Meet the Team: Hamish Millen Adam

23 April 2021

Many of you will have known Hamish Adam for many years already, with Hamish having worked in accountancy and in the world of Insolvency since 1990 at a smaller firm Robson Taylor in Bristol & Bath then at Ernst & Young in Exeter and qualified as a Licenced Insolvency Practitioner in 2000

Hamish is based in Exeter with his wife and adult children but spent much of his working life working throughout the region and in London before joining Richard J Smith & Co.

He is very well connected across the region through his experience in insolvency but also due to his interest in rugby and the Exeter Chiefs where he is an investor and member, at Somerset County Cricket Club, at the Exeter Geriatrics Cricket Club as an active player member (at the age of 60!) The Geriatrics play at the Coaver ground adjacent to Devon County Council on the Topsham Road. In addition, in the past Hamish has been involved as Treasurer with the Heavitree Parish and Families for Children.

Hamish has been taking insolvency appointments since 2007 firstly with Giles Frampton and Sam Bailey and now Jon Trembath


What is your role at RJS?

I am one of three Partners here at RJS. As well as managing the practice with my partners and supporting a strong team of colleagues within our insolvency team, I also manage in a hands-on way a portfolio of corporate and personal cases. In addition, I provide initial free advice to clients. I also get quite involved in the planning of and enjoying marketing events including Golf events, visits to the Ivybridge Rugby Football Club, Exeter Chiefs, Somerset County Cricket Club and occasionally Twickenham and Lords. I am dead keen on getting out and socialising and networking with clients and contacts particularly accountants, solicitors and lenders.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, going on holiday, walking on Dartmoor, playing Golf, playing cricket with the Geriatrics, watching the Exeter Chiefs and Somerset CCC.  

Why RJS?

RJS are the leading independent boutique insolvency practice in Devon and Cornwall. Having initially trained at a smaller firm in Bristol/Bath before moving on to spending 12 years at a Big Four Accounting practice, when invited by Giles Frampton to join RJS it was a no brainer. RJS have built up a very strong reputation over the last 30+ years within the South West and we are well positioned to continue this over the next 30 years.

Something that people might not know about you?

My first degree was in Agricultural Economics at reading University and following graduation the Ministry of Overseas Development sponsored me for a Master’s degree at Wye College, London specialising in Agricultural Development Overseas and then sent me overseas to be a Technical Cooperation Officer on a Studentship. I spent the first five years of my adult life working in West Africa and Southern Africa as a UK Aid employee and latterly preparing commercial development projects with Landell Mills Associates to be funded by major financial institutions. Amongst my favourite jobs was an Agricultural economist at the West African Rice Development Association Special Mangrove Swamp Rice Project in Sierra Leone which allowed me to travel to many West African countries and the Zambia Cashew Company set up in Mongu in the Western Province in the mid 1980’s which I believe may still be operating in some form

Favourite case/work story?

Like many mature Insolvency Practitioners the cases/stories are many. There have been so many successful cases over the years where our team have managed to save businesses in whole or in part, preserving value and jobs for staff which always gives us great pleasure. So often we are identified with closed businesses and liquidations which are only part of what we do. The real skills of an IP come into play when a business and assets need restructuring and saving and we have the tools to achieve that.

We are particularly proud of our successful CVAs where the businesses remain in a restructured fashion or were sold on profitably and in this respect the following recent cases are notable:

·         Havills Electrical Ltd. (a case in the mid 2000’s being a five-year contribution based CVA which saved the company for the directors and shareholders and offered a significant dividend

·         Studio Screen Print Ltd (Printers in Newton Abbott) (a recent case which saw the company restructured with a third party merging with the company and assisting in the CVA settlement)

·         Ocean Breeze Ltd (large laundry in Cornwall that was sold to a major overseas company during the CVA with creditors paid in full).

Also recent unusual cases Administrations and liquidations where we have managed very successful outcomes:

·         The River Yealm Hotel (a derelict hotel in the South Hams sold to a major developer for the family members)

·         The Poldark Mine (a tourist attraction sold to a new owner)

·         Waycotts Ltd (an estate agent sold to a competitor)

·         The Board Basement Ltd (an on line and retail Snow Board and sports accessory seller which needed to go into liquidation but where we achieved a sale of the business and assets to a competitor during the Pandemic with minimal losses to supplier creditors)

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