Corporate restructuring & insolvency in London
Headed by James Roome and Barry Russell, Akin Gump LLP's 13-partner team dominates the public bondholder and private placement space. It is consequently involved in many of the biggest-ticket global mandates, leveraging the expertise of practitioners in key international locations including New York, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong. The team is appreciated by clients for its willingness and ability to 'make a deal, even between disparate and different types of stakeholders', and while the team may be more limited in scope than some of ranked firms, it has 'unrivalled experience in representing bondholder committees in distressed situations'. Although the practice is sector agnostic it has particular strength in the energy space, where James Terry has provided an 'outstanding service' to Norwegian Trustee and across high yield restructurings in the oil and gas industry. 'A very safe pair of hands for all complex restructuring work', Liz Osborne has an 'excellent profile in the market' and recently led the firm's work as independent international counsel in connection with the negotiation, agreement, and implementation of the settlement plan for Croatia-based conglomerate Agrokor on its high-profile restructuring. Emma Simmonds 'consistently provides pragmatic advice in complex situations' and is also recommended.
James Roome; Barry Russell
Other key lawyers:
‘The team effectively represents the interests of its clients in complex restructurings.’
‘The partners know all the players in the investment community and are well-positioned to understand points of leverage and effective negotiating strategies.’
‘The firm understands the motivations of its US-based clients, is commercial in its approach, and works tirelessly and effectively to drive the highest value outcome.’
‘James Roome is the best in the business.’
‘James Terry is a rare commodity – a lawyer who thinks like an investor.’
‘Barry Russell and Tom Bannister are highly effective at building consensus to drive optimal results.’
‘Liz Osborne prioritises her clients and fights for them tooth and nail.’
‘Emma Simmonds provides an outstanding service.’
Ad Hoc Group of Senior Unsecured Creditors of Noble Group
Ad Hoc Group of Senior Secured Noteholders of Norske Skog
Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders of the Seadrill Group
Secured Bondholders of Avanti Communications Group Plc
Private Placement Noteholders of Carillion Plc
Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Digicel Group
A Bondholder of G3 Exploration Limited
The largest secured lender to Dolphin Drilling ASA (formerly Fred. Olsen Energy)
- Acted as lead English, Hong Kong, and US counsel to an ad hoc group of senior unsecured creditors in relation to the financial restructuring of over $3.5bn of US and English law governed bond and bank debt, and other unsecured debts of Noble Group.
- Acting as independent international legal counsel to Agrokor in connection with the negotiation, agreement, and implementation of a settlement agreement in relation to Agrokor and its subsidiaries, under the Law on the Procedure of Extraordinary Administration in Companies of Systemic Importance for the Republic of Croatia.
- Advised the ad hoc bondholder group in relation to the restructuring of the Seadrill Group, a NYSE and Oslo Børs listed offshore drilling contractor with a $17bn capital structure.
- Advised the ad hoc committee of secured Bondholders of Avanti Communications, a UK listed satellite operator, in connection with the group’s consent and scheme of arrangement to effect a debt for equity swap.
- Advised certain private placement noteholders on the potential restructuring of the Carillion Plc group, a UK construction and support services company (now in liquidation).
With a core group of ten partners based in London, and also able to draw upon 'huge firm-wide resources' across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US, Allen & Overy LLP's 'strong, experienced and capable' team has the critical mass and geographical reach to provide a one-stop-shop service to a broad range of stakeholders in many of the highest-profile and most challenging cross-border restructurings. Praised for the 'technically strong and commercial' attributes of their lawyers from across all levels of seniority, the team is able to provide a 'very solution-oriented and nuanced approach' with the flexibility to offer international advice including, but not limited to, US Chapter 11, UK schemes of arrangement, pre–packaged sales and debt for equity swaps. This overarching knowledge and experience across jurisdictions was recently deployed to good effect on the firm's representation of the co-ordinating committee as creditors on the $5bn financial restructuring of Ojer Telekom and the subsequent creditor acquisition of its subsidiary Turk Telekom. The 'exceptional' Ian Field is global head of the firm's restructuring group and is appreciated for his 'ability to remain calm when the pressure is on'. Randal Weeks has 'excellent attention to detail', which he exhibits on behalf of lender clients on big-ticket restructurings. Jennifer Marshall provides 'outstanding focus and leadership' across both contentious and non-contentious matters and is recognised as a thought-leader across many cutting-edge industry topics. Joel Ferguson has extensive experience advising a wide range of clients, including financial institutions, funds, corporates, and insolvency practitioners. The team's funds-related restructuring offering was recently enhanced by the return to the firm in April 2019 of Tim Watson , following a stint at investment management firm Davidson Kempner.
Ian Field; Earl Griffith
Other key lawyers:
Randal Weeks; Katrina Buckley; Jennifer Marshall; Tim Crocker; David Lines; Joel Ferguson; Hannah Valintine; Nick Lister
‘The firm displays very consistent quality across the team.’
‘It is a very strong, experienced and capable team with a good bandwidth of partners, senior associates and associates.’
‘They go the extra mile for their clients.’
‘Ian Field is an exceptional restructuring and insolvency lawyer.’
‘Earl Griffith is especially able in dealing with the detail in complex documents, including security. He also is a pro-active communicator.’
- Advised the co-ordinating committee in connection with the financial restructuring of the existing credit facilities and hedging arrangements of Ojer Telekomünikasyon (OTAS) by way of a lender-led transaction whereby the creditors took control of OTAS’ 55% stake in Türk Telekomünikasyon (a partly state-owned asset and one of the biggest telecommunications companies in Turkey). This transaction was the largest restructuring in Turkish history.
- Advising a committee of creditors to the Steinhoff Group in connection with the restructuring of approximately €5bn of its debt and the associated restructuring of €2.6bn of convertible bonds issued by Steinhoff Finance Holding.
- Advising ING Bank as agent and security agent in connection with the collapse of the O.W. Bunker Group, a Danish-headquartered marine fuel company, and the recovery of assets secured in connection with a $700m borrowing base facility.
- Appointed to act for Vieo in relation to a delay in the publication of its financial accounts, and to facilitate discussions with the ad hoc committee of holders of its €350m Norwegian law governed bonds.
- Acted for a distressed debt fund in connection with the acquisition of the senior loan out of the MESDAG Delta securitisation structure and the subsequent enforcement proceedings against the underlying borrower (including, the portfolio of 37 commercial real estate properties in the Netherlands).
Able to leverage the firm's robust banking ties and 'successfully forging strong relationships with funds clients', Clifford Chance LLP's five-partner team has been particularly active of late advising on the creditor side of big-ticket domestic and cross-border restructurings. 'Class act' Philip Hertz is active for a range of stakeholders across restructuring and insolvency matters, and alongside the 'outstanding' John MacLennan recently advised HSBC Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on the restructuring, short-term financing and, ultimately, administration of House of Fraser. The 'superb' Iain White has a versatile practice for both creditors and debtors and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'excellent' David Towers, who has a particular focus on the representation of alternative lenders.
‘The firm provides a user-friendly service which draws upon high-quality advice from a number of legal disciplines.’
‘John MacLennan is pragmatic and proactive.’
The Co-operative Bank
- Advised HSBC Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (London Branch) on the restructuring, short-term financing and, ultimately, administration of House of Fraser.
- Acted for the lenders to Edcon Limited, South Africa’s largest retailer, on its restructuring.
- Advising Deutsche Bank on the complex cross-border restructuring of Noble Group.
- Acted for the co-ordinating committee of lenders to the Innovation Group in the negotiation of a debt for equity swap and financial restructuring of the group’s indebtedness.
- Advising the bank co-ordinating committee on the high-profile potential restructuring and recapitalisation of Nyrstar, a Belgian listed/Swiss headquartered zinc manufacturing company with smelting and mining operations in Europe, Australia, Canada, the Nordics, and the US.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a strong reputation for restructuring and insolvency matters for a range of stakeholders, including funds, IPs and corporates. Leveraging its stellar private equity sponsor and corporate client base, and also benefiting from close ties with many accountancy firms, the firm regularly picks up debtor-side mandates. Recent high-profile mandates have included advising House of Fraser on its CVA and representing PwC on the Carillion collapse. On the creditor front, the team has a flourishing reputation in relation to distressed investing mandates, acting on behalf of special situation funds, hedge funds, and alternative investors. Ken Baird (head of the global restructuring group), Richard Tett (London head of restructuring/insolvency), and Catherine Balmond are key members of the team.
Richard Tett; Ken Baird
Other key lawyers:
Catherine Balmond; Adam Gallagher
Under the 'effective leadership' of Partha Kar and Kon Asimacopoulos, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 'user-friendly and proactive' seven-partner team 'displays a unique ability to craft innovative restructuring solutions across the European landscape' on behalf of both debtors and creditors. Kar and Asimacopoulos are recognised as 'two of the most highly respected restructuring lawyers in Europe' and have both been central to the firm's market-leading work for Agrokor in the successful completion of its groundbreaking two-year restructuring process (a highly politicised process involving the implementation of an emergency new law). Sean Lacey 'really gets it' and handles an impressive roster of work for funds clients in credit led-restructurings and special situations, including his work for majority noteholders in the House of Fraser restructuring. 'Now the go-to- lawyer in London for CVAs', Elaine Nolan has 'deep technical knowledge of the area' and has been at the forefront of many recent high-profile retail restructurings, including Toys 'R' Us and Homebase. The 'brilliant' James Watson covers a diverse portfolio of stakeholders including debtors, creditors (both banks and alternative capital providers, individually and as ad hoc or co-ordinating committees), sponsors, and insolvency practitioners.
Kon Asimacopoulos; Partha Kar
‘The team is senior and has a lot of experience in deal negotiation and market practice.’
‘The team has excellent strategic and tactical instincts, coupled with strong black letter law skills.’
‘The firm’s commercial acumen, speed and innovation is second-to-none.’
‘Partha Kar is very good at streamlining negotiations.’
‘The responsive, attentive, commercial and pragmatic Partha Kar is a great lawyer to have on your side.’
‘Kon Asimacopoulos is a tremendous business and relationship builder and oversees multiple matters with great skill and minimum fuss.’
‘Kon Asimacopoulos is very experienced across a range of situations and geographies.’
‘Elaine Nolan is an outstanding adviser who excels at navigating complex issues with multiple and often awkward parties.’
‘Sean Lacey totally understands what the client is trying to achieve and will go into bat for it.’
Leading investment funds including: KKR, TPG, Oaktree Capital, Centerbridge, Davidson Kempner, Anchorage, Apollo Capital, TowerBrook Capital, Bain Capital, HIG, Bayside Capital, Sun European Partners, HPS, Carlyle, SVP, Oak Hill and King Street
Certain shareholders and lead investors in GHG
Shareholders of Jack Wolfskin
Wentworth joint venture, in relation to Lehman Brothers (International) Europe
Toys R Us
Convertible bondholder committee in Steinhoff
Lenders to SGB-SMIT
- Advised Noble Group, the major global commodities trader, on its successful multi-billion-dollar financial restructuring.
- Advised Homebase on a series of firsts in its recent company voluntary arrangement, placing the company in a stable position to focus on its turnaround.
- Advised Agrokor and its extraordinary administrator in the largest European restructuring in 2017/18, in an incredibly high-profile, politicised process.
- Advised certain shareholders and lead investors in the General Healthcare Group in relation to its holistic restructuring.
- Advised HPS Investment Partners (UK) LLP on the refinancing of HSS Hire group, a leading tool hire and equipment supplier in the UK and Ireland.
With a substantial core group of restructuring practitioners based in London, as well as the ability to leverage the vast global reach of the firm and its excellence in complementary practice areas, Linklaters LLP is able to' produce restructuring, and workout advice of the highest quality', irrespective of the geographical location or client type. Spearheaded in London by the 'level headed' Richard Bussell and 'technically excellent' Rebecca Jarvis , the team is equally adept at handling restructuring and transactional-related distressed debt mandates as it is in relation to matters involving recourse to formal insolvency procedures. The 'super commercial' Bruce Bell is well-regarded for his debtor-side work, as well as on the creditor front for distressed funds. The 'remarkably bright' James Douglas excels in contentious creditor work and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'highly technical' Nick Le Masurier, who, in addition to core creditor and debtor work, has also developed a niche in relation to bank recovery and resolution.
Richard Bussell; Rebecca Jarvis
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm is strong on technical matters and not as reliant as some others on business generated from their banking clients, which means that they live by the quality of their advice.’
‘They are steeped in both restructuring and insolvency, with leading experts in the field.’
‘The team is large enough to handle the most complex of cases around.’
‘The experienced Rebecca Jarvis has a lot of impact in the most complex of situations – people listen to her views.’
‘Richard Bussell’s technical skills are of the highest quality and he combines this with pragmatic and sensible advice born of years’ of experience.’
‘James Douglas is remarkably bright, commercial, and presents solutions to every problem.’
‘Nick Le Masurier provides balanced and pragmatic advice.’
‘Liam Robinson is a rock star.’
Stripes US Holding, Inc.
Steinhoff International Holdings
A group of nine banks who entered into Schuldschein loan agreements with Carillion Plc
Norske Skog group
New Look Retail Group Limited
Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and BOI – lenders to BMI Health Care
Seven Energy Group
DIP Noteholders, Taj Noteholders & Trustee of US Liquidating Trust (Toys ‘R’ Us)
The joint administrators appointed to various UK incorporated Lehman Brothers companies
Sberbank of Russia and its subsidiaries
- Acted for the Steinhoff group and its subsidiary, Stripes US Holding, Inc. (SUSHI), in relation to the restructuring of SUSHI’s external financial indebtedness by way of an English law scheme of arrangement.
- Advising a group of nine banks in relation to their exposure to Carillion Plc and the potential restructuring of its financial indebtedness, which amounted to approximately £1.17bn.
- Advising Norske Skog, most recently on its attempts to secure a consensual restructuring of the group’s balance sheet by way of an exchange offer and/or consent solicitations.
- Acting for New Look on its debt and equity restructuring.
- Advising the senior lenders to BMI Healthcare on its recapitalisation.
With six partners based in London and the expertise of additional practitioners covering all the major European jurisdictions, Hogan Lovells International LLP's full-service team is recognised as 'a credible alternative to Magic Circle and US competition'. While it maintains its traditionally strong banking relationships, under the guidance of 'measured and sensible' team head Tom Astle, the team has successfully realigned itself to support the full range of distressed investors. Astle received particular market recognition recently as a result of his high-profile work on behalf of an ad-hoc noteholder committee on the Agrokor restructuring – work which included the design and implementation of a novel €1.06bn debtor in possession (DIP) funding into that process. Deborah Gregory has been active within the retail and casual dining sectors, including her work in relation to the administration, CVA and subsequent sale of the company owning the chain of Gaucho restaurants. Stephen Foster has 'outstanding market contacts and respect' and provides 'very commercial advice' to banks and insolvency practitioners on domestic and cross-border mandates.
‘The team provides pragmatic and commercial advice.’
‘They have very strong relationships with the London clearing banks and enjoy great trust from them.’
‘Hard working, focused and flexible in their operation.’
‘Tom Astle is a dynamic and diligent trusted adviser who is hungry for work and balancing increasing management responsibility with fee earning work with ease.’
‘Tom Astle has the vision to make the Hogan Lovells’ practice relevant in a very tough and competitive market.’
‘Stephen Foster is able to lead commercially for his clients and act as a quasi financial adviser.’
‘Stephen Foster is always robust on behalf of his clients but is also prepared to look for solutions.’
‘Alex Kay is truly an extension of our internal legal department.’
Knighthead Capital Management
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Lloyds Banking Group
- Advised the agent and the lenders under the bespoke English law €1.06bn super senior DIP facilities provided to the Agrokor group.
- Advised the lending syndicate during the run-up to the administration, the administrators on the rescue and the CVA, and the JV partners who acquired the Gaucho group from administration.
- Advised the ad hoc committee of senior noteholders on the successful restructuring of troubled Ukraine-based farming conglomerate Mriya Group.
- Acted for the Government of St Helena in relation to its exposure to Basil Read Pty Limited in relation to the construction and operation of St Helena Airport.
Latham & Watkins' rapidly growing six-partner team – strengthened by the arrival of 'extremely proactive problem solvers' Yen Sum and Jennifer Brennan from Sidley Austin LLP in July 2018 – provides 'insightful and highly bespoke advice' to a range of stakeholders throughout the capital structure. Instructed on a standalone basis and also generating a significant workflow from the firm's strong private equity and bank/capital markets practices, the team provides 'dynamic and user-friendly advice' to creditors and debtors across a growing volume of the most complex cross-border restructurings in the market. 'Highly commercial' team head Simon J Baskerville is a 'force of nature for fund restructurings'. He recently spearheaded the team's work, along with practitioners from New York and Hamburg, on the high-profile representation of a committee of creditors of Steinhoff Europe on its comprehensive restructuring. The 'very experienced' John Houghton handles work for a broad range of stakeholders, particularly in relation to emerging markets mandates, while Helena Potts has a focus on debtor side mandates.
‘The team is dynamic and easy to work with.’
‘The practice has a creative approach to solving issues that arise.’
‘Simon Baskerville stands out for his commercial instincts and ability to understand how his clients are thinking of a situation and helping them achieve their goals.’
‘Yen Sun and Jennifer Brennan are incredibly commercial, hands-on, diligent and thorough. They truly work with the client to provide a custom solution, are incredibly dynamic in fluid situations and go above and beyond to protect their clients’ interests.’
Hayfin Capital Management
- Advised senior lenders and separately Barclays as security agent in the restructuring of Prezzo, including a company voluntary arrangement.
- Advised the committee of creditors of Steinhoff Europe in the comprehensive restructuring of the Steinhoff group, including by way of scheme of arrangement and company voluntary arrangement.
- Acted for Savannah Petroleum Plc on its proposed acquisition of certain Seven Energy oil and gas assets as part of Seven Group’s financial restructuring.
- Acting as security agent for Barclays Bank in connection with financing provided to the Four Seasons Healthcare Group and in connection with the group’s distressed and contentious restructuring.
- Advised an ad hoc committee of bondholders in connection with Johnston Press’s financial restructuring concerning a debt for equities swap by way of a pre-pack administration.
Able to mobilise cross-disciplinary expertise, including practitioners from within the firm's corporate, litigation and finance practices, Slaughter and May 's core four-partner team is praised for its 'versatility across the credit spectrum' and ability to handle many of 'the most challenging and complex situations in the market'. Able to leverage the firm's impressive roster of corporate clients, in addition to attracting standalone work, the firm has 'excellent debtor-side credentials and has recently been involved in a number of the preeminent restructurings and insolvency cases'. 'A very good double act', Ian Johnson and Tom Vickers 'have proven many times that they can deliver difficult projects on time and with rigour', including their recent work for Carillion Plc on its high-profile insolvency. The team is also praised for its 'industry leading work in the field of financial services restructuring'.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Vickers; Samyuktha Rajagopal; Tim Newey
‘A very approachable and reactive team.’
‘The team is technically excellent, and well resourced with a strong group of technically able and motivated associates.’
‘Ian Johnson fights his clients’ case extremely hard but deals with everything in a very respectful way.’
‘Ian Johnson is a very strong and technically able lawyer, who has the ability to think through a deal from all angles and make sure all the bases are covered.’
‘Tom Vickers is exceptional.’
Ernst & Young
An ad hoc group of bondholders in respect of debt issued by the Edcon Group
- Advised Seadrill on the negotiation and implementation of a comprehensive restructuring plan of its existing bank and bond debt.
- Advised Credit Suisse in its capacity as a secured lender to Danaos Corporation in relation to the negotiation and implementation of Danaos’ comprehensive refinancing and restructuring plan.
- Advised Interserve Plc on its ‘deleveraging plan’ and its ongoing negotiations with its lenders and stakeholders.
- Advised Hunter Kelly and Alan Hudson of Ernst & Young as the administrators of Interserve Plc.
- Acted for the Official Receiver as liquidator and PwC as Special Managers in relation to Carillion Plc (in liquidation).
Benefiting from 'excellent market knowledge', Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's five-partner team provides 'superb technical knowledge and pragmatic realism' to a balanced mix of debtor and creditor-side clients. Able to harness the expertise of US-based practitioners should the need arise, the firm has the flexibility to execute matters using both UK and US insolvency procedures. This combined effort was recently realised by the team's work (alongside the New York group) as global restructuring counsel to Westinghouse Electric Company in its Chapter 11 and associated proceedings. The 'tactically astute' Andrew Wilkinson has an excellent reputation on both the creditor and debtor front, including in relation to distressed investing matters for funds clients. 'There is nothing he cannot handle on the restructuring front' – Adam Plainer 's work includes contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters for creditors and debtors. 'Able to frame extremely complicated concepts and choices in a clear way', Mark Lawford handles high quality and complex work for a diverse mix of clients, including private equity and hedge funds, banks and insolvency practitioners. Counsel Linton Bloomberg is 'an emerging star who has worked on a string of excellent high-profile cases and will lead the way in years to come'.
Adam Plainer; Andrew Wilkinson
‘The restructuring team in UK is characterised by its extraordinary attention to detail and its extremely broad understanding of the relevant legal and factual questions underlying every dispute.’
‘The team gets involved in the most arcane and complex matters, often with multiple adversaries, managing thoughtful and well-coordinated interactions with that multitude.’
‘Adam Plainer has an instinctive knowledge of what the right answer is, considering which of the details are likely to matter and which are likely to be irrelevant.’
