Leading Individuals

Firms To Watch: Corporate restructuring & insolvency

Ashfords LLP has a good reputation among IPs, particularly for work in the mid-market and has strong national coverage. Although it is less focused on transactional-related restructuring matters, it has a good reputation for handling more formal contentious insolvency matters and also personal insolvency. The recent arrival of Amy Gallimore from RPC was also a boost to the team.
A specialist bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring practice with offices in London and across the regions, Isadore Goldman is gaining particular acclaim from clients for its ability to handle sizeable contentious insolvency matters where it punches above its weight.
The arrival of noted restructuring practitioners Adam Gallagher  and James Watson  from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, respectively in February 2021, represent a major statement of intent from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP , establishing a nascent European restructuring offering. Both partners are well-connected in the market and are expected to pick up a significant amount of standalone work, as well as providing a defensive strategy on behalf of the firm's institutional roster of private equity sponsors.

Corporate restructuring & insolvency in London

Akin Gump LLP

'Well-connected in the creditor community', Akin Gump LLP's 'exceptional' team has 'an unrivalled knowledge of complex, multi-party restructuring matters' for bondholders, including those acting in a distressed investment capacity, as well as those from the private placement noteholder community. A true destination practice, the majority of mandates handled by the 13-partner team, which is co-headed in London by James Roome and Barry Russell, are of a standalone nature, a reflection of its ability to provide a 'very commercial approach to advising on solutions to complex situations'. Leveraging the firm's overarching industry knowledge, the team is recognised as 'the go-to-firm in London for buy-side investors in energy restructurings'. The 'super commercial' James Terry is pivotal to much of this work, particularly in light of his specialism for energy and offshore sector issuers in the Nordic high yield market. Other recommended partners include 'world-class practitioner' Liz Osborne and Emma Simmonds, who is 'adept at bridging the gap between the legal and commercial worlds'.

Practice head(s):

James Roome; Barry Russell

Other key lawyers:

James Terry; Tom Bannister; Liz Osborne; Emma Simmonds; Lois Deasey; Hermione Allen; Jakeob Brown; Emma Butler; Caoimhe Kennedy; Jessica Ling; Lauren Pflueger

Testimonials

A first rate and exceptional team with strength in depth and an unrivalled knowledge of complex, multi-party restructuring matters.’

They have a clear edge in terms of their energy credentials that make them the go-to firm in London for buy-side investors in energy restructurings.’

Well connected with the creditor community. Specifically excel in bondholder assignments.’

Barry Russell and Tom Bannister provide an outstanding combination, utilizing in any case their deep understanding of the law, the counterparties, the professional advisors and the art of the possible in working closely with us to negotiate best outcomes.’

The super commercial James Terry is central in restructurings of energy and offshore sector issuers in the Nordic high yield market.’

Emma Simmonds is extremely knowledgeable and adept at bridging the gap between the legal and commercial worlds. She was also a constant source of creative ideas and compromise positions that helped prevent restructuring negotiations breaking down when a commercial impasse had been reached.’

Liz Osborne is a world-class practitioner who is highly driven and displays excellent commercial judgement.’

Liz Osborne is excellent and one of the best lawyers with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Incredibly diligent, focused on the end result and not afraid to drive other parties on when needed, but does so in a highly personable style. Brilliant to work with and someone you want on your side.’

Key clients

Private Placement Noteholders of C&J Clark America, Inc

CMV’s secured senior creditor

Nordic Trustee AS

The holders of various private placement notes issued by ED&F Man Treasury Management plc

Fairhold Securitisation Limited

The Lenders to (and Shareholders of) the Interserve Group of Companies

Ad hoc committee of holders of intu Metrocentre Finance plc

The private placement noteholders of NAC Aviation 29 Designated Activity Company

Ad hoc group of guaranteed bondholders of Noble Corporation plc

The Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc

Ad hoc group of term loan B lenders to PGS ASA

Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of Premier Oil Group holding

Ad hoc committee of lenders to Prosafe SE

Ad hoc group of new secured noteholders of the Seadrill Group

Holders of notes issued by SIG plc

PIK Loan Lenders for Swissport

Ad hoc group of bondholders holding senior secured notes issued by Travelex Financing PLC

Informal ad hoc group of senior note holders for Tullow Oil plc

Work highlights

  • Advising an ad hoc group of creditors of Premier Oil in connection with the proposed merger of Premier Oil with Chrysaor Holdings Limited and with the restructuring of Premier Oil’s $2.7bn of debt.
  • Advised the payment-in-kind loan lenders in relation to the $1.9bn financial restructuring of Swissport, including a debt-for-equity swap, a new long-term debt facility and an additional interim finance facility.
  • Advised an ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders in relation to the financial restructuring of Travelex, through which the group’s wholesale and outsourcing business and certain international businesses of Travelex were transferred, by way of a series of pre-pack administration sales, to a new holding structure, New Travelex.

Allen & Overy LLP

Led from London by the ‘creative and solutions-orientedIan Field and Earl Griffith , and also able to deploy experts in complementary practice areas, including banking, litigation and corporate, Allen & Overy LLP‘s ‘practical and pragmatic‘ 12-partner restructuring team has the level of resources and expertise necessary to handle the largest and most complex mandates in the market. The firm’s engagement at the ‘cutting-edge of insolvency and restructuring‘ make it a natural choice for creditors and debtors on first-in-kind mandates, as was recently exemplified by Griffith’s representation of Virgin Atlantic on what was the UK’s first ever court sanctioned restructuring plan under the newly enacted Part 26A of the Companies Act. On the creditor front, as well as generating a significant flow of work by dint of its strong institutional banking ties, the team is also well-versed in advising funds  utilising an array of strategies to realise value from distressed scenarios. Randal Weeks  is pivotal to much of the firm’s bank-led restructuring work and also has niche expertise advising security agents and trustees on restructuring and insolvency matters. Other recommended practitioners include the ‘practical and pragmaticJennifer Marshall, who is ‘renowned across the industry as a go-to partner especially with unusual, complex situations’; Joel Ferguson, who as part of his diverse offering regularly advises administrators on enforcement and realisation strategies in formal insolvency contexts; and Tim Watson , ‘who thinks like an investor‘ (having previously worked in-house at a leading global investment management firm) and is thereby particularly well-suited to advising funds on distressed investments and restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Ian Field (Head of Global Restructuring Group); Earl Griffith (Managing Partner Restructuring Group)

Other key lawyers:

Randal Weeks; Jennifer Marshall; Tim Watson; Nick Lister; Hannah Valintine; Kathleen Wong; Joel Ferguson; Nick Charlwood; Lucy Aconley

Testimonials

Excellent and prompt service, the team goes the extra mile for the client.’

The practice is a senior, experienced team at the cutting-edge of insolvency and restructuring.’

Practical and pragmatic; hard-working and capable team; good bench-strength in the junior lawyers; collaborative; well connected to the market; innovative solutions for clients.’

Ian Field remains one of the most experienced restructuring partners in the market. He is creative and solutions-oriented.’

Jennifer Marshall – excellent leading lawyer; very easy to work with; thinks through the issues and comes up with practical and pragmatic solutions.’

Jennifer Marshall – deep commitment, strong technical skills and renowned across the industry as a go-to partner especially with unusual, complex situations.’ 

Tim Watson is very straightforward and easy to deal with. He thinks like an investor so knows the what we are looking out for and has usually pre-empted questions/concerns we might have.’

Nick Charlwood is very strong. He’s great at managing and driving work product for the client as well as negotiating solutions to difficult issues.’

Key clients

Virgin Atlantic Airways

KCA Deutag Group

INTU: Wells Fargo & Others

Co-ordinating group of bank creditors to Premier Oil

NMC Health

RCF Lenders to Technicolour

Enermech

Nynas AB

RCF Lenders New Look

ING

Work highlights

  • Advising Virgin Atlantic Airways on structuring, negotiating, launching and successfully implementing the UK’s first ever court sanctioned restructuring plan under the newly enacted Part 26A of the Companies Act, which was introduced into UK law in June 2020 by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
  • Advised the KCA Deutag group in relation to the $1.9bn restructuring of its balance sheet.
  • Advising the lenders to an Intu Propco on its attempted financial restructuring of the wider Intu group and subsequent enforcement proceedings.

Clifford Chance LLP

Benefiting from 'great strength-in-depth', Clifford Chance LLP's six-partner team provides a 'perfect mix of legal expertise with commercial nous' on behalf of a balanced roster of creditor and debtor clients. Led out of London by Philip Hertz  - but also able to draw upon substantial global resources through the firm's vast international footprint - the team is particularly well-aligned to deliver 'high quality and insightful advice' on complex multi-jurisdictional mandates. This collaborative and multi-jurisdictional approach has recently manifested itself in a flurry of mandates for lessor clients as creditors in relation to aviation restructurings, work which Hertz has been heavily involved in alongside practitioners from the firm's market-leading asset finance offering. The 'outstanding' John MacLennan has also been core to a number of recent aviation restructurings (including for lessor AerCap on the high-profile restructuring of Virgin Atlantic Airways), as well as handling a steady diet of other restructuring/nsolvecy work for banks, bondholders and alternative investors, where he is appreciated for his 'ability to deliver commercial solutions that work'. Iain White has vast experience for debtors and creditors in restructurings as well as in a formal insolvency setting, and is a key member of a team that also includes David Towers, who excels at advising alternative lenders and the 'very technical' Melissa Coakley , who has been particularly active advising senior lenders in retail restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Philip Hertz

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Cohen; John MacLennan; Iain White; David Towers; Melissa Coakley; Seema Shukla; Tim Lees; Chris Norman

Testimonials

Great strength-in-depth and every possible area of expertise covered.’

Perfect mix of legal expertise with commercial nous.’

Very strong restructuring team across all levels – the partners are supported by very able junior and mid level team. Projects are well staffed with appropriate resources and very strong levels of partner engagement. Strong commitment to client delivery. Collaborative approach with advisors and provides confidence that the legal analysis will be high quality and insightful.’

‘The team displays the highest levels of expertise, an exemplary work ethic and efficiency and have a solid understanding of the underlying commercial and risk considerations on transactions. What sets them apart is their collaborative approach and ability to really listen to their clients’ needs and requests rather than just drive a standard process to deliver a technical outcome that works legally.’

‘The outstanding John MacLennan is calm, cool and collected and very technically capable with the appropriate amount of commercial overlay.’

John MacLennan – a true collaborative partner who is able to both explain the technical legal nuances in plain language and adapt to clients, while helping to deliver commercial solutions that work.’

Melissa Coakley is very technical and on top of the detail, while also retaining a pragmatic approach.’

Key clients

HSBC

Deutsche Bank

BNP Paribas

Credit Suisse

Natwest Markets/RBS

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Lloyds

Barings

M&G

Davidson Kempner

Chrysoar/ Harbour Energy

Partners Group

Hemisphere International Properties B.V.

Nordic Aviation Corporation

Matalan Group

Codere

AerCap

Senior Official Receiver

Work highlights

  • Advised Codere on its financial restructuring which was implemented pursuant to an English scheme of arrangement.
  • Advising Nordic Aviation Capital, the world’s largest regional aircraft lessor, on the successful covenant waiver and debt maturity extension of approximately $6bn of its secured and unsecured debt implemented via an Irish law Scheme of Arrangement.
  • Advised the senior lessors, the senior lessor finance parties, and certain operating lessors in respect of the modifications to their leasing and finance documents in connection with the recapitalization of Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, which was implemented in part through a restructuring plan promoted under Part 26A of the Companies Act 2006.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Co-headed by Kon Asimacopoulos and Partha Kar, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 'super responsive and well-resourced' eight-partner team provides a 'highly pragmatic and flexible approach' to a range of stakeholders on mandates throughout the capital structure, including those involving New York law governed high yield debt. Although it does often pick up high-profile creditor roles, the team is best-known for its debtor offering, either instructed directly by troubled corporates or picking up a role as a result of its vast roster of leading private equity sponsor relationships. At the vanguard of developing strategies and techniques to ensure the best outcome for clients, the team is regularly involved in first-of-kind mandates, including the 'very commercial' Sean Lacey's representation of DeepOcean Group on its ground-breaking restructuring plan - the first ever to utilise cross-class cram-down. 'Very strong practitioner' Elaine Nolan has 'significant experience in dealing with complex Company Voluntary Arrangements', which she has implemented to good effect on many of the most significant retail restructurings in the market.

Practice head(s):

Kon Asimacopoulos; Partha Kar

Other key lawyers:

Sean Lacey; Elaine Nolan; Thomas Jemmett; Karim Kassam; Lisa Stevens

Testimonials

The firm is super responsive and the team well resourced with strong individuals across geographies.’

The team provides a highly pragmatic and flexible approach.’

Top-notch team and practice; involved in most if not all high-profile transactions in the market.’

The team has very strong credentials in the field of Company Voluntary Arrangements, having acted on the majority of recent large projects.’

‘The firm has advised us on several transactions relating to one of our investments, all of which have been extremely complex. They have come up with innovative solutions to numerous difficult aspects of the transactions, all the while staying commercially-focused, helping us to achieve a very favourable outcome to support the long-term development of the business.’

‘The very commercial Sean Lacey can think outside of box and propose solutions.’

