PKF Smith Cooper acquires insolvency company BLB Advisory

10 April 2024 3 min. read
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Midlands-based professional services firm PKF Smith Cooper has acquired insolvency boutique BLB Advisory. The move comes as the former continues to execute regional expansion plans, adding eight new experts to its team in the process.

Dean Nelson, head of business recovery and restructuring at PKF Smith Cooper, commented, “Acquiring BLB Advisory Limited has strengthened our renowned team, increasing the breadth of our expertise, as well as our capacity to respond to the high demand for specialist support required from businesses struggling in the current climate. We are looking forward to continuing to grow our reputation as the Midlands’ leading provider of Business Recovery and Restructuring services.”

PKF Smith Cooper is the UK Midlands member of PKF International – a global network of firms. The network's 224 independent member firms operate under the PKF brand in 150 countries, and with 20,000 professionals. The network was listed in’s 2023 Top Consulting Firms ranking – with platinum ratings in SME and family business services in particular.

PKF Smith Cooper acquires insolvency company BLB Advisory

The acquisition of BLB Advisory Limited sees PKF Smith Cooper’s business recovery and restructuring (BRR) team gain a further 80 years of experience and expertise in insolvency and recovery solutions, as well as an additional three office locations in the West Midlands. This includes the arrival of director and owner Brett Barton, and seven team members also joining the firm.

Nelson added,  “We are thrilled to welcome Brett and his team to PKF Smith Cooper as we embark on this new era for our business recovery services. From initial conversations with Brett, it was clear he was aligned with our recovery first approach, and that his team shared our passion for helping business owners in distress to secure the best possible outcome for the future.”

Barton is an insolvency practitioner with nearly 30 years’ experience in helping businesses, specifically SMEs and owner managed firms, find solutions to their financial difficulties. During his career, Barton has developed substantial knowledge of the West Midlands, working with business owners across the region in a wide range of sectors, with specialist experience in manufacturing, third sector, transport and haulage, retail and wholesale, and hospitality. At PKF Smith Cooper, he will continue to deliver his current services in Coventry, Hereford and Worcester, in addition to supporting the firm’s BRR partners – Nelson, Michael Roome and Nick Lee – in shaping and driving the firm’s ambitious expansion plans across the Midlands and UK.

Speaking on the deal, Barton said, “I am excited to be joining the team at PKFSC and to expand their offering in the West Midlands. There are many synergies between our businesses, and I believe that, within the PKFSC brand, I will be able to provide advice and guidance to businesses across the region that is unparalleled. PKFSC are an experienced team with a track record and passion for delivering solutions. I am looking forward to meeting up with my network of contacts to discuss the benefits of working alongside Dean and his experienced team at PKFSC.”

The move comes as the UK restructuring market seems set to see rapid growth over the coming year. According to a recent report from FTI Consulting, there is likely to be an increase in the volume of special situations opportunities, as headwinds remain strong and sponsors are under more pressure to divest.