‘Adam Plainer is extremely able, commercial and committed.’
‘Andrew Wilkinson provides very commercial and practical advice.’
‘Mark Lawford has a very lucid writing style, such that his emails and memos build arguments in an easily-understood way, starting from simple first-premises and layering on the complex considerations.’
‘Alexander Wood is very technical, but also sensible, creative and solutions-oriented.’
‘Gemma Sage displays an excellent attention to detail and provides very practical advice.’
Westinghouse Electric UK Holdings
Lehman Brothers Holding
Claire’s Stores, Inc and affiliates
- Acted as global restructuring counsel to Westinghouse Electric Company in its Chapter 11 and associated proceedings.
- Acting for the joint provisional liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management, the investment manager of the emerging markets focused (and once the Middle East’s biggest) private equity group.
- Advises KPMG as special administrators of the broker MF Global on various workstreams, most recently, on high-profile litigation in UK and Germany involving the German Tax Authority and Deutsche Bank.
- Advised the ad hoc committee of Dana Gas sukuk certificate holders in relation to proceedings in England, UAE and BVI arising out of the alleged unlawfulness of a $700m Shari’a compliant bond.
- Acted on the Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (“LBIE”) Scheme of Arrangement and associated litigation.
Benefiting from 'exceptional' restructuring and insolvency subject matter knowledge, as well as expertise across a broad swathe of industry sectors (including financial services, mining, energy, retail, and transport), White & Case LLP provides 'very commercial' advice to banks, insolvency practitioners, funds and corporates, across a wide range of formal insolvency work and more transactional restructuring mandates. Able to draw upon a strong international network, the firm picks up a substantial amount of emerging markets-related debtor mandates, including its recent work for Brazilian telecommunications company, Oi, on its $20bn restructuring. Team head Christian Pilkington has an excellent reputation in the market, particularly on behalf of funds clients, which he regularly advises in the context of multi-jurisdictional mandates. Ben Davies is also highly regarded, while at associate level, Morvyn Radlow continues to develop a strong reputation, particularly among funds clients.
Coordinating committee of senior secured lenders, including ABN AMRO, Citi, Danske, DNB, GIEK, ING, Nordea, and SEB
International Bank of Azerbaijan
The ad-hoc group of senior secured creditors (the “AHG”) of Concordia International Corp
Anchorage Capital Group Europe
Strategic Value Partners
GSO Capital Partners
Oak Hill Advisors
York Capital Management
- Acted as international counsel for Oi, a Brazilian telecommunications company, on its restructuring of more than $20bn of debt, one of the largest and most complex debt restructurings in Latin American history.
- Advised the coordinating committee representing a bank group holding $7.4bn in secured debt, on the successful restructuring of Seadrill Limited, one of the world’s largest offshore oil drilling companies.
- Acted as international counsel for the ad-hoc group of senior secured creditors (the “AHG”) of Concordia International Corp on its $3.7bn recapitalisation.
- Advised the management team of Noble Group, a Singapore listed international commodities trader, in respect of its restructuring and also advising Noble in relation to its business separation and new Asset Co group structure and financing arrangements.
- Advising the pre-export finance creditors in the ongoing financial restructuring of the Mechel Group, one of Russia’s leading mining and metals companies.
Leveraging the firm's broader financing capability, which is well plugged into the traditional banking and alternative lending ecosystem, and also benefiting from a 'strong core breadth of technical knowledge', Ashurst is well-placed to handle work for an impressive range of creditor and debtor stakeholders. Team head Giles Boothman has a 'tremendous depth and breadth of knowledge', and as well as work for debtors on domestic and cross-border mandates (including recently for Interserve and Johnson Press on their respective restructurings), is also particularly active for US-based funds in loan-to-own distressed acquisitions. The 'superb' Olga Galazoula is pivotal to the firm's work for funds looking at distressed investment opportunities in southern Europe and has been particularly active on the buy side for funds seeking to acquire Greek NPLs.
Other key lawyers:
Nigel Ward; Olga Galazoula; Lynn Dunne; Martyn Rogers; Ru-Woei Foong; Drew Sainsbury; Anna Langton
‘The breadth of technical knowledge is very strong, from senior partners to newly qualified associates.’
‘The team is able to leverage from its associate pool to be able to tackle large-scale tasks, whilst offering high level commercial and legal oversight.’
‘Giles Boothman commands respect in the boardroom and has the experience and leadership to deliver top quality advice.’
‘For NPL transactions in Greece think of Olga Galazoula.’
‘Ru-Woei Foong is extremely sharp, versatile and always on point.’
Bank of Cyprus
- Advising Interserve on its group refinancing.
- Acted for Johnston Press Plc and its subsidiaries in relation to its strategic review, culminating in a pre-packaged administration sale of the entire business and assets to a new group owned and controlled by the group’s bondholders.
- Advised Uralkali Chemicals on a bid for the business and assets of Force India Formula One team (now Racing Point Force India) out of administration.
- Advised a consortium in connection with the purchase of €1bn of Greek NPLs and REOs by Alpha Bank (one of the Greek systemic banks) and its servicing arrangements with Cepal Financial Services as interim servicer.
- Acted for the ad hoc committee of holders of unsecured debt of Concordia International in relation to its restructuring.
Galvanised since the arrival of the 'superb' Yushan Ng and several other practitioners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP at the beginning of 2018, Milbank's six-partner team continues to pick up market share on the creditor front on behalf of funds clients. Often working alongside and feeding off the firm's 'impressive' front end bank and bond practices, the team excels at handling complex distressed investment/special situations work, where it can also add value by virtue of being able to structure deals implementing both UK and US-governed financing documents. Nick Angel co-heads the team with Ng and is more debtor focused in his practice, as evidenced by his recent work both for Avanti Communications on the amendment of its $323m senior secured notes through a consent solicitation, and on a debt for equity swap of Avanti’s $557m senior secured notes through a scheme of arrangement.
Nick Angel; Yushan Ng
Other key lawyers:
Peter Newman; Karen McMaster; Sinjini Saha; Jacqueline Ingram
‘Incredibly well synced team with a combination of very solid experience and can-do mentality.’
‘The team is commercially oriented and always puts clients’ interest at the forefront.’
‘They have the right balance of legal knowledge and commercial judgement that fits clients needs in crucial execution moments.’
‘Yushan Ng has a fantastic following among the fund community.’
GSO Capital Partners
Avenue Capital Group
Marathon Asset Management
TPG Sixth Street Partners
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group
Warwick Capital Partners
Anchorage Capital Partners
Canyon Capital Advisors
Monarch Alternative Capital
- Advised Avanti Communications Group on the amendment of its $323m senior secured notes through a consent solicitation, as well as on a debt for equity swap of Avanti’s $557m senior secured notes through a scheme of arrangement. The restructuring was implemented via a combined New York law consent solicitation process and an English law scheme of arrangement, and also incorporated recognition of the scheme under Chapter 15 in the US.
- Advised KKR and Pemberton in the restructuring of the balance sheet of the Casual Dining Group.
- Acted for Njord Partners in connection with the successful investment into Geoquip Marine, a Switzerland-based offshore geotechnical engineering and drilling company.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Headed by the 'knowledgeable and responsive' Ben Jones, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's 'experienced and creative' three-partner team has excellent credibility among clearing banks and insolvency practitioners and picks up a steady stream of work across a range of insolvency/restructuring mandates, particularly as it relates to real estate and care home situations. Although the firm remains firmly rooted in the domestic and European markets, its recent merger with Bryan Cave has opened up the opportunity of working on deals involving a significant US nexus. The 'technically astute' Ian Benjamin has 'excellent commercial judgement', which he puts to good use for a varied array of stakeholders, including distressed lenders and investors.
Other key lawyers:
Ian Benjamin; Marc Trottier; Stewart Anderson; Eva Holden
‘Works well with peers at other firms and with bankruptcy administrators.’
‘They go the extra mile in delivering quality legal advice.’
‘Ben Jones is an excellent team leader and has a very open and honest style that allows him to bring management teams and stakeholders along with him.’
‘Ian Benjamin is willing to provide clear, robust opinions and to challenge when required.’
‘Marc Trottier is commercial and pragmatic.’
Alvarez & Marsal
Homes England (formerly known as Homes and Communities Agency)
Ernst & Young
MF Global Holdings
London Legacy Development Corporation
- Advised Globalgrange Limited and its wider group on a major reorganisation of the Grange Hotels in a £1.4bn matter involving innovative and complex structuring and funding issues in relation to credit.
- Advised Flybe and provided strategic advice and support on contingency planning.
- Advising long-standing client MF Global Holdings on the successful Court of Appeal challenge to the MF Global UK Limited (in special administration) CVA.
- Advised German headquartered European logistics group QSL in a matter opposite KFC and Taco Bell and DHL Supply Chain Ltd following the service failures which led to over 700 KFC outlets closing in the course of a week.
Headed by the 'effective and talented' Rita Lowe, CMS' ten-partner team provides 'clear, pragmatic and commercial advice' to a balanced array of debtor and creditor clients including lenders, insolvency practitioners, funds, and corporates. The firm's strong clearing bank ties continue to generate a significant flow of work, although the team has also effectively built up a significant presence in niche areas including fund-related portfolio acquisitions. Particular areas of sector strength include energy and retail, while the firm's market-leading projects offering has generated a significant flow of restructuring work related to the impact of Carillion's demise.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Wiltshire; Martin Brown; Glen Flannery; Emma Riddle; Julian Turner; Ashley Smith
‘They have deep industry knowledge and talented partners.’
‘The team provides strong, clear, and pragmatic commercial advice and solutions, and strategies that actually work.’
‘The significant size of the team means they can deal with big cases.’
‘Rita Lowe is very effective at focusing on key issues and promoting the interests of her client.’
‘Ashley Smith is very bright and possesses the ability to be able to actually give a fact specific answer rather than just quoting/telling you the law and accordingly formulating a strategy that commercially works.’
‘Glen Flannery is commercially orientated and understands how to make a deal happen.’
‘Julian Turner is very user-friendly, and commercial.’
The administrators of Three Valleys Healthcare Limited (KPMG)
Various PFI borrowers and lenders
Lenders to Carpetright
PSBP Midlands Limited, a PF2 project company re 8 Midlands schools
The administrators of MonarchAirlines
The administrators of Misco Group
Icon Film Distribution Limited
- Acting for the administrators of a PFI project concerning Roseberry Park Hospital near Middlesbrough.
- Advising the administrators of Monarch Airlines on discrete matters in relation to the administration, as conflict counsel.
- Acting for the Costcutter Group in relation to the administration of Palmer & Harvey, and the negotiation of complex settlement arrangements relating to loans, credit exposure, and supply arrangements between the companies.
- Acting for the administrators of Misco UK in relation to the collapse of the computer reseller.
