Experienced finance professional Andrew Haslam has taken over as the new chair of the North East arm of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

Andrew, who heads up the Newcastle office of specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP, will serve a two-year term in the post, and is now responsible for leading R3 campaigns highlighting the benefits of accessing qualified advice from North East insolvency practitioners and restructuring experts for both individuals and businesses with financial concerns.

He takes over the position from Neil Harrold, who is a partner with Hay & Kilner Law Firm, with Alexandra Withers of Short Forth Richardson Solicitors moving into Andrew’s previous role of deputy chair.

Originally from the North West, Andrew began his career in 1990 at VAT Insolvency headquarters in Bootle before becoming an examiner at the Manchester office of the Official Receiver, and then joining insolvency practitioners Buchler Phillips Traynor.

He qualified as an insolvency practitioner in 2007, relocating to the North East in the following year to set up a Newcastle office for the firm, which he ran until 2015 before moving to become a corporate partner with accountancy firm Tait Walker LLP.

At the beginning of this year, FRP Advisory acquired Tait Walker’s nine-strong restructuring and insolvency team as part of opening its first office in Newcastle.

FRP Advisory now employs more than 300 people across 19 locations, including Durham, Newcastle and Teesside in the North East, providing clients with the full suite of business advisory services including debt advisory and pensions advisory.

R3 is the trade association for the UK’s insolvency, restructuring, advisory, and turnaround professionals. It represents insolvency practitioners, lawyers, turnaround and restructuring experts, students, and others in the profession. R3’s 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 his new role, Andrew will be continuing R3’s work in the North East to help raise awareness of the support insolvency practitioners can provide to firms that may be experiencing financial difficulties.

He says: “Insolvency has hit the headlines recently following the collapse of Carillion, but the reality is that much of the work that practitioners do goes unseen, with pre-emptive support and advice saving hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs across the UK every year.

“The insolvency and restructuring profession has 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 solving them, and there are a wide range of tools and procedures that can be put in place to find a positive way forward.

“The North East is home to a community of high-quality insolvency practitioners and restructuring experts, and I’ll be working to continue R3’s drive towards broadening general understanding of the contributions our profession makes towards the overall well-being of the regional economy.”