Case Studies & News

We are pleased to be associated with a number of local and regional organisations and to announce office news as below. See our latest quarterly insolvency bulletins.

The latest national insolvency statistics reported by The Insolvency Service can be found using the link below.

Richard J Smith & Co are currently appointed on a number of corporate formal insolvencies including the matters detailed below.

Please contact our offices to obtain further information about these and other appointments.

General news items can be obtained from a number of websites below. The R3 magazine RECOVERY is well worth a read.

Case Studies

Restructuring a multi-site retail operation through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)

  • Client : Company X

Company X, which had 54 employees, operates a chain of retail outlets from eight leased units situated throughout the Westcountry.

Historically it had been very profitable.

Over recent years, it had experienced quite substantial trading losses arising from some of its stores. Following a review of projected sales and costs, the losses looked set to continue. The losses were not only due to a downturn in sales as a result of internet competition, but also due to substantial site overheads the company had to meet.

Two large branches were identified as the main loss makers which, between them employed 14 members of staff. Revised trading and cash flow projections estimated a profitable business after closure of these stores.

A decision was taken by the directors to close these two loss making units, bringing the leases to an end and make the necessary redundancies. This had the effect of crystallising substantial property and employee liabilities.

The Company had insufficient cash reserves to pay the resulting lease liabilities or the redundancy payments.

Therefore, a CVA was proposed, and subsequently approved by creditors, which enabled the Company to capture these liabilities in the CVA and settle them over a period of three years from profit.

As a result of the CVA being approved, the Company continues to trade from its remaining units, saving around 40 jobs in the process.

The alternative procedure of administration or liquidation would have resulted in very little or no return to creditors.


  • Client : Mr X (a lawyer)

Mr X whose law firm became insolvent due to government legislative changes in his field of expertise wished to continue trading as a sole practitioner. He is able to do so within a protective IVA. A significant dividend was offered to his creditors including the liquidator of his former company that allows him to continue to trade, retain his practicing licence and deal with his creditors.

Interlocking individual voluntary arrangements

  • Client : Mr & Mrs Y. t/a Publicans

This is a substantial partnership including a trading pub and restaurant and a number of freehold investment properties. There were significant HMRC, Bank and finance creditors. We advised the partners to propose the sale of the leasehold business within a short time frame, which would settle unsecured creditors in full, failing which, property equity and other income would be offered as required. Contributions from business income were offered from the profit of a restructured business. Bankruptcy would have delivered a significantly lower dividend of circa 10p in the £. After negotiation with major creditors the proposals were agreed. The business is now successfully trading within a protective framework of interlocking individual voluntary arrangements.

Company Voluntary Arrangement

  • Client : Basic MOT Ltd (CVA)('BML

BML trades as a garage doing servicing and MOT. The directors have struggled in the last two years due to the car scrappage scheme and illness. A substantial HMRC debt had built up and liquidation was threatened. MOT licences terminate on liquidation. On the basis of cash flow and profit and loss projections for the restructured business the directors of the company proposed to continue to trade and offer a dividend of 75p in the £ to its unsecured creditors over five years from future profit. After some negotiation the offer was accepted by the creditors.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement

  • Client : Mrs A (a local government employee)

Mrs A is a local government employee who owns her home with her husband who is recently disabled and on benefits. She has run up considerable loan and credit card debt in stabilising their lifestyle and offered her creditors contributions from her salary resulting in a dividend of circa 40p in the £ over five years with the balance being written off on conclusion.

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

  • Client : Consultancy Ltd (liquidation)

This consultancy firm had suffered badly from the recession. A substantial proportion of its work was with utilities and local authority customers under PFI contracts. This work began to fall away. There were also a number of contractual claims against the company.

Creditor levels built up and they could not foresee a way out of their problems without a strong order book. We recommended to the directors that they place the company into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and make their staff redundant.

At the meetings of shareholders and creditors partners of this firm were appointed liquidators and are proceeding to realise its assets including cash balances, two properties and a number of sizeable and complex contractural debts. The company's bankers have been paid in full from realisations under their security, preferential creditors are likely to be paid in full and it is anticipated that unsecured creditors will receive a reasonable dividend.

Voluntary Arrangements including matrimonial home

  • Client : Mr & Mrs C. (private sector employees)

Mr & Mrs C had accumulated substantial amounts of credit card and loan debt from an unsuccessful business and through living beyond their income. They owned a house with considerable equity. We were able to agree five year Individual Voluntary Arrangements with their creditors offering voluntary contributions from their net disposable incomes together with a contribution from selling or remortgaging their matrimonial home in year four of the arrangement.

