Life as an appointment taker

Having passed the necessary exams to become an Insolvency Practitioner in 2009, I spent many years honing my skills whilst running various insolvency cases for the appointed Insolvency Practitioner. I was lucky enough to be able to gain this experience whilst working in locations such as Southampton, Brisbane and in my current role with Milsted Langdon LLP, Taunton.

This experience as a manager gave me the practical experience, I needed to be ready to gain my licence and start taking insolvency appointments in my own name.

My first appointment was a solvent liquidation in September 2020. One would have hoped for a nice straight forward appointment for their first. However, the case in question did not turn out this way. It involved a large overdrawn loan account that needed to be dealt with via two meticulously planned consecutive capital distributions (between which a proportion of the initial distribution had to be repaid). All of this needed to be completed within a matter of days of liquidation to prevent tax complications surrounding the loan account. Due to detailed preparatory work, the distributions went as planned and avoided any unnecessary further complications.

With such an “exciting” first appointment, my second was surely to be more straightforward, right?  Wrong; this time I found myself assisting the director of a company put together a voluntary arrangement proposal for a business that had been closed due to Covid-19. The challenges of the pandemic, coupled with the looming deadline of HMRC restoring its preferential status, would have rendered the proposal unworkable, meant that again, timing was crucial to ensure that the arrangement had a chance of success. I am pleased to say that the proposed arrangement was approved by creditors in the timeframe required.

Thankfully not all the appointments I have taken have been so eventful, but the ever changing legislative and commercial landscape has shifted considerably in recent times meaning that finding workable solutions for clients continues to require creative thinking and swift action.

Despite the challenges faced both from the clients themselves and the changing market, it has been a fascinating first 18 months as an appointment taking Insolvency Practitioner. Since my first appointment 18 months ago, I have been appointed liquidator in 13 further solvent liquidations, from which I have made total capital distributions to shareholders of £6.2m and counting. In addition to this solvent work, I have been appointed administrator on one case where it has been possible to pay the secured creditor in full, with future expectations that preferential creditors will receive payment in full and unsecured creditors will receive a modest distribution, as well as liquidator on eight insolvent liquidations.

It has been well publicised in the media that insolvency appointments have been subdued in the last two years. With the phasing out of most government support having now taken place, however, there has been a marked return to pre-pandemic levels of corporate insolvency with the expectation that more companies could face difficulties this year. Despite all the changes we have seen, one thing remains the same, the sooner a company that is in, or that foresees, financial problems can take advice the more options there usually are available to resolve them. If you have a client in such a position, please feel free to contact me to discuss how I can help.


Richard Warwick

Posted in News, Newswire.