Lewis Onions beats Brum rival to Viyella mandate

Niche Birmingham insolvency firm Lewis Onions has been instructed in the administration of clothing chain Viyella – the recession’s latest high street casualty.

Administrators Poppleton & Appleby have appointed the firm’s sole principal Lewis Onions as it tries to find a buyer for the 225-year-old company. The name partner is working with a team of four associates, two trainees and one legal executive on the administration.

There was no place for ­fellow Birmingham firm Martineau, which advises Harris Watson Holdings, the private equity owners of Viyella. Martineau head of corporate Richard Wrigley advised Harris Watson when it bought the women’s clothing retailer in 2003.

“It’s purely an appointment by the administrators,” said Onions. “We work with them quite a lot.”

Viyella is the latest high street name to be toppled by plummeting consumer spending, with Woolworths, Zavvi, Waterford Wedgwood and Land of Leather all going under in recent weeks.