One of the country’s biggest costs firms has been reborn by means of a pre-pack administration deal. A new venture, Just Costs Solicitors Limited, announced today that it had acquired the assets, files and outstanding work in progress from the administrators of Just Costs Limited.
The deal was approved by Just Costs Limited administrators Begbies Traynor and by FRP, administrators for two subsidiary companies which folded last month.
Paul Shenton (pictured), managing director of the new company, said that the deal satisfies statutory insolvency rules and ensures that 46 jobs are saved.
‘This transaction enables the new company to focus on providing their hundreds of solicitor and institutional clients with the market-leading service they have come to expect over the last 11 years,’ he said. ‘There will no longer be the burden of substantial historical financial liabilities.’
Just Costs Ltd said last December that its forecasts ‘show continued profitability’ and that it had the support of its bank and funders. But it had been forced to enter a company voluntary arrangement last October which required it to make 24 monthly voluntary contributions of at least £33,412 during the term of the arrangement.
In total, at that stage Just Costs Ltd owed £781,758 to HM Revenue & Customs, £29,836 to financial advisory firm Bennett Brooks and £17,429 to landlords I2 Office Limited. It is unknown at this stage what liabilities remain.
The three directors of the new company are Shenton and fellow solicitors Jodi Booth and Adam Quinn. Just Costs Solicitors Limited (JSCL) has been authorised by the SRA and will retain its bases in London and Manchester.
Shenton explained that JCSL has in place clearing bank and finance facilities, along with an enhanced management team, which includes two experienced chartered accountants (James Ritchie, the restructuring advisor on the deal, and Eric Golding as non-executive chairman).
He added: ‘JCSL, with its committed staff, is looking to drive the company forward and meet the opportunities and market challenges that lie ahead. JCSL will focus on providing; specialist technical, advisory, advocacy and strategic solutions for our solicitor and insurance client base. New specialist staff have already been recruited.’