Business Restructuring & Insolvency Services

Our Business Restructuring and Insolvency Services

French Duncan Restructuring & Debt Advisory 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.

Working from offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Hamilton, the teams are headed by Partners Eileen Blackburn and Brian Milne, and Director Linda Barr, who are assisted by an experienced senior team.  The team has experience, not only in insolvency and restructuring, but also in industry, the legal profession and banking.

Our recent highlights include:

  • The accelerated marketing of a distressed packaging business based in the West of Scotland. The company had a blue chip client base in drinks industry and was sold via a pre-packaged Administration.
  • The appointment as Liquidators to one of the last remaining independent department stores in Scotland.
  • The appointment to a highly regarded architects practice. The case involved obtaining a detailed understanding of an intricate and technically demanding industry, together with its unique billing processes. The Liquidator worked to preserve value in the ongoing projects.
  • Trading liquidation of a care services provider. In working in conjunction with local authorities, the liquidator ensured continuity of care for patients and preserved jobs by facilitating transfer of employees to alternative care providers.
  • Appointment as Administrators to an IT company who provided a file sharing platform which allowed analysis of the data for management information purposes.
  • We have recently completed a Company Voluntary Arrangement of a manufacturing company, where the creditors were paid over 75p in the £ in line with the original proposals.

Further information about the ways we can help are outlined below, or contact us here to arrange to speak to one of our business restructuring experts.

Click here to download our Insolvency Code of Ethics.

How we can help you

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.

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.

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 can work with management to help maximise working capital and cash flow.

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 you are in arrears to HMRC for VAT or PAYE, by proposing realistic time to pay arrangements to HMRC since we are aware of their normal criteria and likelihood of acceptance of such proposals.

A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) 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. CVA procedures are increasingly used to help restructure businesses which have a viable future.

Administration is a formal insolvency process which can be used to save a viable business. Administration provides a moratorium against creditor action in order to allow the Administrator to trade the business whilst either rationalising to allow the business to trade out of Administration or whilst looking for a purchaser for the business.

Members Voluntary Liquidation, or Solvent 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 with this process and our in-house tax expertise will ensure that the process is conducted in the most tax efficient manner. S110 Reconstruction is a tax efficient way to deal with a number of businesses within one limited company being either closed or disposed of with no chargeable gain.

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. This can be done either by CVL or WUC at the instance of the Company. The liquidator will then realise the assets of the company and distribute the cash proceeds to the creditors according to their appropriate rankings. 

FD Debt Solutions is the consumer debt arm of French Duncan Chartered Accountants, for further information and assistance with your debt issues please go to our dedicated consumer debt website - www.fddebtsolutions.co.uk.


Case Studies & Testimonials

Downloads

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Meet some of our Business Restructuring & Insolvency experts



Eileen Blackburn

Eileen Blackburn
Partner & Head of Restructuring & Debt Advisory
e.blackburn@frenchduncan.co.uk
0131 243 0199

Eileen Blackburn

Eileen Blackburn

Partner & Head of Restructuring & Debt Advisory

CA MABRP

LinkedIn Logo


0131 243 0199

e.blackburn@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

Eileen is a practising Insolvency Practitioner, JIEB qualified with almost 30 years’ experience in Restructuring and Insolvency and a chartered accountant.

Based in Edinburgh, she heads up French Duncan’s Restructuring & Debt Advisory practice and specialises in advising owner managed businesses, corporate and personal.

Her experience ranges from multi location retail insolvencies to complex personal cases including appointments over insolvent solicitors’ practices. Included in recent cases is the Administration of a company providing specialist security systems in the Middle East and the winding up of a company providing innovative, patent-protected water treatment technology to the tertiary/polishing water treatment and reuse market.

She is chair of the Scottish Technical Committee of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3) and also sits on R3’s Council and Policy Committee. She represents ICAS on JIEB and sits on the ICAS Authorisation Committee.

Eileen has been heavily involved in Scottish Insolvency matters over a number of years and has engaged with the Scottish Government and the Accountant in Bankruptcy on behalf of R3. Recently she has been involved in the working party set up to consider the modernisation of the Scottish Insolvency Rules.

Brian  Milne

Brian Milne
Partner
b.milne@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Brian  Milne

Brian Milne

Partner

BA CA

LinkedIn Logo


0141 221 2984

b.milne@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

Brian qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1995 and shortly afterwards joined Coopers and Lybrand specialising in business recovery, working throughout the UK. Thereafter, he moved to Deloitte as a Director within its Restructuring Services before joining French Duncan as a Partner in 2012.

Brian takes formal insolvency appointments across a broad spectrum of businesses and provides advice and solutions for individuals with personal debt problems. He also offers advice to distressed businesses and their lenders to assist in turnaround, restructuring and recovery.

Recent assignments have included administration appointments on behalf of secured lenders, liquidations and forensic asset tracing, recovery work in fraud cases and expert witness work in director disqualification actions.

Brian brings an unrivalled wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. He is commercially astute, which means that he always finds the appropriate solution for individuals, businesses and lenders alike.

Linda Barr

Linda Barr
Restructuring & Debt Advisory Director
l.barr@frenchduncan.co.uk
01698 459 444

Linda Barr

Linda Barr

Restructuring & Debt Advisory Director

LLB (Hons) Dip LP NP JIEB

LinkedIn Logo


01698 459 444

l.barr@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

Formerly a partner with a mid tier law practice, Linda changed careers in 2010 to join French Duncan. She therefore has invaluable experience of the legal as well as the technical aspects of all insolvency matters.   

Linda currently manages our Hamilton office and is in charge of technical compliance throughout the Insolvency Department. As a qualified Insolvency Practitioner, she provides advice to both corporate and personal clients facing financial difficulties and also advises other professionals and lenders on insolvency related matters.

Linda is particularly adept at tracing heritable assets and realising same due to her experience and understanding of corporate and property law.

Linda provides sound technical and commercial advice, has a ’can do‘ attitude and always exceeds expectations to get the job done successfully.

David McGinness

David McGinness
Restructuring & Debt Advisory Director
d.mcginness@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

David McGinness

David McGinness

Restructuring & Debt Advisory Director

JIEB MSc BSc

LinkedIn Logo


0141 221 2984

d.mcginness@frenchduncan.co.uk


Specialisms include...

David joined French Duncan in 2012 following a period as an insolvency consultant for a number of insolvency practices. He has over 10 years experience in insolvency, prior to which, he specialised in credit risk for a large utility company.

David currently manages our Glasgow insolvency team. As a qualified non-appointment-taking insolvency practitioner, he provides advice to directors, accountants, solicitors and lenders in relation to business turnaround, restructuring and insolvency.

David’s specialism is in asset tracing, recovery and sales. He has invaluable knowledge of complex insolvencies in the financial sector, along with experience of post-appointment trading and going concern business sales.

David’s extensive experience allows him to offer a sympathetic approach when discussing individuals' financial problems. He is known for his commercial approach in corporate insolvencies along with his strong technical knowledge.

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