Current and former members of collapsed international firm Ince & Co are among creditors queuing up for what are likely to be meagre returns on their money.
A notice of administrator’s progress report for Blue Co London LLP, formerly known as Ince & Co, reveals that to date 29 claims worth almost £15.8m have been received from members in relation to capital and current account balances, tax reserves and other amounts owed.
In addition, Ince’s French subsidiary has submitted claims coming to almost £5m for inter-group balances, loans and partner current accounts.
The administration is split between Ince’s three entities: the International LLP, London LLP and Services Limited. In March, the Gazette reported that the three entities could owe up to £38m to various creditors.
This month’s update, filed with Companies House, states that two claims to the International LLP worth £6.49m have been made by unsecured creditors, while 28 claims coming to £7.1m have been received by the Services Limited entity from unsecured creditors. This includes a £6.3m claim from RBS under a cross-guarantee.
To date, excluding members and affiliates, two claims have been received by the London LLP from nine unsecured creditors totalling £11.1m. This sum includes a professional indemnity claim of £3.48m.
The report earlier this year suggested unsecured creditors stood to recover just 1p in the pound. The latest update is more circumspect, saying a dividend is expected but the joint administrators are unable to confirm the amount as this is dependent on the final costs and the level of agreed claims.
Ince & Co was bought through a pre-pack arrangement by listed firm Gordon Dadds at the end of 2018. It was stated in the March report that the firm had been at serious risk of intervention after partners opted not to raise the £8.5m needed to prop up the ailing business last year.
Gordon Dadds had been in discussions with the entities regarding a potential merger since June 2018. It was subsequently concluded the Ince entities were insolvent and in order to preserve value in the business and goodwill, the only way to conclude a sale would be the acquisition of the members’ interests in London LLP and International LLP, followed by resolutions being passed for the entities to be placed into administration.
According to the latest update, pre-administration costs already paid include £47,617 to insolvency firm Quantuma LLP and £122,630 for legal work by international firm Pinsent Masons. A further payment of £59,000 to City firm Macfarlanes had yet to be approved and thus remained unpaid.