Case Study 3 – Building Company

Mr Anderson was a director of a small building company based near Bournemouth. He had not been paid for work he had completed on behalf of a much larger building company, who subcontracted work to him. The larger company announced overnight that they were going into liquidation as they had not been paid for the job that Mr Anderson was the main sub-contracto of... highlighting the ripple effect that one company's financial distress can have on its suppliers.

The last thing Mr Anderson needed was to liquidate the company; he had signed a personal guarantee with a trade supplier for £6,000 and was worried he didn’t have the funds to repay the debt. He had heard several stories from friends in the same industry that trade suppliers are very aggressive in the way they chase debts under a personal guarantee and the only way to diffuse the situation is to pay them off.

As a responsible director, he asked his accountant for the name of an insolvency practice who could offer him some pre-liquidation advice. He met the liquidator a couple of days later, by which time he had reached the conclusion he needed to liquidate.  They listened to his issues and added some real value by informing him that he may have a viable claim for director  redundancy. Prior to him speaking to Redundancy Claim, Mr Anderson asked if the liquidator could assist him completing the redundancy application. The liquidator could not help in this regard as, on appointment, he would be legally conflicted as he technically represents the state and creditors. Therefore he needed to compete all documentation without the liquidator's help.

The liquidator decided to contact Redundancy Claim during the meeting. After qualifying the claim, it was clear Mr Anderson was due over £12,000, subject to producing the necessary evidence. He worked out that by the time he paid for the liquidation, he should be able to pay off the personal guarantee and still have some money left over for a holiday.

Although Mr Anderson was concerned about the trade supplier and them issuing him with a statutory demand, he took his time to provide the documentary evidence required to submit a claim, which provided a bit of breathing space. The funds were received within eight weeks from him agreeing to liquidate the company.  He began negotiating the personal guarantee with the trade supplier, using the redundancy payment as a fighting fund. Eventually the trade supplier agreed Mr Anderson would repay £5,500, offering a discount of £500.

Mr Anderson had no idea redundancy would be available to him. It meant the majority of his financial issues could be resolved by taking advice and acting upon the advice. He subsequently recommended a couple of friends who were also in the building industry and suffering from the construction downturn.

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If your company is struggling financially and you’re worried about your own future, it’s reassuring to know that as a director you may be able to claim redundancy pay should the company be forced into liquidation. Although not always a straightforward...
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