AN insolvency expert has joined an elite band after passing demanding exams to qualify as an insolvency practitioner.

Chris Horner, of Robson Scott Associates, sat the examinations with 260 others nationally. Only 51 passed all three papers, and he was one of just two in the whole of the North-East.

The 27-year-old has worked across the region from Robson Scott’s headquarters in Darlington, since 2009, and its new office, which opened in Gosforth last year.

As part of his professional development Mr Horner, of Brotton, near Middlesbrough, undertook the rigorous Joint Insolvency Examination Board tests.

They involved months of work culminating in three three-and-a-half hour papers covering liquidation, administration and personal insolvency and bankruptcy.

Mr Horner said: “It has been incredibly hard work and I am thrilled to have passed.

“I studied accountancy and finance at Teesside University but I love the insolvency work because I enjoy embracing people’s issues and problem solving.”

Managing director Eamonn Wall said: “This is a life-changing opportunity for Chris in terms of career development and it will allow our practice to grow further.

“Our primary aim with clients is to manage restructuring in order to save the business if they encounter troubles.

“Chris’ expertise will allow us to cement further our reputation for looking holistically at company issues and reaching the best possible deals, compromises and outcomes.”

He said Robson Scott had already grown into one of the biggest independent practices in the region over the past nine years and Mr Horner was central to development plans, which would see the firm expand further into the North-West.