A Sheffield insolvency firm that was under investigation by the Government and being sued over £1.2million of alleged ‘unjustified’ fees has collapsed into administration.
The P&A Partnership, which was founded in 1875, went under this week. The firm was raided twice by officials from the department of Business Innovation and Skills last year.
In December, accountancy firm Grant Thornton launched a legal action after it replaced the P&A Partnership in the administration and liquidation of a Nottingham timber firm.
Grant Thornton reviewed the case and claimed P&A’s fees up to that point ‘were not justified’ - a claim vehemently denied by the company which stated the case had been complex and long-running.
In July, P&A announced it was moving headquarters after selling a department employing more than a third of staff.
It vacated offices on Queen Street and Paradise Street in the city’s historic business district and moved the remaining 45 staff into Kendall House on Scotland Street. It had been home to the firm’s commercial debt recovery department, P&A Receivables, and solicitors James Peters & Co. They were snapped up by Sheffield law firm Irwin Mitchell and all 30 staff were moved to its headquarters at nearby Millsands.
At the time, managing director Jeremy Priestley said the move was a “new era,” adding: “These are exciting times for P&A, and this is exactly the right time for the move to take place.”
Now, insolvency company Bebgies Traynor has bought ‘the trade and certain assets’ of P&A for £860,000 in a pre-pack deal.
Pre-packs involve a firm leaving behind its debts and being reborn, often with the same assets and staff, but a new name.
Some 36 P&A staff and three former ‘key directors’ have transferred.
Ric Traynor, executive chairman of Begbies Traynor, said: “The acquisition enhances our position.”
A Grant Thornton spokeswoman said the deal “had not impacted” their legal action.