IPA exclusive industry update from Insolvency Insider

A specially curated selection of the top stories for IPA members from Insolvency Insider Editor, Henry Louis. More information on all the stories and the link to subscribe to the newsletter is here.

Recent insolvencies

  • Opus was appointed administrator of London-listed Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk Plc on 18 July. The company faced  serious and ongoing disruption to its business due to the imposition of Russia-related sanctions. According to Opus, both AlixPartners and BDO declined the engagement due to risk considerations arising from the company’s Russian business and international sanctions.
  • Holiday lettings management services business Houst Limited became the first SME to have a Part 26A restructuring plan sanctioned on 22 July. The plan sees the first cross-class cram down of HMRC as a dissenting secondary preferential creditor. Begbies Traynor acted as financial advisor to Houst. Legal advisors were Irwin Mitchell and counsel were South Square.
  • Interpath was appointed administrator on 13 July of UK Energy Incubator Hub, a domestic energy supplier serving approximately 3,000 customers and operating under two brands, Northumbria Energy and Neo Energy. The filing followed a series of provisional orders issued to the company by regulator Ofgem, including a ban on taking on new clients.
  • Hartley Pensions, a self-invested personal pension operator with a 35-year history, placed itself into administration at the request of the FCA on 29 July. UHY Hacker Young were appointed administrators.

Case updates

  • In an unusual move, the Scottish public purse has agreed to a litigation funding agreement with Deloitte so that the administrators of insolvent steel fabricator BiFab can pursue a commercial claim valued at c. £17.8million. Taylor Wessing was engaged to pursue the claim.
  • Controversial celebrity wealth adviser Tim Levy – who ran Cocoon Wealth, which went into administration in 2020 – is being sued by administrators from ReSolve for nearly £27m and the deeds to his mansion in the South of France, according to the Daily Mail.
  • Dan Jackson of Football Club News examines how Derby County were able to successfully emerge from administration, when clubs such as Bury were not able to survive, noting that Quantuma, Derby‘s administrators, creatively raised funds, including by sacrificing the sell-on clause for highly-rated youngster Kaide Gordon to Liverpool for a reported £500,000, and were able to continually secure further funding to ensure wages were paid each month.


  • Rachael Markham of Squire Patton Boggs examines whether the costs of a restructuring plan are prohibitive for a ‘run of the mill” SME restructuring, and considers suggestions for reducing the costs burden, including the introduction of a standardised template, dispensing with the convening hearing in favour of a single sanction hearing, and more.
  • Robert Ferne of FRP describes the domino effect caused by the financial deterioration of multi-national companies on the wider supply chain, which sectors are most at risk and the desperate measures being taken by some distressed companies, which are further exacerbating issues for all stakeholders.
  • David Fendt, Harriet Allsop and Rebecca Stratton of Russell Cooke sympathise with landlords who are likely to be disappointed with the conclusions in the Insolvency Service’s recent report on CVAs and will consider this to be yet another obstacle to overcome in what they may feel has been a very anti-landlord climate over the past couple of years.

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