Age is just a number

I believe that wholeheartedly!

In my head, on an average day, I feel around my mid 20s.  Occasionally I find myself behaving like a teenager (especially when squabbling with my teenage son, not that I’d ever admit it to him!)  At the end of a hard week, I might feel as old as 35, but rarely older.

Nevertheless, sometimes being older has its benefits.

Clients want to know how experienced I am and are reassured when I say I’ve been in law for over 30 years and am about to celebrate 26 years as a member of the Law Society.  That I did 10 years in house (so good commercial understanding of how things really work) as well as 15 years of running my own law firm (so I understand the pain of being a business owner).

But this also applies to clients as well as to me.  Obviously I don’t care what age they are or how long they’ve been in business, but there are plenty of times when other parties will pay attention to things like how long my clients company has been established.  A company that was incorporated 2 months ago will be a lot less credible than one established 20 years ago.  If, for example, I’m threatening to put a company into liquidation for failure to pay my client’s invoices, the age of the company I’m pursing can be just as relevant as the amount outstanding and any possible defence.  A company that has a good track record, never failed to file accounts on time, and those accounts show that they are solvent will start from a position of strength, even though those accounts will be a year out of date.  The position is obviously very different if we’re looking at a start up, especially if the sole director/shareholder of that company has a string of failed businesses behind them.

There is often a tendency by businesses in difficulties to fold and start again and sometimes that’s the right thing to do.  When the horse is dead, get off.   However, even though it might be very difficult for anyone to pursue you personally for the debts of the company, that might not be the end of the matter.  If, for example, you’ve got a directors’ loan, or you’ve taken money or assets out of the business (perhaps you’ve transferred assets to your new company) the liquidator may come after you for a refund or return of those items.

So, if your company is in difficulties, before you rush to talk to an insolvency practitioner about liquidation or pre pack, do bear in mind what a liquidation can do to your credibility, and count up all the pros and cons before you decide what to do next.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.   So you can have your cake and eat it!