Business Recovery & Insolvency Services
French Duncan Business Recovery is a leading Scottish advisory and restructuring practice specialising in advising small, medium and large businesses facing financial or strategic challenges at various stages of their business lifecycle.
Our partner-led teams work with a range of stakeholders, including directors, lenders, private investors and creditors, to ensure that each case is considered on its own unique circumstances, and to advise on, and implement, the most appropriate solution.
Our services include
Working from offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Hamilton, the teams are headed by partners Eileen Blackburn and Brian Milne, assisted by an experienced senior team with experience, not only in insolvency and restructuring, but also in industry, the legal profession and banking.
Our recent highlights include:
- the turnaround of a conferencing centre via a trading receivership strategy;
- the sale of a 25 acre ’ghost village‘ in West of Scotland for a secured lender;
- a judicial factor appointment to a distressed legal practice;
- options analysis for a secured lender to a specialist engineering business;
- expert witness work for a client defending disqualification proceedings; and
- the solvent liquidation of hotel chain, returning over £12m to shareholders within one month of the process commencing.
Statement of Insolvency Practice (PDF 203kb)
Insolvency Code of Ethics
If your business is underperforming, distressed or suffering a cash crisis, we can provide a tailored business review for stakeholders or lenders to the business. This service clarifies the immediate and medium term issues facing the business and will provide a clear evaluation of the options available and suitable recommendations.
By providing clarity of the underlying issues confronting the business, a plan can be put in place to turn around the businesses performance and rebuild stressed relationships between the stakeholders and lenders and creditors of the business.
When a business is suffering from severe financial underperformance, any solution is likely to involve operational restructuring. Through our years of experience of dealing with distressed and underperforming businesses, we can assist you in identifying the core business issues and work with you to develop a restructuring plan which is viable and achievable. We can work alongside management to support the implementation of the plan.
Cash Flow Optimisation
Even the most profitable of businesses can suffer from sporadic short term cash flow issues. We have experience of helping businesses identify the root cause of cash shortages and work with management to help maximise your cash flow.
Informal Payment Plans
From time to time genuinely viable businesses are forced by creditor pressure into an insolvency process which could easily have been avoided. We can help if, for example, you are in arrears to HMRC for VAT or PAYE, or are in excess of your credit limits with key suppliers,. In our experience, your creditors will listen to requests for Time To Pay; particularly when they are made aware that you are being assisted by professional advisors who can prepare and help you deliver a credible proposal.
Company Voluntary Arrangements
A Company Voluntary Arrangement is a legally binding agreement between the company and its creditors to repay those creditors, either in part, or in full, over a period of time. The procedure is typically used where there is a profitable core business which has become overburdened by historic debt, such as PAYE, VAT, rent or rates arrears. The procedure must be administered by a licensed insolvency practitioner, though the directors remain in control of the day to day operation of the company throughout the process. CVA procedures are increasingly used to help restructure businesses which have a viable future.
Administration is a formal insolvency process which creates a breathing space for the company. Because of the speed at which an appointment can be made, administrations are useful in those circumstances where cash flow pressures may be temporarily intense whilst there remains a financially viable underlying business which can be saved, given time.
Solvent Liquidation, or Members Voluntary Liquidation, is a process which can be used tax efficiently to close a solvent company and return the surplus assets or cash back to the owners. We have a wealth of experience in assisting stakeholders with this process and our in-house tax expertise will ensure that the process is conducted in the most tax efficient manner for your own circumstances.
Unfortunately businesses fail on occasion. Once the directors realise that their company is in an irretrievably insolvent position, or is unable to pay its debts as they fall due, they have a responsibility to ensure that they seek appropriate advice and, if appropriate, place the company into liquidation. The liquidator will then realise the assets of the company and distribute the cash proceeds to the creditors according to their appropriate rankings. Liquidation is the insolvency process most appropriate where it is clear that the business cannot be saved.