Neil stars in The Lawyer’s Hot 100

A Mills & Reeve partner who played a key role in restructuring a 175 year old media business and in the process saved 1,200 jobs, has been named in The Lawyer’s prestigious Hot 100 list for 2021.

Neil Smyth, who is national head of Mills & Reeve’s restructuring and insolvency group, joined from Taylor Wessing in 2018 and since then has advised and helped save some of the biggest companies in the UK. He was involved in the liquidation of Carillion, as well as Bolton Wanderers FC, Wigan Athletic FC and Toys R Us, as well as being heavily involved in the deals relating to Thomas Cook, Mothercare and Bury FC.

But it was his work for Archant Media that really stands out, according to The Lawyer. The publishing company runs regional and local newspapers, with more than 1,250 employees. The business was at risk of collapse due to its compromised pension scheme. Neil worked with KPMG’s Birmingham office to clear the debt and sell it to R Capital, saving the 175-year-old company and thousands of jobs.

Neil said: “Less than three years ago, Mills & Reeve had no restructuring and insolvency practice in London so to be recognised in this way shows the incredible progress we have made. The team continues to grow and we will build on this recognition and continue to expand our presence in London and advising on national mid-market restructurings.”

To become a member of The Lawyer Hot 100 a lawyer needs to display both excellence and relevance in their chosen field. Every year it includes an incredibly diverse mix of legal professionals all doing amazing work. The 2021 list is as varied as always but what makes it unique is the sheer number of jobs and lives saved by the people on it. Restructuring specialists abound as do the heroes of Covid, lawyers who played a crucial role getting beds and ventilators to healthcare trusts and vaccines distributed.

Neil’s entry in the Hot 100 follows managing partner Claire Clarke making the list last year for her work leading the firm through the successful 2020 strategy. 

See the full Hot 100 list here.

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