A Renewed Programme of Business Development
Manolete has recently embarked on a renewed and reinvigorated programme of Business Development.
You may have seen some of our new informative videos on LinkedIn or Twitter. But the programme is about much more than greater social media exposure. It means our national network of in-house lawyers are going to be much more prominent and evident to IPs in the regions and the capital, seeking out new cases and settling those claims rapidly.
The Manolete model is certainly popular among the IPs we are familiar with and they regularly come back with more cases. But there is a substantial number of IPs who have not yet seen first-hand the obvious benefits to the insolvent estate of using Manolete’s expertise and financial strength. So we are now spreading the word much more widely.
I was appointed by the Manolete Board as Head of Business Development in May. I am also continuing my ongoing role as regional Associate Director for the North-East which I have been doing since May 2019.
The newly established business development team comprises, Kelly Jordan, Jeremy Sare and I. Kelly is a former partner in a large transatlantic law firm; we have worked together at two previous law firms. She will be collaborating closely with the other Associate Directors to maximise their business reach in their particular regions. Jeremy is more focussed on marketing and promoting Manolete’s profile.
The business development team at Manolete has wide ranging responsibility for managing our relationships with key stakeholders such as R3, ICAEW, and IPA together with our attendance at conferences and events, our website, social media and promotional materials.
It has been a very busy few months for the sector in general and we are delighted to see that the number of case enquiries is now back to pre-pandemic levels. We have increased our headcount this year taking on three additional solicitors to increase capacity within the legal team and for our business development function.
We would be pleased to organise any one of our regional Associate Directors to meet with you informally for a coffee or lunch to talk about how we can work together to greatly improve realisations from insolvency litigation claims.
We expect life is going to get much busier with a higher rate of new cases; our increased focus on business development will ensure we continue to grow strongly as a business supporting all Insolvency Practitioners and their insolvency lawyers.
Head of Business Development
Q AND A
Brett Eeles - Associate Director for the South West
What is your legal background?
I spent eight years at an international firm in London doing predominantly cross-border insolvency work. I then moved to a national firm in the South-West and my practice naturally diversified to more national work and general commercial litigation. In private practice, I predominantly acted for banks, Insolvency Practitioners and large corporates or SMEs.
How long have you been at Manolete?
I joined Manolete in February this year following thirteen years in private practice. It has been quite a change. It’s been great to be able to focus purely on the commercial and the legal side, without having to deal with all the surrounding issues that need to be dealt with in private practice.
What have been your main impressions?
One of the things that has surprised me is the speed at which resolution of our cases is sometimes achieved. By way of example, I had one case for circa £150k where the letter before action was sent on a Friday afternoon and an offer to pay in full was received on Monday morning. I’ve recently had another case where the total claim was circa £60k and a settlement at £40k was achieved within around one month from the letter before action. These quick results were possible because the well-advised claimant knows Manolete means business and if they don’t engage sensibly and early then the price of settlement is only likely to increase.
What are the other highlights?
Another point that struck me is the need to add value for the estate when funding or purchasing a claim. While there may be a quick win for us in a potential case, that’s not enough. We look for cases where we can help our clients achieve a significant material return for the estate - where we can covert those claims into cash for creditors. Since joining Manolete, I work remotely from my home in the South-West. The flexibility that affords me is great and really helps me manage the responsibilities of looking after my two young children. While I do miss an office sometimes, I’m often on the road meeting clients which helps to get me out of my home office and give me that ‘people connection’.
What do you do outside of work?
My two kids keep me on my toes. My main pastime is trying to avoid whatever new illness they have brought home from school. Other than that, I like to get out on the golf course and play a round. I also enjoy foreign languages. My degree was in Mandarin and I try to keep that up whenever possible.
Stephen Baister Writes
Some of the most important legal judgments given by the courts are quite short. Donoghue v Stevenson, a leading House of Lords decision on the law of negligence (the one about the snail in the bottle), runs to about 30 pages. Currie v Misa (on contractual consideration) runs to fewer than 10 pages. The well-known insolvency case Ex parte James is similarly a short read. And Illingworth v Houldsworth (better known as or Re Yorkshire Woolcombers Association) was disposed of by the House of Lords in under five pages.
