An insolvency specialist at Verisona Law has been asked to join the National Council of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, or R3.
With over 20 years’ experience supporting both companies and individuals affected by insolvency, Neil Stewart has been asked to join the national council of the profession’s trade body, R3.
‘A key role of R3 is to promote understanding of the work of insolvency practitioners,’ explains Neil, who is an Associate Director at Verisona Law, accredited mediator and solicitor with Higher Rights of Audience. ‘The public usually hears about insolvency when high profile companies get into trouble, so the profession is inevitably associated with redundancies, financial loss and the disappearance of household names.’
‘However, there are many examples where insolvency practitioners have rescued businesses that have been on the downward slope to insolvency. These companies don’t want a difficult period in their history publicised, for the sake of staff, shareholders and customers, so this good work often goes unnoticed.’
Often a source of information and guidance for government officials, R3 is led by an Executive Committee that regularly meets with the council which is made up of elected member representatives who make a vital contribution to the strategic decision-making process of the organisation. Neil joins the council to represent R3’s Southern Region in challenging times.
‘The UK’s imminent departure from the European Union raises many issues for the profession’ says Neil, who has been an active member of R3 for over a decade and served on the committee for the Southern Region of R3 before accepting the national position. ’There is great respect internationally for the UK’s insolvency regime and mutual recognition of insolvency procedures across the countries of the European Union, but it remains to be seen whether the current reciprocal arrangements will continue where companies have operations both here and within the EU.’
In addition to R3’s work in making the UK’s insolvency regime stronger and more transparent, Neil hopes to make a contribution to areas that have long held his professional attention. ‘One of the issues I am particularly interested in is fighting fraud’ he says. ‘I would welcome the opportunity to get involved in working groups and policy committees that gather opinion from across our profession and consult UK businesses in order to create policies that make a difference.’
‘Another area of interest is the construction sector. I have seen many building companies practically disappearing as they head towards liquidation. Directors vanish, subcontractors go unpaid, documents cannot be found and eventually everyone loses interest. Some accept it as part of the risk inherent in this industry, but a few relatively modest cultural changes could reduce the risk substantially.’