Firms To Watch: Restructuring and insolvency

Richard Healy heads the sizeable four-partner restructuring and insolvency team at Oldham, Li & Nie, which adeptly serves both creditors and debtors in liquidations and pre-winding-up proceedings.
Wilkinson & Grist frequently represents liquidators in cross-border restructuring and insolvency cases, often working closely with its prominent dispute resolution and litigation practice.
DLA Piper’s finance, projects, and restructuring team has recently been bolstered by the arrival of Naomi Moore from Akin and Trinh Hoang from Linklaters. Hoang takes the leading role in developing the firm’s restructuring practice and strengthening its position in Southeast Asia.

Restructuring and insolvency in Hong Kong

Allen & Overy

With its comprehensive offering covering both contentious and non-contentious matters, including restructuring, enforcement proceedings, and regulatory issues, Allen & Overy is a vital resource for creditors and other multinational clients seeking guidance on China's onshore and offshore matters. A highlight of the firm's services is its joint operation with Lang Yue Law Firm in Shanghai, which harnesses the firm's robust international capabilities, bolstering its extensive range of services for global and Chinese clients in the financial services sector. The real estate sector also holds a prominent position in the firm's offerings, and recent developments in the PRC have led the team to assist developers in navigating complex cross-border restructurings. Notably, the team has actively advised Coordination Committees on a significant cluster of PRC developer restructurings. Ian Chapman, a veteran restructuring and insolvency lawyer, leads the non-contentious practice and is a key contact for banks and bondholders involved in complex restructurings in the Asia Pacific region. Fai Hung Cheung , leading the charge in insolvency litigation, regularly advises financial institutions on matters encompassing forensic security enforcement, asset investigation, and tracing. Viola Jing consistently lends her expertise to banks and creditors embroiled in R&I scenarios, handling both contentious and non-contentious facets, often involving complex PRC and cross-border dimensions. Richard Woodworth is no longer at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Viola Jing; Ian Chapman; Fai Hung Cheung


Other key lawyers:

Melody Chan; Karen Chan; Heidi Li; Roberta Cheung; Leona Healy


Work highlights


  • Advising an ad hoc group of holders on USD683m senior perpetual securities issued by Blue Skyview Company Limited and guaranteed by, among others, Hong Kong Airlines Limited.
  • Advised a client on two related matters arising out of the restructuring of New Ocean Energy Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries, a group involved in the oil and gas sector, whose trade and other loan exposures totalled over USD840m.

Clifford Chance

The global financial markets restructuring team at Clifford Chance regularly advises major international banks, funds, private equity investors, and corporates on a wide spectrum of R&I work. Most matters are cross-border, as the the firm leverages its pan-Asian coverage and its capacity to combine expertise across a full spectrum of products and practices, such as finance, litigation, and dispute resolution. An illustrative instance of this strength is the team’s robust response to the aftermath of disruptions in the airline industry, which has notably affected many of the firm’s clients, leading to a collaborative effort between the R&I practice and the aviation finance practice. In addition to its expertise in aviation, the team excels in sectors like TMT, food and beverage, and energy. Donna Wacker heads the contentious insolvency practice and regularly leads on complex cross-border liquidations. The non-contentious side of the practice is led by Scott Bache, a key contact for international corporates seeking guidance on the full spectrum of restructuring and insolvency matters. Other key figures within the team include Soo Khim Keoy, an experienced litigator, the ‘extremely hard-working and exceptionally intelligent’ Phoebe Lo, who specialises in corporate insolvency and restructuring work, and Thomas Walsh, whose practice focuses on cross-border disputes.

Practice head(s):

Scott Bache; Donna Wacker


Other key lawyers:

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


Testimonials

‘Phoebe Lo is one of very few trilingual restructuring and insolvency partners in HKSAR, is commercially astute, responsive and very pleasant to deal with.’

‘One of the few stand-alone restructuring teams in the market, Scott Bache and Phoebe Lo lead an excellent team. The team has the capability of working seamlessly through the full spectrum of restructuring options, from non-contentious to contentious, and are extremely well-versed in terms of understanding the structures and details of the underlying financing product/transaction.’

‘Phoebe Lo is extremely hard-working and an exceptionally intelligent practitioner. She clearly understands the Asia market and is a pleasure to work alongside.’

Key clients

FTI Consulting


Work highlights


  • Representing the Liquidators of Gatecoin Limited, one of Hong Kong’s earliest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms that went into liquidation in 2019 following a hack in which crypto currency assets were stolen from the exchanges 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.

Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis prides itself in its restructuring capabilities, as is evidenced by its involvement in high-profile regional and pan-Asian cases, representing companies, bondholders, and banks in a wide spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. A notable strength of the ‘commercial and solutions-focused’ team is its significant focus on India, where it has played a crucial role in major restructurings, including Essar Steel and Lodha Group. Advising ad hoc committees is also a key specialty of the firm, with recent developments in China leading the team to provide guidance on restructurings related to the real estate industry, often spanning multiple jurisdictions. Leading the group is Neil McDonald, a key contact for multinational corporates seeking advice on a range of insolvency and restructuring issues. Other key names include Kelly Naphtali, who focuses on commercial and insolvency-related disputes, and Wei Yang Lim, who is a key point of contact for leading private equity sponsors in the region. Fergus Saurin is an expert in cross-border litigation with a particular focus on capital markets, M&A, and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

Neil McDonald


Other key lawyers:

Kelly Naphtali; Wei-Yang Lim; Fergus Seurin


Testimonials

‘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 a standout 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.’

