Administrators at failed contractor Lancsville have drafted in forensic computer experts as they continue their hunt for missing tower cranes and plant

FRP Advisory was appointed as administrator for Lancsville in December, when the £131m-turnover firm collapsed. It has since said it is “unlikely” any of the 990 creditors, which are owed a total of £23m, will get their money back, as it tries to track down missing assets.

In an update on its progress last week, the administrator said it was still looking for “significant” amounts of equipment, including tower cranes. A security firm has been hired to protect the remaining equipment, while a forensic computer firm, De Vere, has been contracted to copy all the firm’s servers and some computers to “forensically rebuild a full picture of the company’s dealings”.

The administrators have also written to all outside firms who have worked for Lancsville, with solicitors serving notices to some to request files officially.

Regarding the hunt, the administrator’s report said: “[Valuation agents] are continuing to carry out extensive investigations into the location and ownership of the Companies [sic] alleged assets. Due to the lack of complete paperwork this exercise has become protracted, although at present it appears that significant amounts of plant and equipment cannot be accounted for.”

The administrators have already recouped just over £1m from selling the plant, machinery and cranes that were found on site. Some cranes are still contracted out to sites, however, and continue to be used, so may not be sold for “many months”, according to the report.

When the firm collapsed, 200 jobs were lost and the administrator blamed the fact the company had taken on jobs that were too big for its business infrastructure.