Leading Individuals

Firms To Watch: Corporate restructuring & insolvency

Established in late 2020 by Phil Taylor, formerly of Sidley Austin LLP, and strengthened further by counsel Anna Nolan's arrival from Paul Hastings LLP in July 2021, Alston & Bird LLP's nascent London restructuring practice is well poised to handle special situations and distressed investment mandates on its own as well as in collaboration with the firm's established US practice.
A specialist bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring practice with offices in London and across the regions, Isadore Goldman is gaining particular acclaim from clients for its ability to handle sizeable contentious insolvency matters where it punches above its weight.
Squire Patton Boggs significantly ramped up its insolvency and restructuring capabilities in September 2022 with the hire of a London team from Brown Rudnick LLP led by Charlotte Møller and Monika Lorenzo-Perez.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's restructuring and insolvency team has particular expertise in the energy sector, and has recently advised on a string of energy supplier insolvencies led by London practice head Jonathan Dunkley.

Corporate restructuring & insolvency in London

Akin Gump LLP

Co-headed by James Roome and ‘doyen of the bankruptcy market’ Barry Russell , the ‘well-established and experienced‘ team at Akin Gump LLP contains a slew of ‘exceptional creditor-side lawyers’, many of whom have advised on some of the most significant cross-border restructurings in the market. Bondholder work is the team’s forte and in this regard it is ‘particularly skilled in looking after the interests of insurance companies and private placement holders’. A core overarching sector strength of the firm as whole, energy-related instructions continue to account for a significant proportion of work for the restructuring group – particularly in light of the recent oil price volatility. Indeed, the firm once again secured a key role on Sea Drill’s recent bankruptcy filing, this time advising an ad hoc group of new secured noteholders (having had a role for the unsecured bondholders on the original Chapter 11 filed in 2017). The ‘commercial and strategic’ James Terry  led on this matter and is also known for his specialism for energy and offshore sector issuers in the Nordic high yield market. The ‘calm and composedEmma Simmonds  ‘works very well with other advisers’ and is a key member of a team that also includes the ‘very hardworking’ Liz Osborne  , who is ‘super smart and a great advocate for her clients’ and the ‘thorough, knowledgeable and responsive’ Tom Bannister. Lois Deasey left for Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP.

Practice head(s):

James Roome; Barry Russell

Other key lawyers:

James Terry; Liz Osborne; Emma Simmonds; Tom Bannister; Hermione Allen; Jakeob Brown; Emma Butler; Caoimhe Kennedy; Jessica Ling; Carone Huang

Testimonials

Exceptional creditor side lawyers, particularly skilled in looking after the interests of insurance companies and private placement holders in complex restructurings.’

Well established and experienced team, great market presence, creative thinking lawyers.’

Barry Russell: the doyen of the bankruptcy market and the ultimate client man and strategist. Straight as an arrow, impeccable judgement and a steadying hand in a crisis. Brings gravitas and experience to very difficult and opaque situations.’

Liz Osborne is very hardworking and full of energy and enthusiasm.’

‘James Terry is probably the most commercial and strategic lawyer in the City.’

Emma Simmonds is calm and composed and works very well with other advisers.’

‘Tom Bannister is always highly thorough, knowledgeable and responsive.’

Key clients

Private placement noteholders of NAC Aviation 29 Designated Activity Company

Ad hoc group of new secured noteholders of Seadrill New Finance Limited

Ad hoc group of Noble Group

Ad hoc group of creditors of the Premier Oil Group

Nordic Trustee AS, as bond trustee on behalf of the DOFSUB07 bondholders

Ad hoc committee of noteholders of Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc

Private placement noteholders of ED&F Man Treasury Management plc

Ad hoc committee of lenders under the US$1.3 billion facility made available to Prosafe SE

The majority holder of the convertible bonds issued by Polarcus Limited

Ad hoc committee of noteholders of Valaris plc

Ad hoc group of guaranteed bondholders of Noble Corporation plc

Ad hoc group of term loan B lenders to PGS ASA

Private placement noteholders of Clarks

Ad hoc committee of convertible bondholders of Hurricane Energy plc

Ad Hoc Committee of noteholders of Metrocentre Finance plc (Intu)

Ad hoc group of senior secured lenders to Desarrolladora Energética S.A. (DESA)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Private Placement Noteholders of Nordic Aviation 29 Designated Activity Company (NAC) in relation to Chapter 11 proceedings which were commenced by the debtor group, with the support of the NAC 29 noteholders and certain other creditors.
  • Acted for an Ad Hoc Group of New Secured Noteholders of Seadrill New Finance Limited which involved the restructuring of approximately $620m of outstanding note liabilities, which had been the new money funding in the prior bankruptcy  and approximately $650m of other liabilities.
  • Advised an ad hoc committee of lenders under a $1.3bn facility made available to Prosafe SE, the leading Norwegian headquartered owner-operator of semi-submersible accommodation vessels, in relation to the financial restructuring of the group’s debt using a Singapore scheme of arrangement and Norwegian reconstruction process.

Allen & Overy LLP

With specialists in London and also able to ‘draw on a wealth of experience across the firm, both in terms of specialisms and jurisdictions’, Allen & Overy LLP is well-placed to advise a balanced mix of debtor and creditor clients on big-ticket cross-border restructurings and insolvencies. Under the leadership of the ‘technically astute’ Katrina Buckley, the team is also at the vanguard of developments in the industry, ensuring that it is well-placed to implement new restructuring tools as and when they are brought to market. For example, Earl Griffith recently successfully utilised the nascent Restructuring Plan, fighting off resistance from an ad hoc group of landlords, on behalf of Virgin Active in what was the first time a leasehold estate has been restructured using the new technique. Combining ‘great technical skills and a very pragmatic and commercial mindset’, Jennifer Marshall is not only pivotal to the firm’s transactional practice but also adds substantial value to clients by dint of her thought leadership expertise. Randal Weeks is another key member of the team who has vast experience representing stakeholders throughout the capital structure on complex restructurings, as well as having niche expertise advising on listed company restructurings. At a more junior partner level, standout names include Joel Ferguson, who has expertise for creditors and debtors on complex restructurings and formal insolvencies (including his ongoing work for administrators in the high-profile and politically charged $17bn administration of Greensill) and Nick Lister, who ‘is developing into a top quality restructuring lawyer’.

Practice head(s):

Katrina Buckley

Other key lawyers:

Earl Griffith; Randal Weeks; Jennifer Marshall; David Campbell; Joel Ferguson; Hannah Valintine; Tim Watson; Kathleen Wong; Nick Lister;  Nick Charlwood; Lucy Aconley; Siân Perez

Testimonials

Able to draw on a wealth of experience across the firm, both in terms of specialisms and jurisdictions.’

‘They are extremely experienced lawyers, who team up very well, with each of them adding value in his/her specific area of expertise.’

Advice is always presented in a very clear and succinct way and in a very calm manner.’

Jennifer Marshall combines both great technical skills (restructuring and insolvency) and a very pragmatic and commercial mindset that is invaluable in dealing with complex distressed situations.’

Katrina Buckley is technically astute.’

Nick Lister is developing into a top quality restructuring lawyer, providing solid advice that is measured and balanced.’

‘I appreciated Joel Ferguson’s engagement, accessibility, and the presentation of analysis, opinion and recommendations (which was generally both useful and written for non-practitioners without over-use of legalese).’

Key clients

Virgin Active

The administrators of Greensill Capital (UK) Limited

Co-ordinating committee of creditors of ED&F Man

Intralot

Creditors of Premier Oil

Imagina Media Audiovisual S.A.U.

Creditors of Nynas

Creditors of Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación, S.A.

Ascendis Health Limited

Creditors of Nordic Aviation Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised the Virgin Active Group and was at the heart of structuring, negotiating, launching and successfully implementing the Group’s landmark financial and leasehold estate restructuring, which represents the first time a leasehold estate has been restructured using a Part 26A restructuring plan.
  • Advising administrators of Greensill Capital (UK) Limited, in what was one of the most politically charged insolvency processes of 2021.    
  • Advising the co-ordinating committee of creditors representing creditors with over $1bn of debt claims and the agent in relation to the restructuring of the financial indebtedness of the ED&F Man Group and the provision of $300m new money facilities.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP provides 'very innovative and commercial' advice, both in a restructuring and formal insolvency setting, to myriad stakeholders including debtors, insolvency practitioners, banks and funds. Led from London by Philip Hertz , the six-partner team has 'a tremendous ability to reach across practices and geographies to provide comprehensive advice in complex restructurings involving multiple jurisdictions'. This was recently underscored by its advice to the Codere Group on its €1.2bn restructuring, which also utilised experts in Spain and Luxembourg. 'Able to blend his outstanding technical skills with a commercial mindset', Iain White led on this matter but is equally as adept at handling creditor-side mandates including his recent lead role for the ad hoc committee on MNC Health's complex cross-border restructuring. Although he has a versatile practice, the 'outstanding' John MacLennan is particularly well-known on behalf of senior lenders as creditors on cross-border mandates. The 'amazing' David Towers is also a key practitioner for creditor/investor work, particularly in light of his alternative lender experience. Melissa Coakley displays a 'high level of technical knowledge and strategic thinking', and alongside Hertz, who 'has a fantastic ability to simplify the most complex of legal issues', recently played a key role on behalf of the Official Receiver and the Special Managers regarding the Baglan Bay Power station compulsory liquidation.

Practice head(s):

Philip Hertz

Other key lawyers:

John MacLennan; Iain White; David Towers; Melissa Coakley; Timothy Lees; Seema Shukla; Chris Norman;

Testimonials

They show a tremendous ability to reach across practices and geographies to provide comprehensive advice in complex restructurings involving multiple jurisdictions.’

The team is very innovative and commercial and always provides great legal advice.’ 

Philip Hertz’s knowledge of the sector is second-to-none, he has a fantastic ability to simplify the most complex of legal issues.’

John MacLennan is outstanding.’

Iain White is able to blend his outstanding technical skills with a commercial mindset in order to drive a complex process forward.’

‘Iain White and Tim Lees have done an outstanding job advising us on a complex cross-border restructuring. They are very engaged and reliable but most importantly have shown an ability to efficiently manage multiple work-streams across restructuring, financing, corporate finance/M&A and litigation.’

Melissa Coakley has a high level of technical knowledge and strategic thinking.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

AerCap

Barclays

Barings

BNP Paribas

Chrysoar/ Harbour Energy

Codere

Credit Suisse

Davidson Kempner

Deutsche Bank

Hemisphere International Properties B.V.

HSBC

Lloyds

M&G

Matalan Group

Natwest Markets/RBS

Nordic Aviation Corporation

Partners Group

Provident Financial

Senior Official Receiver

Work highlights

  • Advised the Codere group, a leading player in the private gaming industry, on its €1.2bn restructuring by way of a new money offering and consent solicitation, the need for which arose from continuing COVID-related restrictions and closures which impacted materially on the group’s gaming and casino businesses.
  • Advised gategroup on options for amending and extending CHF 350m of Swiss-law governed notes, and a €665m English law senior facilities agreement provided to members of the gategroup group culminating in the use of an innovative restructuring plan to achieve this objective.    
  • Advised the ad-hoc committee of NMC’s largest financial creditors in relation to the group’s financial restructuring, including the entry by its parent entity into UK administration; the choice of procedures for the UAE-based group (ADGM administration was chosen over US Chapter 11 bankruptcy); and the terms of and implementation steps in relation to its financial restructuring.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

'The gold standard for corporate restructuring and insolvency', Kirkland & Ellis International LLP provides 'commercial and cutting-edge thinking' to deliver optimal results for clients, whether it be for funds as creditors/investors or on the debtor front. This innovative mindset is demonstrated both in terms of complex financial restructuring mandates -  where clients benefit from a tremendous knowledge of a variety of financial products, including New York law governed high yield debt - as well as the use of insolvency tools including Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) and the newly configured Restructuring Plan. 'A master tactician, who is laser focused on delivering results', Kon Asimacopoulos 'leads from the front' and sets the tone for the team, given his insatiable appetite for work and relevance in the market. The 'technically excellent' Elaine Nolan is one of many in the team with 'deep experience of CVAs', which she implements to good effect for clients in the retail sector. A 'superbly commercial lawyer', Sean Lacey is adept at handling mandates for investment funds, financial sponsors and corporates throughout the capital structure, in the context of restructurings, special situations investing, credit-led opportunities and specialised lending transactions. Partha Kar co-heads the team alongside Asimacopoulos and is recognised as a 'standout lawyer in the distressed space'. 

Practice head(s):

Kon Asimacopoulos; Partha Kar

Other key lawyers:

Sean Lacey; Elaine Nolan; Thomas Jemmett; Kate Stephenson; Hannah Crawford; Ian Clarke; Gabe Harley

Testimonials

Simply the best firm around – smart, proactive, commercial, cutting-edge thinking and strength-in-depth.’

‘Kirkland & Ellis is the gold standard for corporate restructuring and insolvency, – particularly for complex transactions and hedge fund clients. The partners combine commercial acumen with excellent legal knowledge and an innovative mindset.’

‘Kon Asimacopoulos: the best operator in the market. Leads the business from the front. He is always strategic, always hustling and always relevant in the market. He is a master tactician and laser focused on delivering results.’

Partha Kar is a standout lawyer in the distressed space.’

Sean Lacey is a superbly commercial lawyer. Strong engine, hungry and a great client man.’

Elaine Nolan is technically excellent, has deep knowledge of CVAs and is focused on delivering a high quality output that meets the client’s needs.’

