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Adam Buck

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Leading South West accountancy, business recovery and insolvency firm Lameys has celebrated their 25th anniversary of business, which began in Newton Abbot, as well as the 5th anniversary of opening a Plymouth office.

Partners and staff at the firm marked the occasion in the company of clients and contacts who have contributed to Lameys’ success over the years.

The firm was originally founded in the early nineties, and since then it has worked with companies and individuals offering a mix of accountancy services, alongside specialised business recovery advice to address financial problems and seek successful resolutions to keep businesses trading, secure jobs and minimise the exposure of company directors.

Accounts Partner Steve Fenn explained: “This celebration was a chance to thank our clients for their loyalty and trust over the years.”

The firm has continued to grow since 1992 with clients across Devon, Cornwall and beyond.  In 2000 it moved to larger premises in Newton Abbot at One Courtenay Park, and opened its Plymouth office at Marsh Mills in 2012.

Partner in charge of Insolvency, Michelle Weir commented: “This occasion recognises the value of teamwork in providing effective advice in difficult circumstances for individuals and companies and is testament to the sound experience of all our staff.”

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2016 saw Lameys celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Newton Abbot office and the 5th anniversary of the opening of our Plymouth office.

Professionals from across the South West were invited to a ‘Crackerjack’ themed party at our Plymouth office in November (those of you old enough to remember will recall Crackerjack started at 5 to 5 on a Friday afternoon).  We were delighted that a large number of accountants, solicitors, bankers and other professionals were able to join us to mark the occasion.

In keeping with the Crackerjack theme, our guests were invited to guess the number of pencils in a jar and the winner of a bottle of champagne for the closest guess was Peter Hill of Mark Holt & Co. 

We will be celebrating our 5th and 25th anniversaries at our Newton Abbot office on 31 March 2017.

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Staff at Lameys participated in Wear It Pink on Friday 21st October and came to work dressed in pink to raise money for ‘Breast Cancer Now’, who use the money they raise to fund world-class breast cancer researchers across the UK and Ireland.

 

The office had pink cakes for sale along with some very fetching pink attire!

 

Please visit www.breastcancernow.org to find out more about this fantastic charity.

 

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The director of MG Associates Limited appointed Michelle Weir of Lameys Business Recovery as administrator on 6 April 2016.  The South West accountancy business has already been sold as part of a pre-packaged sale which preserves the jobs of the Company’s employees and ensures the Company’s customers do not suffer any disruption.


Over recent years MG Associates Limited has been involved in extensive litigation.  The recent judgement left MG Associates Limited in an insolvent position with a liability which it could not pay.
The business was marketed before the administration and the best offer was received from a company connected to the director. 

The business has therefore been sold to MG Accountants Limited which is a company owned and controlled by the director’s wife.  As a result the management and staff will remain unchanged and business’ customers should experience almost no disruption to the service they receive.  Contact numbers and personnel have not changed.


The only significant change is that the business has ceased trading, from one of its offices.  The Dartmouth office workload will now be administered from the Kingsbridge office.  The Torquay office will remain unchanged.


Michelle Weir, partner at Lameys Business Recovery, commented, “We are pleased to have been able to secure a sale of the business which will facilitate a return to the company’s unsecured creditors and saved jobs.  The only real alternative was to liquidate the company and that would have been far worse for the creditors, staff and customers.”


Michelle went on to say, “It is clear the sale to a company which is connected to the director has provided the best possible outcome.  The business was extensively marketed before the administration and, whilst there was significant interest, the best offer was received from MG Accountants Limited.”

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 Michelle Weir of Lameys was appointed as supervisor for Sunshine Care Limited’s CVA on 15 January 2015.  The CVA has meant the Company’s survival and a far better outcome for its creditors than would be possible without it.  In addition, the elements of care which it continues to provide have been able to continue, avoiding turmoil and upset for the vulnerable people who rely on the service.


Before the CVA started, Plymouth City Council terminated its contract with Sunshine Care Limited for the provision of hourly domiciliary care and divided that work between three new providers, as a result of Sunshine Care Limited’s insolvency.  Various employees of Sunshine Care Limited were moved to the new providers.  In these circumstances it was always Lameys view that the provisions of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (“TUPE”) were likely to apply to the transfers.  However, it was believed RPO would be likely to pay all TUPE’d employees for any unpaid wages.


