Saab woes highlight growing demand for insolvency experts

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The next six months could see banking insolvency and restructuring experts in huge demand, as companies that have previously postponed their tax bills suddenly face crunch time.

GM's decision to wind down car giant Saab is still causing huge anger in Sweden. But, in fact, there have been surprisingly few large bankruptcies in Sweden this recession - so far - points out Lisa Ingram, associate in the insolvency practice at DLA Nordic in Stockholm, which has been working with a number of Saab's suppliers.

Bankruptcies increased by a quarter last year compared with 2008, and are expected to be higher again this year, albeit with the rate of increase slowing to around 5%.

"In the first six months of 2010 all the taxes that have been postponed by companies will become due, so it is possible we may see more firms being put in bankruptcy as a result," Ingram says.

"If interest rates start to rise as well then we could see increasing numbers of companies facing problems," she adds.

Many banks are therefore keeping an eye out for people with good local knowledge, particularly of Swedish insolvency laws, to bring on to their teams.

"I think banks have been increasing their teams; they are actively looking to find internal solutions when dealing with clients," says Ingram.

"Both banks and law firms are looking for people who have good local expertise. Insolvency and bankruptcy will often be very country specific," she adds.

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