Key clients

Nordic Aviation Capital

NMC Healthcare Ltd (in administration)

Smile Telecoms

Noble Group

Galapagos Group

PizzaExpress Group

Petroleum Geo-Services Group

The ad hoc group of lenders to financial creditors to Steinhoff Finance Holding GmbH and Steinhoff Europe AG

Ad hoc committee of creditors to China Fishery Group

Ad hoc committee of bondholders to the European part of Hertz Group

Ad hoc committee of bondholders to Löwen Play

Ad hoc committee of bondholders of WiZink

Carlyle as lender on restructuring of Virgin Active

Holders of senior notes issued by Wirecard AG

Cineworld Group

Europcar Mobility Group

National Car Parks Group

Work highlights

  • Advised NMC Healthcare, via its joint administrators, on its successful $7.6bn financial restructuring via migration to the Abu Dhabi Global Market to benefit from deeds of company arrangement (first ever use).
  • Advised the financial creditors of South African conglomerate, Steinhoff, on the largest (€10bn value) and most complex ever settlement of litigation claims via a restructuring.
  • Advised Smile Telecoms on its ground-breaking restructuring plan, pioneering two new practical applications of the regime: the first ever application to exclude stakeholders from voting on the basis of no economic interest; and the first restructuring plan to purport to compromise members of a foreign-incorporated company.

Latham & Watkins

Benefiting from a ‘very knowledgeable and well resourced’ core restructuring team, and also able to effectively leverage the firm’s broader finance platform, including its formidable leveraged finance offering, and its international network, Latham & Watkins provides ‘highly commercial and effective’ advice to a varied array of stakeholders across a range of restructuring, insolvency and special situations work. ‘One of the pre-eminent restructuring and turnaround lawyers in the UK and Europe’, Yen Sum is at the forefront of a good deal of the firm’s most significant bondholder-related work, a reflection of her strong fund relationships and her excellent track record in the transactional space including as it relates to special situation lending. The arrival in June 2021 of the ‘highly commercial and down-to-earth’ Bruce Bell from Linklaters further deepened the team’s bench strength and he has made an immediate impact both on the debtor and creditor front, and is noted for his ‘outstanding legal knowledge and ability to manoeuvre both debt and equity documents’. Jennifer Brennanhas a sharp intellect’ and is praised for her ability to provide ‘hugely innovative and commercial’ advice to bondholders and alternative capital providers on large, multi-jurisdictional transactions. Praised for her ‘responsiveness, clarity of thinking and commerciality’, Jessica Walker is also a key member of the team and covers contentious and non-contentious matters, particularly in respect of distressed transactions, pensions restructuring, CVAs and schemes of arrangement. Simon J Baskerville  is also recommended.  

Practice head(s):

Bruce Bell

Other key lawyers:

Simon Baskerville; Yen Sum; Jennifer Brennan; David Wallace; Jessica Walker

Testimonials

The team is very knowledgeable, very well resourced, highly commercial and effective.’

Extremely high quality throughout the entire team, from partner to every associate we have worked with.’

They have a deep understanding of creditor commercial points and are able to explain legal technicalities in commercial terms. The team is very strong in stakeholder management and is able to manage complex situations.’

Simon Baskerville is the standout member of this strong team. He has been the leading restructuring lawyer in the UK over the past decade in my view.’

The highly commercial and down-to-earth Bruce Bell is one of the most seasoned professionals in the field. His outstanding legal knowledge and ability to manoeuvre both debt and equity documents is a competitive advantage that very few lawyers have in the City.’

‘Yen Sum is known in the market as one of the pre-eminent restructuring and turnaround lawyers in the UK and Europe.’

Jennifer Brennan has a sharp intellect and ability to structure and construct very complex multi-tiered capital structures.’

We have really appreciated Jessica Walker’s responsiveness, clarity of thinking and commerciality.’

Key clients

Blackstone

New Look

Bain Credit

Barings Asset Management

Alcentra

Credit Suisse Asset Management

Goldman Sachs

J.P. Morgan

BC Partners

Partners Group

Credit Suisse

Swissport

Bank of America

Farallon Capital

New Look

BC Partners

BlackRock

Tullow Oil

Linklaters LLP

Co-headed by Rebecca Jarvis and Richard Bussell, Linklaters LLP‘top-class’ 16-partner London restructuring team provides ‘commercial, practical and solutions-focused’ advice to  a varied range of stakeholders, including lenders, funds and corporates. The team advises across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious work, ranging from formal insolvencies through to balance sheet restructurings and distressed M&A. The firm excels in handling multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary work, and frequently works alongside colleagues throughout its international network, as well as in complementary practice areas. In a matter exemplifying this approach, Bussell recently led restructuring work from London, working alongside litigators from Amsterdam and Munich on Steinhoff’s global settlement of substantial contingent liabilities that arose from accounting irregularities. James Douglas also had a key role in the matter and is appreciated by funds clients, in particular, for his ability to provide ‘very clear and balanced advice’ in complex and often highly contentious scenarios. Richard Hodgson is ‘innovative, thoughtful and user friendly‘ and has developed a particular strength advising IPs on high-profile restructurings in the retail sector. Nick Le Masurier and Sarah Mook , both of whom formerly held  in-house positions at major investment banks, are also key members of the team and bring a unique perspective to clients across a wide array of cross-border restructuring work. Tony Bugg  is also recommended.  

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Jarvis; Richard Bussell

Other key lawyers:

Tony Bugg; James Douglas; Richard Hodgson; Nick Le Masurier; Sarah Mook; Matthew Harding; Liam Robinson; Damien Gomez; Euan Clarke; Susan Roscoe; Rory Conway; Chris Stevenson; Max Krasner; Juliana Leite de Barros; Francesca Amey; Sam Carroll

Testimonials

‘Linklaters has a top class restructuring and insolvency team in London – the team is incredibly responsive, commercial, practical and solutions-focused.’

Can be relied on to provide excellent advice across all aspects of the restructuring market, both creditor and client side.’

Richard Hodgson – a top class adviser who is innovative, thoughtful and user friendly. His enormous experience means that nothing phases him.’

James Douglas provides very clear and balanced advice, and provides a lot of comfort during difficult matters.’

Richard Bussell and James Douglas are at the top of their game.’

 ‘Max Krasner – a rising star. Definitely one to watch.’

Key clients

Interpath Advisory

Teneo

Steinhoff

PwC

Caffè Nero

National Westminster Bank PLC

KKR

Davidson Kempner

HSBC Bank PLC

Barclays Bank PLC

FTI

Citi Bank

JPMorgan

Lloyds Bank PLC

EY Parthenon

BAML

Alix Partners

Alvarez and Marsal

BAIN

SVP

Work highlights

  • Advised Teneo Restructuring Limited, acting as joint energy administrators of Bulb Energy Ltd.
  • Advised Steinhoff International Holdings and its subsidiaries on its successful global settlement of substantial contingent liabilities that arose from accounting irregularities first announced by Steinhoff at the end of 2017.
  • Advised the Co-Com of the syndicate of lenders to Comdata S.p.A.., a leading global service provider in customer management, in restructuring its €595m senior debt.

Milbank

Co-headed in London by Nick Angel, Milbank 's restructuring practice remains best-known for its creditor /bondholder work, where clients benefit from ‘tremendous knowledge’ of  the underlying financing documents, including New York law-governed high yield, and a ‘very creative mindset’, which is primarily focused on securing value for clients without having to go into a formal insolvency process. Fellow joint practice head Yushan Ng remains pivotal to the firm’s success on the bondholder side, which continues to thrive on behalf of hedge fund clients but is also increasingly picking up mandates from CLOs and traditional asset managers. In addition, the team also continues to generate some opportunistic bank side instructions in core sectors for the wider firm, for example, in the aviation finance space. It is also increasingly gaining traction on the debtor side, driven largely off private equity relationships (for portfolio entities).

Practice head(s):

Nick Angel; Yushan Ng

Other key lawyers:

Karen McMaster; Sinjini Saha; Jacqueline Ingram; Kate Colman

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Co-headed in London by Andrew Wilkinson  and Neil Devaney, and also benefiting from a market-leading presence in the US, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLPoperates at an extremely and intensively high level’ on behalf of a balanced mix of creditor, investor and debtor clients. In this context, clients appreciate not only the firm’s ‘highest level of legal advice’ but also its ability and willingness to act as a ‘true business partner’. Recognised as a ‘great tactician’, Wilkinson remains focused on debtor work both on the corporate side, where clients benefit from Chapter 11 expertise should the need arise, as well as in relation to sovereign/government mandates. The ‘impressive’ Devaney continues to be the driving force behind the creditor practice and has picked up some high-calibre work for creditors across a range of high-profile cross-border restructurings. ‘Calm and unflappable in a crisis’, Mark Lawford  ‘combines incredible insolvency knowledge with solutions-oriented advice’, including in the context of demanding insolvency litigation matters. Gemma Sage is also recommended, as is Lois Deasey, who joined the team as a partner in summer 2022 from the London arm of Akin Gump LLP.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Wilkinson; Neil Devaney

Other key lawyers:

Mark Lawford; Gemma Sage; Matt Benson; Jenny Davidson; Lois Deasey

Testimonials

The team operates at an extremely and intensively high level. They are incredibly comprehensive, professional and proactive. In addition to providing the highest level of legal advice, the team also acts and advises as a true business partner.’ 

In terms of technical know-how/expertise it is without doubt one of the top teams in London.’

‘I have long been impressed with the practice’s attention to detail; their work is extremely thorough and they dive into even arcane aspects of the law, history and contracts with alacrity.’

Andrew Wilkinson is a great tactician and someone you want on your side.’

‘Neil Devaney is very impressive.’

Mark Lawford: a first class intellect, who rolls up his sleeves and gets deep into the legal analysis, while keeping a very clear strategic view of the client’s objective and how to achieve it. He combines incredible insolvency knowledge with solutions oriented advice, as well as an incredible work ethic.’

Mark Lawford is calm and unflappable in a crisis.’

Key clients

SAS AB (Scandinavian Airlines)

Ad hoc group of secured lenders of Nordic Aviation Capital

Ad hoc group of lenders to Seadrill

Ad hoc group of bondholders of OHL

Ad hoc group of bondholders of Ferroglobe

Lehman Brothers Holding Inc and Lehman Brothers Holdings Scottish LP 3

National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation

AMC Entertainment/Odeon Cinemas Group Limited

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

Ad Hoc Committee of Bondholders of Zambia

Floatel International

Asia Research & Capital Management Ltd

Brooks Brothers

Folli Follie

Ad hoc group of bondholders of Abengoa

Work highlights

  • Advised Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) on its debt restructuring.
  • Advised an ad hoc group of secured lenders on the restructuring of Nordic Aviation Capital.
  • Advised an ad hoc group of lenders in relation to the restructuring of the drilling company Seadrill.

White & Case LLP

Although it has a relatively small core restructuring team in London, White & Case LLP punches above its weight and picks up more than its fair share of complex financial restructurings for creditors and debtors. This is in part  due to its ability to leverage its strong US capabilities, as well as to effectively draw on expertise in complementary practice areas including banking, capital markets and project finance, and subject matter knowledge in firmwide sectoral areas of strength (including energy and transport). 'Entrepreneurial and client focused' team head Christian Pilkington  'provides a client service that is second-to-none' for lenders, corporates and IPs engaged in cross-border mandates. Ian Wallace 'strikes a good balance between the technical legal aspects of a matter and the practical/commercial considerations', ensuring that he is very effective at handling work for debtors, as well as lenders and funds on the creditor front. Morvyn Radlow has developed particular expertise advising debtors, as well as acting for credit funds investing into distressed finance structures within the aviation sector. 

Practice head(s):

Christian Pilkington

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘Highly knowledgeable on complex financial restructurings.’

‘The team provides practical and user-friendly advice to creditors in complex restructuring and insolvency matters.’

‘Very knowledgeable, innovative in their approach and quick to think on their feet. They are available on short notice, have a collaborative approach with the wider adviser group and work well as one team.’

‘The impressive Ian Wallace provides very clear advice that strikes a good balance between the technical legal aspects of a matter and the practical/commercial considerations.’

‘Christian Pilkington is a leading light in the European restructuring world. He is extremely user friendly and provides a client service that is second to none. A trusted adviser in any complex restructuring matter with an exceptional understanding of the commercial drivers and of client priorities.’

Christian Pilkington is well informed, entrepreneurial and client focused.’

Ben Davies is technically on point and he marries that very well with  complex practical issues. This is a great quality! His turnaround time is quick and you can always expect excellent quality work.’

Will Stoner – definitely a rising star in the restructuring space. Strong commercial mindset and unparalleled work ethic.’

Key clients

Hertz Global Holdings, Inc.

The coordinating committee of agent banks and export credit agencies of Seadrill Ltd (the “CoCom”)

Nostrum Oil & Gas plc

An ad-hoc committee of noteholders (the “AHG”) in respect of the Notes (as defined below) issued by the Petra Diamonds Group (the “Group”)

Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Centerbridge Partners, Cross Ocean Partners, Barings LLC and Canyon Partners, LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Hertz Global Holdings, Inc on its restructuring, involving almost $19bn of debt and a list of hundreds of financial creditors in a variety of complex and inter-related financings.
  • Represented the AHG in respect of the $650m senior secured second lien notes in the financial restructuring of London-listed diamond mining group, Petra Diamonds.
  • Advising Nostrum Oil & Gas plc, a premium listed company with oil and gas assets in Kazakhstan, on its proposed restructuring of $1.1bn of notes due in 2022 and 2025.

Ashurst

Drawing on 'significant deal experience and technical knowledge', Ashurst is a popular choice among IPs, debtors, boards of directors, funds and banks across a range of work, from consensual restructuring at one end of the spectrum to formal insolvencies at the other. 'Industry veteran' Giles Boothman heads up the team and provides 'market leading restructuring and insolvency advice' to debtors, as well as many US funds - which he represents on distressed investments, including loan-to-own strategies. Olga Galazoula is a 'very strong technical lawyer' and is well-regarded by funds, in particular, as a result of her ability to 'think clearly on her feet and steer her clients in highly challenging situations'. Drew Sainsbury 'is one of the most experienced restructuring and insolvency lawyers in the financial services sector' according to clients and is a key member of a team that also includes 'excellent' litigator Lynn Dunne and counsel Inga West , who is 'resolutely dependable to deliver high-quality advice' for distressed and insolvent companies, their stakeholders, and for insolvency office holders.