As the CVA is now in force, RPO have now reviewed the employees’ claims.  Lameys understand RPO have formed the view TUPE did apply to the transfers.  However, they have also concluded RPO will not pay the TUPE’d employees for their arrears of wages.  RPO’s view is that payment of any unpaid wages for employees who have TUPE transferred will be the responsibility of the new providers to which the employees have transferred.

Michelle Weir commented, “It is important to note that this change in expectations in relation to payments to be made from RPO to the Sunshine Care Limited’s former employees does not affect employees who were not TUPE transferred.”


There were similar circumstances surrounding the domiciliary care provided in Bristol.  However, in Bristol the Council and the new providers have dealt with the transfers as TUPE ones from the outset.

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Sunshine Care Limited (“the company”)

 

My firm has been assisting the company in relation to its financial affairs and a proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”).

It was brought to my attention on Monday 14th December 2015 that certain former employees of the company had received letters from the Insolvency Service, Redundancy Payments department regarding their various claims for arrears of wages, holiday pay and redundancy pay where applicable.

Having made enquiries and spoken to the case officer at the Redundancy Payments Service, it is apparent that the letter sent to these staff was factually inaccurate and contained incorrect information.

I have been advised by the Redundancy Payments Service that employee’s valid claims will not in fact be rejected, but will be processed once the CVA is formally in place and any rightful entitlements paid. There is no need for employees to resubmit claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.

As regards those former employees of the company who transferred to new providers, the legal advice obtained is that their contracts of employment were transferred under their existing terms and conditions. In the event that the new providers have sought to vary the terms of employment, Lameys recommend that those employees seek their own independent legal advice.

I am unable to comment on the matter of former employees of the company obtaining loans from their new employers and being required to repay these.


Michelle Weir

Partner

Lameys Business Recovery

 

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Over the last week Sunshine Care Limited has been working closely with its advisors Lameys Business Recovery and Michelmores Solicitors to affect a seamless transfer of the care which it provides under hourly home care contracts with Bristol City Council and Plymouth City Council.


Advice the Company has received relating to the transfer of the Councils’ contracts means many staff should be transferred under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”).  This means the rights of many of the Company’s employees should be protected and transfers to their new employers.  Sunshine Care Limited has always prided itself on its favourable employment terms.


Last week, meetings have been held in Bristol between Sunshine Care Limited, Bristol City Council, new providers and Bristol employees.  Arrangements are now well underway to TUPE transfer all the Bristol care-workers, which will protect their employment rights.


The directors of Sunshine Care believe Plymouth City Council and the new care providers are committed to ensuring the provision of care in Plymouth continues with no interruption and that the new providers will be administering the care from next week.  However, the directors and the Company’s advisors understand the new providers in Plymouth do not consider there to be a TUPE transfer or whether they are proposing to change the Plymouth employees’ terms.


Michelle Weir, Partner at Lameys Business Recovery, commented, “We are aware some of the providers in Plymouth may disagree with our opinion on TUPE.  At the beginning of the week, three alternative providers were put forward by Plymouth City Council.  It is my understanding one of these, which is a large national company, has now withdrawn from the process and Plymouth City Council has made other arrangements.  We have met the large national mentioned and it confirmed it agreed with our advice that TUPE should apply to the transfer.  The other providers have stated they are less convinced it should”.


Michelle went on to say, “It is clear to me that all the new care providers have the same over-riding concern as us, which is to ensure the care provided to vulnerable people in Plymouth continues unaffected.”


Finally it is very important to note, the only part of Sunshine Care Limited which is affected by this restructuring is the hourly home care and Council contracts.  All other elements of care which the Company provides will continue to be operated by the Company, as normal.

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Devon business recovery specialists, Lameys Business Recovery, are assisting the Directors of Sunshine Care Limited with a restructure of its business and a proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to deal with its current financial position, due to an overall loss in turnover.

The company operates The Retreat care home in Plymouth and provides live-in care across the south of England where a carer lives with the client. It is important to note that under the restructuring being made for the CVA, the provision of care at the Retreat and live-in care services will be completely unaffected as the company will continue to trade.

The company also has contracts with Plymouth City Council and Bristol City Council, to provide hourly home care for up to 400 clients, the majority of which are in the Plymouth area. The provision of hourly care in the community under the contracts with Plymouth and Bristol Councils will be discontinued. The directors of Sunshine Care Ltd and Lameys Business Recovery are working closely with Plymouth City Council, Bristol City Council and the Care Quality Commission to ensure a continuation of these care services with other service providers.

