Restructuring and insolvency in Hong Kong

Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis' Hong Kong team  is a 'clear leader in the market' and as well as advising principal stakeholders in the primary Asia Pacific focused distressed scenarios, also forms an integral part of the firm's dominant global restructuring offering (which includes market leading practices in the US and UK). Well-versed across both formal insolvencies, as well as corporate restructuring mandates, and equally as adept handling big-ticket debtor mandates as it is on the creditor front for banks and bondholders, the scope of the firm's client base ensures that the team has an excellent perspective of the market. 'Superb' team head Neil McDonald has 'incredible skills', both in terms of formal insolvencies as well as more transactional-based work; he recently led the firm's work for distressed Hong Kong-based commodities trader, Noble Group, in its high-profile and highly complex restructuring. Damian Coles has an excellent perspective for bondholders and issuers in relation to restructurings across Southeast Asia and is a key member of the team that also includes 'superb' insolvency litigator Kelly Naphtali.

Practice head(s):

Neil McDonald

Other key lawyers:

Damian Coles; Kelly Naphtali; Robert Sandes; Daniel Margulies

Key clients

Noble Group

Toys”R”Us

Committee of creditors of China Fishery Group

Ad-hoc committee of holders of bonds issued by Blue Ocean Resources

Ad-hoc committee of holders of bonds issued by Reliance Communications

Hsin Chong Construction Group

Resolution Professional of Essar Steel India

China Singyes Solar Technologies Holdings

IL&FS Transportation Networks

Ad Hoc Committee of holders of notes issued by subsidiaries of China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group Company

Ad hoc committee of holders of senior notes issued by Huachen Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising Noble Group on its multi-billion dollar global restructuring.
  • Representing Toys “R” Us, and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, in their Chapter 11 cases pending before the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division.
  • Representing an ad hoc group of holders of the $300m notes due 2019 issued by CFG Investment in connection with the resolution of their claims against the China Fishery group of companies.
  • Represented an ad hoc committee of holders of the $325m notes due 2020 issued by Blue Ocean Resources in connection with the restructuring of the notes through a Singapore scheme of arrangement and concurrent Chapter 15 recognition proceedings.
  • Represented an ad hoc committee of holders of the $300m senior secured notes issued by Reliance Communications Limited in connection with a proposed restructuring of their claims.

Mayer Brown

Praised for its 'client-focused approach', Mayer Brown has an excellent track record in the region on behalf of bank-side creditors, corporate trustees and insolvency practitioners (IPs) across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious mandates. 'One of the foremost insolvency/restructuring lawyers in Hong Kong', John Marsden leads the firm's Asia practice 'with energy, great natural insight and an open demeanor'. The 'vastly experienced' Marsden has played a part in many notable large-scale restructurings throughout the region; he continues to advise Maybank on its negotiations with Pacific Andes and other creditors and as to its security and enforcement options in relation to Pacific Andes' debt restructuring. Thomas Pugh was also involved in the aforementioned matter and is praised for his 'great thoughtfulness and agile approach to restructurings'.

Practice head(s):

John Marsden

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Pugh; Terence Tung

Testimonials

‘The team is especially client-focused with leaders respected across the region for their experience, expertise and status.’

‘They are happy to take a flexible approach to staffing so that costs do not spiral out of control with quality throughout the team. A class act.’

‘John Marsden’s in-depth analysis of complex agreements, combined with tenacity was instrumental in identifying a legal claim, the pursuit of which led to a sizable recovery for the liquidation.’

Key clients

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

Hang Seng Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Huarong Asset Management

Bank of China

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

China Development Bank

Macquarie Capital

Bain Capital

PricewaterhouseCoopers

KPMG

Ernst & Young

Deloitte

FTI Consulting

Chong Hing Bank

International Finance Corporation

Malayan Banking Berhad

BNP Paribas

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Deutsche Bank

Bank of New York Mellon

OCBC

Work highlights

  • Advised Citibank as lender in the acquisition financing of a $350m non-performing loan portfolio in the PRC.
  • Advised the provisional liquidators of Hong Kong-listed Changgang Dunxin Holdings on its restructuring.
  • Advising Maybank, one of the primary bank creditors of the debtor group, on its negotiations with Pacific Andes and other creditors; and as to its security and enforcement options, with a view to recover its loans through Chapter 11 cases in the US and proceedings in Singapore, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.
  • Advised the petitioning bank creditor; and the provisional liquidators appointed in Hong Kong and Bermuda in relation to the restructuring of Z-Obee.

