Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > London > Finance > Corporate restructuring and insolvency > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Corporate restructuring and insolvency
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate restructuring and insolvency clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Benefiting from 'top-drawer knowledge and experience', Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's 12-partner team is 'absolutely at the top of its game' and remains the standout practice in the market on behalf of bondholders engaged in complex international restructurings. 'A market leader on private placement cross-border restructurings', co-head Barry Russell's 'strong reputation and knowledge of all the players in the London market are critical value-drivers leading to optimal commercial results'. Russell's recent highlights include acting for the private placement noteholders in relation to Premier Oil’s restructuring and Carillion’s insolvency. Praised for his 'depth of knowledge in several areas on the law', Tom Bannister worked closely with Russell on the aforementioned instructions and is also noted for his 'timely and practical advice'. 'Commercial and thoughtful' co-head James Roome recently represented Brunswick Rail, a Russian railcar leasing business, on its $600m bond restructuring. The 'highly commercial and strategic' James Terry is a leading practitioner in the London market on Norwegian bond restructurings as well as restructurings in the offshore oil and gas and shipping sectors. The 'energetic and pragmatic' Liz Osborne, 'excellent' Neil Devaney and Emma Simmonds are also recommended.

With ten partners based out of London and also able to leverage the expertise of¬†over 150 restructuring lawyers across 44 global offices,¬†Allen & Overy LLP¬†has the critical mass and international footprint to handle many of the most significant cross-border restructurings utilising the full range of international options, including US Chapter 11 reorganisations, UK schemes of arrangement, pre‚Äďpackaged sales and debt for equity swaps. Leveraging the firm's pre-eminent work for banks at the front end of deals, as well as receiving standalone work in distressed scenarios, the firm picks up a significant amount of lender-side work;¬†Katrina Buckley¬†recently concluded her high-profile work for the co-ordinating committee of revolving credit facility and term loan lenders to the Premier Oil group. Led out of London on the restructuring front by¬†Ian Field¬†and also able to call upon practitioners on the ground in Johannesburg, the team provided an integrated cross-practice service (which also included capital markets, leveraged finance and corporate lawyers) to the syndicate of international term loan lenders on the second restructuring of South African retailing group Edcon. As part of his broad-ranging banking practice¬†Andrew Trahair¬†regularly handles restructuring matters including his recent work for the co-ordinating committee of lenders on the Steinhoff restructuring. Trahair was also involved alongside the recently retired Mark Sterling on the representation of Ukranian energy company Metinvest on its $2.3bn restructuring. A complex mandate, and one which once again showcased the firm's ability to bring in high yield and general banking expertise, notably the matter involved the implementation of a novel¬†and innovative ‚Äėscheme lite‚Äô product to impose a moratorium on three series of bonds thereby enabling the company to have¬† a stable platform from which to negotiate the wider restructuring with its creditors. In another debtor-side mandate,¬†Earl Griffith ¬†continues to act for the Four Seasons Health Care Group in connection with a financial creditor and leasehold estate restructuring of the Group‚Äôs debt and capital structure. Other recommended practitioners include¬†Randal Weeks¬†,¬†Jennifer Marshall,¬†Tim Crocker,¬†David Lines¬†,¬†consultant¬†Gordon Stewart,¬†recently promoted partner¬†Joel Ferguson¬†¬†and senior associate¬†Hannah Valintine. Other clients include RBS, ING, JP Morgan and Pelican Rouge.

'Among the very best in the market', the 'very strong' five-partner team at¬†Clifford Chance LLP¬†has an¬†'enormous depth of resource in which to deliver first-class legal advice'¬†to a broad array of stakeholders including banks, funds, corporates and IPs. The 'technically strong and user-friendly'¬†Philip Hertz¬†has developed a strong reputation for handling Spanish restructurings including his work in relation to Abengoa as well as recently for a group of key lenders (including HSBC and BNP Paribas) as creditors on the¬†‚ā¨1.6bn restructuring of the Prisa media group. On the debtor front, Hertz has been advising The Co-operative Bank plc on the complex restructuring of several tranches of outstanding bonds. The 'highly commercial'¬†John MacLennan¬†provides 'very clear' advice to creditors across a range of sectors and as well as being very active in the oil and gas sector, he has also developed a strong reputation in relation to bank resolution cases. As well as recently advising an ad-hoc committee of bondholders that formed in relation to the controversial liability management exercise by Novo Banco in connection with its sale to Lone Star, MacLennan is also acting for a bondholder group suing the Portuguese Central Bank in connection with the Novo Banco resolution. 'Able to see the bigger picture',¬†Adrian Cohen¬†is particularly noted for his¬†specialist knowledge on the insolvency laws and practice of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Iain White¬†and¬†David Towers¬†are also recommended.

With eight partners based out of the firm's London headquarters and also able to leverage the expertise of practitioners spread out across Europe and the US, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has the 'strength-in-depth' to handle big-ticket cross-border financings on the creditor and debtor front. 'Very strong' team head Richard Tett has expertise across the capital structure, both in a contentious and non-contentious setting, and recently advised private equity owned German safety equipment manufacturer, Bartec Group, on its restructuring, as well as the ad-hoc group of noteholders as creditors of Cayman-registered Fairhold Securitisation (the issuer of two classes of notes backed by the income receivables from a complex portfolio of sheltered housing properties in England and Wales). As part of her broad array of work across various industry sectors, Catherine Balmond has acted for creditors and debtors in connection with the restructuring of a number of hotel and pub businesses. Adam Gallagher, Ken Baird, Ryan Beckwith and Neil Golding are also recommended. Nick Segal joined Erskine Chambers.

