Administration, Receivership, CVA, Liquidation and Bankruptcy

We can explain the different procedures which may be available to a business in financial distress, and give practical guidance on preparing for a formal insolvency process.

Formal processes will always require the involvement of a licensed Insolvency Practitioner.  We work closely with a number of Insolvency Practitioners so we will help you to identify the right individual or firm for your particular circumstances.  We will then work with your preferred practitioner to implement the agreed process.

Not all the procedures will be available so we will advise which is likely to achieve the best outcome for the business and its stakeholders.

Pre-pack administrations, where negotiations for the sale of a business are carried out before the appointment of the administrators and then concluded shortly after the appointment, have been a regular and sometimes controversial method to rescue  part or the whole of a business.  We can take you through the steps required to achieve a pre-pack sale.

Company voluntary arrangements are a process which enables the incumbent management to continue whilst being lightly supervised by an Insolvency Practitioner. Once set up and, approved by the company’s creditors, it will protect the company from aggressive creditor action whilst the financial contributions proposed in the arrangement are maintained.

More from the Downs Blog

Working from home - where do you stand?

Under new government guidance, you should work from home if you can effectively do so. However, some employers may ask their employees to return to work whilst restrictions are in place - particularly if it is not reasonable to carry out that work at home. For those who are concerned about health problems, or juggling childcare, where do you stand in the eyes of the law?

What the new lockdown means for businesses, employees and workers

The third lockdown in England legally came into force on 6 January 2021. How long it will last is uncertain. At least until mid-February and possibly until late March. Vaccination provides a route out of the pandemic, but businesses need to survive this final and possibly longest of the lockdowns.

We are open

During these uncertain times, it is good to know you can count on us.

Even after the recent Government announcement of another national lockdown we remain open for business and are here to help you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended Until March 2021

On Thursday 5 November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2021. During this period you will be able to claim up to 80% of an Employees salary up to a cap of £2500.


Coronavirus Update - CJRS Extended

The Chancellor announced over the weekend that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that was due to end on 31st October will be extended until 2nd December.  The level of support available under the extended scheme will mirror that of what was available under the CJRS in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.

Chancellor announces changes to the Job Support Scheme

The Chancellor announced on Thursday 22 October that the Government contribution to employers’ wage costs under the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be increased. Employers will be expected to pay 5% of the cost of unworked hours instead of the 33% originally announced.

Coronavirus Update - CJRS Bonus - Are you eligible?

Back in the summer the Chancellor announced that employers could receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who had previously been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme  provided they remained continuously employed to the end of January 2021.  Businesses will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus from 15 February 2021 and the Government has stated that further guidance will be provided by the end of January 2021.

Family Investment Companies

What is a family investment company (FIC)?

FICs are companies limited by shares (an “Ltd” or “Limited”) often setup by parents or grandparents (“Founders”) to benefit both themselves and their family as shareholders. Their popularity has increased in recent years, being seen as a corporate alternative to the more common discretionary trust.

Coronavirus Update - Jobs Support Scheme announced

With new government guidance on Covid coming into force today and the current furlough scheme coming to an end next month, as expected, the Chancellor has today announced a new scheme to help businesses.  

Money Laundering Regulations – Is your business compliant?

You must meet certain day-to-day responsibilities if your business is covered by the Money Laundering Regulations or if you just want to protect your business from such risks and work on a best practice basis. These include carrying out ‘customer due diligence’ measures to check that your customers are who they say they are.

Election round up – the results

We've woken up to the news this morning that, following a public vote in a general election, the Conservative party will be forming a government after winning the biggest majority vote in over 30 years.

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Read articles from Downslaw

GDPR Compliance Review - Are you ready?

With less than two months to go until the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, are you and your business ready for the new requirements?

Timing for Filing the Notice of Conversion from Administration to CVL

Author: Chris Millar

Progress reports are now dealt with in Part 18 of the IR 2016.

How do I calculate 5 business days under IR 2006, for the purpose of appointing an administrator?

Where the directors/company give notice to appoint an administrator, the notice must include a Statutory Declaration. That Statutory Declaration must be made not more than 5 business days before the notice of appointment is filed with the Court.


Author: Chris Millar

(a) The High Court has confirmed in the recent case of Mohammed Safier v Wendy Wardell [2017] EWHC 20 that third party funds should not be paid into the ISA, and therefore do not attract the Secretary of State’s administration fee.

An Administrator's Remuneration

Author: Chris Millar

In the first instance, the creditors committee fixes the basis of the administrator’s remuneration. If the creditors committee fails to do so, or there is no creditors committee, then the creditors, as a body, must be asked to fix the administrator’s remuneration. If the administrator has delivered a paragraph 52(1)(b) statement i.e. there will be nothing to distribute to unsecured creditors, then only the secured creditors and the preferential creditors need be asked.

JCAM Commercial Real Estate Property XV Limited v Davis Haulage Limited

Author: Nigel Cook

In response to a threat by its Landlord to exercise its right of distress over the company’s assets, the company’s sole director filed a Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator and served it on the qualifying floating charge holder thus creating the interim moratorium under paragraph 43. Successive Notices of Intention followed and upon the filing of the fourth Notice the Landlord applied for an order to remove the last Notice on the grounds that it was an abuse of process. In fact, the company was proposing a company voluntary arrangement otherwise than through an administration.

Taylor v Von Dutch Marine Holding Limited

Author: Nigel Cook

The Company had granted to a bank a debenture containing fixed and floating charges i.e. qualifying floating charges over its assets. An unsecured creditor had obtained a Freezing Order preventing the company from disposing of or dealing with those assets covered by the debenture. The Debenture included express power to appoint a Receiver to sell the charged assets and also to act as agent of the Chargor company. The Bank applied to the Court for an Order to vary the Freezing Order so as to allow it to appoint a Receiver.

Thomas And Another v Frogmore Real Estate Partners GP1 Ltd

Three Jersey incorporated companies owned shopping centres in England and each had granted qualifying floating charges to its main lender, Nationwide Building Society (NBS).  NBS entered into arrangements with the respondents to share the funding risk with the respondents and to sell the loan. 

Debt Collection - New Pre-Action Protocol

Author: Albina Khad

Is your company’s balance sheet affected by aging debt and you are looking to recover it from your debtor? If so, prior to commencing court proceedings, you will now be expected to comply with the new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (the “Protocol”), which comes into force on 1 October 2017. It can be located on the Ministry of Justice website and will apply to a business (including sole traders and public bodies) (the “Creditor”) claiming payment of a debt from an individual (including a sole trader) (the “Debtor”). The Protocol does not apply to “business to business” debts unless the Debtor is a sole trader. Failure to follow the Protocol will put you at risk of costs sanctions being imposed against you by the court. It’s aim is to encourage communication and resolution without the need to issue proceedings.

Consumer Rights Act 2015 : What You Need to Know

Co-Authors: Neil Pfister and Daniella Magennis


The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the Act) came into force on 1 October 2015, marking the most significant overhaul to UK consumer law since the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. Prior to the Act most UK consumer legislation dated back 30 years - a time when online retailers were yet to exist and digital content was a far cry from the multimedia hypermarket that we have at our fingertips today. In addition, consumer law was overly complex and ambiguous with much overlap between the various pieces of relevant legislation. Indeed, inconsistencies emerged in some cases where UK consumer law was found to conflict with EU law.

Are Lawyers Different by Design?

Downs Solicitors LLP have recently been recruited onto the Design Business Association's Experts Register.  

Business Owners - How You Can Save Tax

Running a business in today’s world can be vastly time consuming,

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