Follett Stock’s 30 remaining staff were made redundant at midday on Monday (4 November) when the firm was liquidated at a High Court hearing.
All the firm’s lawyers were instantly dismissed after the compulsory liquidation following the firm’s failure to pay a six figure tax bill or find a suitor to buy it in a pre-pack administration.
David Standish and John Milsom of KPMG were appointed joint compulsory liquidators for the firm which owed hundreds of thousands in VAT, PAYE and other taxes to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
But in a rare turn of events the SRA intervened on Wednesday – two days after the Monday decision – normally the body intervenes before the High Court but according to an SRA spokesperson, Follett Stock had been hoping to find a suitable buyer to take on its on ongoing cases.
“They had a number of suiters and there was no risk up until that point,” said the spokesman.
The SRA has now appointed Southampton firm Lester Aldridge – one of its eight-strong panel of intervention agents – to take over the firm’s lives client files and all client cash held at the firm.
KPMG and the SRA are working together and will meet early next week to negotiate how to wrap up the firm. KMPG are legally responsible for the firm but unable to deal with ongoing cases.
Standish and Milsom will now start assessing what assets the company still holds and start selling them off in order to pay back the firm’s mammoth debts to all its creditors.
Creditors may only receive a small amount of money they originally lent the firm depending on how many people are owed and how much KPMG is able to realise in assets. Standish and Milsom are currently asking all creditors to come forward and put in claims and will then work out how much they are able to pay back from Follett Stock’s liquidated assets.
Employees are able to claim for redundancy rights and outstanding wages from the government.
The HMRC has been trying to wind up Follett Stock since August, when it issued the first winding up petition against the firm (26 September 2013).
It managed to seek an injunction until the 21 October (29 October 2013) but was still unable to pay back the debts and the case was handed over to a High Court judge on Monday, where the firm was compulsorily wound up.
Clients of the firms should contact the intervention agent appointed by the SRA, Lester Aldridge LLP, who can be contacted on 01202 786341 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who believes they are a creditor or has any information regarding the firms or their affairs should write to the joint liquidators at KPMG LLP, 8 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8BB.”