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Dorset: Leading insolvency specialist joins Ellis Jones

By Jo Whittle
15 March 2021
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Regional law firm Ellis Jones Solicitors has recruited a top specialist in his field as a covid ‘insolvency tsunami’ threatens to land. It has welcomed highly experienced Damon Watt as a senior associate in its growing insolvency and business recovery team.

Ellis Jones is a full-service law firm with more than 140 staff and 17 Partners. It has offices in Bournemouth, Canford Cliffs (Poole), Ringwood, Swanage and Wimborne as well as London.

WARM-WELCOME---Damon-Watt-of-Ellis-Jones-Solicitors

Watt – a corporate recovery and insolvency specialist – has been ranked for his excellence in both The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides. With 20 years of experience in the sector, he has worked on high-profile insolvencies including Comet and Sealine International.

Watt, who previously worked in London and Milton Keynes, said: “There is an insolvency tsunami waiting to land. The government’s emergency provisions which have supported many businesses have been extended but this is delaying the inevitable.

“Businesses will face greater pressure when support winds down, bounceback loan repayments become due and tax deferments end. The vaccination programme is continuing apace and businesses are advised to take advice at the earliest opportunity so they have plans in place, including options for restructuring or insolvency if appropriate.”

Watt added: “It is an exciting time to come to Dorset both personally and professionally. My fiancée and I love the outdoors. We looked all around the country but nowhere could beat Dorset and the South Coast.”

Ellis Jones provides a wide range of business support, including banking and finance litigation as well as insolvency and restructuring advice.

Caroline Palacio, head of insolvency and business recovery, said: “Damon is another high-caliber appointment to our team. He will play a pivotal role as we seek to achieve the greatest results for businesses and individuals in the times ahead.”

Watt is a member of the trade body for insolvency professionals R3, the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association and the Insolvency Practitioners Association. He holds a Higher Rights of Advocacy (Civil) qualification.

Watt edited the first and second edition of the book ‘Corporate Insolvency Practice: Litigation, Procedure and Precedents’ by Mark Watson-Gandy.

Latest government figures showed that corporate insolvencies fell in 2020 compared to 2019 – down to 12,557 from 17,224 – as the government rolled out emergency support. However, they rose sharply in the final quarter of 2020 – indicating that the impact of lockdowns was beginning to take effect.