‘Elaine Nolan is a very strong practitioner, who has significant experience in dealing with complex Company Voluntary Arrangements.’

Thomas Jemmett is incredibly diligent and attentive.’

Key clients

AllSaints Retail

Capital & Regional Plc

Casual Dining Group

Celine UK Newco 1 Limited (as shareholders of Debenhams)

Cineworld Group

Cirque du Soleil

DeepOcean Group

Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación (DIA)

Europcar Mobile Group

Forever 21

Galapagos Group

HEMA – ad hoc committee of HEMA bondholders

Hertz – ad hoc committee of holders of Hertz’s European notes

Intelsat

Matalan – ad hoc committee of Matalan bondholders

NMC Healthcare Ltd (in administration)

Nordic Aviation Capital

PizzaExpress

Seadrill Partners

Selecta

Steinhoff – ad hoc committee of creditors of Steinhoff Finance

Survitec Group

Technicolor

Telepizza Group

The Civil Aviation Authority

Travelodge

Triton Investment Managers

Valaris

Wirecard – various Wirecard bondholders

Work highlights

  • Represented the DeepOcean Group on its groundbreaking restructuring plan – the first ever to utilise cross-class cram-down.
  • Advised the PizzaExpress Group on its major financial recapitalisation and restructuring, including the first ever restructuring plan to be run in parallel with a CVA process.
  • Advised Technicolor on English finance, restructuring and tax law in relation to the complex €1.25bn restructuring of this major French listed media/broadcasting group, implemented by innovative use of accelerated financial sauvegarde and conciliation proceedings in France (and related US recognition proceedings).

Latham & Watkins

On an upward trajectory driven by a number of high profile lateral hires, the most recent of which was the vastly experienced  Bruce Bell , who joined from Linklaters LLP in June 2021, Latham & Watkins‘s ‘exceptional team‘ is well-positioned to handle a wide array of domestic and cross-border restructuring and formal insolvency work. Although the firm has handled its fair share of debtor mandates, including numerous standout instructions within the beleaguered retail sector, it is best-known for its work for funds as creditors/investors. Leveraging her strong relationships with hedge and credit fund clients, the ‘brilliant’ Yen Sum is at the forefront of much of this work and excels in realising value for these investor clients, in often complex capital structures. Simon J Baskerville is global vice-chair of the restructuring practice and is also noted for his funds expertise and the flexibility, as a result of the firm’s US heritage and offices, to advise on solutions which consider both UK and US restructuring tools (including Chapter 11 and 15). The team also includes the well-regarded  Jennifer Brennan, who regularly partners with Sum on work for funds clients. Former practice head  John Houghton quit for Greenberg Traurig, LLP  in summer 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Simon Baskerville; Yen Sum; Jennifer Brennan; James Chesterman; Bruce Bell; Jessica Walker; David Wallace

Testimonials

The exceptional team delivers commercial and highly practical advice.’

The firm provides a balanced offering.’

Yen Sum is brilliant.’

Key clients

New Look

Survitec Group

Linklaters LLP

Benefiting from ‘deep core restructuring expertise‘, allied to ‘fantastic corporate and banking practices‘, Linklaters LLP is ‘able to deliver solutions and document the most complex transactions‘ for a varied range of stakeholders, including lenders, funds and corporates. Blending ‘years of experience with razor sharp legal perspectives‘, Rebecca Jarvis embodies the eclectic nature of work handled by the firm, and is ‘a steady hand for boards and stakeholders, alike, in what are often complex and sometimes volatile/acrimonious situations’. ‘A trusted adviser who applies a thoughtful and reasoned approach’, James Douglas excels in complex restructuring/insolvency scenarios for a similarly varied client base and is particularly noted for his aptitude at resolving highly contentious mandates and special situations matters for fund clients. Drawing upon a wealth of experience gleaned in private practice, as well as by dint of her long tenure in-house at Goldman Sachs, the ‘very strongSarah Mook excels at handling complex debt and equity restructurings, including for corporate debtors and their directors across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Noted in particular for his aptitude at negotiating ‘difficult situations‘ for debtor clients, Richard Bussell co-heads the 12-partner London-based team alongside Jarvis. The team also includes the vastly experienced Tony Bugg and the ‘very knowledgeableRichard Hodgson, who has been particularly busy of late representing IPs in retail-related restructurings; Nick Le Masurier is another key name to note. Bruce Bell  joined Latham & Watkins in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Jarvis; Richard Bussell

Other key lawyers:

Tony Bugg; James Douglas; Richard Hodgson; Nick Le Masurier; Sarah Mook; Matthew Harding; Liam Robinson

Testimonials

Top quality restructuring partners and lawyers with a very strong legal and commercial understanding that are able to deliver solutions and document the most complex transactions.’

Particularly adapted to leading large complex company side restructurings which require coordinated legal advice through a range of issues: including listing rules, tax, financing, pensions and across multiple jurisdictions.’

One of the best restructuring and insolvency teams in the City, allied to fantastic corporate and banking practices, as well as the full range of other services. Deep core restructuring expertise and strength-in-depth in the team, means they can tackle multiple large cases.’

Rebecca Jarvis blends her years of experience with razor sharp legal perspectives to quickly provide clients with solutions based approach. This makes Rebecca a steady hand for boards and stakeholders, alike, in what are often complex and sometimes volatile/acrimonious situations.’

Richard Bussell is a stand out – great lawyer and partner in difficult situations. Richard Hodgson is very knowledgeable.’

James Douglas is who I turn to when a difficult and complex situation requires careful navigation, as he is a trusted adviser who applies a thoughtful and reasoned approach.’

Sarah Mook is a very strong and experienced corporate restructuring lawyer. Excellent client skills. Extensive capital markets knowledge.’

‘The experienced and knolwedgeable Matthew Harding is technically strong, very calm in a crisis and gives practical advice.’

Key clients

NatWest Group

Citigroup

JP Morgan

BofA Securities

HSBC Bank

Steinhoff International Holdings

KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC

PwC

FTI Consulting

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte, as administrators, of Victoria’s Secret UK Limited (in administration) in connection with the trading administration and then subsequent sale of the UK arm of the Victoria’s Secret business to a new JV set up between L-Brands (the current shareholder and brand-owner) and Next.
  • Advised the lenders to the Ted Baker group in relation to a restructuring of its £180m revolving credit facility.
  • Advised intu Properties Plc and its subsidiaries on its balance sheet restructuring.

Milbank

Milbank has developed a superb reputation on behalf of bondholders as creditors in large cross-border distressed scenarios, where it has the flexibility to implement both European and US processes to best serve the client’s needs. Much of the firm’s success in the area can be attributed to ‘fantastic operatorYushan Ng, who is appreciated for his ‘strategic and commercial thinking‘ and ability to ‘strategise, devise action plans and implement them’. Nick Angel co-heads the team with Ng and has a more traditional focus to his practice, which includes advising debtors in cross-border restructurings/insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Yushan Ng; Nick Angel

Testimonials

Yushan Ng is a fantastic operator.’

Sinjini Saha and Yushan Ng: Whilst their commitment, engagement, communication, speed and friendliness stand out from a competitive landscape, what truly sets them apart is their strategic and commercial thinking – their ability to strategise, devise action plans and implement them. It is a pleasure working with them.’

‘Out-of-the-box thinking. The team always comes up with creative and sophisticated solutions to complex problems’

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

'Able to bring best practices and knowledge from a broad range of situations',  Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP frequently advises fulcrum stakeholders involved in many of the highest-profile cross-border mandates in the market. Although the six-partner team generates most of its own deal flow, and is by no means reliant on referrals from the US, its ability to draw on its strength across the Atlantic provides flexibility and reassurance to debtor clients, in particular, on matters with a transatlantic nexus. The 'incredibly astute and commercial' Neil Devaney  has developed a particularly strong reputation for creditors and frequently takes the lead advising ad hoc groups of bondholders on major cross-border restructuring situations, where his ability to manage different stakeholder interests and reach consensual solutions is widely appreciated. Mark Lawford is praised for his 'powerful analytical skills and ability to think laterally', ensuring that he is a popular choice among a range of creditors, debtors and IPs across a varied array of complex mandates, often including a contentious angle. Andrew Wilkinson co-heads team alongside Devaney and has vast experience advising creditors and debtors in high-value cross-border mandates. Of the more junior partners, the 'terrific' Gemma Sage continues to impress through her excellent work for stakeholders engaged in restructurings and formal insolvency procedures. The firm has seen a number of departures over the last year, with Adam Plainer  joining Dechert LLP , Clare Cottle  joining Akin Gump LLP  and Alex Wood   joining Shearman & Sterling LLP ,  but retains a strong bench of talent.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Wilkinson; Neil Devaney

Other key lawyers:

Mark Lawford; Gemma Sage; Matt Benson; Jenny Davidson; Nick Fortune

Testimonials

Strong restructuring expertise, very thorough.’

‘The very experienced team is able to bring best practices and knowledge from a broad range of situations.’

The team has a very broad knowledge of the various stakeholders in the stressed credit/financial restructuring market, particularly credit investors.’

The firm has a depth of experience of restructuring in many markets and at varying business levels built up over many years. That means they know what they’re doing and have the confidence and ability to adapt to new situations which, in the restructuring field, is happening all the time.’

The incredibly astute and commercial Neil Devaney is a leading individual in the world of creditor-side restructuring representation. His strategic thinking, intellectual and innovative guidance, managing different stakeholder interests, structuring transactions involving complex issues and layered capital structures and reaching consensual solutions stands him apart from other practitioners in the market.’

Neil Devaney always understands the business being restructured, financial as well as legal issues and what a client needs. He is incredibly astute and commercial.’

Mark Lawford: one of the keenest intellects I have come across in over 30 years of practice. His powerful analytical skills match his ability to think laterally as well as get things done; a rare combination in one person of all the attributes of a very effective lawyer.’

 ‘Andrew Wilkinson: enormous experience. He leads the field when it comes to innovation. Hayley Lund [disputes]: practical, responsive, hands-on and very efficient. Maeve Brady: a pleasure to work with, her straightforward approach is exactly what is needed with determined opponents.’

Gemma Sage is terrific.’

Key clients

Ad hoc group of bondholders of Digicel

Ad hoc group of bondholders of Ferroglobe

Ad hoc group of bondholders of NMC Health plc

Ad hoc group of bondholders of OHL

Ad hoc group of lenders to Seadrill

AMC Entertainment/Odeon Cinemas Group Limited

David Soden and Nick Edwards, the Joint Liquidators of Paragon Offshore plc

Dream Cruises

HM Treasury

Skillsoft

Ad hoc group of bondholders of Abengoa

Ad hoc group of senior creditors of KCA Deutag

Asia Research & Capital Management Ltd

Doncasters

The RCF lender group and the Agent in relation to Flint

Floatel

Folli Follie

Lehman Brothers Holding Inc and Lehman Brothers Holdings Scottish LP 3

Work highlights

  • Advising Floatel in connection with its evaluation and execution of various strategic alternatives to improve its liquidity profile, including potential refinancing and restructurings.
  • Advising ARCM, the Hong Kong-based hedge fund, in its role as the largest creditor, on their opposition to Premier Oil Plc’s proposed $2.4bn debt extension, $500m equity raise and $871m acquisition of North Sea assets, to be implemented by way of schemes of arrangement in Scotland.
  • Advising an ad-hoc committee of creditors in the $1.9bn financial restructuring of KCA Deutag, an international drilling, engineering and technology group, completed through a debt for equity swap and implemented by way of English Scheme of Arrangement.

White & Case LLP

Effectively able to leverage the firm's huge global network and to draw upon the expertise of lawyers in complementary areas, including banking and capital markets, White & Case LLP's 'commercial and pragmatic' team excels in handling cross-border restructurings, distressed investment and insolvency matters, often involving complex capital structures. Under the leadership of 'excellent strategist' Christian Pilkington, although the team remains best-known for its creditor side engagements -  including for fund clients on their distressed investment opportunities and restructurings - it has also recently picked up some notable debtor mandates, including for Swissport on its high-profile debt-for-equity restructuring. Recently promoted to partner, the 'approachable and very responsive' Morvyn Radlow has had a pivotal role on many of the recent debtor-side mandates, and is noted for her 'deep technical knowledge around Schemes of Arrangement'.  Other recommended partners include Ben Davies, who is lauded for his 'tireless work ethic' for debtors and creditors, and Ian Wallace, who is praised for his 'commerciality and understanding of the distressed investment market'. 

Practice head(s):

Christian Pilkington

Other key lawyers:

Ian Wallace; Ben Davies; Morvyn Radlow; Will Stoner; Suzanne Thomson

Testimonials

‘The team is very well connected and provides very technical advice, framed in a commercial context.’

Excellent knowledge of the sector and good grasp of the market, combined with exceptional technical and strategic capabilities.’

A strong transatlantic team – able to cover European restructurings but really understand the US angles and Chapter 11 – great for multinationals.’

Christian Pilkington is commercial and pragmatic.’

Christian Pilkington is an excellent strategist and a market leader in European restructuring and related matters.’

Ben Davies – ludicrous work rate and ensured a very complex deal was delivered on time.’

The commercial Ian Wallace has an excellent understanding of the distressed investment market.’