Practice head(s):

Giles Boothman

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

It is a strong, multi-faceted team which is capable of competing with the best.’

Real breadth and experience in the team means as a group they can deliver across a wide range of project types.’

They have a strong presence across a wide variety of engagements.’

‘Giles Boothman provides market leading restructuring and insolvency advice. He is a pragmatic, innovative and strong on public interest cases.’

Olga Galazoula is very experienced in restructuring and insolvency, with a hands-on approach throughout the transaction; she is also a very nice person, a pleasure to work with.’

Olga Galazoula is a very strong technical lawyer with a great network.’

‘Drew Sainsbury is one of the most experienced restructuring and insolvency lawyers in the financial services sector.’

‘Lynne Dunne is excellent.’

‘Inga West is well respected and resolutely dependable to deliver high quality advice.’

Key clients

Adare Finance DAC

AlixPartners

Allsop LLP

Anchorage

ANZ

Apollo Global Management

Archer Limited

Asto Digital Limited

Avenue

Babcock & Brown

Bain Capital

Bank of Cyprus

Bank of England

Barclays

Belveder

Billabong

Blackrock

Blackstone

Carlyle

Cerberus

Channel 10

China Energy Reserve & Chemical Group

Crossrail Limited

Davidson Kempner European Partners, LLP

DE Shaw & Co Inc

Deloitte

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Deutsche Bank

EMAS Chiyoda

EnQuest

Equilend Europe Limited

Essar Oil

EY

Fortress

General Nuclear International Limited

Grant Thornton

Hamburg Commercial Bank AG

Her Majesty’s Government

HIH Insurance

HSBC

ICICI Bank

Infrastructure and Projects Authority

Interserve

Interpath

Johnston Press

JP Morgan

KPMG

Kildare Partners

Lamprell Plc

Lehman Brothers

LGT Private Debt (UK) Ltd

M&G

McLaren

MF Global

M&G Investment

MIE Holdings

NAB

Nomura

Nordic Trustee AS

Oaktree

Petra Diamonds

PGS

PIMCO Europe GmbH

PWC

Santander UK plc

Standard Chartered Bank

Stewart Milne Group Limited

SVS Securities Plc (in Special Administration)

TD Securities Limited

Teneo

The Financial Conduct Authority

Thomas Cook

Titan Petrochemicals

Tullow Oil Plc

UIA (Insurance) Limited

Wasps Holdings Limited

William Blair International, Ltd

WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

York Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising the ad-hoc crossover group of noteholders holding largely second lien secured and some third lien secured notes in relation to a restructuring of the Carlson Travel Inc group through a Chapter 11 pre-pack process resulting in a recapitalisation of the Group’s debt and transfer of majority ownership to the noteholders.
  • Acted for the Financial Conduct Authority on its successful Court opposition to Amigo’s scheme of arrangement. The Court refused to sanction the scheme on the basis it was unfair. This landmark decision raises fundamental points for all UK court restructurings.
  • Advised Petra group in relation to all aspects of its long-term balance sheet restructuring, including in respect of its $650m senior secured second lien notes.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The ‘bright and hardworking’ team at Hogan Lovells International LLP provides ‘very commercial and solutions-driven’ advice to a balanced mix of banking and fund clients across a range of cross-border restructuring and insolvency mandates. Team head Tom Astle ‘provides a powerful blend of technical expertise and commercialism’ and is frequently at the centre of the highest-profile mandates handled by the firm, including his role, alongside the ‘technically strong and commercial’ James Maltby, for the senior secured lenders of Virgin Active. Deborah Gregory is ‘extremely experienced and knowledgeable in key matters of restructuring’, ensuring that she effectively protects the interests of her client base which includes many high-profile banks. Alex Kay is best-known for his bondholder work in Eastern European/emerging markets. Highly regarded partner Stephen Foster has retired.

Practice head(s):

Tom Astle

Other key lawyers:

Alex Kay; Deborah Gregory; James Maltby; Camilla Eliott Lockhart; Celine Buttanshaw; Naomi Parmar;

Testimonials

The team at Hogan Lovells is very professional but with a personal aspect to them. They regularly and proactively engage and are extremely knowledgeable in the practice area.’

They are very commercial and solutions driven.’

The team is bright and hard-working – but it is the proactive nature of the team that sets them apart. Also the level of expertise on recently introduced Restructuring Plans has also been a superb asset. The depth and quality of the wider team is also fantastic.’

Deborah Gregory is extremely experienced and knowledgeable in key matters of restructuring.   Her ability to read complex restructuring situations is unique.’ 

Tom Astle provides a powerful blend of technical expertise and commercialism.’

James Maltby brings a clear and personable style. He is technically strong and commercial.’

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Santander

HPS

IP offerings: Interpath, Teneo, PwC, Alvarez

Argentem Creek

Gramercy

Norwegian Air Shuttle

Knighthead Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advising the senior secured lenders on the restructuring of Virgin Active, the first transaction to compromise lease liabilities under the UK’s new restructuring plan process and a  leading case on cross-class cram down.  
  • Advising the lender committee in the $2bn restructuring of the DTEK energy group through interlocking English schemes of arrangement.
  • Advising the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in relation to the energy supply company administration of Bulb Energy Limited (ongoing) – this was the first use of the energy supply company administration regime in England.  

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP has ‘very broad knowledge across multiple sectors, geographies and financing products’, ensuring that it is well-positioned to advise  myriad stakeholders, including lenders, funds, IPs, boards of directors and security trustees and agents, on complex multi-jurisdictional restructurings and insolvencies. A stalwart of the team, Devi Shah ‘provides innovative solutions, which lead to cost-effective results’ and is particularly effective at handling insurance and pensions-related mandates. She co-heads the team alongside ‘highly experienced and effective problem solver’  Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks, who has ‘detailed UK insolvency expertise’. Barry Cosgrave‘s arrival towards the end of 2020 from K&L Gates LLP further broadens the expertise of the team in light of his ‘experience of difficult jurisdictions and emerging market modus operandi’. 

Practice head(s):

Devi Shah; Amy Jacks; Michael Fiddy

Other key lawyers:

Barry Cosgrave; Sheena Frazer; Ben Ward

Testimonials

Provide extremely high-quality partner-led advice, which is always focused, commercial and definitive. They add value in all our mandates through a highly collaborative approach, particularly suited to the more complex multi-lender matters.’

Very broad knowledge across multiple sectors, geographies and financing products.’

‘Micheal Fiddy has extensive experience and knowledge, an industry leader and very personable. He is a highly experienced and effective problem solver.’

Devi Shah provides innovative solutions which lead to cost-effective results.’

‘Amy Jacks – clear communicator with extensive restructuring and insolvency experience, able to see the bigger picture of a deal. She has detailed UK insolvency expertise.’

Barry Cosgrave is an instantly useful partner to bring into any restructuring/ special situations deal. He has a broad knowledge base of products/ bankruptcy law, broad experience of difficult jurisdictions and emerging market modus operandi and a real understanding of how different creditor entities work/what motivates them.’

Ben Ward is a strong up and coming lawyer- he has an excellent grasp of the technicals and attention to detail.’

Sheena Frazer is diligent and has a strong work ethic. She is agile and adaptable when “last minute” surprises crop up.’

Key clients

HSBC

BDO

Daiwa

FTI

Mothercare Pension Schemes

Daiwa

Alvarez & Marsal Europe

Debenhams Pension Schemes

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Moorfields

Apollo Global Management, Inc

EA Partners

Permira Funds

Green Network Energy

Alix Partners

Mount Street

EDF Man

Work highlights

  • Advising Sancta Capital GP, Sandglass Capital Advisors LLC and VR Advisory Services Ltd, the Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders, on the restructuring of the $1.2bn in aggregate face value of notes issued by EA Partners I B.V. and EA Partners II B.V. securitising loans to Etihad Airways PJSC, Etihad Airport Services LLC, Air Serbia, A.D. Beograd, Air Seychelles Limited, Alitalia – Societa Aerea Italiana SPA, Air Berlin PLC and Jet Airways (India) Limited.
  • Advising insolvency practitioners from Alvarez & Marsal Europe in connection with all aspects of their appointment as the liquidators of Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas), a construction company operating in the Middle East, Europe & North Africa.
  • Advised Green Network Energy on its restructuring, which involved contingency planning, advising the company with regards to the special administration regime applicable to energy supply companies, and assisting the company with the ‘supplier of last resort’ process run by its regulatory body, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), following which the company was placed into administration.

Slaughter and May

Less siloed in its approach than many of the other ranked firms, a reflection of the firm's overarching generalist ethos, Slaughter and May is able to provide a very fluid and commercial service to companies, IPs and boards of directors on challenging and complex restructurings. 'Very calm and pragmatic' team head Ian Johnson  is a 'standout debtor side counsel' who has been particularly active of late handling mandates within the oil and gas sector, including on behalf of Seadrill on its high-profile restructuring. Able to advise on both contentious and non-contentious restructuring/insolvency matters, Tom Vickers  is also a core member of the team; he recently advised Virgin Group on the successful restructuring of Virgin Active.

Practice head(s):

Ian Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Tom Vickers; Tim Newey; Josh Bauernfreund; Evelyn Fleming

Testimonials

The firm provides pragmatic advice on complex restructurings.’

‘They have excellent technical skills, a depth of expertise and experience across their team.’

The team’s responsiveness, engagement and capability to handle a fast moving, complex matter was excellent.’

Ian Johnson is very calm and gives pragmatic advice on complex transactions.’

Ian Johnson has been a stellar support through a contentious and complex matter – his robust and helpful commercial advice has been a valuable asset to the business.’

Key clients

Seadrill New Finance Limited (now Paratus Energy Services Ltd.)

Seadrill Limited

Alvarez & Marsal

Valaris Group

Virgin Group

Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch

GCP Asset Backed Income (UK) Limited

Atlas Mara Limited

Intriva Capital Advisers LLP

Grant Thornton

PwC

AlixPartners

Yell Group Limited

Interserve

Premier Oil (now Harbour Energy plc)

The Former Directors of Thomas Cook plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Seadrill New Finance Limited (now Paratus Energy Services Ltd.) on its successful negotiation and implementation of a comprehensive restructuring in relation to its secured notes via a pre-packaged Chapter 11 process.
  • Advised the lenders to The Collective, a co-living business adversely effected by the pandemic, on contingency planning, documenting the provision of emergency liquidity funding, coordinating an accelerated M&A process, and, ultimately, the implementation of a lender-led security enforcement using a credit bid strategy.
  • Advised Virgin Group in respect of the restructuring of the financial and leasehold liabilities of Virgin Active’s Europe and APAC business, implemented by way of restructuring plans under Part 26A of the Companies Act 2006.

CMS

Deploying a multi-disciplinary approach drawing on expertise from across other practice areas, CMS provides 'extremely client focused and professional' advice to a balanced mix of debtors and creditors on restructuring and insolvency matters within the mid to upper-mid market. Team head Martin Brown has a creditor practice that leans into the firm's strong pedigree for clearing banks, as well as being reflective of the increased work for funds on more transactional mandates, including "loan-to-own" strategies. The 'charismatic and commercial' Glen Flannery has niche expertise advising on pensions-related restructuring matters, as well as work in the financial services sector, where he is able to leverage the expertise of a strong broader regulatory offering. 'Extraordinary' of counsel Kelly Rothwell has a strong following among fund clients, including in relation to the acquisition of non-performing loan (NPL) portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Martin Brown

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely client focused and professional. Every detail and its impact on a client’s position is thoroughly analysed and all members of the team are involved and can provide timely response when needed.’

Fantastic advice. Good lawyers to have on our side for complex and challenging situations.’

Glen Flannery is highly capable and has a great manner, which aids in discussions. He is charismatic and commercial but with a bit of steel.’

The exceptional Peter Wiltshire and Glen Flannery are very knowledgeable but, even more importantly, they are commercial and deal with each situation as it arises.’

Kelly Rothwell is an extraordinary lawyer. She is extremely organised and focused, never leaves a question unanswered or a problem unsolved.’ 

Key clients

Retail eCommerce Ventures LLC

National Westminster Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

HSBC Bank UK

AIB Group (UK)

Deutsche Bank AG

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG

Aviva plc

Pension Insurance Corporation plc

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Alvarez & Marsal

Interpath Advisory Limited

Teneo

FRP Advisory LLP

ReSolve Advisory Limited

Financial Conduct Authority

RSM International

BT plc

Begbies Traynor Group plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Hydrodec Group Plc on its restructuring initiatives involving one of the first uses of the UK’s new moratorium procedure and an overseas recognition application in Australia.
  • Advised National Westminster Bank as agent for a syndicate of finance parties in relation to Lookers plc’s refinancing during the global pandemic and while subject to complex FCA investigations.
  • Advising Joanne Hewitt-Schembri, Paul Berkovi and Mark Firmin of Alvarez & Marsal as administrators of the failed energy supplier Orbit Energy Limited (in administration) on its administration, following the transfer of its customers to a supplier of last resort in the midst of the UK’s energy supply crisis.

