Online profile

James Keates

James Keates

James Keates

  • T: 0370 086 4044
  •  I: +44 (0)121 625 4044
  • M: 07810 772444
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James is the national head of Shoosmiths’ Restructuring & Insolvency department.  James specialises in acting for corporate clients on the restructuring of their business, director clients on their duties / responsibilities and private equity investors on acquiring distressed businesses and debt.  James also regularly advises banks, asset based lenders, insolvency practitioners, private equity holders and directors on all matters arising from distressed lending, corporate recovery and corporate insolvency.

James was the lead Partner in advising the management of Grabal Alok (UK) (which traded circa 220 stores as “Store 21”) in connection with its innovative and ground-breaking company voluntary arrangement (“CVA”),   Since the implementation of this CVA last year, James has become well known as a leading “go to” lawyer for advice on CVAs, particularly in the retail sector, having advised a number of retailers on CVAs over the last 12 months.

James is well known in the market for his pragmatic and commercial approach to complex situations, having worked on a number of high profile and well known insolvencies.

James is a particularly well regarded in relation to the retail sector.

Recent other projects James and his team have worked on include:

  • CVAs of Genus UK Limited, trading as Select Fashions, a retail company with a property portfolio of c 185 stores, Fuel Juice Bars Limited, which operated from c 30 stores, and Love Koffee, which operated from c 40 stores;
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, the administrators of The Food Retailer Operations Limited (formerly known as Somerfield Supermarkets) which operated circa 34 supermarket stores and employed over 800 people
  • Advising the board of directors of Jones the Bootmakers and Brantano.
  • Advising Vehicle Trading Group (a sub-prime lender into the used car market, with circa £40m worth of debt) in connection with its financial circumstances, and thereafter advising Grant Thornton, the administrators of Vehicle Trading Group in connection with the complex restructuring of the Group and the sale of the subsidiary companies to RateSetter.
  • Advising KPMG as administrators of Gelpack Excelsior Limited and Gelpack Industrial Limited, a polymer manufacturing business employing circa 200 people in Hereford, in connection with the sales of the various business divisions within the companies, and the further disposals of the assets of the companies.
  • FRP Advisory LLP in connection with the administration of The Ham Baker Adams Group of companies.