Dechert hires second partner from Shearman in London

18. February 2020

Dechert has hired Shearman & Sterling counsel Alastair Goldrein as partner in its London office, following its hire of Solomon Noh from the same firm earlier this month.

The firm announced Goldrein’s hire on 17 February, a fortnight two weeks after  Noh also joined Dechert from Shearman & Sterling on 3 February.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English court refuses to review Debenhams CVA ruling

13. February 2020

An English judge has declined to reconsider his order declaring UK department store Debenhams’s company voluntary arrangement (CVA) valid, but left open the opportunity of an appeal.

In a ruling on 13 February in the High Court of Justice in London, Mr Justice Norris decided against reviewing the order he made in September after landlord Southampton Estates had challenged Debenhams’ CVA, saying the review jurisdiction does not exist to allow unsuccessful parties to “re-run arguments”.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English High Court issues guidance on e-filing administration appointments

13. February 2020

The High Court of England and Wales has issued guidance on the electronic filing of administration appointments outside of court hours, but one firm says it is “not a long-term solution.”

On 29 January, Chancellor of the High Court Sir Geoffrey Vos published the advice on notices of appointment made through the court’s e-filing system outside of its usual counter-opening hours. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Air Italy enters voluntary liquidation

12. February 2020

Italy’s second largest airline Air Italy has entered voluntary liquidation only two years after relaunching under new ownership.

Following a meeting of shareholders on 11 February, the company announced that it had agreed to put the company into liquidation.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Foil maker enters bankruptcy in UK and Delaware

12. February 2020

Foil manufacturer API Group and seven of its subsidiaries have entered administration in the United Kingdom, while two of its US arms have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcies in Delaware.

The group’s US parent Steel Partners Holdings announced the UK administrations in a New York stock exchange filing on 31 January, and EY partners Colin Dempster and Hunter Kelly were appointed joint administrators by the group’s directors.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

RCom chairman ordered to pay US$100 million ahead of London trial

11. February 2020

Anil Ambani, chairman of Indian telecoms operator Reliance Communications (RCom), has failed to convince an English judge that his net worth is zero, ahead of a US$708 million trial on a debt recovery claim brought by three Chinese banks.  

In an oral ruling on 7 February, Mr Justice David Waksman in the High Court of England and Wales made a conditional order against Anil Ambani requiring him to pay US$100 million into the court within six weeks.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK regulators issue data warning

07. February 2020

British finance and information watchdogs have warned that insolvency practitioners who sell personal data to claims management companies may be acting unlawfully.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) made the warning in a joint statement on 7 February.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English pre-pack appeal changes the game for directors – perspectives from insolvency lawyers in Jersey, Guernsey and Ireland

07. February 2020

The spotlight is now back on the role of directors in pre-pack deals following the English High Court’s recent decision on the fiduciary duties directors owe following a company's insolvency. Walkers partners Nigel Sanders, Adam Cole and Gavin Smith consider how those principles translate in the Channel Islands and Ireland.

In Hunt (As Liquidator of System Building Services Group Ltd v Michie & Ors [2020] EWHC 54, Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Barber said directors’ duties are “independent of and run parallel to the duties owed by an administrator or liquidator appointed in respect of the company”. The judge ruled that a company director’s purchase of residential property from the company’s administrator at a “significant undervalue” had not been in the interests of creditors.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Norton Rose Fulbright adds new partner in Frankfurt

06. February 2020

Norton Rose Fulbright have added a new partner to the firm’s financial restructuring and insolvency team in Frankfurt.

The firm announced on 5 February that Regina Rath had joined from Simmons & Simmons. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

SDT says Beckwith incident “a single episode of brief duration”

05. February 2020

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has published its reasons for not striking off former Freshfields restructuring partner Ryan Beckwith over sexual activity with an intoxicated junior colleague.

In a decision dated 30 January, SDT chair Nicola Lucking said Beckwith’s misconduct “was caused by a lapse in his judgement that was highly unlikely to be repeated.”

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

McCarthy Denning adds Jones Day partner in London

05. February 2020

London-based McCarthy Denning has added a pan-European special situations and credit trading partner to its London office.

Justin Conway left Jones Day at the end of January to join McCarthy Denning as a partner in the firm’s banking and finance department.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

RBS dodges retrial over Gibraltarian law firm collapse

04. February 2020

The UK Privy Council has refused to order the retrial of a failed dishonest assistance claim against Royal Bank of Scotland, which stemmed from the collapse of Gibraltarian law firm Marrache & Co.  

On 3 February, five judges in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council unanimously found there was no new evidence to consider on the claim, which had been dismissed on appeal in Gibraltar in 2018.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Skadden swipes partner from Milbank in London

04. February 2020

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has added a longstanding Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy partner to its corporate restructuring practice in London.

Skadden announced on 4 February that Peter Newman will join the firm, ending over 15 years in Milbank’s financial restructuring group. The exact timing is yet to be disclosed, and GRR understands that it is still subject to negotiation.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Dechert hires London partner

04. February 2020

Dechert has hired Solomon Noh from Shearman & Sterling to bolster its restructuring practice in London.

The firm announced the hire on 3 February.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Abengoa subsidiary's creditors agree restructuring plan

03. February 2020

Creditors of a subsidiary of Spanish renewable energy group Abengoa have narrowly agreed a restructuring plan for the company, just over a year after it became the first Abengoa entity to enter creditor-forced insolvency proceedings.

A slim majority of telecoms subsidiary Simosa IT’s creditors, 54.9%, voted in favour of the proposal at a creditors’ meeting on 30 January.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Deloitte hit with record fine over Comet administration

31. January 2020

England and Wales’ accountancy regulator has fined Deloitte and two of its former partners over their administration of electronics retailer Comet, finding that they failed to ensure their objectivity.

On 30 January, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) ordered Deloitte to pay a £925,000 fine, reported in some outlets as the largest insolvency penalty it has ever imposed. It also ordered the firm to pay £890,000 in costs and issued it with a severe reprimand.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English court refers Irish bankrupt’s pensions dispute to CJEU

31. January 2020

An English judge has asked the EU Court of Justice to decide whether a pension registered in Ireland should be exempted from a UK bankruptcy estate in the same way a UK pension would be.

In a ruling in the High Court of Justice in London on 23 January, Mr Justice Nugee decided to seek the Court of Justice’s guidance on a preliminary issue in the bankruptcy of Irish property developer Michael McNamara, who shifted his COMI from Ireland to London in 2012.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Advisory firms bolster restructuring ranks offshore and in Europe

31. January 2020

Y, Duff & Phelps, and Kalo have all made hires and promotions across their restructuring practices in Europe and offshore locations.

Ernst & Young has brought in former AlixPartners managing director Rainer Bizenberger to lead its restructuring practice for the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region, for which the firm has 600 employees.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Directors’ duties survive insolvency, English court rules

30. January 2020

The High Court of Justice in London has found that directors of insolvent companies maintain a responsibility to creditors even when the companies enter administration or voluntary liquidation.

In a 21 January judgment, Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Barber said directors’ duties are “independent of and run parallel to the duties owed by an administrator or liquidator appointed in respect of the company”.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Materials company seeks Chapter 11 resolution of asbestos claims

30. January 2020

A US affiliate of a French multinational manufacturing group has filed for Chapter 11, seeking to resolve tens of thousands of claims against it over asbestos-related injuries. 

Building materials manufacturer DBMP made the application in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina on 23 January, with counsel from Jones Day and Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Privy Council blocks Cayman liquidator’s change of member register

28. January 2020

The UK Privy Council has found that Cayman Islands law does not allow liquidators to rectify a company’s member register against the legal rights of its investors, who it said should receive distributions in accordance with the shares that they hold.

On 27 January, five judges in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council found that the liquidator of Cayman fund Herald, Michael Pearson of Fund Fiduciary Partners, should not have been able to amend its member register in 2015.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Lecta scheme sanctioned in London

28. January 2020

The High Court of Justice in London has sanctioned a scheme of arrangement for global paper manufacturer Lecta, after creditors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plans last week.

In an oral ruling after a short hearing on 28 January, Mr Justice Trower said he was satisfied the scheme brought by Lecta Paper UK was fair and reasonable, and would be recognised in all its key jurisdictions.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

AlixPartners promotes in the US and Europe

27. January 2020

Global advisory firm AlixPartners has promoted three partners to managing director in its US and European turnaround and restructuring practices.

The firm announced the promotions of Ben Browne in London, Kate McGlynn in New York and Patrick Widmaier in Dusseldorf on 13 January.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English court terminates recognition of Bermudan winding-up

27. January 2020

inding it was “contrary” to the purpose of the UNCITRAL Model Law, the High Court in London has terminated an order recognising the winding-up of a solvent Bermudan investment fund.

In a 27 January judgment, Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Briggs approved an application brought by a former director of Bermuda-registered Sturgeon Central Asia Balanced Fund to terminate Mrs Justice Falk’s order recognising the fund’s Bermudan winding-up last year.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

BVI court slams Swiss bankruptcy administrator

24. January 2020

A British Virgin Islands judge has suggested a Swiss bankruptcy administrator behaved inappropriately by allegedly refusing to accept service of an application to appoint liquidators over a Swiss holding company.

“It should be standard practice for cross-border insolvency practitioners to agree protocols so that they can work together,” Judge Adrian Jack lamented in a 19 December ruling in the BVI’s High Court of Justice.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Lecta noteholders approve scheme in London

23. January 2020

Creditors of global paper manufacturer Lecta have voted to approve a scheme proposed by its English subsidiary in London.

On 23 January, at least 75% of the group’s senior secured noteholders voted in favour of Lecta Paper UK’s scheme at a meeting chaired by the company’s counsel, Linklaters partner Sarah Mook.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

A&M appoints former KPMG director to head new European debt practice

22. January 2020

Global advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal has announced plans to open a new European debt advisory practice.

The practice will be headed up by A&M managing director Tim Metzgen, who joined the firm from debt advisory boutique Marlborough Partners in September last year. Previously Metzgen spent 15 years as a senior director in KPMG’s debt advisory practice.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Spain Worked Out: The highs and lows of homologation

21. January 2020

Spain had no pre-petition restructuring tool until 2009. Its first attempt to create one was rather limited. The legislation wasn’t clear on the requirements for the petition itself, and Spanish courts construed it in very different ways, with some interpreting it as granting a temporary moratorium during which the debtor could attempt to strike a deal, but after which it would still be required to enter insolvency proceedings at the end.

Spain tried again with a reform to the law in 2011, and then once more in 2014, when it morphed into the homologation proceeding used today, also known as the Spanish scheme of arrangement. But its use was, and still is, restricted to financial creditors. “The homologation in Spain does not consider other creditors such as trade creditors or employees in classes,” says Carles Cuesta partner José Carles. “It only allows the restructuring of financial debt, and therefore does not provide for a real solution for most companies with a diverse group of debt stakeholders.”

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

DLA Piper advising as UK department store Beales collapses

21. January 2020

DLA Piper is acting for KPMG as joint administrators of UK department store Beales, which has become the latest victim of the “tough” retail climate.

KPMG restructuring partners Will Wright and Steve Absolom were appointed as administrators of Beale Limited and J E Beale Plc on 20 January, after the companies failed to find a buyer.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Doncasters Group seeks recognition in Delaware

21. January 2020

Three days after the High Court in London convened a pair of scheme meetings for its first- and second-lien lenders, Dubai-owned alloy manufacturer Doncasters Group has filed Chapter 15 proceedings in Delaware.

The foreign representative of Dundee Picko, one of the group’s English subsidiaries, submitted a petition to the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on 20 January, seeking recognition of its scheme pending before the English court.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English court finds jurisdiction over Gibraltarian companies under EIR

20. January 2020

An English court has found that both European and domestic insolvency laws allow it to place Gibraltar-incorporated companies into insolvency proceedings, even if their centre of main interests (COMI) lie in Gibraltar rather than the UK. 

