Smith & Milton Original Limited in administration

The new directors of Smith & Milton have put its 15-year-old business into administration, it has emerged this week.

The new directors of Smith & Milton Original Limited have put its 15-year-old business into administration, it has emerged this week.

Smith & Milton Original Limited, the consultancy’s long-standing trading arm, went into administration on 5 December, according to files recorded at Companies House.

Consultancy founder Howard Milton, who sold a remaining 50 per cent stake in the design group to the venture capital business London Irish Group in 2005, says, ‘I bought back Smith & Milton Original Limited in October to get my name back, but it proved to be in very bad shape financially. This was a risk for me, as I wasn’t a director or a shareholder of the company and wasn’t given the option of doing my due diligence on the business at the time.

‘I put the business into administration in December because it was apparent that it required immediate and strong financial control and a deeper examination of the accounting,’ he explains.

The consultancy will continue to operate via its Smith & Milton Limited business, which was incorporated last September.

Insolvency practitioner SPW Poppleton & Appleby has been drafted in to act as the administrator to Smith & Milton Original Limited. It is understood that creditors will be notified at the start of next month with proposals on administering any outstanding debt.

Cyan Books, which published Alas! Smith & Milton, a history of the consultancy from its start-up in 1980, has confirmed it is still owed money from Smith & Milton.

Smith & Milton Original Limited reported a turnover of £2.2m for the year ended 30 November 2004, down from £2.6m in 2003. It failed to file its accounts that were due on 30 September last year.

In November, Milton returned as creative director with concern ‘over the use of the Smith & Milton name’ in a bid to reverse what he considered a ‘downmarket’ shift in clients.

Smith & Milton is one of the longest-standing independent consultancies in the UK, having been founded in 1980.


  • 1991 – Business is incorporated
  • 2003 – Half of business sold to Axley, a private equity group
  • 2005 – Axley sells to London Irish, Milton sells remaining 50%
  • 2006 – Founder Howard Milton buys back business from private equity group London Irish (November)
  • 2006 – Business put into administration (5 December)

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