Getting The Best Results From Your Insolvency Practitioner
Published November 2017
The world of Insolvency Practitioners is becoming ever more crowded and for busy professionals, knowing who to turn to for restructuring and insolvency advice can be tricky. Your choice of Insolvency Practitioner (IP) is a reflection on your own business, and if the wrong IP is selected it can potentially impact your relationship with your client in the future.
Whilst many people can label themselves as ‘specialist’, especially in the age of online businesses, the process of appointing an IP should be carefully managed, and trust built. In the last 12 months, sixteen IPs have been sanctioned by the Insolvency Practitioners Association after giving bad advice or failing to comply with insolvency legislation or best practice guidance.
So what attributes of a good IP are likely to ensure that once a client has come through a restructuring or insolvency experience they remain a client?
A Strong Technical Ability
Clearly a good IP needs to know his/her stuff. This is a given. There are several other attributes that enables one IP to stand above others in the field.
Flexibility and Patience
Every case dealt with by an IP will have its own unique characteristics with varying degrees of complexity. A good IP has the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and know when the right degree of commerciality will enable the job to get done. It is of little help if an IP acts like a bull in a china shop, patience is not only a virtue but gets results.
A good IP will make themselves available, whether that is in person or via the phone. After all, time is money and no-one wants to be constantly fighting to speak to someone with authority about a client. At Cranfield we pride ourselves on being an IP led practice and so it is always possible to speak to one of our IPs on any matter.
The definition of resilient is interesting “to be able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed”. The nature of an IPs work means that they are often in the middle of parties in conflict and the definition fits perfectly.
A Good Communicator
At all levels, from first introductions to explaining complicated legal points, a good IP needs to be able to clearly and succinctly convey the message. In both verbal and written communications, clients and all other stakeholders need to understand why decisions are made and clear timely communication is essential.
Every referring professional needs to trust that the IP they have selected for their client is open, transparent and professionally competent. They need to be sure that at a first meeting the client will be told the good as well as the bad, warts and all. Such trust takes time to build but talking to other professionals who have used an IP in the past can provide the necessary comfort as to not only the trustworthiness but also the ability of an IP.
All practicing IPs can be found using the www.gov.uk/find-an-insolvency-practitioner service. Unfortunately the service does not reveal how well an IP ranks in the above categories and personal recommendation is probably the best way to protect your clients. At Cranfield we are always happy to provide of other professionals who have entrusted their clients with us to give an independent assessment of how we approach our work.
If you are looking to appoint a qualified IP or just want to confidentially talk through a potential restructuring or insolvency situation, please contact Brett or Tony on 024 7655 3700.