Most of the companies I see are on the brink – they need immediate surgery to save them.

It’s not just the owner’s shares which are at stake – the business often provides their income and that of family members, they may have given personal guarantees to suppliers and funders, their houses might be on the line; staff, suppliers and the local community are all affected. The business is almost like a member of their family.

The challenge is to identify the core problem quickly – for the surgery to work, we have to keep the patient breathing before we worry about broken bones! Very skilled and knowledgeable company directors know they need to act, but they're often incapable of identifying the key issues and focusing on those first.

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My job is to be quite direct, to move fast, to get to know their business well in a very short space of time and to find them a solution. They need to be on board for that process and need to be ready to take a hard look at their business too – part of my challenge is to inspire their trust from the outset.

I enjoy the challenge of using my legal knowledge to find a really commercial solution – I have to anticipate what HMRC, the banks, the suppliers and so on will say, so that we can all work on something which means the business can be turned around.

Getting a business back on its feet again is the ultimate aim – it is a really rewarding process and it’s great to see former clients prospering again.