Does your UK businesses have a Plan A, when Plan B ends?

With the end of all Plan B restrictions in sight, 2022 should (fingers crossed) be a better year for UK businesses who have faced a long and tough challenge managing issues such as Brexit, supply chain, the sustainability agenda, ESG, regulatory change and cash flow alongside the unpredictability of COVID.

Throughout the pandemic we have regularly updated our business viability guide, which offers guidance to UK businesses and directors on key business considerations such as financial support, directors’ duties and managing HMRC and employees.

The latest edition of our guide, alongside our forthcoming webinar: How Are Businesses Recovering and Building Resilience following the Economic Challenges of 2021? aims to provide the latest insight and considerations for UK businesses looking to build resilience and move forward with Plan A, as well as help and guidance if Plan A is perhaps not shaping up as hoped.

If you would like to join our webinar at 12pm on 1 February 2022 then you can register here, and our latest business viability guide is available here.

Limetree Bay: Messy Auction Process Generates Increased Recoveries

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Can messy be good?  Sometimes the answer is yes.  The chapter 11 case filed by Limetree Bay Services, LLC and five of its affiliates (“Limetree Bay”) is one example of auction disorder actually bringing increased creditor recoveries. Bankruptcy professionals, financially distressed companies and acquirers of distressed assets can learn valuable lessons from this odd bankruptcy auction process, which shows the importance of (1) debtors preserving their flexibility during an auction, and (2) investors having appropriate expectations and resources before bidding on a debtor’s assets.  Contentious auctions are nothing new, but the unique facts in Limetree Bay highlight these critical principles.

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Failure to file a HR1 form (even if inadvertent) could result in an administrator facing  criminal prosecution

Employment law and insolvency law can sometimes have a strained relationship, particularly when laws safeguarding employee rights find themselves in conflict with an insolvency practitioner’s duty to act in the interests of all the creditors (as opposed to any one group). But the case of Palmer vs Northern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court should be heeded by insolvency practitioners since it confirms they can be criminally liable for not notifying the secretary of state about proposed redundancies.

This blog considers Palmer, why the court reached the conclusions it did and its implications for insolvency practitioners particularly in situations where there is insufficient time between appointment and making redundancies to give the required notice.

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District Court Rejects Purdue Pharma’s Chapter 11 Plan Over Non-Consensual Releases Provided to Sackler Family

On December 16, 2021, United States District Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York overturned the confirmation of Purdue Pharma’s chapter 11 plan of reorganization, “put[ting] to rest” the non-consensual third-party releases debate that has “hovered over bankruptcy law for thirty five years.”  Judge McMahon concluded in her 142-page opinion that “the Bankruptcy Code does not authorize such non-consensual non-debtor releases: not in its express text (which is conceded); not in its silence (which is disputed); and not in any section or sections of the Bankruptcy Code that, read singly or together, purport to confer generalized or ‘residual’ powers on a court sitting in bankruptcy.” Continue Reading

(UK) Keeping the (light) Bulb on special energy administrations – what will happen next to Bulb ?

We discussed the announcement that Bulb Energy Ltd (“Bulb”) was due to be placed into special administration in our previous blog outlining how the rules for energy supply companies work, the supplier of last resort (“SoLR”) regime and what energy supply company special administration entails.

In this blog we look at why it was necessary for Bulb to enter special administration, and what will happen next to Bulb and its customers. Continue Reading

(UK) How Will the New Rent Arbitration Scheme Work for Commercial Landlords and Tenants?

In our second alert in the series, we consider the proposed new rent arbitration scheme and the draft Bill explaining how the process is expected to work, key points to note about the scheme and whether commercial landlords and tenants will use the scheme to resolve outstanding COVID rent arrears disputes.

Access the alert here


Restructuring Foreign Companies in England Using a Restructuring Plan

A restructuring plan may well be a very effective way of restructuring a foreign company. It has several advantages over a scheme of arrangement and with a relatively low entry threshold, the English court has already sanctioned at least one plan for a foreign company in the relatively short time that it has been available.  Introduced in 2020, the English restructuring plan offers foreign companies looking to restructure, flexibility and options that might not be available in their local jurisdiction.

We have produced an alert, explaining when a foreign company can use the English process to restructure, the advantages of a restructuring plan and examples illustrating when foreign companies have successfully restructured in England.


How Does the New UK Code Of Practice Assist Landords and Tenants in Rent Negotiations?

Further to our previous blog outlining the new rules about payment and collection of unpaid commercial rent, our first alert looks at the new Code of Practice in detail.

This answers questions relevant to both commercial landlords and tenants who have yet to start or are in the process of negotiating payment of rent arrears that accrued during the COVID pandemic.  The alert can be accessed here and will be followed up shortly with a review of the proposed new rent arbitration scheme legislation.

Supply Chain Risk and Increasing Costs: How Are UK Businesses Building Resilience?

Supply chain issues are not new, but following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions in the UK and the hope that UK businesses will bounce back from a prolonged period of suppressed (or no) trading, they are having an acute impact on recovery.

Disruption, delay and increased costs were compounded by the pandemic.  But these issues have arguably been brought into even sharper focus now that business has re-opened and the true impact of the UK leaving the EU is being felt. Indeed, supply chain challenges are at the very top of many C-suite agendas right now, having recently caused some very high profile operational disruptions and lost sales for a good number of household name brands: such as McDonald’s, IKEA, Nandos and JD Wetherspoons to name but a few.

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An Introduction to France’s New Restructuring Laws

In the context of the EU Directive 2019/1023/UE of 20 June 2019 (“Directive”) and in the aftermath of the Covid crisis, France has reformed its insolvency legislation. The purpose of the legislation is both to implement the requirements of the Directive into the French legislation, but also to tackle the consequences of the Covid crisis and endorse some of the measures that have been taken in this respect and have brought the number of insolvency proceedings to a historic low, as well as other measures.

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