Corporate and personal insolvency

Whether you are facing a business or personal insolvency, reaching an effective solution is best achieved with the help of a specialist solicitor. We understand how stressful being in financial trouble can be, which is why our dedicated team, which is backed by Legal 500 recognition, provides straight-talking, pragmatic advice to support you through this difficult time.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Corporate insolvency

In the current volatile economic climate, it’s more important than ever for businesses to effectively manage their finances and take prompt action if things take a downturn. Our business insolvency team helps companies to avoid insolvency as well as provide swift, practical advice when the procedure is unavoidable. We have experience and expertise in helping businesses to understand the various options available to them and advise on the best course of action, including:

  • Administration - to seek to rescue the company or obtain a better outcome for creditors, including restructuring 
  • Advising directors of the company of any personal implications for their company becoming insolvent, including where personal guarantees have been entered into 
  • Company Voluntary Arrangement - helping your company and its creditors to reach an agreement 
  • Liquidation - from realising and distributing assets to creditors, right through to the final stages of winding up

Personal insolvency

Having helped many individuals navigate complex insolvency issue, we have gained extensive experience and expertise to help you do the same. If you happen to be facing financial difficulty, we understand the strains it can cause on all other areas of your life, including family and relationships.

For this reason, seeking legal advice as soon as possible can lessen the impact of the financial burden and help you to get back on your feet. We can advise and support you through all areas of personal insolvency, including: 

  • Negotiating and reaching agreements with creditors regarding a repayment plan - both informally or through a formal individual voluntary arrangement 
  • Bankruptcy - from initial explanations of the procedure right through to realising and distributing assets and advising non-bankrupt spouses on any implications
  • Advising on the implications of non-payment 

Insolvency practitioners

We also regularly act for insolvency practitioners, providing them with legal guidance on carrying out both business and personal insolvencies. Whether they are working for debtors or creditors, we are trusted legal partners to many practitioners who value our straight-talking, practical advice. Our team has experience in advising insolvency practitioners on all aspects of the insolvency procedure, including debt collection, antecedent transactions, claims against shareholders, landlord and tenant issues and employment rights.

Insolvency advice for creditors

Where companies or individuals are owed money from a customer or another individual who is in financial difficulty, we can help you to recover your debts.

For companies, we can advise on the validity of retention of title clauses, recovering goods already delivered and issue winding up petitions for non-disputed debts. As well as this, we offer our commercial clients a bespoke, digital debt recovery service.

For individuals, we can advise on and assist you with issuing or defending statutory demands or bankruptcy petitions.

Don’t just take our word for it…

Our highly-experienced department has Legal 500 recognition, which states:

Associate Ruth Ball has been instrumental in the growth of Smith Partnership's business and personal insolvency offering since joining the firm as practice head in 2013. The firm has become a notable player in the East Midlands market, as is evidenced by its strong flow of referral work. Ball, whose practice is split between Derby and Leicester, has more than 15 years of experience of insolvency litigation, although her workload is wide-ranging; areas of expertise include administrations, CVAs, members voluntary liquidations, creditors voluntary liquidations and compulsory liquidations. The firm's clients include insolvency practitioners, company directors and individual debtors.

Legal 500

Why choose Smith Partnership?

Our team has years of experience in providing personal and business insolvency advice to individuals and businesses of all kinds, and in a range of different circumstances. We are able to draw from this experience to tailor bespoke solutions for your unique situation, ensuring you or your business reach the best possible outcome.

As a firm, we pride ourselves in providing a straightforward approach, ensuring that any advice or communications you receive from us will always be straight-talking and jargon-free. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing where you stand and your available options at every stage of the process.

Smith Partnership has offices in Derby, Burton Upon Trent, Leicester, Swadlincote and Stoke-on-Trent so you are never too far away from expert legal advice when you need it. As well as accessibility, we offer an approachable and responsive service whereby our dedicated solicitors are alway on hand to help.

Contact our team today

To find out how our expert team of solicitors can help you, contact us today on 0330 123 1229, send us an email via or complete our contact form.


There are certain restrictions on trading under a similar name and, therefore, you should always take legal advice before setting up a new company or trading.

There are different ways in which to place a company into an insolvency process and the cost will depend on a number of issues.

If a company goes into liquidation, it is likely that the business will be closed and any employees will be made redundant. If a company goes into administration, the administrator may ask some employees to continue to work although, in most circumstances, there will be redundancies. If an employee is owed wages, they may be able to make a claim via the insolvency practitioner appointed or through the Redundancy Payments Office.

If the company is unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due, the directors should seek professional advice from a solicitor or an accountant as to the options available. In some cases, if advice is sought immediately, the business can be saved.

If you believe that you may be unable to pay your debts as and when they fall due, you should seek professional advice from your solicitor or accountant as to the options available to you.

Administration is a formal insolvency procedure whereby an administrator is appointed by either the court, the directors of the company or a floating charge holder. The purpose of the administration is to either attempt a reorganisation of the business or to take steps to sell the company’s assets under the protection of a moratorium. Creditors cannot take steps against the company whilst it is in administration but they may be able to recover goods under a retention of title clause.

There are different forms of liquidation including members’ voluntary liquidation, creditors’ voluntary liquidation and compulsory liquidation. A members’ voluntary liquidation is where a company is solvent and able to pay its debts but the shareholders wish to cease trading and wind up the company’s affairs. A creditors’ voluntary liquidation is where the directors of a company believe that the company is insolvent and can no longer trade. A compulsory liquidation is where a creditor of the company applies to the court for an order winding up the company.