October 1st 2019

Welcome to our fourth newsletter of 2019

New Walton Report coming
- your profession needs you!

The autumn edition of the Newsletter starts with a request. Professor Peter Walton is the leading academic working on UK insolvency matters. He has published some highly valuable studies concerning the evolving size, shape and functioning of the insolvency litigation sector.

We all understand this kind of work needs constant updating to maintain its relevance. Professor Walton is carrying out a new study on insolvency litigation funding and we would be very grateful if you would follow the link and complete the 10 minute survey. The IPA and ICAEW are kindly supporting it too. There is an article below which gives more detail on the project and its objectives.

We are fast approaching the TRI Conference and awards on 13 November. We are delighted to be headline sponsor for the conference during the day as the pre-cursor to a very exciting awards ceremony later that evening. Manolete has been fortunate enough to be nominated for the ‘Insolvency Litigation Funder of the Year’ award for the fourth year in succession

Many of you will have noticed the launch of Manolete’s revised website, developed with our media partners Instinctif. The new home page includes an animation setting out our model and the process towards settling claims and recoveries of cash for Estates. Our regional directors have been using this short film in discussions with IPs and lawyers and it has proved to be very informative.

Steven Cooklin

 

 

 

Steven Cooklin
Chief Executive, Manolete Partners PLC

In this issue:

  • Professor Peter Walton’s Insolvency Litigation Funding Survey
  • Small is Beautiful – by Tanya Barrett

  • Manolete’s Latest Recruits: Roger Dugan and Nick O'Reilly

  • TRI Conference 13 November

  • Avoiding the rack and the pyre by Stephen Baister

 

Professor Peter Walton’s insolvency litigation funding survey

Following many changes to the laws and practices of the profession over recent years, Manolete has commissioned the highly respected Professor Peter Walton of Wolverhampton University to establish the current state of the insolvency litigation funding sector.

You are no doubt aware of Professor Walton's original 2014 survey, ‘The Likely Effect of the Jackson Reforms on Insolvency Litigation – An Empirical Investigation’. That report was then updated in 2016 with new data. Professor Walton is surveying IPs and lawyers about their experience and practices and whether they discern particular new trends emerging in the field of insolvency litigation. The ICAEW and the IPA are in full support of the survey and it will be highlighted at all the forthcoming roadshows during the autumn across Britain.

We are all aware there have been other surveys circulated recently and this one adds an additional, albeit small burden to an extremely busy group of professionals. However, the results will, no doubt, be of high interest to everybody with a stake in this sector so the more who participate in the survey, the more informative the results will be.

The results are expected to be published in Spring 2020. You will find the survey here.

Small is beautiful by Tanya Barrett – Associate Director, London

It is sometimes wrongly assumed that Manolete has little interest in lower value claims. However, our case numbers show a great many of our claims are, in fact, worth £100k or under.

We often encounter matters involving an uncooperative defendant and where the costs and expense in pursuing them could outweigh any benefit to the estate. While such cases may not, at first glance, appear to be worth referring to Manolete for consideration, here are some reasons why they are:

  1. There is a good chance the matter will settle. A fresh letter from Manolete often encourages defendants to engage. They are made aware from the onset that Manolete will issue if no responses are received. It demonstrates to the other side that a specialist and well-resourced litigation finance company has considered the claim against them to be worthwhile to pursue.
  2. If the defendant can only afford settlement by way of a payment by instalments, we are happy to discuss purchasing the claim outright. This allows the Insolvency Practitioner to close the case leaving Manolete to collect the payments.
  3. In Manolete financed cases, the Insolvency Practitioner does not have to worry about the costs risk and is fully indemnified. Court fees, even for the small matters, can be expensive. Manolete will cover all court fees, legal fees, expenses and adverse costs.

Case example

This is an example of a case of six referred as a bundle to Manolete by an Insolvency Practitioner that were not expected to yield very much for the Insolvent Estates. Four of the matters were settled within six months of assignment to Manolete.