On 17 January, Mrs Justice Falk in the High Court of England and Wales gave her reasons for placing Gibraltar-incorporated online gambling company Nektan into administration 10 days earlier.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Weil Gotshal advising as scheme meetings convened for Doncasters Group

17. January 2020

The High Court in London has convened a pair of scheme meetings for indebted international alloy manufacturer Doncasters Group, with Weil Gotshal & Manges and Latham & Watkins advising.

At a hearing on 17 January, Mr Justice Zacaroli approved the application brought by one of the group’s English subsidiaries, Dundee Pikco, and ordered scheme meetings to take place on 18 February at Weil Gotshal’s London office.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Lebara completes restructuring

16. January 2020

Six months after bondholders took control of the company through a “ground-breaking” coercive share pledge enforcement, UK telecoms group Lebara has completed its capital restructuring.

The deal was finalised on 9 January and saw bondholders exchange their existing bonds, issued by Lebara’s Dutch holding company Vieo, for new first lien bonds and tranche A second lien bonds, issued by a new, Jersey-registered holding company (Midco).

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Flybe rescue prompts EU state aid complaint from BA owner

15. January 2020

The UK government has swooped in to rescue regional airline Flybe, prompting the owner of rival airline British Airways to file a state aid complaint to the European Commission.

HM Treasury announced a deal to keep the airline operating on 14 January after talks with Connect Airways, a shareholder consortium led by Virgin Atlantic that bought the airline in March.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Norton Rose and Hughes Hubbard promote in Australia, US and UK

14. January 2020

Norton Rose Fulbright have made restructuring and insolvency partner promotions in Sydney and London while Hughes Hubbard & Reed have announced a new partner in New York.

Jonathon Turner and Bernie Walrut have both made partner in Norton Rose’s restructuring and insolvency practice in Sydney, while Matthew Thorn has been promoted to partner in the firm’s London office.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Two dissolved Scottish companies to face IP lawsuit in Texas

13. January 2020

A Scottish court has agreed to restore two liquidated engineering companies so they can properly face a host of civil claims brought against them in the United States.

In a 10 January ruling in the Outer House of the Court of Session, Lord Clark found claims brought against General Services 1 (GS1) and General Services 2 (GS2) in Texas – including for breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy – are not “merely shadowy” and said it would be just to restore them to the register of companies.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

HWW partner appointed preliminary administrator to German solar company

13. January 2020

A Chinese-owned solar technology company has filed for preliminary insolvency in Germany, months after the bankruptcy of two of its German and Swedish affiliates.

On 10 January, the District Court of Dessau-Roßlau appointed HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm partner Oliver Vahl in Dresden as preliminary insolvency administrator to Solibro Hi-Tech.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Advisory firms make hires across UK

10. January 2020

Advisory firms Alvarez & Marsal, Quantuma and BDO have made promotions and hires across their UK offices.  

KPMG partner Rob Croxen has left the Big Four firm after almost 23 years to join A&M as a managing director in London.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Creditors approve steel company’s Singapore scheme after English recognition

10. January 2020 

Steel producer H&C S Holdings has obtained creditor approval for a Singapore scheme of arrangement, 10 months after securing the first English recognition of the country’s moratorium law.

Rajah & Tann partner Raelene Pereira, counsel to H&C, tells GRR that 100% of the company’s unsecured creditors approved the restructuring at a scheme meeting on 8 January.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Harneys promotes globally in new year promotion round

09. January 2020

Offshore firm Harneys has announced the promotions of 12 lawyers in its litigation, restructuring and insolvency team across its international offices.

The firm announced the news on 6 January, including the promotion of Hong Kong-based Paula Kay to head of Asia litigation, 12 months after she was made partner.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK Insolvency Service appoints new CEO

08. January 2020

The UK’s Insolvency Service has appointed its former director of strategy and change Dean Beale as its new chief executive officer.

The Insolvency Service announced the appointment on 7 January, but Beale has been in the post since 2 December.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Cross-border Insolvency Protocol in Jet Airways: Innovations and Challenges

08. January 2020

Bob Wessels, professor emeritus of international insolvency law at Leiden University and expert counsel on restructuring and insolvency to the European Commission discusses the cross-border insolvency protocol between the Netherlands and India in the Jet Airways bankruptcy. He thanks Ilya Kokorin, PhD researcher at Leiden University and Sankalp Singh, student at Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, India, for their input.

Once a pioneer of Indian aviation, Jet Airways (India) (Jet Airways) completely ceased its flight operations on 17 April 2019, attracting international concern. Legal hardship started for the debt-laden airline on 21 May 2019 when the Noord-Holland District Court (Dutch Court) placed the company, which had an establishment at Amsterdam Schiphol airport and its corporate seat in Mumbai, into bankruptcy (faillissement). In the same judgment, the court appointed a supervisory judge and Pot Jonker partner Rocco Mulder as insolvency practitioner (IP). Mulder took control of Jet Airways’ Boeing 777 parked at Schiphol Airport and then served Jet Airways and the leader of the Indian lender consortium, the State Bank of India, with copies of the Dutch judgment. No appeal was made against the court’s decision under Dutch law by either of the two recipients.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Candey’s Peak Hotels fees based on hourly rates, English court says

07. January 2020

UK law firm Candey's fixed-fee agreement with BVI company Peak Hotels and Resorts fell foul of floating charge rules, an English court has found.

On 20 December Malcom Davis-White QC, sitting as a judge of the High Court of England and Wales, found the valuation of Candey's work for the now liquidated company should be based on time cost, rather than on agreements regarding damages, conditional fees, or litigation funding.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Hogan Lovells hires in Hong Kong and promotes in London

07. January 2020

Hogan Lovells has hired DLA Piper partner Jonathan Leitch in Hong Kong and promoted counsel James Maltby to the partnership in London.

The firm announced Leitch’s long-rumoured hire on 6 January.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Akin Gump announces partner promotions in London and New York

07. January 2020

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has elected new restructuring partners in London and New York as part of the firm’s 2020 promotions round.

On 6 January the firm announced Lois Deasey has been promoted to partner in London while Sarah Lynne Brauner and Naomi Moss have both made partner in the firm’s New York office.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

CJEU upholds Banco Espírito Santo bailout in “cautionary tale for investors”

06. January 2020

The Court of Justice of the European Union has upheld the 2014 bailout of Portugal’s Banco Espírito Santo, dismissing a complaint by out-of-pocket bondholders that it breached state aid rules .

On 19 December the General Court found that the bondholders, made up of Luxembourgish financial company BPC Lux 2 and a group of investment and pension funds, did not have standing to bring the complaint. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Jones Day promotes in Singapore and London

03. January 2020

US firm Jones Day has announced two new restructuring partners in Singapore and London as part of its New Year promotions round.

Vinay Kurien in Singapore and Luke Johnson in London made partner at the firm on 1 January.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Dutch engineering firm eyes recognition in New York

03. January 2020

A Dutch engineering firm has filed for Chapter 15 recognition to stay proceedings brought against the company in New York.

In a 17 December petition filed before Judge Stuart Bernstein in the US Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York, the foreign representative of SNEXDXB, formerly known as Starneth, applied for Chapter 15 recognition of its Dutch bankruptcy proceedings.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

WJ Global Frankfurt: Greek NPL market heats up, German car trouble and questions over WeWork’s future

03. January 2020

Trade in Greece’s non-performing loans is taking off following reforms to the country’s restructuring framework, a distressed debt forum has heard.

WJ Global’s fourth Distressed Investments Forum, held in Frankfurt on 27 November, was also warned over Germany’s transition to electric cars, and questions over office space company WeWork’s future as its valuations plummet.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Global paper company seeks English scheme recognition in New York

20. December 2019

Hours after the High Court in London authorised it to convene a scheme meeting for its creditors, the English arm of global paper manufacturer Lecta has filed Chapter 15 proceedings in New York.

With counsel from Linklaters partner Robert Trust, Lecta Paper UK filed a petition in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on 19 December to prevent the scheme from being “fundamentally undermined”.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Bondholders reach lock-up agreement over Tchenguiz sheltered housing rents

18. December 2019

Senior bondholders in a Cayman-registered issuer have agreed a US$482 million restructuring for a deal securitising ground rents from a Tchenguiz-owned portfolio of sheltered housing properties.

In a London Stock Exchange filing on 16 December, an ad hoc group of noteholders of Cayman-registered Fairhold Securitisation revealed they had agreed terms on a proposed restructuring with UBS and Lloyds after years of legal disputes.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Oil services group exits Chapter 11 and Irish examinership

18. December 2019

 Irish oilfield services group Weatherford International has emerged from its Chapter 11 and Irish examinership proceedings.

Weatherford completed a financial restructuring and exited the Texan bankruptcy proceedings on 13 December, shortly before emerging from its examinership.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

European Nortel entities extend administrations again as Brexit looms

17. December 2019 

The joint administrators of Nortel Networks’ European entities have obtained extensions for nine of the companies’ administrations in London, 12 months to the day since the High Court granted their requests for similar relief.

On 17 December, Mr Justice Snowden extended the administrations of Nortel Networks UK (NNUK) and eight affiliates until 13 January 2021, but warned the joint administrators they will have to return to the court next December if they require another extension.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Privy Council blocks unfair prejudice action against Antiguan Ponzi scheme investors

17. December 2019

The UK Privy Council has blocked liquidators of a collapsed Antiguan Ponzi scheme from bringing an unfair prejudice action against its investors – but the judges disagreed whether such an action could be brought during other liquidations.  

On 16 December, a five-judge panel unanimously dismissed the request by Mark McDonald and Hugh Dickson of Grant Thornton, liquidators of Stanford International Bank (SIB).

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Deceased oligarch’s trustees “acted abusively”, Gibraltar court says

16. December 2019

A Gibraltar court has set aside a default judgment obtained by trustees of late oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s insolvent estate, finding they obtained it through an abuse of process.

On 11 December Justice John Restano in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar set aside a judgment obtained by Grant Thornton partners Michael Leeds, Nicholas Woods and Kevin Hallard against a financial services company called Mainstay Trust.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Swedish refiner Nynas calls in administrators over PDVSA sanctions

16. December 2019

A Swedish oil refiner half owned by PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, has applied for a court-supervised restructuring after US sanctions eroded its profits.

Nynas entered reorganisation on 13 December in the Södertörn District Court, three months after the US removed its exemption from sanctions against PDVSA. The company said it had been forced to find other oil at a higher price and its banks refused to extend its loans.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Duff & Phelps hires new managing director in UK

12. December 2019

Global advisory firm Duff & Phelps has hired a new managing director to join its restructuring practice in Manchester.

The firm announced the hire of Paul Reeves from Leeds-based financial services firm Fresh Thinking Capital on 12 December. He has more than 20 years’ experience in business finance and restructuring and insolvency.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Indian retailer Koovs sold to London-based creditor

11. December 2019

Indian online retailer Koovs has been bought out of administration by a London-based special purpose vehicle set up by its chairman and largest secured creditor, British peer Waheed Alli.

Koovs, dubbed the “ASOS of India”, appointed FRP Advisory partners Geoff Rowley and Jason Baker as joint administrators on 10 December. Rowley and Baker then immediately sold the retailer’s business and assets to Alli’s SGIK 3 Investments for an undisclosed fee.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Indian banks push London court for bankruptcy order against Kingfisher boss

10. December 2019

Creditors of Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya are seeking a bankruptcy order against the former Kingfisher Airlines and Force India boss in an attempt to enforce a Bangalore court’s £1 billion (US$1.32 billion) debt recovery order.