Dentons

Dentons provides ‘innovative solutions in a collegiate and professional manner’ for banks, IPs and debtors across everything from consensual restructuring to formal insolvency. Team head Neil Griffiths  is ‘one of the most experienced practitioners in the London market’. He has a particularly strong reputation in relation to contentious matters, as was evidenced by his recent work for Hurricane Energy Plc on its hotly contested use of the new restructuring plan to to cram-down shareholders as a dissenting class. Tessa Blank is ‘extremely bright and able to communicate difficult concepts in easy to understand language’ and is a key member of the team that includes counsel Luci-Mitchell Fry, who is noted for her ‘very commercial advice’, particularly in a contentious context.

Practice head(s):

Neil Griffiths

Other key lawyers:

Ian Fox; Catherine Astruc; Celia Hayward; Richard Pallot-Cook; Jason Sheard; Tessa Blank; Luci Mitchell-Fry; Mark Price; Helen Anderson; Robert Spedding; Jonathan Sears

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic and commercial – they find solutions not just identify problems.’

Dentons provides innovative solutions in a collegiate and professional manner.’

Tessa Blank is great – she is extremely bright and able to communicate difficult concepts in easy to understand language.’

‘Ian Fox is very commercial and approachable.’

Neil Griffiths is one of the most experienced practitioners in the London market, a very calm style during difficult cases.’

‘Richard Pallot-Cook is technically very good and highly commercial with a great sense of humour even when under pressure.’

Celia Hayward – gives clarity to the process and helps lead lenders to a solution.’

Luci Mitchell-Fry provides very commercial advice, looking to solve problems and drive solutions rather than just present (legal) analysis.’

Key clients

Hurricane Energy Plc

Ofgem

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Knight Frank LLP

Beal Bank

Sainsbury’s

Smartwings A.S.

Ernst & Young

KPMG

BDO

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hurricane Energy plc on its groundbreaking and hotly contested restructuring plan, one of the earliest plans to be proposed; the first to involve a debt for equity swap; and the first to propose a cross class cram down of shareholders.
  • Providing advice and assistance to energy regulator Ofgem in 2021 and 2022 on issues arising from the significant volatility/disruption in the GB energy markets.
  • Continuing to advise the joint administrators of LBHI2 in respect of all aspects of their directions application in relation to the relative ranking of subordinated debt and subordinated notes in the LBHI2 estate and in connection with LBHI2’s Wentworth group interests and the Lehman scheme of arrangement.

DLA Piper

Led by Tim Dawson, and able to ‘bring in additional resource and expertise as and when required’, DLA Piper‘s ‘strong team approach’ ensures that clients, which include IPs, banks and funds, receive a ‘pragmatic and responsive’ service across the gamut of formal insolvencies and restructurings, often with a multi-jurisdictional dimension. David Ampaw and David Manson are also key members of the team and spearhead the firm’s special situations offering, which continues to pick up a significant amount of transactional work for funds across a range of distressed, new credit and stressed situations.

Practice head(s):

Tim Dawson

Other key lawyers:

Chris Parker; David Ampaw; Neil Riley; David Manson; Jonathan Richards; Peter Manley; Pippa Hill; Sarah Archer; Rowan Aspinwal

Testimonials

Strong team approach both in working with you as the client and among their team, bringing in additional resource and expertise as and when required.’

Consistently high quality partners and associates across the team with strong technical knowledge, but with a pragmatic approach and always responsive.’

Peter Manley – highly experienced, with strong technical knowledge delivered with a pragmatic and commercial approach. Very responsive and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Alvarez & Marsal

Kyma Capital

Deloitte

EY

FTI Consulting

GLAS

Hilco Capital

HSBC

KPMG

PwC

Work highlights

  • Advising Richard Fleming, Mark Firmin, and Ben Cairns of Alvarez & Marsal as joint administrators for NMC Health Plc,  the largest private healthcare company in the UAE.
  • Acted as independent counsel to the boards of directors of the three UK Deep Ocean entities that utilised the third ever Restructuring Plan in the UK. This mandate also involved acting for certain directors in the wider group, including the Dutch Parent company, Deep Ocean Group Holding BV.
  • Supported Fortress with its acquisition from Colony (now DigitalBridge) and Colony Credit Real Estate (now BrightSpire Capital) of their other equity and debt assets in multiple investments across Europe and the US held through its various fund structures.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‘first-class‘ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘practical, real world advice’ to distressed corporates and IPs on big-ticket restructuring mandates and has an ‘exceptional knack for taking highly complex and multi-variable matters and distilling them into clear and practical analysis and advice’. A significant amount of the work handled by the team has a contentious angle, unsurprising perhaps given the firm’s strong commercial litigation heritage. Team head John Whiteoakis incredibly dynamic‘ and has a role on many of the key matters, particularly where there is a contentious aspect. Kevin Pullen ‘is an exceptionally safe pair of hands and totally unflappable’, with broad creditor and debtor expertise that also includes a niche in PFI/PPP restructuring and workouts. 

Practice head(s):

John Whiteoak

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

A respected, well-connected and heavy-hitting team with a track record of success.’

They have an exceptional knack for taking highly complex and multi-variable matters and distilling them into clear and practical analysis and advice.’

First-class legal minds that give practical, real world advice.’

John Whiteoak is incredibly dynamic and inspires confidence in all around him, his judgement being totally reliable.’

Kevin Pullen is an exceptionally safe pair of hands and totally unflappable.’

‘Natasha Johnson is fantastically well considered and thoughtful in her analysis. Provides excellent summary of issues at hand, actions that could be taken and proposed approach that should be taken.’

‘Stephen Conyers is an absolutely stand-out, with an incredible work ethic and very reliable judgement beyond his years.’

John Chetwood is very knowledgeable and good at explaining complex situations clearly and simply.’

Key clients

British Land

Non-executive directors of Carillion

Bharti Global Limited

Joint administrators Nortel Networks UK Limited (NNUK) and other Nortel EMEA entities, Ernst & Young LLP

Birmingham Highways Limited (“BHL”)

DTGO Corporation Limited

General Mills UK and Yoplait

Jones Day

Able ‘to combine specialist expertise in insolvency law with the astute tactical mindset of commercial litigators’, Jones Day‘s experienced team provides ‘highly efficient, responsive and strategic’ partner-led advice to debtors and creditors across a range of domestic and cross-border restructuring, formal insolvency and contentious insolvency matters. ‘One of the sharpest operators in the area’, Ben Larkin takes the lead on much of the transactional work for funds clients and, alongside the ‘intelligent and razor sharp’ insolvency litigator Adam Brown, has been very active handling work for IPs on some major domestic retail failures, including ongoing work in relation to the Comet Group and BHS liquidations. Sion Richards heads up the firm’s global disputes group that also includes Barnaby Stueck, with both adding strength-in-depth on contentious insolvency matters, including on multi-jurisdictional fraud and asset tracing.

Practice head(s):

Ben Larkin (Business restructuring and reorganisation); Sion Richards (Global Disputes)

Other key lawyers:

Adam Brown; David Harding; Barnaby Stueck; Anne Willatt; Hannah Plumb

Testimonials

One of the strongest R&I teams across London’s US firms, experienced practitioners who roll their sleeves up on difficult cross-border cases.’

‘Jones Day provides a full service restructuring practice focusing on both creditor and debtor side mandates. They have a strong geographical footprint, with genuine restructuring capability across Europe. Their UK team is particularly strong in UK real estate work out situations.’

The Jones Day team, with its expertise in litigation and insolvency, is outstanding. They are highly efficient, responsive and strategic.’

Ben Larkin is experienced and one of the sharpest operators in this area.’

Barnaby Stueck provides commercial and cost-effective advice.’

Adam Brown is intelligent and razor sharp.’

David Harding is a pleasure to work with, pragmatic and highly responsive and combining commerciality with technical rigour.’

Hannah Plumb is very much in the detail of her cases, offering an excellent day-to-day relationship with her clients whilst effectively working with the partners and junior associates to advance a case.’

Key clients

FRP

KPMG

Shin Kong Life Insurance Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise the insolvency officeholders of UK high street retailer British Homes Stores, following the company’s high-profile collapse in 2016.
  • Acting for the additional liquidator of high street retailer Comet in respect of the investigation and prosecution of substantial claims relating to the group’s collapse in 2012.

Macfarlanes LLP

Under the guidance of the 'responsive and very innovative' Jat Bains, Macfarlanes LLP has developed a reputation for insolvency and restructuring work, recognised for its capacity to provide 'technically strong' advice, including on matters with limited precedents. An increasing amount of this work is generated as a result of its strong fund relationships, including for turnaround investors and hedge funds, as well as credit funds. 'Definitely a rising star in the industry', Paul Keddie is 'commercial and totally current with his knowledge', ensuring that he is a popular choice among a range of stakeholders, including on matters with significant cross-border implications.

Practice head(s):

Jat Bains

Other key lawyers:

Paul Keddie; Simon Beale

Testimonials

Responsive, very affable and technically strong.’

An excellent team that is innovative, responsive and keen to assist even on transactions that have limited precedents.’

The team is very professional and ready to respond quickly to all customer needs. They work in close contact with other departments allowing very integrated assistance for the most complex issues.’

The excellent Jat Bains is responsive and very innovative. He is a fantastic professional to work with. He gets his clients’ requirements and brokers solutions.’

‘Paul Keddie is commercial and totally current with his knowledge. He  is particularly up to date on industry trends and has excellent experience on cross-border operations.’

Key clients

Buzz Bingo

Creative Artists Agency, LLC

Interpath

FRP Advisory

Teneo

Work highlights

  • Advised the monitors of moratoria in relation to certain companies within the Corbin & King group, owners of notable restaurants including the Wolseley and the Delaunay.
  • Advised CAA, a leading global entertainment and sports agency, on its acquisition of CAA-GBG, one of the world’s leading brand management agencies.
  • Following the two CVAs to restructure Buzz Bingo which Macfarlanes advised on in 2020, the firm continues to advise Buzz Bingo, the UK’s largest omni-channel bingo business.

Paul Hastings LLP

Under the leadership of the 'hugely experienced and intellectually impressive' David Ereira , Paul Hastings LLP's small team has developed a strong reputation as a result of its ability to provide 'practical and solutions-focused' advice to a range of stakeholders (including corporates, banks, funds and governments) across an eclectic mix of high-value contentious and non-contentious restructuring matters. Often working closely with other  complementary finance offerings at the firm, including its strong leveraged finance team, the practice has perhaps gained most acclaim for its restructuring and transactional-related distressed work, including on liability management strategies and NPL portfolio acquisitions. The 'responsive and extremely diligent' Mei Lian is particularly effective on behalf of fund clients seeking to realise value in stressed and distressed situations; she also has niche expertise advising Greek clients on NPL-related work.

Practice head(s):

David Ereira

Other key lawyers:

Mei Lian; Crispin Daly; David Shennan

Testimonials

The team is practical and solutions-focused. They are able to look beyond the legal situation, understand deal dynamics and make practical suggestions to find a way forward.’

‘David Ereira is a unique lawyer in this space. He is hugely experienced, intellectually impressive but approachable. What makes David different is his ability to understand and influence how the key debates are resolved.’

‘Mei Lian is an excellent lawyer – she is always available and responsive and extremely diligent.’ 

Key clients

Alpine Grove

Government of Jamaica

Park First

Attestor

EA Partners

Boparan Group Holdings

HPS

Global Cloud Exchange

Sixth Street

The family shareholders of Matalan

QuickQuid

Runruno Limited

Global Loan Agency Services

Work highlights

  • Advised Alpine Grove on the acquisition of the entire business of the Argyll Club – which provides high-end serviced offices in Mayfair and the City.
  • Advised a consortium led by Attestor Capital on the acquisition of the Project Mercatus portfolio of non-performing loans backed by UK commercial real estate from NatWest Bank in August 2021, and the subsequent restructuring of various portfolio assets.
  • Advising Park First on their refinancing and liability management strategies, including on potential asset disposals for generation of liquidity and other restructuring processes.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP provides 'highly commercial' advice to IPs, funds and banks, and is appreciated for its 'collaborative and proactive' approach and specialist knowledge in key areas of sector focus, including energy, sports and healthcare. Combining 'technical expertise and pragmatic, highly commercial advice', team head Steven Cottee leads from the front and is frequently at the forefront of the most significant mandates handled by the team, including in highly regulated sectors, such as law. He recently advised the administrators of Amicus Finance in what was the first ever Restructuring Plan that sanctioned the cross-class cram down of a secured creditor. The 'very experienced' Charles Maunder 'is proactive and client-oriented', particularly in relation to board advisory matters.

Practice head(s):

Steven Cottee

Other key lawyers:

Charles Maunder; Nick Gavin-Brown; Tom Withyman; Gemma Kaplan; Andrew Robertson; James Hillman; Melanie Moore

Testimonials

The team always gives highly commercial advice and is particularly focused on getting their clients the desired end result.’

Steven Cottee is an exceptional restructuring partner who leads on all our deals. What makes Steve stand out is his blend of technical expertise and pragmatic, highly commercial advice.’

The very experienced Charles Maunder is very proactive and client-oriented.’

Nick Gavin-Brown is an exceptional restructuring lawyer with a particular focus for us on banking and complex security structures. His technical ability has facilitated us structuring deals in a better way which has delivered significant value for us on an exit.’

Tom Withyman is a massively experienced insolvency partner and has a very steady hand.’

Key clients

All UK clearing banks except the Bank of England

PwC

Deloitte

Teneo

Interpath

EY

BDO

Grant Thornton

Alvarez and Marsal

Smith & Williamson

RSM

Gordon Brothers

Aurelius

RCapital

Sandton Capital

Quantuma Advisory

Intu Milton Keynes Limited

Trios Facilities Management Limited

Soho Square Capital LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Begbies Traynor on the groundbreaking Restructuring Plan for Amicus Finance Plc – a property development lender that entered administration in December 2018. The Restructuring Plan was sanctioned in August 2021 and provided for the first ever administration to exit via a Restructuring Plan.
  • Advising the administrators of NMCN Plc, the full listed construction company which went into administration in October 2021. The appointment involved negotiating and entering into three different pre-packaged sales to different business lines.
  • Advised Gordon Brothers and Aurelius Finance Company in relation to the restructuring of French Connection.

