James Keates is a partner and the national head of Shoosmiths’ restructuring and insolvency department. He specialises in acting for banks, asset-based lenders, insolvency practitioners, private equity holders and directors on all matters arising from distressed lending, corporate recovery and corporate insolvency.
Keates is particularly renowned for his expertise and experience in corporate transactions, regularly acting for administrators in the disposal of businesses
and assets, as well as advising corporates acquiring businesses from administrators.
Some examples of Keates’s recent experience are:
- Lead adviser to Aldermore Bank Plc on its acquisition of the asset finance business of Heritable Asset Finance Limited from its administrators;
- Advising EFB Retail Limited on its acquisition of certain of the business and assets of Oddbins Limited from its administrators;
- Advising a large UK building society on its options and strategy in respect of a distressed lend in excess of 60 million on a property portfolio over 90 properties; subsequently acting for both the LPA Receivers and Administrators appointed by the building society;
- Advising AIM listed Shieldtech Plc in the lead up to its administration, and subsequently acting for its administrators in the disposal of its Aegis Engineering businesses;
- Advising MCR in its administration of Vergo Retail Limited, a 20-branch chain of department stores, including the well-known stores of Lewis’s of Liverpool and Robbs at Hexham;
- Acting for the directors and shareholders of a well-known large national high-street jewellery retailer and advising on its restructuring and subsequent disposal to an American owned turnaround fund;
- Advising EFB Retail Limited on its acquisition from administrators of the business and assets of the Wine Cellar Limited, a north-west-based 120-store off-licence chain.
The Legal 500 lists Keates as a leader in his field.