Lisa Linklater

Call 1995

linklater@exchangechambers.co.uk

“Lisa is a great advocate and is very persuasive.”

The Legal 500 2021 (Tier 1 - Company & Insolvency)
Photo of Lisa Linklater

Insolvency & Restructuring

Lisa specialises in litigation and technical applications in corporate insolvency (Administrations, liquidations and CVAs) and restructuring. She has a wealth of experience in:

  • Claims against directors and accomplices (including breaches of directors’ duties, misfeasance, knowing assistance, knowing receipt, conspiracy, wrongful trading, loan accounts and unlawful dividends);
  • Office holder claims (e.g. transactions at an undervalue, transactions defrauding creditors and preferences);
  • Asset recovery (e.g. trusts, real property, tracing and retention of title);
  • Issues relating to fixed and floating charges;
  • Cross-border issues;
  • Contested administration applications and winding up petitions (recent experience includes the “coronavirus test” in CIGA 2020); and
  • Challenges to CVAs.

Lisa is not only technically adept with the legal framework in this area, but also the commercial and practical issues. She has a thriving practice in legally and factually complex claims and applications in this field, as well as those with novel legal issues. With a wealth of experience in acting for office holders, creditors, directors and Government departments, Lisa often brings new perspectives to the cases in which she is instructed.

Lisa has been consistently recommended as a leading junior in insolvency by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for 20 years; she is a Tier 1 junior in Company and Insolvency in Legal 500.

Recent highlights of Lisa’s insolvency practice include:

  • Acting for the defendants to a £5 million misfeasance claim brought by the liquidators of an Isle of Man partnership.
  • Laurence Bassini v Inner Circle Investments Limited [2019] EWHC 3024 (Comm): Successfully acted for the administrator of the holding company of Bolton Wanderers football club in obtaining indemnity costs following an unsuccessful application for an injunction.
  • Obtaining an early and favourable settlement of threatened claim by liquidators for breaches of directors’ duties, unlawful dividends and transfer of assets at an undervalue, valued at over £1 million.
  • Successfully acting for the liquidator in a claim against a de facto director for breach of directors’ duties.
  • Acting in the contested administration application in respect of VE Interactive Ltd, which was reported in the Financial Times.
  • Advising on technical issues arising following a pre-pack sale of 40,000 individual voluntary arrangements.
  • Re Graico Property Co Ltd (in administration) [2017] BCC 15 (Norris J). Acted for administrators on a precedent case of practical importance for insolvency practitioners as to the scope of the court’s powers when ending administration.

Lisa served as Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General’s Regional Panel) for three consecutive terms and was regularly instructed by BEIS in company director disqualification applications and public interest winding up petitions.

Lisa is widely published in company and insolvency law including in Sweet & Maxwell’s Insolvency Intelligence, R3’s Recovery and the Company Lawyer. For many years, Lisa has given seminars on recent developments in these fields, for instance on the new moratorium and restructuring plans introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020. She is a fellow of R3 and full member of the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association.

In 2015 she was appointed as a member of the prestigious expert advisory group on a project on Security Rights & the European Insolvency Regulation, a partnership between the University of Leeds and other leading universities.

Insolvency Cases

In addition to the above recent highlights, further illustrations of Lisa’s experience in insolvency in previous years is as follows:

CORPORATE INSOLVENCY

LITIGATION AND CONTESTED INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS

Lisa is frequently instructed as Counsel in corporate insolvency litigation and contested insolvency proceedings in the Insolvency and Companies Court.  She has a very strong practice in directors’ duties, built from repeat instructions in this area and from having acted as Junior Counsel to the Crown for 18 years in directors’ disqualification claims. 

