Insolvency, Business Rescue & Restructuring

Few businesses succeed without also surviving challenges along the way.  Financial challenges from the Pandemic have shown this.  Ironically it is often at times of recovery or growth, that poor cash flow can cause problems resulting in business rescue or restructure.  There is a way forward and we are here to help.

Our Business Rescue & Restructure Department is headed by Jeremy Bennett, who has worked for many large international law firms, as well as owning his own business.  This is why you can count on us for no-nonsense advice and practical solutions when your business runs into difficulties.

We work closely with you, the business owner(s) to discuss and agree on the best solution for your particular situation, and we will not give up until your problems have all been resolved.

We will seek to preserve the business and protect shareholder value, trying to secure finance where finance is needed, and discuss restructuring options where possible and necessary.

If an insolvency turnaround is needed we will discuss insolvency options with you and seek to ensure you are doing all the right things to protect yourself as Director and Business Owner, and we will help you deal with all such issues and ease the financial and other stress such a situation brings.

We have had years of experience and there is no challenge that we will not have seen before.  We can help with all of the following and more:

  • Securing finance and/or re-finance and financial planning
  • Time to Pay Arrangements with the Revenue
  • Bounce Bank Loan and CBILS restructure and repayment
  • Advice on security and dealing with your secured lenders.
  • Creditor pressure – help and advice
  • Personal Guarantee issues and claims avoidance

We will also offer you experienced advice in all insolvency options including:

  • Winding-up Petition and Compulsory Liquidation
  • Voluntary Liquidation
  • Corporate voluntary arrangements and Schemes of Arrangement
  • Administrations and ‘Pre-Pack’ distressed sales
  • Personal Guarantee exposure - minimising risk
  • Directors’ Disqualification
  • Individual voluntary arrangements and bankruptcy

What you can expect from our Insolvency, Business Rescue and Restructuring Team:

  • Years of experience from a team who understand business and know what works in tough situations
  • Fast responses to your calls and emails
  • 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 City Centre offices in Barnsley, which means we are ideally placed, professionally and geographically, to deliver sensible solutions when and where you need them
  • A fantastic history of helping businesses and business owners, it is the very foundation that Wosskow Brown was founded on over 30 years ago.

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, Abbeydale Road and in Gleadless, Hillsborough and Woodseats, 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.

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.

Debt Recovery

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.

Temporary Covid Debt Recovery Restrictions

Please note that there are currently temporary Covid restrictions in place until 31st March 2022 that mean a petition cannot be presented for debts under a threshold of £10,000.00.  The temporary restrictions also remain in place for debt in respect of commercial tenancies, provided the debt has been caused by the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Four conditions need to be met before a winding-up petition can be presented on the grounds of inability to pay:

  • Condition A: The debt is liquidated, has fallen due for payment and does not relate to non-payment under rent under a business lease.
  • Condition B: The creditor has delivered a written notice to the debtor. That has to set out basic details about the debt and must be delivered to the company's registered office.
  • Condition C: 21 days have expired since that notice and no such proposals have been made to the 'creditor's satisfaction'.
  • Condition D: The amount owed exceeds £10,000 (either cumulatively or on its own)

Be aware that creditors can apply to the court for conditions B and C not to be applied.

Statutory Demand

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, their 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

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 of 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 of your difficulties whilst retaining control and avoiding liquidation.

Personal Guarantees

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.  In the event of a business becoming insolvent, personal guarantees do not go away.

We are experienced in refinancing a firms 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.

Directors’ Disqualification

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.

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Meet the team

Jamie Brown - Commercial Employment - Solicitor - Sheffield
Jamie Brown
Jim Lawson - HR Consultant - Sheffield
Jim Lawson
Foundation Programme Director
Ruth Campbell - Wosskow Brown Solicitors
Ruth Campbell
Senior Paralegal