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The Leonard Curtis team serving the North East
Sue Souter

Member Article

Leonard Curtis opens North East office

Professional services provider Leonard Curtis has extended its Northern footprint with the opening of an office in Gateshead.

The firm specialises in corporate restructuring and insolvency, personal debt advice, equity and debt finance raising for SMEs, property solutions and legal services.

Based on the Team Valley trading estate, the Gateshead office will be led by the experienced insolvency practitioner (IP) Iain Nairn, who has worked for international, national and local practices since 1998, dealing with owner-managed businesses and personal insolvency issues.

He is very familiar with the region, dealing with many SME businesses throughout Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne & Wear, Teesside and Cumbria and has an established network of local accountancy and legal practitioners.

Unusually for an IP, Iain has also run his own business, which makes him very well placed to understand the pressures on owner managers. He has also been finance director of a high growth technology business and previously worked for Bibby.

The Gateshead office is a return to base for Iain, who worked for the company’s Birmingham operation after qualifying. He said of the brand: “I was really impressed with the way they did things then - they are very solutions-oriented as I am - and am delighted to be leading their expansion in the North East.”

The move comes just at the right time as Iain explained: “There has been a lot of change in the local insolvency market over the last 12 months, which has limited choice around IPs. Leonard Curtis has the opportunity to fill that gap and become a trusted advisor for SMEs looking for fresh experience and support in this area, especially as we emerge from lockdown.

“Covid-19 has undoubtedly caused problems for businesses which have been stable for many years. We’re here to help, to look for ways to return companies to profitability and to protect jobs where possible. Leonard Curtis has long recognised that people are at the heart of all businesses and that is where we start solving problems and resolving issues. When things look most bleak, that’s when we present the most options.”

Iain has already recruited Teesside-born insolvency practitioner Carolyn Meister to the team, with over 30 years’ experience of the sector. She too has run her own business. He will also work alongside the wider Northern Leonard Curtis team, including directors Sean Williams and Phil Deyes and Harriet Gibbs and Phil Trueman, who are well used to problem solving for SME businesses and their advisers across the region.

Daniel Booth, Group Director of Leonard Curtis, said the opening of the Gateshead office was in response to SME needs on the ground.

“Growth into the North East is something we have been looking at for some time. We believe that the best relationships are made locally with people you know and trust - whether that’s a professional advisory and financial network – or end customer SMEs. By being in a region we understand it better and want to see businesses succeed in it. It also allows us to specialise in industries associated with an area and excel in all aspects of advisory and support for that sector, including, when required, turnaround and restructure.”

Iain was a former Captain of the England Physically Disabled Cricket Team, who won the world cup in 2015 and reached the final again in 2019. He intends to bring those leadership skills to the new role in Gateshead. “We can provide the expertise to make a real difference for owner managers as they navigate their way out of lockdown and look to the future.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sue Souter .

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