Solution to a partnership insolvency problem

  • Client : Mr & Mrs Z. t/a Groundwork Contractors

This is a typical example of a solution to a partnership insolvency problem. Mr & Mrs Z trade as ground work contractors in the construction industry. The recession and ill health have left the partners insolvent. They have significant business assets, their home and investment properties. They have substantial HMRC, bank and finance debt. Their accountant assisted the partners in restructuring a downsized business and was able to present a profitable business plan and projections. We recommended interlocking individual voluntary arrangements to deal with their assets and liabilities. After negotiations with their major creditors including HMRC we agreed monthly contributions from their business income over a period of five years and the sale of properties providing a dividend of circa 40p in the £ to joint/partnership creditors and 15-30p in the £ to sole estate unsecured creditors. The balance of their unsecured debts will be written off.

Latest News

Formal insolvency appointmentsMay 2024

Hamish Adam, Sam Bailey and Jon Trembath, partners of Richard J Smith & Co have been appointed on a wide range of corporate insolvency cases in the last twelve months including the following:

  • Liquidators of Blue Dot Adventures Limited on 19 April 2024
  • Liquidators of Jagger Utilities & Groundwork Services Ltd on 11 April 2024
  • Liquidators of SS Motorsports Mechanic Limited on 10 April 2024
  • Liquidators of Computech IT Services Limited on 28 March 2024
  • Liquidators of Trecarrell House Ltd on 26 March 2024
  • Liquidators of Rusty Pig Limited on 20 March 2024
  • Liquidators of Holliflor Flowers Limited on 14 March 2024
  • Liquidators of Reblou South West Limited on 14 March 2024
  • Liquidators of On the Rocks (Bars) Limited on 8 March 2024
  • Liquidators of Steve Mitchell Limited on 28 February 2024
  • Liquidators of Sprucewool Ltd on 20 February 2024
  • Liquidators of Posh Nosh Event Catering Ltd on 23 January 2024
  • Liquidators of Seaton Beach Cafe Ltd on 17 January 2024
  • Liquidators of Penske Limited on 4 January 2024
  • Liquidators of Love Summer Festival Ltd on 20 December 2023
  • Liquidators of Patrick Cope Construction Ltd on 14 December 2023
  • Liquidators of Evolution Boats Ltd on 7 December 2023
  • Liquidators of Simply Caring (SW) Ltd on 23 November 2023
  • Liquidators of Accept Payments Ltd on 8 November 2023
  • Liquidators of Lewis Haughton Wills Ltd on 7 November 2023
  • Liquidators of Blue Water Sports Limited on 20 October 2023
  • Liquidators of West Country Marine Services Limited on 28 September 2023
  • Liquidators of Magnify Construction Limited on 27 September 2023
  • Liquidators of Posta Pizza UK Ltd on 14 September 2023
  • Liquidators of Exeter Car Warehouse Limited on 7 September 2023
  • Liquidators of Eden Spaces Ltd on 22 August 2023
  • Liquidators of Manton Electrical Contractors Ltd on 17 August 2023
  • Liquidators of SJ Robshaw Ltd on 17 July 2023
  • Liquidators of A.D. Young Technical Services Limited on 6 July 2023
  • Liquidators of Sandbar Ltd on 6 July 2023
  • Liquidators of First Sterling Investments Limited on 30 June 2023
  • Liquidators of Ben's Bakes Ltd on 14 June 2023
  • Liquidators of Robert W Lynn Limited on 13 June 2023
  • Liquidators of Pimperne Steel Fabrications Limited on 13 June 2023
  • Liquidators of Long Dog Trading Limited on 1 June 2023
  • Liquidators of Aroundabouts Laundry on 14 April 2023
  • Liquidators of Alex Upson Limited on 11 April 2023

Visitors should be aware that we are appointed on many other corporate, partnership and personal insolvency matters where we are not required to publicly advertise appointments and for reasons of confidentiality we do not do so. The details of such matters are confidential between the company, partnership and individuals, their creditors and relevant government departments.

Quarterly Insolvency BulletinsJanuary 2024

We provide below our most recent quarterly insolvency bulletins. These bulletins are sent out hard copy to our major clients and contacts including accountants, lawyers, bankers and others. If you would like to receive a regular copy of the bulletin please do not hesitate to contact us using our contact form..

General Insolvency NewsSeptember 2022

Our professional trade body known as R3 (The Association of Business Recovery professionals has a very readable magazine entitled RECOVERY and its website includes a library of news and press items items that are regularly updated. Please see

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and The Insolvency Practitioners Association have helpful websites providing information about the profession. Please see

Office newsSeptember 2022

Giles Frampton retired as a partner on 30 September 2020 and we welcomed Jonathan Trembath as a partner on 1 October 2020.

Richard J Smith & Co are founder members of the Long Room and continue to support Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton.

Hamish Adam is a member and supporter of Aviva Premiership side Exeter Chiefs Rugby club in Exeter.

Hamish is a keen member of the Exeter Geriatrics Cricket Club who are based at the Coaver Club in Exeter.

Richard J Smith are also proud to support the Theatre Royal in Plymouth.

Jonathan Trembath is currently Chairman of the Plymouth Round Table (2020)

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