Index of tables
Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Addleshaw Goddard LLP
- Baker & McKenzie LLP
- Eversheds LLP
- Lawrence Graham LLP
- Macfarlanes LLP
- Nabarro LLP
- Norton Rose LLP
- Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
- Clyde & Co LLP
- Dundas & Wilson LLP
- Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
- Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
- Fladgate LLP
K&L Gates LLP
- Hamish Anderson - Norton Rose LLP
- Nick Angel - Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
- Ken Baird - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Nigel Barnett - SNR Denton
- Tony Bugg - Linklaters LLP
- Patrick Corr - Sidley Austin LLP
- Robert Elliott - Linklaters LLP
Stephen Foster -
Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Nicholas Frome - Clifford Chance
- Stephen Gale - Herbert Smith LLP
Deborah Gregory -
Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Neil Griffiths - SNR Denton
- Dan Hamilton - Ashurst
Robert Hickmott -
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
- John Houghton - Latham & Watkins LLP
- Mark Hyde - Clifford Chance
- Ben Larkin - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
Chris Mallon -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
- Graham Paine - SNR Denton
- James Roome - Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP
- Barry Russell - Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP
- Nick Segal - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- George Seligman - Slaughter and May
- Mark Sterling - Allen & Overy LLP
- Gordon Stewart - Allen & Overy LLP
‘An established market leader’, Allen & Overy LLP provides ‘responsive and proactive advice’ to a ‘fantastic stream of banking clients’. Praised for its ‘impressive ability to handle large multi-jurisdictional matters’, the team is advising senior lenders on the $1bn restructuring of Almatis, and is also representing the agent on the restructuring of the syndicated debt of La Seda de Barcelona by way of an English-law scheme of arrangement. On the debtor side, the firm continues to act for Quinn Group on its €1.3bn restructuring. Earl Griffith – praised for his ‘excellent advice and ability to effectively deploy the firm’s resources’ – is one of a ‘very strong bench of partners’ that also includes Gordon Stewart, Mark Sterling and Carolyn Conner.
Although it may lack the breadth of some of its peers, Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP is seen in the majority of major international restructurings as a result of its position as the firm of choice for bondholders and alternative capital providers. Co-led by Barry Russell and the ‘pragmatic and focused’ James Roome, the ‘exceptional’ ten-partner team provides a ‘partner-led service’ on some of the market’s most significant mandates, and continues in its role advising holders of more than $23bn of bonds issued by Iceland’s three major commercial banks. Praised for his ‘very effective personal style’, Russell also recently represented the private placement noteholders on the restructuring of the Quinn Group and the senior noteholders of Connaught plc.
Headed by the ‘excellent’ Mark Hyde, Clifford Chance’s nine-partner team excels at big-ticket restructurings and insolvencies, where it is able to deploy a ‘highly co-ordinated approach’ in utilising multiple offices and strengths in related practice areas. In addition to its creditor side work, on the back of the firm’s close ties with a host of major lenders, the team has been involved in numerous debtor mandates over the past 12 months, including Petroplus, Game plc and several assignments in Dubai, including for Dubai World. The ‘hardworking and intellectual’ Iain White, the ‘vastly experienced’ Nicholas Frome, Philip Hertz and Adrian Cohen are highly recommended.
Headed by the ‘experienced’ Ken Baird, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s 11-partner team has been ‘very visible in the market’ across a range of complex matters. Led by ‘very good up-and-comer’ Adam Gallagher, the firm advised the National Car Parks group on its restructuring, a matter which involved a fresh injection of capital by the sponsor and a debt-for-equity swap by key creditors. The ‘excellent’ Richard Tett is praised for his ability to find ‘innovative’ solutions, and recently advised in relation to the English scheme of arrangement to restructure Spain’s La Seda de Barcelona’s €1bn debt. Other clients include Barclays, Blackstone and KPMG. Nick Segal is recommended.
