Why taking business advice from an Insolvency Practitioner is a great option

May 17, 2024

Your business is facing some challenges, though nothing serious. Your growth strategy has run into the sand, going nowhere fast except burning cash. You and your fellow directors can’t agree on the way forward for the business.

You ask around your trusted business contacts and speak to your accountants – what do we do, where do we get some hard-headed advice? A couple of people come up with the same name, so you look at their website, have a dig around on Google. Much to your surprise you discover the recommendation is for an Insolvency Practitioner (IP).

You’re horrified – why would you take advice from a corporate undertaker?

This initial reaction is entirely understandable but mistaken. Very few other professionals are as well qualified to help with problem-solving or have the practical knowledge of how to get a business successfully out of difficulty as an IP.

What IPs bring to the world of business advice


How ever many blocks there are in New York, an IP has been around more. If they operate in the mid or particularly SME markets, they will see hundreds of challenged businesses over the course of a couple of decades and face every conceivable commercial situation. They will be well-versed in a business’s downward trajectory and understand the best avenues to take to recover.

A wide range of knowledge

Some IPs are industry specialists, but most work across a broad number of sectors and subsectors, developing a deep understanding of each sector’s operations and the key factors that influence them.

A broad skill set

Some IPs are trained as accountants, while others come from other professional disciplines such as law. Beyond their core competence, they have to operate as everything from forensic investigators, M&A experts, HR specialists and property gurus, along with a host of other functions. But, perhaps their most important skill of all is as a top-class negotiator.

IPs also work closely with other professionals to advise them or to carry out specialist tasks where the complexity and risk factors dictate. That is to say, they are team players!


IPs have no axe to grind or special interest in any business they advise or work with. They’re independent, heavily regulated professionals.


The level of compliance and regulatory rigour to which IPs are subject in their insolvency work forces them to operate in an organised and orderly way, especially in terms of documenting their work and especially their decision making. They will also apply the same standards when doing non-insolvency, advisory work.

Open-minded with no pre-conceptions

The sheer range of situations in which they find themselves and the frequency with which they have to enter distressed situations with the bare minimum of information and prior knowledge means that they must approach assignments without fixed ideas.

Realism – the art of the possible but with a dose of creativity

IPs have to be pragmatists. Insolvency cases leave no room for blue-sky thinking, and IPs have to learn quickly on every assignment what is achievable and what will waste precious time and money. Nevertheless, they are often in situations where creative thinking can clear roadblocks and lead the way to solutions.


Statutory requirements mean that IPs have to work towards strict legal requirements in terms of the outcomes of their insolvency cases. They often have to make their objectives public at the outset and then explain to the outside world why they cannot be achieved when this occurs. This makes them unusually clear about where their work should be heading, a useful attribute in the less well-defined world of general business advisory work.

Quick out of the blocks

Most insolvency cases land in the laps of IPs with relatively limited notice, sometimes almost none at all. The nature of such distressed scenarios means that decisions need to be made quickly and actions started without delay. When they carry out business advisory assignments, they carry this sense of urgency into that work, too.

Great contacts

If an IP doesn’t know the answer to a problem, you can be sure they will know somebody who does. Their ability to source solutions is legendary.

There’s more to business life than insolvency for an IP

Business problems cross an IP’s desk at all sorts of stages and levels of intensity. Given IP’s instinctive speed of action, decisiveness and determination to set and achieve objectives, it’s natural that many of these situations end up as business advisory assignments and nothing more than that. The myth that IPs are only interested in putting companies into Liquidation or Administration couldn’t be further from the reality. Take a look here at a few of the business advisory situations an IP can assist you with.

So, the answer to our original question is simple: why wouldn’t you go to an IP for business advice?


How we can help

We have extensive experience assisting business owners and directors, and we will always work with you to find the best solution for you and your business.

One of our Partners would be more than happy to have a non-obligatory confidential chat with you. We can be contacted at rescue@opusllp.com or call us on 020 3326 6454 and we will arrange for a call with one of our Partners.

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