Firms To Watch: Restructuring and insolvency

D&D Law was founded in September 2021 by vastly experience corporate insolvency advisor James Daniel, formerly of Thomson Geer in Brisbane, and offers boutique support to corporate clients in restructurings, turnarounds, and insolvency litigation.
Leveraging its international platform, Clifford Chance handles pan-Asian and global insolvency processes and regulatory investigations for banks, funds, and professional services firms, with a particular strength in the financial services sector. The practice is led from Perth by Mark Gillgren.
Squire Patton Boggs is re-emerging as a player in major Australian and international corporate insolvencies, out-of-court restructurings, and court-ordered reorganisations, acting primarily on the corporate side as well as for administrators and insolvency practitioners. The practice is led by Sydney's Masi Zaki, who was promoted to partner in May 2021.

Restructuring and insolvency in Australia

Allens

Allens is active across debtor and financier-side work, handling complex, often multi-jurisdictional matters, including restructurings, insolvencies and voluntary administrations, schemes of arrangement, and litigation. Clients include businesses and insolvency practitioners, and an array of banks and financial institutions, with financial services work a particular strength of Brisbane-based practice head Alf Pappalardo. Sydney’s Chris Prestwich works on restructurings and insolvency proceedings across a wide range of industries, working with corporates, lenders and insolvency practitioners (IP), while Melbourne-based Tania Cini has experience in handling large-scale corporate collapses as well as representing clients in litigation. Also in Melbourne, Matthew McCarthy has a particular focus on insolvency litigation and disputes. Sydney-based senior associate Kirsty Prinsloo advises on a diverse range of insolvency proceedings and structures, including recapitalisations and deeds of company arrangement.

Practice head(s):

Alf Pappalardo

Testimonials

‘Allens work fantastically as a team with appropriate delegation and task management delivering high quality and responsive advice.’

‘The team is highly skilled, scenario planned incredibly well. They are very clear in advising on your options and the likely outcomes of the actions you take. The response time was always quick and the advice clearly thought out. Our business achieved the better outcome because we had the better lawyers in the Allens team.’

‘The key element that makes the Allens’ practice unique to its competitors is the quality of their lawyers and their advice. Allens are highly capable and have a high level of expertise in advising on complex restructuring and insolvency matters. The internal collaboration between their respective different areas of law makes them a specialist legal adviser on all topics of law. A key strength is their ability to provide clear and concise advice in respect of complex matters in a timely manner. This represents value for money and ensure that matters are able to be navigated efficiently.’

‘Chris Prestwich I think is the best restructuring and insolvency lawyer in Australia; he is thoughtful, intelligent, creative and resourceful. In our circumstances he was most ably assisted by Kirsty Prinsloo.’

‘Alf Pappalardo (Partner)- Leading insolvency legal adviser in the market. He is highly experienced and capable in matters of restructuring and insolvency. He is able to cut through complex matters to provide clear and concise advice.’

Key clients

Ernst & Young

Deloitte

Intermediate Capital Group plc (ICG)

National Australia Bank

OCP Asia

Dongwha Group

Deloitte and National Australia Bank Limited

McGrath Nicol

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Lenders to Celesus Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Ernst & Young on the administration then liquidation of G-Star Australia.
  • Advising Deloitte on all aspects of the administration of Smiles Inclusive Limited and Totally Smiles.
  • Advising Intermediate Capital Group, a secured creditor of the LJ Hooker group, on the restructure and recapitalisation of the business through a voluntary administration and deed of company arrangement.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler focuses on large-scale, high-profile restructuring and insolvency mandates, both contentious and non-contentious, with team members offering expertise in banking, corporate, and disputes work, alongside specific sector expertise. Clients include companies, insolvency practitioners and distressed buyers, with special situations M&A another area of strength. The team is led by Leon Zwier, who is a standout figure in the market who is heavily involved in many of the firm’s top matters. Genevieve Sexton has a strong focus on corporate financing relating to solvent and insolvent restructuring transactions, while Stephen Lloyd and Elyse Hilton both specialise in litigation. Ben Mahoney is another key player in transactional and financing work. All lawyers mentioned are in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Leon Zwier

Testimonials

‘Their knowledge of the law is second to none, but it is actually their level of relationships and connectivity into corporate Australia, connectivity into political circles, connectivity and understanding of regulatory bodies that stands them apart – this allows them to provide truly strategic advice. They know and understand stakeholders, which translates into a deep understanding of how to get to the best possible outcome in the most practical, commercial and cost-effective way.’

‘The biggest difference with this group and other lawyers / firms is that relationships are much deeper than billable hours, they go above and beyond every time and are willing to invest in relationships, in engagements, in their communities.’

‘ABL managed to combine the reputation and creative thinking of a market leading lawyer in Leon Zwier with the support of an extraordinarily strong delivery team led by Ben Mahoney. The depth of ABL’s team extends across all levels to graduate and spans a range of expertise needed to feed into insolvency matters.’

‘Ben Mahoney is an outstanding lawyer who manages his team and the client exceptionally well. Ben is commercial, communicative and creative.’

Key clients

Arrium Limited, Arrium Finance Pty Ltd & Arrium Iron Ore Holdings

BGH Capital

Charter Hall

The administrators, PwC, of fashion retailer PAS Group

The Australian Football League (AFL)

Wingate Property Finance

Spotlight Group

Rolleston Coal Holdings Pty Ltd (a Glencore Coal company)

Honda Australia

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

The receivers, PwC Australia, re the receivership of Bounty Mining.

Gascoyne Resources Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing the liquidators of Arrium Limited, Arrium Finance Pty Ltd and Arrium Iron Ore Holdings in prosecuting proceedings against the former directors for insolvent trading spawned by the collapse of the Arrium Group in 2016.
  • Advised BGH Capital on its bid to acquire Virgin Australia in liquidation.
  • Aadvised the administrators of fashion retailer PAS Group on its sale to Queens Lane Capital.

Ashurst

Ashurst is active across the restructuring and insolvency space, handling distressed acquisitions on behalf of buyers and sellers, advising on complex domestic and cross-border restructurings, and playing a key role in insolvencies and corporate collapse matters. James Marshall  leads the team, working across the Asia-Pacific on major financial restructurings and distressed acquisitions, advising investors, lenders and company boards; while Ross McClymont in Melbourne is another key figure with a strong record in restructuring and insolvency administrations of significant size. Tony Ryan primarily acts for lending banks, syndicates and debt market participants, while Michael Sloan plays a key role in large-scale business turnarounds, and Camilla Clemente handles receiverships and schemes of arrangement. Perth’s Jason Salman has a strong focus on the energy and resources sector, working with major distressed players in the sector. Melbourne-based Alinta Kemeny has international experience from the firm’s London office and notable capabilities in high-profile, multi-jurisdictional consensual financial restructurings. Lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

James Marshall

Testimonials

‘Able to tap into a global network. Can scale quickly if required.’

‘Alinta Kemeny is a stand-out – young, connected, significant US and UK experience, always available. Really terrific to deal with.’

‘Top tier team with top tier partners and staff. Usually unconflicted when it comes to global mandates and they have the ability to think out the box to derive creative solutions. Thoughts leaders in the field with great breadth across the country.’

