Published: February 19, 2020 | Updated: February 19, 2020

Law firm to set up new restructuring team after appointing ‘Insolvency Guru’ as partner

Matt Fretten, Managing Partner, Frettens, with fellow partners (left to right) Oonagh McKinney, Malcolm Niekirk, Clare Hallett and Michelle Hayter. Picture: Justin Smith.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A Dorset law firm is to establish an insolvency and restructuring team after appointing a new partner.

Malcolm Niekirk, pictured below, – who has run his own consultancy called the  ‘Insolvency Guru’ for the last four years – is to join Christchurch-based Frettens on March 1.

He will work closely with the firm’s other commercial teams as Frettens becomes one of only a handful on the south coast to have a specialist insolvency team.

Matt Fretten, Managing Partner, said he was “thrilled” with the appointment.

He added: “Malcolm’s reputation in his specialist field is second to none in the area.

“To have such an accomplished and experienced partner join the firm will strengthen our commercial offering and provide real value for our clients.

“Malcolm is exactly the sort of person we look for at Frettens.

“An expert in his field, but crucially, bright, approachable and easy to talk to.”

Malcolm has approximately three decades of experience in insolvency.

He is regarded as one of the leading practitioners on the south coast.

Having spent time as a practising solicitor and partner, heading the insolvency teams at two large regional firms, Malcolm set up his own consultancy in 2016.

For the last four years, the ‘Insolvency Guru’ has been keeping insolvency practitioners out of trouble, offering advice on specific cases and more generally.

In addition, he was also a director at Peter Hall from 2017, getting first-hand experience in a boutique restructuring and insolvency practice.

He passed his Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB) exams more than 20 years ago and is an insolvency practitioner, but with no intention of taking a formal appointment.

Malcolm will be based in the firm’s Christchurch office but will service clients across Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

He said: “I have worked with Frettens on several projects recently and know quite a few of the people there as former colleagues.

“I am really looking forward to working on building a corporate restructuring team as part of the ambitious, developing legal practice at Frettens.

“In recent years, through my advisory practice, I found myself working with a number of legal practices, seeing many of them as a client might.

“Frettens really stood out from the crowd, with their teamwork and approach to solving problems.

“I am delighted to be joining them.”

Malcolm will be working closely with insolvency practitioners in the area.

Any insolvency practitioner interested in a chat is invited to email Malcolm at