  • Acting for the defendants to a £5 million misfeasance claim brought by the liquidators of an Isle of Man partnership.
  • Acting in a number of claims against directors in respect of loan accounts (2020 – 2021).
  • Obtaining an early and favourable settlement of threatened claim by liquidators for breaches of directors’ duties, unlawful dividends and transfer of assets at an undervalue, valued at over £1 million.
  • Assisting liquidator in claims of over £1 million against directors for breaches of their duties and wrongful trading where complex limitation issues arise (2018 – 2019).
  • Advising and assisting liquidators of a company that had supplied luxury coaches in obtaining substantial recoveries in claims under section 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (voidable transactions) (2015 – 2018).
  • Successfully obtaining settlement for liquidator of claims of unlawful dividends and misfeasance against directors (2018).
  • Successfully acting for the liquidator in a claim against a de facto director for breach of directors’ duties.
  • Successfully obtaining settlement for Defendants to serious claims of knowing assistance, knowing receipt and related tracing claims, brought by a company registered in Gibraltar, acting by its liquidators where the claims and costs were in excess of £1 million. The case settled at the court door (2017) (High Court, Manchester).
  • Successfully obtaining winding up order of company owning valuable Wagyu cattle and at the centre of dispute between shareholders (2017).
  • Lisa successfully acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in obtaining the disqualification of both a managing and other director of companies which had been involved in an intricate MTIC VAT fraud, involving complex facts: Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills v Khan & Warry[2014] EWHC 1381 (Ch).

 APPLICATIONS/TECHNICAL ISSUES

Lisa continues to be first choice Counsel for many leading firms on technical and often unusual issues arising in liquidations and administrations, as well as contested administration applications and winding up petitions.      

  • Representing supervisors in challenge to voluntary arrangement, involving technical issues on the Insolvency Rules and Insolvency Act (2020).
  • Successfully acted for judgment creditor of company in recovering money previously frozen under freezing orders, which was the subject of dispute with the liquidator of the debtor company (2019).
  • Representing administrators of a limited liability partnership in the agriculture sector in applications to make a distribution to unsecured creditors (2018).
  • Represented the liquidator of a company with valuable property and related to a members’ club affiliated with a political party, in novel application for directions raising numerous precedent issues (2016) (HHJ Kaye QC sitting as a High Court Judge) (Leeds District Registry).
  • Advised public sector stakeholders in the Insolvency Rules on consultation on the amendment of the Insolvency Rules (2011).
  • Lisa acted for the owner of Valley Parade in respect of issues arising from the Company Voluntary Arrangement of Bradford City Football Club over a decade ago.

 REAL PROPERTY AND TRUSTS IN AN INSOLVENCY CONTEXT

Having practised in real property and trusts for over 20 years, Lisa is adept at handling real property and trusts issues in an insolvency context, including LPA receiverships.

  • Acting for a high-profile retailer following its purchase from administrators in defending emergency proceedings for the delivery up of items in the high-street stores it was occupying (2018) (High Court, Manchester).
  • Representing a purchaser of a pharmaceutical business from administrators in claim by landlord for dilapidations and unpaid rent.  Landlord is relying upon Jervis v Pillar Denton Ltdfor priority over other creditors (2017) (High Court, Manchester)
  • Advice as to whether a grant by a charity to a company in liquidation was held on Quistclose trusts (2016).
  • Firstpoint Security Trustee Ltd v Enterprise House Development Ltd & ors: Acted for Law of Property Act receivers of a hotel in the Midlands in successfully defending injunctive proceedings brought by second charge holder and securing payment of the costs and expenses of the receivers (2014)(High Court, Manchester)
  • Successfully obtaining a settlement sufficient to clear the debts and expenses of the bankruptcy by establishing a proprietary interest in the estate of the former spouse of the bankrupt (2013).

 COMMERCIAL FRAUD

Lisa has extensive experience of matters involving commercial fraud.

Successfully represented the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in winding up companies in the public interest that had:

  • Acted as the trustee of pension funds of over £4 million and yet could not clearly explain the application of those funds (2018) (High Court, London).
  • Defrauded members of the public who had understood that the companies would engage in trading in binary options on their behalf Directional Solutions Ltd & ors(2017) (High Court, London).
  • Falsely promised investors in the United Kingdom lucrative returns on alleged gold mining operations. The companies were registered in South and Central America (2015) (High Court, London).
  • Successfully representing the Official Receiver in both the Crown and High Court in connection with civil proceedings arising from a criminal investigation into the storage and sale of non-duty paid goods and associated money laundering activity (2015) (High Court, Birmingham and Birmingham Crown Court).