The company currently employs approximately 170 carers in its hourly home care section, and every effort is being made to arrange the transfer of these staff to other service providers who will be taking over the contracts with the councils in order to avoid job losses. In addition as part of the restructure, the company intends to make further redundancies at its administration centre. Lameys Business Recovery will be providing assistance with regards to their redundancy claims, but again it is hoped that many of these can find alternative employment with other service providers.

The directors’ regret having to make these changes and any job losses that may occur, but their overriding concern is to maintain the on-going high quality care for their clients and those in the community.

More details on the proposed CVA can be obtained from Lameys Business Recovery, First Floor Envoy House, Longbridge Road, Plymouth, PL6 8LU. Contact Michelle Weir, Simon Hicks or Peter Simkin on 01752 254912.

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Lameys have gained approval of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) for Plymouth based, Hymec Aerospace UK Limited to assist in dealing with its current financial predicament and save jobs.  The CVA was approved by creditors on 12 October 2015.

The main cause of difficulties was the loss of one of its major contracts to a low cost location and, as a result, the Company’s order book has reduced recently by over 40%.  The business has been restructured to deal with the reduction in the order book and the Company still has a bright future. However, the CVA has provided the required assistance to deal with its liabilities.  Discussions with several stakeholders took place prior to the 12 October and creditors overwhelmingly voted for the approval of the CVA. 

Whilst there have unfortunately been some job losses, the CVA means the Company can avoid liquidation and save 70 jobs while providing the Company’s creditors a better return.

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In Late August, Lameys organised a professionals five a side football competition with local firms, Darnells Accountants, Marsland Nash Accountants, Scott Richards Solicitors, Bettesworths Property Agents and Lambert Smith Hampton Machinery & Business Assets division.   Played on the astro turf at Torquay Girls Grammar School, the event was approached with mixed levels of seriousness and fortunately for all those playing, the weather held out. 

Whilst they say you shouldn’t win your own competitions, the Lameys boys couldn’t hold back and ran out eventual winners, beating Marsland Nash 4-0 in the final.  Adam Buck, who organised the competition commented that the day was enjoyed by all and he will be looking to expand on the format next year.  If anyone would like to register their interest in playing next year, please drop Adam an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Michelle Buck and Louise Metters of Lameys entered a team into Race for Life Pretty Muddy at Westpoint Exeter, last weekend.

The race consisted of a 5k run with some very muddy obstacles thrown in the mix, all in the name of raising money for a very worthy cause, Cancer Research.

If you wish to sponsor their team, details can be found at: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/legends25

 

  

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Lameys 2015 Golf Day at Elfordleigh Golf & Country Club, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, was a resounding success.  For the second year running, we were blessed with fantastic weather which allowed for a thoroughly enjoyable day followed by a BBQ on the terrace.

There was an opportunity for the golfers to win a brand new BMW together with a host of prizes for making a hole in 1 on the par 3’s.  Whilst nobody was fortunate (or skilful!) enough to bag a hole in one, we would like to express our thanks to Plymouth Ocean BMW for their support on the day. 

Thanks also to Nick from We Do Golf (www.wedogolf.com) who provided invaluable assistance with the preparation and running of the event.

The golf was very closely fought but congratulations must go to the Ashfords Solicitors team of James Heath, Rich Pillar, Chris Ryland and Gary Randall for a fine win on the day.

We are delighted have raised a sum of £1,250 for Macmillan Cancer Support to support its fantastic work.

 


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The AC Group of Companies which includes a garage business, training services and a landscaping and tree-felling arm were sold following the appointment of Michelle Weir of Lameys as administrator of various companies in the group.

As part of the process, two of the companies in the group were placed into liquidation, however, the successful reorganisation of the group of companies means that the jobs of the majority of the employees have been preserved.

Michelle Weir said “I am delighted that we have been able to save the jobs of over 30 employees of the group.  The main part of the business carries out work for highways agencies clearing trees from major road networks and the contracts that the company had acquired over the last couple of years have been able to be retained.  Following a review of the entire business, it was necessary for the loss-making parts to be liquidated, however, the remaining parts of the business leaves it in a strong position for the future.”

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