After completing her training and qualifying as a solicitor, Melia has exclusively carried out insolvency and restructuring work with a predominant focus on non-contentious corporate insolvency and transactional matters.
Melia has been recognised by Chambers and Legal 500 for her expertise in this field and is frequently instructed by insolvency practitioners in connection with their appointments as well as by creditors, landlords and other stakeholders who are affected by insolvency.
Advising on all aspects of insolvency and restructuring, she acts mainly for insolvency practitioners in connection with their formal appointments including administrations, liquidations, voluntary arrangements and bankruptcies. She provides advice in connection with their planning and post-appointment strategy including sales of businesses and assets (including on a “pre-pack” basis) and matters arising in the appointments, including dealings with other parties, employees and creditors as well as the strategy on claims arising in the estate and making procedural applications to Court. Melia also provides guidance to Insolvency Practitioners on regulatory and compliance matters arising from their appointments.
Her expertise is also applied to advise creditors affected by insolvency such as landlords, lenders, suppliers and other stakeholders with a view to maximising recoveries from insolvent entities or individuals.
Melia also provides advice to directors of distressed businesses in connection with their duties and liabilities with a view to identifying options and solutions for rescuing the business or otherwise achieving an orderly voluntary winding-up. She provides guidance to directors of companies which have gone into liquidation concerning business name restrictions and regarding their potential personal liability. Her expertise also extends to advising on solvent liquidations and exit-planning with a view to returning value to shareholders. Melia can also assist with restorations of dissolved companies including ahead of an insolvency process and with a view to recovering overlooked assets.
Melia has particular recent experience in advising on the restructuring and insolvency of businesses in the healthcare, charities and education sectors. She also closely supports the firm’s Real Estate team in connection with advice to secured lenders taking enforcement action against insolvent company borrowers and in connection with LPA receiverships. Melia also frequently assists the Litigation & Recoveries team in connection with insolvent debtors of their clients operating within the motor finance industry, asset-based lenders and equipment lessors as well as credit insured clients.
Recent examples of work or case studies:
- Acting on the administration of a long-established community care home based in the North of England operated by a Co-operative and Community Benefit Society, involving advising on options for rescue, closure and leading the process for appointing the administrators and advising the administrators in connection with post-appointment matters and the sale of the home.
- Acting on the appointment of administrators in respect of company trading an independent school facing closure.
- Acting in respect of the administration and turnaround of a boutique hotel in the South of England, including advising on the appointment process by way of Court application, trading by the administrators and sale of the business and assets resulting in a 100 pence in the £ return to creditors and dealing with procedural Court applications in connection with the same.
- Acting for administrators on the “pre-pack” sale of a boutique interior design and architecture business including dealing with complex negotiations of the sale terms and the appointment process under tight time constraints with a view to preserving jobs, rescuing the business and salvaging contracts with high-profile and high net worth customers.
- Advising supplier of goods to a major yacht builder which went into administration in respect of recovery options.
- Advising a commercial landlord in connection with the unlawful occupation of a “pre-pack” sub-purchaser from their tenant in administration and options for regaining possession of the property and recovering the landlord’s losses.
- Advising business owners entering retirement on a proposed business transfer in preparation for the solvent winding-up of the company to facilitate a final dividend payment to them as shareholders.
- Advising the trustee in bankruptcy in connection with the bankruptcy estate of a sole trader dentist including with a view to a sale of the business and considering complex regulatory and GDPR aspects concerning patients and record-keeping.
- Advising for the receivers in connection with the LPA receivership of multi-million-pound development in the prestigious Sandbanks peninsula with a view to maximising recoveries for the secured creditor initiating the appointment.