Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms

CMS is growing its practice, largely thanks to the leadership of Dr Ulrike Glueck. It is attracting new clients from Europe in addition to those in China and Hong Kong, a number of which are household names. Its expertise is extensive, especially regarding restructuring and all ancillary expertise.

Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms in China

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’ restructuring team is considered ‘market leaders’ with its contentious and non-contentious restructuring work for companies, banks, and bondholders. The team advises its expanding list of high-profile clients on various restructuring issues such as debt rescheduling and refinancings, receiverships and liquidations, and shareholder disputes. Neil McDonald, who heads the team, advises both domestic and international troubled clients on the full range of issues including advising ‘The Committee’ in respect of aspects of offshore notes issued by Evergrande Group. Kelly Naphtali handles challenging insolvency disputes, often to prevent the dissipation or movement of assets. Other key members include Wei Yang Lim who is considered a ‘stand out lawyer’ for high-profile equity sponsors and regularly advises sponsor portfolio companies with restructurings and distressed investments while Fergus Saurin offers a broad range of expertise including handling complex commercial and insolvency-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Neil McDonald

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Naphtali; Wei-Yang Lim; Fergus Saurin;


They are without doubt the market leaders offering best-in-class advice and seamless deal execution. their client is always first and they are second to none in terms of thought leadership and structuring innovation.’  

‘Wei Yang Lim is the stand out lawyer who has earned his seat at the regional high table of restructuring. He is sharp as a razor blade, full of integrity and with an unswerving work ethic that is committed to his client’s best interests.’


Key clients

Babel Finance

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued by China Evergrande Group or its subsidiaries.

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued by Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. or its subsidiaries.

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes and perpetual securities issued by CIFI Holdings (Group) Co. Ltd.

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued or guaranteed by Yuzhou Group Holdings Company Limited

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued by Fantasia Holdings Group Co., Limited

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued by Huachen Energy Co., Ltd.

Sapura Energy Berhad and its subsidiaries

iQIYI Inc.

Ad hoc committee of holders of certain tranches of bonds including US$350,000,000 5.25% guaranteed bonds due 2018 issued by certain subsidiary of China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group Company Ltd.

Noble Group

Ad-hoc committee of holders of multiple tranches of offshore notes issued by Redsun Properties Group Limited

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued by Modern Land (China) Co., Limited

Wing Sze Tiffany Wong, Edward Simon Middleton and Wesley Arthur Edwards, liquidators of Nuoxi Capital Limited (a subsidiary of Peking University Founder Group Company Limited)

Ad hoc committee of holders of the US$450,000,000 6% notes due 2020 issued by Unigroup International Holdings Ltd. and guaranteed by Tsinghua Unigroup International Co., Ltd. with benefit of a keepwell deed provided by Tsinghua Unigroup Co. Ltd.

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued by Golden Wheel Tiandi Holdings Company Limited

Eqonex Limited

Ad hoc committee of holders of the US$275,000,000 9.875% Senior Notes due 2022 issued by Hong Seng Limited

Noteholders of GTI Statia Holdings N.V.

Ad hoc committee of holders of the offshore notes issued by certain subsidiary of Reward Science and Technology Industry Group Co., Ltd.

Ad hoc group of lenders under a c. US$ 435 million dual tranche multi-currency term loan facility borrowed by certain subsidiaries of Goldin Financial Holdings Limited and guaranteed by the Listco and Mr Pan Sutong

Bain Capital Special Situations

Liquidators of Polestar Automotive Holding Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting as international counsel for Babel Finance in connection with a proposed restructuring. The Restructuring is expected to be implemented through a scheme of arrangement in Singapore.
  • Advising the Committee in connection with transactions (including a potential restructuring and/or enforcement actions) concerning the Offshore Notes. Evergrande is one of the world’s most indebted real estate developers with more than US$300 billion liabilities.
  • Advising the Committee in relation to the Offshore Debt, including but not limited to a potential restructuring of such Offshore Debt. Kaisa is the second-largest US dollar bond issuer among Chinese property developers with over US$12 billion of offshore debt.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP's Greater China restructuring and insolvency group has a strong debtor-side and creditor-side practice that is involved in matters across capital structures for borrowers, sponsors, institutional and distressed investors (individually and as ad hoc committees). The team offers local expertise in both public high-yield bonds and private bank debts. Recent mandates that the team has advised on include China Fortune Land Development and Hong Kong Airlines. The team is headed by Howard Lam , who regularly represents insolvency practitioners, bondholders, distressed funds and bank lenders. Flora Innes has vast experience in complex corporate restructures, insolvency proceedings, and cross-border disputes.

Practice head(s):

Howard Lam

Other key lawyers:

Flora Innes

Key clients

Hong Kong Airlines Limited

Beijing Gas

Huachen Energy Co., Ltd

Ad hoc group of bondholders in respect of Dafa Properties Group Limited

Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Ltd

Private Bondholder of Shimao

Marketlend Pty Ltd

Work highlights

A&O Shearman

A&O Shearman’s practice group handles an extensive variety of restructuring and insolvency matters ranging from domestic disputes to cross-border and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Ian Chapman, based in Hong Kong, has extensive experience in assisting banks and bondholders on complex and high-profile restructurings, and Viola Jing is highly experienced in advising steering committees of creditors on complex, cross-border financial restructurings, both co-head the team. Other key team members include Fai Hung Cheung who advises financial institutions and insolvency office holders on a broad range of domestic and cross-border insolvency-related matters and Jane Jiang who is a specialist in domestic policy developments in the restructuring space. This growing team has been boosted by the highly experienced Melody Chan who joined from White & Case.

Practice head(s):

Viola Jing; Ian Chapman; Fai Hung Cheung

Other key lawyers:

Jane Jiang; Melody Chan

Key clients

An ad hoc group of holders (the Ad Hoc Group) of USD683m senior perpetual securities (the Perpetual Notes) issued by Blue Skyview Company Limited and guaranteed by, among others, Hong Kong Airlines Limited (HKA)

A steering committee of eight financial institutions (the Committee)

Kenneth Fung and Rod Sutton (FTI HK) and Edward Whittaker (R&H Services Bermuda) as Joint Provisional Liquidators (JPLs) appointed for restructuring purposes by the Supreme Court of Bermuda steering committee of eight financial institutions (the Committee)

Work highlights

  • Advising an ad hoc group of holders of USD683m senior perpetual securities (the Perpetual Notes) issued by Blue Skyview Company Limited and guaranteed by, among others, Hong Kong Airlines Limited (HKA).

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s restructuring team provides advice and technical expertise to creditors, lenders, coordinating committees, private equity sponsors, insolvency practitioners, and debtors on complex cross-border matters. The Hong Kong-based team comprises restructuring and insolvency specialists as well as experts from other practice areas to offer well-rounded advice to clients. Asia Pacific restructuring and insolvency group head, Scott Bache, specialises in advising financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity funds, and financial advisors on a broad range of restructuring matters. Donna Wacker, who heads the contentious insolvency practice, has expertise advising clients on complex issues around close-out valuations, custodian duties, asset valuations, asset recovery and cross-border insolvency issues. Other key team members include Soo Khim Keoy , Phoebe Lo, Thomas Walsh, Yvonne Shek, and associate Hinny Leung.

Practice head(s):

Scott Bache; Donna Wacker

Other key lawyers:

Khim Keoy; Phoebe Lo; Thomas Walsh; Yvonne Shek; Hinny Leung

Key clients

FTI Consulting [Consultant]

Work highlights

  • Representing the Liquidators of Gatecoin Limited which went into liquidation in 2019 following a hack in which crypto currency assets were stolen from the exchange’s hot wallets.
  • Advising FTI Consulting in their capacity as liquidators of Trinity Limited, a holding company of the Trinity Group.
  • Advised a range of financiers and lessors with respect to the restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines pursuant to a Hong Kong scheme of arrangement and UK Part 26A restructuring plan.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises on a wide range of restructuring and insolvency issues, such as formal insolvencies, bank workouts, and bond and note restructurings. The team frequently advises insolvency practitioners, private credit funds and special situation investors. The group has welcomed a new head of practice, Trinh Hoang who joined as partner from Linklaters and brings particular experience in special situations financing and restructuring debt facilities. Other notable practitioners include Carolyn Dong , who is highly experienced in advising prominent China based financial institutions and major corporates, as well as acting for insolvency practitioners and special situation investors in matters involving mainland China, and Rosie Li, whose expertise covers restructurings and special situations financings in complex cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Trinh Hoang

Other key lawyers:

Carolyn Dong; Rosie Li

Key clients

OCM APDO Gene Investments Pte. Ltd

Zhongliang Holdings Group Company Limited

Edward Middleton and Tiffany Wong of Alvarez & Marsal, as Provisional Liquidators of Genting Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Zhongliang Holdings Group Company Limited, a leading Hong Kong-listed Chinese real estate development company, in defending winding-up proceedings commenced by China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited.
  • Represented Edward Middleton and Tiffany Wong of Alvarez & Marsal, as Provisional Liquidators of Genting Group in connection with the provisional liquidation of a Hong Kong cruise liner group.
  • Acted for Singapore investment company OCM APDO Gene Investments Pte. Ltd. In relation to the enforcement of a debt against Jiayuan International Group Limited, a PRC real estate conglomerate listed in Hong Kong and its Chairman, arising from default of their guarantees in relation to a secured term loan facility.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is a ‘commercially-minded and exceptionally supportive‘ full-service restructuring practice with extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team’s expertise covers bond restructurings, trust asset claim adjudication and cross-border enforcement. The practitioners act for creditors, issuers, insolvency practitioners and corporate trustees, with notably clients such as CDB, ICBC and Maybank. The head of practice, John Marsden, represents clients in a wide range of matters and is highly knowledgeable in financing transactions, non-performing loan disposals and corporate restructurings. The team also includes Terence Tung , who has extensive experience in cross-border disputes; the highly experienced Pierre Dzakpasu, and Benjamin McCosker, whose expertise covers complex, multi-jurisdictional restructuring transactions.

Practice head(s):

John Marsden

Other key lawyers:

Terence Tung; Pierre Dzakpasu; Benjamin McCosker


‘Excellent value, strong partner/counsel engagement. Helpful, good technically, and responsive. Commercially-minded, and exceptionally supportive and focused on the clients’ needs. Willing to do whatever it takes to get to the fundamentals of a problem.’

‘John Marsden, good technical knowledge, very client friendly.

Ben McCosker, extremely responsive and commercial, eager to get involved and to understand our business. Very good technically.

Key clients

Huarong Asset Management

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (“ICBC”)

China Development Bank

Bain Capital



Ernst & Young

FTI Consulting

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Malayan Banking Berhad (“Maybank”)








HNA Group

Changgang Dunxin Holdings Limited


Nortel Networks (Asia) Limited (NNAL)


Glorious Sun – Jeanswest

Hang Seng Bank Limited

DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

Yuanta Commercial Bank Co. Ltd.

Chang Hwa Commercial Bank, Ltd

Taiwan Cooperative Bank Limited

Bank of Taiwan

EnTie Commercial Bank

Mega International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd.,

Bank Sinopac

Taiwan Business Bank Ltd

Far Eastern International Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the seven-bank ad hoc steering committee representing all major banking creditors to Genting Hong Kong Limited’s cruise, ship construction, gaming operation and associated businesses. The committee represented more than 30 bank lenders and credit support providers in the US$3.5bn debt restructuring.
  • Represented China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the main creditors in the restructure and recapitalization of Cell C, a major and strategically diverse South African telecommunication corporation.
  • Advising the provisional liquidators of Hong Kong listed Changgang Dunxin Holdings Limited (incorporated in the Cayman Islands), followed up by ground-breaking action on Z-Obee.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has a track record handling contentious insolvency cases whilst continuing to expand its restructuring and insolvency advisory services. The team’s expertise lies especially in aviation restructuring and insolvency, but also extends to transportation and trade. The highly regarded Jamie Stranger heads the practice and acts for a diverse roster of clients in corporate and debt restructuring and buy-outs. The team also includes the disputes lawyer Alexander Tang , and the aviation specialist Simon Wong who recently acted for JIC Leasing Co. Ltd in the debt restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Stranger

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Tang; Simon Wong


‘Deep knowledge and experience in the team.’

‘Jamie Stranger is excellent and puts the client’s best interests first.’

Key clients

JIC Leasing Co., Ltd – Hong Kong Airlines restructuring

United Overseas Bank Limited – Shimao Group refinancing & restructuring

GT Luxemburg re EZ Land


PwC – Shanghai Huaxin

Madison Pacific – Project Aquarius

Société Générale – Project Sparrow

FTI – Coastal Oil & Yeung

FTI – Days group of companies

FTI – Kaplink group of companies

GT HK – Imperial Entertainment

GT HK – U A Cinema

Finance & Risk Services Limited (Bermuda) – Noble Group Limited (in liquidation)

Finance & Risk Services Limited (Bermuda) – Global Brands Group Holding Limited (in liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Advised Madison Pacific on HNA distressed asset sales (European oil storage facilities).
  • Advised JIC Leasing Co., Ltd on the UK and HK restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines.
  • Advised UOB on the refinancing / restructuring of the Shimao Group.