On 10 December the State Bank of India (SBI) and 12 other creditors asked Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Briggs for a bankruptcy order against Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on fraud and money laundering charges.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

DLA Piper double hire in London

09. December 2019

DLA Piper has appointed two new legal directors in its London restructuring practice.

Sarah Archer will join the firm from Jones Day while Pippa Hill joins from Gowling WLG, DLA Piper announced on 9 December. Both are set to start at the new firm in the new year. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

“A morass of imprecise language”: UNCITRAL Model Law under fire at English recognition hearing

06. December 2019

The UNCITRAL Model Law on cross-border insolvency and its accompanying documents possess a “morass of imprecise language”, an English court has heard at a hearing over the termination of a UK recognition order for an “indisputably solvent” investment fund.

On 5 and 6 December in the High Court of London, counsel to a former director of Bermuda-registered Sturgeon Central Asia Balanced Fund asked Chief ICC Judge Briggs to terminate Mrs Justice Falk’s order recognising the fund’s Bermudian winding-up proceedings from earlier this year.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Home courts have exclusive jurisdiction over foreign property claims, CJEU says

05. December 2019

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has blocked an English-court appointed trustee from seeking a French court order invalidating the sale of an apartment complex, finding the claim belongs in England. 

In a 4 December preliminary ruling the CJEU found that even though the action related to immovable property in France, English courts had exclusive jurisdiction over the action as the insolvency proceedings were opened in England.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Freezing-order allowance increased for founder of insolvent Russian bank, to cater for “lavish lifestyle”

04. December 2019

A divided bench at the English Court of Appeal has granted the former owner of an insolvent Russian bank an increase in his monthly allowance under a £1.34 billion freezing order, after he complained of a deteriorating lifestyle.

In a 19 November order, Lord Justice Stephen Males and Lord Justice Guy Newey in the English Court of Appeal found that Georgy Bedzhamov, the co-founder of insolvent Russian financial institution Vneshprombank, was entitled to access more of his fortune, which had been limited by a worldwide freezing order issued by the English High Court in March. The third member of the appeal panel, Chancellor of the High Court Sir Geoffrey Vos, dissented.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK Supreme Court rejects Scottish property sale as "not justified" under insolvency law

04. December 2019

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that the off-market sale of an insolvent Scottish logistics company’s place of business was not justified on the ground of urgency.

In the 4 December decision, a five-panel bench led by Lord Hodge said they had found no evidence that Grampian MacLennan’s Distribution Services had sold its principal asset to real estate manager Carnbroe Estates for “adequate consideration”, as set out under section 242 of the Insolvency Act.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Bankrupt Guernsey miner fails to set aside US$2bn arbitration award

02. December 2019

The Commercial Court in London has rejected an application by bankrupt Guernsey mining company BSG Resources (BSGR) to set aside a US$2 billion arbitration award.

In an oral judgment handed down on 29 November, Mr Justice Burton described BSGR’s challenge as “hopeless,” upholding an award issued in April by a panel in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in favour of Brazilian mining group Vale, following a dispute over a failed joint venture the pair entered in Guinea.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English CAM agent seeks recognition in California

02. December 2019

The joint administrators of a global collection account management (CAM) agent have filed Chapter 15 proceedings in California after one of its clients forced it into administration in England.

Moore Kingston Smith partners Brian Baker and Ryan Davies made the application to recognise MM Cam’s English administration on 8 November in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

European Council agrees NPL recovery mechanism

02. December 2019

European Union member states have approved a proposal for an out-of-court enforcement mechanism to help stop the build-up of non-performing loans (NPLs).

On 27 November, the EU Council announced an agreed framework for a mechanism that would allow banks to recover collateral on loans from borrowers in default.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English administrators to investigate care home group’s missing funds

29. November 2019

A London court has appointed Quantuma and Duff & Phelps as administrators of a luxury care home group, after hearing allegations that its owner used investors’ funds for his own lavish lifestyle.

On 28 November ICC Judge Sebastian Prentis in the High Court of England and Wales appointed Quantuma managing director Carl Jackson in London, along with Duff & Phelps managing director Phillip Duffy in Manchester, as administrators to holding companies of the Carlauren Group.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Baha Mar and debtor-in-possession frameworks today

29. November 2019

Charles Russell Speechlys partner Roger Elford in London discusses the restructuring of Bahamian hotel and casino resort Baha Mar, arguing it contrasted with recent developments in debtor-in-possession regimes across the world.   

On 17 October 2019, two months after Hurricane Dorian ravaged large parts of The Bahamas, the country’s tourism sector was given a boost when Baha Mar signed a heads of agreement with the government of The Bahamas for a US$300m expansion programme.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Weil elects four new restructuring partners

29. November 2019

US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges has elected four new partners to its business finance and restructuring practice in New York and London.

The promotions of Candace Arthur, Kevin Bostel and Andriana Georgallas in New York and Clare Cottle in London will become effective on 1 January 2020.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Folli Follie agrees restructuring terms with ad hoc creditors group

28. November 2019

Scandal-hit Greek jewellery retailer Folli Follie has announced a preliminary deal with an ad hoc group of unsecured creditors to restructure its outstanding debt.

Folli’s board said on 26 November that it had come to an agreement “in principle” with the group, which includes two lenders of €51 million (US$56.14 million) worth of Schuldschein loans due in 2021 and a committee holding slightly over a quarter of Folli’s €249.5 million (US$274.64 million) 1.75% Eurobonds, due this year.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Quantuma opens in Mauritius

27. November 2019 

UK business advisory firm Quantuma has joined up with a former Grant Thornton insolvency practitioner to open a new office in Mauritius, its second international office following last year’s opening in Cyprus.

Quantuma announced the new office, set up with former Grant Thornton managing partner Yuvraj (Raj) Thacoor’s firm Thacoor Advisory, on 25 November.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

“Seller’s remorse”: Deutsche sues BVI feeder funds over US$1.66 billion Madoff claim

26. November 2019

Deutsche Bank has accused two insolvent British Virgin Islands (BVI)-registered feeder funds of reneging on an agreement to sell it their claims against the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Deutsche’s New York arm filed a complaint against Kingate Global Fund and Kingate Euro Fund in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on 21 November, with counsel from White & Case partners Glenn Kurtz and Andrew Hammond, seeking damages over the funds’ alleged failure to uphold a 2011 trade confirmation.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Two Lehman companies extend administrations in London

26. November 2019

The administrators of two UK Lehman Brothers companies have gained extensions to their terms of office, after the High Court in London heard their ability to pay creditors is contingent on a “chain of recoveries” in the Lehman group.

In an oral ruling on 26 November, Mr Justice Hildyard said he was satisfied it was in the interests of creditors to extend the administration of Lehman Brothers (PTG) by two years until 30 November 2021, and the administration of LB UK RE Holdings by one year until 30 November 2020.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Lehman sub-loan trial draws to a close in London

25. November 2019

After nine days of arguments, a combined trial to establish the distribution priority of three loan agreements between two English Lehman Brothers entities has drawn to a close in London.

During the four days of closing arguments last week, the parties disputed whether claims held by Lehman Brothers Holdings Plc (PLC), under three sub-debt agreements with LB Holdings Intermediate 2 (LBHI2), should rank for distribution before, after or pari passu with those of Lehman Brothers Scottish LP 3 (SLP3), under floating rate notes issued by the company back in 2007.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Directors and shareholders could face millions in EBT claims after “seismic” High Court ruling

22. November 2019

A recent High Court ruling on tax avoidance schemes could have “seismic consequences” for insolvency practice, according to counsel acting in the case.

On 30 October, the High Court in London found directors and shareholders of Implement Consulting would have to repay £3 million (US$3.8 million) to the company, despite it having been wound up in 2016.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Steinhoff sells off British and Australian retailers

22. November 2019

Scandal-hit South African conglomerate Steinhoff has sold the group behind British retailers Bensons for Beds and Harveys Furniture, as well as the merchandise division of its Australasian subsidiary, owner of Debenhams Australia.

In a Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB) filing on 15 November, Netherlands-incorporated Steinhoff International Holdings announced it had reached a deal to sell Bensons for Beds owner Blue Group to London-based Alteri Investors.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Goodwin recruits Kirkland private equity partner

21. November 2019

Kirkland & Ellis partner Carl Bradshaw is set to join the London office of US firm Goodwin Procter. 

He will start at the new firm on 25 November as a partner in its private equity practice, though he told GRR he expects to be active in restructuring matters too. Bradshaw began his career in 2008 as a trainee solicitor at Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong from 2008. He joined Kirkland as an associate in 2010, making partner in 2015. His time at Kirkland also included a 12-month client secondment at Bain Capital last year. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Brown Rudnick hires two from DLA Piper

21. November 2019

Brown Rudnick’s London office has hired partners Richard Obank and Colin Ashford from DLA Piper, only weeks after another double partner hire in London from Reed Smith.

Brown Rudnick announced the two additions to its European restructuring team on 20 November. Both hires came from DLA Piper’s Leeds office. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

ABI International, Paris: “Why can’t we all just get along?”

21. November 2019

The UNCITRAL model law on recognition of insolvency-related judgments could “fix” the impact caused by the decisions in Rubin and Gibbs if enacted in the UK, panellists at the ABI’s international conference in Paris have said.

Speaking on 14 November, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom associate Kathlene Burke said most people would expect the new model law to overrule Rubin and Gibbs because it gives more substantive authority to the courts. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Etihad defeats Air Berlin stay motion in €2bn insolvency row

20. November 2019

Air Berlin’s administrator has lost a stay motion against Etihad Airways in the High Court in London, where Etihad hopes to quash a €2 billion claim against it for lack of jurisdiction.

On 18 November, Mr Justice Jacobs dismissed Lucas Flöther’s bid to stay Etihad’s English case, in which the Abu Dhabi airline hopes to void a breach-of-contract claim by the German administrator.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Cryptoassets should be treated as property, UK experts say

20. November 2019

Cryptoassets have all the “indicia” of property and should be treated as such under English law, according to a panel of industry experts.

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT), chaired by the Chancellor of the High Court Sir Geoffrey Vos, released a legal statement earlier this week, which says novel features of some cryptoassets, such as their intangibility and need for cryptographic authentication, do not disqualify them from being property. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Sovereign debt column: Natural disaster clauses – shelter from the storm?

20. November 2019

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Sui-Jim Ho discusses “natural disaster clauses” in debt instruments and argues they can help disaster-hit countries avoid costly restructurings.

Extreme weather events and natural disasters continue to increase in both intensity and frequency. In 2019 alone, we witnessed the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Tyneside jeweller failed to disclose US assets, joint trustees say

20. November 2019

A Florida court has recognised a British jeweller’s bankruptcy after his joint trustees Grant Thornton found he had lied about his US property portfolio before an English court.

In an order on 15 November Judge Catherine McEwen, at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, granted emergency relief to Grant Thornton partner Nicholas Wood and director Colin Diss, who were appointed as joint trustees of Darren McCormick in May this year. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

British Steel liquidation recognised in Canada

19. November 2019

A Toronto court has recognised the liquidation of collapsed UK steelmaker British Steel in the face of threats of legal action by Canada’s tax authorities.

In an unopposed 13 November order, Justice Glenn Hainey at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted initial recognition of British Steel’s special managers, Ernst & Young partners Robert Kelly, Alan Hudson and Samuel Woodward. It is the first foreign recognition the company has sought outside of the UK. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Regis landlords’ CVA challenge will go to trial

18. November 2019

UK landlords challenging Regis UK’s company voluntary arrangement have survived an attempt to throw their case out of court, despite the company now being in administration – with a judge saying the developing law around CVAs should be settled at trial.