- Acting for the board of directors in a number of jurisdictions, including the UK and Germany, in relation to advisory and distressed M&A advice, with a view to a potential rescue of fashion retailer Bench.
Benefiting from a 'can-do approach and practical attitude', Dentons' 'technical and commercial' six-partner team has 'broad and deep coverage', enabling it to effectively handle the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters for longstanding banking clients, insolvency practitioners, funds, and corporates. The team regularly draws upon the expertise of practitioners from across its corporate, finance, real estate and litigation practice groups, and has successfully done so on many high-profile mandates, including its recent work for the Official Receiver and Special Managers of Carillion. Contentious insolvency expert Neil Griffiths spearheaded the aforementioned mandate and is noted for his 'immense experience', enabling him to 'benefit from having dealt with many issues before'. Counsel Luci Mitchell-Fry provides 'clear, concise and direct advice' to a range of stakeholders, including financial institutions, distressed corporate debtors and their management, across both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Neil Griffiths; Byron Nurse
Other key lawyers:
Ian Fox; Celia Hayward; Tessa Blank; Luci Mitchell-Fry; Helen Anderson; Robert Spedding
‘It is a friendly, approachable team which takes a collaborative approach to its clients.’
‘Strong and experienced across the board, especially in advising large banking syndicates.’
‘The quality of its members is excellent, from the newly qualified to the very experienced partners, and it interacts well with other teams where a particular case demands different but overlapping expertise.’
‘The team members are very experienced and knowledgeable in restructuring and insolvency and are able to advise on complex matters with ease.’
‘Byron Nurse has the ability to focus on the issues that really matter.’
‘Ian Fox is friendly, experienced, sensible, accessible, determined and results-oriented.’
‘Ian Fox is building up a reputation for himself as an excellent technical expert on domestic and international insolvency law.’
‘Tessa Blank combines pragmatism with legal ability.’
‘Luci Mitchell-Fry is very responsive and has the ability to quickly get to the heart of the issue.’
‘The excellent Luci Mitchell-Fry and Helen Anderson have excellent technical knowledge and both demonstrate an exceptional level of engagement and commitment.’
C&C Group plc
Cerberus European Servicing
CRI Group Limited
Department of Health and Social Care
Ernst & Young
Department for International Development
Wolf Minerals Limited
- Acting for 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.
- Advising the Cypriot liquidators of the holding company of major Ukrainian agricultural business, Mriya Agro, on its complex restructuring which reduced the group debt from $1.1bn to $309.5m.
- Acting for the senior lenders to Wolf (a formerly listed quoted specialty metals producer) in relation to the restructuring of the financing of Drakelands (a major tungsten mine in Hemerdon, Devon and one of the few outside China) and its ultimate insolvency.
- Advised C&C Group Plc in relation to its acquisition of the wholesale drinks business of Conviviality Plc (in administration).
Co-headed by Kevin Pullen and John Whiteoak for non-contentious and contentious work respectively, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's ten-partner team provides 'practical and commercial solutions' to a wide range of stakeholders on the creditor and debtor front, particularly in distressed scenarios within firm-wide sector strengths including energy, infrastructure, travel, and leisure. Able to overlay complementary practice areas including corporate, litigation and tax, and also aided by an extensive international network, the firm has the ability to handle big-ticket cross-border debtor mandates as evidenced by its ongoing work in the longstanding Nortel matter.
Kevin Pullen; John Whiteoak
Other key lawyers:
Natasha Johnson; John Chetwood; Roger Lawrence; Stephen Conyers; Andrew Cooke
‘The team has the ability to cut through the most complex of matters and deliver practical, commercial solutions, while always protecting their clients’ positions.’
‘The team has real depth and breadth of experience in all areas of insolvency and restructuring law, including in relation to a number of ongoing high-profile cross-border insolvency cases.’
‘Stephen Conyers has very strong technical knowledge and practical nous, combined with friendly and affable approach which clients clearly love.’
Sea Trucks International Limited and several of its group companies
Non-executive directors of Carillion Plc
Amey Birmingham Highways Limited
Ernst & Young
Three Hills Capital Partners
- Advising former executive and non-executive directors of Carillion in relation to all aspects of the insolvency of the Carillion Group.
- Continues to advise insolvency practitioners at Ernst & Young in their role as administrators to Nortel’s Network’s EMEA entities.
- Advised Virgin in relation to the consortium rescue takeover offer for Flybe Group Plc and separate acquisition of its trading subsidiaries, Flybe Limited and Flybe.com Limited via Connect Airways, a consortium consisting of Virgin Atlantic Limited, Cyrus Capital Partners, LP and Stobart Aviation Limited.
- Advised Three Hills Capital Partners on its acquisition of Byron Hamburgers Limited which was contingent on a successful CVA.
- Acted for Wesfarmers on the sale of the distressed UK business Homebase.
While Jones Day's London team lacks the visibility of its US colleagues, particularly for big-ticket debtor mandates, it has successfully developed a strong practice in relation to contentious and non-contentious matters for insolvency practitioners. 'Excellent' team head Ben Larkin has recently been very active on behalf of stakeholders in relation to the spate of domestic retail failures, including his work for the liquidators of BHS on its high-profile insolvency. Sion Richards has an excellent reputation for handling contentious insolvency matters, while Kay Morley regularly advises fund clients investing in distressed opportunities.
Other key lawyers:
Sion Richards; Kay Morley; David Harding
‘David Harding is very personable and pragmatic.’
Nicholas Guy Edwards and Philip Stephen Bowers of Deloitte LLP as Joint Liquidators of Angel Group Limited & Others
Geoff Rowley and Tony Wright of FRP Advisory LLP as Joint Administrators and subsequently as Joint Liquidators of BHS
Andrew J Johnson and Chad Griffin of FTI Consulting LLP as fixed charge receivers of the share capital in the BMI Healthcare Group
Byron Hamburgers Limited
Lombard Medical Limited
Octopus Capital & Fern Trading
International Automotive Components Group
Brian Glasgow in his capacity as Bankruptcy Trustee of Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited
Various investment managers on Steinhoff
- Successfully represented Angel Group liquidators at trial in breach of trust and fiduciary duty claims worth over £10m against former director and sole shareholder.
- Acting for the joint liquidators of BHS Limited, BHS Group Limited and other BHS group entities (having initially been engaged to act for the clients in their capacity as joint concurrent Administrators of BHS Limited in July 2016).
- Advised Andrew J. Johnson and Chad Griffin of FTI Consulting LLP in their capacity as fixed charge receivers of the share capital in the BMI Healthcare group in connection with the restructuring of the BMI Healthcare business.
- Advised British Land (and various British Land associated and joint venture entities) in its capacity as landlord to a number of nationwide high-street retailers who have recently proposed CVAs to compromise their rental liabilities, including (but not limited to) House of Fraser, the Mothercare group, Homebase, New Look, Carpetright, Prezzo, Carluccio’s and Toys ‘R’ Us.
- Advised the casual dining chain, Byron Hamburgers, on a proposed CVA within the context of a wider financial and operational restructuring of the company.
Paul Hastings LLP's restructuring team continues the upward trajectory it has been on since the arrival of the 'vastly experienced and creative' David Ereira from Linklaters LLP at the beginning of 2016. The arrival of the 'very well-respected' David Manson at the end of 2017 from White & Case LLP is the latest notable partner level addition to the team and underscores the firm's expanding capabilities in the area, which have substantially diversified from its roots in relation to niche real estate-related structured finance mandates. The scope of the work now includes mandates from debtors and creditors throughout the capital structure, and includes domestic and cross-border formal insolvency mandates, as well as matters involving a more transactional approach. Praised for his 'excellent strategic vision', Ereira recently gained significant market acknowledgement for his high-profile work on behalf of leading clothing retailer, New Look, on the CVA of all of its occupational leases.
David Ereira; David Manson
‘The team provides a commercial and solutions-oriented approach.’
‘David Ereira is a very experienced and seasoned lawyer.’
‘David Ereira is very calm and is always able to evaluate the situation with a tactical perspective.’
‘David Manson provides critical thinking and technical expertise.’
Government of Jamaica
General Healthcare Group
Norske Skogindustrier, ad hoc group of bondholders
CMC di Ravenna
- Advising the leading clothing retailer New Look and its owner – the listed South African group Brait SE – on the CVA of all of its occupational leases.
- Advising the founder and principal of Abraaj in constructing and implementing a global settlement in the insolvencies of Abraaj Holdings and Abraaj Investment Management Limited.
- Acting for Link Asset Services as the servicer in the securitisation of the financing of the General Healthcare Group property portfolio.
- Advising an ad hoc group of bondholders to Norwegian pulp and paper company Norske Skogindustrier on the finalisation of its restructuring discussions with the company and creditor stakeholders.
- Advising Reliance Communications, a leading Indian and global telecommunications company, on its restructuring of a total of some $7bn of financial indebtedness.
Despite the departure in March 2019 of Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks to Mayer Brown International LLP, DLA Piper maintains a well-resourced team out of London and key regional hubs (including Birmingham and Manchester) and is well-positioned to handle insolvency/restructuring work in the domestic mid-market in particular. Strong ties with insolvency practitioners and UK clearing banks continue to generate a significant flow of traditional restructuring and insolvency work for Chris Parker's five-partner team, with the firm's role for the Official Receiver following Carillion's demise a particular highlight.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Richards; David Ampaw; Neil Riley; Tim Dawson; Jared Green; Rowan Aspinwall; Peter Manley; Laura Wright
Alvarez & Marsal
Conviviality Group Plc
Monarch Airlines for Manchester Airports Group
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Banking syndicate on Evans Cycles
- Advising the joint liquidators of Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Limited, the parent company of a group which operated as one of the largest construction and infrastructure companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
- Advised the Official Receiver on the liquidation of several Carillion Group companies and over 200 boards of directors of the companies not placed into an insolvency process in order to ensure a controlled disposal process with a view to maximising the return to creditors.
- Advised Manchester Airports Group following the collapse of airline, Monarch, which left the group to fill empty airline slots that were worth a reported £30m in earnings.
- Advised Gourmet Burger Kitchen in relation to a successful proposal for a CVA.
- Advised a banking syndicate on the pre-pack sale of Evans Cycles as a going concern, to Sports Direct.
Provided with additional bandwidth and critical mass by the arrival in June 2019 of Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks from DLA Piper, Mayer Brown International LLP 's six-partner team represents a broad mix of stakeholders, including funds, corporate trustees, insolvency practitioners, and banks across a range of contentious and non-contentious mandates. Team head Devi Shah is 'extremely pleasant to work with and provides reliable advice' across both domestic and cross-border mandates, with particular niches on insurance insolvencies and pensions-related restructurings.
Devi Shah; Amy Jacks
Other key lawyers:
Michael Fiddy; Jessica Walker; Ian McDonald; Alexandra Wood
‘A closely knit long-serving team of very experienced insolvency and restructuring lawyers.’