Headed by the ‘outstanding’ Tony Bugg, Linklaters LLP’s ‘commercial and proactive’ 34-partner team has ‘tremendous strength and depth’, and acts for a varied client base spanning banks, distressed funds, IPs, corporate debtors and directors. The ‘very pragmatic, calming and knowledgeable’ David Ereira and Richard Bussell advised the administrators of Snoras bank in Lithuania on its insolvency. Along with its ongoing involvement in the Lehman Brothers’ insolvency, other high-profile mandates included advising RBS and Lloyds as co-ordinators of a syndicate of lenders on HMV Group’s £220m restructuring, and representing the landlords’ committee on the restructuring of Southern Cross. The ‘focused and highly committed’ Rebecca Jarvis is recommended, as are Chris Howard, Richard Holden and Robert Elliott.
Ashurst provides ‘commercial, proactive and client-friendly advice’ to a balanced roster of clients including debtors, lenders and distressed investors. The firm’s private equity credentials continue to generate a significant stream of work, both for portfolio companies and in relation to distressed acquisitions. The ‘practical and user-friendly’ Simon Baskerville has a ‘very good business brain’, and recently advised Alchemy on its investment in the senior debt of Rodenstock, its restructuring negotiations and subsequent high-profile challenge to the jurisdiction of the UK scheme of arrangement proposed by Rodenstock. The ‘thorough and practical’ Giles Boothman heads the team; and the ‘technically strong’ Dan Hamilton is also recommended.
Herbert Smith LLP’s ‘top-drawer’ team handles a range of cross-border mandates for a variety of stakeholders. The group is best known for its ‘excellent’ debtor work, and is representing JJB Sports on its restructuring, as well as continuing to represent Nortel on its insolvency. The ‘very strong’ Stephen Gale is often at the heart of the team’s most significant work, with recent work including assisting National Australia Bank on the restructuring of £100m of senior debt provided to the Healthcare Locums group of companies. Team head Kevin Pullen and Simon Chadney are also recommended.
Aided by a large international network, Hogan Lovells International LLP’s team specialises in complex multi-jurisdictional mandates for a broad range of stakeholders. ‘First-class’ global head Stephen Foster has a focus on advising senior and junior debt holders in the restructuring of leveraged transactions. Paul McLoughlin advised NAMA on the sale of £660m of debt held on the Maybourne Hotels Group. Clients include Airbus, Citigroup and BNP Paribas. Deborah Gregory is also recommended.
Under the guidance of ‘ultimate client man’ Kon Asimacopoulos and Partha Kar, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s ten-strong team has developed a ‘very influential and dynamic practice in recent years’ and is noted for its ‘commercial’ approach. Particularly accomplished on the debtor side, the team excels at handling complex pan-European cross-border mandates, recently assisting Greek casino business Regency Entertainment on its €1.1bn restructuring. The team also advised in relation to HIG’s €54m loan-to-own acquisition and restructuring of Bezier. Other clients include Fitness First, European Directories, Oaktree Capital and Centerbridge Capital.
Headed by the ‘excellent’ John Houghton, Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘strong’ team advises a varied mix of clients including corporates, sponsors, bondholders, senior creditors and mezzanine lenders. It has recently handled a number of standout debtor mandates, such as the $2.8bn restructuring of Preem and the ongoing €2.5bn restructuring of AfriSam. Other highlights included advising the committee of bondholders in the €2.95bn debt restructuring of SEAT Pagine Gialle, led by Houghton and Holly Neavill.
The ‘world-class’ team at Slaughter and May combines ‘great technical strength with pragmatism and commerciality’, and provides a ‘seamless service’ on some of the most significant mandates in the market. It has been at the vanguard of matters emanating from the financial crisis, and, as well as continuing to advise Northern Rock, has picked up work for the Irish Government across a range of issues relating to the Irish banking sector. Leveraging the firm’s superb corporate client base, it regularly picks up significant debtor work, such as assisting Thomas Cook with its refinancing. George Seligman has an ‘excellent understanding of the market’ and heads a team that includes the ‘bright and energetic’ Sarah Paterson and Ian Hodgson, who is a ‘very safe pair of hands’.
Headed by the ‘technically very strong’ Ben Larkin, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s four-partner team provides ‘user-friendly and pragmatic advice’. ‘Well networked with the UK banks’, it handles work across a range of sectors but is particularly strong in real estate. David Leibowitz is ‘very experienced and wise’, and the team also includes newly promoted partner Ben Jones, who has a ‘loyal following’. Clients include RBS, Lloyds, Macquarie Group and IBRC.
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP’s seven-partner team provides a ‘professional and commercial’ service to an impressive roster of banks that includes Lloyds, RBS and Deutsche Bank, and is particularly noted for its ‘excellent work in the real estate and hotel and leisure sectors’. The ‘hardworking and commercial’ Martin Brown advised Bank of Scotland and KPMG on the sale of a portfolio of high-end hotels. Rita Lowe is a ‘great transactional lawyer’, and Peter Wiltshire has ‘tremendous knowledge of restructuring and insolvency procedures’.
DLA Piper UK LLP’s 12-partner team has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume of domestic and cross-border deals, largely in the mid-market, and is on the panel of every significant UK bank. It advised RBS, along with Zolfo Cooper, on the consensual and non-consensual options for a troubled high street retailer which ultimately led to a pre-packaged sale. Team head Michael Fiddy is a ‘shrewd lawyer who always grasps the key issues’; Simon Neilson-Clarke is ‘pragmatic and effective’; and Paul Fleming is ‘thorough and strategic’.
At Jones Day, US-qualified ‘restructuring lawyer par excellence’ Corinne Ball will now be splitting her time between the firm’s London and New York offices; the move is indicative of an increased focus on European restructurings and a shot in the arm following the departure of Adam Plainer to Weil, Gotshal & Manges. The team has been particularly active on distressed M&A transactions, including advising Wilbur Ross on the acquisition of Northern Rock by Virgin Money. Kay Morley advised the Jarvis Hotels Group on the restructuring and sale of the majority of its hotel portfolio to Jupiter Hotels. Leading restructuring lawyer Matthew French joined in March 2012.
Active for a broad range of stakeholders, the team at Mayer Brown International LLP has ‘an extremely high degree of technical expertise as well as a strong business sense and judgement’; it ‘strikes the right balance between the commercial position and ensuring that the client is protected from a risk perspective’. The ‘extremely bright’ Ashley Katz jointly heads the practice with the ‘user-friendly’ Devi Shah. Katz continues to advise various institutions as to their exposures to MF Global, and also represented distressed investors on the acquisition of the debt of British Bookshops & Stationers. Kristy Zander is an ‘up-and-coming partner’, and David Allen displays ‘good tactical judgement’ on insolvency litigation.
Headed by Nigel Barnett, SNR Denton has a balanced practice acting for an array of stakeholders on restructurings and insolvencies. Recent highlights include advising the banks on the workout of the Von Essen hotels group, and subsequently the administrator on its administration. The team is experienced in mandates relating to emerging markets, and regularly joins forces with colleagues in the Middle East, for example on the $1.2bn restructuring of Limitless, Dubai. Richard Cook, Graham Paine and Neil Griffiths are recommended.
Aided by a very strong transatlantic offering, Sidley Austin LLP’s team specialises in advising US-based multinationals on their restructurings, and in advising US investors. Team head Patrick Corr had a significant involvement in the global restructuring of Titan Outdoor Group. US-qualified Marc Wassermann has particular expertise in restructurings involving structured products. Clients include GE Capital, Regus and Grant Thornton.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s two-partner team provides ‘commercial, responsive and technically excellent advice’ to corporates on their restructurings and insolvencies. The ‘client-focused and user-friendly’ Chris Mallon is appreciated for his ‘innovative approach’, and recently advised Tele Columbus Group on its restructuring. Dominic McCahill joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ key figure in London is Adam Plainer, whose recent work includes advising on the administration of the UK arm of broker MF Global, and representing a syndicate of banks on the restructuring of a £47m financing of West Ham FC. Other clients include Lehman Brothers, Kaupthing and Lion Capital. Alex Wood is set to join from Hogan Lovells International LLP.
Although the practice saw the move of ‘star partner’ Mark Glengarry to Morgan Stanley, White & Case LLP has been handling a number of standout roles over the past 12 months. It advised a Greek bondholder steering committee in negotiations on the Greek debt write-down; and acted for the bondholder committee as holders of lower-tier-two bonds in the government-owned Bank of Ireland. ‘Excellent operator’ Christian Pilkington now heads the team, and the ‘superb’ Stephen Phillips is also recommended. Clients include Deutsche Bank, GSO Capital Partners and Zolfo Cooper.
Now with four partners based in London and aided by a strong presence in the regions, Addleshaw Goddard LLP is particularly accomplished on the bank side, with major panel memberships including Barclays and HSBC. It has been active in the care homes sector, and recently represented one of the institutional stakeholders in connection with the restructuring of the Southern Cross group. John Joyce heads the team, which includes Alison Goldthorp, Daniel Redstone and Fraser Ritson.
The forte of the team at Baker & McKenzie LLP, headed by Ian Jack and Louise Webb, is complex international work, where it can draw on the firm’s vast international network. The firm recently advised a number of banks including Raffeisen Bank and Standard Chartered in relation to the Indover Bank bankruptcy, led in London by Bruce Somer and with input from the firm’s Dutch and French offices. Other clients include EQT, Kraft Foods and Oracle.
At Eversheds LLP, Paul de la Pena represented NHP – the largest landlord of the Southern Cross Healthcare group – in relation to the high-profile restructuring of the group. The team acts for all of the UK clearing banks, and, although best known for domestic mandates, is starting to pick up international mandates; examples include advising the German office holder following the collapse of Lehman Bankhaus. Simon Waller heads the four-partner team.
Lawrence Graham LLP represented Grant Thornton on all matters relating to Stanford Bank’s UK assets. The team is now headed by ‘attentive and diligent’ associate Robert Paterson, following the departure of a team of three partners in May 2012 to Pinsent Masons LLP. Clients include RBS, KPMG and Nationwide.
Co-headed by Christopher Lawrence and Jat Baines, Macfarlanes LLP is able to leverage its excellent pedigree in the private equity industry to pick up a raft of work for portfolio companies, and is active in distressed M&A deals. The team recently advised OpCapita on the acquisition of Comet Group, and Better Capital on the £20.5m acquisition of Fairline Boats. Other clients include iSOFT, Four Seasons Health Care and Goldman Sachs.
Nabarro LLP provides ‘hands-on and practical’ advice to a broad range of clients including PwC, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank and Bank of Ireland. In addition to a solid stream of ‘very complex mid-market domestic work’, the team is ‘very visible in the international insolvency community’. The ‘technically strong and commercial’ Glen Flannery advised the purchaser of the insolvent BMT Marine and Offshore Surveys. Team head Patricia Godfrey is ‘very well known for cross-border work’, and ‘gets things done’.
With its increased international network, Norton Rose LLP is well placed to handle contentious and non-contentious cross-border matters. Team head Hamish Anderson continues to advise the US trustee of Lehman Brothers following its collapse. Other clients include Deloitte, KPMG and RBS.
Headed by the ‘commercial and knowledgeable’ Karl Clowry, Paul Hastings LLP provides ‘excellent service and value’, and advises banks, sponsors, hedge funds and corporates. Conor Downey has a focus on the restructuring of complex securitised real estate, while Michelle Duncan has a strong reputation for insolvency litigation.
Bolstered by the arrival of three experienced partners from Lawrence Graham LLP, including Tom Withyman, Pinsent Masons LLP’s London practice has the platform to gain market share. The lateral hires bring credible relationships with a number of IPs, to add to the firm’s existing ties with the UK clearing banks. Jamie White advised Better Capital on its acquisition of Santia from the administrators of Connaught plc. Team head Richard Williams has an excellent reputation for construction-related insolvency matters.
At SJ Berwin LLP, the ‘technically excellent’ Mike Woollard is praised for his ‘calm demeanour’, and recently advised La Senza on its pre-pack administration. Jeremy Goldring is also recommended, and co-heads the team. Alix Partners, Deloitte and Landsbanki are among its clients.
Part of the firm’s wider banking group, Simmons & Simmons LLP’s small team provides an ‘extremely high-quality service’ to clients including Thomas Cook Group, HMV and Deloitte. It is regularly involved in large multi-jurisdictional mandates, including advising numerous creditors of MF Global, and hedge fund clients as counterparties on the Lehman Brothers insolvency. Team head Peter Manning is an ‘excellent technical lawyer with a good commercial focus’, and Alan Gar is also recommended.
