Duff & Phelps hits out at BHS pensions lifeboat in letter to Labour MP Frank Field

Helen Cahill
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First BHS Stores Shut Their Doors For Good
BHS closed its stores over summer last year (Source: Getty)

The firm originally appointed to handle the collapse of BHS has criticised the company's largest unsecured creditor for trying to control the process.

BHS fell into administration in April last year after its former owner Sir Philip Green sold it to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1.

Green brought in Duff & Phelps to handle the administration of BHS. But when the firm's independence from Green was questioned, BHS' unsecured creditor, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), appointed FRP Advisory as joint administrator.

Read more: Professional advisers cash in on the carcass of BHS

The PPF then also insisted that FRP Advisory take over from Duff & Phelps when BHS went into liquidation.

But, it has now emerged that Duff & Phelps has complained that "one creditor had control over the entire process (being the PPF)". As BHS' largest unsecured creditor, the PPF can out-vote the other creditors at any creditors' meeting.

In a letter to Labour MP Frank Field, Duff & Phelps' managing director Phil Duffy said that handing over to FRP Advisory was "akin to having one builder start building a house and another one finish it".

Tension has been building between the PPF and Duff & Phelps throughout the administrative process. In November, the PPF voted against Duff & Phelps' request to increase its fee. Malcolm Weir, head of restructuring at the PPF, said BHS pension scheme members deserved "value for money".

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