Recently strengthened by the arrivals of¬†Sean Lacey¬†and¬†James Watson from¬†Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP¬†and¬†Stephenson Harwood, respectively,¬†Kirkland & Ellis International LLP¬†'s five-partner team now 'has incredibly deep bench strength', enabling it to effortlessly handle a huge volume of cross-border mandates on both the debtor and creditor side. Praised for its ability to 'think ahead of the curve' and 'benefiting from an unparalleled market knowledge in Europe', it 'continues to amaze the market with its ability to get hired on the best deals and then to execute them implementing very clever solutions'. 'Unparalleled in terms of restructuring strategy',¬†Kon Asimacopoulos¬†co-heads the team alongside¬†Partha Kar, who is 'able to drive deals forward with excellence'. Both partners are regularly involved in the most significant mandates handled by the team including its work for Algeco Scotsman on its negotiation with lenders about its capital structure and for the coordinating committee of first lien lenders of¬†Jack Wolfskin¬†on the financial restructuring of the outdoor brand‚Äôs ‚ā¨365m debt. Appreciated 'for her ability to think outside the box',¬†the 'technically excellent and client-oriented'¬†Elaine Nolan¬†'can deliver on complex cross-border situations'. Nolan recently acted for the Civil Aviation Authority in relation to Monarch Airlines' administration and alongside Asimacopoulos and Lacey, represented Toys ‚ÄúR‚ÄĚ Us on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the US and incurrence of $3.12bn in debtor in possession financing, as well as in relation to a company voluntary arrangement in the UK. Other notable mandates for the team include its representation of Croatian retailer Agrokor on its high-profile ‚ā¨6bn restructuring, as well as its work for three committees of senior lenders to French geophysical services company CGG on its ¬£2.3bn restructuring.

Strengthened by the recent hires of fund/special situations experts¬†James Douglas¬†and¬†Sarah Mook¬†from¬†Ropes & Gray LLP¬†and Goldman Sachs, respectively,¬†Linklaters LLP¬†handles the full array of transactional, formal insolvency and corporate restructuring mandates implementing out of court and in court procedures across the jurisdictions with which the firm is located. Co-head of the firm's global team,¬†Rebecca Jarvis¬†has a particularly strong track record advising major international corporates facing financial difficulties and is representing Nigeria-based gas company Seven Energy Group on its complex capital restructuring. Co-head¬†Richard Bussell¬†handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates for a broad array of stakeholders and recently advised the trustees of the Co-operative Pension Scheme on the separation of the Co-operative Bank plc from the pension scheme in order to¬†improve its capital position and avoid potential resolution. A market-leading expert on the implementation of English creditor schemes of arrangement,¬†Bruce Bell¬†handles a mix of fund-side creditor work and debtor mandates including his ongoing work for the Norske Skog group on its restructuring. Spearheaded by the 'vastly experienced'¬†Tony Bugg, the firm also handles some residual Lehman Brothers work including on the continuation of the ‚ÄúWaterfall Proceedings‚ÄĚ in the UK courts to determine entitlements to surplus funds.¬†Nick Le Masurier,¬†Euan Clarke¬†and¬†Richard Hodgson¬†are also recommended.

Traditionally best-known for its work on behalf of banking clients, including Lloyds and Standard Chartered Bank,¬†Hogan Lovells International LLP¬†'s six-partner team has effectively diversified its client base to include a raft of hedge funds and private equity firms (including DuPont Capital and CarVal Investors) that are increasingly prominent in the market. Benefiting from significant strength-in-depth from the firm's London office and also able to leverage experts from the firm's international network of offices, the team provides 'creative and commercial advice' and is noted for its ability to 'control multi-agenda stakeholders with terrific subject matter knowledge'. The 'savvy, hardworking and commercial'¬†Tom Astle¬† has been central to diversifying the firm's client base to include an increased number of funds and this can be underscored by the prominent role the firm has in the high-profile Agrokor restructuring on behalf of an ad-hoc committee of holders of $900m of Agrokor debt. Notably, as part of this mandate the firm designed and implemented a novel ‚ā¨1.06bn DIP funding into that process. The 'excellent'¬†Alex Kay¬†is also heavily involved in the Agrokor matter and in addition to this high-profile matter is also involved in several other matters on behalf of distressed buy side investors and bondholder committees in complex cross-border restructurings, including his representation of the ad hoc committee of holders of senior notes in relation to the restructuring of Ukraine-based farming conglomerate, the Mriya Group. Particularly active on the bank side,¬†Stephen Foster¬†is recognised by one client as 'one of the best restructuring lawyers in London' and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'fantastic'¬†Paul McLoughlin,¬†Joe Bannister,¬†Deborah Gregory¬†and 'smart and unflappable' newly promoted counsel¬†James Maltby¬†.

Able to leverage a strong international offering, particularly in the US, as well as a market-leading UK and US finance brand that includes strength on the high yield and bank side, the 'exceptionally responsive' four-partner team at¬†Latham & Watkins¬†has a 'deep knowledge and understanding of complex restructuring matters' on behalf of an eclectic roster of stakeholders including banks (Goldman Sachs), funds (KKR) and corporates (Bibby Offshore). Working closely with the firm's Hamburg office, the 'excellent'¬†Simon Baskerville¬†is acting for the ad-hoc committee of holders of ‚ā¨800m of notes issued by ailing retailer Steinhoff. 'Clearly a leader in the market',¬†James Chesterman¬†'s 'well-seasoned¬†experience in a broad range of debt financings and restructurings' enables him to provide 'very innovative solutions' in complex scenarios. Chesterman recently acted for Barclays Bank in its role as security agent in connection with financing provided to the Four Seasons Healthcare Group in relation to its restructuring. 'A calm and clear head under pressure',¬†Helena Potts¬†provides 'practical advice' to a range of creditors and debtors and is regularly involved in complex cross-border mandates including her representation of the super senior liquidity providers on the Edcon restructuring. Team head¬†John Houghton¬†is also recommended.

