The award-winning Insolvency & Business Turnaround Team at Verisona Law welcomes insolvency litigation specialist, Neil Stewart, to provide valuable expertise to its corporate and private clients
With 17 years’ experience in commercial dispute resolution and contentious insolvency, Neil Stewart began his career in law after serving as an officer in the Royal Navy and then the Police Service. He trained and qualified in London before moving to the south coast to join the commercial litigation department at Blake Lapthorn (now Blake Morgan) in 1998.
‘From the moment I decided to enter the legal profession, I knew litigation was for me,’ says Neil. ‘It is a fascinating area of the law. You need to be sensitive to the high emotions of clients who may be feeling vulnerable or frustrated, know how and when to be fierce in defending their interests and in insolvency you have the added dimension of working with a clearly structured, codified body of law.’
In 2003, Neil joined Lamport Bassitt in Southampton where he became a Partner at the firm before its merger with Pitmans LLP last year. He is a committee member of the Southern Region of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), an accredited mediator and an experienced lecturer with the Open University, the Insolvency Service and Central Law Training. Neil has particular expertise in dealing with property and construction issues in insolvency situations.
‘I have followed the success of Verisona Law having worked with the firm’s former Head of Insolvency, David Oliver, in the early days of my legal career and with the current Head, Nick Oliver, through R3. I have been continually impressed by the firm’s originality, innovation and ambition’ Neil explains.
‘The Insolvency team has had impressive results in high profile and complex cases such as Portsmouth Football Club, and has won national awards including ‘Business Rescue of the Year’ at the last Insolvency & Rescue Awards, so when I learned of an opportunity to join the team, I was very excited.’
Neil joins the team with newly appointed Litigation Assistant, Chloe Hicks, who was offered the position after her impressive work since starting at Verisona Law at the start of the year. Previously Chloe spent three years with global professional services firm Ernst & Young.
‘Neil and Chloe have brought an energy, enthusiasm and capacity to the team,’ says Nick Oliver. ‘As we receive more and more enquiries and instruction as a result of our recent industry recognition, it is vital we bring in expertise that will ensure we maintain the high levels of service our clients have come to expect from us. I am particularly delighted that Neil has joined us given his previous experience, and he will significantly add to the team’s capacity to deal with insolvency disputes and litigation.’
- Sale and purchase of business, asset and shares
- Business start-ups and SME’s
- Management Buy-Outs (MBO’s) and Buy-Ins (MBI)
- Share buy backs
- Due diligence
- Company re-organisation and re-structuring advice
- Shareholders’ and partnership agreements
- LLP and Partnership advice
- Shareholder disputes
- Drafting inter-creditor, facility, guarantee and other security agreements
- Subordination and priority arrangements
- Advice on personal and corporate guarantees
- Joint ventures and collaboration agreements
- Terms and conditions of sale or purchase for goods/services
- Agency and distribution agreements
- Non-disclosure agreements (NDA)
- Bespoke trading agreements
- Intellectual property protection
- Incorporation of limited liability partnerships and companies
- Creating and/or maintaining statutory registers, minute books and share certificates
- Preparing board minutes, resolutions and notices
- Assisting with your confirmation statement
- Drafting or amending Articles of Association
- Dissolving or striking companies off the register
- Implementing changes to your share capital
- Drafting and filing of Companies House forms.
“The (Corporate and Commercial) team did Verisona Law proud. I really appreciate all your assistance throughout the transaction.”
Director of a Groundworks and civil engineering business, June 2018
“I would just like to say a very big thank you to you for all of your amazing hard work and patience during the course of the sale. Myself and the family very much appreciate it.”
Exiting shareholder of an IT company, July 2018
“Thank you for all your work in dealing with the acquisition, your advice has been really helpful.”
Seller of a healthcare business, January 2019
Exploring how best to secure payment of the Court award
The Defendant was the sole owner of his property and we discovered there was one mortgage registered against it. Mortgage enquiries and a valuation showed there was over £300,000 of equity in the property.
Taking Court action to settle the debt
First we obtained a Final Charging Order. This means that the Judgment debt is registered and secured against the property as an equitable charge.
We then applied to the Court for an Order for Sale whereby the property would be sold and the proceeds of sale, following the discharge of the mortgage and other costs, would be used to settle the client’s claim.
Although the Defendant strenuously opposed the application, the Court granted an Order for Sale and ordered the Defendant to vacate the property. They refused to leave.
Full repayment of the debt
At this point the Bailiff was instructed to take possession of the property and the Defendant was evicted. It was then sold and we recovered full settlement of the debt and payment of legal costs for our client.
The balance of the proceeds of sale was paid to the Defendant.
Orders for Sale are granted at the discretion of the Court and the Court may be unwilling to make an Order for Sale if there are young children, elderly or disabled occupiers living in the property.
A building company