James Marshall – Industry leader in the restructuring and insolvency field. Known for the ability to drive an outcome with a creative solution. A great degree of executive presence and is around most of the large mandates. A sought after practitioner in the market especially if getting to an outcome is going to be difficult.’

Key clients

ANZ

CBA

NAB

Westpac

HSBC

Deutsche Bank

BAML

Macquarie

Mizuho

Wells Fargo Bank

KordaMentha

McGrathNicol

Deloitte

PPB Advisory

FTI Consulting

KPMG

Ernst & Young

Grant Thornton

Ferrier Hodgson

PwC

Bain Capital Credit

KKR

Apollo

CPPIB

Oaktree Capital

Värde Partners

King Street Capital

Centerbridge

Davidson Kempner

Anchorage

Amgen Inc

BBY Limited

Boart Longyear Limited

Consolidated Press Holding

Cleanaway Operations

Galaxy Resources

GE Commercial Corporation (Australia)

Norske Skog AS

NorthWest

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ovato Group on the restructuring of its retail print business through the implementation of an inter-conditional creditors’ scheme of arrangement, and member’s schemes of arrangement and other related financial restructuring transactions.
  • Advised Toll and Japan Post on the sale of Toll’s Global Express business to Australian private equity fund manager Allegro Funds.
  • Advised Boart Longyear on its proposed recapitalisation and redomiciliation.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz combines a successful track record in insolvency litigation with heavy involvement in non-contentious restructuring and debt restructuring matters, with notable expertise in work for investment funds and emerging structures such as safe harbour and forbearance arrangements. The team has been involved in high-profile corporate collapses, with a focus on the energy and resources, mining, financial services and retail sectors. Timothy Sackar leads the team, and has a strong international practice, specialising in business restructurings, distressed investing and insolvencies. Orla McCoy continues to play a key role in corporate insolvency and distressed workout matters, and has expertise in innovative cross-border structures such as Chapter 11 bankruptcies. Firm chair Karen O’Flynn has a strong track record in restructurings and the associated litigation. Perth’s Cameron Belyea focuses on contested debt and capital restructurings, banking and finance recoveries, and litigation, while special counsel Jillian Robertson has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border financial restructuring transactions and distressed investments. Lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Sackar

Testimonials

‘Great expertise, availability, commercial and pragmatic approach, lovely to deal with, great leveraging across multiple layers within the firm and access to cross team experts, timely support, value for money, they understand our business.’

‘Orla McCoy is a trusted adviser on insolvency and restructuring, excellent service, always available, wonderful manner with clients and counterparties. High quality work product which also equals high value for money.’

Key clients

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited

Collection House Limited

Myer Holdings Limited

KPMG

nbnco Limited

Toyota Finance Australia Limited

Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department

Department of Health (Cth)

Castlelake LP, CarVal Investors, Nomura Group and Clearwater Capital

Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance

Westpac

Grant Thornton

GFG Alliance

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte Restructuring Services as the voluntary administrators appointed to Virgin, including on the successful restructure and sale of the airline to Bain Capital.
  • Advised nbnco as a counterparty to Speedcast International Limited on the US Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of the Speedcast Group, including on the creditor’s participation in the Chapter 11 proceedings and on the negotiation and execution of an acquisition of business from the Speedcast Group which was ultimately approved by the US Bankruptcy Court and all relevant stakeholder groups.
  • Advised international noteholders on the pre-market testing sale agreement with a market participant, supporting financial commitment letter with its international financiers. Also acted for the Receivers in the market testing and asset transfer process.

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin plays an active role in high-profile, complex business restructurings and insolvencies, advising lenders, debtors, companies and administrators at the top of the market, and regularly working on high-value matters. The team is led by Dominic Emmett , recognised as a top-level practitioner and highly active on many of Australia’s largest insolvency proceedings. Melbourne’s Peter Bowden focuses on front-end restructurings and handles matters ranging from SME matters to larger restructurings and distressed debt acquisitions. Colleen Platford  is a senior partner and a recognised specialist in complex company turnarounds and insolvency litigation. At senior associate level, Anna Schwartz focuses on non-contentious work for financial institutions and funds, while Anna Ryan plays a key role across the firm’s offering, including acting in restructuring and insolvency proceedings and the related litigation. Lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Emmett

Testimonials

‘A strong mix of technical expertise, pragmatism and client service. G+T have provided outstanding service on my engagements, always bringing the right person to the problem. Their depth of talent across the team is highly impressive.’

‘Peter Bowden is fantastic at client management and highly commercial. I also appreciate that he brings the right person from G+T to solve the problem if he sees fit. Colleen Platford has been outstanding from a commercial litigation perspective. Simplifying complex issues, identifying creative options and helping me immensely in managing my stakeholders with their proactive communication and insights.’

Key clients

McGrathNicol (as administrators and now liquidators to Toys R Us)

Oaktree, Elliott, Ares, Deutsche, Davidson Kempner and Starwood as lenders to Bluewaters Power Station

Valaris Plc

Administrators of Bardot Pty Ltd (In Liquidation)

Administrators of various entities in the Sargon group of companies

Tribeca Investment Partners Pty Ltd as a lender to Alita Resources

The administrators, deed administrators and liquidators (as relevant) of the Acquire Learning Group of companies

LJ Hooker group

Joint and several administrators and deed administrators of Xblades

KPMG as receivers and managers of Wentworth Point 1 Pty Ltd and North Strathfield 1 Pty Ltd (owned by the Piety group companies)

Genesis Capital

The lenders to Woollongong Coal Limited and Jindal Steel & Power (Australia) Pty Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the senior lender syndicate on the restructuring of Bluewaters power station.
  • Advised the insolvency practitioners on the voluntary administration and liquidation of fashion retailer Bardot Pty Ltd.
  • Advised on the restructure and recapitalisation of the LJ Hooker Group.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons handles complex and high-stakes restructuring and insolvency proceedings, working with clients on transactional, advisory and contentious issues, including major litigation. The team works in close collaboration with its corporate and finance teams to handle distressed acquisitions and recapitalisations. Practice co-heads Tim Klineberg and David Cowling are high-profile practitioners within the space, with strong records in complex restructurings and flow-on debt and litigation respectively. Melbourne’s Tony Troiani is a specialist in insolvency-related disputes, particularly technical insolvency and director duties issues. Brisbane-based Phillip Pan advises on a number of significant mandates, including Safe Harbour advisory work. Melbourne’s Samantha Kinsey advises on debt recovery, debt acquisition and insolvency proceedings, with Natalie Tatasciore representing leading banks and accounting firms in major insolvency litigation. Special counsel Gavin Rakoczy has broad expertise across complex insolvencies and distressed corporate situations, most notably advising on schemes of arrangement for distressed companies. All lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Tim Klineberg; David Cowling

Key clients

Australian Government Department of Employment

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Deutsche Bank AG

KordaMentha

Ernst & Young (EY)

National Australia Bank Limited

FTI Consulting

McGrathNicol

KPMG

Flight Centre Travel Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Tiger Resources on its complex restructuring.
  • Advised over 40 financiers and lessors with 98 aircraft out of the 118 Virgin financed or leased aircraft as well as numerous suppliers of spare engines and parts on the administration of Virgin Australia.
  • Representing three lenders in commenced proceedings against certain directors and officers of Arrium companies involved in the drawing of debt facilities shortly prior to the appointment of administrators by the Arrium Group in April 2016.

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellison handles complex, often multi-jurisdictional insolvencies, with strong capabilities across bankruptcies, creditor claims, cross-border insolvencies, directors’ duties, distressed debt trading issues and voluntary administrations. The firm works with its corporate, finance and specialist industry teams to offer a multidisciplinary approach to insolvency matters in a variety of industries. Sydney-based Michael Hughes leads the team and is a fixture within the space with great expertise across insolvency and restructuring matters alongside related litigation, acting for creditors, businesses and insolvency practitioners. Melbourne’s Brendon Watkins has a strong record in high-profile insolvencies and corporate collapses, while specialist litigator Caitlin Murray in Sydney is particularly active on behalf of financial services clients. Melbourne-based Catherine Macrae was promoted to partner in early 2021, and has broad expertise across insolvent administrations, distressed M&A and restructurings in a number of sectors. David Suttner is a Perth-based senior associate with a focus on insolvency litigation and business rescues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Hughes

Testimonials

‘Size and strong quality of team and excellent responsiveness.’

‘Excellent availability.’

‘Excellent top tier full service firm.’

‘Caitlin Murray is an excellent practitioner in the restructuring sector, she brings a calm and rational approach to often heated situations.’

‘The depth of the practice across Australia is very strong and the broad service lines gives access to specialists across legal disciplines.’

‘Brendon Watkins and Catherine Macrae. Brendon is a senior insolvency and restructuring Partner who has been rightly recognised in the Australian market as such for some time. Catherine has recently been elevated to Partner. Both have a laser focus on the detail whilst remaining mindful of the commercial goals and expectation of the client.’

Key clients

McGrathNicol

KordaMentha

Centerbridge Partners, L.P.

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ)

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

Deloitte

Ernst & Young

Wittner’s Australia Proprietary Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Centerbridge on its commitment to restructure and recapitalise ASX listed Speedcast out of US Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Advising the German insolvency administrator on an urgent application for recognition in Australia under the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 relating to the collapse of Greensil Bank.
  • Advising the receivers and managers and subsequently Court appointed liquidators of two managed investments schemes operated by Linchpin Capital Group Limited and Endeavour Securities.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has a specialist restructuring, insolvency and special situations offering, regularly directly instructed by clients on matters encompassing transactional restructurings, back end insolvencies and contentious litigation. The team regularly handles high-profile mandates for major corporates, financial institutions and international investors, and has expertise in a number of industries, including the financial services, aviation, and resources sectors. The team is led by Cameron Cheetham , who has extensive expertise in distressed financing transactions, also acting for overseas and domestic funds. Sam Delaney  specialises in insolvency litigation and has played a role in a number of major Australian corporate collapse cases, while Patrick O’Grady  focuses on transactional restructurings. Perth-based Michelle Dean  specialises in financial services litigation, and is also highly active in the Western Australia mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Cameron Cheetham

Testimonials

‘The team’s most unique aspect is that it is well integrated with the Banking and Finance practice. It is very helpful to have the “front end” team working with the R&I team when structuring a deal to protect us on the downside.’

‘Cam Cheetham is the stand out, very commercial and street smart.’

‘They are a very relatable team with strong market presence, good communication and excellent industry knowledge.’

‘They are a well rounded team who each bring a unique perspective to engagements. Also they team well together which can’t always be said for their competitors. You get the impression they like each other.’

‘Cameron Cheetham, very commercial and pragmatic approach to get to the right answer.’

‘The restructuring and insolvency practice are highly specialised and experienced. They are well regarded throughout the industry and work on high profile matters as well as smaller matters. As a team they work exceptionally well together and the service delivered to me, the client, is seamless. The solutions offered are always commercial with a view to getting to the end point quickly and painlessly.’

‘Sam Delaney is an exceptionally commercial lawyer who anticipates client needs and is always planning for the next step. He is highly strategic, a great communicator and really user friendly.’

Key clients

Brookfield

Tor Investment Management (Hong Kong) Ltd.

Value Partners

Broad Peak Investment Advisers Pte Ltd

Mirvac

Harris Scarfe

Garbon Investments

BlackRock

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Deloitte

Bank of New York Mellon

HLB Mann Judd

McGrath Nicol

M.H. Carnegie

Macquarie Bank Limited

Metrics Credit Partners

National Australia Bank

Remagen Capital

SC Lowy (Aus) Pty Limited

Moelis

Work highlights

  • Advised an adhoc group of USD bondholders and AUD bond holders located in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe and the US on the voluntary administration of ASX listed Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd.
  • Advised the lenders providing finance to Velocity Frequent Flyer Pty Ltd (VFF), the operator of Virgin Australia’s loyalty program.
  • Advising BNYM as the trustee of two senior unsecured note tranches issued and guaranteed by the Virgin Australia Group.

Herbert Smith Freehills

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills has played a key role in major Australian and international restructuring and insolvency proceedings, most notably acting for Bain Capital in its bid to acquire Virgin Australia out of administration. Private-equity backed distressed acquisitions are one strength for the firm, alongside debt financings, corporate turnarounds, and contentious issues relating to insolvencies. The team is led by Paul Apáthy, who handles complex mandates including Australian Chapter 11 proceedings, and is a regular adviser to major corporates, banks and funds. Mark Clifton has a successful record in corporate restructurings, working with businesses and their directors, creditors and vendors, while Nikki Smythe specialises in financing work. David John is an experienced commercial litigator with specialisations in bank-side insolvency work and complex reconstructions. All lawyers mentioned are in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Paul Apáthy

Norton Rose Fulbright

Marrying a broad domestic offering with integrated international and cross-practice expertise, Norton Rose Fulbright advises financial institutions, banks, insolvency practitioners and investors on a wide range of major contentious and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency matters. This includes a number of cross-border mandates, including company exits, alongside business turnarounds, insolvency litigation and debt sales. The team is led from Sydney by Alex Mufford , with Scott Atkins and John Martin acting as additional key senior team members, both specialising in complex cross-border insolvency work, particularly within Asia, acting for top financial institutions and IP clients. In Melbourne, Steven Palmer in heavily involved in complex proceedings, including the exit of General Motors from Australia and New Zealand; while Natasha Toholka specialises in corporate insolvencies and litigation within the financial services sector. Peter Schmidt  departed for a judicial position, while Rajaee Rouhani was promoted to the partnership in early 2021.

Practice head(s):

Alex Mufford

Testimonials

‘A legal smart, commercial and collaborative team that is focused on delivering quality outcomes.’

‘Steven Palmer – Razer sharp legal adviser who is focused on commercial outcomes. He has built a strong collaborative team of associates, senior associates and Partners.’

‘Norton Rose Fulbright has a breadth and depth of practise that enables them efficiently to service the needs of their clients. Further, Norton Rose Fulbright employs a number of practitioners who are well-experienced industry leaders – which in my view renders their service offerings unique, or at least rare, in the market.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Bank of America

Bank of New York Mellon

BDO

Blue Sky Alternative Investments

Citibank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Deloitte

EY

Ferrier Hodgson (now KPMG)

Grant Thornton

KordaMentha

McGrathNicol

National Australia Bank

PwC

Westpac

Work highlights

  • Advised L Catterton Asia Advisors on the restructure of its Seafolly label.
  • Advised General Motors Holdings on its decision to exit Holden vehicles sales, engineering and design operations in the Australian and New Zealand markets and to undertake an orderly restructure of the group.
  • Advised on the restructure of the largest integrated print and distribution company in Australia and New Zealand.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is well placed to act on complex cross-border restructuring and insolvency work, working in close conjunction with its domestic banking and finance practices and international platforms on major proceedings, both on the administrator and debtor side. Sydney-based practice head Maria O’Brien is a highly respected practitioner with a strong track record in high-level restructuring and insolvency proceedings, and is a regular contributor to thought leadership on the subject. Melbourne’s Peter Lucarelli is regularly involved in complex litigation relating to insolvencies, as well as advising on business restructurings, while Brisbane-based Ian Innes has continued to perform strongly since his promotion to partner in 2020, advising public and private sector clients on restructurings, insolvencies and the related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Maria O’Brien

Other key lawyers:

Peter Lucarelli; Ian Innes

Testimonials

‘The team takes an energetic but proportionate approach to even the biggest matters with excellent diversity (especially gender diversity) and an engaging and supportive approach to clients. A real pleasure to work with.’

‘Maria O’Brien – nothing is too much trouble and she is utterly unflappable. Clearly a real mastery of her subject and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘Stands out for the ability of the team of Partners to deal with complex issues in a seamless manner.’

‘Ian Innes is a passionate and dedicated practitioner who is always willing to get his hands dirty to help out with a matter.’

‘Maria O’Brien has a depth of knowledge and expertise. She cuts through issues and delivers highly effective and efficient legal advice.’

‘Maria O’Brien is a leading lawyer in her market, she’s forthright and confident with advice and position on matters. She is easy to deal with and a very good communicator.’

Key clients

Citibank N.A.(London Branch) re GFG

Liquidator of I Pipe Services group

Ceres

Liquidators of Paltar Petroleum Limited

Olympus Capital

Receivers of Bounty Mining

Thai Airways

Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft

Macquarie Bank and Generation Investment Management – Administration of Maria’s Farm Veggies

L Brands, Inc. (Victoria’s Secret) re Seafolly

Aureus LNG GmbH

Safran Landing Systems (SLS) and Messier Goodrich Siret (MGS)

Work highlights

  • Represented Citibank N.A. (London Branch) in proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales seeking the winding up of GFG entities OneSteel Manufacturing Pty Ltd and Tahmoor Coal Pty Ltd in insolvency.
  • Advising the administrators and now liquidator of Pipe Services Group on the sale of the business; court ordered public examinations in respect of the parties associated with collapse; and extensive multi-party litigation associated with claims by subcontractors for payment under new Queensland specific legislation.
  • Advising the voluntary administrators of Ceres Agriculture.

Dentons

Dentons expanded its team further with the early 2021 arrivals of Perth-based John Park from Wentworth Lawyers and Brisbane’s Claire Petersen from Lavan Legal. The firm has a strong creditor-side practice, and combines domestic and international expertise in the banking and financial services, distressed retail, construction, and manufacturing sectors, among others. The team counts key consultancies and a number of major banks as key clients, and is able to advise on restructurings, corporate recovery issues and multi-jurisdictional insolvencies. Sydney’s Tim Sherrard heads up the team, with Melbourne’s John Stragalinos a key player in major insolvencies alongside Sydney-based Justin Bates  and David McIntosh.

Practice head(s):

Tim Sherrard

Testimonials

‘Truly global offering now and can therefore be a player in the cross-border insolvency market. They have some depth in industry, seem very good on the real estate offering which can tie in well with restructuring work.’

‘Some good long term partners that you know will provide great support to your position. David McIntosh is a very good partner in managing clients expectations, breaking down the advice and communicating it clearly, does it with a measured and understandable cadence. Becoming a leading lawyer in his space and is very easy to deal with and has the ability to take the pressure off. He and Justin Bates are commercial and pragmatic and very reliable.’

‘Dentons are an excellent top tier practice in the corporate / middle market space, they would be one of my go to firms for most engagements.’

‘In my experience Justin Bates is a standout performer in the restructuring space bringing a steadfast but relatable approach to often heated restructuring engagements.’

Key clients

KPMG

Deloitte

KordaMentha

PWC

TM Lewin Australia

International Finance Corporation

BNY Mellon

WPG Group

HSBC

National Australia Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising the IFC on a creditor’s scheme of arrangement proposed by (then) publicly listed mining resources company, Tiger Resources Limited and its subsidiaries.
  • Advising a major creditor on the liquidation of the AXF Group, including advising on the contested, but successful, removal and replacement of the court appointed liquidator via legal proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
  • Advising the receivers and managers on all aspects of the realisation (on behalf of secured creditor Naplan Pty Limited) of a real estate portfolio comprising 100+ residential and commercial sites located in and around Mission Beach in North Queensland.

Johnson Winter Slattery

Johnson Winter Slattery advises on insolvencies across Australia, with teams in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, and also handles high-level litigation and restructurings, with a strong focus on acting for debtor clients. The firm mainly advises ASX-listed companies, and utilises its integrated expertise in debt financing and dispute resolution to handle a diverse range of cases. Practice head Joseph Scarcella is an experienced figure in insolvency litigation, who represents clients in contentious, business-critical cases, while David Proudman has a strong track record in non-contentious insolvency and business reconstruction mandates.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Scarcella

Other key lawyers:

David Proudman; Paul Buitendag

Testimonials

‘Joseph Scarcella is an exceptional lawyer in this practice area.’

‘Advice is provided in a clear and timely fashion.’

‘JWS has built one of the top restructuring and insolvency practices in Australia. Led by Paul Buitendag and Joe Scarcella, their approach is always highly commercial and strategic with a view to thinking any strategy all the way through for their clients. The JWS team has built a stellar reputation in the market working on high-value, complex and contentious restructuring and insolvency matters. Their flexible approach to billing, experience working with liquidators and providers of legal finance and their depth of legal talent make JWS the go-to law firm in this space.’

‘Joe Scarcella is a velvet-coated wrecking ball with an encyclopaedic knowledge of how legal and commercial issues interact in complex restructuring and insolvency matters.’

‘Paul Buitendag is very client focussed and knows how to strike a commercial deal. He is pragmatic and smart.’

Key clients

PricewaterhouseCoopers as liquidators of Gunns Limited

Angas Securities Limited

Administrators (and now liquidators) of Botanic Homes Pty Ltd (in liquidation)

Liquidator of Babcock & Brown Limited

Crescent Capital Partners

PwC – Liquefied Natural Gas Limited

Petrus Helberg

Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd

Vestrock Capital Pty Ltd

Cor Cordis

FTI Consulting

Duff & Phelps

Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Wily & Hurst

Work highlights

  • Advised directors of Grocon Group on a complex administration process.
  • Represented PwC as the liquidator of the Gunns Group of companies in relation to 73 voidable preference claims commenced in the Federal Court of Australia against numerous creditors of the Gunns Group.
  • Advised Crescent Capital Partners on the restructure of the Tigerlily Group.

Jones Day

Jones Day advises on domestic and cross-border restructurings and bankruptcies, working in close collaboration with its wider Australian and global teams, and offering particular expertise in Chapter 15 proceedings, allowing clients to gain US-based relief in Australia. The team is led by the highly experienced Roger Dobson, who plays a key role in many of the firm’s high-profile mandates and has been involved in key restructurings throughout his career. Katie Higgins is active in debt financing transactions, advising corporates, insolvency practitioners and funds.

Practice head(s):

Roger Dobson

Other key lawyers:

Katie Higgins

Key clients

The Insurance Commission of Western Australia and the Western Australia State Solicitors Office

Queensland Investment Corporation

Cyrus Capital Partners

Avior Consulting Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented ICWA, a Western Australian statutory corporation, in its capacity as a major funding creditor of The Bell Group Ltd (In Liquidation) and its related entities (Bell Group) in several disputes and litigation with the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • Advised QIC on its A$200m combined debt and equity investment in the recapitalisation and acquisition out of bankruptcy of Virgin Australia by Bain Capital.
  • Advised Cyrus on its proposed acquisition of Virgin Australia.

Ironbridge Legal

Ironbridge Legal (previously Blackwattle Legal) is a boutique litigation and insolvency firm with a strong track record in large-scale contentious administration and liquidation proceedings, leveraging strong relationships with Big 4 consultancies and other law firms. The team is led by Trevor Withane, who is a dedicated litigator who has great experience practicing in the UK as well as Australia, and works with insolvency practitioners, lenders and administrators on a variety of complex matters. The firm is based in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Withane

Testimonials

The key selling point of the firm is its principal, Trevor Withane. The firm being a smaller boutique, every matter has his personal attention and expertise. Clients are generally drawn to the firm by Trevor’s experience and talents.

Trevor really goes that extra mile for you, and ensures your best outcome is his highest priority.

Brilliant access to firm, always get through to the right person, always available.

The clear standout is Trevor Withane, his extensive experience both here and internationally gives him a deep understanding of both the commercial and the litigious aspects of insolvency and litigation.

Trevor Withane is an absolutely outstanding lawyer. He provides excellent counsel on complex and sensitive matters.

It is a dynamic firm – quick to take phone calls, pivot with new information and get the job done.

Instead of needing to chase for the production of documents or advices, Blackwattle is usually the ones keeping me accountable for deadlines and the production of material, which is a nice change.

An excellent specialised insolvency team.

Trevor Withane – vastly experienced and very well connected in the sector in terms of insolvency practitioners and counsel. Trevor is an excellent tactician and a superb insolvency solicitor.’

Key clients

PwC

CorCordis

Grant Thornton

Magnolia Capital

Jirsch Sutherland

Deloitte

Work highlights

  • Advised PwC as liquidator on claims that may be available relating to the collapse of a national retail chain.
  • Advising the sole director of an ASX listed public company on the decision to place that company into administration and representing the director in subsequent proceedings arising from a shareholder dispute.
  • Advising Deloitte on claims estimated to be valued at $10m against former directors of a company and the purchaser of its business, arising out of a shareholder’s dispute.

Colin Biggers & Paisley

The team at Colin Biggers & Paisley primarily advises directors, companies and restructuring practitioners on a diverse range of business restructurings and insolvency solutions, also working with government entities and maintaining a notable specialism in investment fund collapses. The team is led from Sydney by Peter Harkin and Scott Hedge, who have strong financial services expertise and regularly advise businesses and IPs on matters independently from major banks. Brisbane’s Glen Williams has strong expertise in handling administrations on behalf of businesses and liquidators.

Practice head(s):

Peter Harkin; Scott Hedge

Other key lawyers:

Glen Williams

Key clients

Scentre Group Limited (Westfield)

Grant Thornton

KordaMentha

KPMG

Deloitte

RSM Australia

McGrathNicol

Vincents

PwC

Hayes Advisory

Bentleys

Cor Cordis

Offermans

Moelis Australia

BRI Ferrier

Russell Corporate Advisory

Setter Shepard

Work highlights

  • Representing Scentre in proceedings that have been commenced by the liquidators of the Hastie Group of companies, which comprises approximately 23 separate companies, in the Melbourne registry of the Federal Court.
  • Representing A & J Consultancy Pty Ltd in contesting an application by MRL and Deloitte compelling the release of securities to facilitate a sale of the Granite Belt Silver Project to Jadar Resources.
  • Representing McGrathNichol in various proceedings relating to the liquidation of the Dick Smith Group.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises on a wide range of matters on behalf of lenders, debtors, shareholders, government entities and investors. The firm handles a number of real estate insolvencies, and has particular strength in projects and resources-based restructurings, with co-head Onno Bakker  playing a key role in high-profile project cases. The team is now co-led by Lionel Meehan in Melbourne, who has a strong record in restructurings and special situations. The team is also heavily involved in cross-border work, integrated with the firm’s international platform.

Practice head(s):

Onno Bakker ; Lionel Meehan

Testimonials

‘We have been working with Lionel Meehan and we have always benefited from practical and insightful legal advice.’

Key clients

Speedcast Managed Services Pty Ltd

Speedcast Group

Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and wholly owned or majority controlled subsidiaries including Wollongong Coal Limited

Atlas Advisors Australia Pty Limited (Atlas Advisors)

Valuestone Global Resources Fund 1 LP and subsidiaries

Bank of Queensland (BOQ)

WA Glendinning &Associates Pty Ltd

Bentley Resources Pte Ltd

St.George Bank (a division of Westpac Banking Corporation)

Mitsubishi Australia Limited and Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan)

Washington H. Soul Pattinson Limited

Etihad Airways (Etihad Aviation Group)

QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited

Chifley Investor Group Pty Ltd

The Empire Group Pty Ltd

Aviator UK ML 35302 Limited

Mangosteen Holding Pte Ltd

Holmes Consulting Limited Partnership

Bedizolle Pty Limited t/a FastVisa Australia

Powerscourt Partners

Calabro Real Estate Pty Ltd

Mitsui & Co. Energy Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd.

San Miguel Energy Corporation

Sanoyas Rides Australia Pty Ltd et al.

ICON Developments Australia Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Speedcast Managed Services on all legal aspects of the sale of certain assets to one of its customers, nbn. The broader Speedcast group is subject to Chapter 11 US Bankruptcy Court Proceedings in the US.
  • Advised Speedcast on all legal aspects of the sale of certain assets to Inmarsat, a mobile satellite communications company.

Hall & Wilcox

The team at Hall & Wilcox is geographically diverse, with strong capabilities in contentious insolvency work. The firm handles complex corporate collapses, special situations and liquidations, advising corporates and their directors and a number of key insolvency practitioners and administrators. Of further note is the team’s integration with its finance and corporate teams, allowing it to handle all aspects of complex matters. The team is led by Scott Butler in Brisbane, Mark Petrucco  in Sydney, Wayne Kelcey  in Melbourne, and Hector West in Perth.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Giorgi

Testimonials

‘They look for commercial settlements backed up with great legal advice.’