Headed by the ‘vastly experienced and accomplished’ Stuart Frith, Stephenson Harwood provides ‘excellent and cost-effective’ advice to banks, IPs, corporates and asset based lenders. Leveraging the firm’s strength in shipping, a multi-disciplinary team is representing HSH Nordbank regarding claims against Omega Navigation Enterprises relating to a default under a syndicated loan facility secured against tanker vessels owned by Omega subsidiaries.
Taylor Wessing LLP’s three-partner team provides ‘commercially aware, responsive and pragmatic advice’. Building on its recent involvement for Portsmouth FC and Plymouth FC, the team has been appointed by the administrators to assist on the non-Scottish elements of Rangers FC’s high-profile administration. Nick Moser is ‘one of the top UK lawyers for complex insolvency-related litigation’; Neil Smyth provides ‘sound advice in a calm and unflustered manner’; and Claire Martin Royle is a ‘bright lawyer with excellent technical ability’.
Headed by Jeremy Walsh, Travers Smith LLP’s two-partner team has handled a raft of high-profile retail insolvency mandates, including acting for the Outdoor Group on the pre-packaged administration sale of the Blacks and Millets businesses, and assisting Clinton Cards on the extension of its working capital facilities.
As well as handling standalone work, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s London team often works alongside colleagues in the US on Chapter 11 cases with an English law dimension. Richard Nevins is advising the committee on the expected restructuring of Eircom Group’s capital structure.
Bolstered by the arrival in May 2011 of the ‘highly rated’ Stewart Perry, Clyde & Co LLP handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work for a range of stakeholders. Team head Andrew Foster has a strong reputation in the asset based lending sector.
At Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, the ‘highly rated’ Kit Jarvis is acting for various former directors (including Keith Todd) in respect of issues arising from the administration of Plymouth Argyle Football Company Limited.
Fladgate LLP’s team head Jeremy Whiteson is ‘very commercial, pragmatic and streetwise’.
At K&L Gates LLP, Tony Griffiths is ‘very pragmatic and results focused’.
Headed by Alicia Videon, Olswang’s four-partner team ‘acts with integrity and provides really good advice’ on restructuring and insolvency matters in the real estate sector. Seamas Gray is ‘straight to the point but sets a good strategy’.
Led by the ‘very commercial’ Tony Horspool, Ropes & Gray LLP advises a range of funds and special situations groups on distressed transactions. The ‘user-friendly’ James Douglas has a ‘good buy-side approach to restructuring situations’.
Salans, under the ‘calm and determined’ Sonia Jordan, is increasingly focused on transactional and advisory work. It advised turnaround fund R-Capital on its investment in Benchmark Scaffolding.
Headed by the ‘very knowledgeable’ Clifford Atkins, Shearman & Sterling LLP has a focus on advising US-based hedge fund clients on distressed investments. Mei Lian is ‘very bright and easy to work with’.
Recently bolstered by the arrival of Keith Bordell and Rupert Connell from Travers Smith LLP and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert respectively, Speechly Bircham LLP’s four-partner team handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients such as KPMG, Deloitte and FRP Advisory.
Squire Sanders LLP provides ‘quality advice in a professional and practical manner’ to clearing banks, asset based lenders and IPs. ‘Very professional and proactive’ team head Cathryn Williams advised Deloitte as administrators of Oddbins.
Also recommended are: the ‘commercial’ Louise Verrill, who heads the ‘professional, effective and personable’ six-partner team at Brown Rudnick LLP, which specialises in representing funds as bondholders; Collyer Bristow LLP’s team head Steven Heffer, who is praised for his ‘commerciality, excellent judgement and knowledge’; Richard Baines at Druces LLP, for his ability to ‘effectively explain complicated technical matters’; Edwin Coe LLP’s ‘tactical and skilful’ team head Ali Zaidi; Farrer & Co’s practice head David Fletcher, who is ‘easy to deal with and technically sound, and provides practical solutions’; Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP’s practice head Emma Menzies; the ‘technical, commercial and practical’ Vernon Dennis, who heads a property-focused team at Howard Kennedy; Manches LLP’s team head Alex Fox, who is praised for his ‘assiduity, commerciality and creative thinking’; and the ‘very client-focused’ team at TLT LLP.