Maclays leads as Jane Norman goes into administration for second time

Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens has led on the administration of Jane Norman after the firm’s client Edinburgh Woollen Mill bought the retailer out of administration in 2011.

Around 24 of Jane Norman’s UK and Ireland shops have gone into administration, trade title Retail Week reported yesterday (24 June 2014), though the budget retailer’s online and international business will continue to trade. 

Maclays and DLA Piper advised on the retailer’s administration back in 2011, with DLA advising the administrators and Maclays leading for Edinburgh Woollen Mill on the pre-packaged administration sale (27 June 2011). 

DLA did not advise on any aspects of Jane Norman’s latest administration, with the mandate instead going to Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s law firm of choice. Maclays is not understood to have pitched for the work. 

The firm’s Glasgow-based head of restructuring Michael Hughes led on the deal. He ran the team working on the Jane Norman sale in 2011, going on to advise on the pre-pack sale of fashion retailer Peacocks, the sister company to Jane Norman, to the knitwear retailer a year later.

Jane Norman’s administration is the latest in a series of high-street collapses. Last year alone saw the collapse of Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster in the UK (see below), with Linklaters, Ashurst and legacy Salans among the firms to win work from the turmoil. 

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Woollen Mill confirmed the administration but did not provide further comment.

High street casualties 2013: who advised who

Jessops 

In January Ashurst partner Giles Boothman advised Jessops in the run-up to its administration, while SNR Denton partner
Rachel Anthony and managing associate Robert Spedding
acted for administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers on
the filing and takeover of the camera retailer’s brand by Dragons’ Den’s Peter Jones, advised by Lawrence Graham partner Brett Israel.

HMV

Days later, the HMV administration gave roles to Linklaters partners Richard Hodgson and Richard Bussell for the Deloitte administrators, while banking partner Chris Howard advised the company’s banks. Salans partner Jonathan Polin advised Hilco in its purchase of HMV’s £176m debt. 

Blockbuster 

Meanwhile, CMS Cameron McKenna partner Rita Lowe advised another Deloitte team
on the administration of Blockbuster UK, the video rental chain, while Linklaters partner Dan Dufner acted for its US parent. The company was acquired by private equity house Gordon Brothers. HowardKennedyFsi partner Paul Glassberg led the firm’s
team acting for Gordon and the firm continued to advise Blockbuster until its second administration in November, when the joint administrators instructed the London office
of US firm Locke Lord. The firm’s London office went on to instruct rugby league club London Broncos in its administration weeks later. 

Barratts 

Shoe retailer Barratts went into administration on the same day as Blockbuster (11 November), with the administrators appointing Shoosmiths to advise. Manchester partners Mark Dawson and Sarah Teal
led the firm’s work for the joint administrators, Duff & Phelps partners Philip Duffy and David Whitehouse.