an insolvent regional audio-visual installer during a creditors’ voluntary liquidation

Charity Restructure

Intra-group re-organisation of London based sporting charity group.

Our corporate insolvency team assisted with the insolvency aspects of a charitable group restructure to create a trading business separate to the wider charitable purposes.

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