Tanner De Witt

'One of the top insolvency teams in the market', the three-partner team at Tanner De Witt is highly in demand as a result of its 'specialised experience combined with practical advice'. Best-known for its contentious prowess, the team receives a raft of mandates from insolvency practitioners (IPs), as well as referral work from international law firms to advise on the Hong Kong aspects of cross-border matters. 'Two of the most prominent insolvency/restructuring lawyers in Hong Kong', co-heads Ian De Witt and Robin Darton have 'great all-round experience', while recently promoted partner Sunny Hathiramani has a flourishing reputation at a more junior level across a range of insolvency and restructuring issues, in relation to both companies and individuals.

Practice head(s):

Ian De Witt and Robin Darton

Other key lawyers:

Sunny Hathiramani

Testimonials

‘One of the top insolvency teams in the city, with a boutique setting making it more commercial and flexible than larger firms.’

‘Ian De Witt and Robin Darton are solid lawyers and creative problem solvers; they are interested in working with a broad array of firms worldwide.’

‘Ian De Witt is approachable, easy to work with and willing to listen to client’s needs.’

Key clients

KPMG

PwC

FTI Consulting

Borrelli Walsh

Grant Thornton

RSM Nelson

Wheeler (Hong Kong)

Zolfo Cooper

Deloitte (Cayman

Islands & BVI)

Ernst & Young (BVI)

KordaMentha

Work highlights

  • Instructed by liquidators of a Cayman fund that abruptly collapsed in 2017.
  • Advising the liquidators of the Hong Kong entity of iconic guitar brand Gibson with regard to its international restructuring.
  • Acted for the liquidators of entities in the DMX Technologies Group
  • Advising a US-based derivatives clearing exchange which was considering expanding its operations in Asia on the implications of Hong Kong insolvency laws on certain provisions of the client’s rules applicable to its participants, in relation to closing out trading positions and vetting of in the event of insolvency of a market participant.
  • Acting for the liquidators of a substantial construction company. This matter involves complex issues relating to underlying litigation regarding substantial real estate holdings in the US and fixed income notes listed in Hong Kong.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Benefiting from 'deep relationships among the bondholder community', Ropes & Gray LLP's two-partner team regularly has a prominent seat at the table in many of the region's most complex restructuring mandates where it is able to guide funds clients in restructurings and refinancings utilising complex multi-jurisdictional schemes of arrangement and US proceedings. US and Hong Kong-qualified team head Daniel Anderson has an 'excellent reputation in the market' and has a 'deep understanding of his clients needs' borne out not only by his work in private practice but also by virtue of his former in-house role within the special situations team at Citadel in Asia. Recognised as a 'market-leading lawyer in the making', the recently promoted Kathleen Berkeley 'understands where and how to add value' on behalf of bondholders. As well as her special situations investor/creditor side work, Berkeley has also picked up some notable debtor mandates including her work for the liquidators of LDK Solar.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Anderson

Other key lawyers:

Kathleen Berkeley

Testimonials

Daniel Anderson has an excellent reputation in the market‘ and has a ‘deep understanding of his clients needs‘.

Kathleen Berkeley understands where and how to add value on behalf of bondholders‘.

Work highlights

  • Advising the liquidators of LDK Solar in relation to various aspects of LDK Solar’s insolvency process.
  • Assisting an ad hoc group of bondholders with the defaulted parent-guaranteed senior notes issued by subsidiaries of Rolta India through multiple rounds of proposed restructurings.
  • Advised the ad hoc committee of noteholders in the pre-packaged reorganisation plan of Global A&T Electronics Limited, which included a US Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Led by the 'hardworking and diligent' Naomi Moore , Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's 'commercial and solutions-oriented' Hong Kong team acts as a fulcrum for creditor clients engaged in pan-Asian matters, and is able to leverage the firm's top-tier restructuring prowess out of London and the US on multi-jurisdictional global mandates. Leveraging the firm's overarching hedge fund expertise, the team is best known for its work on behalf of bondholders, with recent high-profile instructions including its work, alongside lawyers from the London office, for an ad-hoc group of senior unsecured creditors on the high-profile restructuring of the Noble Group.

Practice head(s):

Naomi Moore

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Haywood

Testimonials

‘Naomi Moore and her team are a pleasure to work with and provide smart, decisive and knowledgeable advice to bondholders on restructuring and insolvency matters.’