‘Hector West (Partner) and Andrew Giorgi (Senior Associate) are both great with the legal side of insolvency matters but also overlaying that with sound commercial sense.’

‘Hall & Wilcox is a solid, reliable mid tier firm that provides value for money. The firm is focused on achieving outcomes rather than getting bogged down in legal disputes that do not benefit the client.’

‘Mark Petrucco is an excellent restructuring and insolvency lawyer. He is pragmatic, commercial and does not get bogged down in niceties which are not relevant to achieving the commercial outcome we are seeking to obtain. Mark is readily available when needed. Mark has clearly demonstrated that he is committed to his relationship with us. I would make similar comments in respect of Scott Butler.’

Key clients

Peter Greensill Family Trust

PwC

Cellular Asset Management Pty Ltd

Tiger Global Logistics Pty Ltd

Sobeem Pty Ltd

FTI Consulting

KordaMentha

Grant Thornton

Bentleys MRI

Deloitte

RSM Australia

Work highlights

  • Representing Peter Greensill Family Trust in proceedings relating to the collapse of Greensill Capital.
  • Representing PwC in dozens of claims emanating from the high-profile collapse of a $1bn publicly listed group of companies.
  • Representing the liquidators of the Delta SBD Group of companies in a ‘mothership’ unfair preference claim proceeding against a number of creditors.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency and distressed situation matters, working in a variety of sectors including the retail, financial services, and aviation industries, notably advising aircraft lessors on the high-profile insolvency of Virgin Australia. The team also maintains productive relationships with long-term banking clients, and regularly acts for administrators. Jason Opperman leads the team in Sydney and is an experienced practitioner with particular strength in the financial services and banking sectors. Melbourne’s Andrew Chambers is regularly involved in litigation, including recovery proceedings, alongside an active advisory practice, while Stephen Hume specialises in banking and insolvency work.

Practice head(s):

Jason Opperman

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Chambers; Stephen Hume

Testimonials

‘Great tacticians and fantastic with clients.’

‘The K&L Gates restructuring and insolvency team is very knowledgeable across different jurisdictions and takes a keen interest in delivering advice that is relevant for our industry and business needs.’

‘Strong people skills.’

‘Build quick rapport with witnesses.’

‘I have direct access to partner Jason Opperman. He has many years experience and understands the culture by which we operate and provides advice and support giving consideration to our needs. Through his efforts, we have achieved many outstanding results. He is supported by a good team who work to achieve our outcomes.’

‘From Partner through the team, there is good access to whoever is working on our matters. K&L Gates provides a high level of service and understands our needs and outcomes and work with us to provide the best outcomes possible. The team are friendly and helpful.’

Key clients

KPMG

Administration of Virgin Australia – JP Lease, Aviation PLC, Chorus Aviation, Stellar Aviation, and Lunar Aviation

ZACD Group

dVT Group

St George Bank Limited

Bentleys (Qld) Pty Ltd

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc

RIVI Opportunity Fund, LP

American Express International Inc

KordaMentha and ARK Mines Ltd

Deloitte Financial Advisory Pty Ltd

RSM Australia Pty Ltd

Westpac

Work highlights

  • Advising KPMG as administrator of Halifax Investment Services on a complex multi-jurisdictional winding up involving over A$200m of assets and 12,500 investors.
  • Advising five of the aircraft lessors of Virgin Australia: JP Lease, Aviation PLC, Chorus Aviation, Stellar Aviation, and Lunar Aviation which equates to around a third of the Virgin Australia fleet.
  • Advised St George Bank (part of the Westpac Group) on its exposure to Ralan Group, including intercreditor arrangements between St George Bank and Wingate.

Maddocks

Maddocks advises on a broad range of restructuring and corporate insolvency matters, including voluntary administrations, receiverships, liquidations and recovery proceedings. The team has a strong record in the banking sector, advising a number of Australian banks and financial institutions, and also works with directors, companies and insolvency practitioners. The team is led from Melbourne by Marelda Hibberd , while firm CEO David Newman  and Sydney’s Danielle Funston are other key names.

Practice head(s):

Marelda Hibberd 

Other key lawyers:

David Newman ; Danielle Funston

Testimonials

An experienced team of dedicated restructuring professionals.

Danielle Funston is a leader in her field. She brings a collaborative approach and is able to get across complex matters quickly.

Maddocks has a very high performing insolvency and restructuring team nationally and they are very effective at delivering a quality service out of different offices. I have worked mostly with Danielle Funston and Marelda Hibbard and my impression is that Maddocks is a firm committed to diversity and to supporting and promoting women.

I would rate Danielle Funston at Maddocks in the top 3 insolvency lawyers nationally who I would want to be working on a matter that we are funding. She is intelligent, focused on commercial outcomes and willing to offer unique costs structures to allow the work to be completed.

Key clients

Deloitte

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

KPMG

Australia Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

McGrathNicol

HLB Mann Judd

PricewaterhouseCoopers

FTI Consulting

Halifax Services Pty Ltd / Halifax New Zealand Limited

Watpac Constructions

Nintendo Australia

Grant Thornton Australia Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Deloitte on the voluntary administration and now liquidation of STA Travel and IEP and voluntary administrators and now Deed of Administrators of STA Travel Academic.
  • Advising McGrathNicol on the administration of MediaCloud.
  • Advising Zeus Power Investments on its security over HRL Limited (in liquidation) including negotiations over a proposed subordination deed with CBA and the liquidators.

Mills Oakley

Mills Oakley fields an extensive and geographically-diverse team, advising a wide range of IPs, corporates and public sector clients on receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations; the team also established a notable debt recovery capability, which has seen it acting for the ATO on the recovery of corporate and personal taxation liabilities. The team is led by Melbourne’s Stuart Lewin, and includes Sydney-based Kirsten Farmer and Perth’s Nirupa Manoharan, who are both strong in litigation and advisory insolvency work.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Lewin

Other key lawyers:

Kirsten FarmerNirupa Manoharan

Testimonials

‘The Mills Oakley Insolvency team is a cohesive and well-oiled machine. It deals with matters of great complexity and technical expertise as to the law, which is coupled with hard work and thoroughness. From the partners down to the junior lawyers, there is a great collective desire to do the best possible job for the client.’

‘They are excellent with clients and real team players. When the going gets tough, these are the people you want to be working with.’

‘Stuart Lewin is the leader of a strong team of insolvency and litigation legal advisors from Partners, to associates. A very strong legal and commercial advocate for his clients. Well supported by a quality team.’

Key clients

KordaMentha

Grant Thornton Australia

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited

Rodgers Reidy

Cor Cordis

PKF Melbourne

KPMG

Vince & Associates

Hall Chadwick

PwC

BOQ

RSM Australia

SV Partners

Olvera Advisors

FTI Consulting

Linzen Dakabin Pty Ltd

DW Advisory

Work highlights

  • Advised Olvera Advisors on the restructure of a group of companies via a deed of company arrangement and creditors’ trust.
  • Advised Korda Mentha on the collapse of the financing arm of the Timbercorp Group of Companies owing A$500m to 38 members of registered and unregistered managed investment schemes.

