CVR Global facilitates pre-pack administration, saving 22 jobs at law firm

A Northampton law firm has assisted one of its local counterparts in financial difficulty, saving 22 jobs.

Borneo Martell Turner Coulston LLP has purchased the current client base of Scott Fowler LLP – which stands at more than 1,000 clients – and all of Scott Fowler LLP’s staff have also transferred to the buyer.

The deal was made via a sale negotiated ahead of administration, which was facilitated by Scott Fowler LLP’s Joint Administrators Charles Turner and Kevin Murphy from restructuring and insolvency firm CVR Global, with Alan Bennett and his team from national law firm Ashfords LLP providing legal support.

In the course of the last few weeks, Scott Fowler LLP’s partners and the proposed administrators acting in an advisory capacity, have conducted a discreet marketing campaign to find potential interested parties. CVR Global’s Charles Turner and Kevin Murphy have now successfully negotiated the transfer of the client files.

The sale was made more challenging by the Covid-19 lockdown, and difficulties arising as a result of restricted funding in the marketplace for business acquisitions in the present extreme circumstances, as well as having to conduct negotiations remotely.

Scott Fowler LLP, which traded from its office on Sandhill Road, has now ceased trading after more than 50 years of operating in Northampton. The staff will continue to work from this office for the new owners.

Alan Bennett and Crispin Jones of Ashfords LLP have been appointed as Solicitor Managers on the administration, advising on regulatory responsibilities including the protection of Scott Fowler LLP’s clients’ money and interests.

Charles Turner is a Partner at CVR Global and has extensive experience of dealing with distressed professional practices.

He said: “Scott Fowler LLP has built up a respectable client base over the past 52 years in Northampton and beyond, and I am delighted to be able to ensure that part of its legacy – in the form of its client base and staff – can carry on.

“Unfortunately, Scott Fowler LLP encountered financial difficulties due to historical financial claims against the firm, which meant the business could no longer continue to trade.

“I’m especially pleased to be able to see a healthy number of jobs saved, and I am confident the Scott Fowler LLP client base will help enable Borneo Martell Turner Coulston LLP to go from strength-to-strength.

“I am grateful to the partners at Borneo Martell Turner Coulston LLP for their vision and determination in seeing through this acquisition, despite the current difficulties, and I am confident that the clients and staff of Scott Fowler LLP will be able to move forward with the new firm.

“I’d also like to thank Alan Bennett and the team from Ashfords LLP who represented and advised CVR Global on the completion of what was a complex deal, and for prioritising the best interests of all of Scott Fowler LLP’s clients and staff.”

Alan Bennett, Head of Restructuring & Insolvency at Ashfords LLP, added: “Our team have significant experience in supporting professional service firms facing financial challenges and are also regularly appointed by administrators to take on the Solicitor Manager role.

“We are pleased to be able to help all parties move forward and find the best available solutions, particularly in these challenging times. The protection of clients’ interests is paramount and we will be overseeing the safe transfer of client files and client monies so clients can maintain a seamless excellent service with their new firm.”