‘The team has a clear understanding of the requirements for both distressed and transactions falling into enforcement.’
‘It is an excellent team which works to achieve the aims of the client whilst taking into account the commerciality of the situation.’
Ernst & Young
Trustees of Mothercare pension schemes
Pension Protection Fund
US Bank Trustees
- Advising Wilmington Trust (London) Limited as Security Trustee in relation to the restructuring of the Ideal Standard Group.
- Represented HSBC Bank in its capacity as trustee and offshore accounts bank in the extrajudicial reorganisation proceedings in Brazil and Chapter 15 recognition proceedings in the US of Odebrecht Oil & Gas, which resulted in the successful restructuring and mandatory exchange of more than $2.5bn of secured notes.
- Acted for the Trustees of the Mothercare Pension Schemes in connection with the Mothercare CVA.
- Acted for the joint provisional liquidators of ACAL Underwriting Limited, the corporate member of Lloyd’s Syndicate 1965 (which operated on Lloyd’s Asia Platform in Singapore) which ceased underwriting and was placed into run-off following losses sustained as a result of unprecedented natural catastrophes in the Asia Pacific region in 2010 and 2011.
- Advising the CVA supervisors (partners in Ernst & Young LLP) on the ongoing implementation of a complex CVA of a North Sea oil and gas development and production company, Alpha Petroleum Resources Limited.
'Capable of turning their hand to anything', Pinsent Masons LLP's five-partner team provides 'responsive and cost-effective advice' to banks, funds and insolvency practitioners. Under the stewardship of the 'very experienced and capable' Nick Pike , the team is particularly strong within the domestic mid-market and handles a tremendous volume of work for debtors and creditors within core areas of sector focus, including retail and leisure and construction. The 'exceptional' Steven Cottee is a key member of the team and is noted for his expertise at handling law firm administrations.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Withyman; Steven Cottee; Richard Williams; Andrew Robertson; Gemma Kaplan
‘The commercial Nick Pike is technically very good.’
‘Steven Cottee has an unparalleled understanding of the wider commercial dynamics of each transaction.’
‘Tom Withyman is very commercial.’
All UK clearing banks (except the Bank of England)
National Bank of Kuwait
Cambridge and Peterborough local authority
- Acted for the administrators of JD Classics, the world’s leading classic car dealers in relation to the investigation of a £100m fraud.
- Acting for the joint administrators of finance company Amicus Finance Plc on its £450m insolvency.
- Advised the Cambridge and Peterborough local authority on the restructuring of its local enterprise partnership.
- Advising Deloitte as administrators of luxury holiday home operator Dream Lodge Group.
- Acting for a secured creditor of Bolton Wanderers Football Club on its restructuring, ensuring the club’s survival.
Led by the 'pragmatic and thoughtful' Mark Fennessy, Proskauer Rose LLP 's three-partner team 'punches well above its weight' and regularly picks up mandates for key stakeholders in major international non-contentious and contentious matters. Fennessy is 'very knowledgeable and experienced in complex workout scenarios and large insolvencies', including his high-profile work alongside the firm's US offices for the unsecured claims committee in relation to the insolvency of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. The London team is also picking up a significant amount of mandates from its highly regarded direct lending team, including in relation to enforcement work for numerous funds that made loans into the retail space.
Other key lawyers:
Elizabeth Baltay; Crispin Daly; Sunay Radia
‘At the top of their game, the team provides commercial, responsive, highly knowledgeable and technical expertise.’
‘The team provides innovative, insightful and bold advice.’
‘The first-rate Mark Fennessy is a leader in the field of cross-border complex restructuring matters.’
‘Crispin Daly is a committed adviser and provides technical and strategic skills.’
‘Sunay Radia is very attentive and responsive.’
David Rubin & Partners
Global Loan Agency Services (GLAS)
Itau and other Brazilian banks
Intermediate Capital Group
National Basketball Association
National Football League
- The UK and US teams led work for the unsecured claims committee in all aspects of the Chapter 11 filing by the US nuclear company, Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
- Represented a large US- and UK-based direct lending fund in connection with restructuring of its $80m financing of a records storage business.
- Advised a large, pan-European debt fund which held both significant equity and debt interests, in connection with the restructuring of a UK casual dining chain.
- Successfully achieved full recovery for Contrarian Capital on its portfolio of LBIE claims including the first-ever return of trust assets from the Lehman estate.
- Acting for GLAS in its role as notes trustee and security agent in relation to a $900m high-yield bond offering by Spain-based, Codere, the troubled gaming industry player.
Led by Mei Lian, Shearman & Sterling LLP's 'knowledgeable and well-prepared team' excels in handling non-commoditised mandates involving the restructuring of complex capital structures. Noh picks up a significant amount of bondholder committee work for hedge funds and other asset managers in relation to investment opportunities and trading execution within European distressed situations. Lian has recently handled numerous NPL disposals in Europe, including her work for Piraeus Bank on its portfolio disposal to Bain Capital Credit (notable for being the first commercial real-estate backed NPL transaction in Greece). The team also has a strong track record handling debtor-side financial services restructuring work, where it works seamlessly with its financial services regulatory team.
‘The team works in an extremely integrated way, both internally and externally with the client and other advisers.’
‘The team provides very attentive and consistently sound legal advice.’
International bank lenders under the club and syndicated loans for Agrokor
Danaos Investment Limited
King Street Capital
- Advised Piraeus Bank on the sale of a €1.95bn portfolio of non-performing and denounced corporate credit exposures, backed by real-estate collateral, to Bain Capital Credit.
- Advised the international bank lenders under the club and syndicated loans in connection with Agrokor’s special administration proceedings and provision of $1bn DIP funding.
- Acted for Danaos Investment Limited, the majority shareholder and sponsor of Danaos Corporation in the comprehensive out-of-court financial restructuring of the company.
The 'very user-friendly' three-partner team at Simmons & Simmons handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters for a varied array of stakeholders, including insolvency practitioners, banks, funds, and corporates. Formerly in-house within Deutsche Bank's distressed products business, team head Ross Miller has successfully grown the firm's workflow on behalf of distressed investors, and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'able, accessible and approachable' Peter Manning. Noted by one client as 'probably the best insolvency lawyer in the world', Manning picks up a considerable amount of work on behalf of boards of directors in distressed corporates.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provide robust and pragmatic solutions to challenging insolvency issues.’
‘The firm’s skillset ranges from complex restructuring through to vanilla insolvency.’
‘Ross Miller is pragmatic and responsive.’
‘Peter Manning has a great mix of technical and commercial skills.’
Avenue Capital Group
Coronation Asset Management
- Advising the two largest senior noteholders on the restructuring of New Look Group.
- Advising the board of directors on the restructuring of Debenhams Plc.
- Advising a leading investment bank on the restructuring of Fairhold Securitisation Limited.
- Advising the directors of JPI Media Publishing on the purchase of the business and assets of Johnston Press through a pre-packaged administration.
- Represented Deloitte on the liquidation of UK Secured Finance Fund Plc.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Although US-headquartered firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP only has one partner focused on restructuring matters out of London (following Chris Mallon's recent retirement), it still maintains a strong following in the market and is recognised for its ability to advise on matters implementing both UK and US insolvency tools by virtue of US-qualified practitioners on the ground in London. Sole partner and team head, Dominic McCahill , is 'very intelligent and pragmatic' and excels at handling complex debtor focused cross-border mandates, where he is able to leverage the firm's strong general finance and corporate brand, in addition to its broad-reaching international network of offices.
Other key lawyers:
James Falconer; Kathlene Burke
‘The firm almost always has a seat at the table on the largest restructuring cases.’
‘The responsive team understands how to tackle many types of complex transactions.’
‘Dominic McCahill is a very experienced adviser that can be relied upon to provide measured advice under pressure and in the most complex circumstances.’
Petrol Jersey Limited
Concordia International Corporation
Brunswick Rail Limited
EMAS CHIYODA Subsea
The joint official liquidators of Vantage Drilling Company
Russian Standard Limited
- Advised Danaos Corporation, a leading international owner and operator of containerships, in its successful restructuring of its approximately $2.2bn of secured debt spread over 13 loan facilities.
- Advised Petrol Jersey Limited (Channel Islands), and its subsidiary Windsor Jersey Limited, in the insolvency of Monarch Airlines Limited (United Kingdom), the British charter and scheduled low-cost airline.
- Advised Toshiba Corporation in its capacity as controlling shareholder of, and critical driver of the successful restructuring of, Westinghouse Electric Company.
- Advised Concordia International Corp in its recapitalisation transaction, which included a reduction in the company’s total debt by $2.4bn and a reduction in its annual cash interest expense by $170m.
- Advised Brunswick Rail Limited in connection with the restructuring of the $600m high yield notes issued by one of its subsidiaries through a consent solicitation process.
Led on the insolvency front by the 'technically very strong' head of insolvency, Simon Beale, and for restructuring mandates by the 'very smart' head of the wider restructuring and insolvency group Jat Bains, Macfarlanes LLP provides 'highly commercial advice' to insolvency practitioners, funds, lenders, and corporates. In the asset management space, as well as picking up debtor mandates for distressed portfolio companies of private equity sponsor clients of the firm, the team is also active in distressed M&A for turnaround funds and hedge funds. Bains has niche expertise in relation to professional services insolvencies, and continues to represent Slater and Gordon in ongoing matters related to its restructuring by way of a debt for equity swap. The team was also strengthened on the special situations and distressed M&A front by the arrival in June 2019 of Peter Baldwin from Ropes & Gray LLP.
Jat Bains; Simon Beale
Other key lawyers:
Paul Keddie; Peter Baldwin
‘The team is a pleasure to work with and provides direct, forward-thinking and proactive advice.’
‘Jat Bains is always well prepared.’
‘Simon Beale is technically very strong, easy to deal with, responsive, user friendly, and a real gentleman.’
‘Paul Keddie is commercial and knowledgeable.’
Alchemy Special Opportunities
Ince & Co
Oak Hill Advisors
Slater and Gordon LLP
- Advising Slater and Gordon law firm on ongoing matters related to its restructuring by way of a debt for equity swap, which involved ownership being taken by a syndicate of lenders led by Centerbridge in late 2017 but which resulted in follow-on work including the provision of additional finance and a management incentive arrangement.
- Advised Alchemy Special Opportunities and its subsidiary M2 on the sale of the key assets of the M2 operation to Rovop, and the solvent wind-down of the remainder of the group including the return to investors.
- Acted for troubled law firm Ince & Co on its merger with Gordon Dadds to become Ince Gordon Dadds.
- Advised CBPE Capital on the provision of short-term fund level guarantees to support working capital facilities provided to its investee company, sofa.com, and eventually on related aspects of the consensual handover of ownership to a new lender which bought out the incumbent, Lloyds Banking Group.