Key clients

Ad hoc group of senior unsecured creditors of Noble Group

Informal Steering Committee of Noteholders of Hyflux

CW Group Holdings

Ad hoc Committee of Bondholders of New Cotai

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead Hong Kong, English and US counsel to an ad-hoc group of senior unsecured creditors on the financial restructuring of in excess of $3.5bn of US and English law governed bond and bank debt, and other unsecured debts of Noble Group.
  • Representing an informal steering committee of holders of S$265m Medium Term Notes issued by Hyflux, an SGX listed, global environmental solutions company with more than S$2 billion debt subject to s211B moratorium proceedings in Singapore.
  • Represented CW Group, a Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed, Singapore-headquartered group with entities in provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong and s211B moratorium proceedings in Singapore.
  • Representing a committee of holders of $380m in PIK notes issued by New Cotai, LLC and New Cotai Capital Corp., in respect of New Cotai’s Chapter 11 proceedings and the PIK notes.
  • Representing Payless ShoeSource, an American discount footwear retailer, in connection with its Chapter 11 proceedings.

Allen & Overy

Led from Hong Kong by the 'technically very astuteRichard Woodworth and also able to leverage the firm's impressive international/pan-Asian reach, Allen & Overy has an 'excellent reputation' coordinating work from the office on Asia-focused mandates, as well as forming an integral part of multi-office teams providing the Asia specific input on big-ticket global instructions. The team advises a range of stakeholders, including funds, banks, IPs and corporates and is best known for its ability to 'achieve consensus' among large and often disparate creditor groups. The arrival in August 2019 of the vastly experienced Ian Chapman adds further credibility to the team in light of his strong bank and bond-side reputation in the Asia Pacific market.

Practice head(s):

Richard Woodworth

Other key lawyers:

Ian Chapman; Fai Hung Cheung; Emily Tillett; Viola Jing

Key clients

China Development Bank

ING Bank

A committee of creditors to Steinhoff International Holdings and Steinhoff Europe

Work highlights

  • Advising China Development Bank as one of the key creditors of the Suntech Power group on the onshore restructuring under domestic PRC law.
  • Representing ING Bank on the restructuring of Noble Group.
  • Advising a committee of creditors to Steinhoff International Holdings and Steinhoff Europe (SEAG) in connection with the restructuring of approximately €5bn of SEAG’s debt and the associated restructuring of €2.6bn of convertible bonds issued by Steinhoff Finance Holding.
  • Acting for the provisional liquidators of GRI Accessories (HK) Limited.

Clifford Chance

Headed from Hong Kong by the 'excellentScott Bache and aided by an extensive global network that includes key Asia Pacific offices in Australia and Singapore, Clifford Chance excels in handling big-ticket pan-Asian mandates, as well as global matters involving a significant nexus to Asia. The team is particularly accomplished acting for funds as creditors, as well as for international and Chinese banking clients. Recent highlights included the representation of an ad-hoc committee of lenders with vast exposure to the troubled Noble Group and subsequently for Deutsche Bank as major trade finance provider to the New Noble Group. Consultant Joanna Charter  is also a key member of the team and is active across the full range of stressed, distressed and insolvent situations, particularly on behalf of banking clients.

Practice head(s):

Scott Bache and Donna Wacker

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Charter; Robert Child; Phoebe Lo

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

Orchard Capital Partners

China Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for an ad-hoc committee of lenders as creditors of the troubled Noble Group.
  • Acted for Jindal Steel & Power (Mauritius) as borrower in connection with the restructuring of its off-shore syndicated and bilateral facilities.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank on the scheme of arrangement and debt-for-equity conversion in relation to the senior and subordinated debt facilities, and related consents and debt restructuring of Bis Industries.
  • Represented Orchard Capital Partners as noteholder on a series of complex and significant restructures and recapitalisation plan for Terracom Limited, a coal miner with projects in Mongolia and Australia.
  • Representing China Development Bank as one of the creditors in relation to the restructuring of Brazil-based telecommunications company, Oi.