If you look up any of these cases you will note they have one thing in common: they were decided ages ago. Why, then, are modern judgments so long? (The recent Sequana judgment of the Supreme Court runs to 451 paragraphs.)
I think there are a number of reasons.
First, modern cases often involve large quantities of documents so the court has to cover a wider set of facts than in earlier ages.
Secondly, there is much more law about than there used to be, both statute and case law, and it is more complex than it used to be; so again there is more material to cover.
Thirdly, judges are increasingly nervous about leaving anything out of a judgment that has been even hinted at at trial, so they deal with every point that has been taken, whether it is relevant or not. They fear criticism if there is an appeal. A sentence that begins “The judge at first instance wholly failed to deal with x” is not one any judge wants to read.
Fourthly, there is showing off: look at how much I can write; see how clever I am. As Lord Neuberger said in a speech in 2016, “They [long judgments] are sometimes valuable, but often they are what I have called vanity judgments. Such judgments, of which virtually every appellate judge, not least myself, has been guilty, are at best a waste of time and space, and, at worst, [cause] confusion and uncertainty.”
Finally, laziness has a part to play. As Pascal is said to have written at the end of a particularly long letter, “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte” (I have made this longer only because I have not had time to make it shorter). It is easier to ramble than to be concise.
Pity the lawyers who have to trawl through long case reports just to find the odd paragraph that might be of use in the case on which he or she is instructed; and the judge who is given extensive case reports to read, only to find that many add nothing to his understanding of the law or the case on which he must give judgment.
In 2017, in a case called BS (Congo) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department Lady Justice Rafferty endorsed giving shorter judgments and herself gave an example of welcome brevity by disposing of the case before the Court of Appeal in a mere 24 paragraphs. She conceded that this would not always be possible, but if her point was that shorter, pithier judgments should be encouraged at every judicial level I would respectfully agree.
In 2015, Mr Justice Peter Jackson disposed of a family case called Re Pook in a mere seven paragraphs, most of them one sentence each; but the prize for the shortest judgment goes to a 1708 case presided over by a judge whose name is no longer known. He decided Lillicott v Compton in one sentence: “Plate shall pass by a devise of household goods”. I have no idea what it means.
Welcome to our new Colleague
Kelly is an Associate Director based in the North East and joined Manolete last month. She works predominantly within our business development function. She is an experienced lawyer specialising in all aspects of restructuring and insolvency matters.
Previously Kelly was a partner at a prominent regional law firm in the North East as well as at a top 20 firm. She is recognised by Legal 500 as a leading individual and is ranked in Chambers and Partners. In 2012, Kelly completed a secondment to The Royal Bank of Scotland's Global Restructuring Group. Kelly is a member of R3 and sits on the North East Regional Committee and is currently the vice chair for the region.
Andrew Cawkwell, Manolete Head of Business Development, said "Kelly is a former partner in a large transatlantic law firm. She and I have worked together at two previous law firms and are very used to each other’s working styles. I am delighted she has joined Manolete and have no doubt her contribution will be significant over the coming months and years."
We have the Financial Strength to Support Your Claim
Manolete has developed a series of social media videos, with our PR partners Instinctif. The videos highlight the strength of our lawyers network, the unique Manolete model and the benefits to creditors in insolvent estates if IPs choose Manolete litigation finance.
SPG Forum - R3
On Day 2 of R3's SPG Forum, Manolete's Managing Director, Mena Halton will be speaking on a panel on Contentious Insolvency – Maximising returns from insolvency claims.
Other speakers include:
Michael Chamberlain, Director, Chamberlain & Co
Andrew Cawkwell, Head of Business Development, Manolete Partners
Debi Harvey, Director, Harveys Insolvency and Turnaround
Date: 2-4 November 2022
Location: The Belfry Resort, Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 9PR