Situations involving insolvency often require decisive action, taken in a short time-frame, against a backdrop of highly technical legal provisions and case law.

Teacher Stern’s Insolvency team has extensive experience of all aspects of real estate insolvency, including liquidations, administrations, CVA’s, appointment of receivers, bankruptcy and IVA’s.

We have particular experience in advising Law of Property Act receivers (commonly called fixed charge receivers) on a variety of matters including advising on the formalities of their appointment as receivers, the realisation of the real estate assets over which the receivers are appointed and securing vacant possession of the charged real estate.

Many of the real estate insolvencies that we deal with are complex in nature and involve multiple properties and cross-border structures. Our real estate Insolvency lawyers therefore work closely with colleagues from our Banking & Finance, Corporate, Dispute Resolution and Tax teams, as well as lawyers in numerous international jurisdictions, to ensure that we provide a comprehensive service to our clients.

Whether you are an insolvency practitioner, a real estate company director or a creditor, we have the specialist knowledge that can make all the difference in dealing with the multitude of difficult issues that can arise where real estate insolvency is an issue.

Representative Insolvency Work

Examples of our team’s insolvency work include:

  • Advised the joint liquidators of a hotel group in relation to an alleged fraudulent restructuring, including the unlawful declaration of dividends in specie, transactions at an undervalue, misfeasance by directors and other applications under Sections 234, 235 and 236 Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Advised a property development company in relation to a winding up order made as a result of negligent conduct by professional advisors, involving negotiations with liquidators Grant Thornton, provision of third party funding, a successful CVA proposal, questions of ad valorem charge minimisation and the eventual return of the primary asset to the beneficial owners of the company in liquidation.
  • Advised the directors of a real estate development company in relation to insolvency proceedings against a high profile JV partner, involving cross border issues and winding up of off-shore registered companies in England & Wales.
  • Advised numerous secured lenders on their enforcement rights against insolvent real estate companies.
  • Advised the directors of a property development company on the recovery of assets of substantial value when a winding up order was obtained by HMRC without their knowledge, including avoidance of ad valorem fees on realisation of the major asset by the liquidator/CVA supervisor.
  • Advised liquidators, administrators and trustees in bankruptcy to obtain orders for possession and sale of properties.
  • Advised LPA receivers in relation to claims of misfeasance and breach of duty in relation to sale of residential property.
  • Advised a liquidator of a property development company in relation to claims for guaranteed rental returns by leaseholders and in relation to misfeasance by a former director.
  • Advised a liquidator of a national hotel chain in relation to secured lending facilities and potentially fraudulent claims.

Key contacts:

Photo of Colin Richman

Colin Richman

Partner Dispute Resolution
Work 37-41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 4898


Colin joined Teacher Stern in 1987. His current cases mainly involve landlord and tenant issues, secured lending recoveries, professional negligence claims, and real estate joint venture / co-ownership disputes. He heads the Real Estate Disputes and Loan & Security Enforcement teams across all areas of property and secured lending dispute work, and works with a number of key clients to co-ordinate and implement effective asset management strategies and loan portfolio recoveries.

His experience also includes construction claims, planning and compulsory purchase advice, contentious insolvency work, advising parties and tribunals in commercial arbitrations, intellectual property claims and technology disputes.

Representative Experience

Colin has:

  • Advised and acted for mortgagees and fixed charge receivers in connection with their commercial and residential investment loan portfolios.
  • Advised on and implemented strategies to enable site owners to secure vacant possession for redevelopment purposes.
  • Advised shopping centre landlords and asset managers in achieving successful outcomes to lease renewal programmes at major schemes.
  • Advised on numerous rent reviews and  arbitration awards.
  • Obtained substantial settlement in Technology and Construction Court action against specialist contractors for defective development works.
  • Advised and acted for landlords and lessees on substantial terminal tenancy dilapidations claims.

Career History

Partner, Teacher Stern

Partner, Portner and Jaskel 1985–87

Solicitor, then Partner, Farmar Miller 1982-85

Trained at Kaufman Kramer & Shebson 1980-82


Carmel College

St Catherine’s College Oxford

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37-41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom