Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency
Index of tables
Restructuring and insolvency
Allen & Overy
- Mayer Brown JSM
Bingham McCutchen LLP
- Eversheds LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
King & Wood Mallesons
- Latham & Watkins LLP
Norton Rose Hong Kong
Oldham, Li & Nie
Reed Smith Richards Butler
- Sidley Austin
Allen & Overy’s Asia-wide restructuring and insolvency practice is led by David Kidd, who recently advised separate creditors’ committees on restructuring the $15bn debt of Dubai World, $10.5bn debt of Nakheel, and $3bn debt of Drydocks World, which collectively represent the world’s largest restructuring of government-related entities. Joseph Tse splits his time between Hong Kong and Beijing, and recently acted for Wanhua Industrial Group (the largest producer of isocyanate in the Asia Pacific region) on its acquisition of Hungarian chemicals company BorsodChem, which involved acquiring mezzanine and senior debts through a complex restructuring.
Hogan Lovells is ’definitely top tier’, despite Kelly Naphtali’s recent move to Lipman Karas. The ’very responsive and commercial’ Neil McDonald leads the department, and is commended for ’understanding his client’s business, and finding simple solutions to complicated situations’. McDonald recently advised an ad hoc committee of bondholders on Sino-Forest Corporation’s default of its obligations under approximately $1.8bn of notes. The recently promoted Allan Wardrop is recommended for his restructuring experience. Practice clients include Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Mayer Brown JSM provides ’a world-class service’ that ’compares very well to its peers’, and ’partners are backed up by very competent, more junior, lawyers’. Steven Miller leads the sizeable team, and has extensive experience acting for bank steering committees in negotiating and documenting cross-border workouts and reorganisations in Asia. John Marsden is also recommended, for his ’strong legal knowledge and excellent commercial acumen’. Marsden recently represented Vietnamese shipbuilder Vinashin in its proposed restructuring and rescheduling of $4bn of debt. The team also continues to advise the liquidators of the various entities of Lehman Brothers.
Baker & McKenzie promoted Gary Seib to lead the team following the retirement of former practice head Stephen Eno. In addition, Kwun-Yee Cheung and Dominic Wai were promoted in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Seib and Cheung are advising the liquidators of EganaGoldpfeil (Holdings) on all aspects of a complex, multi-jurisdictional liquidation, which involves debts valued in excess of HK$3.5bn. Barry Cheng and Anthony Poon are also well respected.
The Hong Kong restructuring and insolvency group at Clifford Chance recently lost Asia Pacific practice head Scott Bache when he transferred to the firm’s Sydney office. After briefly replacing Bache with Nicholas Dunstone from Henry Davis York in Australia, Dunstone left for an in-house position. Key contacts now include Matthew Truman, who specialises in general banking and restructuring, and Donna Wacker, head of the Hong Kong contentious insolvency practice. Wacker is part of a team that is acting for the liquidators of Pioneer Group in their recovery of substantive missing assets across various jurisdictions.
Tanner De Witt provides ’incisive analysis of legal issues, and sound business acumen’. Recent work highlights include acting for the liquidators in the MF Global administration, and representing the bondholders and liquidators in a large central European administration involving complex, cross-border issues. Robin Darton has ’considerable experience in a variety of restructuring and insolvency issues’, as does Ian De Witt, who provides ’very strong legal knowledge, but an equally commercial approach’. In 2012, solicitor Karen Lee returned to the firm after a stint in-house at Goldman Sachs.
In 2011, DLA Piper recruited distressed debt specialist Troy Doyle from Norton Rose Australia to lead the Asia restructuring team. While his principal base is Singapore, Doyle spends a significant amount of time in the Hong Kong office, and has ’excellent knowledge and understanding of the Asia region’. Clients include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and FTI Consulting. Christopher Clarke and consultant Graham Ridler are also recommended. Jonathan Leitch transferred to Hong Kong from the firm’s London office in September 2012
Deacons houses a stable of experienced restructuring and insolvency practitioners. For non-contentious matters, Philip Gilligan is recommended, and on the contentious side, Robert Clark and Richard Hudson are the key contacts. Recent highlights include acting for Deloitte as provisional liquidators of the Norstar Group, and assisting FTI Consulting (Asia) on various aspects of the winding up of a BVI-incorporated company in Hong Kong. The group also successfully restructured a Japanese trading and leasing company.
The restructuring and insolvency team at Gall exclusively handles contentious matters, and benefits from the sound reputations of Randall Arthur, Nick Gall and Lewis Man. Arthur recently advised a Czech insolvency trustee on several complex, cross-border issues arising from the bankruptcy of ECM Real Estate, as well as ECM’s subsequent liquidation in Hong Kong.