Piper Alderman

Piper Alderman has notable expertise in the national SME market, assisting a variety of medium-sized businesses in the financial services, tourism, and logistics industries. The team is also involved in insolvency-related litigation, as well as cross-border restructurings and financial claims. Melbourne’s Michael Lhuede heads up the team, and is active as an adviser and an advocate in complex liquidations and insolvency cases, with Joanne Hardwick  also noted for her work with insolvency practitioners, directors and shareholders. In Adelaide, Mike Hayes  handles a diverse range of insolvency work, while the Brisbane office was bolstered by the arrival of Joel Shaw  from Thomson Geer in early 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lhuede

Testimonials

‘Flexibility and ability to make decisions, provide advice on the fly, so to speak.’

‘Michael Lhuede – very knowledgeable and has a willingness and ability to assist.’

‘The partners of Piper Alderman provide strong technical and commercial skills in the area of insolvency and reconstruction.’

‘A true expertise in bankruptcy. A real focus on technical insolvency law. Strong in the mid market.’

‘Michael Lhuede and Joanne Hardwick are a collaborative and complementary partner team with a combined technical expertise and commercial approach.’

‘The Piper Alderman team has a wide range of skills in the restructuring and insolvency space, ranging from commercial to technical and as such can assist an insolvency practitioner with almost every situation.’

Key clients

Agile Business Advisory

BPS Recovery

BRI Ferrier

Brooke Bird & Co

Capital Transport Services (Vic)

CJG Advisory

Clifton Hall

Crouch Amirbeaggi

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Dye & Co

Grant Thornton

Hall Chadwick

Integra Insolvency

KordaMentha

KPMG

Oracle Insolvency Services

OT Markets

Pitcher Partners

PKF

PWC

Rodgers Reidy Chartered Accountants

Roger and Carson

Spectrum Brands Australia Pty Ltd

SV Partners

Worrells Solvency & Forensic Accountants

Work highlights

  • Advising OT Markets as the liquidator appointed by Federal Court on the application of ASIC to wind up following alleged breaches of AFSL.
  • Advising Hall Chadwick as administrators of Sky and Space Global Ltd on securing administration loan approvals and the extension of convening period.
  • Advising the liquidators of Bauen Concrete Pty Ltd on the recovery of substantial funds misappropriated by the director who transferred money from the company’s ANZ bank account to his Ladbrokes betting account.

Thomson Geer

Thomson Geer advises on major administrations for corporate clients, and also maintains productive relationships with many of the Big Four alongside financial services clients and international banks. Notable areas of expertise include the aviation and transport industries, alongside handling cross-border insolvencies for financial services institutions and investment funds. Melbourne-based senior partner Loretta Reynolds is a key contact, while the team was bolstered by the arrivals of Emma Hodgman and Scott Guthrie in early 2021 and late 2020 respectively, both joining from Dentons. Guthrie leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Scott Guthrie

Other key lawyers:

Emma Hodgman ; Scott Guthrie

Work highlights

  • Represented a major airport and liaised with other airport owners in relation to the administration of Virgin and liability issues as a result of the global pandemic.
  • Advised the liquidators of a business on all aspects of the administration of unregistered managed investment scheme in which investments totalled $80m. The scheme relates to 17 companies associated with the IPO Wealth Fund.

Allen & Overy LLP

David Walker leads the Sydney-based team at Allen & Overy LLP, advising a number of domestic and international companies on complex restructurings and insolvencies, including a number of cross-border matters. The team is integrated with its corporate and industry-specific offices within Australia, as well as working closely with its international teams on multi-jurisdictional issues. Counsel Heather Sandell has a strong specialism in formal insolvency appointments.

Practice head(s):

David Walker

Other key lawyers:

Heather Sandell

Testimonials

‘David Walter is a brilliant operator, commercially astute and technically excellent.’

‘David Walter and Heather Sandell head up an exceptionally experienced restructuring and insolvency team. They have excellent front end and back end knowledge and experience. They are always considering solutions outside the box and are highly commercial in their approach.’

‘David Walter’s experience straddles both banking and finance and insolvency and restructuring. As a consequence he offers a unique perspective when structuring transactions and providing advice. He is highly commercial, responsive and very well regarded in the industry which means he is able to broker commercial solutions to complex legal problems.’

Heather Sandell is an outstanding litigator. Whilst her specialty is restructuring and insolvency she is equally impressive working on highly complex commercial litigation. Heather has exceptional attention to detail – nothing is missed. As a client I feel very comfortable working with Heather. Her advice is commercial and she has a steely resolve.

Key clients

BDO

BoComm Leasing

Flight Centre

Fortress Investment Group

Greensill Capital

Oaktree Capital Management

Pilbara Minerals

Prime Media Group

Rabobank

Standard Chartered Bank

McGrathNicol

HLB Mann Judd

Work highlights

  • Advising Greensill Capital and its administrators, Grant Thornton, on the administration of Greensill Capital in Australia.
  • Advised Pilbara Minerals on a distressed M&A transaction by which Pilbara Minerals acquired all of the shares in Altura Lithium Operations and its lithium mining operations.
  • Advising Bank of Communications on all aspects of the recovery of its six 737-800 aircraft leased to Virgin Australia.

Banton Group

Banton Group is a specialist firm that focuses on litigation funding work, liquidations and failed managed investment schemes, working with administrators and financial institutions. The Sydney-based team, led by Amanda Banton, Elliott Smith and Ross Garland, offers multi-jurisdictional expertise in mandates involving the UK, US and Singapore.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Banton

Other key lawyers:

Elliott Smith ; Ross Garland

Testimonials

‘Amanda Banton, the principal of Banton Group, is a very experienced solicitor who practises in the restructuring and insolvency space. She is a shrewd operator with a wealth of experience and has very good client skills. She is well placed to advise clients with respect to their restructuring and insolvency needs.’

‘Small boutique team of exceptional quality – class leading and on par with the best large global firms.’

‘Amanda Banton is an exceptional strategist and lawyer.’

Key clients

McGrath Nicol as Special Purpose Liquidators of Forge Group Limited

KPMG previously (Ferrier Hodgson), the liquidator for Forge Group Limited

Deloitte Australia as liquidator of Heavy Plant Leasing Pty Ltd

Shareholders of Arrium Limited

Liquidator for City Pacific Limited Martha Cove Marina Pty Ltd

KordaMentha Pty Ltd as trustee for the LM Managed

Performance Fund

Equite Capital Pte Limited (Equite)

Rockgold Pty Ltd (Rockgold) for NewSat Limited and Jabiru Satellite Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing liquidators of Forge in conducting public examinations pursuant to section 596B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) against Grant Thornton (GT) and subsequently commencing proceedings against GT alleging negligence, breach of contract and conduct.
  • Representing creditors of Arrium and ASIC authorised eligible applicants in potential claims to be commenced against Arrium on behalf of its shareholders.
  • Advising HPL on issues arising out of the company’s liquidation.

Hamilton Locke

Hamilton Locke advises clients on the full range of distressed situations, encompassing debt financings and transactions, restructurings, formal appointments and the associated disputes. The Sydney-based team is led by Zina Edwards, who focuses on finance work, advising a growing number of credit funds and other investors, alongside Nicholas Edwards, who handles formal appointments, advising IPs, creditors and debtors on insolvency and restructuring proceedings, and distressed transactions.

