Mazars returns 50% of creditor funds in special administration

A FIRST INTERIM PAYMENT has been made by special administrators from Mazars to clients of insolvent investors Pritchard Stockbrokers, returning 50p in the pound to creditors.

Tim Ball, Steve Wood and Rod Weston, partners at Mazars, were named joint-administrators to the Bournemouth-based investment business on 9 March this year, in what is just the second special administration ever.

Approximately 3,300 claims have been agreed to date by the administrators, with cash claims totalling £13.7m from an estimated 5,000 clients. The first instalments were paid on 31 July, with further payments to be made as pooled client fund claims are made and agreed.

Pritchard first came to public attention because of its involvement in the company of Craig Whyte, the former owner of Rangers Football Club, and other companies with which he was also associated. Whyte was Pritchard’s company secretary until 14 February 2012 and Rangers is a client creditor.

Ball, lead administrator, said: “Pritchard has been challenging and complex and has required an intensive team effort with input from various sources, including: specialist expertise, from within Mazars, working with the local insolvency team; the successful retention of key Pritchard staff; and the input from the various regulatory authorities – all with the aim of getting client monies identified and paid back to them as soon as possible.”

At the end of last year, Richard Fleming, Richard Heis and Mike Pink, partners at KPMG, were appointed the first ever joint special administrators to collapsed bank MF Global UK.

The special administration regime (SAR) was created in February 2011 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

The regime entails that the administrators focus on three tasks: making a swift return of client assets; ensuring timely engagement with authorities; and rescuing the business as a going concern, or winding it up in the best interests of the creditors.

The purpose of the SAR is to help creditors involved in complex insolvencies receive their money quicker. The collapse of Lehman Brothers saw its administrators tied up in heavy litigation, resulting in some creditors waiting years before they received any payment.

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