Ashurst has picked up the lead role on the administration of PR agency Bell Pottinger’s UK business.

The firm was advising the company prior to its decision to appoint administrators BDO last week.

Ashurst corporate partner Bruce Hanton and restructuring partner Olga Galazoula are now advising BDO on the administration. The announcement does not affect Bell Pottinger’s subsidiaries outside the UK.

Hogan Lovells business restructuring and insolvency team is also advising Lloyds Banking Group as lender to Bell Pottinger.

The administration follows a row over Bell Pottinger’s work for Oakbay Capital, controlled by the South African Gupta family.

The PR company commissioned Herbert Smith Freehills to investigate whether its work did “stir up racial division in South Africa”, with the findings published last week.

Bell Pottinger was expelled from the Public Relations and Communications Association last week after an investigation into the affair.

In a statement, BDO said: “Following an immediate assessment of the financial position, the administrators have made a number of redundancies.

The administrators are now working with the remaining partners and employees to seek an orderly transfer of Bell Pottinger’s clients to other firms in order to protect and realise value for creditors.

We have taken appropriate steps to preserve the rights Bell Pottinger may have in relation to the failure of the business.”