A Newcastle solicitor has taken over as chair of the North East arm of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.
Alexandra Withers is now responsible for leading R3 campaigns to highlight the benefits of accessing qualified advice from North East insolvency and restructuring professionals for both individuals and businesses with financial concerns, and will serve a two-year term in the post.
Alexandra, who is an Associate Solicitor in the Insolvency Department of Short Richardson & Forth Solicitors, takes over the position from Andrew Haslam, head of specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP’s Newcastle office.
Chris Ferguson, joint head of recovery & insolvency at Gosforth-based RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, has moved into Alexandra’s previous role of North East deputy chair.
Originally from Redcar, Alexandra studied law at Northumbria University, graduating with first class honours in 2011, and stayed in the city to complete her training with Short Richardson & Forth Solicitors.
She predominantly acts for insolvency practitioners in claims against former company directors and others, but also acts on behalf of directors defending such claims.
R3 is the trade association for the UK’s insolvency, restructuring, advisory, and turnaround professionals and represents insolvency practitioners, lawyers, turnaround and restructuring experts, students, and others in the profession.
Its members are qualified, regulated and work across the spectrum of the profession, from the global legal and accountancy firms through to smaller, local practices.
In her new role, Alexandra will be continuing R3’s drive to raise regional awareness of the support insolvency practitioners can provide to both businesses and individuals that may be experiencing financial difficulties.
She says: “The North East is home to a community of high-quality insolvency practitioners and restructuring experts who make a significant and often unsung contribution towards the overall well-being of the regional economy.
“Much of the work that R3 members do goes unseen, such as the pre-emptive support and advice which helps to save hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs across the UK every year, without businesses necessarily having to go through a formal insolvency procedure.
“The insolvency and restructuring profession takes a planned and professional approach to dealing with distress and effecting rescue, and our message to both businesses and individuals is always to act as soon as any issues become apparent.
“Proactively tackling financial problems is crucial in maximising the chances of resolving them, and there are a wide range of tools and procedures that can be put in place to find a positive way forward.”