Example:

Overdrawn Director’s Loan account claim of £33,000.

Letter of claim sent requesting proposals for payment.

Within two months the Director agreed to pay the outstanding amount in full by monthly instalments.

IP received £10,000 upfront and Manolete continued to collect payments.

Manolete is willing to consider claims worth as little as £20,000. Insolvency Practitioners may refer small cases to us to test the Manolete model before referring considerably larger cases. This is perfectly understandable. Our record shows that, over a 10-year period, every IP who has had a case supported by Manolete has always returned with further cases. So we are clearly satisfying IP’s expectations and small cases make up a very significant proportion of that business.

Should you wish to discuss funding or assignment of any claim, whatever the size, please contact any member of the Legal Team.

Tanya Barret

 

Manolete’s Latest Recruits

The expansion of Manolete’s Legal Team into the regions has proved to be a runaway success with new cases being signed at a record rate. The 'last piece of the jigsaw’ was finding an Associate Director to manage the Midlands area.

Roger Dungan

Roger Dugan

Roger  joins us in October and was until recently a senior partner in McLoughlin & Company Solicitors based in Shrewsbury. Roger qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and was awarded a Masters degree in Law in 2002. He is a very experienced insolvency solicitor and is a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and R3.

Nick O'Reilly

Nick O'Reilly

We are also strengthening our business development capacity in London and have recruited Nick O’Reilly, formerly a Partner at Moorfields, to begin next month. Nick is a very experienced Insolvency Practitioner and is highly respected across the sector. He has worked in insolvency for over 30 years and is former President of the R3 Council and has also served on the IPA Council. Nick’s role is focused solely on business development in our core insolvency litigation practice area.

 

Manolete: Headline sponsor for TRI conference – November 13

TRI conference banner image

 

As reported in July’s newsletter, Manolete is delighted to be this year’s headline sponsor for the Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency (TRI) Conference. It is an excellent forum attracting turnaround specialists, insolvency practitioners, solicitors and barristers.

Manolete will be holding a panel session with Chief Executive Steven Cooklin, Head of Legal Mena Halton and Board Director, Dr Stephen Baister. The event will be co-chaired by Marcel Le Gouais, Managing Editor at Credit Strategy and Tony Groom, CEO at K2 Partners. Other highlights include: a panel to discuss forthcoming changes to Crown Preference in insolvency cases chaired by Frances Coulson of Moon Beever and also a case study of the Bernie Madoff claim by Dominic Offord of Howard Kennedy. A further panel on 'The future of retail and the high street' includes Jonathan Knight, former CEO of Jamie's Italian.

The full agenda can be viewed here. To book your place at this year’s conference, please click here to visit the TRI Conference 2019 website.

 

Avoiding the rack and the pyre by Stephen Baister

“How frequently have I done myself an evident injustice so as to avoid the risk of receiving a worse one from the judges after years of agony and of vile and base machinations which are more hostile to my nature than the rack or pyre. It is seemly to avoid lawsuits as far as you should, and even a little bit further. It is not only gentlemanly to waive one’s rights a little it is sometimes also profitable.”

Thus wrote the French lawyer, essayist and philosopher Montaigne (see his essay, On restraining your will).

A former partner of mine used to express the idea more succinctly: “Settlers bring express relief,” he would say. Setlers (one ‘t’) used to be indigestion tablets, and the thought of going to court gave him indigestion in a big way.

Mediation is one of the most effective ways of settling cases. It is cheaper than litigating to trial, and the success rate is impressive: it is generally claimed to be around 67%, with more cases settling shortly after mediation as a result of the process begun by it. Insolvency cases are usually as susceptible of mediation as any other kind of case.

Manolete makes extensive use of mediation, encouraging at the earliest possible sensible stage in order to keep down costs and maximise the return to creditors. That is why the average duration of cases supported by Manolete are settled in less than 12 months.

Stephen Baister

 

Dr. Stephen Baister
Non-Executive Director, Manolete Partners PLC