A commercial firm with a national presence says it has secured ‘breathing space’ through an agreement to stagger payments to creditors over the next five years.

Laytons LLP, which has offices in London, Guildford and Manchester, says it was let down by two large debtors in the last quarter of 2019 which caused the business a 'temporary cash flow issue'. 

But the firm says it has emerged stronger after taking the ‘responsible’ decision to formally enter into a company voluntary arrangement with creditors. Under the terms of the CVA, Laytons will pay its creditors fully over a period of not more than 60 months.

The firm said the proposal was supported by ‘very detailed and realistic projections’ which demonstrated its ability to meet its obligations to creditors and to trade profitably.

According to the CVA, as posted on Companies House, voting on the proposal was unanimous from creditors, who are collectively owed around £4.36m. Members also agreed unanimously to support the proposal.

Following the approval of the CVA, John Abbott has been appointed chairman and Phil Wildbur restructuring officer, with a new leadership team also put in place.

Abbott said: ‘We are very excited by the opportunity which the CVA presents. It has not only provided some breathing space and reassurance to our creditors but has also given a chance for us to refocus and refine our business.

‘The business is stable and we are confident in our business going forward. The partners and staff at Laytons remain committed to providing the very high service standards our clients have been used to and we are looking towards the future.’

The most recently-published accounts, covering the year ending 31 March 2018, showed the firm had grown both revenue and profit in the previous year by around 13%. Laytons’ balance sheet reported net assets of £3.3m.

Laytons LLP completed a merger with Silverman Sherliker in August 2017 and last year merged with Lattey & Dawe. The changes increased partner numbers to 50 and total number of lawyers to more than 100. The firm specialises in technology, communication and digital media; construction, land and planning; personal affairs, private wealth & philanthropy; and retail and hospitality.