Much has changed in Insolvency Law. But the life of an Insolvency Litigation Solicitor is still exciting, enjoyable and challenging.
In this article, Neil Davies, founding partner and director at central Birmingham based Insolvency Law Firm Neil Davies & Partners, celebrates 30 years as an Insolvency Litigation Solicitor. He briefly – and humorously – looks back at some of the changes that have taken place along the way, and finishes by saying that he still enjoys the excitement and challenges of the work.
“I am reminded that I qualified as an insolvency litigation solicitor 30 years ago, on 15 October 1987, into what was then Birmingham’s Edge Ellison, Hatwell Pritchett and Co, which was recognised as having one of the best teams of insolvency lawyers in the Country at that time. It was a brilliant training ground and an amazing time.
Over a glass of fizz yesterday with the team here at NDP, we talked (in other words I reminisced!) about the then recent emergence of the fax machine as the new, fast communication tool. The telex machine (ask somebody older than you if in doubt!) was still not quite redundant at that point.
Mobile phones were few and far between (mostly to be seen by viewers of Cagney & Lacey and the A Team) and the culture in Insolvency work was far more relaxed, certainly less regulated and did not involve much office based work on a Friday afternoon. Young insolvency solicitors were actively encouraged ‘to go out and market’. Work and play were equally hard. Much insolvency work was conducted in hostelries on a Friday afternoon (it genuinely was!).
The Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 Introduced a New Regime
At the date of my admittance, it was all change in the Insolvency world. It was an exciting time. The Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 (CDDA) had recently introduced a new regime and structure for pursuing delinquent directors. The Insolvency Act and Rules 1986 now governed what Insolvency Practitioners and their advising solicitors could (and could not!) now do! The Administration procedures were the new insolvency ‘go to’ remedy, replacing in large part the previously much loved (at least by IP’s and their solicitors) route of Administrative Receivership (what happened to that?)
Much has changed in the working environment in that 30 years, not I suspect always for the better. The doyens and giants of the IP world from way back then (Wheatley and Jones at KPMG, Corney and Wilton at Deloitte) don’t exist in this modern era, and that’s a real shame.
However we are where we are, and the work is still exciting, enjoyable and challenging. Many of the young insolvency administrators I grew up with are now Partners at IP firms –some (dare I say it) have even retired. I still enjoy the thrill of not knowing what is going to hit my desk on any given day, and as long as that buzz remains, so, I suspect, will I.
A big thank thank you to all who have helped me on this journey, so far, not least all of my colleagues here at Neil Davies & Partners.”
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