Jones Day appointed by BHS administrators to probe directors' actions

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Jones Day has been appointed by FRP Advisory to look into the role of BHS directors as the administration process of the collapsed retailer continues.

FRP Advisory, which was appointed as joint administrator to BHS in July, has instructed the US firm to look into the actions of former BHS directors prior to its sale to Retail Acquisitions (RAL) for £1 last year.

The former high street stalwart, previously owned by Sir Philip Green, went into administration in April.

Other firms with roles on the administration of BHS include Weil Gotshal & Manges, which is acting for BHS with a team led by London head of restructuring Adam Plainer, and DLA Piper, which is acting for joint administrator Duff & Phelps with Leeds restructuring partner Colin Ashford in the lead.

An inquiry was launched by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee and the Work and Pensions Select Committee into the collapse of BHS, which left a £500m hole in its pension scheme.

Several law firms involved in the sale faced questioning by MPs during the inquiry.

The committee’s report, published last month, criticised the due diligence undertaken by firms prior to the sale of BHS to RAL, a group led by ex-racing driver and former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

Olswang, which acted for RAL, and Linklaters, which advised Green’s Arcadia Group, were criticised for the “cursory nature” of their checks on Chappell.

The report said firms were there to provide advice, “not to provide an expensive badge of legitimacy to people who would otherwise be bereft of credibility”, which it says is what had happened.

It added: “In the case of BHS, it appears that advisory firms either did not consider the reputational risk or demonstrated a remarkable level of ‘group-think’ in relying solely on each other’s presence.”