Financial distress, restructuring & recoveries

We deal with corporate and individual insolvencies and claims that arise from such insolvencies.

Craig Assheton-Smith has 20 years’ experience as a commercial attorney in dealing with these matters. We have established valuable relationships with insolvency practitioners who have the requisite level of experience, knowledge and commitment.

Our legal expertise includes the following:

  • liquidations of companies;
  • sequestration of private individuals;
  • proceedings for perfection of securities;
  • schemes of arrangement;
  • enforcement and challenges to security;
  • carrying out insolvency enquiries and investigations;
  • commissions of enquiry;
  • proceedings against directors for fraudulent and reckless trading;
  • proceedings for the setting aside of disposition of assets;
  • proceedings to set aside claims;
  • assessment, preparation and proof of claims;
  • debt restructuring;
  • business rescue;
  • proceedings for leave to extend liquidators powers;
  • conducting audits of securities.

As the company secretary of the multi-listed diamond mining concern, Namibian Minerals Corporation, Craig Assheton–Smith successfully carried out a structured liquidation and turnaround of the organisation. The process entailed rescheduling bank debt and debentures, a complicated offer of compromise with creditors and procuring an equity investor.

He has also conducted numerous insolvency enquiries aimed at recovering assets for creditors, and has instituted legal proceedings for clients against directors and officers as well as legal proceedings for the setting aside of transactions and proof of claims.

The new Companies Act in South Africa, introduced business rescue as a remedy available to distressed companies, Craig Assheton-Smith brought the first application for business rescue in South Africa for a listed company.
Since then he has brought a number of business rescue applications.

We also have relationships with a number of business rescue practitioners who are aligned to our vision and quest for finding the best commercial solution for clients who find themselves in distress.

What distinguishes us from our competitors is a thorough understanding of insolvency and company law, attention to detail, and a focused approach to the strategy required to achieve success for our clients; people and organisations who are either faced with financial distress, a claim against an ailing creditor, or directors and officers of a company facing a liquidation and the subsequent consequences.