DLA Piper

Headed by the 'superbMark FairbairnDLA Piper advises primarily creditor-side stakeholders, including funds and banks, across the spectrum of restructurings, formal insolvencies and special situations. Benefiting from an extensive global footprint which includes significant on the ground experience across Southeast Asia, the team excels at handling pan-Asian cross-border mandates, in addition to international matters involving a significant Asian intersection. Fairbairn is particularly noted for his 'prowess on the bondholder side'; he recently advised the ad-hoc group of holders of $550m New York law-governed bonds in connection with China Shanshui Cement Group's restructuring. Jonathan Leitch also has a strong reputation across a broad spectrum of scenarios and for a range of stakeholders, including experience in relation to bond defaults (English and New York law governed) and corporate restructuring involving schemes of arrangement.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fairbairn

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Leitch; Katherine McMenamin

Key clients

Clearwater Capital Partners

CQS

BFAM

Rabobank

Standard Chartered Bank

DBS Bank

Deutsche Bank

Jindal Steel

Cedar Holdings Group

ICICI Bank

HSBC

SSG

BlackRock Funds

Clearwater Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented an ad-hoc group of noteholders of $500m notes issued by China Shanshui Cement Group, representing in aggregate 40 per cent of the outstanding value of the notes.
  • Advising an adhoc group of lenders as creditors to China Fishery Group on its global restructuring.
  • Representing India-based steel and energy multinational, Jindal Steel & Power, on its restructuring.
  • Led work for Cedar Holdings Group, as prospective white knight of the troubled commodity trading business, the Noble Group.
  • Advising Rabobank in connection with its exposure to Noble Group.

Latham & Watkins LLP

With lawyers based in Hong Kong who are able to provide domestic, UK and US law advice and also able to leverage the firm's impressive international footprint, Latham & Watkins LLP provides a 'very strong service' to a balanced mix of debtor and creditor stakeholders on many of the region's highest-profile matters. Generating 'excellent traction on the bondholder front', as well as the firm's recent work for perpetual bondholders in the Noble Group restructuring, the team is also advising the ad-hoc committee of noteholders in connection with the default of senior notes issued by China-based coal mining company, Hidili Industry International Development. US-qualified restructuring partner Josef Athanas excels at guiding Greater China stakeholders through their most complex cross-border mandates, including as it relates to Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 proceedings. Howard Lam is also recommended and provides a compelling offering to clients as a result if his fluid finance practice which includes expertise on the front end of deals, as well as in distressed scenarios.

Practice head(s):

Josef Athanas and Howard Lam

Key clients

Certain perpetual bondholders of Noble Group

Deloitte

Rolta India

China Shanshui Cement Group

PWC

Huachen Energy

Work highlights

  • Represented holders of Noble Group’s perpetual bonds as their Committee’s and Noteholder’s Counsel in connection with the proposed $3.5bn restructuring plan.
  • Acting for IT company, Rolta India, as debtor’s counsel in connection  with the default of senior notes issued and potential restructuring of its group indebtedness.
  • Advising the ad-hoc committee of noteholders in connection with the default of senior notes issued by Hidili Industry International Development Limited, a China-based coal mining company.
  • Advising Deloitte, the joint provisional liquidators of China Huishan Dairy Holdings Company, one of the biggest Chinese integrated dairy companies which is Hong Kong-listed, in its process for provisional liquidation.
  • Advising Huachen Energy regarding its ongoing offshore bond restructuring and on-going negotiations with its creditors in connection with the restructuring of its parent company Wintime Group.

Linklaters

With two partners focused solely on insolvency/restructuring work based in  Hong Kong and also able to draw upon the expertise of commercial litigators on contentious insolvency matters should the need arise, Linklaters has the resources and level of expertise to handle a tremendous volume and scope of restructuring/insolvency work for creditors, debtors and investors. In addition to handling traditional bank-led insolvency mandates, the team has superb credentials on behalf of funds looking to realise value through a myriad of strategies including debt-for-equity swaps. The 'superbDavid Kidd is 'one of the most active' practitioners across Asia and has an excellent track record handling restructurings and insolvencies in many of the most significant Asian jurisdictions including China, Singapore and India. James Warboys regularly advises distressed credit funds and other alternative capital providers on secondary debt and new money investments.

Practice head(s):

David Kidd

Other key lawyers:

James Warboys; Melvin Sng; Justin Tang

Key clients

ANZ

Arkkan Capital

Bain Capital

BNP Paribas

CICC

Davidson Kempner

Deutsche Bank

DBS

HSBC

JP Morgan

Monarch

PAG

PwC

Shandong Iron & Steel Group Co., Ltd

Standard Chartered Bank

Tor

Varde

Baker McKenzie

Harnessing the expertise of practitioners in complementary practice areas, including finance and litigation, and also able to leverage the firm's vast international footprint, the 'knowledgeable and attentive' team at Baker McKenzie excels in handling cross-border mandates, which run the gamut from consensual restructurings, through to highly contested insolvencies. Praised for her 'ability to analyse matters from client’s perspective and other angles', Kwun Yee Cheung  has a strong reputation among IPs; recent highlights include her work for the liquidators of General Nice Resources on its multi-jurisdictional insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Gary Seib and Kwun Yee Cheung

Other key lawyers:

Simon Leung; Yvette Yu; Rachel Hui

Testimonials

‘The team benefits from the ability to access a good worldwide network with an extensive range of services.’

