Up to a dozen lawyers from City firm Nabarro Nathanson are advising the receivers to Facia, the crashed retail business empire of entrepreneur Stephen Hinchliffe.
The team is led by Nabarros' head of insolvency Michael Prior, backed by London partners Ann Wright, Gavin Rabinowitz and Michael Hales.
In Hinchliffe's Sheffield operating base, Nabarros is supported by regional partners Clive Lightburn, Paul Hough-ton and Charles Reynard.
In one of the largest retail collapses of the last 10 years, receivers KPMG were called in by Israeli bank United Mizrahi after it pulled the plug on Hinchliffe. Nabarros is advising KPMG, Mizrahi and Grant Thornton. The latter is acting as receiver to Facia luggage subsidiary Salisburys, for which KPMG might have had a conflict of interest due to work undertaken for the company.
A spokesman for Nabarros said it was important to “provide a united legal front” for the benefit of both the receivers and creditors.
Hinchliffe turned Facia into the UK's second biggest privately-owned retailer by buying distressed companies for rock bottom prices. Its retail outlets include Sock Shop. Facia's shoe shops such as Freeman Hardy Willis are in administration, a lesser form of insolvency, which is being overseen by Price Waterhouse.
Hammond Suddards advised Facia prior to receivership.