We are pleased to announce that Stratford Hamilton has joined us at partner level. Stratford joins the practice with 21 years’ experience in insolvency and was recently a partner in a practice based in Essex since 2010.

Over the past 7 years, Stratford has undertaken personal and corporate appointments mainly associated with fraud and investigation. He has also worked with creditor groups and government bodies in investigative cases pursuing claims which has resulted in the recovery of funds on behalf of creditors in insolvent estates.

Some of his most recent memorable cases included acting as liquidator of a company based in the UK involved in an overseas property investment fraud which resulted in creditors losing $62m in the United States. He was also a Trustee in a Bankruptcy of a high-profile sports related individual, resulting in a return to creditors where it was previously believed no dividend would be paid.

Stratford is a Licenced Insolvency Practitioner, member of the ICAEW and the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.

In his spare time, Stratford can be seen engaging in online gaming or on a golf course, a welcome break when you are a dad to 6 children.

Welcome to the team!

Three months ago, I wrote an article about the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation and how it would have a major impact on the way companies collected personal data. The article highlighted some of the issues facing organisations and how it could potentially result in hefty fines being given if the new rules were not adhered to.

With GDPR coming in to force on 25 May 2018, businesses have a little over 8 months to fully familiarise themselves with the most important change in data privacy in the last 20 years. In fact, the legislation will be incorporated to all businesses within the European Union – and even though the UK will be leaving the EU, GDPR will still affect the UK, as it comes into force before 2019.

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New data recently released from the insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 has highlighted that there is an increase in the risk of businesses in the North East becoming insolvent within the next 12 months. As of the end of July, the report highlighted that 27.3 percent of companies in this region faced the risk of becoming insolvent, compared to 24.8 percent at the beginning of 2017.

The agriculture sector was particularly at risk with an increase of 2.7 percent compared to the risk of insolvency 7 months ago. The difficulties facing the agriculture sector were highlighted 5 months ago in an article by PCR, which suggested farmers were particularly worried about the UK leaving the European Union single market. It was deemed essential that for the farming industry to prosper, there had to be access into the European market free of tariffs and free of any non-tariff barriers. Although there are many other contributing factors to why this sector is facing increasing challenges, the latest figures go some way to supporting these initial fears experienced by farmers at the start of the year.

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The thought of becoming a company director is one which fills many individuals with excitement and self-fulfilment. The responsibility does indeed come with huge challenges and potential hurdles and setbacks along the way, but if navigated correctly, the rewards can be highly satisfactory for your business and for you as an individual.  However, running your own company or being a key decision maker could also be detrimental to your professional career, especially if you are not fully aware of your duties and/or neglect your duties.

The Message
The key message promoted by Insolvency Practitioners to business owners, company directors and decision makers cannot be more emphatic than the below statement.

Are you as a business owner or company director fully aware of your duties and responsibilities as a director?

Similarly, this question should be taken seriously by anyone thinking of becoming a director.

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On Wednesday 28 June 2017, PCR officially celebrated the launch of our Kent office with a reception onboard HMS Gannet at The Historic Dockyard in Chatham.

With over 50 guests from renowned accountancy and law firms as well as business owners and local traders all joining the PCR team, it was a great opportunity to meet with so many new faces and to introduce PCR to numerous local businesses. Guests spent the afternoon networking alongside each other whilst enjoying some locally made refreshments and nibbling on delicious canapes - all in the presence of a professional cartoonist who drew caricatures of our unsuspecting guests.

Our Kent office is located at The Joiners Shop – a Scheduled Ancient Monument situated at the heart of Chatham’s world-famous Historic Dockyard.  The Kent office is being led by Danny Allen, who has been a resident in Kent for 15 years, and who has 17 years of experience in insolvency.

On behalf of the PCR team, we would like to thank all those who joined us on our day of celebration, and hope to provide professional advice and a high-quality service to local businesses in the Kent region for many years to come.

 I’ll leave you with a few photos to enjoy from what was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Ahmed Ali

Marketing & Practice Development Executive 

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