As well as generating a significant amount of standalone company side work and providing debtor-side assistance to the US team when the need arises, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 's four-partner London team has the 'strength-in-depth' to provide a 'very strong service' to investor fund clients looking to realise value in distressed opportunities, as well as leveraging the firm's front-end structured finance expertise to generate a significant work flow. 'Excellent' team head Adam Plainer excels at handling complex cross-border work including his ongoing work for KPMG as special administrators of the broker MF Global across various different work-streams including most recently, on a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) designed to give creditors the option of exiting the administration early in return for recovery of more than 99p in the pound. 'Extremely well-informed on mindbogglingly intricate points of restructuring law', Mark Lawford provides 'exceptionally thoughtful advice' to a range of stakeholders. Alongside Andrew Wilkinson, Lawford assisted the US team on the representation of troubled US offshore drilling company, Paragon Offshore; notably since the parent entity was an English plc, it was necessary to find a way to validly compromise the shareholders from an English law perspective, ultimately leading to a unique implementation of a Chapter 11 procedure via an English administration. Alexander Wood has particular expertise in the design and implementation of complex schemes of arrangement, cross-border restructurings and formal insolvency procedures; he is representing Westinghouse Electric Company on its Chapter 11 and associated proceedings. Other clients include BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Lego Systems and Charterhouse Capital Partners.

Headed by the 'results-focused' Christian Pilkington,  White & Case LLP's 'young and dynamic' four-partner team benefits from 'serious depth on the key restructuring topics including schemes of arrangements and pre-packs' and is praised for its 'commerciality and ability to put together cutting-edge structuring on transactions to get very complicated things done'. Benefiting from particularly strong ties with pre-eminent hedge funds and special situations investors including GSO Capital Partners and York Capital, the team excels at complex cross-border mandates where it is also able to 'leverage a lot of exceptional talent throughout the firm's network of overseas offices'. For example, Pilkington and 'technically excellent' newly promoted partner Ben Davies worked alongside practitioners from the firm's New York office on behalf of an ad-hoc creditors group as noteholders under a $350m first lien secured note and as lenders under a $1.9bn term loan and revolving facility in relation to the $4bn restructuring of generic pharmaceuticals business Concordia. On the debtor front -  in a deal which showcases the team's emerging markets prowess, as well as its ability to tap into firmwide sector knowledge in relation to the aviation sector - Pilkington and Davies are also acting for Kenya Airways on its $2.2bn restructuring. Ian Wallace has a particular focus advising borrowers and creditors in the distressed shipping and oil & gas/offshore sectors; he recently represented several Nordic lenders (including Nordea Bank and Danske Bank) as creditors under a $250m term and revolving credit facility provided to troubled French geophysical company CGG. Laura Prater is also recommended. Other clients include Kaupthing Bank, Ashmore Group, Deutsche Bank Distressed Products Group and Goldman Sachs European Special Situations Group.

'Not afraid or too risk averse to give robust advice', the five-partner team at Ashurst 'punches above its weight' and delivers 'strong advice' which is borne out of an 'excellent knowledge of the restructuring market'. The practice's eclectic client roster, which includes debtors, distressed investment funds, lenders, bondholders and IPs, ensures it has an excellent perspective of the domestic market as well as internationally. 'Very authoritative' team head Giles Boothman has 'an excellent understanding of the restructuring space' and is regularly at the forefront of the firm's most challenging cross-border mandates including its involvement as EMEA and Asian counsel for Apollo in relation to its $800m superpriority senior debtor in possession loan provided to Westinghouse Electric Company following its decision to file for Chapter 11. With assistance from the 'technically very able' new partner Drew Sainsbury , Boothman also recently acted for Palmer & Harvey plc - the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler - throughout its restructuring process from initial attempts at finding a buyer, ultimately through to advising the joint administrators, PwC, following the company's transition into administration. Recently promoted partner Ru-Woei Foong is 'excellent on detail'. Other clients include Cerberus, Fortress and Oaktree Capital. Dan Hamilton recently retired.

With considerable firepower out of London - both on the contentious and non-contentious front - and also able to leverage a strong international network, particularly out of the US, Jones Day has significant exposure to creditor and debtor side mandates, both in a formal insolvency setting, as well as in relation to restructuring and distressed M&A-related work and is is seen as a 'safe pair of hands on complex international engagements, particularly where there is a US or an offshore angle'. 'A standout lawyer in the restructuring space who has the gravitas and the technical capabilities and experience to operate on the largest and complex engagements', Ben Larkin has recently been involved in several high-profile domestic matters in the retail and casual dining space including his representation of the liquidators of BHS and of Byron Burger on its proposed CVA. The 'very personable and highly technical' David Harding has a particular focus on distressed investment work and has been chiefly responsible for the office's growing capability in this area, bringing in and nurturing several new fund clients including AlbaCore Capital, Lone Star Funds and Aurelius Investments. Kay Morley is also noted for her expertise on behalf of fund clients investing in distressed opportunities, while the 'commercial and practical' Sion Richards is recommended for contentious insolvency matters.

