Early estimates of the number of employees made redundant from the collapse of Midlands firm Challinors appear to be wildly out, the Gazette has learned.

Challinors went into administration in August, reporting a total of 46 redundancies. 

But it is understood the firm had around 200 members of staff before going into administration on 21 August. 

According to a report from the firm’s administrator Baker Tilly, unsecured creditors owed a total of £7.1m are likely to receive nothing.

Challinors was broken up and dispersed across seven firms. National firm Clarke Willmott took on 10 members of staff, eight former employees went to national firm Shoosmiths, and eight to Midlands firm Cartwright King.

However, former employees say the sale of assets primarily involved files, with few staff moving to new employers under transfer of undertakings protection of employment (TUPE) regulations. 

Consequently the number of redundancy claims could be as high as 150, according to sources.

An Insolvency Service spokeswoman was unable to confirm the number of former Challinors’ employees pursuing redundancy claims.

All employees of a formally insolvent employer can apply for payment from the National Insurance Fund of outstanding redundancy related debts owed by their employer. This can include redundancy pay, arrears of wages, notice pay and holiday pay, the spokeswoman said. 

‘A limited liability partnership which is in administration is formally insolvent,’ said the spokeswoman.