Deputy High Court Judge James Morgan QC on 14 November dismissed an application by the defunct hairdressing chain’s CVA supervisors, Grant Thornton partners Eddie Williams and Chris Laverty, to have the landlord challenge struck out summarily on the grounds there was no chance of it winning. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Weil hires Akin Gump’s Devaney in London

18. November 2019

Former Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld restructuring partner Neil Devaney has joined Weil Gotshal & Manges in London.

Announcing the move on 15 November, Weil said Devaney will “play a leadership role” in its restructuring practice after his five-year stint with Akin Gump. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK government meets crown preference critics after Brexit warning

14. November 2019

The UK government has met with insolvency industry groups after they warned its planned revival of crown preference would render its Brexit preparations “incoherent”.

The changes to crown preference rules, proposed in February and included in the previous government’s draft finance bill in July, would make tax collector Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) a secondary preferential creditor in insolvencies. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Gibraltar clawback bid hits Brussels Recast hurdle

13. November 2019

Gibraltar’s supreme court has partly blocked local liquidators from clawing back assets located in Spain, in a decision touching on jurisdictional issues between the Brussels Recast Regulation and the European Insolvency Regulation.

Judge Liam Yeats on 14 October dismissed some claims by the liquidators of Reclaim Limited – a Gibraltarian company linked to a Spanish timeshare scam – saying they belonged in Spain under Brussels Recast. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Kirkland & Ellis advising Mamas & Papas and Pizza Express

13. November 2019

 A week after taking the lead role in the Mothercare administration, Kirkland & Ellis has been retained by the joint administrators of rival UK-based baby care retailer Mamas & Papas and by struggling restaurant group Pizza Express.

Kirkland partner Elaine Nolan and associates Hannah Crawford, Jack Mead and Gabe Harley have been advising Deloitte restructuring partners Clare Boardman and Adrian Berry as joint administrators of Mamas & Papas (Retail), which they successfully sold to private equity firm Bluegem Capital in a pre-pack deal last week.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Linklaters and Ashurst help as British Steel rescued from the scrap heap

12. November 2019

Linklaters and Ashurst have joined Clifford Chance advising on the sale of British Steel’s UK, French and Dutch operations to Chinese industrial conglomerate Jingye: a move designed to rescue the group, which entered compulsory liquidation in the UK in May.

Advised on the deal by a Clifford Chance team led by Philip Hertz, David Lewis, Nick Rees and Iain White in London, the UK’s Official Receiver announced that UK subsidiaries of Jingye had entered a sales contract with the UK government to buy British Steel on 11 November


Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Lehman sub-loan priority trial begins in London

12. November 2019

A 12-day combined trial has begun in London that will determine the priority for distribution of three loan agreements between two English companies in the former Lehman Brothers group.

The trial began at the High Court of Justice on 11 November and is expected to last until 22 November.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

UK slipper retailer’s liquidators seek Tar Heel foothold

12. November 2019

The joint liquidators of a UK-based online footwear retailer have filed Chapter 15 proceedings in North Carolina, after being threatened with a class action suit in the US.

KRE Corporate Recovery partners Gareth Roberts and Paul Ellison, joint liquidators of Sibaham Limited, applied to the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina on 8 November for recognition of its UK liquidation proceedings. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

GRR Live - IWIRC London: Women in Restructuring 2019 - in pictures

11. November 2019

The first-ever GRR Live – IWIRC London Women in Restructuring conference was held on 7 November at Painters’ Hall in London. 

Beginning with a keynote address by KPMG chief economist Yael Selfin, the event attracted almost 140 women in restructuring from the UK and elsewhere in the world. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Clifford Chance hires in Paris

11. November 2019

 Clifford Chance has hired Delphine Caramalli, the former head of European restructuring at Paris boutique Bremond & Associés, as a partner.

The firm announced Caramalli’s hire on 7 November.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

GRR Live – IWIRC London: Women in Restructuring 2019 Awards

08. November 2019

GRR recognised three influential women in cross-border restructuring and insolvency’s past, present and future, at an awards ceremony on 7 November following the first GRR-IWIRC Women in Restructuring conference.

Eloise Fardon, a senior associate at Stephenson Harwood in Hong Kong; Jennifer Marshall, a partner at Allen & Overy in London, and the late Selinda Melnik, a co-founder of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), were bestowed with GRR’s “future thought leader”, “current thought leader” and “pioneer awards”, respectively.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Mayer Brown hires another from DLA in London

08. November 2019

Mayer Brown has recruited Sheena Frazer from DLA Piper as counsel in its London restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency practice.

Frazer’s move follows the hires of Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks in March, who were co-chair of DLA’s global restructuring group and head of its London restructuring practice respectively.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

GRR Live - IWIRC London: KPMG chief economist opens first Women in Restructuring conference

 08. November 2019

 KPMG chief economist Yael Selfin predicted interest rates would remain low for decades, but warned they could leave central banks out of options if there’s a “correction” in the fragmented European bank market, in a keynote address that kicked off GRR’s first-ever women’s event co-organised with IWIRC London.

Her keynote also examined the impact of trade tensions with China, Brexit, “wise” fiscal spending and the future of lending.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Charles Russell Speechlys promotes in London

08. November 2019

Charles Russell Speechlys has promoted Jason Freedman to partner in its corporate restructuring and insolvency group in London.

His promotion from senior associate to partner took effect on 1 November, the firm announced earlier this week

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

GRR Women in Restructuring 2019 is out now

07. November 2019

Our second Women in Restructuring survey is live now, featuring 40 profiles from diverse women in the field, and a host of takeaways for professional services firms to consider when setting gender equality policies in future.

Between August and September, GRR invited women at all ages and stages of their careers in restructuring and insolvency, on the legal and non-legal advisory side, to send their experiences to us in an online questionnaire.


Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Dispute over insolvent crypto platform’s bitcoins leads to Hong Kong freezing order

06. November 2019

A Hong Kong court has frozen assets belonging to a French cryptocurrency trader in a dispute over the fate of bitcoins kept in an insolvent trading platform, which are the subject of competing proprietary claims.

Deputy High Court Judge Doreen Le Pinchon issued the order in the Hong Kong High Court’s court of first instance on 1 November at the request of Curaçao-based bitcoin investor Nico Samara.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Kirkland & Ellis advising as Mothercare collapses

06. November 2019


Kirkland & Ellis is representing the administrators of British children’s products retailer Mothercare, which has finally collapsed after falling victim to the “near existential problem” on the UK high street.

A Kirkland team led by partner Elaine Nolan was brought in to advise the Mothercare group on its restructuring options and has transferred that role to advising PwC partners Zelf Hussain and David Baxendale and director Toby Banfield as the retailer’s joint administrators.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

London barrister admitted for KPMG negligence trial, on condition Hong Kong counsel also appointed

  05 .November 2019

A Hong Kong court has permitted a London-based barrister to appear in a claim against KPMG over its auditing of a now-insolvent forestry company – but it affirmed that overseas counsel must be instructed alongside local barristers, rather than solicitor advocates.

On 31 October Acting Chief Judge Jeremy Poon in the Hong Kong Court of First Instance allowed Mark Simpson QC of Fountain Court Chambers to appear in a negligence trial brought by Borrelli Walsh as liquidators of China Forestry Holdings.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

KPMG hires director from Grant Thornton in London

05 .November 2019

Big Four firm KPMG has hired Kristina Kicks as a director in its contentious insolvency team from Grant Thornton, where she spent almost 20 years.

Kicks started in the new role on 4 November. At Grant Thornton she focused on contentious insolvencies, asset tracing and recoveries, both in the UK and overseas.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Brown Rudnick hires two from Reed Smith

04 .November 2019

Reed Smith partner Charlotte Møller, co-head of its restructuring practice in London, and counsel Monika Lorenzo-Perez,have joined Brown Rudnick as partners.

Brown Rudnick announced the hires on 4 November. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Chinese shareholder buys Thomas Cook brand name

 04  .November 2019

The special managers of British travel agency Thomas Cook have sold the company’s brand name to Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group, a major shareholder advised by Clifford Chance that tabled a doomed rescue bid for the company.

On 1 November Fosun’s Cayman-incorporated travel arm told investors on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it would buy the intellectual property rights to Thomas Cook and two subsidiaries, the hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook’s Club, for £11 million (US$14.2 million).

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Regis UK enters administration after last-minute landlords deal

  01 .November 2019

UK hairdressing chain Regis has had its administration affirmed, after counsel thrashed out a late deal with a group of landlords, who claimed it would let the company get away with alleged unlawful transfers.

The High Court in London appointed Deloitte partners Robert Harding and Matthew Cowlishaw as administrators to Regis UK on 1 November, granting what it called an “unusual” application.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Slaughters and Paul Hastings advise as UK’s largest payday lender collapses

31 .October 2019

Slaughter and May is advising the administrators of the UK’s largest payday loan provider CashEuroNet UK, which has collapsed amid complaints of regulatory uncertainty from its US parent.

Slaughters’ head of restructuring Ian Johnson and partner Tom Vickers are advising Grant Thornton partners Chris Laverty, Andrew Charters and Trevor O’Sullivan as joint administrators, reuniting the team that dealt with Wonga’s administration last year.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

UK Supreme Court upholds Singularis clawback against Japanese bank

 30 .October 2019

The UK Supreme Court has affirmed that Japanese-owned bank Daiwa is liable for over US$150 million to the Cayman liquidators of Maan Al Sanea company Singularis, finding it acted negligently in allowing the Saudi billionaire to fraudulently transfer funds from the company to his Saad Group.

On 30 October, five Supreme Court judges agreed the London branch of Daiwa breached its duty of care to Singularis in 2009, when it allowed Al Sanea to make eight payments totalling US$204.5 million from a client account belonging to the company.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Senvion self-admin recognised in Australia, but local creditor’s litigation can continue

29 .October 2019


German wind turbine maker Senvion has won recognition of its restructuring proceedings in Australia, but failed to stay a creditor lawsuit there.

On 22 October the Federal Court of Australia on 22 October recognised Senvion’s self-administration case, started on 9 April in the Hamburg Local Court, under the UNCITRAL Model Law on cross-border insolvency.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Weil, Hogan Lovells, White & Case, Freshfields on France’s Casino Group restructuring

28 .October 2019

Weil Gotshal & Manges is advising Rallye, the parent company of French retailer Casino Group, in its €2.9 billion restructuring in Paris, with White & Case, Freshfields and Linklaters lining up for its creditors.

Weil partners Yannick Piette, Jean-Dominique Daudier de Cassini and Anne-Sophie Noury are advising the parent, which entered safeguard proceedings in May at the Paris Commercial Court alongside holding companies Finatis, Euris, and Fonciere Euris.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Begbies Traynor continues expansion with ALJ acquisition

28 .October 2019

UK corporate restructuring boutique Begbies Traynor has acquired insolvency and business recovery practice Alexander Lawson Jacobs (ALJ) in London, as the latter's managing director looks ahead to retirement.

The announcement on 25 October comes days after Begbies acquired Leeds-based business transfer agent Ernest Wilson, and a couple of weeks after it added Exeter-based advisory practice Regeneratus Consulting 1 to its ranks.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Russian bankrupt’s New York trust validly revoked, SDNY court finds

 25 .October 2019

The Russian bankruptcy trustee of a convicted embezzler, Larisa Markus, validly revoked a New York trust to access funds belonging to her from a London real estate transaction, the New York bankruptcy court has found.

In a 23 October ruling, Judge Martin Glenn at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed Russian trustee Yuri Rozhkov’s revocation of the trust and ordered nearly US$5.3 million from the sale of a London property to be turned over to him.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

English Court orders EY to repay fees in French Nortel bankruptcy

  25 .October 2019

The administrators of one of Nortel Network’s French arms have been ordered to pay back some of their fees, after an independent assessor accused them of providing “inaccurate or incomplete” information to creditors.