‘I worked closely with Morvyn Radlow on our recent project and was really impressed with her approach and also her technical knowledge. Morvyn was always approachable, contactable and very responsive, even when working late into the evening, which really helped us to keep our work on target and focused in the right areas. Morvyn was very personable, easy to work with and managed the process of the complex Scheme of Arrange seamlessly despite a vast number of stakeholders, advisors and different perspectives.’

Key clients

Hertz Global Holdings, Inc.

Swissport International

The ad-hoc committee of noteholders of the Petra Diamonds Group

The CMBS noteholders of the Trafford Centre (owned by the Intu group)

The coordinating committee of agent banks and export credit agencies of Seadrill Ltd. and its affiliates

Strategic Value Partners, LLC

Blackstone Alternative Credit Advisors LP

Nostrum Oil & Gas plc

Work highlights

  • Representation of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. and certain affiliates in their ongoing Chapter 11 cases.
  • Representation of Swissport, the world’s leading provider of airport ground services and air cargo handling, on its comprehensive restructuring and recapitalization.
  • Representation of the ad hoc committee of noteholders of the $650m high yield bonds in the financial restructuring of the diamond mining group, Petra Diamonds, with mines in South Africa and Tanzania.

Ashurst

Led out of London by Giles Boothman  and able to draw upon significant pan-European resources, Ashurst's 'responsive, experienced and knowledgeable' team is well-equipped to advise an eclectic range of creditors, investors and debtors across the spectrum of domestic and cross-border financial restructuring and insolvency situations. Praised for his 'very collaborative style', Boothman has garnered a particularly strong reputation advising US funds clients on their loan-to-own distressed investment strategies. The team is also well regarded by buyers and sellers of non-performing loan (NPL) portfolios, an area in which 'knowledgeable and responsive' UK and Greek-qualified partner Olga Galazoula excels, particularly on deals throughout Southeast Europe. In addition to more conventional insolvency and restructuring work, the 'engaging and communicative' Drew Sainsbury has developed niche expertise in financial services-related insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Giles Boothman

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Ward; Olga Galazoula; Lynn Dunne; Drew Sainsbury; Ru-Woei Foong; Maria Staiano-Kolaitis; Richard Bulmore

Testimonials

An experienced seasoned team with good cross-European coverage.’

The team’s strengths are collaboration, responsiveness, experience and knowledge, with particular emphasis on the consistent hands-on approach on the part of the partners.’

The team has a real client focus and an innovative approach to corporate insolvency.’

The team is always ready to find constructive solutions to difficult problems.’

Giles Boothman has developed a very collaborative style and works well with other advisors to get deals done.’

The knowledgeable and professional Giles Boothman has a clear focus on delivery for the client and has taken the time to understand our needs to provide excellent and supportive advice and counsel. He is very commercial and thinks creatively.’

‘Drew Sainsbury is engaging and communicative.’

‘Olga Galazoula is knowledgeable and responsive.’

 

 

Key clients

AlixPartners

Anchorage

ANZ

Apollo Global Management

Avenue

Babcock & Brown

BAIN

Bank of Cyprus

Belveder

Billabong

Blackstone

Carlyle

Cerberus

Channel 10

China Energy Reserve & Chemical Group

Deloitte

Deutsche Bank

EMAS Chiyoda

Enquest

EY

Fortress

Grant Thornton

HIH Insurance

HSBC

ICICI Bank

Interserve

Johnston Press

JP Morgan

KPMG

Lehman Brothers

M&G

MF Global

MIE Holdings

NAB

Nomura

Oaktree

Petra Diamonds

PGS

PWC

Thomas Cook

Titan Petrochemicals

Work highlights

  • Advising Petra Group on all aspects of its long-term balance sheet restructuring, including in respect of its $650m senior secured second lien notes.
  • Acting for a leading Norwegian seismic imaging group on the restructuring of its c. $1.2bn facilities, which was implemented in part by way of a Scheme of Arrangement.
  • Acting for a leading international alternative investment management firm on its investment in a major UK headquartered airline. The investment was made as part of a wider restructuring which involved the first use of the UK’s new Part 26A restructuring plan (the so-called ‘Super Scheme’).

Hogan Lovells International LLP

As comfortable advising on distressed investment work as it is utilising the full range of insolvency tools to deliver on big-ticket formal processes, Hogan Lovells International LLP's 'proactive and commercial' six-partner team is a popular choice for its well-established roster of  traditional banking clients, as well as a diverse array of funds. Led in London by the 'technically strong and user-friendly' Tom Astle and regularly aided by colleagues throughout the firm's extensive network of European offices, much of the work has a multi-jurisdictional slant, including a significant amount within the emerging markets - an area in which the 'results-oriented and extremely client-friendly' Alex Kay is particularly adept. The 'highly experienced' Stephen Foster 'combines deep legal insight with commercial acumen' for a range of creditor stakeholders across the spectrum of restructuring work, be it in a formal insolvency setting or a more transactional context. The 'astute and highly experienced' Deborah Gregory is also an invaluable member of the team, particularly in the context of bank-led mandates.

Practice head(s):

Tom Astle

Other key lawyers:

Alex Kay; Deborah Gregory; Stephen Foster; Joe Bannister; James Maltby; Celine Buttanshaw; Naomi Parmar

Testimonials

The team is thorough and helpful in dealing with strategic matters.’

‘The restructuring team at Hogan Lovells is very pro-active and commercial. They will undertake work and advise on a legal basis that takes the relevant commercial considerations into account.’

The team combines in-depth legal analysis and insight, integrated with the commerciality of what we are seeking to achieve.’

Tom Astle is a strong technical lawyer, user friendly and utterly dedicated to his clients.’

Joe Bannister provides clear and commercial advice.’

Stephen Foster is a highly experienced and well-rounded advisor, who combines deep legal insight with commercial acumen, and a focus on what really matters.’

Alex Kay is experienced, results-oriented and extremely client-friendly.’

‘The very responsive and engaged James Maltby is on top of the issues and works pragmatically to solve any challenges that arise. Deborah Gregory is an astute and highly experienced insolvency and restructuring lawyer.’

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Santander

HPS

KPMG

Deloitte

EY

PwC

Alvarez

Argentem Creek

Gramercy

Norwegian Air Shuttle

Knighthead Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Acting for the lender committee on the ongoing $2bn restructuring of Ukranian energy company, DTEK.
  • Advising senior lenders in respect of facilities to McColls, a listed newsagent and convenience store chain with over 1,500 stores in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Designing and implementing pre-pack administration of foreign exchange firm Travelex, to deliver debt/equity swap of bondholders, continuing thereafter as adviser to PwC as administrators.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP's restructuring team has continued to grow market share and gain recognition among a varied array of creditor/investor and debtor stakeholders for its ability to provide 'very good technical legal advice on complex insolvency matters'. Barry Cosgrave 's arrival in September 2020 from K&L Gates LLP was the latest partner level hire at the time of going to press and strengthened the firm's ability to advise on complex cross-border distressed investment work, as a result of his 'detailed understanding of acutely distressed situations and  of complex, structured credit'. 'Hugely experienced and impressive in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring matters' (including as it relates to pensions and insurance mandates), Devi Shah is also recommended and co-heads the team alongside the 'exceptional' Amy Jacks and 'experienced, approachable and commercial' Michael Fiddy, who both have  a more traditional restructuring/insolvency offering for IPs, banks and funds.  

Practice head(s):

Devi Shah; Amy Jacks; Michael Fiddy

Other key lawyers:

Barry Cosgrave; Sheena Frazer; Trevor Borthwick

Testimonials

‘It is a strong team that provides very good technical legal advice on complex insolvency matters.’

A diverse and smart team with a reliable and dynamic approach to complex legal issues. The team are not afraid to go out on a limb for their clients.’

Michael Fiddy is extremely experienced, approachable and always provides sage commercial advice.’

‘The exceptional Amy Jacks has extensive legal knowledge, cross-sector capability and a collaborative and engaging approach to projects.’

Devi Shah is hugely experienced and impressive in both contentious and non- contentious insolvency and restructuring matters.’

Barry Cosgrave has a detailed understanding of acutely distressed situations and alongside an understanding of complex, structured credit.’

Trevor Borthwick is an absolute rock in any contested restructuring situation – he is totally dependable, dedicated, deeply knowledgeable and you know he will protect your position.’

Sheena Frazer – a dynamic and talented lawyer with a commercial and amiable approach to projects.’

Key clients

HSBC

BDO

Ernst & Young

LBO France

Santander (UK) Group Pension Scheme

Alvarez & Marsal Europe

Pension Protection Fund

Debenhams Pension Schemes

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Moorfields

Apollo Global Management, Inc.

EA Partners

Permira Funds

Green Network Energy

Alix Partners

Mount Street

EDF Man

Work highlights

  • Advised the ad hoc committee of bondholders on the restructuring of the $1.2bn in aggregate face value of notes issued by EA Partners I BV and EA Partners II BV securitising loans to Etihad PJSC, Etihad Airport Services, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Air Berlin and Jet Airways.
  • Advising the IPs from Alvarez & Marsal Europe in connection with all aspects of their appointment as the liquidators of Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas), a construction company operating in the Middle East, Europe & North Africa.
  • Advised Permira’s credit arm on the acquisition of a large portion of the stationery retailer Paperchase, a move which has rescued the brand from administration.

Slaughter and May

Given the firm's roster of top tier coporate clients, Slaughter and May is primarily focused on debtor-side mandates, both in a restructuring and formal insolvency context. Much of its work derives from listed companies and the firm is consequently highly conversant at advising such clients on the often unique challenges associated with restructuring Plcs.  Headed by the 'outstanding' Ian Johnson, the firm is able to advise on big-ticket multi-jurisdictional mandates, due to its best friend relationships and 'commitment to working with the best local talent in other jurisdictions'. Johnson is at the vanguard of developments in the market, and has gained acclaim for his effective use of the newly enacted UK Restructuring Plan 'in a number of different situations and circumstances'. The 'very commercial and responsive' Tom Vickers is also a key member of the team and regularly acts alongside Johnson on many of the firm's highest-profile deals, including in relation to financial services insolvencies - another niche specialism of the group.

Practice head(s):

Ian Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Tom Vickers; Tim Newey; Josh Bauernfreund; Edward Couzens

Testimonials

The partners are very hands on; they handle top of market, cutting-edge work that requires partner time, and as a client you absolutely always have their attention. I also find them on the cutting-edge of law firm collaboration – these are UK law experts, willing and in fact committed to working with the best local talent in other jurisdictions.’

‘It is a great team that offers pragmatic and practical advice to clients. They also know how to navigate issues associated with restructuring Plc clients.’

The firm provides responsive and incisive advice that adapts to changing circumstances.’

‘The outstanding Ian Johnson is at the forefront of new UK Restructuring Plan and the ability to use this in a number of different situations and circumstances.’

‘Ian Johnson and Tom Vickers are completely unflappable – they are not only top experts in the field, they command the room and are never flustered. They instil complete confidence in the client.’

Tom Vickers provides very commercial, clear and articulate advice.’

Key clients

Premier Oil

Valaris

Seadrill

Interserve Group

Diamond Offshore Drilling

Hema B.V.

The Restaurant Group plc

Revolution Bars Group plc

ASOS

Davidson Kempner

Oaktree

Tiger Resources

Tata Steel

Atlas Mara

Ernst & Young

Grant Thornton

PwC

AlixPartners

Work highlights

  • Advising Valaris Plc, an industry leading offshore drilling service provider that operates one of the largest global fleets in the sector, on its comprehensive financial restructuring to be implemented through prearranged Chapter 11 cases and a parallel pre-pack administration.
  • Advising Premier Oil on its extremely complex financial restructuring, which has included an opposed scheme of arrangement, following which a reverse and related debt restructuring has been implemented through a takeover restructuring plan.
  • Advised ASOS Plc on its successful bid for, and ultimate acquisition of, the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands (and related stock) from the Arcadia group in administration.

CMS

Leveraging its strong institutional clearing bank and corporate relationships, as well as deep rooted IP ties, CMS 'provides Magic Circle advice and service at reasonable prices' across a range of debtor and creditor mandates within the mid-to-upper mid-market. Praised for his 'ability to take a commercial view on technical issues', team head Martin Brown  has a strong creditor/investor focus to his practice, which as well as work for banks also includes a sizeable amount of special situation mandates for funds pursuing loan-to-own strategies and as providers of new money. Senior associate Kelly Rothwell  'has extensive technical understanding of complex structuring and restructuring considerations', which she imparts to good effect for a range of stakeholders engaged in restructuring, distressed investment and formal insolvency activity.

Practice head(s):

Martin Brown

Other key lawyers:

Peter Wiltshire; Glen Flannery; Emma Riddle; Timea Scholey; Kelly Rothwell

Testimonials

As an in-house lawyer, I love working with this CMS team. They work very well together in terms of experience and seniority; they are responsive, easy to get hold of, helpful, they understand our business and provide well-thought through solutions that really work.’

They provide a can-do approach and are very much focused on delivering timely, practical and accurate advice.’

They are a very open and collaborative team to work with, with a commercial approach backed up by sound technical knowledge.’

The team provides Magic Circle advice and service at reasonable prices.’

