The lowdown from BDO

Just spoken to Chris Coles, a nice man at BDO Stoy Hayward. As discussed yesterday, Ernst & Young are hoping to get BDO to hand out the contents of the so-called “ring-fenced fund” to those freelances who did work between 12th December and 19th January for Highbury.

E&Y appointed BDO on the 10th July, but with court taking holidays over summer, it’s likely to be September before BDO can be officially appointed as a joint trustee of the fund. BDO will then go through all the purchase orders approved by Highbury, together with the invoices they have, to see who’s owed what.

At the moment, it looks like the fund actually has a “small surplus” of cash, although that’s contingent on various estimates, etc, so the fund might realistically only be able to pay out a percentage of owed monies to creditors. Coles hopes that he’ll have everything done and dusted as soon as possible and hopefully by the end of the year though.

BDO is working on a letter, currently with the lawyers, that they’ll send everyone in the next week or so, advising them of what’s happening. If you don’t get one, you should probably give BDO a call to make sure they’ve got your current details. I’ll let you know if/when I get mine, just so you know whether to panic or not.

Ernst & Young reply

Progress at last. Just spoken with Simon Yeadell of Ernst & Young. He says that E&Y have just appointed a group of accountants EDO Storey-Hayward (can’t seem to find them on a Google search so I probably misheard the name, but it’s something similar). They’re going to look after the “credit trust” (the new name for the so-called ring-fenced fund) and decide who gets paid from it.

Yeadell’s given me a phone number for someone at EDO S-H so I’ll give them a call tomorrow. But his expectation is that the company would be writing letters to all concerned very soon to let them know what’s happening.

UPDATED: The correct name of the company is BDO Stoy Hayward. Thanks to Scott for the enlightenment.

More SMD payments fun

So I’ve been contacted by more SMD writers.

Yes I have had trouble with collecting my payment from Hotdog. I really hope they’re not going down the toilet…

From someone who wrote to me a while back:

I actually did manage to get paid in June, after emailing you to say that I’d been ringing SMD constantly with no luck!

I emailed my editor to ask about it, and he confirmed SMD were having some “short-term” problems but that things should be sorted now.

And from Thursday’s complainant

I just received payment for an Invoice

So it seems like SMD are paying, just a touch tardily.

Anyone heard from Ernst & Young?

You remember them: they’re the receivers for Highbury. I gave them a call yesterday – well, two calls actually to Maggie Mills and her assistant – just to find out what’s up, since they were supposed to have compiled a report a couple of months ago. But they weren’t in and haven’t returned my call.

I’ll try again next week, but I’m just wondering whether anyone else has heard from them.