Guide to insolvency in the professional services industry
Produced in partnership with Jat Bains and Paul Keddie of Macfarlanes LLP
Guide to insolvency in the professional services industry

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with Jat Bains and Paul Keddie of Macfarlanes LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Guide to insolvency in the professional services industry
  • Structuring
  • LLPs
  • Other preliminary steps
  • The people problem
  • Process issues on a sale
  • Valuation issues

Despite record levels of profit being reported by a number of professional services firms in the UK in recent years, there have also been some notable examples of firms faring less well and eventually collapsing. For example in the legal sector, international law firm Ince & Co was sold to listed firm Gordon Dadds via pre-pack administration in December 2018 and King & Wood Mallesons’ European arm fell in administration in late 2017, with the UK branch’s collapse being the largest UK law firm to enter insolvency proceedings as at that date. Similarly in 2017, Cluttons LLP, a firm of property consultants and chartered surveyors, was placed into administration.

Professional services firms in the corporate finance sector are reporting a slowdown on levels of inward M&A activity due to the prolonged uncertainty created by Brexit. The potential impact on the level of EU nationals coming to work in the UK may also mean that firms struggle to attract and retain the talent required and remain competitive. Further, the professional services market is experiencing a period of consolidation and, in some sectors, disruption which also has the potential to constrain firms’ bottom line and increases competitive pressures. It is therefore not difficult to foresee further distress in the market in the near future.

This Practice Note sets out some of the issues faced