Business Restructuring & Insolvency Solutions
Few businesses succeed without also surviving challenges along the way. Financial challenges from the Pandemic have shown this.
Seeking good, commercial and professional advice at such times is vital. As legal and business advisors and insolvency experts, we have all the necessary skills to guide you through any financial difficulties and the restructuring process.
A carefully considered restructure, combined with an insolvency process is sometimes the best course of action to preserve business value, save jobs and/or maximise a return for creditors, funders and shareholders.
We have restructuring and insolvency experts who can advise on all areas to guide you through any such process.
We can provide advice on the following:
- Debt negotiation and dealing with difficult suppliers and creditors
- Refinancing and debt restructuring possibilities
- HMRC Time to Pay arrangements
- Employee redundancies
- Security and dealing with secured creditors
- Selling assets or parts of underperforming businesses
- Protection and preservation of business value throughout the process
- HMRC Time to Pay arrangements
- Bounce Back Loan and CBILS repayment issues
- Members (solvent) voluntary liquidations and S110 Insolvency Act Reconstructions
- Defence of winding up petitions
- Validation orders to trade through the post-petition process
- Directors’ duties and personal exposure
- Creditors Voluntary Arrangements
- Creditors Voluntary Liquidations
- Personal Guarantee Issues
- Director Disqualification
- Individual Voluntary Arrangements and Bankruptcy
Why Use Wosskow Brown for Business Restructuring?
We have a fantastic history of helping businesses and business owners restructure their businesses. It is the very foundation that Wosskow Brown was founded on over 30 years ago.
You can expect fast responses to your calls and emails alongside flexible and competitive funding options, tailored to meet your needs and budget.
We are located right in the centre of Sheffield’s industrial heartland and have town centre offices in Barnsley, which means we are ideally placed, professionally and geographically, to deliver sensible solutions when and where you need them.
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We’re a team but we’re also proud of the individual people who work here. We’re confident you will find us approachable, understanding and experts in our field.
Commercial Legal Services
How can we help with Business Insolvency, Business Rescue and Restructuring?
We want to help business owners avoid formal insolvency as much as possible. We have a great history of helping to rescue businesses through proven restructuring and turnaround options. In fact, business rescue was the very foundation that Wosskow Brown was built on over 30 years ago.
Our founding partners joined forces after identifying that traditionally solicitors did not provide quality commercial business advice for businesses in difficulty. It was all too easy to call it a day and advise that the business should go into liquidation.
Sound business restructuring advice given early is a proven alternative to Insolvency.
There are many options available to Directors and Business Owners to help with business recovery. There are many ways that businesses can help themselves navigate through temporary cash flow and financial debt and distress problems. Wosskow Brown can help you with this. Our most important advice remains the same. Don’t wait or bury your head in the sand. Take advice and make decisions early. The earlier we work together the easier it is to find restructuring alternatives.
Time to Pay Arrangements
If your business or company has, or expects, a debt with HMRC, even if the debt is not overdue yet, you should think about applying for a Time To Pay arrangement. Unexpected expenditure or bad debt can quickly have an impact on business cash flow. As the most common business creditor, debts to HMRC can rapidly become out of control. We have considerable experience in negotiating TPP arrangements with HMRC.
Often businesses find themselves in financial difficulties due to difficulties in recovering outstanding payments owed by clients and customers. Being able to secure payment of these debts as early as possible can often significantly improve your cash flow situation and help rescue your business and cover your debts. There are also re-financing options we can look at with your debtor book, including invoice discounting and factoring.
If bad debts are putting your business at risk, we can provide credit control and debt recovery services to help get the money.
A statutory demand is essentially a formal written demand for payment from a creditor. They can be used to apply pressure on an individual or company to pay a debt. They should only be used in relation to undisputed debts. Serving a statutory demand will likely be the first step taken by a creditor who intends to petition for a debtor to be declared bankrupt or wound up. We are experienced in both drafting and serving statutory demands as well as successfully defending them.
Winding-Up Petitions and Compulsory Liquidation
If a creditor is owed more than £750 it can petition the Courts to force an insolvent company into compulsory liquidation.
This is done by way of a winding-up petition and should only be used in relation to undisputed debt situations. It should not be used as a debt collection tool for disputed debt. If a company receives a winding-up petition, its bank accounts will be frozen as soon as the bank becomes aware and additional creditors will be able to attach to the original petition. We are experienced in presenting such petitions as well as defending petitions which have been incorrectly issued and served.
Voluntary liquidation, also known as voluntary winding-up, is initiated by the directors or owners of a company when they have decided that a company does not have a viable future. There could be many reasons to liquidate or wind up a company. The process can however potentially save your business by acquiring the assets back at proper value from the Liquidator.
Directors, with the consent of any creditors or with the consent of the Court, can put an insolvent company into administration where the offers and dealings of the company will be dealt with by an Insolvency Practitioner.
The process of administration protects the company from its pressing creditors who could proceed with any legal or other action.
Administration can also be used as a mechanism for SAVING the business as a going concern, either through CVA following administration or often involving a sale of its business and assets to a new or third-party company formed by the current management/owners (often called a Pre Pack or distressed management buyback) or to a third party on a distressed sale basis. In this way, the BUSINESS is protected and saved, with the existing company leaving to trade and ultimately liquidated.
There are stringent rules that a company and any Insolvency Practitioner must comply with. If such a situation is a viable option for you, we can guide you through this.
Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)
A CVA is, in a nutshell, a contract with the business’ unsecured creditors under which they accept Proposals from the directors to pay off the Company’s debts over a period of time, either in full or by an agreed percentage.
The benefit of such an arrangement is that YOU remain in control of the business and you buy yourself time (normally 3-5 years) to trade out your difficulties.
Due to recent changes in preferential status, HMRC will need to be repaid in full but in certain circumstances, a properly drafted CVA can be a very useful tool to trade out your difficulties whilst retaining control and avoiding liquidation.
A personal guarantee is an individual’s legal contractual responsibility for a credit or loan provided to a business that will have to be repaid if the company or business is unable to repay. If you are asked to sign a personal guarantee, you should always seek independent legal advice. If a business becomes insolvent, personal guarantees do not go away.
We are experienced in refinancing a firm's business to help avoid the need for lenders to rely on personal guarantees to repay debt as well as defending actions for recovery of the same.
A company director can be disqualified from being a director for many reasons. You can be disqualified from being a director if you do not meet your legal responsibilities or if you are reported for ‘unfit conduct’.
Unfit conduct includes:
- Allowing a company to trade when it cannot pay its debts
- Not keeping proper accounting records
- Not sending accounts and returns to Companies House
- Not paying tax owed by the company
- Using company money or assets for personal benefit
If your company is involved in insolvency proceedings, or there has been a complaint, the Insolvency Service may investigate your company. As well as the Insolvency Service, Companies House, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Courts and a Company Insolvency Practitioner may take you to Court to disqualify you if they believe you have breached your duties as a director. You can defend the case in court if you disagree with the claims.
If you are disqualified, you will be disqualified for up to 15 years. At this time you cannot be a director of any UK-registered company, or a company registered overseas with connections to the UK, nor will you be allowed to be involved in the forming, marketing or running of a company.
We can provide experienced advice in connection with any such proceedings brought against you.
Get in touch with our Insolvency, Business Rescue and Restructuring Solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley
Going through a difficult time with your business? Call us today for a no-obligation chat with our down-to-earth, business-minded lawyers.
We have local offices across Sheffield, on Attercliffe Road and in Gleadless and Hillsborough, plus an office in Barnsley.
Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back as soon as possible.