In a ruling on 22 October, Mr Justice Snowden of the English High Court reduced EY’s fees by about £36,000 (US$46,021) – to just over £1.64 million (US$2.1 million) – and ordered them to cover one-third of the £150,000 (US$193,000) capped costs of the assessment.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Shearman, Latham advising as Etihad fights Flöther over Air Berlin comfort letter

23.October 2019

Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways has asked the High Court in London to void a €2 billion claim against it by Air Berlin’s bankruptcy administrator, saying the dispute belongs in England not Germany.

Etihad, with Shearman & Sterling partner Susanna Charlwood advising, asked the court on 23 October for a declaration of non-liability, saying the English court had exclusive jurisdiction.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Madoff settlement approved in New York after Deutsche dispute resolved

23 October 2019

A New York court has approved a clawback settlement between the liquidators of two British Virgin Islands (BVI)-registered feeder funds and the liquidating trustee of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, after Germany’s Deutsche Bank dropped an objection to Chapter 15 recognition of their BVI proceedings.

On 22 October Judge Stuart Bernstein in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the settlement, having recognised the BVI liquidations as foreign main proceedings four days earlier.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Adviser briefs: Pizza Express, Bonmarché and Superdry Norway hire restructuring help

21. October 2019

Britain’s struggling retail and casual dining sector continues to generate work for restructuring advisers, with distressed investors circling Pizza Express, Bonmarché calling in administrators and Superdry closing stores in Norway in recent weeks.

Pizza Express

Perella Weinberg Partners and Latham & Watkins are advising bondholders to Pizza Express, an indebted British dining chain, ahead of a likely debt restructuring, UK media reports.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

US attorney sanctioned in Russian Chapter 15 case

 16. October 2019

A New York bankruptcy court has sanctioned a US lawyer for “brazenly” violating a discovery order against his client, a Russian businesswoman jailed for embezzling US$2 billion from a now-bankrupt bank.

In a 16 October memorandum opinion, Judge Martin Glenn at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York explained the sanctions order against Victor Worms, principal at the Law Offices of Victor A Worms in New York, which he issued orally the previous week.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Carles Cuesta hires from Uría Menéndez in Madrid

 16. October 2019

Spanish law firm Carles Cuesta has added to its Madrid office by hiring a lawyer from Uría Menéndez who specialises in insolvency and arbitration.

Pablo Martínez joined Carles Cuesta in September. He has taken the role of head of international arbitration at his new firm, where he will also be working with the restructuring and insolvency team on complex cross-border issues.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Third-party claims not covered by conflict of laws rules, CJEU says

 15 October 2019

In a preliminary ruling concerning multiple German law-governed debts secured against a Luxembourgish employer, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has found that conflict of laws rules do not apply where a debt has been assigned against a third party.

On 9 October, a five-person panel in the CJEU found that article 14 of the Rome I Regulation; the instrument of EU law that determines what laws are applicable in cross-border assignment claims; does not cover the third-party effects of debt assignments.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Thomas Cook’s ex-bosses quizzed as UK government reveals airline insolvency plans

 15. October 2019

 Thomas Cook's former executives, from left to right: Warren Tucker (chair of remuneration committee, Sten Daugaard (CFO), Peter Fankhauser (CEO), Frank Meysman (chairman) and Martine Verluyten (chair of audit committee) (Credit: Parliamentlive.tv)

A committee of UK lawmakers have grilled former executives of the collapsed British travel group Thomas Cook, one day after the government announced plans to reform the insolvency process for bankrupt airlines.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

White & Case promotes in US and Germany

14.October 2019

Two restructuring and insolvency lawyers have been added to White & Case’s partnership, as part of the firm’s largest ever round of promotions.

Ronald Gorsich and Bero-Alexander Lau have been named partners in White & Case’s global financial restructuring and insolvency practice in Los Angeles and Düsseldorf respectively.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Spanish court blocks David Guetta London arbitration under EIR

11. October 2019

A Spanish court has used the European Insolvency Regulation (EIR) to void an English arbitration clause contained in a contract between French DJ David Guetta and an insolvent concert promoter –  a “practical” approach according to some, though others say the decision encourages forum shopping.  

On 30 September, Judge Carlos Martínez de Marigorta Menéndez in the Commercial Court No.1 of Santander ruled that a dispute between Guetta and the promoter, Delfuego Booking, over a cancelled concert should be decided by the Spanish courts, rather than a London arbitration tribunal.   

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

UK family business buys Thomas Cook shops with Muckle advising

11. October 2019

Newcastle firm Muckle is advising the UK family business Hays Travel, which is buying all 555 Thomas Cook retail shops from the UK’s Official Receiver.

Sunderland-based Hays Travel, owned by John and Irene Hays, said on 9 October it would double its size and hire up to 2,500 employees laid off in the historic travel agency’s collapse.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Galapagos announces restructuring as junior creditor disputes continue

10. October 2019

Luxembourg-incorporated industrial group Galapagos has announced the completion of a €1 billion multi-jurisdictional financial restructuring – though “rival” insolvency proceedings in Germany and noteholder lawsuits in New York rumble on.

The group’s private equity owner Triton and certain senior secured creditors enforced a share pledge over Galapagos’ operating company, Galapagos Bidco SARL, and sold it to a new entity also controlled by Triton – Mangrove Luxco IV.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Updated: Ryan Beckwith breached professional principles, SDT finds

10. October 2019

Ryan Beckwith has resigned from Freshfields and been fined £35,000, after the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found he breached professional principles.

The SDT handed down its oral ruling in London on 10 October, finding the former restructuring partner breached his duty to act with integrity and maintain the public’s trust in the profession when he engaged in sexual activity with a drunk junior colleague following work drinks in 2016.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Proskauer lawyer struck off after lying about insolvency qualification

 09. October 2019

A lawyer formerly in Proskauer’s restructuring group has been struck off the roll after the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in London found he had displayed dishonest conduct in a “deliberate, calculated and repeated” manner.

The tribunal heard Michael Freeman had breached principles 2 and 6 of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) principles when he lied about taking an exam to obtain the Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency (CPI), which Proskauer had paid for.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

“I was totally devastated”: Ryan Beckwith denies charges

04. October 2019

Freshfields partner Ryan Beckwith has denied the charges against him in cross-examination today before the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal in London.

Beckwith, 41, is alleged to have shared an Uber taxi back to a junior colleague’s flat after work drinks in 2016 and started unwanted sexual activity when she was too drunk to consent. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

ECB right to withhold information on Portuguese bank collapse, advocate general says

04. October 2019

An EU advocate general has found that the European Central Bank (ECB) was within its rights to hold back certain documents relating to the 2015 collapse of Portugal’s Banco Espírito Santo (BES), from one of its shareholders.

On 2 October Estonia’s advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Communities, Priit Pikamäe, said in a non-binding opinion that the ECB was entitled to refuse access to certain information detailing why it suspended credit flows to BES from the Eurozone in August 2014.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Restructuring talent recognised in Kirkland’s bumper partner promos

03. October 2019

Kirkland & Ellis’ bumper crop of new partners, announced on Wednesday, includes restructuring talent in Chicago, London, New York and Washington DC.

Christopher Hayes and Spencer Winters were promoted in the firm’s home city of Chicago, while Thomas Jemmett and Karim Kassam made the grade in London.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Community roundup: McCarthy Denning appoints new co-head

03. October 2019

Firms in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bavaria in Germany have added to their ranks in a busy September for hires.

Ex-Simmons & Simmons partner becomes McCarthy Denning co-head 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Clifford Chance advises dormant UK insurer on Chapter 15 filing

02. October 2019

A UK insurance company inactive for over three decades has filed for Chapter 15 recognition of its English administration proceedings filed in June, after a solvent scheme failed.

On 27 September the administrators of Stronghold Insurance Company Limited, PwC partner Dan Schwarzmann and director Nigel Rackham in London, filed the petition in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to protect the company from current and future US lawsuits.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

India's NCLAT approves Jet Airways’ “landmark” Dutch cooperation

01. October 2019

A New Delhi appellate tribunal has approved a cooperation agreement between Indian and Dutch bankruptcy trustees of Mumbai-based airline Jet Airways, which one practitioner described as “a historic development” for both Indian and global insolvency cases. 

On 26 September the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) approved a cross-border insolvency protocol agreed between Grant Thornton partner Ashish Chhawchharia in Mumbai and Pot Jonker Advocaten partner Rocco Mulder in Haarlem.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Freshfields should have fired Beckwith, tribunal told

30. September 2019

Details of Freshfields’ response to claims of non-consensual sex made against restructuring partner Ryan Beckwith have emerged, with the complainant telling the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal she was upset the firm didn’t fire him.

The alleged victim, a junior solicitor whom Beckwith managed, told the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in session on 1 October how she initially felt she could not report the alleged misconduct to the firm, fearing she would lose her job and that her claims would not be believed in London’s close-knit restructuring market.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Lucas Flöther advising Condor airline on Frankfurt pre-insolvency process

27 September 2019

Air Berlin administrator Lucas Flöther has been appointed trustee in self-administration over German airline Condor, after it filed restructuring proceedings in Frankfurt to shield its business from the collapse of parent Thomas Cook.

The District Court of Frankfurt appointed Flöther on 26 September. Schultz & Braun partner Detlef Specovius, who worked on airline Germania’s insolvency, is advising Condor’s management, according to local reports.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

UK paper maker Arjowiggins bought from administration with Weil advising

26 September 2019

The managers of a historic UK paper maker, Arjowiggins, have bought the company out of administration, with Weil Gotshal & Manges advising.

The management group, with part funding from the Scottish government, bought the business from FRP Advisory administrators Iain Fraser, Tom MacLennan, Geoff Rowley and Phil Reynolds for an undisclosed sum, the company said on 25 September. Arjowiggins said the buyout has saved more than 550 jobs.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

English court approves bookkeeper discovery out of jurisdiction

26. September 2019

The liquidator is attempting to discover details about the debtors of a wound-up meat wholesaler (Credit: istock.com/chayakorn lotongkum)    

Liquidators can use their discovery powers extraterritorially, the English High Court has ruled, departing from a 2015 precedent in the MF Global bankruptcy and following the Omni Trustees precedent instead.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Former Dentons partner returns after six-year stint at Simmons

26. September 2019

A former Dentons partner, who left for Simmons & Simmons in 2013, has returned to the firm and says he is ready to tackle a “wall of R&I work” he says is coming.

Dentons announced that Richard Pallot-Cook had returned to its UK banking and finance team on 25 September, bringing a Simmons & Simmons banking transactions partner, Simon Middleton, with him.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

Thomas Cook’s German, Polish subsidiaries enter insolvency to split from UK parent

25. September 2019

German, Polish and Austrian subsidiaries of Thomas Cook said they would enter insolvency proceedings on Wednesday, hoping to cut their businesses free from the collapsed British travel agency.

German airline Condor, another Thomas Cook subsidiary, was saved with a €380 million six-month bridging loan backed by Germany’s federal government.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

"Boris Bus" maker enters administration

25. September 2019

Deloitte partners have been appointed as administrators to Northern Irish engineering company Wrightbus, which produced buses championed by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London.  

Michael Magnay in Edinburgh and Peter Allen in Belfast took over as administrators to Wrightbus and four related companies on 25 September, after rescue talks with potential buyers fell through.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

Thomas Cook’s German airline to keep flying as UK fallout spreads

24. September 2019

Advised by Gleiss Lutz, collapsed British travel agency Thomas Cook’s German airline says it will continue flying as the group’s insolvency makes waves around the world.

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel agency, called in liquidators early on 23 September after a refinancing deal fell through. AlixPartners and KPMG are special managers, with Ashurst their counsel in London. The group had struggled under £1.67 billion (US$2 billion) in debt.

 Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

Akin Gump hires from Prudential investment arm

24. September 2019

Another former Bingham McCutchen partner has been reunited with ex-colleagues at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in London, after six years in-house at Prudential Financial’s private debt investment arm.