Key clients

Westinghouse Electric UK Holdings

Joint Liquidators of General Nice Resources (Hong Kong)

Liquidators of EganaGoldpfeil (Holdings) Limited (In Liquidation)

The Official Receiver of Hong Kong and KPMG acting as Special Managers of the Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong Limited (In Liquidation)

Guardian Trust Company (Asia) Limited (In Compulsory Liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Co-counsel to Westinghouse Electric UK Holdings and its direct and indirect subsidiaries in connection with the Chapter 11 cases of Westinghouse Electric Corporation LLC and its subsidiaries.
  • Advised the liquidators in all areas of the Egana Group liquidation since 2007.
  • Representing the Official Receiver of Hong Kong and KPMG in their role as Special Managers of the Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong Limited (In Liquidation).  
  • Advising the liquidators of a custodian investment company (Guardian Trust Company) in relation to the recovery of assets situated in multiple jurisdictions governed by the law of Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia.
  • Representing the liquidators of General Nice Resources (Hong Kong), an investment company with a focus on mineral resource, real estate and logistics, on all aspects of its multi-jurisdictional insolvency.

Eversheds Sutherland

Led by the 'smart and hardworkingKingsley OngEversheds Sutherland excels in providing highly bespoke advice to stakeholders in complex domestic and cross-border mandates. The team is well connected to local accounting and consultancy firms which are appreciative of its 'creativity and commerciality', and in the case of Ong, his ability to unwind complex structured finance products. Although the group is primarily focused on local mandates, aided by a growing international network, it is also picking up larger multi-jurisdictional mandates as evidenced by its recent role as debtor's counsel to Gibson Innovations on its high-profile insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Kingsley Ong

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Watt

Testimonials

‘The team provides well-considered and practical advice.’

‘The responsive Kingsley Ong has great expertise in the area.’

Key clients

Axis Bank

Borrelli Walsh

Dagong Ratings

Doctors Beck & Stone Limited

Ernst & Young (formerly JLA Asia) as liquidators of Manley Toys (HK), XG Holding Co., Limited

Gibson Innovations Limited

ICBC International

KPMG (as Hong Kong liquidators of Lehman Brothers, MF Global)

Liberty House Group

PricewaterhouseCooper as Joint & Several Liquidators of Maplin Electronics (HK) Limited

Tewoo (H.K.) Limited, Tewoo International Trade Co Ltd & Tianjin Huawu Trade Co., Ltd (PRC State Owned Enterprise Group)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Hong Kong liquidators, in a heavily contested US Chapter 15 recognition proceedings relating to the insolvency of Manley Toys.
  • Advising the White Knight in the high-profile acquisition/restructuring of Adhunik and Zina, both Indian entities that are currently subject to Indian NLCT insolvency proceedings.
  • Advised Dagong, one of PRC’s largest credit rating agencies on winding up its Hong Kong operations and sale of its PRC business.
  • Advised Gibson in its insolvency in 22 jurisdictions across four continents.
  • Acting for Axis Bank, a major creditor of PT Bumi Resources’ global debt restructuring.

Hogan Lovells

Led by commercial litigator Chris DobbyHogan Lovells' Hong Kong insolvency practice is focused on contentious mandates. The team has strong ties with local IPs and is regularly instructed to assist on the liquidation of companies involving allegations of inter-alia, fraudulent activity, breaches of fiduciary duties and misappropriation of funds. Himself a solicitor advocate, clients appreciate Dobby's ability to appear before the Hong Kong courts for civil proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dobby

Other key lawyers:

Karen Chan

Key clients

Borrelli Walsh

FTI Consulting

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Grant Thornton

Hyflux Group

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise the liquidators of Akai in respect of its liquidation and the ongoing investigation and recovery actions brought against its former chairman, James Ting (which has been running for over 13 years).
  • Continue to act for FTI Consulting, the court-appointed liquidators of PMHL, a company incorporated in Bermuda, and its wholly owned subsidiary PML, a company incorporated in Hong Kong.
  • Continuing to act for the joint and several liquidators of C.A. Pacific Finance Limited and C.A. Pacific Securities Limited.
  • Continuing to represent Borrelli Walsh, the court-appointed liquidators of China Metal, which was the first ever Hong Kong-listed company to be wound up by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) on public interest grounds under s.212 of the SFO.
  • Made successful applications for recognition and assistance in Hong Kong for the liquidators of three companies (Centaur Litigation Ltd., Centaur Litigation Unit Series 1 Ltd., and Centaur Litigation SPC) which are in liquidation in the Cayman Islands.

