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Helen Bates - Insolvency Lawyer

Helen Bates

Director

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Helen is a highly regarded insolvency, corporate recovery and restructuring lawyer with over 17 years’ experience.  Helen heads up our Insolvency and Restructuring team in Leeds and deals with all aspects of both corporate and personal insolvency.

Helen acts for many national and regional Insolvency Practitioners, lenders, creditors, debtors, companies, directors, business owners, guarantors and individuals.

Helen undertakes both contentious and non-contentious work, regularly bringing or defending claims, advising businesses and individuals in financial distress and regularly advising the various parties to transactional matters, whether this be the seller, buyer, guarantors, funders or other parties to a transaction.  Further detail of Helen’s experience and expertise can be seen by following the links below.

Helen is known for her commercial and practical approach and is often referred to as a “safe pair of hands” with an ability to always find a solution.

The Legal 500 lists Helen as a “next generation lawyer” and a “strong and pragmatic” name to note.

Legal Services

Insolvency & Corporate Recovery

Recent Work

Helen has conducted many complex and/or high profile insolvency and restructuring matters, including:

  • Acting for the Administrator in relation to the sales of various businesses, including a well-known shoe retailer; a high-end Mercedes Benz restoration company; a regulated care provider; a well-known licensed restaurant in Leeds and a national distributor to many well-known retailers;
  • Acting for the buyer in the acquisition out of Administration of various businesses including a multi-million pound luxury hotel, spa and restaurant and a geophysics specialist that required the approval of the US Department of Defense;
  • The successful Court Application (which was heavily contested) for an Administration Order to be granted in respect of 3 asset based lenders;
  • Acting in the reported case of Zinc Hotels (Investment) Limited and others v Beveridge and others [2018] EWHC 1936 (Ch) which involved a Shareholders’ Application for the removal of Administrators, with secured creditor claims in excess of £500 million;
  • Acting for the Administrators in successfully dealing with retention of title claims over assets worth in excess of £1 million;
  • Acting for creditors in successfully recovering assets from companies in administration and liquidation by establishing the ownership (retention of title) of those assets;
  • Successfully negotiating the settlement of numerous Hire Purchase Agreements and the onward sale of those assets by an Administrator;
  • Acting for the Liquidator of a company and obtaining judgment against the former directors for transaction at an undervalue and misfeasance claims relating to an EBT (Employee Benefit Trust) Scheme. Judgment was awarded (and then successfully enforced) for an amount in excess of £350,000;
  • Acting on behalf of Directors and business owners in successfully defending complex multi-million pound claims being made against them.

Helen acts for a wide variety of clients, including national and regional Insolvency Practitioners, lenders, creditors, debtors, companies, directors, business owners, guarantors and individuals.  Acting for various parties enables Helen to gain a good insight into how an opposing party may act/react and how to best approach a dispute or a negotiation.

Examples of the type of work conducted by Helen, and how she may be able to assist you, include:

Insolvency Practitioners

  • Both corporate and personal cases
  • Transactional work, including:
    • business and asset sales;
      assignment of rights, property interests and causes of action;
  • Litigation, including:
    • antecedent transaction claims;
    • investigations and examinations;
    • enforcement;
    • possession proceedings;
    • suspension of discharge;
    • income payment orders;
    • challenges to the validity of your appointment;
  • Procedural matters, including:
    • Disclaimers;
    • extensions of Administrations;
    • block transfers

Banks, Asset Based Lenders and other Lenders

  • Validation Orders (to ensure any security granted to you by a company with a pending winding up petition is not deemed to be void and unenforceable).
  • Enforcement (including by way of Administration, Liquidation, Receivership, corporate and personal guarantee claims, Bankruptcy).
  • Subrogation (enabling a lender to take advantage of the security and rights granted to a prior lender).

Creditors

  • Recovery of monies owed to you or assets held by third parties;
  • Investigations to assist in such recoveries;
  • Advice as to enforcement options for both secured and unsecured creditors (including statutory demands, winding up petitions, administration petitions, receiverships);
  • Retention of title claims;
  • Guarantee claims;
  • Claims against company directors if the company is unable to pay what you are owed;
  • Advice as to creditor rights;
  • Representation at creditors’ meetings and within insolvency proceedings where a company or individual that owes you money has become insolvent.

Buyers

  • Asset purchases;
  • Business acquisitions;
  • Advice as to security and deferred consideration/payment terms.

Distressed Companies

  • Advice as to the options available, including possible formal and informal insolvency processes that could rescue your business, such as time to pay arrangements, a
  • Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), Liquidation, Administration, negotiations and settlements with creditors, restructuring and funding options;
  • Opposing statutory demands or winding up petitions;
  • Validation Orders (often needed if funding is being sought by you and a winding up petition has been served or threatened).

Directors       

  • Advice as to your directors’ duties and potential personal liability;
  • Defending personal claims, including claims made by Liquidators, Administrators and creditors (including banks and other lenders);
  • Director Disqualification proceedings;
  • Personal Guarantee claims;
  • Section 216/217 advice on the reuse of a prohibited name and applications to Court

Shareholders

  • Protection of shareholder interests;
  • Assistance in resolving shareholder disputes;
  • Solvent Liquidations (Members Voluntary Liquidations (MVL)).

Individuals/Debtors

  • Advice on the options available when facing financial difficulties, including:
    • Time to pay arrangements;
    • Negotiations and settlements with creditors;
    • Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) and Interim Orders;
    • Avoiding Bankruptcy (including setting aside a statutory demand, opposing the petition, applying for a Bankruptcy Order to be rescinded or annulled);
    • Petitioning for your Bankruptcy;
  • Defending claims, including:
    • Personal guarantee claims;
    • Claims made by officeholders such as a Trustee in Bankruptcy, Liquidator or Administrator;
    • Claims made by lenders or other creditors.

 

To contact Helen or for more information…

Call: 0845 126 4376
Mobile: 07557 483 706
Fax: 0845 077 9571
Or email: Send an email

 

Memberships

R3 Yorkshire Region Committee Member

Testimonials

“‘strong and pragmatic’

(Legal 500)

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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