Akin Gump announced Michael Gustafson’s hire from Prudential subsidiary Pricoa Private Capital on 24 September.

 Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

 

Ashurst advising Thomas Cook liquidators

23. September 2019

Ashurst is advising AlixPartners and KPMG as special managers of British travel agency Thomas Cook, which went into liquidation in the early hours of Monday after talks with lenders failed.

Ashurst UK partners Giles Boothman, Olga Galazoula and Lynn Dunne are advising the UK’s Official Receiver and the two advisory firms, which were appointed to liquidate the world’s oldest holiday company on 23 September.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Debenhams CVA survives landlords’ challenge

19. September 2019

Landlords challenging UK department store Debenhams’ company voluntary arrangement (CVA) have failed on four out of five grounds, with the court preserving the CVA but ordering it to be amended where it blocks the landlords’ right to forfeiture.

Handing down the judgment on 19 September, Mr Justice Norris said the CVA was otherwise “valid and enforceable” and rejected arguments that UK company voluntary arrangements cannot compromise future rent, or that the rent reduction facing the landlords was unfairly prejudicial.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

French Nortel arm to end administration amid Brexit concerns

19. September 2019

One of the French arms of Nortel Networks is set to end its decade-long administration, after the High Court of England and Wales granted a termination and discharge application.

In a judgment handed down this morning, Mr Justice Snowden approved the application, brought by its administrators EY, but noted his intention to appoint an independent assessor to review EY’s final £1.68 million (US$2.09 million) remuneration package.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Quinn Emanuel advising on potential Folli Follie bondholder lawsuit

18. September 2019

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is advising a UK-based service company on a proposed lawsuit against Swiss bank UBS, on behalf of bondholders of the beleaguered Greek jeweller Folli Follie.

On 17 September, the UK’s Alcimos invited holders of 150 million Swiss franc (US$151 million) 3.25% bonds due 2021, issued by a Luxembourg subsidiary of Folli Follie, to consider bringing the prospectus liability case in Zurich.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Thomas Cook seeks non-main recognition of English schemes in New York

17. September 2019

A Saudi prince has won full control over football club Sheffield United, with the English High Court rejecting “fanciful” allegations that he took a bribe from a broadcasting company to save the club from insolvency.

On 16 September Mr Justice Timothy Fancourt in the High Court of England and Wales ordered Sheffield-born businessman Kevin McCabe to sell his 50% share in the club to Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who already owned the other 50%.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

English court gives Saudi prince control of Sheffield United FC

17. September 2019

A Saudi prince has won full control over football club Sheffield United, with the English High Court rejecting “fanciful” allegations that he took a bribe from a broadcasting company to save the club from insolvency.

On 16 September Mr Justice Timothy Fancourt in the High Court of England and Wales ordered Sheffield-born businessman Kevin McCabe to sell his 50% share in the club to Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who already owned the other 50%.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

BTG Advisory gains four new partners in London

16. September 2019

The boutique advisory arm of UK professional services firm Begbies Traynor has appointed four new partners, including new hires with debt restructuring experience from Menzies and CameronBarney.

BTG Advisory announced the four appointments on 16 September. The new hires are Anthony Brennan, who joins from CameronBarney, and Paul Davies, who joins from Menzies. The firm also promoted two of its own, Andrew Dalton and Sorca Hunt.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Could Syncreon lead to more US companies using English schemes?

12. September 2019

Goodwin Procter’s Simon Thomas and Oonagh Steel consider logistics company Syncreon’s use of two English schemes of arrangement – the first time a US-headquartered group has favoured the English scheme over Chapter 11.

On 10 September the English High Court sanctioned two schemes of arrangement integral to the restructuring of Syncreon, a US-headquartered global logistics business. This decision, the first where a US-headquartered group has openly favoured an English scheme of arrangement over Chapter 11 proceedings, could lead to more US companies seeking to use the English system to restructure their financial liabilities.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

III founder member joins White & Case in Berlin

11. September 2019

White & Case has hired German academic and International Insolvency Institute (III) founder member Christoph Paulus as of counsel in its Berlin office.

Paulus joined White & Case on 1 September.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Syncreon scheme approved in England

10. September 2019

Multinational logistics group Syncreon has had its English scheme of arrangement sanctioned in the High Court in London.

On 10 September, Mrs Justice Sarah Falk signed off on a scheme to swap debt for equity in the Dutch-owned supply chain company, having convened its creditors’ meeting on 25 July.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Hogan Lovells advising landlords on challenge to Monsoon Accessorize CVA

09. September 2019

Hogan Lovells is advising UK real estate investment trust British Land on its challenge to a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) for women and children’s clothing retailer Monsoon Accessorize.

Monsoon, which sells hippie-inspired clothes and accessories, in June proposed a CVA to cut rents by between 25% and 65% at more than half its 258 UK stores. The CVA passed a vote in July with nearly 90% of attending creditors in favour.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Lehman administrators win US$8.5 million trade error claim

09. September 2019

An English court has ordered UK securities broker Exotix Partners to pay US$8.5 million to the administrators of Lehman Brothers’ main European arm, finding the broker wrongly benefited from a costly trade error made by the bank.

On 9 September, Mr Justice Robert Hildyard in the High Court of England and Wales granted four partners from PwC acting as administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (LBIE), restitution on a claim of unjust enrichment against Exotix.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Don’t miss out: Women in Restructuring survey and conference

09. September 2019

Just a quick reminder that submissions for GRR’s second Women in Restructuring survey will close at the end of this week, ahead of the results being presented at our joint Women in Restructuring conference with IWIRC this November.

GRR would like to hear from women of all ages and at all stages of their restructuring careers, to collect data on their experiences and recognise a number of influential female leaders in the field.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Norton Rose Fulbright advising French airline Aigle Azur in insolvency

06. September 2019

Aigle Azur, France’s second-biggest airline, has collapsed into insolvency with advisory firm AJRS acting as administrator and Norton Rose Fulbright as counsel.

The company, in provisional administration since 27 August, filed for insolvency protection (redressement judiciaire) on 2 September at the Commercial Court of Evry.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Senvion creditors to vote on M&A plans

04. September 2019

Creditors of German wind turbine maker Senvion will vote on its future recovery sale plans on 10 September, with the company yet to find a buyer for its whole business.

Senvion entered German self-administration proceedings in Hamburg in April with restructuring firm Görg advising. The company won Australian recognition of its main proceedings on 5 July.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

EY director moves to Alvarez & Marsal in London

04. September 2019

Alvarez & Marsal has hired EY’s Jo Hewitt as a managing director in London.

Hewitt started her new role on 2 September after almost 15 years with EY, where she began her career in 2005.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Shoosmiths partner defends statement, as Debenhams directors grilled

03. September 2019

Shoosmiths restructuring partner Sara Teal has defended a witness statement she submitted on behalf of Debenhams landlords claiming they should not be treated as creditors, on the second day of their expedited trial challenging the retailer’s company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Tom Smith QC for Debenhams cross-examined Teal about her firm’s relationship with UK retail business Sports Direct, formerly Debenhams’ largest shareholder, which is funding the CVA challenge proceedings.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

High Court rules on evidence on first day of expedited Debenhams trial

02. September 2019

Landlords challenging a company voluntary arrangement for UK department store Debenhams have been prevented from submitting a “tendentious” witness statement by a consultant to their litigation funder, Sports Direct, in the first day of an expedited trial.

After hearing arguments from Tom Smith QC of South Square for Debenhams Retail, Mr Justice Norris ruled orally on 2 September that a witness statement from one Justin Barnes – described in court as a consultant to Sports Direct – was “highly tendentious material” that characterised Debenhams’ board as putting the interests of lenders and themselves above the interests of Debenhams, its shareholders and other group creditors.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

Reminder: Women in Restructuring survey

30. August 2019

A quick reminder that there are just two weeks left to submit to GRR’s second Women in Restructuring survey.

GRR wants to hear from women at all stages of their restructuring careers, to collect data on their experiences and to recognise a number of influential female leaders making waves in the male-dominated industry.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

West African gold miner enters English administration

22. August 2019

West African gold miner Avocet has appointed joint administrators from Duff & Phelps in London, one week after its shareholders voted against placing the company into a members’ voluntary liquidation.

Duff & Phelps managing directors Paul Williams and Geoff Bouchier were appointed yesterday after the miner failed to attract any viable investment proposals following months of liquidity issues.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

Three weeks remaining for second Women in Restructuring Survey

 21. August 2019

Nominations are still open for GRR’s second Women in Restructuring survey, where we hope to highlight the achievements of influential women in the profession.

GRR wants to hear from women in the field, at any stage of their careers, to collect data on women’s experiences and recognise influential women making waves in the male-dominated industry. Lawyers, advisers, insolvency practitioners, academics, judges and in-house counsel are all welcome to submit.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.


Vneshprombank owner’s property payment not a sham transaction, English court finds

21 August 2019

An English court has permitted the former owner of a collapsed Russian bank to make a payment on a London property, dismissing allegations that it was a sham transfer contrary to a freezing order against him.

On 31 July Richard Spearman QC, sitting as a judge in the High Court of England and Wales, found that former Vneshprombank co-owner Georgy Bedzhamov was entitled to transfer £341,680 (US$414,936) to UK property development company Fenton Whelan, despite the worldwide freezing order granted by the court in March.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review.

 

 

 

Jersey receiver appointed over unknown HSBC clients’ assets

19 August 2019

A Jersey court has appointed a government receiver over assets held by an insolvent HSBC subsidiary, after the company’s liquidators failed to track down the clients who owned them.

On 26 July, the Royal Court of Jersey gave its reasons for handing Her Majesty’s Receiver General control over certain assets held by Jersey-registered HSBC Global Asset Management (International), also known as AMJE, on 29 May.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Steinhoff’s European subsidiaries complete €9bn restructuring

20. August 2019

Scandal-hit South African retail group Steinhoff has announced the completion of its €9 billion (US$9.97 billion) European restructuring, but the news has failed to stop its share price falling below 1 rand (US$0.07) for the first time.

In a filing on the Johannesburg stock exchange on 14 August, Steinhoff International announced that Austria-incorporated Steinhoff Europe AG (SEAG) and Steinhoff Finance Holding (SFH) had “successfully completed” a restructuring using English company voluntary arrangements (CVAs).

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

CVR Global opens Jersey office after Moore Stephens acquisition

20. August 2019

Advisory firm CVR Global has opened its third offshore office after acquiring the Moore Stephens restructuring and insolvency team in Jersey.

Director Adrian Rabet will head up the new office, after he transferred to CVR Global from Moore Stephens in June.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Indonesian debtor chose Ireland to restructure amid Brexit uncertainty

19. August 2019

An Indonesian arm of Asia Pulp & Paper picked Ireland over the UK to restructure because of uncertainty over Brexit, a US Chapter 15 court has been told.

Jakarta Stock Exchange-listed Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper is using an Irish scheme of arrangement to restructure US$612.4 million in debt left over from the 2001 collapse of APP, Asia’s biggest distressed debt situation.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Turkish army pension fund set to buy British Steel, with Hogan Lovells advising

16. August 2019

The UK’s official receiver has named the investment arm of Turkey’s armed forces pension fund as the preferred buyer for British Steel.

In a statement released earlier today, the official receiver said that an agreement to purchase British Steel has been signed by Ataer Holdings, triggering a period of detailed due diligence before a sale can be completed.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Cayman litigator returns to London

19. August 2019

Sarah Tresman has left Walkers in the Cayman Islands to rejoin her former chambers at Twenty Essex in London.

Tresman returned to Twenty Essex on 14 August, ending three years as a litigation attorney in the insolvency and dispute resolution department at Walkers.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English court orders retrial over alleged Ponzi scheme

15 August 2019

An English appeal court has ordered a retrial of claims relating to an alleged Belizean Ponzi scheme, after finding “serious and inadequately reasoned findings” in the trial judge’s decision.

On 9 August, Lords Justice Richard McCombe, Peter Jackson and Stephen Males in the Court of Appeal ordered a second trial on claims of dishonest assistance against a group of Turkish-owned companies collectively known as Ikon and their chief executive officer Diwakar Jagannath.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Trower named to English High Court

15 August 2019

South Square’s William Trower QC has been appointed as a judge in the High Court of England and Wales.

The Judicial Appointments Commission announced Trower’s appointment on 15 August, along with eight others. He will join the bench as Mr Justice Trower with effect from 1 October.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Bondholders take control of Lebara after Dutch enforcement ruling

14 August 2019

In a “ground-breaking” ruling in the Netherlands, a group of bondholders has taken control of English telecoms group Lebara through a coercive share pledge enforcement against its Dutch holding company, Vieo.

The District Court of Amsterdam approved the enforcement on 30 July despite objections from Vieo’s owner, Swiss investor Palmarium. The next day its shares were transferred to a new company entirely controlled by holders of Vieo’s €350 million (US$391.2 million) senior secured notes.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Deutsche petition hits Chinese solar restructuring

13 August 2019

Deutsche Bank has filed a winding-up petition in Hong Kong against a Chinese solar energy company seeking to restructure US$430 million of debt.

China Singyes Solar Technologies Holdings announced on 9 August that Deutsche’s Hong Kong branch had begun a winding-up petition against it in the Hong Kong High Court the previous day.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

White & Case, Addleshaw Goddard and Deloitte on Karen Millen pre-pack sale

09 August 2019

British online fashion retailer Boohoo tapped White & Case when it bought the intellectual property of struggling bricks-and-mortar rival Karen Millen out of administration this week.

White & Case partners Emma Parr and Ian Wallace advised Boohoo, while Addleshaw Goddard advised Karen Millen on the £18.2 million (US$21.9 million) pre-pack sale on 6 August.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Debenhams appoints Alvarez & Marsal MD as CEO

08 August 2019

Alvarez & Marsal managing director Stefaan Vansteenkiste has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of Debenhams Group, as the department store chain prepares for its expedited trial with landlords in September.

On 8 August, Debenhams Group announced Vansteenkiste’s appointment as part of the retailer’s turnaround plan, which sees him elevated from his initial role within the group as chief risk officer of Celine – the new company owned by Debenhams’ secured noteholders and revolving credit facility lenders that took ownership of the retailer in April.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

BVI bench reverses receivership ruling in Russian assets row

08 August 2019

A British Virgin Islands appeals court has cited comity and a decade-old Yukos precedent as reasons for voiding the receivership of a company at the centre of a cross-border inheritance fight over a murdered Russian businessman’s offshore estate.

Justice of Appeal Paul Webster last week handed down written reasons for an oral ruling that was issued by the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court on 27 March.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Fried Frank advising as Sports Direct buys Jacks Wills in pre-pack deal

06 August 2019

British retail group Sports Direct has bought insolvent fashion brand Jack Wills for £12.75 million (US$15.5 million) in a pre-pack administration deal, with a transatlantic team from Fried Frank advising.

The sale was confirmed on 5 August, on the same day KPMG restructuring partners Will Wright and Chris Pole were appointed joint administrators of Jack Wills and two of its subsidiaries.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English court recognises Cayman fund’s Hong Kong receivership

05 August 2019

An English court has recognised the interim receivers of a Cayman Islands fund who were appointed by a court in Hong Kong – where arbitration proceedings are pending over the company’s ownership.

In an oral ruling in the High Court of England and Wales on 1 August, Judge Clive Jones recognised Kalo Advisors managing director Gordan MacRae in the Cayman Islands and Perun Consultants managing director Gwynn Hopkins in Hong Kong, as interim receivers of XiO Fund I.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

GRR Women in Restructuring Survey 2019

05 August 2019

GRR’s second Women in Restructuring survey is now open for submissions, building on the one we released a couple of years ago.

We are seeking to hear from women at all ages and stages of their restructuring and insolvency careers, whether they are lawyers, non-lawyer advisers, insolvency practitioners, academics, judges or in-house counsel.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

French multinational Thales buys insolvent Austrian engine maker

01 August 2019

French aerospace company Thales has bought Austrian specialist engine maker Steyr Motors out of insolvency, with Schönherr advising.

Bankruptcy trustee Norbert Mooseder, a partner at Grassner Lenz Thewanger in the Upper Austrian city of Steyr, oversaw the bankruptcy sale on 24 July after the company failed to raise money to restructure in February. The purchase price was not made public.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English scheme meetings convened for Dutch group, as Chapter 15 filed

01 August 2019

An English court has allowed a Dutch-owned automotive supply group to hold creditors’ meetings for a pair of schemes, as the group applied to have them recognised in the US and said it would also seek recognition in Canada and Holland.

In a reasoned judgment handed down at the High Court in London on 31 July, Mrs Justice Sarah Falk explained why she had entered an order six days earlier convening scheme meetings for two Dutch and UK companies in the Syncreon group – the majority of whose creditors lie outside the UK in America and Canada.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Dana Gas judge appointed to UK Supreme Court

31 July 2019 

The UK’s Supreme Court has appointed three new judges, including Lord Justice Leggatt, who presided over litigation arising from UAE-incorporated Dana Gas’s debt restructuring in the English High Court.

Lord Justice Leggatt will join the Supreme Court on 21 April next year, along with Lord Justice Hamblen and Professor Andrew Burrows, who start their new roles on 13 January and 2 June respectively.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

FTI hires three PwC partners after court injunction lapses

30 July 2019 

Three PwC restructuring partners have joined FTI Consulting in London, after a PwC court injunction barring one of the moves expired.

Former PwC global restructuring head Diederick van der Plas and partners Nick Carmichael and Duncan Turner have joined FTI as senior managing directors, the firm announced on 29 July.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Hotel investors secured in England are unsecured in Guernsey, court says

30 July 2019 

Creditors of a hotel project in London, deemed secured under English law, have been told by a court in Guernsey that they rank as unsecured in local liquidation proceedings.

In a judgment handed down on 25 June but published on the Royal Court of Guernsey’s website only recently, Bailiff Sir Richard Collas heard from both England and Guernsey-based counsel to reach the conclusion that a group of so-called room buyers only counted as unsecured in the liquidation of Conqueror Holdings.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Turkish reforms don’t go far enough, lawyers say

30 July 2019 

Restructuring lawyers have called for an international conference to fix Turkey’s restructuring regime, saying recent reforms do not go far enough.

Commentators say recent restructuring provisions introduced last year, which came into law on 19 July in an omnibus tax bill, fail to address wider problems with the country’s new restructuring framework.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Landlords granted expedited hearing in Debenhams CVA challenge

29 July 2019 

The English High Court has approved requests for an expedited trial of challenges to Debenhams’ company voluntary arrangements, as long as the applicants drop a “potentially complicated” preference claim.

Mr Justice Mann handed down a clarificatory written ruling on 26 July, saying it would be “proper and appropriate” for the six applicants, all Debenhams landlords, to have their claims heard in a speedy trial – save for their preference claim.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Nyrstar scheme sanctioned in London

26 July 2019 

The English High Court has sanctioned a scheme of arrangement for global metals group Nyrstar, after its creditors voted in favour of the plans earlier this week.

At a 26 July hearing, Mr Justice Norris approved the scheme brought by newly incorporated NN2 Newco, after finding that a failure to do so would likely lead to a multi-jurisdictional liquidation of the group.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

German fashion retailer Gerry Weber agrees rescue sale

26 July 2019 

German clothes shop chain Gerry Weber International has reached a rescue sale agreement with two international asset managers, six months after filing for insolvency proceedings.

The company announced on 15 July that it had reached the binding investment agreement with UK-based Robus Capital Management and US-based Whitebox Advisors.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Partner to leave Piepenburg-Gerling

25 July 2019 

One of the name partners in the German insolvency firm Piepenburg-Gerling has announced his departure after 18 years working together.

Klaus Gerling has said he intends to move on from his partnership with Horst Piepenburg by the end of the year, and that he will continue practising corporate and bankruptcy law in Cologne, solo.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

KPMG partner joins German restructuring boutique Schmitz & Partner

24 July 2019 

German restructuring boutique Schmitz & Partner has hired KPMG partner Stephan Happe for its Düsseldorf advisory practice.

Happe, a former chartered accountant and tax consultant, has 24 years of restructuring experience at KPMG, FTI Consulting, Alvarez & Marsal and German advisory firm Droege & Comp. Schmitz & Partner announced the hire on 23 July.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Indian banks obtain UK disclosure against Mallya over superyachts

23 July 2019 

An English court has allowed a consortium of banks to assess the ownership of trusts allegedly holding assets belonging to Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya, who faces bankruptcy and other court proceedings in at least three jurisdictions.

Justice Robin Knowles granted the oral ruling in favour of the consortium led by State Bank of India (SBI) during a 22 July hearing at the High Court of England and Wales.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Sports Direct withdraws Debenhams CVA challenge

23 July 2019 

British retail group Sports Direct has withdrawn its challenge against Debenhams’ company voluntary arrangements but has vowed to continue funding a dissenting landlord’s action.

The department store chain confirmed on 22 July that Sports Direct International and Sportsdirect.com Retail had withdrawn as parties to a challenge they launched in the High Court of England and Wales last month.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK Insolvency Service calls for views on IP regulation

23 July 2019 

The UK Insolvency Service has called for feedback on its system for regulating insolvency practitioners (IPs), floating the idea of a single regulator for the profession.

The government agency hopes to gauge the effect of objectives it introduced in 2015 and gather views on possible changes. It wants IPs, trade bodies, creditors, charities and others to put in submissions by 4 October.

 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Mining consultant’s claims against PwC fail in London appeal

22 July 2019 

A London court has thrown out claims PwC cheated a mining consultancy out of millions while acting as administrators of a mining company in Sierra Leone.

On 19 July, the Court of Appeal dismissed consultancy Fraser Turner’s appeal against a High Court ruling that rejected its suit against PwC for breach of contract and conspiracy to cause loss by unlawful means in relation to the administration of London Mining.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Dia staves off insolvency filing as refinancing closes

19 July 2019 

Spanish supermarket chain Dia has finally closed a refinancing deal with its principal shareholder and a syndicate of lenders, staving off an insolvency filing just days after it extended the deal’s long-stop date.

In an announcement to Spain’s securities market commission (CNMV), Dia said it had reached agreements for two loans for €40 million and €450 million from its majority shareholder, the Russian-owned retail fund LetterOne, which would be used to pay bonds maturing on 22 July.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English court rejects second IVA after good faith breach

17 July 2019 

An English judge has ordered a British property tycoon into bankruptcy after four years of proceedings, refusing to adjourn for his second proposed individual voluntary arrangement where the largest creditor would be voting for an outcome it had little interest in.

In an order on 15 July, Mr Justice Nicholas Briggs, chief insolvency and companies court judge, granted lender CFL Finance’s four-year-old bankruptcy petition against Moises Gertner, a developer whose property empire collapsed in 2008 amid the financial crash.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Chapter 11 court allows creditor vote on drug company’s sale to European rival

17 July 2019 

A New York court has allowed creditors of a US cholesterol drug maker to vote on a planned sale to a European rival, after years of battles with government authorities led it to file a Chapter 11.

On 11 July, Judge Martin Glenn in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a disclosure statement filed by Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, a US company that makes cholesterol drugs and has operations throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

R3 slams UK government’s tax priority “cash grab”

15 July 2019 

UK restructuring trade group R3 has criticised a government plan to prioritise tax debts in insolvencies, calling it a cash grab and a “threat to business rescue”.