Sidley Austin LLP

Under the very effective stewardship of ‘dynamic duo’ Jifree Cader and Mark Knight, Sidley Austin LLP‘s ‘young and energetic‘ team has ‘excellent knowledge of the market’ and is ‘picking up challenging work across a number of jurisdictions’. No better is this illustrated than by the team’s work, alongside the Hong Kong office, on numerous high-profile offshore bond restructuring mandates for debtors in the Chinese real estate sector. Most notable of these matters is the firm’s ongoing work for China Evergrande Group on the highly complicated potential restructuring of its offshore debt.

Practice head(s):

Jifree Cader; Mark Knight

Other key lawyers:

Dhevine Chandrapala; Raveena Ubhi

Testimonials

‘A relatively young and energetic team that is always practical and available.’

They have a strong team that is picking up challenging work across a number of jurisdictions.’

‘They are particularly notable for the offshore bond restructuring work they are undertaking in the Chinese real estate sector.’

Recognised as the leading company side restructuring team for the China real estate sector. Seamless cross border cooperation between the Hong Kong and London offices on schemes of arrangements.’

‘Jifree Cader and Mark Knight jointly lead the team – a dynamic duo.’

Mark Knight’s in-house experience prior to joining Sidley Austin makes him an ideal hybrid, he blends legal know-how and experience with an experienced, commercial understanding of his client’s needs.’

Jifree Cader is calm, commercial and always pushing for innovative ways to solve problems.’

Key clients

Global Loan Agency Services Limited (GLAS)

Hilong Holding

Shandong Sanxing

Inspired Entertainment Inc (Inspired)

Travelex Topco Limited

RiseSun Real Estate Development Co., Limited

China Evergrande Group

Fantasia Holdings Group

Modern Land (China) Co. Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for China Evergrande Group on the highly complicated potential restructuring of its offshore debt.
  • Following the restructuring of Galapagos in 2019, the firm has been acting for the Security Agent in relation to various proceedings in multiple jurisdictions brought by certain junior creditors and insolvency office holders of the old Galapagos group.
  • Represented PRC-based real estate developer RiseSun Real Estate Development Co., Limited on the restructuring of the group’s offshore US dollar-denominated notes.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

Staffed with 'really smart, commercial and user-friendly lawyers', Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP's London team works on its own, as well as in collaboration with offices across the European network and its US headquarters, to provide 'highly effective' advice to a creditor focused client base. Much of this work is on the funds side, an area in which team head Graham Lane  is well regarded, as a result of his ability to provide 'technically well-considered legal advice' on complex cross-border projects. Iben Madsen  also has a strong reputation and recently worked closely with the firm's New York office on behalf of an ad hoc group of senior noteholders in relation to Hertz's high-profile US Chapter 11 and European restructuring. The 'exceptionally talented' Edward Downer  is also a key member of the team, as is associate Alexander Roy, who is 'personable, knowledgeable, tactful and hardworking'. 

Practice head(s):

Graham Lane

Other key lawyers:

Edward Downer; Iben Madsen; Alexander Roy; Jason Taylor

Testimonials

The team offers a great combination of commercial and legal advice, and they have a huge depth of experience.’

They deploy small teams rather than dozens of lawyers – which manages cost – but it is done in a quietly efficient manner which is highly effective.’

Hard working, creative and commercial team with a clear focus on their clients’ desired outcome.’

‘They have a number of really smart, commercial and user-friendly lawyers. ‘

Graham Lane provides good quality commercial advice and a premium service.’

The very approachable Ed Downer has excellent product knowledge and commercial advice when advising trustees and agents on complex restructuring and insolvency transactions. He is an exceptionally talented lawyer who consistently goes above and beyond expectations in delivering value to us.’

Alex Roy – personable, knowledgeable, tactful and hardworking with a great attitude.’

Key clients

AlixPartners

Ardian

Fidera

Global Brands Group

Global Loan Agency Services (GLAS)

Invesco

Monarch Alternative Capital

Searchlight Capital Partners

Third Point

BlueBay Asset Management

Kroll

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Representing an investor group comprising Searchlight Capital Partners and Invesco as first and second lien lenders in connection with the restructuring of the Mediapro/Imagina companies, a leading international multimedia communications group based in Spain.
  • The London practice teamed up with New York to advise a 36-member group of Hertz’s senior noteholders on the car rental company’s high-profile US Chapter 11 and European restructuring.
  • Acted for a special committee of the board of directors of Intelsat Connect Finance, in connection with the Chapter 11 cases, and the related restructuring process.  

Addleshaw Goddard

As well as its core focus servicing banks and IPs on mid-market domestic mandates, the 'personable and approachable' team at Addleshaw Goddard has continued to pick up a greater share of work for clients on cross-border matters. Team head Paul Fleming has been instrumental in growing this side of the practice and alongside Karl Clowry has effectively leveraged the firm's Hong Kong corporate finance capability to pick up some high-quality creditor committee work relating to English law-governed offshore issued bonds in relation to PRC-focused restructuring situations. Fraser Ritson  provides 'commercially pragmatic and very responsive' advice to a range of stakeholders, primarily on domestic mandates.

Practice head(s):

Ged Barnes; Paul Fleming

Other key lawyers:

Karl Clowry; Anna Hodgson; Adam McCarron; Rory White Andrews

Testimonials

A personable and approachable firm who are knowledgeable and, most importantly, provide solutions-based, practical advice to their clients.’

The team provides a pragmatic and innovative approach. The lawyers approach difficult situations with the appropriate degree of empathy.’

‘Fraser Ritson is highly experienced and has a very detailed knowledge of the law. He is able to stand back, see the big picture and ensure that relevant options and potential solutions are always considered. Takes time to explain matters to stakeholders not familiar with insolvency and is always available 24/7.’

Fraser Ritson is intelligent, commercially pragmatic and very responsive.

Key clients

Kroll

Interpath

Banco Santander, S.A., London Branch

Ad-hoc committee of offshore bondholders to Peking University Founders Group

Ad-hoc committee of offshore bondholders to Tsinghua Unigroup

Azets

FRP Advisory

BDO

Teneo

Work highlights

  • Advising the Administrators (Kroll) of Arena Television (and the rest of its Group), an outside broadcast firm providing equipment and production services to broadcasting.
  • Advising Will Wright, Claire Winder and Andrew Stone of Interpath and Others as administrators of various companies within the CNG Group, a wholesale gas supply business.
  • Advised Banco Santander, S.A., London Branch in its capacity as agent as well as the senior lenders’ syndicate under the £185.1m senior facilities made available to certain members of the Caffè Nero group.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Led by the ‘commercial and approachable’ Marc Trottier , Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP provides ‘cost conscious’ advice that makes effective use of technology and leverages expertise across other complementary practice areas to good effect for IPs, boards of directors and funds engaged in the mid-market. Real estate-related work is a particular area of strength, including on cross-border transactions involving a North American nexus. The firm hired Richard Obank  and Colin Ashford from Brown Rudnick LLP  in summer 2022. 

Practice head(s):

Marc Trottier

Testimonials

They are extremely flexible and able to act on a board range of insolvency, M&A, restructuring and financing situations and would be my first choice for any mid-market deal. They are adept at calling on other areas of the firm where necessary and leverage particularly well off their strong real estate offering.’

Their key attribute is that they are all very commercially minded – they have a great ability to see the bigger picture and provide constructive advice that accounts for that.’

Marc Trottier is a first-rate lawyer demonstrating outstanding legal and commercial aptitude and has excelled on a number of matters for us, including acting for administrators, acting on complex financing and M&A transactions and also solvent sale processes. He is very commercial and approachable.’

Marc Trottier and his team will move hell or high-water to join calls with any number of participants, and are frequently the ones to find a solution where we have an impasse. They are willing to think laterally on problems and will flex their solutions to cater to any blockers we have, whether legal or personal!’

Dechert LLP

The rapidly expanding team at Dechert LLP, which most recently welcomed the arrival of ‘hardworking and committed’ special situations and cross-border restructuring expert Kay Morley from Jones Day,  provides ‘top-quality restructuring and insolvency expertise on both UK and cross-border situations’. Recognised by one client as ‘one of the best restructuring lawyers in London’, Adam Plainer heads a ‘technically strong’ team that also includes Solomon Noh, who ‘brings a unique skillset in the London market with his US restructuring background’. 

Testimonials

The team is technically strong but also very practical in their approach.’

The firm provides top-quality restructuring and insolvency expertise on both UK and cross-border situations.’

Solomon Noh is a hard working partner with superior skills and excellent client management.’

Solomon Noh in particular, is considered one of the leading practitioners and brings a unique skillset in the London market with his US restructuring background.’

Adam Plainer – In my opinion one of the best restructuring lawyers in London. He is totally committed to getting the right result for his client and available at all times.’

The hardworking and committed Kay Morley is technically strong, very practical and commercial in her approach.’

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP punches above its weight on behalf of a varied mix of clients - including distressed investors, directors and IPs - by dint not only of its technical and commercial nous but also its effective leveraging of broader corporate, finance and litigation capabilities within the firm. 'Brilliant and resourceful' team head Ashley Katz is a 'highly technical lawyer', who has very strong market connections, including among funds, which appreciate his collaborative approach with the firm's strong US offering. Mandip Englund 'displays a very high-quality client service, combined with a thorough and diligent approach' and regularly advises debtors and creditors on cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Ashley Katz

Other key lawyers:

Mandip Englund; Amy Faraday

Testimonials

The firm has an excellent corporate and finance offering (including an extremely strong US practice) which the UK restructuring team can call on and also a deep bench of cross-border litigators who supplement on the contentious side.’

The team is very commercially minded and offers sound, practical and quick advice.’

We regard Fried Frank as top of the ladder in international restructuring work. The London team is backed up by a New York capability second-to-none.’

‘Great client service, think commercially, work collegiately to get a deal done, and understand the big picture while still being fully focused on protecting our interests as their client.’

The deeply experienced Ashley Katz is a highly technical lawyer with a strong client focus.’

Ashley Katz is brilliant and resourceful.’

‘Mandip Englund is very commercial and has an impressive professional network that she can utilise.’

‘Mandip Englund displays a very high-quality client service combined with thorough and diligent approach covering all the issues to provide valued advice.’

Key clients

Alteri Partners

Jack Wills Limited (in administration)

Interpath Advisory

CX Reinsurance Company Limited (in administration)

Ernst & Young

FTI Consulting

JNE Partners

Blandford Capital

Alvarez & Marsal

Work highlights

  • The firm provides ongoing advice to the administrators (EY) following the recognition of their appointment in the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York pursuant to Chapter 15 proceedings, in relation to CX Reinsurance Company Limited’s administration.  
  • Representing the leading restructuring and insolvency advisory practice, FTI Consulting, in relation to the restructuring of the Noble Trading Group.
  • Ongoing work advising the administrators from Interpath Advisory including in relation to intellectual property and real estate matters following the restructuring and pre-packaged administration sale of the Jack Wills business to Sports Direct.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Often working across the firm’s core sectors such as transport, energy and financial services, Norton Rose Fulbright‘s industry targeted restructuring and insolvency team excels in handling contentious and non-contentious cross-border matters for IPs, distressed investors, banks and corporates. James Stonebridge is noted for his expertise at handling shipping/offshore restructuring matters and heads up a ‘strong’ team that also includes the ‘technically and commercially very strong’  Mark Craggs and Alison Goldthorp, who displays ‘an entrepreneurial mindset‘ on behalf of directors, IPs and creditors.

Practice head(s):

James Stonebridge

Other key lawyers:

Mark Craggs; Alison Goldthorp; Matt Thorn; Gemma Long; Manhal Zaman

Testimonials

The firm has a strong restructuring and insolvency team.’

Alison Goldthorp is a great female role-model as to how to succeed in practice. She has an entrepreneurial mindset and always looking for a different angle.’

‘Mark Craggs is technically and commercially very strong.’

Key clients

Polarcus Limited and its liquidators

Citibank

Bourbon Maritime

ABN Amro

DNB

ING Bank

SMBC

Danmarks Skibskredit

The Administrators of Insect Technology Group Limited (Brian Johnson and Peter Kubik UHY Hacker Young)

GFG Alliance

Work highlights

  • Acting for Polarcus Limited and subsequently the liquidator of Polarcus UK Limited in connection with the proposed restructuring and thereafter acting for the liquidator of the UK estate.
  • Advised Delta Air Lines on the recapitalisation and refinancing of Virgin Atlantic Airways including acting on the UK’s first use of the restructuring plan under Part26A under the Companies Act then on the recapitalisation and refinancing of the group throughout 2021.    

Shearman & Sterling LLP

'On an upward trajectory' following a series of high-profile hires in the last couple of years, Shearman & Sterling LLP's 'very ambitious team' is well-positioned to leverage the firm's loans and high yield expertise, as well as increasingly generating its own deal flow, particularly on the funds front. Team head Alex Wood has superb restructuring and formal insolvency knowledge and 'excels at finding workable solutions on complex multi-party, multi-jurisdictional transactions'. Helena Potts displays an 'excellent blend of technical ability and commercial advice', while 'whip-smart' counsel Kevin Heverin  'is exceptionally proactive in helping clients get well ahead of anticipated issues and developments', including in the context of special situations matters.

Practice head(s):

Alex Wood

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

This is a very ambitious team that is clearly experiencing fast growth and has been successful at recruiting some high quality lawyers relatively recently. They do great work for great clients and seem to be very much on an upward trajectory.’

It is a very knowledgeable and skillful team, with market-leading practical experience.’