- Acted for NM Capital on its acquisition of British Military Fitness, the leading UK outdoor fitness business which operates in parks across the UK.
Co-headed by Sarah Coucher and James Stonebridge, Norton Rose Fulbright's 'effective and impressive' eight-partner team provides a compelling blend of 'strong legal analysis and practical business-focused insights' to banks, funds, and corporates engaged in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. The team is particularly active in core sector areas of strength for the firm as a whole, including transport and energy-related restructurings and insolvencies. Praised for his 'measured and sensible approach', Mark Craggs is developing a strong reputation for a range of stakeholders, particularly in relation to cross-border matters.
Sarah Coucher; James Stonebridge
Other key lawyers:
Hamish Anderson; John Verrill; Mark Craggs; Simon Jerrum; Helen Fairhead
‘Not only is their knowledge of insolvency law – both domestic and international – second to none, but also their tactical capabilities and judgement are spot on.’
‘Mark Craggs is very practical and commercial in his approach.’
‘John Verrill’s knowledge on insolvency litigation – law and practice – is simply breathtaking.’
‘Simon Jerrum is very impressive.’
Administrators to Maxwell Communications
AG Trustee of Lehman Brothers
Daiichi Chuo KK and Star Bulk Carrier Co
Grant Thornton UK LLP
Lloyds Banking Group
Royal Bank of Canada
Standard Bank of South Africa
Nederlandse Financierings – Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden
Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund
EXIAR Global Panel
Rand Merchant Bank
- Advised Citigroup and other lenders of Danaos on a $2.2bn restructuring of NYSE-listed Danaos Corp, one of the world’s largest independent owners of modern, large-size containerships.
- Acted as global counsel to Mercuria Energy Group Limited, one of the world’s largest independent energy and commodity companies, operating in more than 50 countries, in relation to US and global debtor-in-possession borrowing base financing facilities for Aegean Marine Petroleum.
- Acted for five directors of Asa Resource Group Plc (in administration) in an unfair prejudice petition brought by two shareholders of the company.
- Advised longstanding client, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), in relation to refinancing its debt structure, including its latest round of debt fundraising, in which EAIF raised approximately $385m in new long-term debt capital to invest in sub-Saharan African infrastructure projects.
- Advising Wells Fargo as arranger on the restructuring of a syndicated Asset Based Loan Facility of £73m to Hawk Plant.
Latham & Watkins
Although she was only at the firm for a short time, the high-profile departure of Yen Sum to Latham & Watkins in July 2018 has negatively impacted Sidley Austin LLP's restructuring team, particularly in light of her strong reputation in the market. Of the remaining team, the 'excellent' Patrick Corr continues to handle a steady stream of contentious and non-contentious cross-border work, often working alongside colleagues from across the firm's broad international network.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Despite its relatively small footprint in London, US headquartered powerhouse Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is regularly involved in major international restructurings as a result of its fluid multi-disciplinary approach to work in the area. This is also aided by its ability to advise on matters across the capital structure, as well as across UK and US financing products. 'Incredibly smart' team head Christopher Howard's 'ability to switch between finance and insolvency disciplines really sets him apart' and ensures that he receives a significant flow of work from both funds and banks.
Headed by the 'proactive, focused and calm' Edward Smith , Travers Smith LLP's 'small but perfectly formed' two-partner team has 'excellent technical knowledge and understanding' of insolvency and restructuring procedures. The firm has been particularly active of late handling mandates within the high street/retail space, and has advised numerous debtors, including Carpetright and Carluccio's, on their CVAs. The team also picks up a significant amount of work for troubled portfolio companies from the firm's 'top-notch' roster of mid-market private equity sponsors.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Hughes; Natalie Scoones;
‘The team has strength in depth and an excellent technical knowledge and understanding, particularly in relation to CVAs.’
‘The individuals have an enviable reputation for service and technical expertise.‘
‘Edward Smith is clearly a subject matter expert, very pro-active, extremely focused and calm, and a pleasure to work with.‘
‘Edward Smith has an impressive sense of poise and gravitas.‘
Powerleague Fives Limited
- Advised longstanding corporate client Carpetright plc on its CVA and capital raising.
- Advised Carluccio’s Limited, the well-known Italian restaurant chain, on its CVA.
- Advised Powerleague Fives Limited, a leading provider of 5-a-side football facilities, on its CVA.
- Advised longstanding client Equistone on its investment in and ownership of the Gaucho and Cau steak restaurant group. This involved advising on restructuring options including a possible CVA, and Equistone’s exit from the structure.
- Acted for the trustee of the Akzo Nobel (CPS) Pension Scheme in relation to the protection of its funding base and ongoing covenant support during an intense period of potential corporate activity involving the sponsoring employer and its wider group.
With a strong presence in London, as well is in regional offices including Manchester, Addleshaw Goddard handles a significant volume of UK mid-market restructuring mandates, particularly from clearing banks and accountancy firms. Although it is active across a wide range of industry sectors, the team provides particular prowess in relation to contentious and non-contentious mandates in sectors where the firm has an overarching focus; including healthcare, education, and energy. 'Experienced and driven' co-head Fraser Ritson has recently received a significant number of instructions from boards of directors of troubled companies, including from Evans Cycles. Alison Goldthorp has a strong reputation in the domestic market particularly for contentious insolvency matters.
Ged Barnes; Fraser Ritson
Other key lawyers:
Alison Goldthorp; James Davison; Anna Hodgson; Adam McCarron
‘Good team. Very flexible and hands on. Partners get down and dirty and don’t leave everything to associates.’
‘Alison Goldthorp, the lead partner in insolvency is incredibly experienced, fights every corner for her client and leads from the front.’
‘Fraser Ritson guided the board through a very difficult and prolonged period of stress and distress, including moving the company into administration. He navigated the director issues with real skill and understanding, including dealing with complex financial arrangements with the lenders. He is absolutely my go-to choice for director issues in stressed and distressed situations. He is well liked by lenders and other law firms, which really helped.’
‘Alison Goldthorp is direct and is particularly good at litigation in an insolvency situation. Her advice was clear, direct, well timed, and absolutely on point.’
Royal Liverpool and BroadGreen Hospital Trust
Directors of Three Valleys Healthcare
Lone Star Funds
- Advised the administrators of HMV in relation to their appointment and their duties as administrators, administration trading, the sale of the business, and on contingency planning in the event that a sale was not possible.
- Advised the board of directors of Evans Cycles in connection with an accelerated M&A process delivered via a pre-packaged administration sale of the business and assets to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct plc and then advising PwC as Administrators.
- Advising the board of an AIM-listed business specialising in energy procurement and energy management services for SME businesses.
- Advising the Royal Liverpool and Broad Green Hospital Trust in relation to its position following the liquidation of Carillion Construction.
- Acting for BDO as administrators of the failed restaurant group Villandry.
Despite being hugely impacted by an exodus of partners at the beginning of 2018 to Milbank (including rainmaker Yushan Ng), Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP still has several US-qualified practitioners based in London, including 'impressive' team head Gregory Petrick and thereby has the capacity to handle restructuring work – particularly for bondholders – on cross-border situations. It can also effectively leverage practitioners from its acclaimed New York office.
Other key lawyers:
- Represented MBIA in multiple capacities relating to two collateral loan obligation investment funds regarding workout and other strategies for reducing MBIA’s exposure and with respect to restructuring efforts and potential litigation.
- Represented Hemen Holdings (a company owned by family trusts established by Mr John Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family) as new money provider in the Chapter 11 restructuring of Seadrill Limited.
- Advised an informal ad hoc group of secured lenders that held approximately 95 per cent of the secured debt in the Chapter 11 cases of Toisa Limited, Trade and Transport Inc. and certain vessel-owning affiliates (Bermuda-chartered offshore oil and gas supply shipping companies owned by Greek shipping magnate Gregory Callimanopulos) pending in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Led by the 'very experienced and able' Paul Fleming, Dechert LLP's three-partner team's sweet spot lies in its ability to represent funds clients as creditors on big-ticket multi-jurisdictional matters – where it is able to successfully leverage the firm's global network (which includes offices in the US, Europe and CIS). The team is 'particularly strong in the contentious arena', an area where the 'calm and measured' Adam Silver combines commercial litigation skills with a strong focus in restructuring and insolvency to provide 'very effective advice' to bondholders in seeking to assert their rights using litigation tools. Solomon Noh (one of the few lawyers based in London with Chapter 11 capability) joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP in early 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘They bring an extraordinary combination of legal knowledge, strategic thinking, commercial acumen and client care, and most importantly they are absolutely driven to secure the best outcome.‘
‘The team is well resourced and has a good mix of partners, and experienced and motivated associates.‘
‘It is a small team but has a way of getting involved in interesting assignments.‘
‘The massively experienced Paul Fleming is calm and very clear in his communications.‘
‘Adam Silver is a first-class litigator and very much someone you want on your side. He combines clear strategic thinking with mastery of detail, and is utterly tenacious.‘
Funds managed by Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited
Bondholders of PJSC Commercial Ban “PrivatBank”
Argentem Creek Partners
The Joint Liquidators of Webinvest
Lehman Brothers Limited (in administration)
The Founder of Abraaj Group
- Representing funds managed by Franklin Templeton Investment Management in a high-profile challenge to the restructuring of $500m notes issued by the International Bank of Azerbaijan.
- Representing Arif Naqvi, the founder of troubled private equity sponsor Abraaj Group, in seeking to establish a restructuring by way of coordinated schemes of arrangement.
- Acting for holders of Loan Participation Notes (LPN) indirectly issued by PrivatBank in litigation following the nationalisation of PrivatBank and “bail-in” of the LPNs.
- Advises the ad hoc group of noteholders of notes issued by vehicles set up by Etihad in order to raise funds for certain airlines in which Etihad owned stakes.
- Representing emerging markets hedge fund Argentem Creek Partners in challenging the restructuring of notes issued by the Berau Coal group.
Led out of London by 'safe pair of hands' Simon Waller, and also able to tap into the expertise of practitioners from across the firm's extensive regional network of offices, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's eight-partner team excels at handling domestic mid-market mandates for a diverse client base that includes clearing banks, funds, corporates and insolvency practitioners. The 'fantastic' Jamie Leader has 'huge intellectual ability and sound commercial sensibilities' which he applies to good effect in relation to complex contentious insolvency matters.
Other key lawyers:
Jamie Leader; Carl Allen; Alex Mehdevy
‘I would highly recommend Eversheds Sutherland London for corporate insolvency work, primarily due to the exceptional capability of Jamie Leader . He is not only a first-class lawyer, with fantastic client care skills, but stands out from the crowd owing to his ability to distill the most complex technical points into client friendly concepts and commercially astute advice.’
Various clearing banks
- Acted for the administrators in relation to the continuing administration of F1 team Force India.
- Acting, in relation to the Orla Kiely fashion brand, for the secured creditor in enforcement and appointment of the administrator and then acting in the administration dealing with disputes and effecting numerous asset realisations.