Practice head(s):

Zina Edwards; Nicholas Edwards

Testimonials

Great boutique team with excellent practitioners and quality depth of staff. Offer great value for money.

Nick Edwards and Zina Edwards are both quality operators in the restructuring space and provide hands on quality advice.

Institutional quality advice in a boutique firm, keenly commercial whilst legally astute, uniquely entrepreneurial, aspirational.

Zina Edwards is a strong, creative and experienced practitioner in special situations, distressed debt and proactive restructuring focused on the middle market. There are only a few top tier competitors with her experience and capability. She is able to cover distressed debt trading, capital lead restructuring through to traditional financing advice.

Nick Edwards is an up and coming leader in formal insolvency and restructuring. He trained with some of the market’s best. He his now focused on the middle market and building his practice. Watch this space…

Nimble and diverse team that punches above its weight in the market. Outstanding client service. A growth team to look out for in the years ahead.

Nick Edwards is a highly responsive and commercial lawyer that always seeks to stand in the client’s shoes and cut through to the key issues.

Zina Edwards has crafted a strong reputation in the market for alternate lenders.’

Key clients

PWC as receivers and managers of Edhod Pty Ltd and trustee of the Edhod Unit Trust

Deloitte as administrators and deed administrators of Colette by Colette Hayman

FTI Consulting as administrators of Autocare Services

Grant Thornton as administrators of Miniso Australia

Macquarie Bank Limited

Indoor Skydive Group Australia Limited

Verdia Pty Ltd

Partners for Growth

Tozer & Co Pty Ltd

Pok Hong Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Deloitte on the administration of fashion retailer, Colette by Colette Hayman.
  • Advising FTI Consulting on the administration of Autocare.
  • Advising PwC on the long and complex receivership of the Edhod group,

Hogan Lovells

The Sydney-based team at Hogan Lovells is integrated with the firm's global offices, and advises on a number of cross-border insolvency matters, particularly within emerging economies and the Asia-Pacific region. The group is led by Scott Harris and acts for banks, insolvency practitioners, financial services institutions and corporates, both as debtors and creditors, maintaining a standalone special services practice.

Practice head(s):

Scott Harris

Testimonials

Cross border firm and a very strong global brand. Strong in Asia which can create interesting opportunities and can see the benefit. Building out their specialisations in Australia.

Scott Harris is a leading lawyer in his space. He’s thorough with his advice and is a direct communicator, he’s also easy to deal with and build a connection with on the file and outside of direct file business.

Key clients

Kansai Electric Power Co, Inc

Unsecured creditors’ committee of Speedcast International Limited

BDO Australia Ltd

Grant Thornton

McGrath Nicol

Work highlights

  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of Speedcast International Limited in Speedcast’s US Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Advising Kansai Electric Power Co, Inc on its majority ownership stake in the Bluewaters Power Station.
  • Advising BDO Australia on the liquidation of MB Australia.

Jackson McDonald

Jackson McDonald advises companies, financiers, creditors and insolvency practitioners on a range of matters, including liquidations, business restructurings, debt recovery issues and funding solutions, and is heavily involved with key insolvency litigation in Western Australia, as well as insolvencies in the mining and minerals sector. The Perth-based team is led by Dan Butler.

Practice head(s):

Dan Butler

Key clients

WA Insolvency Solutions (a division of Jirsch Sutherland)

Hamilton Murphy Advisory

Westpac Banking Corporation

KPMG

FTI

Sentinel Real Estate Corporation

Cloud Payment Group

Debt Crisis Solutions

Bluestone Advisory

Westgem Investments Pty Ltd (in liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Representing the liquidator of a property development company, two prominent property developers and a number of related entities in a claim against the former financiers of a landmark Perth office tower/retail development, funded by litigation funder IMF Bentham.
  • Representing a company director in relation to provisional liquidation and winding up applications in Supreme Court of WA, and broader corporate group insolvency and restructuring matters.
  • Advising a director of a company on a material breakdown of relations and loss of confidence between the company’s directors.

McCullough Robertson

Led by experienced restructuring practitioner and litigator David O’Farrell, the team at McCullough Robertson has productive relationships with restructuring and insolvency practitioners in the Queensland area, and regularly receives referrals from domestic and international firms. The firm advises clients in a wide range of industries, including the energy and resources, finance and agribusiness sectors, and has notable expertise in cross-border insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

David O’Farrell

Testimonials

‘Strong and intelligent presence in the market.’

‘Very strong intellectual power.’

‘Technical excellence and experience, commercial approach to their matters and ability to source experts from other areas of their firm where needed.’

‘David O’Farrell is one of the leading insolvency lawyers in Brisbane. His technical knowledge is of the highest order and he is easy to work with. David has a good team around him and has good support throughout the other areas of the firm.’

Key clients

Elution Metals Pty Ltd

PricewaterhouseCoopers

McGrathNicol

Worrells

Insolvency Turnaround Solutions

Bentleys

Grant Thornton

The Anchorage Lifestyle Living Pty Ltd

Queensland Treasury Corporation

MFC Investments Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented Elution Metals in proceedings in the Federal Court brought by the company’s administrators.
  • Advising members of PwC on the liquidation of Royal National Capital Alliance.
  • Advising Queensland Treasury Corporation and its appointed liquidators on the liquidation of Eureka Housing Society, and representing in proceedings against the former director of the company and his related entity to seek the recovery of moneys alleged to be owed to the company.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP advises ASX-listed companies, public offices and insolvency practitioners on an array of complex insolvency and restructuring matters, including contentious insolvency proceedings and distressed acquisitions. The firm is able to act for major clients in a variety of key market sectors, with practice head Beau Deleuil specialising in turnarounds in the mining and resources sector. As a former state official, Perth’s Paul Evans has a strong track record in public sector insolvency issues, while Elan Sasson and Andrew Corkhill have notable focuses on litigation and financial services work respectively. Lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Beau Deleuil

Testimonials

‘Global approach with a local boutique feel.’

‘Elan Sasson is a stand-out strategist and practitioner.’

‘Incredible personnel.’

‘Great attitudes. Very personal. Immediate responses. Felt more like solving as a family vs service provider relationship.’

‘I choose firms based on the individual lawyers and their teams. Elan Sasson and Beau Deleuil are two of the best lawyers I have ever worked with. They are highly skilled, creative thinkers and fantastic collaborators with (difficult and) demanding clients.’

Key clients

Consortium of investors in Sargon

National Solar Energy Group

Secured creditors and founders of The Natural Grocery Company Pty Limited

Paltar Petroleum

Liquidators (KPMG) of BrightAU Capital Pty Ltd (trading as ‘TradeFred’)

Softbank Vision Fund (Greensill Capital)

Special Purpose Liquidators of ABC Refinery (KordaMentha)

Macquarie Bank

Insurance Commission of Western Australia

Work highlights

  • Advised investors in Sargon Capital on responding to the company’s voluntary administration then liquidation.
  • Advising TradeFred on ASIC Proceedings and advising the company’s liquidators on their investigations into the affairs of TradeFred, including with respect to an intended application for judicial advice to determine the status of TradeFred’s creditors.
  • Advising Softbank Vision Fund on its response to the collapse of Greensill Capital, of which the client was a major investor and shareholder.