Harley Curtain Wall was a cladding firm established in 1996 based in Crowborough, East Sussex. It specialised in windows, doors, structural glazing and rain-screen cladding systems. Projects included high and low-rise apartment and office complexes with a number of high-profile clients.
The company began to experience financial problems due to issues with a major contract which saw a customer refusing to release the relevant funds. Harley dealt with this in the short term by using its cash reserves but after six months of below-cost payments, the reserves started to dwindle. Also, the dispute with the customer was taking up a lot of the management’s time and focus – with a knock-on effect of operational malaise in other areas. When the dispute escalated and the customer claimed £428,000 against Harley Curtain Wall in September 2015, Harley was unable to meet its liabilities and was deemed insolvent.
Julie Palmer, regional managing partner at Real Business Rescue (part of the Begbies Traynor Group), said: “Unfortunately, after reviewing all options we were left with little choice but to close the business. The firm had entered difficulty due to cash flow problems.”
Harley entered administration on 8 September and a total of 11 staff members were made redundant and various assets of the business were sold to Harley Facades Ltd. Despite the regrettable redundancies, the continuation of trade was achieved for the business as a whole.
“ It was not reasonably practicable to rescue the company as a going concern as it was concluded in the pre-appointment period that the company could not avoid formal insolvency given the issue with one of the customers and their claim of £428,000 against Harley for disputed work. ”Julie Palmer, Regional Managing Partner