Lipman Karas

Litigation boutique Lipman Karas has an excellent reputation in the market for handling contentious insolvency matters where it is well-liked by certain clients for its 'tenacity and willingness to implement often quite aggressive strategies'. Particular strengths include enforcing judgments made in foreign courts, as well as acting in audit negligence claims, where it is recognised as 'having cornered the market'. Name partner Jason Karas is 'very well-known in the market'.

Stephenson Harwood

Led by litigator Jamie Stranger, who has a raft of 'experience advising on the restructuring of distressed situations', Stephenson Harwood is primarily focused at handling contentious insolvency matters for many of the leading IPs in the market. The team has also been increasingly active on corporate restructuring matters, where it is able to leverage the strengths of the office's banking and corporate firepower to enhance the resources available to clients.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Stranger

Other key lawyers:

Ivan Ng; Alexander Tang; Eloise Fardon; Emily Li; Elizabeth Hackney

Testimonials

‘Jamie Stranger has extensive insolvency and litigation experience – a good combination.’

‘Alexander Tang has in depth knowledge of the Hong Kong corporate and insolvency/restructuring laws and regime, and at the same time has very strong commercial acumen.’

‘Eloise Fardon and Alexander Tang are rising stars and are great at providing tailored solutions and managing relationships with counterparties.’

‘Eloise Fardon is a proactive member of the team and definitely partnership material.’

Key clients

PwC

FTI Consulting

VMS

Kingston Management Consultancy

Briscoe Wong Advisory

Work highlights

  • Acting for the joint provisional liquidators on the Hong Kong aspects of provisional liquidation and potential restructuring of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Limited.
  • Advised the liquidators on various issues relating to the insolvency of the Days group of companies (including misfeasance proceedings against company officers and fraudulent trading claims against former officers of the company).
  • Advising VMS on the enforcement options in respect of its exposure to Hsin Chong construction group.
  • Advising a creditor (DIRE) in relation to enforcement of arbitration award in Hong Kong and subsequent recovery actions including winding-up of Bell Tea Overseas Limited (previously known as Hip Hing Overseas Limited) in Hong Kong.
  • Acting for the bankruptcy trustees in relation to a bankruptcy including obtaining income payments order against the bankrupt and orders for the sale of a residential property.

White & Case

Benefiting from robust lender relationships, including with numerous international and Chinese banks, White & Case handles a significant volume of creditor restructuring mandates, often where the firm handled the original loan documentation. Tapping into a strong general finance capability, in addition to restructuring prowess, UK- and Hong Kong-qualified partner Baldwin Cheng leads on much of the non-contentious work handled from the Hong Kong office (which often includes practitioners from complementary practice groups including corporate/M&A). Commercial litigator Melody Chan spearheads the firm's work on the contentious side, which includes a growing amount of work for liquidators on formal insolvency matters. The team is also well-placed to handle multi-jurisdictional mandates by virtue of its far-reaching international network.

Practice head(s):

Baldwin Cheng and Melody Chan

Key clients

Noble Group

Ernst & Young

Work highlights

  • Represented the management team of commodities trader Noble Group, on its cross-border $3.5bn debt-for-equity restructuring.
  • Advised a global professional services company in the liquidation of an investment holding firm in the fintech space.

Deacons

Led on the contentious front by the 'reliable and experiencedRichard Hudson, and for non-contentious matters by financing partner Philip Gilligan,  Deacons picks up a significant volume of local work by dint of the firm's deeply entrenched accountancy relationships and strong ties with financial institutions in the region (including funds and banks).

Practice head(s):

Philip Gilligan and Richard Hudson

Key clients

The Trustee in Bankruptcy of Mr Vipan Kumar Sharma

The Trustee in Bankruptcy of Japan Life Co. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Japanese individual to obtain an order from the High Court recognising his appointment as trustee by the Japanese Court and vesting in him funds held in an account in the name of bankrupt at a bank in Hong Kong.
  • Acting for a trustee in obtaining an order from the High Court recognising his appointment as trustee by the Japanese Court and powers equivalent to those of a Hong Kong liquidator to allow him to collect assets and gather information in Hong Kong.

