Hammond Suddards launches Hammonds Business Support

The new service is an independent arm of the national firm and aims to help troubled companies develop and implement turnaround strategies and encourage lenders and creditors to be more co-operative.

It can also recommend re-financing options or advise on substantial organisational change.

The service, presently run with four full-time staff, will draw on the experience of up to 40 consultants

HBS director, David Oliver, a former corporate banker with Barclays says: "Unlike many of our competitors we operate on a national basis and do not take insolvency appointments.

"Businesses often get into difficulty through no fault of their own and have great problems in finding a source of credible, broad-based, independent advice. We are looking to plug that gap.