Insolvency duo buy freedom for firm

Deborah Lockwood and Adrian Graham have set up Graywoods, a new independent insolvency practice in Sheffield.

Deborah Lockwood and Adrian Graham have set up Graywoods, a new independent insolvency practice in Sheffield.

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Two Sheffield business partners who sold out to insolvency practice Begbies Traynor are going it alone after buying their freedom.

Deborah Lockwood and Adrian Graham have set up Graywoods Insolvency Practitioners after a five-year stint as the Sheffield office of the national group.

They bought themselves out when a five-year contract period came to an end.

The move comes after Begbies last year bought ‘certain trade and assets of The P&A Partnership Ltd’ creating a second office in the city.

P&A went into administration in the autumn after being dogged by a criminal investigation by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and a legal challenge by Grant Thornton over alleged overcharging.

As part of the deal, P&A boss Jeremy Priestley became a Begbies consultant.

The two offices were run separately and independently but it is understood there were plans for a merger.

Deborah said: “It was the right time to come out, we wanted to be an independent, niche practice with clients throughout the country.

“As Begbies Sheffield our patch was South Yorkshire.

“We bought the business back after being locked in for five years, it includes all the work in progress and five employees.”

Graywoods is based in Fountain Precinct, Leopold Street.

Adrian, a licensed insolvency practitioner, and Deborah have been business partners for 17 years after first going it alone as Hamiltons in 1999.

They were approached to become part of the Begbies Traynor Group and sold the business to the company in 2010.

Deborah added: “At the time we were looking at new opportunities as part of a national firm and for the staff. When companies or individuals are facing difficulties we pride ourselves on always giving the right advice irrespective of whether it turns into a job.”

A Begbies Traynor spokeswoman said: “We are grateful for the contribution that Deborah and Adrian have made during their five years with the business and we wish them well in the future.”