Gall

The 'commercial, hardworking and knowledgeable' team at dispute resolution boutique Gall provides 'practical solutions' to IPs and debtors on contentious insolvency matters. Notably, the firm is also one of the few firms in Hong Kong acting for litigation funders and was at the forefront of two major decisions in Hong Kong relating to litigation funding in insolvency administrations. Team head Nick Gall is heavily involved on the investigative side of insolvencies, including the examination of company directors/officers and the production of company’s books and records.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gall

Other key lawyers:

Chris Wong; Evelyn Chan

Testimonials

‘The client friendly Evelyn Chan has in-depth knowledge of insolvency work.’

Key clients

Cellmark China

Remedy Asia

Sincere Trading Limited and Prime King International Limited

Ted Osborn and Chris So of PwC as joint and several liquidators of Swing Media Technology Group Limited (In Liquidation)

Joint and Several Liquidators of Joint Silver Limited (In Compulsory Liquidation)

Coccinelle

Work highlights

  • Represented the liquidators of Cyberworks Audio Visual Technology Limited and the litigation funder which has taken an assignment of causes of action vested in the company.
  • Acting for the liquidators in relation to the recovery of assets and potential claims against the former management of  Swing Media Technology Group, in insolvency.  
  • Advising the liquidators (following the voluntary liquidation being converted into a compulsory liquidation) on asset tracing and the merits of uplifting stay in an ongoing proceedings (including enforcing the undertaking as to damages in an interlocutory injunction application).
  • Representing Coccinelle as petitioner against a Hong Kong company (which was within the MOISELLE group) in the contested winding up proceedings.
  • Continuing to act for Cellmark China in a long-running and complex dispute which involves defending a claim by Deloitte (being the liquidators of a subsidiary of a listed company in Hong Kong) in excess of HK$2bn for conspiracy and diversion of certain company assets.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Leveraging the firm's overarching litigation prowess, Herbert Smith Freehills' insolvency team is able to 'offer tangible solutions on contentious restructuring and insolvency instructions where court action is needed'. 'Experienced and capable litigatorGareth Thomas has an excellent track record on behalf of IPs, corporates and financial institutions in complex local and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Although the firm is less active on the restructuring and distressed M&A front, it is able to tap into the expertise of practitioners within the finance and corporate teams to resource matters when needed.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Thomas, Alexander Aitken and Tommy Tong

Other key lawyers:

Philip Lis

Testimonials

‘The team is well-established in advising creditors and lenders on corporate recovery mandates.’

‘Gareth Thomas is a dyed in the wool litigator and strategist, who is easy to work with and open to collaborations and teamwork on restructuring and insolvency instructions.’

‘Philip Lis is an up-and-comer in the region and works hard to get results for the client.’

Key clients

DBS Bank

Itochu Corporation

Lehman Brothers Finance (in liquidation)

Lehman Brothers Asia Group (in liquidation)

China Development Bank

Deloitte

FTI Consulting

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

KPMG

Lim Advisors

PwC

UBS

China Huarong International

ANZ

China Shanshui Cement Group

Ultratech Cement

Work highlights

  • Advised China Shanshui Cement Group in relation to numerous ongoing litigation proceedings in Hong Kong and overseas.
  • Representing DBS Bank in the defence of a High Court action brought by Galleria (Hong Kong), Limited and Cosimo Borrelli and G. Jacqueline Fangonil Walsh in their capacity as liquidators of Galleria.
  • Advised UltraTech Cement as the successful bidder of the debt of the Binani Cement group companies under the Resolution Plan, as a part of a loan-to-own restructuring
  • Acting for KPMG, in their capacity as the liquidators of the Lehman Brothers companies in Hong Kong, in relation to a series of on-going disputes with the Official Receiver and the Government of Hong Kong.
  • Acting for the liquidators of Perfect Recovery Limited (In Members Voluntary Winding-Up) in relation to their liquidation of the company and their duties, particularly regarding dealing with creditor claims.

King & Wood Mallesons

Tapping into the expertise of lawyers within the firm's corporate and securities and dispute resolution practices, King & Wood Mallesons' multi-disciplinary insolvency offering provides an 'extremely high level of professionalism' to insolvency practitioners, corporates and banks across a range of pan-Asian insolvency and restructuring matters. The team regularly handles work alongside its 'very accomplished' mainland China practice, enabling it to offer a coordinated approach, both in relation to offshore and onshore matters. 'Veteran commercial litigatorBarbara Chiu leads on the majority of the firm's most prominent contentious insolvency mandates and is praised for her 'sensible and practical advice'.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Chiu, Edmund Wan and Helena Huang

Testimonials

‘Barbara Chiu is extremely sympathetic towards clients’ needs and is proactive, without being unnecessarily aggressive.’

