Legal Business Blogs

In Administration: Barratts administrators instruct Shoosmiths as Blockbuster turns to Locke Lord

Beleaguered shoe retailer Barratts has gone into administration for the third time in four years, with administrator Duff & Phelps turning to top 50 firm Shoosmiths to advise as it reviews the company’s position and considers all options including a fire sale.

Shoosmith’s restructuring and insolvency national head James Keates and Manchester partner Sarah Teale are advising Duff & Phelps this time around, after Barratts, which has 75 stores and 23 concessions across the UK and Ireland employing 1,035 people in total, was left with no choice but to turn to administrators when a recent offer of £5m from an investor was withdrawn on 7 November.

The latest development follows Barratts’ administration last year, when Squire Saunders advised Deloitte, with Leeds head of restructuring and insolvency John Alderton taking the lead.

Barratt’s collapse comes as fellow high street retailer Blockbuster has also filed for administration again, with Locke Lord’s London office being instructed by joint administrators Simon Thomas and Nick O’Reily of Moorfields Corporate Recovery.

Locke Lord’s restructuring partner David Grant is leading the team working for the administrators, as Blockbusters goes into administration for the second time this year. Locke Lord were appointed after Blockbuster’s owners, TS Operations, announced its intention two weeks ago to take the company into administration.

In January, when Blockbuster first went into administration, CMS Cameron McKenna advised Deloitte’s joint administrators Lee Manning, Matthew Smith and Neville Kahn.

The US private equity firm Gordon Brothers Europe first rescued Blockbuster in March but failed to turn around the company’s fortunes.