Richard, who is Head of Corporate Recovery and Insolvency at JMW Solicitors, replaces Jeremy Oddie, who has stepped down after a three-year term but will continue to play an active role on the North West committee. In his new role, Richard will act as the spokesman for the insolvency profession in the region and will be supported by his new vice-chair Paul Barber, an insolvency practitioner and partner at Begbies Traynor.
Richard said that during his term in office he wanted to emphasise the positive contribution the insolvency profession makes to the region. “The insolvency profession is integral to keeping the rescue culture alive in the UK and over the past few years our members have saved thousands of businesses and jobs,” he said. “Insolvency is not necessarily the end of the road – in fact, in many cases where insolvency professionals are called in, the business, or a significant part of it, survives.
“Insolvency professionals also help individuals with debt problems to rebuild their lives. We know that personal debt is a significant problem in the North West, with one in seven people in debt management plans, and our recent research indicates that things are getting worse. R3 members will continue to work with individuals, businesses, with other trade bodies and with government to help find solutions to these problems.”
Richard said he would build on the work of his predecessor and would continue to develop closer ties with other organisations including chambers of commerce in the region and to support the growth and development of R3’s New Professionals Group.
Paul Barber added: “Insolvency problems occur in all parts of the economic cycle. Many companies which have survived the downturn will be looking forward to expansion in 2014 but growth brings its own pressures. In the past insolvencies have peaked during the recovery period. Whether that happens this time around is difficult to say, however the most important thing is that companies that are struggling should seek professional help at an early stage.”