Drawing from experts in complementary practice areas including banking, corporate and litigation, Slaughter and May provides a 'highly collegiate' service which is rooted in a 'high level of market intelligence'. Praised for its 'practical, commercial and extremely solutions-focused advice', the team provides a 'first-class service', particularly for debtors, where as well as picking up standalone work it is also able to leverage the firm's impressive roster of corporate clients in addition to attracting standalone work. Recent highlights include acting on behalf of Carillion on its high-profile restructuring plan and entry into liquidation - a matter which is also indicative of the firm's ability to handle highly complex and politically sensitive mandates. The team has also been very active on behalf of troubled entities in the (until recently at least) ailing energy sector, as underscored by its high-profile mandates on behalf of both Premier Oil plc and Seadrill in relation to their respective restructurings. While it is less active on the creditor side, the team does handle some bank-side work, including its recent representation of Credit Suisse as a secured lender to Danaos Corporation in relation to the negotiation and implementation of the latter’s comprehensive refinancing and restructuring plan. 'Calm, measured and commercial' team head Ian Johnson displays a strong aptitude in relation to handling complex restructuring processes involving multiple stakeholders.  The 'thoughtful, proactive' Thomas Vickers 'combines intellectual rigour with commercial sensibilities'.

Headed by Ben Jones, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP 's three-partner team has a strong reputation in the mid-market where it receives regular instructions on both the debtor and creditor front from IPs (Deloitte, Ernst & Young),  banks (Lloyds Banking Group) and funds (Mount Street, Lonestar). The team excels at handling deals from within core areas of  sector focus for the firm where it can offer an enhanced offering from a multi-disciplinary approach. For example, in a deal which involved significant input from the firm's real estate and corporate finance teams, Ian Benjamin recently advised Bondcare Group on the acquisition out of administration of a portfolio of nine care homes across the UK from the  Lifestyle Care group. Benjamin has also recently provided English law advice to the Official Committee of the Unsecured Creditors in relation to the Toys R Us Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Marc Trottier handles debtor and creditor work and is noted for his expertise across the energy and sporting sectors, in particular; he recently advised SDX Energy on the $30m acquisition of a portfolio of oil and gas production and exploration assets in Egypt and Morocco, which were held by Circle Oil plc, from the administrators of one of Circle’s subsidiaries. Contentious insolvency expert David Leibowitz joined Mishcon de Reya LLP in May 2017.

Led by the 'focused and client-centric' Rita Lowe, CMS provides a 'knowledgeable and solutions-oriented approach' to a balanced array of debtor and creditor clients including lenders, IPs, funds and corporates. Although the firm’s longstanding and deeply entrenched ties with UK clearing banks, including Lloyds and HSBC, continue to generate a significant amount of mid-market work, the team also regularly handles bigger-ticket cross-border mandates as exemplified by Lowe’s work for Hilco Capital on its acquisition of the Misco group from Systemax's Dutch subsidiary and its simultaneous multi-jurisdictional debt restructuring. Consultant Ashley Smith 'finds innovative solutions to complex problems' and has been acting alongside the firm's  European offices for a group of bank lenders to troubled energy company, DTEK Energy Group, on the long-term restructuring of the group's bank debt. The firm also has an 'excellent reputation' for handling high-profile domestic insolvencies and restructurings; Peter Wiltshire 's recent work for Jamie’s Italian in relation to the drafting and implementation of a CVA proposal for the entire UK restaurant business. Patricia Godfrey 'excels at handling complex matters' both from a domestic and international perspective, and is a key member of the team that also includes Martin Brown  (who as part of his broad-ranging practice often handles work for distressed debt investors) and Emma Riddle, who has a focus on restructurings within the energy sector. Other clients include KPMG, Ernst & Young, National Australia Bank and Roundshield Partners.

Led by Amy Jacks, the 'responsive, attentive and strong' nine-partner team at DLA Piper acts for clients across the creditor and debtor spectrum including banks (Deutsche Bank), funds (Lonestar, KKR) and IPs (Deloitte, PwC). The 'very impressive' Neil Riley acted for the directors of aviation services provider, Aviator UK, following the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of banking support to its UK operations. Although the team is perhaps best-known for its strength within the UK mid-market, where it can effectively resource matters not just from London but also from other key cities including Birmingham and Manchester, it is increasingly active on bigger-ticket multi-jurisdictional mandates where it is able to leverage the firm's broad-ranging international network. Dual UK and French qualified partner Noam Ankri recently led the firm's advice to the ad-hoc committee of high yield bondholders on the $3bn debt restructuring of French-listed company CGG. Chris Parker also has a focus on formal insolvency matters and has been at the forefront of the team's work for the administrators of Lehman Brothers in the long-running Waterfall litigation, recently securing a notable victory before the Supreme Court as to how the surplus of monies should be distributed among creditors. Michael Fiddy, the 'knowledgeable and attentive' Tim Dawson, and David Ampaw are also recommended.

Leveraging the expertise of complementary practice areas including corporate, employment and dispute resolution, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP remains a popular choice on behalf companies, boards of directors and IPs across a range of non-contentious and contentious matters. Able to provide strong sectoral overlay in areas of focus for the firm as a whole, the team continues to be involved in numerous matters impacting the energy space. For example, contentious insolvency expert John Whiteoak has been representing Sea Trucks International on disputes arising out of its large-scale insolvency. Whiteoak also continues to work alongside team head Kevin Pullen in relation to the firm's ongoing long-running representation of Ernst & Young as administrators to Nortel’s EMEA entities. Senior associate John Chetwood  is also recommended and recently advised Three Hills Capital on all aspects of its negotiations with the existing lenders and the structure and terms of the proposed CVA related to its acquisition of a majority stake in troubled casual dining company, Byron Burgers. Laurence Elliott recently retired.

Afforded significant added bandwidth and strength-in-depth as a result of the arrival in January 2018 of 'market leader' Yushan Ng and several colleagues including Karen McMaster from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, the six-partner team at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is now regarded as a 'serious player in the restructuring space', particularly in relation to credit fund and bondholder-related work. In light of the growing importance and visibility of funds in the most significant cross-border mandates in the market, the firm has started to appear with increased regularity in many market-leading matters, in particular on those which include a flexible approach which is cognisant not only of UK financing documents and procedures but also New York-law governed bond products and Chapter 11 protection in the US. Noted for his 'creative and commercial approach', Peter Newman recently successfully advised an ad hoc group of lenders as holders of $3bn of the aggregate $3.7bn outstanding debt of beleagured offshore drilling contractor, Ocean Rig Group, through the implementation of a structure which combined inter-related Cayman Islands provisional liquidations and schemes of arrangements as well as US Chapter 15 proceedings. Although the team is primarily involved on the creditor/investor side, Nick Angel recently represented Avanti Communications Group plc on the $685m refinancing of its bond debt, including the provision of $242m of additional liquidity. Other clients include Alchemy Partners, Avenue Capital Group, Farallon Capital Management and KKR.

Able to leverage the firm’s international network as well as its longstanding presence in the UK insolvency market, Dentons has an 'excellent all-round perspective' and is thereby well-positioned to advise a range of stakeholders including banks, funds and corporates engaged in formal insolvencies, in addition to corporate restructurings, often involving cross-border issues. The team has been at the forefront of the high-profile collapse of Carillion plc and as well as consultant Nigel Barnett and Byron Nurse's involvement for the government on contingency planning matters, Neil Griffiths  has since been instructed by the Official Receiver in its capacity as liquidator of several Carillion companies. Barnett also continues to act for administrators of Lehman Brothers Intermediate II in the ongoing Waterfall proceedings regarding the disputed distribution of the company's surplus assets. Other highlights include Will Gunston 's involvement for FRP Advisory as liquidators in relation to the disposal and realisation of failed UK retailer BHS' property portfolio. The 'measured and calm' Ian Fox has a 'great breadth of knowledge' across both contentious and non-contentious matters and is a key member of the team that also includes Celia Hayward and senior associate Tessa Blank .

Galvanised by the arrival in early 2016 of 'high-profile practitioner' David Ereira from Linklaters LLP and in November 2017 by the 'knowledgeable' David Manson  from White & Case LLP,  Paul Hastings LLP is seen with increased frequency in mainstream corporate restructuring and insolvency matters. As well as recently acting for the ad hoc committee on the successful £700m recapitalisation of the Co-operative Bank, Ereira is also representing leading clothing retailer, New Look, on all aspects of its discussion with financial creditors. The team also regularly works closely with real estate finance practitioners on restructuring matters involving CMBS structures. Other clients include RBS, Silver Point Capital, Grant Thornton and Anchorage Capital.

Squarely focused on the investor class, Ropes & Gray LLP 's special situations team provides an 'outstanding service' to clients including Goldman Sachs European Special Situations Group and TPG Sixth Street Partners. In light of the transactional nature of much of the work handled by the team, as well as providing core restructuring advice it also leans heavily on the office's broader corporate and finance capabilities. Led by Peter Baldwin and also utilising corporate and finance practitioners from London and the US, the team recently acted for TPG's credit and special situations platform on its $1.27bn acquisition of the equity, debt and bankruptcy claim assets of the Distressed Trading Desk of Credit Suisse North America. As well as special situations investment work, Daniel Martin also regularly handles matters for  Global Loan Agency Services (GLAS) including recently advising it as the replacement note trustee in Fairhold, a £353m defaulted Commercial Mortgage-Backed Security (CMBS) structure. Tony Horspool is also recommended.

With US and UK-qualified partners based in London, and also able to leverage a wide international network across Europe and the US, Shearman & Sterling LLP 's lean team provides 'high quality, solutions-oriented and knowledgeable' advice on complex cross-border mandates involving complex capital structures. Solomon Noh (who is one of the few lawyers based in London with Chapter 11 capability) recently advised an ad hoc group of noteholders as creditors on the $910m restructuring of Ukranian energy company DTEK. Noh is also advising the international bank lenders under the club and syndicated loans in connection with Agrokor's special administration proceedings and provision of $1bn DIP funding. Although her main focus is in relation to hedge fund-related restructuring work, the 'versatile' Mei Lian also recently assisted Greek-listed company Frigoglass on its successful capital restructuring implemented through a scheme of arrangement in the UK and a rights issue in Greece. The team also has a strong track record handling debtor-side financial services restructuring work where it works seamlessly with its financial services regulatory team.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 's two-partner team is able to access a vast reservoir of experience spread across the firm's international network, as well as being able to tap into the expertise of complementary practice areas including M&A, banking and capital markets. Leading international work out of London and also frequently called upon to provide the UK law input in relation to international work flowing from its top-rated debtor focused US practice, recent highlights include representing Roust Trading on its $550m restructuring (notably this was first time that an English Scheme of Arrangement has been used to implement the restructuring of a Russian bank’s debt in order to address its capital adequacy issues). Dominic McCahill and Chris Mallon are the primary contacts at a partner level, while counsel James Falconer is also recommended for non-contentious and contentious work and has a 'good understanding of technical insolvency and civil fraud'.

Following the departure of former team head Yushan Ng and several other key practitioners including Karen McMaster in January 2018, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP 's team is now headed by Gregory Petrick  and remains closely aligned to funds clients out of London, as well as on deals emanating from the firm's US headquarters. Alongside the 'excellent' Richard Nevins and with considerable input from New York, Petrick recently advised an ad-hoc group of senior convertible noteholders on the complex $1.1bn restructuring of Roust Corporation. Special counsel Nathan Parker is also recommended.