The team is very responsive to client needs , and a pleasure to work with. They have an exceptionally strong grasp of applicable substantive law and key trends. This is an impactful platform that seamlessly taps into, and brings to the table, the full resources of the firm.’

Alex Wood is a go-to sounding board for complicated restructuring and implementation issues, who readily translates academic issues into practical solutions.’

The articulate Alex Wood excels at taking complex scenarios and finding workable solutions on complex multi-party, multi-jurisdictional transactions’.

Helena Potts is very responsive, readily available, organised, engaged and is in total command of all aspects of her transactions. An excellent blend of technical ability and commercial advice.’

Kevin Heverin is a rising star who is exceptionally proactive in helping clients get well ahead of anticipated issues and developments. He is whip-smart and simply gets to the point in negotiations. Great to work with and super responsive, with deep subject matter expertise.’

Key clients

Citibank

IFC

King Street

Global Loan Agency Services

Bank of America

Barclays

Goldman Sachs

LC&F

Work highlights

  • Represented Citibank in its capacity as administrative agent and lender under a revolving credit agreement in connection with Valaris plc and certain of its subsidiaries’ chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
  • Represented IFC in connection with the restructuring of the TAV Airports group’s two concessions in Tunisia (at Monastir and Enfidha).
  • Advised King Street Capital Management, as shareholder, on the restructuring and sale of the Ligue 1 Football Club Girondins de Bordeaux by way of an ad hoc mandate and conciliation proceeding.

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

Although Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP‘s London-based team is relatively small, it has been able to effectively dovetail with the firm’s broader M&A, private equity and disputes practices, to pick up some high-quality work, both on European and transatlantic restructuring situations. A significant amount of this involves working alongside the firm’s strong US debtor side practice to provide relevant UK-related advice, including as it relates to the recently introduced Restructuring Plan. Team head Peter Newman takes the lead on many of these matters, as well as deriving a significant amount of standalone creditor/investor side work via  his strong funds relationships. 

Practice head(s):

Peter Newman

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Stephansen ; James Falconer

Key clients

Markel CATCo Reinsurance Fund Ltd. and its debtor affiliates

Endo Pharmaceuticals

William A. Brandt, Jr. as the Chapter 11 Trustee of CFG Peru Investments Pte. Ltd.; Michael Foreman as Plan Administrator for CFG Peru Singapore.

CFG Investment S.A.C. (CFGI) registered in Peru

Noble Holding Corporation Plc, (Noble UK) the holding company for an multi-national drilling group the (Noble group).

The directors of Noble Holding Corporation Plc, (Noble UK) the holding company for an multi-national drilling group the (Noble group).

Ad Hoc Group of Noteholders of Voyager Aviation

A major private equity firm

Ad hoc group of noteholders of Avation plc

Sequana S.A.

BA Glass B.V.

Tomia Global

AML Creditor Recovery Vehicle PTC

A Special Purpose Acquisition Company sponsored by a distressed credit fund

An ad hoc group of bondholders of Moby S.p.A.

Paragon Offshore Limited

Work highlights

  • The firm advised Markel Corporation as well as Markel CATCo Reinsurance Fund Ltd. and three of its other affiliates in their restructuring pursuant to provisional liquidation and schemes of arrangement in Bermuda and associated Chapter 15 recognition cases in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.  
  • Advising CFGI in relation to its application for a Part 26A restructuring plan. The UK restructuring plan is a key step in implementing CFG Peru’s Chapter 11 Plan and providing a conclusion to the group-wide Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Represented an ad hoc group of noteholders of Avation Plc on a restructuring of its $350m notes due 2022.

Stephenson Harwood

Led by the 'very technically able' Julian Cahn  and complemented by a strong civil fraud group, Stephenson Harwood is best-known for its advice to IPs on contentious insolvency matters, involving inter alia, aspects of asset tracing and recognition of foreign judgments. This part of the practice was further strengthened in November 2021 with the arrival of the 'incredibly smart and knowledgeable' Tal Goldsmith  from Wedlake Bell LLP. Tim Crocker 's arrival  in September 2021 from Allen & Overy LLP is also a statement of intent on the non-contentious restructuring front and he enhances a growing offering in the space that also includes Ian Benjamin , who has significant experience advising on business turnarounds and both creditor and debtor-led restructurings.  

Practice head(s):

Julian Cahn

Other key lawyers:

Ian Benjamin; Tal Goldsmith; Tim Crocker; Nick Axup; Paul Hollands

Testimonials

The team is top quality. Partners with differing sector specialisms and skillsets to compliment each other and junior solicitors who are comfortable managing matters.’

The partners are engaged, impressive technically, but also commercially. They have a global presence and are connected and collaborative in their approach to working with their clients. They are approachable and reliable, providing great quality service time and time again.’

Julian Cahn is very technically able. He has great technical knowledge of personal insolvency and works well with his clients to provide solutions to difficult issues. He is personable and great to work with.’

Nick Axup is an extremely energetic and dynamic lawyer.’

Tal Goldsmith has a talent for being able to co-operate where necessary and to pursue her client’s aims forcefully where appropriate.’

‘Tal Goldsmith – Incredibly smart and knowledgeable, yet commercial, with a passion to get the best possible outcome for her clients and a great presence within the legal market.’

Key clients

KPMG LLP / Teneo BVI

Begbies Traynor LLP

Interpath Advisory

Borrelli Walsh (now rebranded as Kroll)

BDO LLP

FTI Consulting LLP

Wells Fargo Bank

FRP Advisory Ltd

Ernst & Young UK LLP

Bayerische Landesbank

Work highlights

  • The German court-appointed insolvency administrator of Greensill Bank AG (in insolvency).
  • Acting for Court appointed Receivers of SHI, which was the personal investment vehicle of the Norwegian billionaire Alexander Vik, in assisting to enforce an English Court judgment of c$350m obtained against SHI by Deutsche Bank.
  • Acting for the administrators of NQM, a mining company listed on the Aquis exchange in the London.

Baker McKenzie

Although it was recently impacted by the departure of former team head Bevis Metcalfe  to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in April 2022, Baker McKenzie maintains a credible presence in the market for a varied mix of stakeholders, including debtors, banks and notes trustees, which are well-served by dint of an integrated multidisciplinary approach and a strong international network. The team is now co-headed by the 'phenomenal' Sarah Smith, who joined in February 2022 from Dechert LLP, and the recently promoted partner Priyanka Usmani, who is 'bright, non-confrontational and very effective'. 

Practice head(s):

Priyanka Usmani; Sarah Smith

Other key lawyers:

Simon Porter; Hugh Lyons; Marc Florent

Testimonials

‘They have a good team with breadth across jurisdictions.’

Priyanka Usmani is a delight to work across from on transactions: she is bright, non-confrontational and very effective.’

Sarah Smith is a phenomenal lawyer with huge depth and breadth to her experience.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas Trust Corporation UK Ltd

Delff Management Ltd

Deutsche Trustee Company Ltd

Global Loan Agency Services

HSBC Bank plc

Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd (JISL)

Lucid Agency and Trustee Services Ltd

PwC

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)

Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.

Thai Airways

Wafra Capital Partners (Luxembourg) Sarl

Westfort Capital

Wilmington Trust (London) Ltd

Fieldfisher

With lawyers working across its London and Manchester offices, the 'innovative and tenacious' team at Fieldfisher is very well regarded by IPs, in particular, as a result of its 'technically brilliant and commercial' advice on insolvency matters across a range of sectors, including real estate, life sciences and energy. As well as his ability to provide 'sound practical advice' on fee-earning matters, including on often arcane areas of insolvency law, Stewart Perry is also a recognised thought leader in the space and continues to hold the chair position for R3 - a trade association for UK insolvency and restructuring professionals. Other key practitioners include Kit Jarvis, who provides 'strong leadership and great technical knowledge' on contentious insolvency matters and Carly Schiff, who 'has an excellent legal mind'. 

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

The team is innovative and tenacious.’

Technically brilliant and commercial.’

‘Kit Jarvis – Strong leadership and great technical knowledge.’

Stewart Perry provides exceptional, straight forward advice and is calm under pressure.’

My main contact is Stewart Perry. His outstanding attribute is common sense and he offers sound practical advice.’

Carly Schiff has an excellent legal mind.’

Key clients

Infrastrata Plc

David Standish and James Bennett of Interpath as joint liquidators of Argyle UAE Limited

Colin Hardman and Finbar O’Connor of Smith & Williamson LLP as joint liquidators of The Wine Enterprise Investment Scheme Limited

Partners from FRP Advisory LLP on numerous matters

David Kelly and others of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the special managers of various Carillion entities

Partners from Begbies Traynor on numerous matters

Partners from Kroll on numerous matters

Justus von Buchwaldt as administrator of AS German Property Group GmbH

Partners in Mazars as administrators of SpectrumX Holdings Limited

Partners in BDO as administrators of North River Resources Plc

Partners in Grant Thornton as administrators of Sundial Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the liquidators of Argyle UAE, a UAE-based real estate investment group, after the English Court made a winding up order against the company following the detection of a major fraud covering an $18m financing for a hotel in Bermuda.
  • Advised  administrators of Sundial on the creative rescue of the company and return to its directors/shareholders through a property play.
  • Advising the administrators of life sciences company, SpectrumX, on its sale strategy and options regarding potential Covid-19 treatments (and other remedies).

Goodwin

Drawing on a 'combination of deep legal and sector knowledge, while remaining commercial and practical', Goodwin continues to gain traction in the London restructuring market, both on standalone domestic mandates, as well  cross-border matters - where it often works alongside practitioners in the firm's more well-established New York office. Simon Thomas 'displays a great mix of technical skill and a commercial approach' and has strong ties with the IP community, in particular. The team has also effectively exploited the firm's broader private equity/funds expertise, and has begun to pick up a considerable amount of work on their stressed/distressed investments. This side of the practice was also recently enhanced by the arrival of counsel Tony Horspool  from Brown Rudnick LLP. The 'creative, responsive and focused' Geoff O'Dea co-heads the team alongside Thomas and is a double threat by dint not only of his core restructuring prowess (which includes great knowledge on schemes and restructuring plans) but also on leveraged finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Simon Thomas; Geoff O’Dea

Other key lawyers:

Tony Horspool; Oonagh Steel; Thomas Plowman; Emily Lockhart

Testimonials

‘Excellent combination of deep legal and sector knowledge while remaining commercial and practical.’

It is a well-connected team with strong technical skills.’

‘Simon Thomas displays a great mix of technical skill and a commercial approach.’

Geoff O’Dea is one of the leading restructuring lawyers in the market and a renowned expert on schemes and restructuring plans.’

‘Geoff O’Dea is one of the very rare lawyers in the market who is excellent at both leveraged finance and restructuring. Very strong commercial capabilities and extremely creative, responsive and focused.’

Oonagh Steel and Emily Lockhart demonstrate experience and knowledge beyond their years of experience, and take carriage of matters, seeing them through to conclusion or resolution.’

Key clients

Teneo

Partners Group

PwC

Medical Properties Trust (MPT)

Kroll

Interpath Advisory

EY

Madison Pacific

Alvarez & Marsal

FRP

Work highlights

  • Instructed on US aspects of the  Arena Television administration by Kroll.
  • Advising Madison Pacific on: Amendment and restatement of the trade finance facility; Enforcement documentation in connection with security enforcement and sale of the Noble Group to a Bidco; Interim intercreditor agreement and interim security documents; and Final restructuring intercreditor agreement, new term debt facility agreement and security documents.  
  • Acting for the administrators of Arcadia (also known as Top Shop, Sir Philip Green’s fashion empire) in relation to US tax advice.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

Effectively leveraging the firm's existing private equity and finance practices, as well as bringing over a considerable amount of his own work for clients including GLAS, since his arrival at the beginning of 2021 from Proskauer Rose LLP Mark Fennessy has galvanised McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's nascent restructuring practice. 'Incredibly knowledgeable about global restructuring issues' - often involving the unwinding of complex financing structures - Fennessy is noted for his 'strong ability to command teams in various jurisdictions to achieve desired outcomes'. Sunay Radia  has an 'impressive pedigree in corporate finance', and is noted for his ability to remain 'unflappable in high pressure scenarios', particularly in the context of high yield bond and LBO workouts.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fennessy

Other key lawyers:

Sunay Radia; Aymen Mahmoud; Mark Fine; Alexander Andronikou; Marcia Shekerdemian, KC

Testimonials

Due to the calibre of the team they are frequently brought into the most high- profile and complex cross-border restructuring matters which often have a contentious element. They lead and project manage market leading multi-jurisdictional matters such that the underlying client gets a top-notch service.’

This is a highly accomplished, exceptionally reliable and consistently user-friendly team.’

Excellent, slick, proactive and knowledgeable team with extensive funds and private equity experience, impressive cross-border restructuring expertise and a loyal client base.’

‘ Very hands on, very responsive and hugely efficient.’

Mark Fennessy is one of the most experienced insolvency and restructuring practitioners in London who is adept at leading large scale cross-border matters. He had a strong ability to command teams in various jurisdictions to achieve desired outcomes.’ 

Mark Fennessy is brilliant with clients, a fantastic lateral thinker coming up with workable and effective solutions. Very loved by his team – a caring and perceptive leader. Incredibly knowledgeable about global restructuring issues, straddling Europe and the US.’

Sunay Radia – is a pleasure to work with and unflappable in high pressure scenarios. An impressive pedigree in corporate finance.’

 

Key clients

GLAS Specialist Services Limited

BRG NOAL GP SARL and BRG Asset Management LLC (together “BRG”)

GLAS Trustees Limited

BRG Asset Management LLC (“BRG”)

Global Loan Agency Services Limited (“GLAS”)

Kroll Advisory Ltd

Cairn Capital

H & P Advisory Ltd

Begbies Traynor

Work highlights

  • Advised GLAS, which was appointed to act as Lock-Up, Information and Tabulation Agent in connection with the restructuring of DTEK Group’s financial indebtedness of approximately $2bn.
  • The firm is representing BRG in its capacity as the general partner and investment manager of NOAL SCSp Fund (formerly known as the Novalpina Fund), in relation to all aspects of its role relating to the fund assets.
  • Advised GLAS, which was appointed to act as Lock-Up, Information and Tabulation Agent and Trustee in connection with the restructuring of over €550m of bonds issued by WiZink Bank.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Disputes  behomoth Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP  leverages the firm's market-leading reputation as 'true litigators', ensuring that it excels at representing clients on contentious insolvency matters. This expertise manifests itself in the context of many large cross-border mandates, where the firm is noted for its skill 'managing the process and developing winning strategies'. Team head Richard East 'is a clever and motivated practitioner who has deep insolvency experience and who knows how to fight any case well'. 

Practice head(s):

Richard East

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Bunting; Ted Greeno; Khaled Khatoun; Yasseen Gailani; Alex Nelder; Jerome Squires; Daniel Freund

Testimonials

They are extremely knowledgable in the field of cross-border litigation.’

Second-to-none in terms of hands-on experience and knowledge around litigation. Extremely good at managing the process and developing winning strategies.’

A fantastic corporate and restructuring offering, focused on litgation rather than transactional assistance. The firm are true litigators, rather than a corporate team with litigation experience. It shows itself in their tactial responsiveness and the quality of the documents they produce in litigation.’

‘Richard East is a clever and motivated practitioner who has deep insolvency experience and who knows how to fight any case well.’

Alex Nelder is an exceptional lawyer whose legal knowledge is very impressive and his day-to-day case management stands out.’

Key clients

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

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

Phones 4U Limited (in administration)

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

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

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

Redox Plc / IWG Plc

SVP Global Attestor

Conservatorium Holdings LLC

Aryza UK Limited (a Pollen Street Capital portfolio company)

Carillion plc (in liquidation), together with its subsidiaries in respect of which the Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator (32 entities in total). Quinn Emanuel is instructed by the Official Receiver, via the Special Managers.

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC (in administration) and NMC Healthcare LTD (in administration).
  • Acting for the investment vehicles of (1) SVP Global, and (2) Attestor in their capacity as creditors of a French events company, Comexposium, which in September 2020 entered a form of restructuring proceedings (“sauvegarde” or “safeguard”).
  • Instructed in respect of a claim in the High Court on behalf of Carillion plc (in liquidation) and Carillion Construction Limited (in liquidation)(“CCL”) against KPMG LLP, the former auditors of those entities.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Although it has only been in existence since the summer of 2021, the newly-established restructuring team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has hit-the-ground running, providing ‘pragmatic and commercial’ advice to a mix of debtors, investors, creditors and IPs in stressed refinancing, restructuring and formal insolvency situations. The ease with which the new group has penetrated the market can in large part be attributed to the esteem with which its two main practitioners, James Watson  and team head Adam Gallagher are held and they have consequently quickly been able to develop standalone work for clients who have previously had positive experiences with both at their previous firms. The team, which also includes  Marc Hecht ,  Toby Smyth and Nikita Kumar , is also well-positioned to advise the firm’s impressive roster of private equity sponsors on distressed investments, as well as in a defensive context for any beleaguered portfolio companies.

Practice head(s):

Adam Gallagher

Other key lawyers:

James Watson; Nikita Kumar; Toby Smyth; Marc Hecht

Testimonials

The team is pro-active, delivers instructive advice and clearly developing a strong brand.’

Pragmatic and commercial – they find solutions and don’t just identify problems.’

Adam Gallagher has the experience, the years in the market and the breadth that length of career at Freshfields affords, but he is also very well liked, not simply respected for his expertise.’

‘James Watson is a technically gifted lawyer and has an excellent grasp of detail on deals. He offers strategic advice based on the legal position and is able to deal with complex situations and dynamics.’

‘James Watson is a technically gifted lawyer and has an excellent grasp of detail on deals. He offers strategic advice based on the legal position and is able to deal with complex situations and dynamics.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a private equity sponsor and its joint venture portfolio company on c.€5bn cross-border debt restructuring.
  • Advised administrators (FTI) on the $850m debt for equity transaction for regulated international satellite telecommunications group, Avanti.
  • Advised administrators (Teneo) of the international Global Brands Group, including in relation to sales of joint venture interests.

Taylor Wessing LLP

'As comfortable on technical points as they are on fiercely fought litigation', Taylor Wessing LLP provides 'highly competent and thorough' advice to funds, alternative lenders, corporates and IPs across a range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. Team head Nick Moser has strong creditor and debtor restructuring credentials and is appreciated for his ability to ensure 'that the resources within the larger firm are best utilised for the client and are co-ordinated with one another'. The team is also well regarded for its insolvency-related work for tech and IP rich businesses, an area in which 'calm and astute' senior counsel Stephen O’Grady has a particular strength, including for crypto market participants on risk management to ensure client assets are protected in the event of an insolvent event.

Practice head(s):

Nick Moser

Other key lawyers:

Amy Patterson; Stephen O’Grady; Luke Viner; Emilie Delacave

Testimonials

Hghly competent and thorough and, importantly for us, very understanding and sympathetic.’

The team is extremely responsive which is a real asset in fast-paced and demanding matters.’

The team is small, but at the top of its game. As comfortable on technical points as they are on fiercely fought litigation.’

The team acts as real partners and go above and beyond the call of duty. Impressive expertise and partnership make this team a “must have” for any UK restructuring and insolvency needs.’

Nick Moser has been invaluable across both distressed situations and in post-restructuring M&A and strategic transactions. He is also excellent at ensuring that the resources within the larger firm are best utilised for the client and are co-ordinated with one another.’

The outstanding Amy Patterson is a star in every respect.’

Amy Patterson is a go-to lawyer in the insolvency and restructuring space and genuinely a delight to work with. She is quick witted, formidable, hard working and personable.’

Stephen O’Grady is one to watch – he is calm and astute.’

Key clients

Trinity Investments DAC

Deluxe Media

BDO LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

Interpath

FRP Advisory

Kroll

Rutland

White Oak

PwC

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Advising Trinity Investments DAC (a consortium comprising Attestor, Ellandi and Octane Capital) on its loan management and workout strategy following its acquisition of a £400m distressed loan portfolio from NatWest secured against shopping centres across the UK.
  • Advising White Oak as a major funder into Greensill Capital UK Limited, which went into administration in March 2021.
  • Advised the administrators (Smith & Williamson LLP) of certain companies within the Four Seasons Healthcare Group, on all aspects of the administration, operation, and disposal of a portfolio of care homes in England and Northern Ireland.

Bird & Bird LLP

The 'small but focused' team at Bird & Bird LLP displays 'a calm and pragmatic approach to complex matters', particularly in core areas of sector strength for the firm as a whole including sports, energy and aviation. 'Commercial and approachable' team head Joss Hargrave is 'very experienced on both restructuring and insolvency matters' and is consequently a popular choice among IPs across a range of domestic matters, including in the financial services space, where he has niche knowledge of the special administration regime for investment banks. 

Practice head(s):

Joss Hargrave

Other key lawyers:

Claire Barker

Testimonials

‘It is a small but focused restructuring team where work gets done by the people you instruct and know. They seem to have a collegiate firm where other experts are brought in to assist when needed.’

They display a calm and pragmatic approach to complex matters.’

‘Always willing to walk the extra mile.’

‘A great firm to work with. Always feel they have the client’s best interests at heart and I would certainly work with them again. They have a wide and diverse offering so always possible to find people able to assist.’

‘Joss Hargrave is very experienced on both restructuring and insolvency matters.’

‘Joss Hargrave is very commercial and approachable.’

Key clients

Mothercare Plc

Fosun Tourism and Culture Group

Macquarie Bank

Starling Bank

Punjab National Bank

Duff & Phelps

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Deloitte

RSM

ReSolve Partners

Opus Restructuring LLP

Ingenious

Qila

Hermes Renewables

Tom Tom

Kreos

BDO

Horn Holdings

London Luton Airport

Work highlights

  • Advising Begbies Traynor on its role as joint administrators of BetIndex Ltd, which traded as Football Index. The administration is the largest insolvency in the gambling sector in UK history.
  • Acting for the special administrators of City Equities Limited and Hartmann Capital Limited, both small investment banks.
  • Acting for BM Advisory as the nominees and supervisors of Guess U.K. Limited, the well-known American clothing brand and retailer, on the successful implementation of a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

'Practical and business oriented in their approach', Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides 'user-friendly' advice to debtors and creditors across a range of domestic and cross-border formal insolvency and restructuring work, in both a corporate and personal insolvency setting. The firm is particularly active on behalf of IPs, which regularly instruct it on complex matters, often involving difficult contentious aspects. In this regard, Jason Freedman is a 'very solid adviser', particularly in relation to allegations of fraud. Hanh Nguyen  'is extremely clever and commercially savvy' and regularly advises office holders on sales of an  insolvent company’s business and assets, as well as advising buyers of distressed businesses. Guildford-based James Hyne  heads the team.

Practice head(s):

James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Jason Freedman; Hanh Nguyen; Bethan Cunniffe; Jamie Tilling; Joseph Evans

Testimonials

They are both pleasant to work with as well as being practical and business oriented in their approach to solve the legal issues we present to them.’

The firm provides a very responsive service, with practical solutions offered that recognise our needs.’

This is top-notch team. Without exception, they are all very bright and undoubtedly experts in their field.’

They are user friendly and pleasant to deal with.’

Hanh Nguyen is extremely clever and commercially savvy.’

Jason Freedman is a very solid adviser in relation to contentious insolvency matters.’

‘Jamie Tilling is switched on and very good at dealing with clients and opponents, Jamie is always a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Greensill Limited (in liquidation)

Awal Bank BSC (in administration)

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Tenoe (formerly Deloitte)

Begbies Traynor Corporate Recovery

FRP Advisory

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

Kroll (formerly Duff & Phelps)

Menzies LLP

Accountable Accountancy Limited (in liquidation)

Interpath (formerly KPMG)

Leonard Curtis Business Recovery

Work highlights

  • Acting for the liquidators of Greensill Limited (a subsidiary of Greensill Capital UK Limited (in administration)) in relation to ongoing investigations concerning the pre-liquidation compromise of c.$440m of debt owed by American construction ‘disrupter’ group Katerra (now in Chapter 11 in Houston, Texas).
  • Continues to serve as External Administrator of Bahraini bank, Awal Bank B.S.C, appointed by Bahrain’s banking regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain, pursuing the recovery of Awal’s $5.8bn of balance sheet assets.
  • Instructed by the Joint Administrators of Haircare Limited (in Administration) (formerly trading as Vidal Sassoon Salons) to place the company into administration and effect the pre-pack sale of the company’s business and assets to VS Salons UK Limited, a newco linked to the existing ownership team.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Led from London by the 'highly experienced' Simon Waller  and also able to draw on the expertise of practitioners spread throughout its regional network of offices, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides 'commercial and cost-effective' advice to IPs, lenders, corporates and boards of directors, primarily in the context of mid-market UK restructurings/insolvencies. The energy sector has recently proved to be a particular fertile source of work and, led by Carl Allen, the team has picked up some notable IP instructions relating to energy supply insolvencies caused by the recent rapid increase in costs in the wholesale markets. Jamie Leader joined Enyo Law LLP in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Simon Waller

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Jordan; Carl Allen; Alex Mehdevy; Sheena Buddhdev; Alex Rogan; Zoe Aarons; Felicity Jordan

Testimonials

The team is responsive, friendly, knowledgeable, collaborative and commercial/cost effective.’

They combine excellence and outstanding technical knowledge.’

Simon Waller is highly experienced and strong technically but puts it into practical terms.’

Alex Mehdevy provides commercial and pragmatic advice.’

Alex Rogan provides a straightforward and honest approach.’

Felicity Jordan is a star in the making. She’s already got a great reputation in the industry for her excellent work.’

Key clients

Kroll Advisory Limited

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Alvarez & Marsal

BDO LLP

Mazars LLP

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

The nascent London restructuring team at recently merged US firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath provides 'commercial, straight-talking and responsive' advice to clients throughout the capital structure, with a focus on complex cross-border mandates. The team, which is headed by 'the exceptionally talented' Patrick Corr  , has a focus on debtor instructions, including strategic advice to boards of directors, and is also well-placed to leverage the firm's broader product liability/mass tort expertise, in the context of restructuring advice emanating from large financial settlements/losses. Sue Moore's arrival in May 2021 from Stephenson Harwood was also a tremendous boost for the team, particularly in light of her contentious insolvency expertise and her ability to forge 'novel solutions to difficult issues'.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Corr

Other key lawyers:

Sue Moore; Wayne Beck; Buvini Kularatne; Raphaela Cotoulas; Bethan Griffith

Testimonials

‘The team is commercial, straight-talking and responsive.’

A fast growing team pulling together some talented individuals from other practices that is surprisingly well connected in the market place.’

They anticipate and review the situation through all the stakeholder lenses. They consider all the options and give clear advice on those options and importantly the action you need to take.’

The exceptionally talented Patrick Corr is very driven and great at getting the right result for his clients.’

Sue Moore is outstanding – she’s very responsive and has a fantastic wealth of knowledge which allows her to come up with novel solutions to difficult issues.’

Sue Moore is a phenomenal litigator with tremendous experience in the insolvency and banking fields.’

Bethan Griffith stands out from the crowd with her technical expertise, commerciality and excellent manner.’

