Company insolvency

If your company cannot pay its debts you are likely to find yourself in a frightening and confusing place.  This page gives an overview of corporate insolvency (also known as corporate recovery) and explains how we can help you through it.

What is company insolvency?

Put simply, company insolvency is when a company has net liabilities, when it has reached the point of no return or cannot pay debts when they fall due. As soon as this happens, directors of the business should take advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner.

Taking early advice is key as this financial distress will impact on how the business should be run. It is sometimes possible to trade out of the situation if advice is sought early enough. There are some strict penalties for ‘getting it wrong’ that we can help you avoid.

Clear action plan

If you are a director in this uncomfortable situation you may feel very alone, but we operate in this area the whole time and meet people facing the possibility of company insolvency every day. We promise to help relieve the pressure you’re feeling, find the best way forward and give you a clear plan of action.


We deal with more small/medium enterprises (SME) and family businesses in the Southeast of England than any other firm and so have a deep appreciation of the issues facing owner managers and how best to navigate these. Contact one of our insolvency practitioners on or view our Brief Guide to Insolvency

How can we help?

Our experts are able to help you maintain business’s critical cashflow functions – by sitting alongside you in negotiations with suppliers, HMRC and banks and even providing interim management solutions.


It is important to be aware that directors of an insolvent company have a legal duty to act in the best interests of creditors and need to be careful to avoid wrongful trading (and personal liability!) or other misconduct which could lead to disqualification. This may sound worrying, but we can quickly assess your situation and provide you with the guidance you’ll need. 

Our initial meeting with you is free and in complete confidence.   We encourage you to get in touch to discuss the next steps.

Hayley Watson


Norwich office contact details:

Cambridge office contact details:

Hayley started her career working at McTear Williams & Wood Limited in 2005 and is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner advising companies and individuals experiencing financial difficulties.

Hayley acts as an Insolvency Practitioner in all forms of corporate insolvency including creditors’ voluntary liquidation, compulsory liquidations, solvent members’ liquidations and company voluntary arrangements as well as advising individuals and acts as an insolvency practitioner in individual voluntary arrangements and bankruptcies.

Works with a variety of stakeholders to establish and implement the best strategy for individuals and companies experiencing financial difficulties.

  • Qualified as a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner in 2019 and a Director in March 2024.
  • Member and current Chair of the R3 Eastern Region.
  • Has over 19 years’ experience in insolvency.
  • Gained Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency in 2010.

Insolvency pitfalls

If the company is insolvent (net liabilities on balance sheet or unable to pay its debts as they fall due) then insolvency law requires the directors to work in the best interests of creditors. In addition there is a host of director duties set out in The Companies Act(s) and The Insolvency Service provide further information in their Director information hub.    We can help directors navigate through these and avoid personal liability and other sanctions including:
  • Misconduct and possible disqualification
  • Wrongful trading
  • Avoid criminal sanctions such as trading with a similar name
  • Avoiding/minimising personal guarantees
  • Manage potential conflicts of interest
  • Breach of duty/misfeasance
Don’t fall into the insolvency trap, let us navigate your way as your trusted adviser.  Contact us today and speak with one of our experienced insolvency professionals for tailored advice.
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Avoid insolvency by recognising and identifying the early warning signs.

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