Able to tap into the firm’s widespread network of international offices - most importantly in the US - and thereby allowing a degree of flexibility regarding the potential use of insolvency procedures including Chapter 11, Mayer Brown International LLP 's six-partner London team provides a 'very responsive service’ on contentious and non-contentious matters to a wide array of stakeholders. As part of her broad-ranging practice, the 'technically strong and extremely personable' team head Devi Shah has niche expertise at handling pensions-related insolvency matters; she recently advised the Pension Protection Fund in relation to the restructuring of the Hoover/Candy group's pension liabilities. Shah is also noted for her prowess at handling restructurings within the insurance sector and recently worked with the provisional liquidators, creditors and regulatory authorities to put together a novel solution for the closure of a Lloyd's corporate member, ACAL Underwriting Limited (in provisional liquidation). David Allen handles contentious insolvency work for banks, IPs and corporate trustees. Newly promoted partner Jessica Walker is also recommended.

With five partners based in London and also able to tap into the expertise of significant regional resources, Pinsent Masons LLP is well-positioned to provide an 'excellent service at a competitive price' to a broad array of stakeholders including companies, IPs, banks and funds. 'Technically very strong', the team excels at providing 'sound and commercially sensible advice' in formal insolvency scenarios, as well as on corporate restructuring mandates, particularly within the mid-market. 'Highly experienced and no-nonsense' team head Nicholas Pike is a 'very safe pair of hands' across both contentious and non-contentious matters; he recently acted for Fidor Bank as principal lender to sub-prime car finance lender, The Car Finance Company on its restructuring and solvent wind-down. As well as his 'well-earned reputation in relation to handling professional services insolvencies and restructurings', Steven Cottee also handles work across a myriad other industry sectors and recently represented the lenders to Byron Restaurant Group on its restructuring plan and CVA. Other recommended practitioners include the 'technical, creative and solutions-oriented' Nick Gavin-Brown; the 'technical and responsive' Tom Withyman; and 'strong and tenacious' senior associate Gemma Kaplan.

Benefiting from 'extraordinary industry knowledge and acumen', Proskauer Rose LLP is an 'effective performer in the restructuring market' and is 'particularly strong at handling complex and difficult matters which require novel solutions'.  The team is rapidly becoming known as a 'leader in the field for handling complex cross-border restructuring matters' and provides a 'value-added and thoughtful' service by virtue of its ability to work closely with complementary transactional practice groups, including private equity and direct lending, as well as with its US offices, should the need arise. 'Hugely experienced' team head Mark Fennessy has a 'razor sharp instinct' and is at the heart of all the highest-profile mandates handled by the office. For example, in relation to the high-profile Westinghouse restructuring, he leads the European team on the advice to the unsecured creditors committee to approve and oversee the Chapter 11 restructuring plan and the sale of the Westinghouse business. He also regularly handles restructuring work for GLAS, including acting for it as security agent of £600m facility provided to finance the Zinc Hotels Group which is currently undergoing a restructuring. At senior associate level, Sunay Radia 'quickly and eruditely digests complex issues and recommends pragmatic courses of action' and Crispin Daly has an 'an amazing attention for detail and an ability to absorb and distill huge quantities of material'. Other clients include BDO, HSBC and Contrarian Capital.

Simmons & Simmons handles a wide range of restructuring and insolvency work for a varied array of stakeholders, including IPs, banks and corporates. Leveraging its excellent overall fund credentials, the team particularly stands out for its ability to provide 'commercial advice' on matters at the more transactional end of the restructuring continuum. Ross Miller and Alyson Lockett are particularly accomplished in relation to distressed M&A and debt trading, and are key members of the team that also includes Peter Manning, whose expertise includes both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP regularly acts for banks, funds and corporates on large cross-border restructurings. Exhibiting a fluid approach between finance and restructuring, the firm provides a 'very strong service', particularly in relation to matters involving New York-law governed financial instruments including high yield debt. Chris Howard is 'absolutely fantastic' and alongside Presley Warner recently acted for York Capital, as leaders of the ad hoc committee of senior secured noteholders in relation to Bibby Offshore Group’s financial restructuring and recapitalisation. US-qualified partner Chris Beatty handles both new money and restructuring mandates involving high yield debt; alongside Howard he is acting for the committee of unsecured noteholders on the ongoing $3bn global restructuring of Algeco Scotsman. Other clients include RBS, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services and Terra Firma.

Although Addleshaw Goddard still receives a significant flow of mid-market creditor side work by virtue of the firm's strong clearing bank relationships, it has had considerable success in diversifying its client base to reflect the changing nature of the restructuring market, most notably in relation to an increased number of mandates emanating from funds.  The team has also been increasingly active representing directors in particular sectors experiencing difficulty including casual dining. The 'experienced and driven' Fraser Ritson is well regarded among lenders and IPs and is a key member of the team that also includes Alison Goldthorp, who has developed a particular niche advising on law firm insolvencies in addition to her broader workload.

The 'accessible and knowledgeable' three-partner team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides 'first-rate advice' to creditors and debtors in formal contentious and non-contentious insolvencies and is 'particularly good at handling sensitive situations which requires the skillful management of competing stakeholder interests'. 'A true expert in the field', Jamie Leader benefits from 'huge intellectual ability as well as sound commercial sense' and is consequently well-positioned to advise on complex contentious insolvency matters often involving numerous competing interests. Leader recently advised Moore Stephens, as the liquidators of Webinvest, on simultaneous, contested applications for directions concerning the liquidators’ rights and powers to use information obtained under their statutory powers. 'Always a reassuring presence and a safe pair of hands', team head Simon Waller regularly acts for banks as creditors on mid-market restructuring assignments and is a key member of the team that also includes Carl Allen following his arrival from Pinsent Masons LLP in February 2017. Clients include PwC, Santander, Alix Partners and Steinhoff UK.