Martin Brown takes a commercial view on technical issues and does a good job of explaining key issues to clients to bring them along and reach the right conclusion.’

Peter Wiltshire is always very approachable, clear and practical to work with.’

‘The highly experienced Glen Flannery always provides well thought through and considered advice in a calm style. He delivers top quality advice across a range of insolvency and restructuring cases.’

The pragmatic and practical Emma Riddle provides top quality advice across a range of insolvency cases.’

Kelly Rothwell has extensive technical understanding of complex structuring and restructuring considerations, which is overlaid by a great commercial sense.’

Key clients

National Westminster Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

HSBC Bank

AIB Group (UK) plc

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Aviva Plc

Legal & General Assurance Society Limited

Pension Insurance Corporation

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

KPMG LLP

Deloitte LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

ReSolve Advisory Limited

Financial Conduct Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised National Westminster Bank on all aspects of its bilateral exposures to the Intu shopping group following its  collapse.
  • Advised the administrators of Debenhams on all aspects of the “light touch” administration following the insolvency appointment in April 2020.
  • Advised Oaxaca Limited (t/a Wahaca), the popular Mexican restaurant chain on its successful restructuring, implemented via a company voluntary arrangement and an associated debt and equity restructuring.

Dentons

Praised for its willingness to 'think-outside-the box and provide succinct commercial advice', Dentons is a popular choice for banks on restructuring matters, as well as for IPs and debtors on more formal insolvency mandates. Under the leadership of the 'unflappable and highly experienced' Neil Griffiths, the firm has been extremely active on some  high-profile domestic work across a range of sectors, including some, such as retail and leisure, that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The 'fantastically organised and committed' Tessa Blank and 'technically outstanding' counsel  Luci Mitchell-Fry are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Neil Griffiths

Other key lawyers:

Ian Fox; Catherine Astruc; Celia Hayward; Richard Pallot-Cook; Jason Sheard; Luci Mitchell-Fry; Tessa Blank; Mark Price

Testimonials

Exceptional advice and service. Always thinking outside-the-box and providing succinct commercial advice.’

Great commercial awareness, attention to detail and speed of response on highly complex and challenging restructuring cases.’

‘Exceptional experience, down-to-earth commercial approach, willing to think outside the box.’

Neil Griffiths is virtually unflappable, highly experienced and provides very reassuring advice.’

‘Ian Fox knows his stuff, puts in the hours, and provides clear advice.’

Richard Pallot-Cook provides first-class commercial advice.’

Tessa Blank is fantastically organised and committed.’

‘The techically outstanding Luci Mitchell-Fry provides commercial and robust advice.’

Key clients

Sainsbury’s

Knight Frank

Ernst & Young

KPMG

PricewaterhouseCoopers

BDO

FRP Advisory

Grant Thornton

Jackie Stephenson

John Lewis

Chanel

Airwair International (Dr Martens)

Marks and Spencer

Sports Direct

Worldpay

Virgin/Stagecoach

Arriva Group Plc/Deutsche Bahn AG

Network Rail

DB Schenker

Work highlights

  • Advised Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group on numerous recent high-profile transactions, including the acquisition of Bonmarche; a high-value debt restructure and refinance; the appointment of FRP as administrators to EWM, Peacocks, Jaeger and Ponden Mill; the appointment of RSM as administrators of Bonmarche; the acquisition from administrators of EWM, Ponden Mill and Bonmarche and the sale of Jaeger to M&S.
  • Providing ongoing advice to the Official Receiver and Special Managers of Carillion in one of the largest and most high-profile corporate collapses for ten years in the UK.
  • Continuing to act for the LBHI2 administrators in a high- profile piece of litigation (the sub-debt litigation) following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in relation to a directions application by the administrators of LBHI2 estate.

DLA Piper

Led from London by Chris Parker, and also able to draw from substantial global resources, DLA Piper's seven-partner team provides 'clear and commercial advice' to IPs and banks on domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency mandates. The firm also boasts a sizeable and growing presence within the special situations/distressed investment market, particularly since the arrival of the 'impressive and entrepreneurial' David Manson , who has hit-the-ground running since his arrival in April 2020 from  Paul Hastings LLP , generating a slew of cross-border mandates for funds in the mid-market and large cap space.

Practice head(s):

Chris Parker

Other key lawyers:

David Manson; David Ampaw; Neil Riley; Peter Manley; Rowan Aspinwall

Testimonials

They know the law and are able to provide commercial, focused advice in an efficient, user-friendly manner.’

‘The team is focused on innovative and creative solutions at the forefront of the law as it develops. The lawyers are very commercial and aware of the drivers for their clients and other players in the market.’

Always provide clear and commercial advice in a friendly and prompt way.’

‘The broad capabilities, strength-in-depth of the team and international capabilities ensure they are able to provide advice across a wide spectrum of distressed situations.’

‘The impressive and entrepreneurial David Manson is very commercial and hands on when he needs to be. He has a strong understanding of commercial drivers and the state of the market.’

Neil Riley listens, gives considered advice and challenges appropriately.’

‘David Ampaw is exceptionally user-friendly, delivering robust and commercial advice in a calm and friendly way.’

Key clients

Alvarez & Marsal

Kyma Capital

Deloitte

EY

FTI Consulting

GLAS

Hilco Capital

HSBC

KPMG

PwC

Work highlights

  • Advising Richard Fleming, Mark Firmin, and Ben Cairns of Alvarez & Marsal as joint administrators for NMC Health Plc, the largest private healthcare company in the UAE. In April 2020, NMC was placed into administration by the UK High Court.
  • Acted as independent counsel to the boards of directors of the three UK Deep Ocean entities that utilised the third ever Restructuring Plan in the UK. This mandate also involved acting for certain directors in the wider group, including the Dutch Parent company, Deep Ocean Group Holding BV.
  • Advised the limited partner advisory committees (LPACs) of seven of the largest Abraaj funds.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Benefiting from a 'very practical and committed' core insolvency team and able to effectively mobilise multi-disciplinary teams, including corporate, employment, pensions and finance experts, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is well-suited to advising distressed corporates and IPs on big-ticket restructuring mandates. Leveraging the firm's market-leading commercial litigation credentials and with a number of dedicated core contentious insolvency experts, including 'very creative' team head John Whiteoak, the practice is particularly adept at handling complex contentious insolvency matters. 'Calm and cool, even in the most stressful circumstances', Kevin Pullen has vast experience for a range of stakeholders, including in formal insolvency situations.

Practice head(s):

John Whiteoak

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Pullen; Natasha Johnson; John Chetwood; Andrew Cooke; Stephen Conyers

Testimonials

The innovative and practical team is experienced in handling cross-border enterprise insolvencies, as well as matters involving complex financial products and scenarios.’

Great team, very practical and committed, excellent with clients and very sound tactical and strategic judgement.’

Brilliant legal strategists; deep experience; they see the end game of the case  from the very beginning.’

‘John Whiteoak is very creative in identifying solutions to difficult problems, and keeps his eye on the end game at all times.’

‘Kevin Pullen is calm and cool, keeping his head and maintaining a cold analytical view even in the most stressful of circumstances.’

‘Natasha Johnson has always been able to give clear advice, opinion and reassurance.’

‘John Chetwood is very good at explaining situations and options. He listens to commercial considerations appropriately and tailors recommendations accordingly.’

Stephen Conyers is exceptionally committed, user-friendly and commercial.’

Key clients

Joint administrators of Nortel Networks UK Limited (NNUK) and 18 other Nortel Companies, Ernst & Young LLP

Virgin Atlantic

Birmingham Highways Limited

General Mills UK

Non-executive directors of Carillion

Bharti Global

TXU Europe Group plc (in liquidation) and TXU UK Limited (in administration)

A group of mezzanine lenders

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise IPs at Ernst & Young in their role as administrators to Nortel Networks’ EMEA entities
  • Advised a group of mezzanine lenders to global airline catering and on-board retail organisation, gategroup, in relation to the liquidity concerns of the group involving the creation of a restructuring plan.
  • Advised Bharti Global Limited, in consortium with the UK Government (through the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), on the entry into an agreement for the acquisition of the OneWeb business out of a Chapter 11 sale process.

Jones Day

With a sizeable team in London and also able to tap into significant resources across its global network, Jones Day is well-positioned to advise banks, alternative lenders, debtors, funds and IPs across a range of domestic and cross-border restructurings, distressed investing and insolvency mandates. Team head Ben Larkin is an 'excellent operator' who regularly advises clients on  restructurings and distressed M&A matters, including those occuring within the infrastructure sector. Sion Richards has particular expertise advising on asset tracing, fraud and corruption in the context of insolvencies. Kay Morley  joined  Dechert LLP in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ben Larkin

Other key lawyers:

David Harding; Sion Richards; Barnaby Stueck; Alexandra Lofthouse; Hannah Plumb

Testimonials

Ben Larkin is an excellent operator.’

Key clients

HNA Group

Lucid Agency Services Limited and Lucid Trustee Services Limited

Smith & Williamson

KPMG

FRP

Deloitte

Work highlights

  • Advised sponsor, HNA, on the cross-border restructuring of the air freight and logistics business, Swissport, via an English law scheme of arrangement and pre-packaged administration.
  • Continuing to advise the insolvency officeholders of UK high street retailer British Homes Stores, following the company’s high-profile collapse in 2016.
  • Acting for the additional liquidator of high street retailer Comet in respect of the investigation and prosecution of substantial claims relating to the group’s collapse in 2012.

Macfarlanes LLP

With a partner-led approach and praised for its ability to draw on 'expertise from different areas to develop optimal solutions for clients', although Macfarlanes LLP may not have the largest restructuring practice it is frequently involved in complex and high-profile mandates for a wide-range of stakeholders. Well-versed at advising on traditional formal insolvency matters, it has gained most recognition for its transactional work, leveraging its strong private equity and alternative credit provider relationships. 'Truly exceptional' team head Jat Bains is frequently at the forefront of this funds-related work (including for turnaround funds) and is  well-regarded for his ability to 'find commercial solutions which work'. 

Practice head(s):

Jat Bains

Other key lawyers:

Paul Keddie; Peter Baldwin

Testimonials

The team does a great job at working cross-functionally and pulling in expertise from different areas to develop optimal solutions for clients.’

The team provides thoughtful and balanced advice, protects my interests firmly, but without becoming overly embroiled in needless arguments with the opponents.’

Top tier, partner-led service, which is technically first-class and their advice is always given with a strong commercial perspective.’

It is a good team that offers pragmatic advice and has great private equity/alternative credit provider relationships.’

Jat Bains has proven truly exceptional. His depth of knowledge on the legal issues across a wide range of areas on corporate law has proven truly phenomenal on repeated occasions. He combines this with a real creativity and advice to find commercial solutions which simply work and can get agreed by the other side.’

Paul Keddie is an excellent lawyer with in-depth knowledge and experience of insolvency law and practice.’

Key clients

Alchemy Special Opportunities LLP

Better Capital LLP

Buzz Bingo

Castle Trust Capital plc

Deloitte LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

OpCapita

Wirecard

Work highlights

  • Advised Castle Trust on an innovative form of scheme of arrangement.
  • Advised fintech company, Wirecard, in its high-profile insolvency which was precipatated following an audit which revealed it was missing approximately €1.9bn due to a suspected fraud.
  • Advised Buzz Bingo, the UK’s largest omni-channel bingo business on a multi-part restructuring, including the implementation of turnover based rents, novel for the leisure sector.

Paul Hastings LLP

Led by the 'very experienced and energetic' David Ereira, Paul Hastings LLP's small but growing team 'punches well above its weight' and acts for a diverse array of stakeholders (including corporates, banks, funds and governments) across an eclectic mix of high value contentious and non-contentious restructuring matters.The arrival of 'proactive and commercial' restructuring and finance partner Mei Lian from Shearman & Sterling LLP in May 2020 enhanced the firm's ability to handle high end special situations mandates, in light of her excellent credentials with funds and alternative credit providers on bespoke financing transactions and distressed investments. The firm's broader international network and ability to advise on US structures and proceedings is also a major value add proposition for clients. Associate Crispin Daly  is recommended.

Practice head(s):

David Ereira

Other key lawyers:

Mei Lian; Crispin Daly; David Shennan

Testimonials

‘The team exhibits a no stone unturned approach to transactions and one that provides answers not problems.’

Responsive, committed, creative – always a pleasure to work with.’

The knowledgeable and experienced team provides a hands-on and proactive approach to projects.’

For a small team, Paul Hastings punches well above its weight.’

David Ereira has deep experience of restructuring global companies, and is a steady hand for boards and bondholders alike.’

David Ereira is a very experienced and energetic partner who always seems to be busy due to his strong reputation.’

Mei Lian stands out for her proactive approach, her commercial attitude and her tenacity.’

Key clients

Government of Jamaica

Park First

Attestor

EA Partners

Boparan Group Holdings

Pizza Express

Global Cloud Exchange

The family shareholders of Matalan

Abraaj

QuickQuid

Metals Exploration

Work highlights

  • Advising Attestor/funds connected with Attestor in connection with the restructuring plan put forward by Gate Gourmet.
  • Successfully advised McLaren bondholders in an agreement to call off its attempt to raise money by using an unrestricted subsidiary structure to raise debt against its head office and collection of heritage cars. This is the first time an unrestricted subsidiary structure has been blocked.
  • Represented Boparan Holdings Limited and its group, in connection with the refinancing of their existing senior notes and existing term and revolving loans by way of the issuance of £640m of senior notes, issued by Boparan Finance plc.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Mid-market bank-led creditor work and IP-related instructions remain a core driver of Pinsent Masons LLP's practice but, under the guidance of the 'very dynamic' Steve Cottee,  the team has successfully broadened its scope to include increasing work for funds engaged in distressed M&A. It also has a specialism in the distressed professional services field, an area in which the 'pragmatic and client-focused' Cottee has a market-leading reputation, garnered primarily for his work within the legal sector. The arrival in November 2020 of Charles Maunder from Michelmores LLP enhances the team's ability to handle debtor side work, particularly in the context of advice to company boards on directors' duties.

Practice head(s):

Steven Cottee

Other key lawyers:

Tom Withyman; Charles Maunder; Nick Gavin-Brown; Gemma Kaplan; Andrew Robertson

Testimonials

The practice has good strength-in-depth, both within the restructuring team and the wider firm, typically with specialisms bought in from across the various disciplines for a complex deal.’

The firm regularly demonstrates a deep and broad technical knowledge which they can apply across various sectors and size of matters. They deliver valued commercial advice with certainty of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the law.’

It is perhaps the foremost legal adviser in the UK on distressed professional practices.’

‘The very dynamic Steven Cottee has led the firm’s dominance in the professional practices sector. Steve is incredibly commercial and wholly pragmatic and client focused.’

Tom Withyman is measured, sensible and an excellent technical lawyer, whilst maintaining a very commercial focus. A very safe pair of hands on complex restructurings.’

Charles Maunder – strong clear advice – willing to speak up and offer solutions.’

Andrew Robertson stands out as a diligent and knowledgeable leader within the team.’

Key clients

All UK clearing banks except the Bank of England

PwC

Deloitte

KPMG

EY

BDO

Grant Thornton

Alvarez and Marsal

Smith & Williamson

RSM

Gordon Brothers

Kind Consumer Limited

Quantuma LLP

Intu Milton Keynes Limited

Trios Facilities Management Limited

Re10 Restructuring and Advisory Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the administrators of certain companies within the Four Seasons Healthcare Group.
  • Acted for KPMG pre- and post-appointment as administrators of six companies within the Calon Energy group, an operator of gas-fired power stations.
  • Advised Gusto on its potential restructuring options and also on the duties of its directors.

Addleshaw Goddard

Led from London by Paul Fleming  and aided by a strong national presence overseen by Manchester-based Ged Barnes Addleshaw Goddard's 'pragmatic and open-minded' team is a popular choice among IPs and clearing banks in relation to domestic mid-market restructuring and insolvency matters. The practice has also been capturing more cross-border funds mandates, leveraging the firm's international network. This aspect of the practice was enhanced by the August 2020 arrival of Karl Clowry , who has the 'stakeholder management skills to work on the tough cases with multiple competing agendas'.

Practice head(s):

Ged Barnes (national head); Paul Fleming (London head)

Other key lawyers:

Fraser Ritson; Karl Clowry; Anna Hodgson; Adam McCarron

Testimonials

They are able to combine experience with a pragmatic and creative way of working that is very helpful in solving problems that many clients have not previously confronted. This makes them a first choice for complex restructuring cases that require more than an off-the-shelf approach in order to be successful.’

The team has continually been pragmatic and open-minded to innovations in collaboration and innovation.’

Karl Clowry always provides clear and concise advice for even the most complex of problems.’

Karl Clowry has the depth of experience as well as the stakeholder management skills to work on the tough cases with multiple competing agendas.’

Key clients

Ad Hoc Committee PUFG

FTI Consulting LLP (as Administrators of Prezzo Limited)

Travelodge

BDO LLP (as administrators of Parsons Peebles Group)

Grant Thornton (as English Administrators of Valad European Diversified Fund 11,14 and 19)

FRP Advisory (as Administrators of Trenchard Aviation Group)

Deloitte (as Administrators of Supercuts and Regis UK)

PWC (as Administrators of Lehman Brothers)

Trustee in Bankruptcy of Sean Dunne

Syndicate of lenders (HSBC & RBS)

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ad Hoc Committee of Bondholders on Peking University Founder’s Group in relation to $1.7bn of offshore bonds, and the related insolvency proceedings in BVI, Hong Kong and PRC.
  • Advising the Administrators of Prezzo Limited.
  • Acting for the board of Travelodge providing advice in relation their CVA (as opposed to preparation of the CVA) whist co-ordinating with our real estate and hotels team who acted in relation to over 550 hotels.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Headed by the 'personableMarc Trottier following Ben Jones ' departure to Simmons & Simmons in May 2021, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is particularly well-suited to advising on mid-market restructuring and insolvency matters, particularly in core sector strengths of the firm as a whole, such as commercial property. Trottier 'always brings a commercial and practical view to his advice' according to clients, whether it be in the context of representing office holders, boards of directors or funds investing in distressed situations.

Practice head(s):

Marc Trottier

Other key lawyers:

Simon Clarke; Claire Wainwright

Testimonials

Consistently the most user-friendly firm I have come across and they would always be my first choice for mid-market corporate restructuring and insolvency advice.’

Always bring a commercial and practical view to the transaction and its legal advice always reflects the bigger picture rather than just the black letter law, which is really refreshing.’

The team  includes extremely capable solicitors that are very easy to deal with. The answer is never a “not possible”, as they always respond with a solution or a suitable alternative.’

Marc Trottier is fantastic, easy going, happy to join calls with minimal notice and doesn’t try to overcharge you.’

Marc Trottier always brings a commerical and practical view to his advice and is so personable you never feel like you’re asking a stupid question, even when you are!’

Key clients

Alvarez & Marsal

Lloyds Banking Group

HSBC

Deloitte

KPMG

FRP Advisory

Ernst & Young

MF Global Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised the directors of a number of entities in the Travelex Group in relation to its restructuring via a pre-pack administration sale.
  • Advised the directors of Flybe Limited, formerly Europe’s largest regional airline, on its high-profile administration.
  • Advised the board of Le Pain Quotidien, Ltd on the market-leading bakery chain’s options in light of financial challenges brought on by the lockdown of the hospitality sector, and an accelerated M&A process which culminated in a pre-pack administration.

Dechert LLP

Well-placed to tap into the wider firm's asset management client base, and benefiting from a rapidly growing restructuring offering, Dechert LLP is increasingly well-positioned to pick up creditor/investor side work, including on emerging markets mandates. Of recent hires, undoubtedly the most noteworthy was the arrival in March 2021 of the 'committed and practical' Adam Plainer  from Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP. Plainer now heads the team and,  given his 'unrivalled experience in formal insolvency work' and his reputation as a 'work generator', the signs are encouraging that the firm will continue to gain market share. Kay Morley  arrived in June 2021 from Jones Day and further underlines the firm's commitment and ambition in the space, in light of her strong credentials handling European special situations and complex cross-border restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Adam Plainer

Other key lawyers:

Solomon Noh; Adam Silver; Alastair Goldrein; Kay Morley

Testimonials

Dechert’s restructuring team does an outstanding job in delivering on the guidance and managing clients’ expectations. This comes from their deep expertise in restructuring transactions.’

Adam Plainer is a work generator and has unrivalled experience in formal insolvency work.’

Adam Plainer is one of the top five restructuring lawyers in London. He is committed, practical, available, clear with his advice and has a good understanding of appropriate billing and the value to the client.’

Solomon Noh and Alastair Goldrein are both exceptional lawyers. From start to finish, they remain highly engaged to provide the best possible outcome to their clients. I find both partners very creative and passionate about delivering the best result possible for their clients.’

Key clients

Noteholders of Public Joint-Stock Company Commercial Bank “PrivatBank”

Funds managed by Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited

Davidson Kempner

Citadel

Elliott Associates

Alden Global Capital

Monarch Alternative Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised an ad hoc group of noteholders of DTEK Finance Plc on a $1.5bn debt restructuring.
  • Advised various Noteholders on two related LCIA arbitration and English High Court proceedings relating to the sums due under Loan Participation Notes indirectly issued by PrivatBank through an SPV and purportedly “bailed-in”.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright provides 'very pragmatic' advice to lenders, IPs, investors, corporates and directors across a wide range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency/restructuring issues, including those occuring within  key industry sectors for the firm,  such as transport and energy. Team head James Stonebridge is experienced at 'working through complex, international restructuring and insolvency situations', and is frequently aided by lawyers based across the firm's extensive global network of offices. As part of Mark Craggs' broad-ranging practice, he has developed particular expertise advising on the interaction of differing global restructuring laws, including as it relates to Brexit's impact on UK-EU cross-border restructuring. The practice has been strengthened by the 2020 hire of Alison Goldthorp .

Practice head(s):

James Stonebridge

Other key lawyers:

Mark Craggs; Alison Goldthorp; Matt Thorn

Testimonials

An experienced restructuring and insolvency team which is able to draw on the firm’s strong sector capability (eg shipping and energy) and breadth of specialisms, coupled with geographical reach which is delivered in an integrated way.’

Experience across a large number of deals allows for strong recommendations and innovative deal solutions.’

‘The team is approachable and very pragmatic in helping us reach the appropriate solution for our challenges. When they explain complex issues they have the way of expressing the issues which I can analyse and understand quickly.’

James Stonebridge is experienced at working through complex, international restructuring and insolvency situations with the interplay of different laws, precedents and jurisdictions.’

Key clients

The Liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia

Citibank

Bourbon Maritime

ABN Amro

DNB

ING Bank

No

SMBC

Danmarks Skibskredit

The Administrators of Insect Technology Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a group of senior secured lenders to the DeepOcean group, on its successful restructuring via inter-conditional restructuring plans (under the new Part 26A of the UK Companies Act 2006).
  • Advised a major international bank as lender in relation to the restructuring of Benteler International AG.
  • Advised certain creditors on the debt restructuring of Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Sidley Austin LLP

Co-headed by the 'technically strong and commercially savvy' Jifree Cader and Mark Knight , both of whom dispay excellent knowledge throughout the capital structure, Sidley Austin LLP handles a balanced mix of creditor and debtor mandates. A sizeable proportion of the instructions are generated from funds clients, whether in a defensive context for private equity portfolio companies, or more typically in their role as investors seeking to realise value (through different strategies including loan-to-own) from distressed debtors. Clients also benefit from the firm's ability to leverage the firm's US and Asia capabilities, as well as to draw upon broader complementary practices at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Jifree Cader; Mark Knight

Other key lawyers:

Gordon Davidson; Dhevine Chandrapala

Testimonials

The team has a great insight into the commercial aspects of a transaction. It is very knowledgeable and super responsive, and has a great depth of high-quality practices elsewhere at the firm which are complementary to their offering.’

This practice is unique given the strength of work ethic combined with technical and commercials skills meaning the right/best possible advice is provided on a consistent basis.’

For me it’s the commercial overlay and application of technical expertise and practical guidance that makes Sidley Austin the leading restructuring firm I have come across.’

‘Mark Knight and Jifree Cader are technically strong and commercially savvy.’

Jifree Cader, Mark Knight and Dhevine Chandrapala are three of the best lawyers I have ever come across from the perspective of delivery without fail and a strong practical, commercial edge. They are very easy to work with too.’

Key clients

Travelex

TowerBrook Capital Partners, L.P.

Athene

ACPS

Global Loan Agency Services Limited (GLAS)

Hilong Holding

Shandong Sanxing

Ad hoc group of PIK Noteholders

Zeus Living

Inspired Entertainment

GLAS

Famar

Work highlights

  • Represented Travelex on a complex and high-profile financial and operational restructuring.
  • Advised TowerBrook Capital Partners on the acquisition of the assets and business of the Azzurri Group, through a pre-pack administration sale, following a competitive bid process.
  • Advised TowerBrook Capital Partners on its loan-to-own acquisition of CarTrawler.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

Now headed by the 'very savvy and technically strong' Peter Newman following Dominic McCahill's retirement in March 2021, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's eight-strong team offers an increasingly broad knowledgebase to stakeholders engaged across the spectrum of formal insolvencies, distressed investment and corporate restructuring work. The team's traditional debtor strength remains - and it frequently works alongside US offices on multijurisdictional mandates . Newman, who joined in 2020,  has also enhanced the practice's profile in the creditor arena, picking up some notable bondholder committe work in big-ticket restructrings, including Swissport.

Practice head(s):

Peter Newman

Other key lawyers:

James Falconer; Nicole Stephansen; Edward Taylor

Testimonials

The firm’s corporate restructuring practice has the confidence, based on years of experience, to cut to the quick: in consequence, they do not waste costs on peripheral issues.’

‘Peter Newman perfectly balances substantive expertise and practical considerations in a way that makes him a very trusted and effective advisor.’

Peter Newman is very savvy and technical strong.’

James Falconer displays an impressive work ethic and creativity.’

Ed Taylor has an outstanding grasp of the detail and a clear route map for success for the client.’

