THE END OF P&A: Historic insolvency firm was one of largest in country

The P&A Partnership's headquarters on Scotland Street, it was sold out of administration to Begbies Traynor
The P&A Partnership's headquarters on Scotland Street, it was sold out of administration to Begbies Traynor
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Poppleton and Appleby was founded in 1874 as accountants and auditors specialising in insolvency - when debtors’ prisons had not long been abolished and bankruptcy was for life.

It traded from premises in Birmingham and Sheffield and over the years opened offices in London, Manchester and Cardiff and started working in insolvency.

By the late 1960s it was exclusively an insolvency practitioners. On the retirement of the national senior partner in 1982, each site was sold off to the local chief.

By 1986, the Sheffield office had six partners. Managing partner John Priestley retired in 2001 and handed over to his son Jeremy.

It became the P&A Partnership in 2001 and a limited company in 2014.

In July, P&A announced it was moving headquarters after selling a department employing more than a third of staff.

It vacated offices on Queen Street and Paradise Street in the city’s historic business district and moved the remaining 45 staff into Kendal House on Scotland Street. It had been home to the firm’s commercial debt recovery department, P&A Receivables, and solicitors James Peters & Co. They were snapped up by Sheffield law firm Irwin Mitchell and all 30 staff were moved to its headquarters at nearby Millsands.

At the time, managing director Jeremy Priestley said the move was a “new era,” adding: “These are exciting times for P&A, and this is exactly the right time for the move to take place.”

A report by administrators BDO states P&A had a portfolio of 2,000 accountancy and legal practices that regularly introduced work throughout the UK.