Macfarlanes LLP acts for an array of investor-side clients including credit funds, hedge funds and turnaround investors, and is noted for its 'creativity and commerciality' on devising strategies to maximise value on behalf of their clients. Jat Bains has strong ties with numerous funds including Oak Hill Advisors, which he recently acted for as bondholder on the Co-op Bank restructuring. On the debtor front, Bains recently assisted GAME digital plc on several turnaround initiatives, including a group reorganisation in order to ring-fence the Spanish part of the business from the English, and a commercial arrangement with Sports Direct which also involving a funding arrangement. Simon Beale and senior counsel Paul Keddie are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright handles contentious and non-contentious work for a broad range of debtors and creditors including Credit Suisse, Nordea, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and BDO.  Able to leverage the firm's international network and also with the ability to access the expertise of transactional lawyers within sector-specific areas of strength for the firm as a whole, the team has recently handled numerous cross-border mandates within the transport, energy and telecoms sectors (all areas of core sector competence for the firm). For example, a cross-departmental team involving restructuring and finance practitioners recently acted for South African mobile operator Cell C on the bank finance and debt capital markets restructuring of its substantial recapitalisation. The 'proactive and thorough' Mark Craggs is an 'emerging talent' whose 'understanding of the pressures and nuances on the various stakeholders ensures that matters in which he handles are dealt with in a commercially pragmatic way'. Craggs continues to represent the liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia in relation to its claims in the long-running administration of Lehman Brothers Europe’s broker dealer arm.  John Verrill (who recently joined the firm following the merger with Chadbourne & Park in May 2017); James Stonebridge;  Sarah Coucher; and consultant Hamish Anderson are all noted, in particular for their contentious insolvency expertise.

As well as regularly handling domestic insolvency work on behalf of IPs, Stephenson Harwood continues to represent other stakeholders, including companies, lenders and funds, in cross-border restructuring matters, particularly in sector areas of focus for the firm including international trade, oil and gas, and shipping. Recent highlights include Elizabeth Elliott's work for the Board of the Pension Protection Fund as one of the principal creditor's to BHS, and Susan Moore 's representation of SHL Offshore Contractors as the main and largest stakeholder on the multimillion-pound rescue of Scottish engineering company BiFab. On the contentious insolvency front,  Stuart Frith and Julian Cahn are both noted for their 'great judgement and excellent litigation strategy'.

Taylor Wessing LLP provides 'thoughtful and practical advice' to creditors and debtors across  the full range of corporate restructuring work and personal insolvency. 'Particularly strong at handling matters slightly out of the ordinary', team head Nick Moser 'always provides sensible advice'; he was recently re-instructed by the payment agents to advise on the mechanics of the distribution of the funds as a result of certain events being triggered through the CVA relating to the Federal Mogul restructuring. Neil Smyth joined Mills & Reeve LLP in April 2018.

Travers Smith LLP's two-partner team handles a large volume of mid-market debtor mandates thanks to its market-leading private equity practice, in addition to acting in several high-profile CVAs within the retail sector. Highlights included acting for Carpetright plc on its recent financial and operational restructuring by way of an inter-linked CVA and £60m equity fundraising (in what was only the third CVA of a listed entity). Team head Edward Smith led on the aforementioned deal as well as for Carluccio's on its recent CVA-facilitated restructuring. Peter Hughes has an excellent reputation in the pensions space and regularly handles restructuring-related work for pensions trustees.

Bird & Bird LLP acts for a diverse array of stakeholders including banks, corporates and IPs on corporate restructuring matters and formal insolvencies. Team head Joss Hargrave has handled a significant amount of work emanating out of the Monarch Airlines insolvency, recently acting for DVB Bank (as an aircraft lessor) and Luton Airport on the ramifications of the airline's demise. Hargrave has also developed a particularly strong track record handling complex financial services insolvencies and continues to represent Menzies as the liquidator of two Wonga-style lenders Lodhi Finance and First Action.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles a broad array of contentious and non-contentious personal and corporate insolvency work on behalf of IPs, lenders, companies, directors and stakeholders. Noted, amongst other things, for his fraud-related insolvency expertise, Simon Ridpath is acting for the Special Administrator of Gibraltar incorporated financial services company Advalorem Value Asset Fund to investigate and advise in respect of claims against the company’s former advisors. Hanh Nguyen is also recommended across a wide array of formal insolvency and corporate restructuring work, including work within the retail sector where she has handled numerous administrations.

At Cooley (UK) LLP , Jon Yorke has a strong reputation in the market for handling restructurings/insolvencies within the insurance sector and continues to represent the administrators of insolvent reinsurance company, MedRe. John Clark also handles restructuring work as part of his broader finance remit. Other clients include Ambridge Europe, Hyperion Insurance Group and ProSight Speciality Insurance.

Headed by Paul Fleming, Dechert LLP's four-partner multi-disciplinary team has a particular focus advising bondholders (where the team is able to tap into the firm's vast fund client base) on 'complex international insolvency matters involving litigation in numerous jurisdictions'. 'A masterful strategist on complex litigation', Adam Silver 'grasps both the detail and bigger picture'; he continues to act for emerging markets hedge fund, Argentum Creek Partners, on challenging the restructuring of notes issued by the Berau Coal group. Leveraging their significant debt capital markets knowledge, in particular, Camille Abousleiman and the 'excellent' Giles Belsey are also regularly engaged in restructuring mandates.

Headed by David Fletcher,  Farrer & Co provides 'excellent insolvency knowledge and practical application', particularly as it intersects with the private wealth and charities sectors - two core competencies of the firm as a whole. 'Excellent' senior associate Nyla Yousuf provides 'very pragmatic advice' across a range of insolvency matters, including in relation to the enforcement of security and for companies in financial distress. Anne-Marie Piper is also recommended for charities-related restructuring/insolvency work.