Key clients

IWG Plc

Teneo

Interpath

Northwood Investors International

Grant Thornton

Bank of America

Kroll

Deloitte

KPMG

FRP

API Heat Transfer Company

Work highlights

  • Advised IWG on strategic and contingency planning and restructuring.
  • Advised the administrators of Greensill in relation to litigation with respondents including Greensill Bank AG, Credit Suisse and the Peter Greensill Family Trust.
  • Acting for the joint liquidators of Peak Hotels and Resorts Limited (in liquidation) in the BVI on all English law aspects, including litigation in the Supreme Court.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

The recruitment in September 2021 of the ‘highly commercial and proactive’ John Houghton from Latham & Watkins was a statement of intent from Greenberg Traurig, LLP , which has reinforced this with further hires, most notably that of the ‘tough and commercial’ insolvency litigator Hannah Blom-Cooper from Mishcon de Reya LLP in December 2021. Houghton now heads a ‘flexible and strategically minded’ team that provides ‘very-business minded’ advice to creditors, investors, insolvent companies, directors, and IPs across the full suite of their restructuring and insolvency needs.

Practice head(s):

John Houghton

Other key lawyers:

Ian Jack; Hannah Blom-Cooper; Rupert Cheetham

Testimonials

‘The team is very business minded and focused on finding workable solutions.’

Expertise and experience across the corporate restructuring practice and sectors, with a flexible and strategically minded team that is always highly responsive and dedicated.’

‘John Houghton is highly commercial and proactive in getting transactions completed. He has a brilliant can-do attitude and has demonstrated great innovation in getting deals across the line.’

Hannah Blom-Cooper is very experienced, tough, commercial, and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

The Collective

966 CO. S. à r.l.

Oasis Management Company Limited

Mercier Vanderlinden Asset Management NV

Arena Investors LP

Cain International

Invesco

Fabrix Capital

FRP

FTI

Deutsche Bank Trustee Company Limited

Global Loan Asset Services (GLAS)

HSBC Corporate Trust Services (CTAS)

The Law Debenture Trust Corporation p.l.c.

Lucid Agency and Trustee Services Limited

M&G Prudential

US Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Cain – an international investment firm – on its acquisition of the secured debt and equity issued by Prezzo Holdings Limited, the holding company of the Prezzo casual dining business.
  • Advising 966 CO. S.à r.l., the investment vehicle of the Saudi shareholders of Smile Telecoms.
  • Advised The Collective Group, a real estate company focused on co-living and co-working facilities, on options for a financial restructuring, including equity raise, M&A disposal, the possibility of new money financing and/or a restructuring process and corporate governance.

K&L Gates LLP

At K&L Gates LLP, 'thoughtful, experienced and empathetic' team head Jonathan Lawrence regularly plays a vital role alongside US colleagues and corporate practitioners, advising US funds acquiring UK distressed businesses out of administration. Special counsel Clare Tanner is the other main practitioner in the team and has a focus on contentious insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Lawrence

Other key lawyers:

Clare Tanner

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Lawrence is thoughtful, experienced and empathetic, and easy to get along with.’

 

Key clients

Travel & General Insurance Services

Hakkasan

Evofem Ltd

Intertrust Trustees Limited

EFG Bank AG

Lands’ End

UK Retail Warehouse Fund

Duff & Phelps

The Receivers of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund

Schwarz Dienstleistung

Chembio Diagnostics

Halliburton Overseas

Amneal Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Advised Schwarz on the acquisition of Insect Technology Group assets out of administration.
  • Advised Chembio in relation to its potential acquisition of the assets of Biosure (UK) out of administration.
  • Advised Halliburton Overseas on settlement of debt with financially distressed counterparty.

Reed Smith LLP

Benefitting from 'a great depth of knowledge across various sectors and geopolitical reach', Reed Smith LLP's multi-disciplinary offering, which effectively marries pure insolvency expertise with finance and corporate prowess, provides 'results focused' advice to a range of investors, creditors, debtors and IPs. Drawing on a 'keen legal intellect' and 'a superb understanding of commercial issues', Kathleen Garrett's arrival from Arthur Cox adds extra heft to the practice on special situations matters by virtue of her longstanding activity in the fund space. She also reinforces the firm's strength at handling aviation-related matters. Counsel Patrick Schumann has 'deep knowledge of English insolvency law issues which he puts to good use in structuring complex transactions'. 

Practice head(s):

Kathleen Garrett; Diane Roberts; Patrick Schumann

Other key lawyers:

Colin Cochrane; Anthony Riddle

Testimonials

Great integration through a multi-disciplinary firm means that this team will explore all possibilities in addressing even the most complex matters.’

A team which embraces a holistic project management approach to matters by involving colleagues who have the necessary know-how and skillsets where required.’

‘The team is experienced in a variety of spaces from specials situations to private equity. They have an international team who can work across regions.’

‘Strong results focused team with a clear understanding of clients’ needs. Furthermore a great depth of knowledge across various sectors and geopolitical reach.’

‘Kathleen Garrett is an excellent, pragmatic, trusted counsel to her clients. She is unflappable, and has the advantage of having been involved in some of the most complex restructuring processes of the past decade (especially through the Irish financial crisis), so has the experience to act as a trusted leader.’

Kathleen Garrett has a superb understanding of commercial issues which, coupled with a tenacity in fighting her client’s corner and a keen legal intellect, ensures she delivers the result her clients need.’

‘Patrick Schumann is excellent with a deep knowledge of English insolvency law issues which he puts to good use in structuring complex transactions.’

Colin Cochrane offers insightful assistance.’

Ashfords LLP

Drawing on a 'good mix of technical know-how and commercial acumen', Ashfords LLP provides a 'cost effective service' to stakeholders engaged in a wide variety of corporate and personal insolvency assignments. Under the guidance of the 'knowledgeable, commercial and pragmatic' Alan Bennett , who splits his time between the firm's London and Bristol offices, the team has gained most acclaim for its contentious insolvency expertise, as well as its skill at handling insolvencies in the professional services field. The 'technically brilliant' Amy Gallimore  has an excellent following among IPs in the SME market, and is also 'highly skilled in navigating professional disciplinary investigations'. 

Practice head(s):

Alan Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Amy Gallimore; Crispin Jones

Testimonials

The team continues to punch massively above its weight-relative-to-size ratio in the litigation stakes.’

‘The team provides a cost-effective service with a good mix of technical know-how and commercial acumen.’

Alan Bennett is a very knowledgeable, commercial and pragmatic lawyer, with a very approachable and helpful style.’

Alan Bennett is a hugely experienced insolvency litigation solicitor, and something of a legend in the market. If good judgement is the most important quality in a litigator, then Alan is in the very front-rank of litigation solicitors.’

‘Amy Gallimore is technically brilliant and commercially adept.’

Amy Gallimore is highly skilled in navigating professional disciplinary investigations.’

‘Crispin Jones’ boundless energy and enthusiasm for his work shines through in everything he does and ensures working with Ashfords is never less than a pleasure.’

Key clients

Azets (formerly Wilkins Kennedy)

Begbies Traynor

Carter Clark

FRP Advisory

Grant Thornton

Manolete Partners plc

Menzies

Moore Kingston Smith

Quantuma

Rollings Butt

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Work highlights

  • Successfully pursued a £2m claim on behalf of a market-leading litigation funder.
  • Advised the liquidators (at Azets) of a mining consultancy company facing ongoing litigation from a significant creditor based in Central Asia.
  • Successfully defended joint administrators (at Begbies Traynor) who were challenged on validity of their appointment and their conduct by shareholders.

Druces LLP

Led by the 'very knowledgeable' Caroline Cropley  and supported by practitioners in the dispute resolution and corporate/commercial practices, Druces LLP provides 'responsive and thoughtful' advice to large group companies and high-net-worth individuals across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Cropley

Other key lawyers:

Neil Hayter; Christopher Axford; Nigel Adams; Tom Rawe

Testimonials

The team is always responsive and thoughtful.’

Good people with strong technical knowledge who are able to explain things in a very clear way.’

Entirely client focused and driven by goal congruence.’

‘Each touch point is well managed, executed with precision and all provided with a personal and friendly service.’

Caroline Cropley is an understated and highly competent insolvency and restructuring lawyer.’ 

Caroline Cropley is very knowledgeable, very responsive and displays excellent project management.’

Key clients

Rocket Software

Quantuma Advisory Limited

The Pickstock Group

Fladgate LLP

Led on the contentious front by Ben Drew  and for non-contentious work by Jeremy Whiteson , the ‘small but highly effective team’ at Fladgate LLP provides ‘cost-effective‘ advice to administrators, lenders, debtors and high-net-worth individuals across a range of restructuring and insolvency work, including in the property, technology and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Whiteson; Ben Drew

Other key lawyers:

Judith Davidge; Sophie Burke

Testimonials

The team you meet when starting a project is the team you get. Senior partners and others stay close to deals, and very little is pushed down to junior teams with little or no oversight. Strong, continuous engagement from experienced professionals.’

Approachable, available and willing to give straight advice.’

‘A very commercial law firm to work with, which has very good knowledge of the sector and a wide variety of service offerings.’

Ben Drew is very practical and always sees the bigger picture.’

‘Jeremy Whiteson – always contactable, very approachable, very knowledgeable, always feel he is looking after our interests and has wide resources available internally to assist.’

HFW

Led from London by the 'extremely well rounded' Rick Brown, and able to draw on strong international coverage, including from Hong Kong, HFW has forged a particularly strong reputation for debtors, creditors and office-holders on 'complex insolvency cases, involving multiple jurisdictions'. Many of the team members are adept at handling contentious matters, including the 'exceptionally clever' Simon Jerrum, who excels at advising clients on cross-border asset recovery and tracing claims. Shipping-related insolvency/restructuring work is a particular strength where the firm can provide deep sector knowledge by dint of its well-established offering in the space.

Practice head(s):

Rick Brown

Other key lawyers:

Alex Kyriakoulis; Tony Rice; Simon Jerrum; David Chalcraft

Testimonials

They provide sound legal advice, balanced with commercial considerations.’

This team has the ability to handle complex insolvency cases, involving multiple jurisdictions.’

Simon Jerrum handles complex litigation calmly and with outstanding thoroughness and attention to detail.’

Simon Jerrum is exceptionally clever and is able to present the client with practical solutions to complex problems.’

Richard Brown is an extremely well rounded legal adviser who I would trust to work alongside me on any complicated dispute. He is very measured in his advice.’

David Chalcraft is a standout lawyer within the team, with a wealth of experience. I trust David’s advice and am reassured that he has the client’s interests in mind. David’s attention to detail and diligence is a key strength when working through large, complex disputes.’

Key clients

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Finarge Armamento Genovese SRL

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Genting Hong Kong Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Quantuma Advisory Limited, the Joint Liquidators of various BVI and Isle of Man companies, in relation to numerous cross-border proceedings in the Commercial Court, the BVI and the Isle of Man.
  • Acting for Grant Thornton UK LLP as Trustees, in an  important and complex matter relating to the insolvent Estate of Boris Berezovsky.
  • Acting for Grant Thornton UK LLP as Trustees of the bankrupt estate of Paul Baxendale-Walker, which involves various offshore trust structures.

LK Law LLP

The ‘very knowledgeable and hardworking’ two-partner restructuring team at LK Law LLP are ‘experts in high-stakes litigation’, particularly in multi-jurisdictional matters involving asset tracing and complex issues of fraud. Team head Jeremy Scott ‘provides sage counsel‘ and has an excellent reputation among IPs, in particular.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Scott

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Ford

Testimonials

Experienced team of very knowledgeable and hardworking individuals who are committed to getting the best result for their client.’

Team members are experts in high-stakes litigation, especially professional indemnity claims.’

‘Jeremy Scott is an experienced practitioner, who gives sage counsel as cases develop.’

The hardworking Andrew Ford is a great team player, who provides technically very strong and practical advice.’

Key clients

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

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

Loint liquidators of the Kingate Funds (Madoff feeder funds)

Modern Food Company and Mohammed Jawa

Work highlights

  • Advising Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company on the first scheme of arrangement ever attempted in Saudi Arabia, concerning claims by over 100 international financial institutions running into the billions of dollars.
  • Advising Bell Group (in liquidation) (in bankruptcy) and others on various matters related to the liquidation of Bell Group NV, including the UK aspects of the case in respect of various matters related to securities issued by the Bell Group.
  • Acting for Modern Food Company and Mohammed Jawa in proceedings in the High Court in London and advising them on related winding-up proceedings in Cyprus.

RPC

The 'pragmatic and commercial' three-partner team at RPC 'works well  with other departments to provide a seamless service' across the full range of restructuring and insolvency matters, including contentious, non-contentious, formal, informal and advisory work. Team head Finella Fogarty takes the lead on many of the most high-profile mandates handled by the team and is noted for her hands on approach and willingness to be 'in the trenches with her clients'. 

Practice head(s):

Finella Fogarty

Other key lawyers:

Paul Bagon; Tim Moynihan; Will Beck; Danielle Bennett

Testimonials

‘It is a pragmatic and commercial team that works well together with other departments to provide a seamless service.’  

The team has vast experience and up to date knowledge. They are easily approachable and reasonable in their fees/billing.’

Finella Fogarty is an excellent practitioner, she is in the trenches with her clients, fights hard for them but is pragmatic and solutions-oriented.’

Tim Moynihan is an experienced insolvency lawyer who is able to advise on a variety of issues.’

Paul Bagon provides very practical and to the point advice.’ 

Key clients

Ernst & Young

FRP Advisory

Quantuma

Frasers

LINK

Dr Vijay Mallya

Work highlights

  • Provided in-depth specialist insolvency and regulatory advice to LINK in relation to its resolution planning obligations and arrangements in a highly complex and untested area of law.
  • Advising the Joint Administrators of Corbin & King Limited in respect of all matters arising out of its administration.
  • The firm continues to act for Dr Mallya in connection with a multibillion-pound debt claim brought against him by a consortium of Indian banks, including  related bankruptcy proceedings.