Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms in Singapore

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance fields an 'experienced team' of restructuring and finance specialists who are 'very good' at handling restructurings and rescue securitisations, moratoriums, work-outs, standstills and override arrangements, debt-to-equity swaps, as well as structured receiverships and restructurings through insolvency processes. The practice is supported by a cross-disciplinary network of industry specialists in the oil and gas, construction, telecoms and shipping sectors. Nish Shetty is currently acting for the liquidators of O.W. Bunker Far East in connection with the liquidators of the OW Bunker Group. Andrew Hutchins focuses on cross-border leveraged transactions, restructuring and enforcement. Andrew Brereton joined King & Spalding LLP in December 2018.

Practice head(s):

Nish Shetty

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hutchins

Work highlights

  • Acting for a secured creditor in scheme of arrangement proceedings involving Emas Offshore Ltd and other related Emas entities in the Singapore High Court.
  • Acting for a financial institution (as facility agent and lender), as well as a bank syndicate, on a contentious restructuring, involving the proposed sale of an FPSO following enforcement of the unit from Brazil as a result of the insolvency of the OSX and OGX groups.
  • Acting on the liquidation of a marine fuel bunker company.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee's practice is led by Shaun Langhorne, who has expertise in debt restructurings, strategic advisory, enforcement and related litigation, with a focus on cross-border matters in Indonesia and India. Other key areas of activity include distressed M&A, the use of formal and court-driven insolvency procedures and advising on non-performing loan portfolio sales.

Practice head(s):

Shaun Langhorne

Key clients

Borrelli Walsh

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Advising an international state-owned bank in its capacity as the major creditor on the liquidation of a Singapore company.
  • Acting for the senior unsecured bank lenders, which have formed an unsecured working group, on the high-profile SG$3.5bn restructuring of the Hyflux group.
  • Acting for Borrelli Walsh, the court-appointed liquidators of China Metal, which was the first-ever Hong Kong-listed company to be wound up by the SFC on public interest grounds under s.212 of the SFO.

Milbank

Milbank is particularly active advising companies, creditors’ committees, financial institutions, funds and trustees on domestic and cross-border restructurings, particularly those relating to Indonesia and Hong Kong. Office managing partner David Zemans and Jacqueline Chan are experienced in international debt restructurings, and regularly act for many of the largest private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions throughout Asia.



 

Practice head(s):

David Zemans

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Chan

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy's integrated multi-jurisdictional restructuring practice is headed by Gautam Narasimhan and Chris Bishop, and leverages additional expertise from its Hong Kong office. Its group of English, US and Singapore law banking and finance lawyers advise on the full range on restructuring deals as well as on international options, including US Chapter 11 reorganisations, UK schemes of arrangement, pre-packaged sales and debt for equity swaps.

Practice head(s):

Gautam Narasimhan, Chris Bishop

Key clients

ING Bank N.V.

Work highlights

  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on a $450m syndicated financing to PT Titan Infra Energy.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP advises a mix of lenders, debtors, potential purchasers and insolvency officeholders. Banking partner Jean Woo  is the key contact; she specialises in cross-border financing transactions, insolvency, turnaround, restructuring and distressed investment across the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in Indonesia, India, China, Vietnam, Philippines and Australia. Kate Allchurch retired in late 2018.

Practice head(s):

Jean Woo

Key clients

Australian and New Zealand Banking Group

Bank of China

China Development Bank

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Gibson Dunn

Troy Doyle heads the restructuring department at Gibson Dunn, providing 'value-for-money solutions' for cross-border corporate restructuring, creditor and debtor-led restructuring and workouts, distressed M&A, debt trading and insolvency proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Troy Doyle

Testimonials

The team has extensive experience in cross-border insolvency and debt restructuring. They are quick to respond and provide value-for-money advice and solutions.

‘Troy Doyle and his team are the leaders in the market; working collaboratively with clients to find creative solutions to difficult situations.’

‘Troy Doyle is without peer in the restructuring market; he drives the deal and provides strategic guidance to achieve the desired outcome for clients.’

 

Key clients

AJ Capital Advisory

MAXPower Group

SM Investments Pte Ltd (a consortium by the Salim Group and Medco Group)

Work highlights

  • Assisting SM Investments, a consortium 60%-owned by Salim Group and 40% owned by Medco Group, with a proposed SG$530m investment in, and restructuring of, distressed Singapore company, Hyflux Ltd.
  • Advising the Singapore issuer of SG$215m of bonds relating to Indonesian mobile telecoms distributor Trikomsel on liquidation and restructuring options.
  • Acting for MAXPower Group, an Indonesian energy provider, on its $325m restructuring.
  • Advising the Singapore entity within the CBL Insurance Group, the largest provider of credit surety and financial risk in New Zealand, on its liquidation, restructuring options and distressed asset sales.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's restructuring and insolvency practice is led by Robert Driver, a banking expert with considerable experience handling complex cross-border restructuring matters, workouts and rehabilitation processes in the shipping and offshore energy sectors. Through its formal alliance with Ascendant Legal, the practice is also able to offer clients representation in the Singapore courts to obtain injunctions, apply for court-ordered schemes or court-ordered moratoriums.



 

Practice head(s):

Robert Driver

Key clients

DVB Group Merchant Bank

HSH Nordbank AG

ING Bank N.V. Singapore

Standard Chartered Bank

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advised Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing (Singapore) on defaults pertaining to a deferred payment agreement in respect of an anchor handling towing supply vessel owned by a subsidiary of Marco Polo Marine Ltd.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Focusing on insolvencies and restructurings in the key areas of transport (maritime and aviation) and offshore oil and gas, Watson Farley & Williams LLP's integrated group of dispute resolution, corporate and finance experts advises financial institutions and export credit agencies on cross-border transactions and enforcement. Corporate partner Mei Lin Goh specialises in maritime restructuring and insolvency work, with a focus on South Korean shipping companies and Japanese clients.

Practice head(s):

Mei Lin Goh

Key clients

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

DVB Bank SE

ING Bank N.V.

Korea Development Bank

Korea Eximbank

White & Case Pte. Ltd.

White & Case Pte. Ltd.'s team is highly active on significant restructuring matters. It recently advised on Noble Group's cross-border US$3.5bn debt-for-equity restructuring, and advising Utico FZC on a potential investment into Hyflux, a high-profile Singapore water company currently in distress and the subject of a court-ordered moratorium. John Shum and Gee Hou Tng are the lead partners. Former co-head of the Asia banking and restructuring group Guan Feng Chen left for Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC in late 2018.

Practice head(s):

John Shum

Other key lawyers:

Gee Hou Tng

Key clients

Noble Group Limited

Utico FZC

Work highlights

  • Advising the management team of Noble Group Limited on its cross-border $3.5bn debt-for-equity restructuring.
  • Assisting Utico FZC with a potential investment into Hyflux, a high-profile Singapore water company currently in distress and the subject of a court-ordered moratorium.