Fieldfisher advises a range of stakeholders including IPs, banks, corporates and directors across the spectrum of insolvency work, ranging from advisory corporate restructuring matters, through to formal insolvencies and insolvency-related disputes. Stewart Perry was recently part of a multi-disciplinary team (including capital markets and life sciences practitioners) that acted for the administrators of Redx Pharma plc in its recent insolvency. Following the $40m sale of part of the company's assets to a US pharmaceuticals company, Redx was able to fully repay all its creditors and ultimately to exit from administration and to return the control of its directors. Kit Jarvis is noted for his contentious expertise, while Manchester-based Michelle Shean has a non-contentious corporate restructuring focus.

As well as regularly receiving work from IPs including BDO and Begbies on formal insolvency matters, Fladgate LLP  also handles more transactional work as highlighted by its recent representation of Privet Capital Special Situation Fund on its distressed acquisition of Vivid Toy Group from Phoenix Equity Partners.  Bree Taylor regularly handles contentious insolvency work as a function of her broader disputes practice and is a key member of the team that also includes Jeremy Whiteson.

Primarily based in London but also including assistance from the firm's Birmingham office, Gowling WLG  's five-partner team provides a 'flexible and commercial approach' on behalf of investors, pension trustees, lenders, IPs and turnaround professionals. The team is, however, best-known for its expertise at handling contentious insolvency and asset tracing cases, where the 'very intelligent and pragmatic' Alex Jay has a 'burgeoning reputation for delivering on the difficult cases that other firms are wary of taking on'. Andrew Witts is 'very experienced in international fraud and complex litigation issues' and still maintains a fairly active practice despite his duties as chairman of the firm. Team head Julian Pallett and director Kanika Kitchlu-Connolly are also recommended. Clients include Ernst & Young, Moore Stephens and Quantuma.

Leveraging the expertise of practitioners spread out across the firm's European, Asia Pacific, Middle East and US offices, a good deal of the work handled by K&L Gates LLP 's London team is of an international nature. Team head Jonathan Lawrence provides English law advice to debtors, creditors and IPs on cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters. Lawrence has handled a significant amount of work for GLAS, including recently acting for it as agent and security trustee under loan facilities to Carillion plc by five leading banks. Special counsel Clare Tanner is recommended for her contentious insolvency expertise, while Barry Cosgrave is often engaged in restructuring work with a nexus to the Middle East. The team is also able to effectively tap into the firm’s transatlantic offering and regularly handles work for US-based funds looking to acquire distressed assets in the UK. Clients include Mount Street, Investec, Deutsche Bank and FRP Advisory.

Headed out of London by the 'excellent' Charles Maunder and recently strengthened by the arrival of Douglas Hawthorn from Travers Smith LLP,  Michelmores LLP 's two-partner team handles a significant amount of high-profile work for a range of stakeholders including funds, directors, companies and IPs. The team has picked up a significant amount of retail-related work including recently advising the director of The Food Retailer Operations in connection of a proposed CVA and administration. Other highlights include the firm's ongoing representation of York Global Finance as one of the respondents in the Lehman Brothers Waterfall proceedings and its recent representation of Monarch Aircraft Engineering in connection with the administration of the rest of the group. Other clients include AlixPartners, Greensphere Capital and Deutsche Bank.

The 'very responsive' two-partner team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP is effectively able to leverage a very strong network of European and US offices to provide a 'high quality service' on complex international restructurings. 'Extremely practical' team head Stephen Phillips is 'knowledgeable about different insolvency jurisdictions and the practical implications for corporates'. Working closely with practitioners out of the firm's New York office, Phillips continues to represent Ocean Rig on its comprehensive $3.7bn financial restructuring. 'Technically very strong' newly promoted partner Scott Morrison  is also recommended.

Led by the 'responsive and practical'¬†Charlotte M√łller,¬†Reed Smith LLP's four-partner team provides a 'thorough and knowledgeable' service to IPs, lenders and funds across an array of contentious and non-contentious matters, primarily in the mid-market. Leveraging the firm's industry strength in the shipping sector, the team has developed a strong reputation advising debt funds and institutional lenders on the purchase and restructuring of distressed debt portfolios.¬†Jeff Drew¬†is 'highly rated' and the 'helpful, calm and pleasant'¬†Diane Roberts¬†provides 'sensible and practical advice' to¬†agents and trustees in connection with defaults, restructurings and insolvencies and exercises of their powers and discretions.

Working closely with colleagues out of the firm's regional offices, Squire Patton Boggs ' two-partner London team provides a 'responsive and pro-active service' on behalf of lenders, funds and IPs across the full range of the restructuring and insolvency process. The 'very commercial' Cathryn Williams has recently been involved in numerous retail-related restructurings including advising the Uniserve Group on its investment into large national fashion retailer Blue Inc, work which included facilitating the approval of a CVA for Blue Inc enabling the business to continue trading. Leveraging the firm’s strong asset based lending credentials for clients including Bank Leumi and ABN AMRO Commercial Finance, the team is also regularly involved in insolvency and restructuring work for such lenders if their deals end up in a distressed situation. Paul Muscutt is also recommended and is praised for his ability to 'efficiently advance and complete matters, whilst also being mindful of the need to keep all stakeholders on side'.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in London for Corporate restructuring and insolvency

  • INVESTMENT FRAUD AND DISHONESTY

    Aziz Rahman explains the latest legal test for dishonesty and its importance in investment fraud cases.
    - Rahman Ravelli Solicitors

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to