- Advising 26 former partners in law firm Ince & Co in issues arising from the firm’s entry into administration and subsequent pre-pack sale to Gordon Dadds.
- Represent the first and second defendants in a multi-party claim issued in the Commercial Court by CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Limited, which is a special purpose vehicle that forms part of the CNM Group of companies.
K&L Gates LLP
Headed by the 'responsive and pragmatic' Jonathan Lawrence , K&L Gates LLP's 'well-rounded and multidisciplinary team is fully capable of navigating complex cross-jurisdictional bankruptcies and workouts'. The team is particularly strong at handling distressed M&A work for funds clients, while on the contentious front it is increasingly active advising on asset recovery matters. Barry Cosgrave 'has experience in very complicated restructurings in difficult jurisdictions', as demonstrated by his current work for Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company in the largest privately negotiated settlement and restructuring ever undertaken in the Middle East.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides comprehensive advice with an awareness of commercial practicalities in a cost sensitive manner.‘
‘Partner availability is exceptional and the team has fantastic associates.‘
‘Their knowledge and experience with Middle East insolvency regimes, practices and law is exceptional.‘
‘Jonathan Lawrence has a very large knowledge of legal matters encompassing finance, insolvency, restructuring, insurance, corporate and banking.‘
‘Barry Cosgrave is client focused and a real team player.‘
Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company
LKQ Corporation/Euro Car Parts 12
OSI Systems, Inc
GLAS Trust Corporation
Duff & Phelps
Silver Rock Financial
Link Asset Services
US Bank Trustees
Arena Racing Corporation
Smith & Williamson
Longulf Trading Limited
- Represented Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company on the settlement and restructuring of its approximately $9bn of liabilities globally.
- Advising GLAS Trust Corporation as facility agent and security trustee in relation to the Carillion insolvency.
- Represented Hakkasan Limited in relation to the repossession of premises from a sub-tenant in CVA.
- Advising Macquarie Bank in relation to possible enforcement action against a UK borrower.
- Advising the Qatar Free Zone Authority on the drafting of its new Insolvency Regulations.
Led by 'thoughtful and detail-oriented' Susan Moore, Stephenson Harwood's eight-partner team provides 'robust advice' to a diverse array of clients including funds, insolvency practitioners, corporates and banks, and is best-known for its 'very strong capability in relation to contentious matters'. Moore is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile matters handled by the team and excels at handling matters with a cross-border angle, including her work for the Norwegian official receiver of the Norske Skog group (which is Norway's largest ever corporate insolvency).
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Frith; Julian Cahn
‘The team provides a partner-led service which is commercial, pragmatic and of high quality.‘
‘Susan Moore stands out for her technical expertise and ability to grasp the commerciality of the situation.‘
‘Susan Moore’s advice is consistently concise and thoughtful, and conveys authority.‘
‘Stuart Frith has a wealth of experience.’
‘Julian Cahn is committed to providing a high quality and responsive service.‘
The Board of the Pension Protection Fund
GLAS Trust Corporation
Norske Skog group
Hadrian’s Wall Capital
David Rubin and Partners
- Advising the joint administrators of Toys ‘R’ Us on certain ongoing matters.
- Advising the Bermudan provisional liquidator of Noble Group Limited in connection with his appointment following English and Bermudan schemes of arrangement.
- Advising the Pension Protection Fund on the attempted restructuring and then insolvency of Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited.
- Acting for the administrators of the Bell Pottinger group on all aspects of the administration.
- Acting for the Joint Liquidators of Peak Hotels and Resorts Limited.
Led by Nick Moser, Taylor Wessing LLP's restructuring team receives a significant flow of domestic and cross-border work from insolvency practitioners on formal insolvency procedures, as well as from a growing roster of funds clients seeking to realise value in the distressed debt market. As well as recently securing significant roles in some high-profile retail collapses (including work for the management team on insolvency and restructuring matters prior to LK Bennett going into administration), the firm also picks up a sizeable flow of work relating to IP-rich entities from the firm's market-leading venture capital practice. Other niches include pensions restructurings, and fraud and complex real estate restructuring and recovery.
Other key lawyers:
Amy Patterson; Stephen O’Grady
‘Nick Moser has excellent knowledge and experience in asset recovery and corporate matters. Great eye for detail and vast knowledge and experience in his area. Excellent communicator and his advice is well considered, and you feel you can trust the advice given.’
‘Nick Moser is a very able partner.’
‘Nick Moser is nice to work with.’
LK Bennett Limited
Bankruptcy trustee of Hanjin Shipping Co. Limited
Duff & Phelps
- One of the lead advisers representing the creditors’committee of Beaufort Securities in its administration.
- Acting for alternative credit fund Hermes as senior creditor on all aspects of pre-enforcement restructuring and options planning, and its subsequent enforcement through appointment of fixed charge receivers.
- Representing BDO as Court Appointed Receivers over shares in an Anglo-German corporate structure which is linked to the Eliezer Fishman bankruptcy, the largest in Israeli history.
- Act for alternative credit fund Urban Exposure Plc on all aspects of pre-enforcement restructuring and options planning, and its subsequent enforcement through appointment of administrators, to the mixed commercial/residential development project ‘St Annes Court’ in Birmingham’s creative district of Digbeth.
- Acting for Lucas Flöther of Flöther & Wissing, appointed as insolvency administrator of Air Berlin in relation to the dispute with Sabre Inc, Air Berlin’s IT services provider, regarding its breach of a Master Agreement with alleged damages of over €100m.
Led by the 'knowledgeable, commercial and down-to-earth' Joss Hargrave , Bird & Bird LLP provides a 'partner-led service' to banks, corporates and insolvency practitioners on corporate restructuring matters and formal insolvencies. The team excels in providing restructuring/insolvency expertise in relation to situations occurring within industry sector strengths of the firm as a whole, including transportation where – alongside wider support from the firm's aviation team – the team is advising the Chinese shareholder of Cobaltair on the insolvency of the airline. Other niche areas of expertise include advice for stakeholders impacted by distressed situations within the financial services and sports sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Claire Barker; Yiota Angelos
‘The team provides a responsive and attentive service to its clients.‘
‘The team is relatively small but punches above its weight.‘
‘The team is very detail-oriented and is always ready to explain complicated financial arrangements to non finance board members.‘
‘Joss Hargrave provides solutions to problems rather than highlight that problems may exist.‘
‘Joss Hargrave has that perfect blend of professionalism and pragmatism combined with a commercial view built on a foundation of integrity that provides comfort and assurance of quality support at the highest level.‘
‘Claire Barker is a pleasure to deal with.‘
Menzies Business Recovery
London Luton Airport
- Advising on the administration of Cubits which is a cryptocurrency trading platform specialising in the online gambling sector.
- Advising the Chinese shareholder of Cobaltair on the insolvency of the airline.
- Continued to advise Grant Thornton as the administrators of Secured Energy Bonds in relation to numerous antecedent transactions, including various transactions at under value, preferences, and misfeasance claims.
- Continued to advise Menzies as the liquidator of two Wonga-style lenders Lodhi Finance and First Action.
- Acted for the administrators of British Ceramic Tiles Limited (in administration), in relation to the validity and nature of security.
The 'incredibly diligent, knowledgeable and approachable' five-partner team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 'can deal with everything from complex, cross-border restructuring and insolvency issues to more straightforward, domestic insolvency matters'. Although the firm also handles restructuring and transactional-based matters, it has a particularly strong reputation in relation to contentious insolvency matters, including misfeasance claims brought against directors. Simon Ridpath provides 'very commercial and highly technical advice'.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Ridpath; Hanh Nguyen; Jason Freedman
‘The team is able to combine real world practical advice with commercial application.‘
‘A well-balanced team of talented lawyers with strong technical skills.‘
‘The partners are hands on and the entire team is made up of lawyers who have the necessary skills and expertise to deal with cases at all levels.‘
‘Simon Ridpath has an impressive knowledge of insolvency law and displays an excellent attention to detail.‘
‘Hanh Nguyen is always commercial and pragmatic, balancing technical excellence with a clear understanding of the client’s practical goals and limitations.‘
‘Hanh Nguyen is fiercely intelligent and a calm and thoughtful lawyer.‘
‘Jason Freedman is calm, rational and commercial, providing excellent legal advice focused on achieving the desired outcome.‘
Central Bank of Bahrain
Adrian Hyde of CVR Global LLP in his capacity as Special Administrators of Advalorem Value Asset Fund Limited and D B Holdings Limited
IN ’n’ OUT Limited
Kevin Brown (in his capacity as the liquidator of TN Recruitment Limited (in liquidation))
BBK Partnership – Joylan Sunnassee in his capacity as the liquidator of Douglas Care and Staff Limited (in liquidation) and Douglas Staff Centre Limited (in liquidation)
Allan Graham and Geoffrey Bouchier (in their capacity as the liquidators of Designer Ideas Limited (in administration))
Nick Wood and Geoffrey Bouchier as trustees in bankruptcy of the deceased estate of Peter David Benstead (deceased)
- Advising Octopus Property in relation to the recovery of substantial monies (approx. £10m owed to date) lent in relation to a residential development.
- Acting for the Special Administrators of Advalorem Value Asset Fund to investigate and advise in respect of claims against the company’s former advisors, Linder Myers in relation to potential fraud claims.
- Advised the purchaser on the acquisition of the business and assets of Concorde Tyre and Exhaust Centres Ltd, one of the UK’s largest independent tyre, exhaust, repair and MOT service centres, through a pre-pack administration process.
- Advised the liquidator of Douglas Care and Staff Limited (in liquidation) and Douglas Staff Centre Limited (in liquidation) in bringing a claim against a director of the two ‘Douglas’ companies for misfeasance, repayment of directors’ loan account, unauthorised salary increase, and unauthorised loans.
- Advised the administrators in relation to the Company trading as Warren Evans Limited.
Led by the 'very experienced and reliable' David Fletcher, Farrer & Co handles a 'wide-range of insolvency cases', particularly in matters which intersect with the private client and charities sectors. The team also excels at handling insolvencies involving complex trust structures and advising high-net-worth individuals during the breakdown of their marriages on insolvency issues arising out of directorships/shareholdings in companies in financial distress. Anne-Marie Piper is recognised as having a specialism in advising charities in financial difficulty, and she also acts for insolvency practitioners when they are appointed over charities.
Other key lawyers:
Anne-Marie Piper; Nyla Yousuf
‘The friendly and approachable team receives a wide range of interesting cases from the firm’s private client base and contacts.‘
‘This is a very committed and dedicated team with a willingness to work with you in the trenches when it gets difficult.‘
‘David Fletcher has a long experience of working on corporate insolvency matters.‘
‘Nyla Yousuf is capable, affable, technically good, and a pleasure to deal with.‘
- Advising a client in relation to the insolvency of an airline.
