Firm fell out with Sotheby’s over sub-contractor payments

Historic contractor Killby & Gayford went under while working on site on at least £29m worth of construction projects, Building understands.

The largest unfinished scheme is thought to be a private hospital in Essex, put at £18m by construction data service Barbour ABI.

Other multi-million pound projects include a hospital wing for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, a Black Cultural Archives project in London and a Brighton Hotel refurbishment.

Building understands that Killby & Gayford completed the refurbishment of the gallery at London’s famous Sotheby’s Auction House two months ago, but upset the client after issues arose in paying subcontractors.

Most of Killby & Gayford’s 255 staff were made redundant last week by administrator BDO. The 150-year-old contractor was famous for working on prestigious projects, including one at Number 10 Downing Street.

BDO said it was seeking a “buyer or buyers” for the assets of the £77m turnover firm.

It boasted a strong City of London presence but also had offices in Billericay, Cambridge, Clapham and Leeds. Its services included an in-house joinery division and maintenance.

Emma Bridges, of specialist credit agency Top Service, said it had received 80 “adverse reports” in the last year about the firm.