Key clients

Wilmington Trust as Bond Trustee of African Minerals Ltd. (in administration)

Ad hoc group of noteholders of Swissport International

Ad hoc group of noteholders of Avation plc

Ad hoc group of Noteholders of Voyager Aviation LLC

Borr Drilling Limited

Noble Corporation plc

William A. Brandt, Jr. as Chapter 11 Trustee of China Fisheries Group

AML Creditor Recovery Vehicle PTC

The Joint Official Liquidators of Vantage Drilling Company

Luxury British Design Holding Limited

A major European private equity firm regarding its investment in a South American toll road

A prospective strategic acquirer

An ad hoc group of bondholders of a maritime business

A global sports media business

Roust Trading Limited

Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp.

Sequana

Landlord in respect of a retail CVA

SPAC for distressed debt fund client

The special situations group of a leading international investment bank as shareholder of a UK hotel chain

Danaos Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Wilmington Trust Limited as bond trustee in respect of $400m of convertible bonds relating to the administration of African Minerals Limited (in administration).
  • Advised an ad hoc group of noteholders in connection with the restructuring of Swissport.
  • Represented the ad hoc group of noteholders of Avation Plc on its restructuring.

Stephenson Harwood

Headed by 'very safe pair of hands' Julian Cahn, following Susan Moore's departure to Faegre Baker Daniels, Stephenson Harwood's four-partner team provides 'strong technical and commercial skills' to IPs, funds and corporates, across a range of formal insolvency and corporate restructuring mandates. Leveraging the firm's overarching commercial litigation strengths, the team remains best-known for its aptitude at handling highly contentious matters in both a corporate context, as well as in relation to personal insolvency matters. Ian Benjamin 's arrival from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in November 2020 strengthens the team's non-contentious credentials.

Practice head(s):

Julian Cahn

Other key lawyers:

Ian Benjamin; Stuart Frith; Nick Axup; Paul Hollands

Testimonials

The team has strong technical and commercial skills across both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work.’

Strong team with attention to detail. They have a really personal approach to their clients.’

Julian Cahn is a very safe pair of hands

Julian Cahn is one of the London market’s top contentious insolvency lawyers – technically excellent, pragmatic and commercial.’

Key clients

Deloitte LLP

KPMG LLP

BDO LLP

Cable Capital

Ernst & Young

FTI Consulting

Smith and Williamson

Blandford Capital

David Rubin & Partners

Borelli Walsh

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Receivers of Sebastian Holdings Inc (“SHI”), which was the personal investment vehicle of Mr Vik, a sometime multi-billionaire.
  • Advising Wells Fargo Bank on the restructuring and enforcement options available in the context of a defaulted loan secured over a large city centre mixed-use retail development in the North West of England.
  • Acting for the directors of Green Dragon Gas Ltd in commercial court litigation arising out of the issuance of high-value bonds by Green Dragon Gas Ltd’s parent company, which are in turn guaranteed by Green Dragon Gas Ltd.

Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP derives a considerable amount of work from its impressive private equity client roster, both in the context of their distressed investments, as well as acting for portfolio companies experiencing distress. Under the leadership of Edward Smith , the team continues to be particularly active in the retail/casual dining space and has developed a strong reputation in relation to the implementation of CVAs in the sector.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

Under the guidance of the 'user-friendly' Graham Lane, Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP's three-partner team continues to gain traction among funds clients as stakeholders in complex cross-border situations, including in the context of secondary distressed and high-yield debt transactions. Praised for her ability to provide 'creative solutions to commercial barriers', Iben Madsen is also a favourite among fund clients and regularly works alongside Lane for ad-hoc bondholder groups in complex cross-border restructuring mandates. Senior associate Alexander Roy is also recommended for his ability to provide 'excellent commercial and legal advice'. 

Practice head(s):

Graham Lane

Other key lawyers:

Iben Madsen; Edward Downer; Alexander Roy; Jason Taylor

Testimonials

The practice offers a full-service approach so can deal with all aspects of a deal, particularly when it comes foreign law matters.’

It is a close knit, agile, hardworking and committed team. Very commercial and technically top notch.’

It is a broad practice with a very engaged approach to advising creditors, taking a consistently commercial approach which adds a lot of value.’

The team is exceptionally diligent, incredibly knowledgeable and highly dependable.’

It is a very commercial and collaborative restructuring practice. The lawyers understand the needs of investors

Graham Lane is one of the most user-friendly senior restructuring lawyers in London, and offers very broad perspectives on the path through complex situations.’

Iben Madsen brings very thorough knowledge of any situation where she is advising, and offers creative solutions to commercial barriers.’

Iben Madsen is technically excellent and very proactive; she consistently provides well-considered commercial advice. She’s definitely a tactical-thinker, all over the detail and very well connected in the market.’

‘Alexander Roy is a star associate – he’s a quick thinker and always offers excellent commercial and legal advice.’

Key clients

BlueBay Asset Management

Global Loan Agency Services

Man GLG

AlixPartners

Apollo Management International

Cheyne Capital

Credit Suisse Asset Management

CVC Credit Partners, LLC

GoldenTree Asset Management

Monarch Alternative Capital

Work highlights

  • Represented the underwriters on the successful recapitalization of the Lecta Group, one of the largest paper manufacturers in Europe.
  • Represented a group of bondholders on negotiations relating to the complex financial restructuring of the Intu Group.
  • Advised GLAS, one of the largest independent providers of finance administration services, on the successful crossborder restructuring of the major Dutch-headquartered retail chain, Hema, prior to its sale in early 2021.

Baker McKenzie

Able to draw on an excellent corporate and finance offering, as well as a huge network of international offices, Baker McKenzie‘s three-partner team is ‘very well-placed for large bank/bond and multi-jurisdictional situations’. The work in this space derives from a fairly balanced mix of debtor and creditor clients, enabling the team to provide an excellent perspective on both sides of the deal table on what frequently involve multi-faceted capital structures. Bevis Metcalfe has been pivotal to the firm’s increased visibility in the market and is afforded excellent support from ‘effective operatorPriyanka Usmani .

Practice head(s):

Bevis Metcalfe

Other key lawyers:

Priyanka Usmani; Simon Porter; Hugh Lyons; Marc Florent

Testimonials

Knowledgeable and hardworking team.’

The team is very well-placed for large bank/bond and multi-jurisdictional situations.’

‘The team provides excellent commercially-focused legal advice and is very responsive to requests and ad hoc queries.’

We go to Bevis Metcalfe  because we know we will get good quality commercial advice.’

Bevis Metcalfe – very much looks to partner with external firms and key contacts, and invests in long term client relationships.’

Priyanka Usmani is an effective operator – she is clear and easy to deal with. She provided some really good commercial advice and was able to sound out technical issues on the case.’

Key clients

Global Loan Agency Services

Delff Management Limited

Wafra Capital Partners (Luxembourg) Sarl

Deutsche Bank Trustee Company

Westfort Capital

Jain Irrigation Systems Limited (JISL)

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)

Bowers and Wilkins

BNP Paribas Trust Corporation UK Limited

Deutsche Trustee Company Limited

Barclays Bank

Rand Merchant Bank

Nedbank

ABSA

Ninety-one

Intermediate Capital Group

Globe Invest

Lucid Agency and Trustee Services Ltd

PwC

Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd

Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.

Thai Airways

Bounty Brands Holdings Ltd

Yum!

Global Ports Holdings

Mashreqbank

Work highlights

  • Advised a committee of first lien lenders in the complex cross-border bank/bond restructuring of Petra Diamonds.
  • Acting as English law advisors to JISL and its Dutch subsidiary, JITBV in relation to a restructuring of JITBV’s $200m New York law governed bond debt.
  • Advised the joint administrators of Paperchase Products Limited, on the sale, as well as a subsequent transfer and other ongoing issues arising in the Paperchase administration.

Fieldfisher

Led from London but with a strong presence in Manchester,  Fieldfisher's'very approachable and well-established team can provide clear and timely advice on all aspects of restructuring/insolvency, in both a contentious and non-contentious setting'. The firm is well-connected among office holders, including Big Four accountancy firms and niche IPs, with clients praising the team's 'responsive and technically sharp advice', as well as its sector focus on areas such as  life sciences and energy. 'One of the most knowledgeable and technical insolvency lawyers in the UK', Stewart Perry  is, according to one client, 'a go-to for anything gnarly!'. 

Other key lawyers:

Stewart Perry; Michelle Shean; Kit Jarvis; Robin Spender; Carly Schiff;

Testimonials

This insolvency practice is well-connected and will get you an audience with administrators/liquidators who might otherwise put you at the back of the queue.’

The team is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of insolvency and restructuring and take a very commercial approach to their dealings.’

The team provides responsive and technically sharp advice.’

The very approachable and well established team can provide clear and timely advice on all aspects of restructuring/insolvency, in both a contentious and non-contentious setting.’

Stewart Perry has become something of a legend in the London insolvency market. He is a completely unique, natural talent. He has the best technical insolvency skills of any solicitor I know and can see around corners.’

Stewart Perry is easily one of the most knowledgeable and technical insolvency lawyers in the UK, but he still manages to combine this with excellent client care, humour, efficiency and an extremely commercial approach.’

Stewart Perry possesses a strategic and tactical mind. He adopts a commercial approach to insolvency matters of which he is well versed and highly experienced. This is balanced with a great deal of tenacity when required. Stewart appears to enjoy working on the cases where the fee absolutely has to be earned and is a go-to for anything gnarly!’

Kit Jarvis is a class act; urbane, knowledgeable and down-to-earth.

‘Carly Schiff has a wealth of experience and invariably provides a safe pair of hands.’

Key clients

Infrastrata Plc

KPMG

PwC

Smith & Williamson LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Begbies Traynor

Work highlights

  • Advising the liquidators of Argyle UAE, a UAE-based real estate investment group, after the English Court made a winding up order against the company following the detection of a major fraud covering a $18m financing for a hotel.
  • Advising liquidators of Goldtrail, a UK-based tour operator that specialised in operated flights and holidays to Turkey and Greece.
  • Advising Infrastrata plc, a London AIM-listed firm focused on high-value strategic infrastructure facilities, on its purchase of the Burntisland Fabrication Limited (in administration) shipyard in Scotland, having previously advised on its acquisition of the Appledore and Harland and Wolff shipyards in Devon and Belfast, respectively.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Led by the 'very experienced and commercially-minded' Ashley Katz , Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP's'London restructuring team'excels in finding solutions in difficult cases', from both a restructuring as well as formal insolvency perspective. A significant amount of the deal flow comes from funds, with clients also attracted to the firm's US presence. The arrival of the 'pragmatic and technically astuteMandip Englund  in February 2021 from Reed Smith LLP strengthens the team's expertise across a range of cross-border distressed and insolvency matters, for both debtors and creditors.

Practice head(s):

Ashley Katz

Other key lawyers:

Mandip Englund; Amy Faraday

Testimonials

The team has great industry knowledge and provides clear commercial advice.’

Fried Frank is top of the tree. It delivers the services in high end matters that one would hope for.’

They are very commercially minded and can find solutions in difficult cases.’

‘The highly knowledgable, diligent, and very well respected Ashley Katz is an outstanding restructuring and insolvency specialist.’

Ashley Katz is a very experienced commercially minded lawyer who can work very well with other lawyers worldwide in multi-jurisdictional matters.

‘Mandip Englund is pragmatic and technically astute.’

Key clients

Alteri Partners

Jack Wills Limited (in administration)

KPMG

CX Reinsurance Company Limited (in administration)

Ernst & Young

Work highlights

  • Advised on the recognition of the appointment of the Ernst & Young administrators of CX Reinsurance Company Limited (in administration) in the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York pursuant to Chapter 15 proceedings and ongoing work following that appointment.
  • Advised Alteri Partners on the disposal of certain assets acquired by Alteri from Steinhoff. Alteri acquired Bensons for Beds via a prepackaged administration in June 2020 which saved circa 2,000 jobs and kept 243 shops operating.
  • Ongoing work advising the administrators from KPMG following the c. £25m restructuring and pre-packaged administration sale of the Jack Wills business to Sports Direct.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Under the leadership of the 'smart and effective' Alex Wood , Shearman & Sterling LLP has 'been fully rejuvenated' following some recent departures, according to one client.  Wood has exploited opportunities from the firm's broader capital markets/bond prowess and international network, as well as strenthening the team through some strong strategic hires. The recent arrivals of Helena Potts and Sam Brodie  from Latham & Watkins and Akin Gump LLP demonstrate this targeted recruitment approach, and in light of their strong credentials, particularly with fund clients, has the potential to bear significant dividends for the practice moving forward.

Practice head(s):

Alex Wood

Other key lawyers:

Helena Potts; Sam Brodie; Kevin Heverin; Tom McKay; Kate O’Donoghue; Jamie Turley

Testimonials

‘The team has been fully rejuvenated with the hiring of new exceptional talents under the leadership of Alex Wood. As a new team, they are hungry and striving to set up a well regarded team. They key strengths are anchored their capital markets/ bonds DNA that give them access to key corporates, which is supplemented by a strong network of regional offices giving them enhanced offering.’

Alex Wood has a fantastic manner with clients, and is able to distil complex concepts/case law into digestible ideas.’

Alex Wood is a very smart and effective lawyer.He is technically gifted and able to give good advice in complex scenarios on short notice.’

Kevin Heverin is an outstanding counsel; he has very high commercial acumen and is highly diligent.’

Key clients

Citibank

Creditors’ Committee of London Capital & Finance PLC (“LC&F”)

Work highlights

  • Representing Citibank in its capacity as administrative agent and lender under a revolving credit agreement in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of Valaris Plc and certain of its subsidiaries.
  • In a pro bono capacity, the firm is advising the creditors’ committee of London Capital & Finance Plc (LC&F), on amongst other things: the administration of LC&F, strategic decision making and the role and duties of the creditors’ committee.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons provides 'practical advice and solutions' to debtors, creditors and investors across a range of restructuring and insolvency matters. Leveraging the firm's overarching credentials within the asset management sector, the team has a particular sweet-spot advising  funds/investors in restructuring and special situation scenarios. Ross Miller, who formerly worked in-house within Deutsche Bank's distressed products business, has an excellent perspective on behalf of investors seeking to realise value through distressed debt trading strategies. Team head Peter Manning provides a 'great balance of technical and practical advice', which he deploys to good effect on behalf of a range of stakeholders, including an increasing proportion of work for directors of financially distressed companies. The firm has been ramping up its practice in 2021 with the addition of Ben Jones  from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and Tina Lockwood  from Milbank .

Practice head(s):

Peter Manning

Other key lawyers:

Ross Miller; Tina Lockwood; Ben Jones

Testimonials

It is a very strong technical team. Technical advice is given with a good understanding of commercial considerations. Value for money.’

Very approachable and excellent lawyers who provide practical advice and solutions.’

Collaborative in their approach and results-focused.’

Peter Manning – great balance of technical and practical advice.’

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP's versatile restructuring and insolvency offering, led by Nick Moser , provides 'technically accurate' and 'strategically astute' advice to a broad range of stakeholders, including funds/alternative lenders, IPs and corporates. Given the firm's intellectual property and venture capital credentials, it is perhaps unsurprising that a considerable amount of work handled by the team relates to distressed technology-related entities.

Practice head(s):

Nick Moser

Other key lawyers:

Amy Patterson; Stephen O’Grady; Luke Viner

Testimonials

The team provides technically accurate advice and considers the commercial considerations surrounding the legal issues’

Intellectually strong, strategically astute, will really fight their client’s corner.’

Amy Patterson is a top-notch insolvency lawyer who was quickly able to grasp difficult cross-border insolvency issues.’

Amy Patterson is the complete package, a tenacious litigator with brilliant client skills.’

Stephen O’Grady is a restructuring lawyer who not only has the insolvency expertise one would expect from any lawyer but is able to convey it either in written form or in meeting in a clear way. In situations of debate/conflict he can hold his own but in a manner which is seldomly confrontational.’

Luke Viner is responsive and very helpful’.

Key clients

ReSolve Partners

Deluxe Media

BDO LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

KPMG LLP

FRP Advisory

Duff & Phelps

Rutland

White Oak

PwC

Work highlights

  • One of the lead advisers in respect of British Steel, one of the highest-profile (and nationally, politically, significant) corporate collapses of 2019/2020, advising White Oak as a senior secured lender on all aspects of complex issues related to its outstanding facility and security position, particularly in the context of the widely-reported proposed sale.
  • Representing Mr Khadzhi-Murat Derev, a Russian businessman currently resident in England. Mr Derev’s Russian trustee in bankruptcy sought recognition of the Russian bankruptcy and wide-ranging relief from the English courts, much of which was disputed and unprecedented in the context of the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations 2006.
  • Advised the owner on all aspects of the £1.8bn turnover Arcadia Group’s restructuring and subsequent administration.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Simon Waller leads the London team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP  which is also able to draw on the firm’s significant regional resources. The practice provides ‘knowledgeable and commercial advice’ to an IP and bank-focused clientbase across the gamut of restructuring and formal insolvency mandates. Although instructions flow from a range of sectors, professional services, construction, retail, and energy, are particularly fertile sources of work.

Practice head(s):

Simon Waller

Other key lawyers:

Carl Allen; Alex Mehdevy; Jamie Leader

Testimonials

The team provides prompt, friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and commercial advice. It also has the ability to bring in additional colleagues with specialisms to assist, whilst maintaining a partner-led approach.’

‘Always available, prompt in their responses to requests, with an ability to quickly understand our. Especially Alex Mehdevy and his team.’

Key clients

HSBC

Lloyds

Metro Bank

Santander

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Duff & Phelps

BDO

Quantuma

Royal Bank of Scotland

Rolls-Royce plc

Bird & Bird LLP

Led by the 'stellar' Joss Hargrave , Bird & Bird LLP's 'small but focused team' provides 'commercially-focused' advice to IPs, investors and debtors across a range of restructuring and formal insolvency procedures. The team is particularly adept at handling matters within heavily regulated sectors, including aviation and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Joss Hargrave

Testimonials

Very strong practice areas and sector focus.’

Small but focused team. Flexible on billing which is appropriate to client needs’.

The team is pragmatic and realistic in helping deliver solutions and not just identify problems.’

The team provides excellent commercially focused advice.’

The team manages to strike the right balance of technical knowledge, balanced with a great commercial understanding of complex financial situations.’

Joss Hargrave – strong organisational skills, knows how to present a case effectively and can anticipate how things will play out. He is a stellar individual.’

Brown Rudnick LLP

Following some targeted strategic investment, Brown Rudnick LLP 's six-partner London team is increasingly well-placed to advise on complex cross-border restructuring and special situation mandates, often working closely with Paris and US-based lawyers. Tony Horspool was the most recent partner-level hire and his arrival in September 2020 from Baker McKenzie  reinforces the firm's transactional creditor-side credentials, as a result of his longstanding expertise in the market advising on direct lending mandates and distressed M&A. The team is headed by Richard Obank , who has a particular aptitude advising boards of directors in financially distressed situations.

Practice head(s):

Richard Obank

Other key lawyers:

Colin Ashford ; Charlotte Møller ;Monika Lorenzo-Perez  ; Tony Horspool ; Helena Clarke; Clare Christopher; Rebecca Terrace; Sabina Khan

Key clients

C&J Clark Limited

Queensgate Investments LLP

MBAM Investors

Joint administrators of Intu

Joint administrators of Travelex

Joint administrators of Arcadia Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Clarks in relation to a £100million private equity investment as part of its group restructuring process, and a company voluntary arrangement  for C.& J. Clark International Limited involving its portfolio of c.350 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland
  • Advised Queensgate on the restructuring of their existing debt package secured over the Generator Group of international hostels.The restructuring also included securing new financing from Apollo Global Management in order to provide additional liquidity to the Generator Group

Goodwin

Goodwin's nascent restructuring practice continues to go from strength-to-strength and, despite its relatively compact size, is picking up some notable mandates for a range of stakeholders at every stage of the restructuring cycle. Much of this work flows from a growing roster of fund clients turning to the firm to provide 'efficient and effective solutions to problems', whether it be in the context of their distressed investment strategies, driving a restructuring process or for private equity portfolio companies on the debtor side.'Willing to make innovative suggestions and not just follow a set formula', team head Simon Thomas has a vast amount of credibility among fund and IP clients.

Practice head(s):

Simon Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Oonagh Steel; Emily Lockhart; Geoff O’Dea

Testimonials

The firm’s collaborative style enables efficient and effective solutions to problems.’

Although relatively small, the Goodwin restructuring team punches above its weight in terms of breadth of experience and capability – they have a wide range of experience acting for a range of participants at every stage of the restructuring cycle.’

Goodwin Procter is unique in its commercial approach to matters while balancing this with the complexities of restructuring and insolvency law.’

Simon Thomas: very approachable and willing to help. Technically good, and sees the bigger picture – which is helpful in getting everybody pulling in the same direction, but is also focused on the detail – which is often needed to get the transaction actually over the line. He is willing to make innovative suggestions, not just follow a set formula.’

Oonagh Steel is an excellent finance lawyer and her ability to work both new money deals and restructurings is to be commended.’

‘Geoff O’Dea is a hugely experienced restructuring lawyer who is technically strong, knows the details and can work through to the solutions.’

Key clients

LionRock Capital Partners

Partners Group

PwC

Medical Properties Trust (MPT)

Duff & Phelps

LaSalle Investment Management

EY

Hudson Advisors / LoneStar

New Look Financing Plc

Lecta Paper UK Limited

Swissport Fuelling Ltd

ED&F Man Treasury Management Plc

Hertz UK Receivables

FRP

BDO

THM

Alvarez & Marsal

Moderna

Work highlights

  • Advising Lion Rock Capital Partners on its acquisition of troubled British heritage business, Clarks Shoes.
  • Advising the RCF ad-hoc committee lenders on the financial restructuring of the Vallourec group.
  • Advising Partners Group on the rescue of French brasserie chain, Côte Restaurants including the acquisition of over 90 restaurants through a pre-pack administration transaction leading to the preservation of over 3000 jobs.

K&L Gates LLP

Led by the 'empathetic, measured and thoughtful' Jonathan  Lawrence , K&L Gates LLP's sweet-spot lies in its ability to provide 'user-friendly and efficient advice' to its primarily global client base on both solvent restructuring and insolvency situations. Much of this work derives from the firm's extensive US and Middle Eastern-based fund roster and includes advice on their UK-based exposure and on potential UK-based distressed asset opportunities. Working alongside the firm's Doha office, the team also continues to advise Media City, Qatar on the drafting of a new insolvency regime for individuals and entities within its jurisdiction. Barry Cosgrave  joined Mayer Brown International LLP in August 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Lawrence

Other key lawyers:

Clare Tanner

Testimonials

It is a strong team that is user-friendly and efficient.’

The team is very forthcoming and responsive.’

Advice is clearly structured and immediately applicable.’

‘The outstanding Jonathan Lawrence is empathetic, measured, thoughtful and very intelligent – clients feels comfortable with him.’

Jonathan Lawrence clearly knows his stuff, but is also approachable, responsive and commercial.’

Jonathan Lawrence was consistently calm and organsied. His tact when dealing with spurious, opportunistic challenges was a credit to him and a service to us.’

Clare Tanner gives sound advice.’

Key clients

Nationwide Accident Repair Services

Media City, Qatar

Travel & General Insurance Services

The Hackett Group

Recaro Aircraft Seating

CSC Capital Markets UK

Hakkasan

Berkeley Research Group, LLC

Evofem Ltd

Sharp Life Science (EU) Limited

Intertrust Trustees Limited

EFG Bank AG

Lands’ End

UK Retail Warehouse Fund

Tocalabs

Arab Bank For Investment & Foreign Trade

Banque Misr – Abu Dhabi Branch

United Arab Bank PJSC

Commercial Bank International P.S.C.

Duff & Phelps

Investec

Mount Street

FRP Advisory

US Bank Trustees

The Receivers of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised the Nationwide Accident Repair Services group of companies on the run-up to their administrations and pre-pack sale to Redde Northgate.
  • Advised Media City, Qatar on the drafting of a new insolvency regime for individuals and entities within its jurisdiction.
  • Advised the US headquartered fashion retailer, Lands’ End, on its relationship with Debenhams following the Debenhams’ administration and the subsequent Boohoo purchase of the Debenhams online presence clothing retailer.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

The arrival of a team of lawyers, led by the 'pragmatic and highly commercialMark Fennessy from Proskauer Rose LLP in January 2021, provides McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP with a platform to develop a strong offering for Fennessy's loyal roster of clients, as well as to exploit new opportunities for the firm's existing private equity and finance clients. Fennessy 'brings a wealth of experience, including on international matters, that allows him to handle the unusual and complex without fuss'.  

Practice head(s):

Mark Fennessy

Other key lawyers:

Sunay Radia; Alexander Andronikou

Testimonials

The team has vast experience in all aspects of restructuring and contested insolvency litigation.’

The team is very responsive and very solution-oriented.’

‘Mark Fennessy brings a wealth of experience, including on international matters, that allows him to handle the unusual and complex without fuss.’

Mark Fennessy is an incredible team leader with vast experience and technical knowledge and second to none instincts about how cases should be run.’

Mark Fennessy is a leading expert in his field, as well as an outstanding lawyer and advisor. He has a unique quality of being a pragmatic and highly commercial lawyer, who is also incredibly thoughtful and analytical in his approach to resolving complex matters for clients.’

Sunay Radia is one of the nicest and most knowledgeable partners I have had the pleasure of working with. He really knows his stuff and is so personable at the same time.’

Key clients

BRG Asset Management

Ralph & Russo Limited

Camm & Hooper Limited

Lecta

GLAS (Global Loan Agency Services Limited)

Work highlights

  • Represents GLAS in various trustee and agent capacities of circa $1.2bn of notes and €400m of bank debt issues by the Ukrainian DTEK energy group.
  • Representing GLAS as the trustee, security agent and settlement agent in the restructuring of €1bn of bonds issued by Codere SA.
  • Representing GLAS as security agent in the restructuring of bank and bond issued by the Four Seasons Health Care Group.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Leveraging the firm's impressive overarching litigation credentials and also benefiting from restructuring/insolvency subject matter knowledge, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is an increasingly popular choice for funds and IP clients across a range of highly contested mandates. 'Consummate tactitian' Richard East and Robert Hickmott, who is 'very strong on the law, and has a great feel for tactics', co-head the team.

