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Upside – Autumn 2019

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Acting Global, Thinking Local

The UK has been experiencing one of its most turbulent periods in its post-war history over the last three years. We have seen a wide range of businesses, across almost every sector, struggle with the challenges of Brexit, from indecision over investment to trying to forecast the ensuing nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU and prepare for any eventuality. 

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In the UK, our restructuring and insolvency experts continue to provide our clients with tailored solutions for all their needs, including those unrelated to distressed situations, supported globally by Duff & Phelps’ worldwide operations and large suite of services.

We know that many businesses have assets, operations, liabilities and investors across the world. In the UK, our team’s role has always been to help organizations overcome financial distress, but the challenges of that process multiply rapidly when a company operates across multiple jurisdictions. Having access to a global team of market specialists means that when our UK team is engaged on multi-market insolvency cases, we can leverage their knowledge of local regulatory environments to secure successful outcomes for all stakeholders.

We have been working across diverse sectors to help businesses of all sizes negotiate the ever-changing economic challenges they face. From securing the successful sale of a printing business in Lancashire to the refinancing of an award-winning boutique hotel in the Peak District, we are proud to have worked with a wide range of businesses to help them and their stakeholders achieve positive outcomes.

We have also made a number of key appointments in the UK to strengthen our team and expand our expertise to help our clients face the headwinds of Brexit. We have added Ben Collett, Tyrone Courtman and Vijay Merchant to our team in Birmingham, and promoted Simon Shipperlee, Rob Goodhew, Mike Lennon, Mike Parsons and Martin Gray to the role of Director in our Restructuring Advisory practice in both London and Manchester. Our global Restructuring Advisory practice now includes more than 200 restructuring and insolvency professionals, led by the team in the UK and supported by operations stretching from the U.S., Hong Kong, Spain, Ireland and beyond—a truly global footprint.

Jacco Brouwer has also joined the firm as our new head of the European Debt Advisory practice, further strengthening our debt advisory and restructuring offerings. He has extensive experience in helping private equity and corporate clients identify competitive sources of finance and overseeing the debt structuring and negotiation process to secure successful outcomes for clients. He has also helped many clients going through a turnaround find new sources of finance. It is therefore a natural fit for our teams to work together and we look forward to delivering successful projects together.

However, there are challenges other than Brexit facing the restructuring and insolvency industry. The UK Government is reviewing the current legal framework around insolvency, a process that has been in consultation for some time now. I am therefore pleased to say that Emma Lovell, CEO of R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals and the leading organization for insolvency, restructuring and turnaround in the UK, is our guest columnist and outlines what the proposed changes may mean for us all.

Regardless of how the UK Government decides to proceed with its consultation, Duff & Phelps’ Restructuring Advisory team has never been in a better position to help serve both its UK and international clients. 

Our recent acquisition of Zolfo Cooper Asia, a leading independent provider of restructuring, insolvency, litigation support and forensic accounting services builds on our ability to deliver local expertise and geographic reach to serve clients in the Greater China region and internationally. In addition, the acquisitions of both Forest Partners, a leading Spanish independent provider of restructuring and financial and corporate advisory solutions, and Prime Clerk, a technology-driven claims and noticing administration practice based in New York, greatly enhance our global capabilities and comprehensive service offerings to clients. Cross-border insolvencies are more common than you think, and our multinational operation, led by our team in the UK, enables us to support our clients at a global level.

Whilst the business continues on its geographic growth trajectory, expanding our core UK practice to support the needs of stakeholders in UK corporate businesses is central to our strategy. 

With this edition of Upside, we provide insights on issues impacting UK businesses and also into some of the recent work we have done for our clients.

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