‘Expert knowledge, deep experience, commercial and solutions-focused.’

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.


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 offshore notes issued by Golden Wheel Tiandi Holdings Company Limited


Eqonex 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.


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, which involves a holistic restructuring of its financial obligations, business operations and shareholding structure.
  • Advising the Committee in connection with transactions concerning the Offshore Notes.
  • Advising the Committee on the Offshore Debt, including but not limited to a potential restructuring of such Offshore Debt.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s restructuring and insolvency group covers a myriad of issues stemming from both public high-yield bonds and private bank debts, acting on both debtor and creditor side mandates. Its work frequently incorporates its American roots in order to provide US law advice, such as advising on cross-border proceedings under Chapter 11 and Chapter 15. Players from multiple sectors, including energy, real estate, finance, and aviation, often turn to the team, especially those with connections to China’s corporates. Leveraging its cross-practice and multi-jurisdictional teams, the department is well-positioned to provide clients with advice on highly complex situations for private and publicly listed companies in Hong Kong and the wider Asia region, expertise essential when advising on non-traditional mandates like restructuring work covering Hong Kong scheme arrangements and UK restructuring plans. Howard Lam leads the practice and is a key point of contact for insolvency practitioners, bondholders, distressed funds, and bank lenders on China-related and Asia-based restructuring matters. Working alongside Lam is Flora Innes, whose involvement spans complex corporate restructurings, insolvency proceedings, and cross-border disputes.

Practice head(s):

Howard Lam


Other key lawyers:

Flora Innes


Key clients

Hong Kong Airlines Limited


Huachen Energy Co., Ltd


Ad Hoc Committee of bondholders in relation to China Fortune Land Development.


Value Partners and Prudence Asset Management Pte. Ltd.


Ad Hoc Group of bondholders in relation to Dr Peng


Donald Osborne and Christopher So (of PWC), as joint and several liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin (Hong Kong) Limited (In Liquidation)


Tianqi Lithium


Beijing Gas


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


Linklaters

The sizeable team of four partners at Linklaters regularly advises on high-profile restructuring and insolvency matters, and has been recently active guiding clients through the PRC real estate sector-related defaults and restructurings, as well as in the aviation and education sectors, catering to debtors, banks, and bondholders, and frequently collaborating in tandem with its top-ranked capital markets, corporate, and finance departments. The team also boasts its geographic capabilities and capitalises on its global network of offices to offer seamless advice in relation to Hong Kong, English, and New York matters. The leadership of the team is helmed by Richard Woodworth, a recent addition from Allen & Overy, and Andrew Payne, based in Singapore, both of whom leverage their considerable expertise to offer advice on complex restructuring scenarios. Denise Fung also leads the team and specialises in contentious insolvency matters; being also a solicitor advocate, she often utilises her advocacy capabilities. Another notable figure is James Warboys, who has recently relocated to London but remains actively engaged in supporting the practice.

Practice head(s):

Richard Woodworth; Andrew Payne; Denise Fung


Other key lawyers:

James Warboys


Testimonials

‘Richard Woodworth is technically excellent, which was instrumental in helping us navigate complex, novel financing structures.’

‘With our long lasting relationship, Linklaters’ restructuring and insolvency team has always been the team to go to.’

‘Richard Woodward is the attorney who deserves strongest recognition.’

Key clients

Deutsche Bank


Tor Investment


Genting Hong Kong Limited


J.P. Morgan


CIFI Holdings


Golden Wheel Tiandi Holdings Company Limited


Yuzhou Group Holdings Company Limited


Redsun Properties Group Limited


Hong Yang Group Company Limited


China Aoyuan Group Limited


Yunlin Holding GmbH


Work highlights


  • Advised CIFI Holdings on its restructuring of approximately US$7bn offshore financial indebtedness.
  • Advised Yuzhou Group Holdings Company Limited on the comprehensive restructuring of its offshore liabilities, which include 15 series of public bonds, 4 series of private notes, 1 series of perpetual securities and various loan facilities.
  • Advised an Ad hoc committee of bondholders on the proposed restructuring of the US$9bn offshore indebtedness of Sunac China Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries.

Tanner De Witt

International investors, corporates, and financial institutions frequently rely on Tanner De Witt for guidance in various restructuring and insolvency matters, especially those that have cross-border implications. The team frequently taps into its close relationships and referral network across the broader Asia-Pacific region to deliver comprehensive advice, and recently has been notably focused on guiding numerous PRC property developers within the sphere of publicly listed companies. These engagements extend beyond the real estate industry, encompassing a broad spectrum of sectors, including aviation and TMC, as well as construction. Regularly sought-after by a diverse clientele that includes investors, financial institutions, insolvency practitioners, and distressed entities, the R&I team maintains a strong presence in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team’s leadership, represented by the ‘exceptional problem solver’ Ian De Witt and Robin Darton, brings substantial expertise to managing complex insolvency-related matters and contentious matters. Witt specialises in commercial litigation and insolvency matters, while Darton is a key contact for private equity and distressed funds, asset managers, and debtors seeking guidance on various insolvency issues. Witt’s and Darton’s proficiency spans Hong Kong’s boundaries, and also embraces international landscapes, encompassing winding-up proceedings, bond restructurings, and the complexities of cross-border recognition proceedings, all with a specialised lens on off-shore matters. Another key name to note is Sunny Hathiramani, who is renowned for his representation of office holders in recognition and enforcement proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Ian De Witt; Robin Darton


Other key lawyers:

Sunny Hathiramani; Troy Greig; Veronica Chan; Tim Au; Natalie Lam


Testimonials

‘The TDW team runs a practice with the deepest knowledge in insolvency in HK. They are able to provide advice in real time, which only very few lawyers in HK are able to do.’

