A partner at a North East law firm has become the first practising solicitor in the UK to become dually qualified as a certified turnaround professional.
Andrew Cawkwell, partner within Muckle LLP’s banking and restructuring team, has now also become accredited by the European Association of Certified Turnaround Professionals.
The qualification recognises his extensive experience in the turnaround sector, providing advice on a range of matters relevant to helping businesses in difficulty.
Cawkwell said: “Many lawyers in the corporate or banking field will approach business issues as legal problems, requiring legal solutions. I seek broader solutions to problems, whether these are legal, financial or otherwise.
“The breadth of skills and expertise at Muckle means we can help businesses facing problems to take control earlier and devise their own strategies. If the directors drive the process they retain control of the strategy and give their bank greater confidence for a positive outcome. This is precisely what their stakeholders want to see happening.”
Cawkwell said any business experiencing difficulties should engage the services of a turnaround specialist to give them access to expertise that can unlock innovative solutions, rather than waiting for the situation to worsen.
He explained that banks in particular are often perceived to be controlling what happens when a firm gets into difficulty, usually engaging an accountant to review the business, determine the value of its security, and consider the level of support the bank will provide.
“Company directors can feel unsure whether these accountants are really acting in the best interests of the bank, rather than the business they are trying to save, and as a result, this traditional approach can limit the range of potential strategies available to take the business forward,” he said.
“This is where a turnaround practitioner can help, by finding innovative and creative solutions, and developing a strategy for recovery.”
He added that businesses should act sooner rather than later.
“Engaging a turnaround specialist earlier in the process is always a better approach,” he said.
“If they speak to us early, more options will remain available for support and recovery to help turn their business around and avoid the adverse consequences of financial failure.”