Key clients

Li Han Chun and Top Wisdom Overseas Holdings Limited in relation to the claims of the Liquidators of China Forestry Holdings Co. (a company formerly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange)

Industrial Bank Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

CMIG International Capital

Great Anchor International Limited, Wyse Investment Limited, Premium Management Limited, Maxfortune Trading Limited and others

Chow Wai Shing Daniel and Fok Hei Yu of FTI (Hong Kong) Consulting Limited, joint and several trustees in bankruptcy of Ding Yi (bankrupt)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Li Han Chun and Top Wisdom (a BVI company wholly owned by Mr Li) as the defendants in relation to the claims of the Liquidators of China Forestry.
  • Advised CMIG International Capital in bankruptcy proceedings against the guarantor providing guarantees for two defaulted loans of a total outstanding amount of more than $26m.
  • Involved in three parallel and related winding-up proceedings of BVI and Liberian companies on just and equitable ground where the assets involved are over HK$300m.
  • Representing FTI Consulting as the trustees-in-bankruptcy in relation to a judgment debt of over $33.35m. Work included detailed assets investigations and tracing of the bankrupt’s affairs involving multiple jurisdictions (including Hong Kong, Mainland China and Australia) and disclosure orders against banks and securities brokerages.
  • Representing the joint and several liquidators of Tian Jian Hua Xia Medical Group (HK) Limited (in liquidation).

ONC Lawyers

Spearheaded by the 'superbLudwig Ng ONC Lawyers has a 'strong reputation in the local market' on behalf of insolvency practitioners and accountancy firms handling contentious insolvency matters (including asset recovery and actions brought against former company officers).

Practice head(s):

Ludwig Ng

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Headed by UK- and US-qualified aviation finance expert Paul Jebely, and afforded greater credibility on the pure insolvency/restructuring front by the arrival of counsel Eugene Yeung  from Eversheds Sutherland at the beginning of 2018, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's nascent team is picking up a significant pipeline of work in the aviation sector, primarily for lessors and banks on deals that have experienced stress.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jebely

Other key lawyers:

Eugene Yeung

Key clients

Orix Aviation

Nedbank

World Star

Showa Leasing

JA Mitsui Leasing

NTT Finance

Investec

Work highlights

  • Represented Investec Bank in the restructuring of a secured financing transaction over a portfolio of 15 helicopters involving six different jurisdictions.
  • Represented Investec Bank in several restructurings concerning a large-scale portfolio aircraft financing transaction.
  • Advised Showa Leasing, JA Mitsui Leasing and NTT Finance in the recovery and remarketing of four Boeing 737-800 as a result of the restructuring of Malaysia Airlines.
  • Advised ORIX Aviation in connection with its high-profile agreement to purchase a minority stake in Avolon Holdings from its distressed parent Bohai Holdings (a subsidiary of the HNA Group).

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Led on the insolvency front by litigator Asha Sharma and for restructuring matters by Chris Tang Reed Smith Richards Butler's multi-disciplinary practice has broad-ranging expertise for a debtor-focused client base. As well as working on local matters, the team also handles multi-jurisdictional mandates – particularly in areas of sector strength, including shipping/energy – where it is also able to draw from the expertise of lawyers from across the firm's international network of offices.

Practice head(s):

Asha Sharma and Chris Tang

Watson Farley & Williams

As one of the go-to firms in the market for lenders on the financing of maritime and offshore assets, Watson Farley & Williams also receives a significant flow of creditor-side mandates in the event of any stress on the loans. Although she is primarily focused on the front end of deals, Madeline Leong also has considerable restructuring experience on debt restructuring, work-out and enforcement work (covering ECA financings and structured financings).

Practice head(s):

Madeline Leong; Christoforos Bisbikos and Guan Jian

Other key lawyers:

Valerie Lee

Key clients

BNP Paribas

The Korea Development Bank

DNB Bank

Bank of America

Royal Bank of Scotland

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Export-Import Bank of China

Credit Agricole Asia Shipfinance

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale

ICBC Leasing

Credit Suisse

Wilkinson & Grist

One of Hong Kong's leading full-service independent law firms, Wilkinson & Grist is 'relatively active in the local market', particularly on behalf of liquidators of listed and private companies on their insolvencies.