Linklaters’ Melvin Sng co-heads the restructuring and insolvency practice in Asia. The team continues to work on the liquidation of Lehman Brothers’ Asian business, and also advised on the successful restructuring of Asia TeleMedia, and is the lead counsel to the liquidators of MF Global in Hong Kong. The firm has handled more than 25 major restructuring and insolvency transactions in Asia since the onset of the financial crisis.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP is ’definitely the place to go to for high-end restructuring advice’, and acts for clients such as Deutsche Bank, KPMG and Standard Chartered Bank. Recent work highlights included advising FTI Consulting (Asia), the provisional liquidators of Grande Holdings, on its relief under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code. Mark Fairbairn, who ’is "the" restructuring expert in Asia’, leads the team, which recently lost James Wood to Lipman Karas.
Bingham McCutchen LLP’s team acts for bondholders and other creditors on complex restructuring and insolvency matters, and is praised for its ’knowledge, devotion, and logical thinking’. Mark Fucci recently represented an ad hoc committee of bondholders in the corporate reorganisation of Elpida Memory and its affiliate Akita Elpida. Naomi Moore and Richard Hornshaw are also recommended as ’very dedicated to their clients’ interests’. Hornshaw recently transferred to Hong Kong from the firm’s London office.
The ’very responsive and proactive’ team at Eversheds LLP delivers ’professional, practical and commercial advice every time’. The practice is co-led by Ivan Ng, who handles contentious issues, and the ’extremely knowledgeable’ Kingsley Ong, who works on non-contentious matters. Ong acted for KPMG on both the Lehman Brothers and MF Global liquidations. Other clients include FTI Consulting and Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, both of which are new additions to the roster.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s restructuring and insolvency group is led by finance lawyer David Winfield, who has been a partner of the firm since 1995, with past experience in London and New York. Winfield recently advised an international investment bank on the restructuring of the senior and mezzanine facilities relating to the leveraged acquisition and subsequent disposal of a property in Shanghai. Andrew Heathcote is well regarded.
King & Wood Mallesons provides ’a very distinctive proposition, due to its Greater China breadth and combination of leading domestic and US expertise’. Recent work highlights saw the ’unique’ Helena Huang (formerly of Kirkland & Ellis) advise Sino-Forest Corporation on its negotiations with offshore noteholders relating to the client’s highly publicised restructuring. Edmund Wan is also recommended, and Barbara Chiu is ’a lateral thinker who you want on your side before the other side snaps her up’.
Simon Powell leads the restructuring, insolvency and workouts practice at Latham & Watkins LLP. Powell has over 20 years’ experience in the field, and recently worked alongside counsel Eleanor Lam on their advice to electrical appliances group Tatung concerning the financial difficulties of Proview International Holdings (a company which includes an entity that the client has a significant equity investment in).
Norton Rose Hong Kong’s Camille Jojo recently acted for the trustee of a major international bank in liquidation on proceedings relating to assets held by various entities in Hong Kong. Dispute resolution specialists David Lee and Wynne Mok were promoted to partner in 2012. Jim James experienced a notable increase in shipping-related insolvency.
Stephenson Harwood’s restructuring and insolvency team is led by Jamie Stranger, who specialises in contentious corporate insolvency, with a particular emphasis on winding-up matters, receiverships, misfeasance claims, preference actions and examination proceedings. Stranger recently acted for the liquidators in the winding up of Sharp Merit. Paul Westover and Mark Reed are noteworthy practitioners on the non-contentious side.
Specialising in contentious insolvency issues, Oldham, Li & Nie acts for a number of leading insolvency practitioners in Hong Kong, including Ernst & Young and JLA Asia. Richard Healy leads the team, and has particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional cases, especially those involving substantial assets of insolvent companies located in China. Alfred Ip is also recommended.
The ’excellent’ Reed Smith Richards Butler is commended for its ’strong background and reputation in this area’. Andrew Brown recently advised Wilmington Trust on debt restructuring negotiations with Beijing-based China Medical Technologies. Jonathan Green left the firm in 2012.
At Sidley Austin, Asia Pacific managing partner Thomas Albrecht is recognised for his expertise in restructurings and workouts. Constance Choy, Gloria Lam and Matthew Sheridan are also recommended. Areas of focus include debt rescheduling and refinancing, distressed debt trading, workouts, restructuring, formal insolvency and pre-negotiated insolvency asset sales.
At Simmons & Simmons LLP, Robert Lewington has over 25 years’ experience in insolvency litigation, and finance lawyer Richard McKeown advises on corporate recovery and restructuring matters. McKeown has experience handling the Hong Kong aspects of bank reorganisations.
John Hartley heads the Asia banking, capital markets and restructuring practice at White & Case, which is recognised for its non-contentious expertise. Clients have included China Development Bank, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank and Lehman Brothers. Beijing-based Baldwin Cheng is also recommended.
Wilkinson & Grist’s workload combines corporate restructuring, rescheduling and rescue, receiverships, liquidation and individual insolvency. Key contacts include Keith Ho, who is currently chairman of the Insolvency Law Committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong; and Lawrence Chan, who is also well regarded in the insolvency arena. The firm handles a variety of instructions for listed companies.