‘TDW is the preeminent boutique firm in the market and is widely noted for its restructuring and insolvency practice. They have a massive depth of experience and are one of the few firms with real expertise on personal bankruptcy matters.’

‘A great team to work with on both a professional and personal level. Always available to discuss any issues and very flexible in their approach. Sunny Hathiramani, Tim Au and Troy Greig are all highly regarded.’

‘A deep bench of individuals who are very good at what they do, are approachable and are conflict free.’

‘Sunny Hathiramani is very personable, hard working and always makes himself available. A great team player.’

‘Tanner de Witt’s team blends an array of backgrounds and skill sets to combine into a strong, independent law firm that is firmly established as the leading Hong Kong law firm providing fast, effective and reliable advice.’

‘Ian de Witt is an exceptional problem solver. He combines this with decades of legal experience, and unparalleled knowledge of Hong Kong law, to deliver outstanding litigation results.’

‘Few know more about insolvency and restructuring than Ian De Witt; highly competent and well organised, focussed on clients and well-liked.’

Key clients

KPMG


PwC


Kroll


Grant Thornton


Alvarez & Marsal


China Cinda (HK) Asset Management


RSM Nelson Wheeler


FTI Consulting


Teneo


Deloitte


Ernst & Young


Interpath


Work highlights


  • Acting for liquidators of PRC construction conglomerate China City Construction International Co. Limited which collapsed following default of the RMB2.5 bln bonds issued by it, including an ensuing complex fraud and asset recovery exercise.
  • Advising China Cinda Asset Management on the restructuring of its US$400m loan which involves a potential joint venture with competing creditor MBK Partners, the appointment of receivers over various parts of the group, the appointment of liquidators in other parts of the group and dealing with the regulatory aspects of financing politically sensitive onshore assets with offshore debt.
  • Acting for a major creditor in the restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines with negotiations and interventions to resolve outstanding issues, including those involving the Civil Aviation Department.

Ashurst

Ashurst has developed a strong reputation for a full spectrum of restructuring and insolvency matters, routinely advising a range of stakeholders across the capital structure, including insolvency practitioners, agents, trustees, issuers, and borrowers in relation to distressed situations. Key figures within the team include Lance Jiang, who recently joined the firm from Addleshaw Goddard. Jiang brings in a decade of experience in both Hong Kong and mainland China, which equipped him with an in-depth understanding of the China market and regulatory landscape and the capability to help Chinese clients navigate complex cross-border challenges. Former practice head Sophie Lyall departed in September 2023.

Other key lawyers:

Lance Jiang; Cathie Wong; Lawrence Li


Testimonials

‘They have great strength in their restructuring practice. ’

‘The team has a high level of professionalism, fast feedback, and a good spirit of cooperation.’

‘Their high level of professionalism in this business, rich experience, and dedication to customers have left a deep impression on us. The lawyers on the team are very friendly and it is a pleasure to work with them every time.’

Key clients

MIE Holdings Corporation


LVGEM (China) Real Estate Investment Company


Kuwait Petroleum Corporation


China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group Co., Ltd


An ad-hoc group of holders of HK$1,950 million 6.95 per cent. cash settled equity-linked securities due 2026 issued by Logan Group Company Limited


Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders of USD bonds issued by E-House (China) Enterprise Holdings Limited


Work highlights


  • Advised an Ad Hoc Group of bondholders across three tranches of the US$2bn of guaranteed bonds issued by Tsinghua Unic Ltd and guaranteed by Tsinghua Unigroup Co., Ltd, a PRC state-owned parent company, in relation to the restructuring of the bonds.
  • Advised an ad-hoc group of holders of HK$1,950m 6.95 per cent cash settled equity-linked securities due 2026 issued by Logan Group Company Limited in the ongoing restructuring of US$6bn in offshore debt of the Logan group of companies.
  • Advised LVGEM (China) Real Estate Investment Company (HKSE code: 95) on the restructuring, amendment and settlement of disputes in connection with the originally US$120m exchangeable bonds issued by China LVGEM Property Holdings Limited, a controlling shareholder of our client.

