ADF Architects appoint French Duncan as administrators
March 4 2019
ADF Architects have shocked staff and clients by appointing administrators French Duncan, ending 30 years in practice with the loss of 27 jobs.
Former staff report that the insolvency came as a bolt from the blue, with the first indication that something may be wrong coming as late as January, when employees received just 65% of their salaries. Outstanding amounts were subsequently paid two days later, with the delay reportedly being attributed to the late payment of fees.
The true scale of financial difficulties only came to light on the 25 February, when staff say they were given a matter of hours to collect their belongings. Salaries, redundancy money and holiday pay are all still outstanding.
Headed by former RIAS president David Dunbar ADF was busy throughout Glasgow, working on a PRS project on the High Street, a student residential development in Partick and a mixed-use development at Glasgow Harbour.
In its most recent set of accounts for the year ended 30 April 2017 the directors maintained that the company had ‘… adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future’.
Brian Milne, partner at French Duncan, said: “The firm has had major cash flow problems this year and was unable to meet the wages bill in full at the end of January having had to pay the balance once funds had cleared. The company did not have sufficient funds to pay the wages at the end of February so decided that they could not continue trading.
“The main reason for the liquidation was the delay or mothballing of a number of significant projects. This is a common issue in the architecture profession where work can be commissioned and completed over a considerable period, but ongoing payments are not made and can be dependent upon the submission for planning permission. If payments are delayed or a project does not go ahead then the practice may not be paid, or the payment is delayed for a considerable time resulting in serious financial issues and cash flow problems.”
“We shall be disposing of the main assets of the business which consists of work in progress and debtors. Unfortunately, the business cannot be sold as a going concern as it is not viable. Any parties interested in acquiring these assets should contact me as soon as possible.”
Figures compiled by the Insolvency Service show that there were 84 insolvencies involving architecture or engineering related firms over the past five years.
Former employees are being asked to claim arrears from the Redundancy Payments Office.