IPs at the Vanguard of Recovering the Government’s Bounce Back Loans
After the COVID-19 restrictions of the last two years, I hope all of our industry partners have had a very enjoyable summer period.
The team at Manolete has become increasingly busy since the ending of the Government’s insolvency restrictions in April. We have seen an understandably cautious but steady resumption to more ‘normal’ operations and a strong increase in workflow referrals from IPs and insolvency law firms.
A particularly busy workstream has emerged in the form of Bounce Back Loan (“BBLs”) liquidations: companies (or groups of companies) that took advantage of the Government’s Bounce Back Loan scheme but where those monies were misappropriated for the benefit of the directors personally rather than their companies.
Bounce Back Loans ranged from £2,000 to £50,000 and are therefore particularly well-suited to the low-cost, fast-return Manolete model. An IP will naturally be hard-pressed to return little or anything to creditors if they use CFA and ATE products to recover bounce back monies. Uplifted legal fees and ATE insurance premiums will quickly eat into most or all of any recoveries from directors - leaving little or nothing for the IP’s own unpaid costs, let alone creditor returns.
We have already completed a large number of BBL recoveries for IPs across the UK. Our results for IPs and creditors have been outstanding. Crucially, Manolete presents directors with a highly credible litigation threat – we are well-known to never give up on cases and take them to trial at full speed, if necessary. That has led to very fast settlements on 90% of our BBL cases: at an average time of just four months to resolve these cases. This has resulted in very high proportions of the BBL monies being recovered and because the cases are resolved so quickly, low base legal fees (we don’t ever use CFAs nor ATE).
Our results are going down very well in the insolvency and creditor communities and we currently have well over 100 BBL cases in the pipeline. Even on the small minority of cases where we do not recover the BBL monies (as we always pay a non-refundable amount upfront in cash to the Estate) the IP can only win when using Manolete.
As has been widely reported in the press, billions of pounds of UK taxpayer funds have been wrongly misappropriated by directors under the BBL schemes, so all IPs will be encountering this type of case. We look forward to addressing this injustice with you.
Lloyds British Testing Limited (In liquidation); Manolete Partners Plc v Ian Russell White
Directors’ duties: luxury vehicles, a helicopter, holidays, and an outstanding loan account
A very welcome decision for Manolete Partners and insolvency practitioners was handed down in August in the matter of Lloyds British Testing Limited (In Liquidation); Manolete Partners Plc v Ian Russell White. His Honour Judge Hodge QC in the Manchester High Court held that Mr White committed a breach of his fiduciary duty in allowing or instructing the company to make payments for his personal benefit.
While there is no new law in this case, there are some interesting highlights for directors to consider: always retain supporting documentation for drawings; reconcile loan accounts; and using company funds to pay for extravagant cars, holidays, a helicopter and the maintenance of the family home is not ideal when creditors remain unpaid. Outstanding work from the team in this matter (Ronan Butler of Manolete Partners, Rebecca O'Callaghan of Addleshaw Goddard and Jon Colclough of New Square).
Associate Director, London
Stephen Baister Writes
Judges must now give reasons for almost anything they decide, even directions when they are contested. This is generally speaking a good thing. It stops judges doing the sort of palm tree justice that one often encountered, and of which one was occasionally the victim, when I started out in the law.
There are a number of reasons for giving a judgment. First, it forces the judge himself or herself to think about what he/she is deciding and why, especially when a written judgment is to be given, leaving time for thought.
Secondly, it explains the judge’s reasoning to any higher court hearing an appeal. But thirdly, and arguably most importantly, as the Court of Appeal said in a case called Meek v. City of Birmingham District Council, “The parties are entitled to be told why they have won or lost.”
And while it is important to know who won and why, it is especially important for the losing party to understand why he or she lost.
Video - We Don't Use ATE or CFAs
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.
Eastern Region Suffolk Lanes Charity Cycle Meander
Manolete Partners are delighted to sponsor R3 Eastern Committee's Cycle Ride. All Eastern Region colleagues are invited to join an inclusive event for all abilities and for a charitable cause.
We are supporting the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), via a JustGiving page, in which we encourage your donations. The event itself will be based at the Suffolk country pub The Duck in Campsea Ashe, where riders will be able to take in and enjoy the tranquil and beautiful Suffolk countryside.
Sponsored by: MANOLETE PARTNERS.
Date and time: Thursday 29 September 2022 at 11am.
Location: The Duck, Station Rd, Campsea Ashe, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 0PT