Hogan Lovells

The team at Hogan Lovells is ‘very experienced in handling insolvency and related matters’ and has been actively advising on defaults and disruptions in the China real estate sector, leveraging its pan-Asian capabilities to provide guidance on various restructuring and insolvency issues, with a particular focus on special situation engagements. Meticulously aligning its operational strategy with the needs of global creditors, the firm has curated a unique cohort comprising accomplished practitioners spanning diverse domains, including finance, real estate, and litigation. In a testament to this dynamic engagement, the team has been also actively engaged in seizing opportunities arising from Vietnam, representing investment funds channeling resources into this burgeoning market. Heading the team is Jonathan Leitch, renowned for his adept handling of a spectrum of restructurings, including the intricate frameworks of both US and UK restructuring plans. Leitch’s advisory proficiency extends to diverse stakeholders, including funds, bondholders, and alternative capital providers, underscoring his preeminence in steering non-contentious deliberations across the multifaceted landscape of Asia. Chris Dobby, an experienced litigator, is another key name to note. Dobby’s reputation is perpetuated through his representation of court-appointed liquidators tasked with navigating some of the most high-profile corporate collapses woven into the fabric of Hong Kong’s commercial history.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Leitch


Other key lawyers:

Chris Dobby; Louise Leung; Derrick Lau; Yolanda Lau; Teresa Kwok


Testimonials

‘Very experienced in handling insolvency and related matters; great know how; very practical and down to earth.’

‘Chris Dobby has combined legal learning with sound common sense; always seeks to advance clients’ interests to the maximum extent possible.’

‘Hogan Lovells restructuring team are truly seamless, and HK, VN, and Singapore offices work well together and bring differing personalities, expertise and experience. I really enjoy working with the Hogans teams.’

‘Jonathan Leitch having worked across the region is in my view the leading restructuring lawyer in HK and throughout the region. His ability to bridge personalities and drive results in contentious situations is remarkable. Jonathan’s can-do attitude and relentless pursuit in order to obtain the best possible results for his clients is one of his one of many outstanding attributes.’

‘Delivery of advice on complex restructuring matters in a commercial and concise manner.’

‘As one of the few stand-alone restructuring teams in the market, Jonathan Leitch leads an excellent practice. They work seamlessly with their banking and finance and litigation colleagues and present a very joined up offering.’

‘Jonathan Leitch is an extremely hard-working, thorough and calm practitioner. he is a pleasure to work along-side. He knows the Asia market very well and I would highly recommend him.’

‘Derrick Lau is very thorough and knowledgeable and has an enviable ability to pivot between the finance deals and the restructuring practice seamlessly.’

Key clients

Madison Pacific


Ares SSG


Kroll


Oaktree Capital Management


Argentem Creek Partners


FTI Consulting


Linden Associates


Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments


PricewaterhouseCoopers


Work highlights


  • Advising an adhoc group of bondholders on the US$300m 5.25% convertible bonds due 2026 issued by No Va Land Investment Group Corporation, a real estate developer listed in Vietnam.
  • Advising Madison Pacific as the Club Loan facility agent on the successful completion of the creditor-led restructuring of the China Fishery Group, one of the world’s largest producers of fish oil and fishmeal.
  • Advising an adhoc group of holders of the US$300m due 2022 and US$200m due 2025 sukuks guaranteed by the Malaysian listed oil and gas services business, Serba Dinamik Holdings.

Mayer Brown

The ‘commercially-minded’ restructuring and insolvency team at Mayer Brown  is led by John Marsden, who specialises in a wide range of matters in the commercial and corporate context, including financing transactions, non-performing loan disposals, and corporate restructurings. The practice stands out with its unique integration throughout the APAC region, further bolstered by the firm’s robust restructuring prowess spanning Europe and America. It acts for a diverse clientele of all types of stakeholders, like PRC policy banks, international banks, AMCs, funds, and professional services firms. Assisting Marsden is Benjamin McCosker, a highly experienced practitioner with triple qualifications in Hong Kong, Bermuda, and Australia. McCosker became part of the firm’s team in July 2022, bringing with him well-rounded expertise that encompasses both the contentious and non-contentious dimensions of complex distressed scenarios.

Practice head(s):

John Marsden


Other key lawyers:

Terence Tung; Pierre Dzakpasu; Benjamin McCosker


Testimonials

‘Strong partner and counsel engagement. Helpful, good technically, and responsive.’

‘Commercially-minded, exceptionally supportive and focused on the clients needs. Willing to do whatever it takes to get to the fundamentals of a problem.’

‘John Marsden has good technical knowledge and is very client friendly.’

‘Benjamin McCosker is extremely responsive and commercial, and 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


China Development Bank


Bain Capital


PricewaterhouseCoopers


KPMG


Ernst & Young


FTI Consulting


International Finance Corporation


Malayan Banking Berhad


OCBC


DHB


CIMB


KfW


CACIB


DNB


RHB


HNA Group


Changgang Dunxin Holdings Limited


Pinpoint


Nortel Networks (Asia) Limited


Mercuria


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.
  • Represented China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the main creditors in the restructure and recapitalisation 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).

Stephenson Harwood

With a strong focus on contentious matters, the ‘hands-on’ team at Stephenson Harwood represents international and domestic clients alike. Contentious matters are not the only facet of the firm, as in recent months, the firm has actively developed its non-contentious offering and has seen an upswing in work from both international and PRC-related corporates in their refinancing proceedings. ‘Quick to adapt legal and practical strategies’, Jamie Stranger leads the team and focuses his practice on contentious proceedings, representing liquidators, receivers, and bankruptcy trustees in various insolvency proceedings. Alexander Tang is another standout disputes lawyer, and in addition to his expertise in insolvency, he also represents clients in commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. In team news, noteworthy developments include the departure of Eloise Matsui and the retirement of Mark Reed.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Stranger


Other key lawyers:

Alexander Tang; Simon Wong


Testimonials

‘Practical solutions and excellent client service.’

‘Attention to detail and thinking out of the box.’

‘On a very complex multi-jurisdictional insolvency matter that required significant coordination but also numerous key strategic decisions, I was impressed by how the firm handled the matter.’

‘Jamie Stranger was extremely hands on in the matter.’

‘A diverse team with talents from different areas.’

‘The team, including Jamie Stranger, was able to demonstrate their strong competence and experience throughout the process. They were able to provide thoughtful advice and high-quality deliverables for the best interest of their clients.’

‘The Stephenson Harwood team is efficient, experienced and hands-on. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Jamie Stranger is an experienced partner who is great at client management and quick to adapt legal and practical strategies.’

Key clients

JIC Leasing Co., Ltd


United Overseas Bank Limited


GT Luxemburg


PwC


Madison Pacific


Société Générale


FTI


GT HK –


Finance & Risk Services Limited


Work highlights


  • Advised Madison Pacific on HNA distressed asset sales.
  • Advising JIC Leasing Co., Ltd on the UK and HK restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines.
  • Advising UOB on the refinancing and restructuring of the Shimao Group.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a dedicated restructuring practice that is renowned for its proficiency across both debtor and creditor-side mandates. Regularly advising credit funds, creditor committees, bondholders, asset investors, and insolvency practitioners, among others, the practice exhibits prowess in both contentious and non-contentious dimensions of insolvency matters. Leveraging the strengths of its comprehensive US restructuring expertise, the team adeptly navigates chapter 11 and chapter 15 intricacies within a multi-jurisdictional context. Illustratively, the practice has notably represented various bondholders in the context of China property development restructuring. Spearheading this accomplished team is Kathleen Aka, a seasoned authority proficient in guiding clients through the complex contours of restructurings spanning an array of industries, from banking and financial services to the retail and property sectors. Supporting Aka is associate Tara Hamilton, who lends her expertise to a spectrum of stakeholders embroiled in distressed scenarios. Hamilton’s advisory scope encompasses a broad spectrum of mandates, spanning informal restructuring of distressed entities, formal in-court insolvencies, and subsequent recovery processes. Recently promoted to counsel, Graham Price has expertise in acting for a range of global and Asia-based clients on sophisticated financings and specialised special situations loans.

Practice head(s):

Kathleen Aka


Other key lawyers:

Tara Hamilton; Graham Price


Testimonials

‘Weil’s restructuring and insolvency team have an excellent set of lawyers. The team is driven, constructive, solution oriented and commercial.’

‘I have worked with Kathleen Aka and Tara Hamilton for many years now and their practice is absolutely top tier.’

‘Kathleen Aka is an outstanding restructuring and insolvency lawyer. She is very responsive, practical, dedicated, hands-on and solution oriented. Clients are appreciative of her deep domain knowledge, analytical abilities and overall capabilities.’

‘Kathleen Aka is able to navigate commercial and legal situations to find a path forward. For restructuring and insolvency matters in Hong Kong, Kat would be my first point of contact.’

‘Commercial, practical and approachable.’

‘Kathleen Aka is personable, loyal and gets the job done.’

Key clients

Ad hoc group of holders of notes issued by Shimao Group


Ad hoc group of holders of notes issued by China Aoyuan Group


Kroll


Work highlights


  • Advising the ad hoc group of bondholders in relation to the potential restructuring of more than US$6bn of offshore bond debt issued by Shimao Group.
  • Advising the ad hoc group of bondholders in relation to the restructuring of more than US$3 billion of offshore bond debt issued by China Aoyuan Group.
  • Advising the Receivers and Managers of Smart Edge Limited (a subsidiary of the HK listed Goldin Financial Holdings) in relation to the sale of the Goldin Financial Centre.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie boasts a sizeable team of eleven partners, each with extensive experience in both Hong Kong and PRC landscapes. This composition lends the practice a distinct edge in handling PRC-focused matters, fortified by its collaboration with FenXun Partners, a prominent Chinese firm. These adept partners possess a diverse skill set, spanning various restructuring and insolvency projects; their expertise encompasses areas such as listco matters, regulatory and tax-related mandates, intellectual property considerations, and derivatives intricacies. Leading the group is Kwun Yee Cheung, an authority in company insolvency and court restructuring work. Cheung excels in cross-border commercial litigation pertaining to insolvency, and her current endeavors include assisting several PRC property developers facing distress situations in both Hong Kong and the PRC.

Practice head(s):

Kwun Yee Cheung


Other key lawyers:

Gary Seib; Ronald Sum, JP; Edmund Ma


Testimonials

‘The partners and associates are able to provide prompt and professional advice from a practical perspective.’

‘Kwun Yee Cheung and Edmund Ma are reliable professionals and they understand the internal procedural requirements of our institution and are able to provide very useful legal opinions.’

‘I am impressed by the team’s diversity and collaboration functions. Also, they are super friendly and professional.’

Key clients

Chong Hing Bank Limited


CWT International Limited


Fergal Power of KPMG


Fok Hei Yu and John Batchelor of FTI Consulting Ltd


Guardian Trust Company (Asia) Limited


The Official Receiver of Hong Kong and KPMG


Samson Paper Holdings Limited


Work highlights


  • Advising Derek Lai and Glen Ho Deloitte on their capacity as soft-touch provisional liquidators of Samson Paper Holdings Limited, a Bermuda incorporated and Hong Kong listed company, after successfully seeking recognition in Hong Kong in 2020.
  • Acting for members of KPMG as the liquidators in the ongoing liquidation of EganaGoldpfeil (Holdings) Ltd and its group, since the Company was first placed in provisional liquidation in 2008 and 2011.
  • Advising a client on a complex liquidation involving one of the region’s largest liquidations of a financial institution and one of the largest banking collapses in history, which was facilitated by the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong.

Sidley Austin

The Sidley Austin restructuring team operates across both debtor and creditor sides, and has recently played a key role in some of the largest restructurings within the Chinese real estate sector. The firm’s advisory reach extends across diverse industries, encompassing domains as varied as cryptocurrency, medical, and dental facilities. Alongside involvement in sizeable debtor-side mandates, the team has recently also expanded its creditor-side practice, now encompassing acting for White Knights and rescue financing providers. Leading the helm is Gordon Davidson, whose offshore background enhances the firm’s offerings in the Asia region. Davidson’s adept representation spans high-profile restructurings in addition to diverse debt restructuring cases concerning various Chinese developers.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Davidson


Other key lawyers:

Mark Knight; Jifree Cader; Joshua T. Oeij; Ibrahim Babiker


Testimonials

‘Sidley Austin has a strong relationship with corporate clients and has been the legal advisor in many schemes of arrangement during the recent PRC real estate industry collapse. It is not exaggerated to say that Sidley Austin has dominated the schemes of arrangement matters.’

‘Rich field experience based on successful deals.’

‘Definitely a standout team in terms of being involved in almost all of the material offshore debt restructurings of recent times.’

‘Gordon Davidson is an excellent practitioner who has a deep knowledge of the intricacies that inevitably attach to complex multi-jurisdictional debt restructurings. He is incredibly responsive and also has a good eye for a commercial outcome for his clients.’

‘The team takes the lead in the restructuring of Chinese real estate bonds and is far ahead. The team has led the legal work on some of the industry’s largest restructuring transactions and completed them as quickly as possible.’

‘The team works closely and efficiently across disciplines and regions, providing timely feedback to clients and proposing creative solutions.’

Key clients

China Fortune Land Development


Modern Land (China) Co., Limited


Rise Sun Real Estate Development Co., Ltd


China Evergrande Group


Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd


Fantasia Holding Group Company Limited


Sunac China Holdings Limited


Guangzhou R&F Properties Co., Ltd.


Logan Property Group


Zhenro Properties Group Limited


Ting Chuan (Cayman Islands) Holding Corporation


Kien Huat


Zhongliang Holdings Group Company Limited


Dafa Properties Group Limited


Shunsun Holdings Group


Work highlights


  • Advising China Evergrande Group on the highly complex potential restructuring of US$20bn of offshore debt.
  • Advised Chinese real estate developer Modern Land (China) Co., Limited on the restructuring of its US$1.34bn offshore dollar-denominated notes.
  • Advised Chinese property developer China Fortune Land Development on its restructuring of US$4.56bn in offshore debt by way of an English scheme of arrangement.

White & Case

The sizeable six-partner practice at White & Case advises creditors on the full spectrum of restructuring and insolvency matters, many of which involve cross-border intricacies. The team effectively leverages its American origins to offer advice on US insolvency matters to companies connected to China and other Asian countries, while also frequently tapping into its expertise in emerging markets, including Indonesia, India, the Philippines, and Thailand. Eugene Man spearheads the team and focuses on advising corporates and banking clients, encompassing diverse transactional aspects, such as M&A deals and financing matters. Sophie Lyall joined the firm from Ashurst in September 2023, bringing in considerable experience in large-scale cross-border restructuring matters in relation to loan and public or private bond debt.

Practice head(s):

Eugene Man


Other key lawyers:

Baldwin Cheng; Jessica Zhou; Maggie Chan; Manley Leung; Sophie Lyall


Key clients

China Cinda (HK) Asset Management Co., Limited


Deutsche Bank AG


Ernst & Young


RRJ Capital


Work highlights


  • Advised RRJ Capital on its recapitalisation buy-out merger of Singapore-based Fullerton Healthcare Corporation Limited.
  • Advised Ernst & Young Transactions Limited and EY Cayman Ltd, the joint official liquidators of a Cayman entity previously listed in Hong Kong, Chong Sing Holdings Fintech Group Limited (In Official Liquidation).
  • Advised UBS AG Hong Kong Branch and Guotai Junan Securities (Hong Kong) Limited as the financial advisors on Zhongliang Holdings Group Company Limited’s exchange offer and consent solicitation of the senior notes.

CMS

CMS's restructuring and insolvency team features a group of lawyers well-versed in navigating the unwinding and closeout intricacies of complex financial products, including derivatives, securitisations, and structured offerings. Kingsley Ong leads the practice and often acts on behalf of a wide client roster, which includes arrangers, borrowers, finance leasing companies, and liquidators, leveraging his extensive expertise ‘in the interplay of Singaporean, HK and Mainland PRC regimes’. Andrew Horton, who heads the shipping and dispute resolution practice, contributes his wealth of insights to the restructuring realm, enhancing the team’s collective expertise. Similarly, the team’s capabilities receive a boost from Steven Wise from the corporate and M&A practice, underscoring the firm’s industry-orientated approach.

Practice head(s):

Kingsley Ong


Other key lawyers:

Andrew Horton; Steven Wise; Simon Barrell; Tony Lau


Testimonials

‘Kingsley Ong is the key person who can solve the problem and make the whole project run smoothly.’

‘Kingsley Ong is experienced and a master of his craft.’

‘Attention to detail and good thinking outside the box’

Key clients

Aspect Properties Japan Godo Kaisha


Axis Bank


BOCI


China Huarong International Holdings Limited


Huarong International Financial Holdings Limited


China Zenith Chemical Group Limited


Deloitte


Ernst & Young


ICBC International Finance Limited


MDME Limited


The Great European Carnival Limited


Meritz Securities


Morgan Stanley


Taipei Sky Tower development group


Xiwang Investment Company Limited


Xiwang Special Steel Company Limited


Work highlights


  • Advised the Bank of China on the successful workout of the Tsingshan-LME nickel derivatives crisis.
  • Advising Xiwang Special Steel Company Limited, a Hong Kong listed company, on its insolvency restructuring activities.

Dechert

At Dechert, Daniel Margulies leads the restructuring team, and his practice encompasses the representation of ad hoc committees, distressed companies, and creditors in complex restructuring and default contexts. The firm boasts robust ties with clients across Asia, a rapport magnified by Margulies’ prior tenure in Singapore. Drawing upon this background, Margulies provides advice across an array of restructuring transactions spanning diverse sectors, encompassing financial services, energy, and real estate.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Margulies


Other key lawyers:

Dirk Behnsen; Yang Zhao


Testimonials

‘Partners are hands-on and have extensive restructuring experience which is highly invaluable.’

‘Good depth and breadth of experience in restructuring and insolvency matters, as well as special situations financing.’

‘Practical advice and an ability to think outside of the box to deliver solutions and results.’

‘Experience across multiple Asian jurisdictions with borrower types and restructurings.’

‘Daniel Margulies is a very strong restructuring expert across a number of jurisdictions – especially more difficult places like Indonesia. Excellent availability and responsiveness, very legal and commercial reasoning with problem solving skills across special cases and restructurings.’

Key clients

Värde Partners


Argentem Creek Partners


Ares SSG Capital Management


Broad Peak Investment Advisors


Raiffeisen Bank International AG


Nomura Special Situations


Arkkan Capital


TOR Investment Management


Deutsche Bank, Strategic Investment Group


KKR


Alvotech Holdings SA


Madison Pacific


Citadel


Bain Capital Credit


Morgan Stanley Special Situations


Balyasny Europe Asset Management LLP


Work highlights


  • Advised a holder of US$280m 14.5% guaranteed senior notes due 2021 issued by Oceanwide Holdings International Development III Co., Ltd on the issuer’s default and litigation and enforcement strategies in New York and Hong Kong.
  • Advised Yestar Healthcare Holdings Company Limited on its out of court restructuring of its liabilities under New York law governed US$200m senior notes.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Gareth Thomas and Alexander Aitken jointly lead the sizeable restructuring, turnaround, and insolvency practice at Herbert Smith Freehills, frequently advising on informal workouts, debt restructurings, and asset reorganisations for distressed Chinese and international companies. The firm’s joint operation with Kewei Law Firm in China allows the team to navigate the intricacies of PRC law, enabling the practice to capitalise on complex restructurings involving Chinese creditors. Thomas specialises in large-scale restructurings, often involving Hong Kong/BVI and Cayman Islands law, while Aitken is recognised for his expertise in India, regularly advising clients on the new Indian Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Thomas; Alexander Aitken


Testimonials

‘Efficient, resourceful and friendly.’

‘Alex Aitken is personable and takes responsibility where required.’

Key clients

Anglo Chinese Corporate Finance Limited


Chance Talent Management Limited


Cheer Hope Holdings Limited


DBS Bank


Kunshan Technology Investment (HK) Limited


Meritz Securities Co., Ltd.


NH-Amundi Asset Management Co., Ltd


Southwind Group Limited


Speedcast Hong Kong


UBS


Work highlights


  • Acted as defence counsel for the Liquidators of China Metal Recycling (Holdings) Limited (China Metal) when it had commenced proceedings against UBS AG and UBS Europe SE in the Court of First Instance in respect of liabilities arising out of its sponsorship work for the IPO of China Metal Recycling.
  • Acted for Chance Talent Management Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary and the private equity investment arm of CCB International (Holdings) Limited.
  • Advised NH-Amundi, a shareholder, on a senior mezzanine loan required to prevent the underlying project company becoming insolvent with two tranches funded indirectly by NH-Amundi and another tranche funded indirectly by Macquarie Bank.

King & Wood Mallesons

The restructuring team at King & Wood Mallesons specialises in cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters and holds a track record of advising large corporates and financial institutions on a range of matters, such as reorganisations, liquidation, settlement, and winding up proceedings. Co-led by Sheldon Tse, an expert in corporate restructuring with profound expertise in PRC-related regulatory intricacies, and Helena Huang, renowned for her representation of companies and financial entities spanning the US, Hong Kong, and Mainland China, the practice excels in advising under PRC, Hong Kong, and other international laws.

Practice head(s):

Sheldon Tse; Helena Huang; Edmund Wan


Key clients

FTX Trading Ltd and related companies


HNA Aviation Group Co., Ltd.


