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With thepolitical dust settling from thegeneral election, Helen Kavanagh of Squire Patton Boggs, Frances Coulson of Moon Beaver, and Chris Laughton of Mercer & Hole consider what theelection result could mean for therestructuring and insolvency sector.
What does theresult mean for your practice?
Frances Coulson (FC): I am hopeful that this will be good news for our team.
Chris Laughton (CL): A Conservative majority government will do more to strengthen theUK economy than other outcomes. Restructuring and insolvency is more constructive when theeconomy is strengthening, as there is more appetite to invest in stressed and distressed businesses and assets. This suits my approach of theconstructive use of theinsolvency process. I think it’s crucial that as theeconomic recovery continues, businesses and assets achieve maximum potential and create value—if necessary by eliminating debt burdens and attracting entrepreneurial investment—even if insolvency is required to achieve that result.
At a more detailed level, we need to see who will have direct ministerial responsibility for insolvency matters. Sajid Javid’s appointment as Secretary of State for Business may suggest a less regulatory approach from thedepartment as a whole than during thetime of his predecessor, Vince Cable. However, we don’t know who will have theinsolvency brief and there are several policies, such as theJackson exemption (allowing conditional fee agreements and after-the-event insurance cost recoveries in insolvency litigation) and thepre-pack pool that a new minister might want to consider.
The promised referendum on Europe will be important, but even more so will be therenegotiated position in Europe that theConservatives have said they will establish first.
Helen Kavanagh (HK): As theConservatives have won theelection and are forming thenext government, we can expect business as usual for theUK restructuring profession. The past few months have seen a great deal of new legislation in our area which will be coming into force on 1 October 2015, principally theDeregulation Act 2015
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