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION IN AN INSOLVENCY CONTEXT

Lisa is a popular choice for commercial litigation in an insolvency context, for instance involving purchasers of businesses or commercial properties.

  • Laurence Bassini v Inner Circle Investments Limited & ors [2019] EWHC 3024 (Comm): Successfully acted for the administrator of the holding company of Bolton Wanderers football club in obtaining indemnity costs following an unsuccessful application for an injunction.
  • Acted for Sports Direct following its purchase from administrators in defending emergency proceedings for the delivery up of items in the high-street stores it was occupying (2018) (High Court, Manchester).
  • Representing company that bought a pharmaceutical business from a company in administration in claims brought by the administrators that the terms of the business sale agreement have been breached (2017) (High Court, Manchester).
  • Successfully defending injunctive relief proceedings brought by a major manufacturer of bed products that had purchased a portfolio of properties from administrators in a “fire sale” and obtaining a favourable settlement of claim before a six day trial. The claim centred on allegations of civil fraud and was related to high profile criminal proceedings relating to the premises (2016) (HHJ Behrens sitting as a High Court Judge, Leeds District Registry).
  • Close Asset Finance Limited v B & ors: Defended application for repossession of specialist machinery, used to make medical milk for export pursuant to licence, and subject to hire purchase agreements, brought by finance house. The first hearing of the application settled, preserving use of machinery for client during administration (2015) (HHJ Kaye QC sitting as a High Court Judge, Leeds District Registry).
  • M v Focus (DIY) Limited: Successfully obtained large settlement for creditor of company in administration in respect of goods with a value of in excess of £1m that were subject to a retention of title clause. Lisa also acted for a creditor in similar circumstances in the administration of Courts plc.

PERSONAL INSOLVENCY

  • Acting for trustees in bankruptcy in obtaining suspension of discharge and declaration that £500,000 was after-acquired property (2021).
  • Successfully obtained settlement for clients in complex case as to whether a debt of approximately £300,000 due to a bank had been released by a bank under the terms of an individual voluntary arrangement and whether a mortgage secured those debts (2020).
  • Lisa acted for the bankrupt in a precedent claim following the case of Horton v Henry[2016] EWCA Civ 989 against a trustee in bankruptcy to recover pensions drawn down by the trustee in bankruptcy (2017).
  • Advising trustee in bankruptcy in relation to alleged sham trust of property worth over £1 million (2017).
  • Represented a German bank in “bankruptcy tourism” case involving a Turkish national who had borrowed significant amounts from the bank to develop property in Germany (2016).
  • Successfully acting for an Irish national, made bankrupt in England, on a unique application under s281(5) Insolvency Act 1986 for an order to release him from liability under a court order in Ireland to pay damages for negligence for personal injury following an affray (2016).
  • Successfully representing a former multi-millionaire, made bankrupt following his participation in an aggressive tax scheme, in opposing an application by his trustee in bankruptcy to suspend his discharge from bankruptcy on grounds of alleged failure to cooperate (2015).
  • Successfully obtaining an indefinite suspension of discharge of bankruptcy of a property developer, based in Ireland, with affairs crossing multiple jurisdictions (2013).
  • Gittins v Serco Home Affairs[2013] 1 WLR 1218 Whether or not debtor (who was in prison) was entitled to petition for own bankruptcy and consequently whether bankruptcy order should be annulled.  Instructed by creditor.
  • Pettit v Novacovic[2007] BCC 462 (Norris J) Succeeded on behalf of trustee in bankruptcy in obtaining payment from agent (bankrupt’s accountant) who had received monies from bankrupt after bankruptcy.  Hollicourt (Contracts) Ltd v Bank of Ireland was distinguished.
  • Re Johnson[2006] BPIR 987 Represented Official Receiver in precedent case on application by discharged bankrupt for an annulment of his bankruptcy.