Practice head(s):

Richard East; Robert Hickmott

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Bunting; Ted Greeno; Khaled Khatoun; Yasseen Gailani

Testimonials

They are absolutely exceptional. Strength and breadth all the way through the team, and nothing is too much work for them. They are aggressive and innovative and just superb.’

Robert Hickmott is very strong on the law, and has a great feel for tactics. Also, he’s an absolute delight to work with.’

‘Richard East is the consummate tactitian. If you want someone to fight your corner, he will be there.’

‘Yasseen Gailani is a real details guy. He will drill down into the bottom of every problem.’

‘Matthew Bunting has a great eye for tactics.’

Key clients

The Joint Administrators of JD Classics Limited (in administration). The Joint Administrators are Mark Firmin, Richard Beard and Richard Fleming of Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP.

Stephen Cork and Allister Manson, as Joint Receivers of assets pledged (shares) to a bank as security.

Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, Anchorage Capital, L.L.C., Algebris (UK) Limited

Phones 4U Limited (in administration)

Signal Credit Opportunities (Lux) Investco II S.a r.l.

Receivers and Managers (who are partners at BDO) of the Libyan Investment Authority (“LIA”)

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

The Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC (in administration in England) and NMC Healthcare LTD (in administration in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)) and 35 other subsidiaries in administration in the ADGM

Redox Plc / IWG Plc

Travelodge Hotels Limited

SVP Global; Attestor

Conservatorium Holdings LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising the joint administrators of a former leading dealer of prestige and classic vehicles in realising value for the estate via the pursuit of a multi-pronged litigation strategy aimed at generating recoveries sufficient to repay £75m+ of secured and unsecured debt.
  • Pursuing claims against multiple parties in multiple jurisdictions, including against the SRB and the European Commission before the EU General Court, and Banco Popular’s former directors before the Spanish criminal court, in order to generate recoveries for Banco Popular bondholders.
  • Acting for the estate of Phones 4U Limited in its action against network operators O2, Telefonica, Vodafone, EE, and former EE shareholders Orange and Deutsche Telekom. The claim alleges that anti-competitive conduct and bad faith on behalf of the defendants led Phones4U to enter into administration and suffer loss.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'knowledgeable and responsive' four-partner team provides 'user-friendly' advice to debtors and creditors across a range of formal insolvency and restructuring work, in both a corporate and personal insolvency setting. Benefiting from a high degree of flexibility on fees, which includes acting on a contingency basis as well as through third-party funding, the firm is perhaps best-known for its contentious insolvency expertise, including as it relates to cross-border fraud and asset tracing. Guldford-based James Hyne  heads the team, which also includes recently promoted partner Jason Freedman , who 'goes above and beyond what is normally expected of a solicitor and is able to provide technical legal advice along with practical and commercial solutions to problems'.

Practice head(s):

James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Hanh Nguyen; Jason Freedman; Bethan Cunniffe; Jamie Tilling

Testimonials

‘The lawyers are extremely user friendly and work above and beyond the call of duty for their clients.’

The team is knowledgeable, diligent, flexible and responsive.’

The team provides technical excellence whilst keeping a commercial outlook on advice given.’

The corporate restructuring and insolvency team at Charles Russell Speechlys is very strong and compares most favourably to a lot of its competitors.’

Hanh Nguyen stands out for providing clear, concise and quality advice on a timely basis. She is also a pleasure to deal with and takes the burden off the individual seeking the advice by covering off all avenues’

Jason Freedman goes above and beyond what is normally expected of a solicitor and is able to provide technical legal advice along with practical and commercial solutions to problems.’

Key clients

CVR Global LLP (now known as Begbies Traynor)

Central Bank of Bahrain – Awal Bank B.S.C (in Administration)

Adrian Hyde and Edgar Lavarello (trustees in bankruptcy of Gregory King)

Aldo UK Limited

JB Global Limited (aka Oak Furnitureland)

Awal Bank BSC (in administration)

Grant Thornton

Duff & Phelps

Deloitte

FRP Advisory

Menzies LLP

Work highlights

  • Pursuing the recovery of Awal Bank’s $5.8bn of balance sheet assets, whilst defending those assets from hostile creditors.
  • Advised the administrators of JB Global Limited on its  appointment and the pre-pack administration sale of the company’s assets and business known as Oak Furnitureland to Davidson Kempner Capital Management.
  • Advised the Administrators of Aldo UK Limited on their appointment as administrators and in relation to the sale of the company’s assets.

Druces LLP

Led on the non-contentious front by Christopher Axford and for contentious work by Neil Hayter, Druces LLP's six-partner team provides 'responsive and commercially-oriented' advice across the spectrum of restructuring and insolvency work, including in the healthcare and retail sectors. As well as benefiting from strong officeholder relationships, the firm also handles a sizeable amount of work for corporate clients, including recently handling a considerable amount of contingency planning and insolvency mitigation for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Axford; Neil Hayter

Other key lawyers:

Robin Tutty; Caroline Cropley

Testimonials

This practice was fast and efficient, and very helpful by explaining all steps needed. They took me through stages step by step so that I understood everything clearly.’

The team is very responsive and commercially orientated.’

Caroline Cropley was friendly and approachable, readily contactable, and commercially minded. She gave clear and jargon free advice.’

Key clients

Rocket Software Group

Quantuma Advisory Limited

The Pickstock Group

Fladgate LLP

'Knowledgeable in all aspects of corporate restructuring and insolvency', Fladgate LLP's two-partner team is a popular choice among IPs, high-net-worth individuals and corporates, particularly on mandates requiring significant partner involvement. Drawing upon his broader transactional corporate knowledge, as well as his core restructuring expertise, the 'calm and considered' Jeremy Whiteson is appreciated for his ability to 'find solutions not problems'. Whiteson co-heads the team alongside contentious insolvency expert Ben Drew.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Whiteson; Ben Drew

Other key lawyers:

Judith Davidge

Testimonials

A solid team that is knowlegeable in all aspects of corporate restructuring and insolvency.’

A small but effective team with (seemingly) guaranteed partner involvement at a reasonable cost.’

A wide-ranging team, who offer advice on a variety of sectors and service lines. Give good honest and commercial advice.’

Jeremy Whiteson is a calm, considered individual who isn’t “flapped” and finds solutions not problems. He’s a lateral thinker and provides sound advice in a very calm manner.’

Jeremy Whiteson has a very broad range of knowledge in both insolvency and corporate, which he is able to draw upon. He is clever, very knowledgeable and focused in his approach, as well as constructive and strategic in his thinking about the best way to achieve the requirements of his clients. A very good pair of hands to be in.’

Key clients

Anthony Batty & Co.

BDO LLP

Begbies Traynor

David Rubin & Partners

Grant Thornton

Moorfields

FRP

James Cowper Creston

B and C Associates

Menzies

PKF

Resolve

Duff & Phelps

HFW

HFW has a solid reputation for IPs, creditors and investors across cross-border restructuring/insolvency matters, particularly in core areas of firmwide sector focus, including transport. Team head Rick Brown is one of several within the team - including Simon Jerrum, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in May 2020 -  who has a contentious angle to their practice and within this context the firm has gained a particularly strong reputation in relation to fraud and international asset tracing.

Practice head(s):

Rick Brown

Other key lawyers:

Alex Kyriakoulis; Tony Rice; Simon Jerrum; David Chalcraft; Annabel Strutt

Testimonials

‘Alex Kyriakoulis epitomizes the concept of a trusted adviser. Commercial, shrewd, and always willing to find a solution rather than argue over pointless issues, he get things done.’

‘Rick Brown is hugely effective with clients, meaning that he draws them in and makes them want to stay. He also operates an efficient team, knowing the skills and strengths of its members, and allocating work accordingly.’

‘David Chalcraft has an immeasurable work ethic and ability to balance competing demands on his time: he is the engine of the legal team.’

‘Rick Brown is a standout leader of the UK team. Rick balances litigation strategy with commercial considerations and focusing on the clients’ needs and desires .He is extremely personable which makes him a pleasure to work with. Rick is supported by David Chalcraft and Simon Jerrum who are stars and future leaders of the HFW business. David has an eye for detail and excels at co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional high value claims. You want him on your team for large fraud disputes.’

‘Simon Jerrum – a truly standout individual in this field. Has a lovely manner, sees straight to the heart of the problem, and delivers extremely clear advice. He is very good on technical points of law, whilst always taking a highly commercial approach to solving problems – a rare combination. Definitely also a lawyer you would want on your side in an insolvency-related dispute.’

‘Rick Brown – calm and collected under pressure. Excellent strategist. Puts clients at ease.’

‘Annabel Strutt – still relatively junior, but with an outstanding ability to deal with day-to-day matters and keep overall strategy in mind.’

‘Simon Jerrum has an impressive, in-depth knowledge of insolvency law and practices and has an exceptional ability to think strategically and provide pragmatic, effective and cost-efficient solutions.’

Key clients

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Finarge Armamento Genovese SRL

Victoria Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the Joint Liquidators of various BVI and Isle of Man companies in relation to numerous proceedings in the Commercial Court, the BVI and the Isle of Man.
  • Acting for the Trustees of the insolvent Estate of Boris Berezovsky.

LK Law LLP

Acting on its own, as well as working in conjunction with colleagues in Australia and Hong Kong, LK Law LLP excels in advising IPs and commercial clients seeking recourse in large-scale cross-border insolvency disputes. The ‘highly experiencedJeremy Scott  is particularly well-versed at handling matters involving offshore structures, and alongside Andrew Ford  co-heads the three-partner London-based team, which combines’ heavyweight legal expertise; great innovation and sound commercial judgement.’ 

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ford; Jeremy Scott

Other key lawyers:

Lucas Arnold; Caroline Mattin

Testimonials

Top quality client care combined with heavyweight legal expertise; great innovation and sound commercial judgement.’ 

The team works seamlessly cross office/cross borders, with excellent use of technology to deliver a cohesive product to clients.’

A clearly very experienced and battle-hardened team that knows exactly what it is doing. Very strong knowledge of the law, procedure and the levers they can pull. Strong eye for tactics and wider considerations. Commercial and very effective.’

Jeremy Scott is highly experienced, particularly in offshore structures and for private clients.’

Andrew Ford is excellent and always a pleasure to deal with.’

Caroline Mattin: Her technical knowledge of insolvency and her ability to think outside the box to find clear easy to understand solutions is second to none. You can feel confident with Caroline on your team!’

Lucas Arnold: His civil fraud and insolvency expertise across multi-jurisdiction makes him a valuable addition to any cross-border asset recovery matter.’

Key clients

Liquidators of Carlyle Capital Corporation

Acting for Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company as part of the Saad liquidation

Borrelli Walsh – Joint Receivers of Tonkolili Iron Ore (SL) Ltd

Bell Group NV and its liquidator, Garry Trevor of Ferrier Hodgson

Acting for the joint liquidators of the Kingate Funds (Madoff feeder funds)

Work highlights

  • Advising Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company  in preparing and implementing a Financial Restructuring Process, the first approved process under Saudi Arabia’s bankruptcy law, involving the distribution of assets worth in excess of £1bn to more than 140 creditors.
  • Advising the joint receivers of an African Iron Ore mining company in various litigious and restructuring matters, including successful Court of Appeal defence of claim against company for vicarious liability of alleged agents.
  • Acting for the liquidator of the largest creditor of the Bell group in litigation and a subsequent scheme of arrangement, resulting in a global settlement concluded in September 2020 worth in excess of £1bn.

Reed Smith LLP

Led by Diane Roberts  and counsel Patrick Schumann, Reed Smith LLP's restructuring team frequently handles mandates belying its size, aided by its ability to leverage significant international resources, as well as complementary practice area and sector strengths at the firm, including energy and shipping. The team, which was recently boosted by the arrival of former Arthur Cox London head Kathleen Garrett, is particularly focused on creditor/investor side work for funds clients, including on cross-border portfolio transactions.

Practice head(s):

Diane Roberts; Patrick Schumann

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Riddle; Colin Cochrane; Kathleen Garrett

RPC

Co-headed by Finella Fogarty  and Paul Bagon, RPC's 'approachable' three-partner team 'benefits from deep subject matter knowledge', including in core areas of focus for the firm as a whole such as insurance, as well as across other sectors, from both a formal insolvency and restructuring perspective. As well as handling a considerable volume of domestic mid-market work, the firm is also increasingly active handling cross-border contentious mandates - including as they relate to enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Finella Fogarty; Paul Bagon

Other key lawyers:

Tim Moynihan; Danielle Bennett

Testimonials

The team is very knowledgeable on insurance matters.’

‘They are approachable and benefit from deep subject knowledge.’

Collaborative attitude, concern for the client situation, good grasp of the case and reasonable billing.’

Paul Bagon is an absolute joy to work with.’

Tim Moynihan is commercially-minded.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Dr Vijay Mallya

Ernst & Young

Amigo Loans

Kroll

Frasers Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Dr Mallya in defence of multibillion-pound bankruptcy proceedings and litigation brought against him by a consortium of Indian banks
  • Acting as Independent Scheme Assessor in respect of the scheme of arrangement being proposed by the Amigo Loans group of companies
  • Acting for the Frasers Group on various high-profile acquisitions