- Advising a bank in relation to defaulting loans.
- Advising a company board on its insolvency duties.
- Advising a bank on defaulting loan facilities.
- Advising in connection with the insolvency of a Guernsey registered company.
Led from London by Stewart Perry and from Manchester by Michelle Shean, Fieldfisher has a strong national practice in the mid-market on behalf of insolvency practitioners, banks, corporates and directors across the spectrum of insolvency work, ranging from advisory corporate restructuring matters, through to formal insolvencies and insolvency-related disputes. Although it is active across a range of industry sectors, the team is able to add particular value to matters within the retail, life sciences, and energy spaces.
Stewart Perry; Michelle Shean
Other key lawyers:
Kit Jarvis; Robin Spender; Larry Coltman; Carly Schiff
‘The team are proactive and can never be accused of being vanilla.’
‘Michelle Shean is a great listener and responds to requests and beyond. She has a tremendous attention to detail.’
‘I have worked with Kit Jarvis over about nine years and always found him to be always on the case, thoughtful, assertive when necessary, a really good listener and highly committed and energetic. On a long-running, complex piece of litigation, these are very valuable qualities.’
Ernst & Young
Duff & Phelps
- Acting for the administrators and receivers in respect of a large bio-gas energy company, with complex land title and environmental issues.
- Acting for the liquidators (in a compulsory liquidation) trading five group companies, enabling a payment in full and return to the incumbent management team.
- Assisting Mrs Shlosberg and a number of foreign trust companies in relation to claims levied by the Trustees in Bankruptcy of Mr Shlosberg.
- Assisting the liquidators in proceedings to recover substantial funds in respect of a dishonest assistance claim.
- Assisting the liquidators relating to frauds committed by former directors.
Strengthened on the transactional restructuring front by the arrival in November 2018 of Daniel Martin from Ropes & Gray LLP, Fladgate LLP has an increasingly balanced offering for funds on distressed investment work, as well as more traditional IP-led insolvency matters. Spearheaded by the 'commercial' Jeremy Whiteson and the 'superb' Bree Taylor, the five-partner team is particular strong at handling contentious insolvency matters, primarily within the lower-mid market. Industry sector strengths include aviation, sports, and infrastructure.
Jeremy Whiteson; Bree Taylor
Other key lawyers:
Ben Drew; Daniel Martin
‘Pocket sized perfection! They have an excellent litigation team, well staffed with excellent assistants, and all at a reasonable price, whilst maintaining City standards.’
‘Jeremy Whiteson has extensive contentious and non-contentious insolvency experience. He also provides more general corporate and commercial advice which brings a useful perspective.’
Toys ‘R’ Us
Anthony Batty & Co
David Rubin & Partners
James Cowper Creston
B and C Associates
- Advised the receiver of Toys ‘R’ Us Properties (UK) Limited on the disposal of two former Toys ‘R’ Us stores in Cardiff and Plymouth.
- Advised Alyssum Group and its principal subsidiary, Fly Victor Ltd, on several mandates including a corporate restructuring which saw the formation of a group of companies, with Alyssum at its head.
Headed by the 'technically very strong' Ashley Katz , Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP's one-partner London team has made some successful inroads into the market since it was established in 2016. Leveraging the firm's overarching asset management prowess, it is 'especially strong acting for funds clients', particularly on mandates involving a cross-border element.
‘Seamless operation between their US and UK teams.‘
‘The team is very commercial and responsive.‘
‘One of the leaders in his field, Ashley Katz considers all angles in delivering his advice.‘
‘Ashley Katz is a savvy and smart insolvency practitioner with a strong business sense.‘
Ernst & Young
Lucid Agency & Trustee Services
Oak Point Partners
Powerleague Group Limited
Sberbank of Russia
The Gaucho Restaurant Group
- Represented Sberbank in a successful challenge against an application made to the English courts by the International Bank of Azerbaijan (the ‘IBA’), pursuant to which the IBA sought an order for a permanent moratorium against creditor action in England and Wales.
- Advised Centerbridge Partners as anchor investor in providing c.$1bn of exit financing in connection with the comprehensive restructuring of the bank and bond debt of Seadrill Limited.
- Advised the board of directors of Powerleague Group Limited, being the UK’s leading provider of football facilities, with regards to the restructuring of the group’s debt obligations, which was ultimately achieved via a CVA.
- Advised the board of directors of the Gaucho Restaurant Group on its restructuring activities ahead of the group’s filing for administration and implementation of a CVA.
- Advised the joint official liquidators of certain JC Flowers funds holding a minority shareholding in HSH Nordbank and its related restructuring.
The 'young and energetic' team at Gowling WLG has a 'real strength in both restructuring and insolvency litigation'. Led by Julian Pallett, the six-partner team has successfully cultivated strong relationships in both London and Birmingham, as well as regularly picking up work from clearing banks, turnaround professionals, and directors. The team is also noted for its 'in-depth knowledge of the pensions space' and regularly works with its market-leading defined benefit pensions team to provide bespoke insolvency-related advice to pension trustees. On the contentious front, it has a strong reputation handling asset tracing cases as well as in relation to public interest winding-up cases.
Other key lawyers:
Alex Jay; Jasvir Jootla; Pippa Hill; Kanika Kitchlu-Connolly; Tom Stockley
‘The team is very responsive and always a pleasure to work with.‘
‘The lawyers are bright, no nonsense people, who will tell you how it is.‘
‘Alex Jay is an excellent contentious insolvency specialist. He understands the challenges that insolvency practitioners face and is very good at finding practical solutions.‘
‘Alex Jay is always calm under pressure and a delight to work with.‘
‘Kanika Kitchlu-Connolly combines in-depth legal knowledge with commercial nous.‘
‘Kanika Kitchlu-Connolly is a fantastic tactician with great judgement and super client skills, she is head and shoulders above the average junior partner.‘
Marcus Wide and Hugh Dickson of Grant Thornton LLP as joint liquidators of Stanford Bank
Kevin Hellard and Michael Leeds of Grant Thornton LLP as joint trustees in bankruptcy of Christos Lemos
Kevin Goldfarb of Griffins as sole liquidator of Vertu Corporation Limited
Mark Wilson and Alexander Kinninmonth of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP as joint liquidators of the Refined London Group
MLT Aikins LLP
Kevin Hellard and Marcus Wide as joint liquidators of Durant International Corp and Kildare Finance Limited
- Continue to advise the joint liquidators on all matters concerning Stanford Bank’s UK assets (with an approximate value of $110m), which has included seeking the release of a restraint order obtained in 2009 by the Serious Fraud Office on behalf of the US Department of Justice.
- Acting for the Trustees in bankruptcy of an individual who previously operated a global shipping and property holding empire, at one time valued in excess of £100m.
- Having previously advised the board of directors of Vertu Corporation Limited, the team was instructed to advise the proposed administrators in relation to a proposed pre-packaged administration sale which involved negotiating a pre-packaged administration sale agreement and applying to court for an administration order.
- Act for the liquidators of four companies that had established a property business with assets of nearly £10m.
- Continue to act as English Counsel for five Canadian individuals in relation to litigation that was launched against them by a family member in both Canada and the US and the recovery of costs relating to that litigation, totalling around £2m.
Praised for its 'ability to provide a very high-quality service at a reasonable price', Michelmores LLP excels in advising boards of directors of companies experiencing financial difficulty, where it is noted for its 'strategic thinking' and ability to provide 'commercial and hands-on advice in complex situations'. The 'experienced, practical and approachable' Charles Maunder heads the three-partner team that also includes the 'pragmatic and strategic' Douglas Hawthorn, who excels in handling private equity sponsor-led restructurings.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides high quality, commercial and hands-on advice in complex situations.‘
‘Charles Maunder is superb.‘
‘Douglas Hawthorn has extensive insolvency experience and knowledge.‘
Board of Directors of Mothercare UK Limited, Childrens World Limited and Early Learning Centre Limited
Board of Directors of JD Classics Limited
Board of Directors of Wolf Minerals (UK) Limited
Board of Directors of Toys ‘R’ Properties (UK) Limited
York Global Finance
Founders of Bullitt Limited
The Board of Directors of Flybe plc
FRP Advisory Limited
- Advised the Board of Directors of each of Mothercare UK Limited, Childrens World Limited and Early Learning Centre Limited in respect of ongoing trading issues, director’s duties, and their proposed company voluntary arrangements and financial restructuring.
- Advised the Board of Directors of JD Classics Limited in respect of ongoing trading issues, director’s duties, and an accelerated M&A process.
- Advising the Board of Directors of Toys ‘R’ Us Properties (UK) Limited following various companies in its group (in various jurisdictions) entering insolvency processes.
- Advising Greenray Energy Solutions on a rescue package.
- Advising receivers of £300m debt linked to the Marme Group liquidation in Spain and associated Aabar Block/Glenn Maud proceedings.
Led by the 'commercial and creative'Stephen Phillips, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP's two-partner team 'has a deep understanding of cross-border matters' and frequently works alongside colleagues from the US on complex matters involving debt from throughout the capital structure including bank and bond products. The team has handled some impressively high-profile mandates of late within the energy sector, including its work for offshore drilling contractor Ocean Rig in its comprehensive $3.7bn financial restructuring.
Other key lawyers:
‘The knowledgeable and responsive team provided excellent business guidance in addition to legal advice and walked us through the ins and outs of the local law nuances in an easy to understand manner.‘
‘The team is able to drive an outcome that reaches the desired commercial result.‘
‘The very approachable Stephen Phillips provides clear insight into complex issues and is very methodical with his work to ensure all outcomes are assessed.‘
Duff & Phelps
GLAS Trust Corporation
Ocean Rig UDW Inc
- Acted for the Conflicts Committee of Seadrill Partners in relation to the restructuring of its $2.8bn Term Loan B credit agreement and its other security facilities of $440m, $1.45bn and $420m.
- Acting for the administrators of Dunwilco (1848) (in administration) in connection with Dunwilco’s sale of three UK subsidiary companies.
- Advised Cayman Islands-based offshore drilling contractor Ocean Rig UDW Inc. in its comprehensive $3.7bn financial restructuring.
- Advising technology company Blippar on restructurings, debt and equity injections, and negotiations with its investors.
Reed Smith LLP
Headed by Charlotte Möller, Reed Smith LLP's four-partner team handles a range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency mandates for insolvency practitioners, banks, and pensions trustees. Although the firm handles a significant amount of traditional insolvency matters, a sizeable proportion of its work is of a transactional nature for funds clients, including distressed debt trading and NPL acquisitions. The team is also regularly engaged in cross-border mandates, where it is able to effectively resource matters utilising practitioners from across its offices in the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Other key lawyers:
Jeff Drew; Diane Roberts; Monika Lorenzo-Perez; Anthony Riddle; Helena Clarke; Estelle Macleod