Administrator of Shenji Group Kunming Machine Tool Company Limited


Everwin Enterprise (Hong Kong) Limited


Industrial Bank Co, Ltd


Century Sun International (HK) Limited


IBM China


Work highlights


  • Advised FTX on Hong Kong law matters in respect of its Chapter 11 insolvency.
  • Advising HNA Aviation Group Co., Ltd. as the investor in the successful USD6.2bn debt restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong’s second largest airline.
  • Advised Everwin Enterprise (Hong Kong) Limited (Everwin) on successfully opposing an approximately USD244m winding up petition.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright in Hong Kong is a go-to destination for international and Chinese corporates, lenders, private equity funds, and creditors seeking guidance on complex receivership, liquidation, and shareholder dispute matters. The team, co-led by Camille Jojo and Daniel NG, boasts Jojo’s extensive experience as a litigator and arbitrator, specialising in complex finance disputes and regulatory investigations that often lead him to appear before the High Court and Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong. Ng, on the other hand, specialises in commercial litigation, focusing notably on advising and representing banks, financial institutions, and corporates in various contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Camille Jojo; Daniel Ng


Work highlights


  • Advising a leading Hong Kong construction company, as the unsecured creditors, on the potential collapse of Hong Kong Airlines.
  • Advising an international mining company on restructuring as well as winding up proceedings involving 12 jurisdictions and ongoing litigation in Hong Kong.
  • Advising a leading bank on the preservation and enforcement of their rights as member of a cooperation committee and as lender under a number of high value syndicated facilities for the recovery of the outstanding indebtedness.

Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP

Representing both debtors and creditors across a variety of contentious and non-contentious issues, Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP‘s restructuring and insolvency practice frequently engages in cross-border matters, often in tandem with its offices around the globe. The team’s industry strength is another facet of the firm, and the team often collaborates with its top-ranked shipping lawyers while representing some of the most prominent shipping companies with connections to China. Practice head Asha Sharma is ‘well acquainted with the knowledge to guide her clients’, and is a key point of contact for major international financial institutions, specialising in a range of company-related disputes. Other key figures within the team include Denise Jong, whose expertise includes advising on complex restructurings, insolvency, restructuring litigation, cross-border insolvency, and distressed asset sales, as well as Delpha Ho, who regularly handles complex corporate and capital reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Asha Sharma


Other key lawyers:

Denise Jong; Delpha Ho; Steve Tam


Testimonials

‘Reed Smith LLP has a long track record of handling complex, high-value corporate transactions, including acting on M&A, take-privates, business reorganisations and restructurings.’

‘Delpha Ho is extremely responsive and is technically strong. She and her team members are proactive and solution driven and communicate well with us and our common clients.’

‘Demonstrate professionalism during the receivership process.’

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland has extensive expertise in guiding clients through disputes stemming from corporate failures and insolvency cases across various jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, the PRC, the UK, and Singapore. Heading this practice is Mark Hughes, who provides advice across a diverse spectrum of contentious issues. This includes litigation in Hong Kong courts and arbitration proceedings, as well as navigating through investigations conducted by regulators and other authorities both locally and internationally.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hughes


Other key lawyers:

Duncan Watt; Jason Tam


Testimonials

‘The team provides unparalleled assistance to barristers. They are responsive, detail-oriented and knowledgeable.’

‘The team is extremely dedicated to their work and is a pleasure to work with. They understand lay client’s needs, and act as an effective bridge between lay clients and barristers.’

Key clients

WElink Energy (Europe) Limited


The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited


The Bank of East Asia, Limited.


Work highlights


  • Representing an SOE in a multi-billion-GBP restructuring of its power generation and trading businesses operating under a complex joint venture structure in the UK and Australia, and advising on a series of significant shareholder disputes arising out of the joint venture.
  • Representing a creditor in relation to a USD1.2bn claim in the context of a scheme of arrangement.
  • Representing a syndicate of lenders comprising of 10 leading financial institutions in the complex restricting of a Hong Kong listed group and the recovery of debts of over USD185m.

Gall

Gall effectively leverages its Hong Kong links to advise domestic and international entities on a range of contentious insolvency work. The firm is regularly instructed by international practitioners on insolvency matters relating to Hong Kong and demonstrates a strong litigation practice. Evelyn Chan leads the team, and clients praise her ‘deep market knowledge and strong legal skills.’

Practice head(s):

Evelyn Chan


Other key lawyers:

Adriel Wong


Testimonials

‘Pragmatic and efficient. Well-known independent litigation and restructuring team.’

‘Evelyn Chan has deep market knowledge and strong legal skills.’

‘Very skilled and experienced.’

Key clients

Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders of Luckin Coffee Inc


Victory Sky


Cellmark


CyberWorks Audio Visual Technology


Ted Osborn and Chris So of PwC as joint and several liquidators


Timothy Reid as Liquidator of Pacific King Shipping Holdings Pte


Walter Junger


Rare Earth Magnesium Technology


Century Sunshine


Rich Resources


Work highlights


  • Advising an Ad Hoc Group of bondholders on an offshore scheme of arrangement in the ongoing restructuring of Luckin Coffee Inc in Cayman.
  • Advising and acting for Victory Sky on the disputes arising out of the sale and purchase of the share in ICG I.