Leading global law firm Mayer Brown are advising Duff & Phelps, the administrators of retailer Ethel Austin, which collapsed into administration last week.

Ashley Katz, co-head of the London Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Insolvency group at Mayer Brown, who led the team said: "The retail sector seemed to be surviving in its battle against tough economic conditions over the last few months, after a flurry of administrations earlier in the year. However, this case could well be a sign of further distress emerging in the sector."

Mayer Brown have advised on a number of retail administrations during the downturn having acted for the administrators of Fenn, Wright & Manson earlier this year and the administrators of British Bookshops and Suits You prior to that.