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Occasionally a company with a sound business idea can run into short term financial difficulties, at Blacks we are experienced in advising directors in such scenarios and the options available to them are as follows: 

Company Voluntary Arrangement ("CVA")

A company may enter into a CVA, meaning a formal agreement to pay the creditors over an agreed term. It allows the company to continue to trade in the short term, provided the arrangement isn’t breached, and provides a platform for the company to build upon for the future. 

A CVA will bind all creditors and help limit the possibility of a more formal insolvency event. Furthermore, it is a relatively easy process for a company to go through with relatively low costs in comparison with other formal insolvency events.  

The CVA procedure gives a company breathing space from its creditors and time to formulate a carefully considered arrangement, which is attractive to creditors whilst remaining realistic for the company.  


Administration is a procedure which allows an independent Insolvency Practitioner, the Administrator, to run, reorganise and sell the company (where possible). The company will benefit from a moratorium (a stay on proceedings) which allows the company to operate in a protected environment.

The aim of administration is as follows: 

  • rescuing the company as a going concern;
  • achieving the best result for the creditors as a whole; or
  • realising the company’s property and making distributions to creditors in the statutory order.

The need to enter into Administration can sometimes be extremely urgent. Therefore, you will need an experienced Team, like Blacks, to guide you through the procedure.

Administrative Receivership

Administrative Receivership is more akin to a remedy for creditors, it allows for the realisation of company assets which is subject to security. Receiverships are now very rare and are only available to those with a qualifying charge created prior to 15 September 2003. If a floating charge is created on or after 15 September 2003 Administrative Receivership is no longer available as a remedy to enforce that security. 

Instead, a qualifying floating charge holder (see our 'A-Z of Insolvency') can place the company into Administration. An Administrative Receiver can also be appointed if one of the exceptions in the Enterprise Act 2002 applies. 


Liquidation is a formal procedure known more commonly as ‘winding-up’. Liquidation is a last resort, the company’s assets are realised for its creditors and the affairs of the company are brought to a close. 

There is a common misconception that Liquidation is only available to creditors but this is not the case, there are three alternative routes into Liquidation as set out below: 

  • compulsory liquidation – commenced by a petitioning creditor and by Order of the Court only;
  • creditors’ voluntary liquidation – commenced by an insolvent company where directors are unable/unwilling to give a statutory declaration of solvency; or
  • members voluntary liquidation – commenced by a solvent company were the members of the company wish to cease trading. 

There are a number of detailed procedural requirements to each of the above processes which we would always advise a client to seek professional advice upon. 

The effect of the liquidation is that the directors’ powers cease and the Liquidator will take over the running of the company and the directors appointments may be terminated. 

It is difficult to give an estimate time as to how long a liquidation may take but they can last a matter of months or in exceptional cases they can last for two to three years. However, the liquidation will conclude when: 

  • all assets are have been realised;
  • dividends are paid to the creditors;
  • final meeting of the creditors/members is held;
  • the liquidator is released by meeting or by Court;
  • the final accounts of the company are filed with Companies House; and
  • the company is dissolved. 

Meet the Team

The contact details for our Team of specialists are here. 

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Insolvency & Recovery
Ian Scobbie
Ian Scobbie
0113 227 9327

Ian Scobbie joined Blacks Solicitors in 2010 where he is an Associate Solicitor and Head of the Insolvency team.

Ian has over 25 years’ post qualification experience in dealing with insolvency and corporate recovery matters, ensuring swift and effective results for his clients.

In particular, Ian provides specialist insolvency advice to sports clubs and is well respected in Leeds and surrounding areas for his time as Chairman of Scarborough Football Club. Ian currently sits on the Board at Hartlepool United Football Club as a non-executive Director.

Dave Paterson
Dave Paterson
0113 227 9341

Dave Paterson joined Blacks Solicitors in 2004, where he trained and qualified, and is now a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team.

Dave regularly drafts and advises on lending and finance documents and has vast experience at dealing with all types of corporate matters for Owner Managed Businesses (OMBs) including acquisitions, disposals, and restructuring. He has acted on several management buyouts (MBOs) in the last 12 months and has been lead advisor on several multi million pound transactions acting for both Buyers and Sellers, including a Share Sale valued at £64m and a Share Purchase at £51m.

Dave has built a strong reputation advising Family Owned Companies (FOCs) on succession planning and issues. He recently advised one high profile Yorkshire based FOC on complex succession issues which involved extracting shareholdings which were held in Trusts.

He also regularly drafts and advises clients on commercial agreements. Recent particularly commercial work included: advising an IT service provider on a £10m+ maintenance agreement; advising a client on its “shirt front” sponsorship agreement with a Premier League Football Club; and drafting a Software Licence and Support and Maintenance Agreement for a local PLC.

Dave is also recognised by The Legal 500 for his “breadth of corporate knowledge” and for being “to the point, avoiding excessive fluff”.

Yat Wong
Yat Wong
0113 227 9346

Yat Wong joined Blacks Solicitors in 2007 and is a Solicitor in the Commercial Dispute Resolution team.

Before joining Blacks, Yat worked for law firms in the North East, South Yorkshire, and in London, and has over 21 years’ experience in advising both private individuals and businesses on all aspects of litigation.

Yat’s specialisms include boundary and property disputes, contractual disputes, professional negligence claims, intellectual property disputes, and company and partnership disputes.

Although Yat is highly accomplished in litigating cases, he is keen to try to resolve disputes for clients in a pragmatic and commercial way to minimise any cost to them.

Aimee Hutchinson
Aimee Hutchinson
0113 227 9203

Aimee Hutchinson graduated from the University of Sheffield before joining Blacks Solicitors in 2010 as a Trainee Solicitor. Aimee qualified in September 2012 and has been an Associate Solicitor in the Commercial Dispute Resolution team for over five years.

She works on a wide variety of general commercial litigation matters, with a particular interest and specialism in Judicial Review matters. She often handles complex litigation in the High Court and has experience of working on cases in the Court of Appeal.

Aimee is a key member of the Holiday & Home Parks team and is rapidly becoming a ‘go to’ adviser in the sector for park owners. She has represented clients in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and is able to offer tailored advice to clients in this unique area of law.

Aimee is recognised by The Legal 500 as “highly knowledgeable”, “extremely approachable and has an air of confidence that puts the client at ease”.

James Teagle
James Teagle
0113 227 9298

James Teagle joined Blacks Solicitors in 2012. He became a Partner in 2015 and currently heads-up Blacks’ Property Litigation team.

James has 15 years’ hands-on experience of resolving land and property-based disputes, and of dealing with estate management issues. This experience includes: business tenancy renewals; landlord and tenant disputes relating to service charge, rent review and dilapidations; and land disputes in respect of restrictive covenants, easements, trespass and claims for possession. James also specialises in working with LPA receivers and for secured lenders.

He is regularly involved in complex, high value claims and is recognised by The Legal 500 for his “measured approach and technical know how”. James also works closely with his property colleagues advising on large transactions which require specialist litigation input.

In addition, James is an active member of the Property Litigation Association and sits on its Northern Committee.

James is recognised by The Legal 500 as “incredibly helpful” and for having “an excellent grasp of the technical issues”.

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