The plan, confirmed in the government’s draft finance bill on 11 July, would make the UK’s tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) a secondary preferential creditor in business insolvencies.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Belgian zinc smelter restructures in London and New York

10 July 2019 

Advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Alvarez & Marsal, Belgian zinc smelting company Nyrstar is restructuring its €2.6 billion debt through an English scheme of arrangement and recognition in New York.

London-incorporated NN2 Newco – a Nyrstar subsidiary incorporated in June for the purpose of restructuring its parent’s debt – is set to convene a scheme meeting on 22 July following an order from the English High Court last week.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

GÖRG partner appointed administrator of German spacecraft developer

10 July 2019 

A Berlin court has appointed a partner from German firm GÖRG as administrator of a space exploration company, which has experienced difficulties over a planned mission to the Moon.

PTScientists filed for preliminary insolvency on 5 July in the District Court of Berlin-Charlottenborg.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

New Dutch scheme bill hailed as “perfect”

11 July 2019 

The Dutch government has published a bill for a new pre-insolvency tool similar to an English scheme of arrangement and with features reminiscent of Chapter 11, which local practitioners say could make the Netherlands a major restructuring hub.

The Council of State, a Dutch government advisory body, put the bill amending the country’s Bankruptcy Act before Parliament on 8 July.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Deutsche announces ECB-backed bad bank restructuring plan

08 July 2019 

The European Central Bank (ECB) is understood to be supporting the restructuring of Germany’s Deutsche Bank, which announced plans to create a bad bank for its non-performing assets as part of a “radical transformation” over the weekend.

Deutsche Bank announced its restructuring on 7 July, aiming to downsize the investment side of its business and cut its costs by a quarter by 2022.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Dentons hires former bankruptcy judge in Berlin

08 July 2019 

Martin Horstkotte, a German bankruptcy judge who worked on the Niki airline insolvency, has joined Dentons as an of counsel in Berlin.

Horstkotte’s move on 4 July capped more than 25 years as a judge at the Berlin-Charlottenburg District Court, Germany’s busiest insolvency court. Before becoming a judge, he was a partner at Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann, a predecessor firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

German car parts manufacturer files for insolvency after investor feud

08 July 2019 

German car parts manufacturer Weber Automotive has filed insolvency proceedings after a disagreement between its family owners and French private equity investors about proposed rent reductions.

The company filed proceedings on 5 July in the District Court of Konstanz, which appointed Gerloff Liebler partner Christian Gerloff as insolvency supervisor.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Irish oil services group enters Chapter 11, with Irish and Bermudian proceedings to follow

04 July 2019 

Irish oilfield services group Weatherford International has filed for Chapter 11 protection in a Texas bankruptcy court aiming to cut down its US$8.35 billion debt through a pre-packaged plan that envisages parallel proceedings in Ireland and Bermuda.

On 1 July, Judge David Jones in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas’ Houston Division ordered the joint administration of a trio of voluntary bankruptcy petitions by the publicly held Irish oilfield services company and two of its subsidiaries registered in Delaware and Bermuda.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

New Look France enters liquidation with Linklaters advising

03 July 2019 

Linklaters is advising the French arm of global fashion retailer New Look as it enters liquidation, while an English subsidiary has exited Chapter 15 proceedings.

The Commercial Court of Paris placed New Look France into liquidation on 26 June at the request of the company’s administrators, Joanna Rousselet of Abitbol & Rousselet and Carole Martinez of 2M&associés.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Italian fashion brand Stefanel collapses in Italy and the UK

03 July 2019 

Italian womenswear brand Stefanel is in administration in Italy and the UK, with Raffaele Cappiello advising in Rome and CVR Global in London.

Italy’s economic development ministry appointed Cappiello, a lawyer and experienced liquidator, as judicial commissioner to the 60-year-old fashion brand on 2 July. Stefanel applied to enter special administration last month after a creditor deal flopped.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Steinhoff delays CVA completion again

02 July 2019 

Creditors of South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff have approved a third delay to the completion of its European subsidiaries’ UK restructuring, as the company brings litigation against its former chief executive.

In a 2 July announcement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Steinhoff said a requisite majority of creditors of its European subsidiaries Steinhoff Europe (SEAG) and Steinhoff Finance Holding (SFH) had agreed on 28 June to extend their English company voluntary arrangements’ (CVAs) long-stop date to 9 August.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Slate of firms agree Spanish supermarket refinancing

28 June 2019 

Kirkland & Ellis, Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Spanish firm Pérez-Llorca have helped Spanish supermarket chain Dia with a refinancing deal to see through a capital increase of up to €600 million, months after the group’s Russian-owned principal shareholder took a majority stake in it. 

Kirkland and Pérez-Llorca teamed up to provide counsel to the principal shareholder, Luxembourg-based investment company LetterOne, which is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Mining consultant tries to revive conspiracy lawsuit against PwC in London

26 June 2019 

A mining consultancy has tried to revive claims PwC cheated it out of millions while acting as administrators of a mining company in Sierra Leone.

In the Court of Appeal in London on 25 June, Fraser Turner alleged PwC had conspired to sell London Mining, which entered administration in 2014, to Timis Mining Corporation on terms that deprived it of its rights to royalties.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Jet Airways' Dutch administrator refused recognition in Mumbai

21 June 2019 

A Mumbai tribunal has refused to recognise Indian airline Jet Airways’s Dutch administrator, appointing a Grant Thornton partner as interim resolution professional (IRP) for the company’s bankruptcy.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai Bench made the order on 20 June, appointing Grant Thornton partner Ashish Chhawchharia in Mumbai as Jet’s IRP and giving him control of the company’s assets.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Restructuring in Turkey: A new paradigm?

20 June 2019 

White & Case partners Ian Wallace in London and Güniz Gökçe in Istanbul, and local partner Ateş Turnaoğlu in Istanbul, discuss the outlook for restructuring in Turkey.

Turkey's geopolitical significance as a bridge between Europe and Asia is common knowledge in the west. What is perhaps less well known is that Turkey's economy is the 13th largest in the world, and the sixth largest in Europe. But in recent years that economy has had to face up to significant political and financial headwinds, as regional stresses and economic challenges escalate.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Icelandic creditor’s bankruptcy petition against British businessman rejected

19 June 2019 

An Icelandic bank’s bankruptcy petition against the co-founder of fashion chains All Saints and Karen Millen has failed, in a decision the bank’s counsel says will determine how the Lugano Convention is interpreted.  

Mr Justice Timothy Fancourt handed down the oral decision at the High Court of England and Wales on 19 June, finding that Islandsbanki had tried to enforce an Icelandic decision against British businessman Kevin Stanford without giving him sufficient time to appeal its registration in England.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

III, Barcelona: Grassgreen takes the helm

18 June 2019 

The International Insolvency Institute’s (III) first female president has taken the helm at a handover ceremony in a 14th century shipyard that today functions as Barcelona’s Maritime Museum.

Debra Grassgreen, a partner at Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones in San Francisco, took the steering wheel from outgoing president and EY partner Alan Bloom at the III legendary dinner on 17 June, during the institute’s 19th Annual Conference.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

GRR Awards 2019 – the winners

17 June 2019 

Restructuring firms from Spain to São Paulo and Singapore were honoured at GRR’s third annual awards ceremony, held on 15 June at Barcelona’s El Palace hotel.

The night saw the unveiling of 2019’s GRR 100 list of the world’s top cross-border restructuring and insolvency law firms, a top-30 countdown, gongs for the most important cases and decisions, and a lifetime achievement award for Brazilian restructuring eminence Thomas Benes Felsberg.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Saudi billionaire faces bankruptcy petition after UK court allows creditor demand

12 June 2019 

Sheikh Mohamed Al-Jaber, a Saudi hotel magnate once said to be among the UK’s richest men, is facing a potential bankruptcy petition in London over a £300,000 statutory demand.

Al Jaber, the founder of hotel and leisure group MBI International Holdings and once said to be among the UK’s richest men, lost a bid on 10 June to set aside the demand by creditor Focal Image Limited, a UK publishing services company, at the High Court in London.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

NatWest hit with pre-action disclosure in Gibraltar over alleged fraud link

09 June 2019 

A Gibraltarian court has ordered UK bank NatWest to disclose documents to the liquidators of an alleged fraud scheme, who are considering a potential dishonest assistance action against the bank.

On 6 June, Justice Christopher Butler of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar granted pre-action disclosure at the request of PwC partners Edgar Lavarello in Gibraltar and Simon Conway in the Cayman Islands, who are acting as liquidators of Gibraltar-based Kijani Resources Limited (KRL).

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

EU restructuring directive clears Council

07 June 2019 

The European Council has formally adopted the long-awaited EU directive on preventive restructuring frameworks, with member states given two years to adapt its proposed rescue tools into their own laws.

The council’s adoption of the directive on 6 June ends a legislative process, started in November 2016, meant to improve the EU’s rescue culture.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Arcadia revises CVA terms as it seeks landlords’ backing

07 June 2019 

Struggling British retail group Arcadia has announced details of its revised company voluntary arrangements, after postponing creditor meetings in the face of dissatisfied landlords.

In an announcement this afternoon, Arcadia said it had brought down its requested rental reductions for 194 stores from between 30%-70% to between 25%-50%.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Maud ordered to pay indemnity costs after frustrating English court order

06 June 2019 

An English court has ordered British property developer Glenn Maud and his company Cruz Holdings to pay at least £120,000 (US$152,800) in indemnity costs, after finding they had “frustrated” an earlier court order.

In an oral ruling in the High Court of Justice in London on 6 June, Mr Justice Snowden found that Maud and Cruz had chosen not to comply with their contractual obligations under a subordinated creditor’s security agreement (SCSA), and said their conduct had been neither ordinary nor reasonable.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Maud ordered to pay indemnity costs after frustrating English court order

06 June 2019 

An English court has ordered British property developer Glenn Maud and his company Cruz Holdings to pay at least £120,000 (US$152,800) in indemnity costs, after finding they had “frustrated” an earlier court order.

In an oral ruling in the High Court of Justice in London on 6 June, Mr Justice Snowden found that Maud and Cruz had chosen not to comply with their contractual obligations under a subordinated creditor’s security agreement (SCSA), and said their conduct had been neither ordinary nor reasonable.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

KPMG hires partner from Stephenson Harwood

03 June 2019 

Stephenson Harwood restructuring partner Libby Elliott has moved to KPMG in London.

Elliott joined the Big Four firm on 13 May, as a risk partner for the restructuring group, after six-and-a-half years with Stephenson Harwood.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

ECB found not liable for Greek restructuring claims (again)

24 May 2019 

In another decision clearing the European Central Bank (ECB) from liability, the EU’s General Court has rejected claims from private investors who suffered losses during the 2012 Greek debt restructuring.

In the decision of 23 May available in multiple eurozone languages but not in English, the General Court in Luxembourg found that Greece’s restructuring was not a disproportionate or “intolerable” infringement of the investors’ right to property under EU law, even if they had never consented to the restructuring measures.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Carpet seller set to lose Glasgow store after landlord CVA battle

24 May 2019 

UK carpet retailer Carpetright has lost a Scottish court battle with a Belgian landlord that tried to evict it from a Glasgow store after it implemented a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Ian Peebles, Lord Bannatyne delivered the opinion in the Scottish Court of Session on 17 May. The judge said he will make an order at a later date, after he has heard further submissions. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Parent of historic retail group files for bankruptcy protection in France

24 May 2019 

The parent of historic French retail group Casino has filed for bankruptcy protection in Paris, blaming “persistent and massive speculative attacks against the group’s securities”.

Rallye, its subsidiaries Cobivia and HMB and their parent companies, applied for sauvegarde(safeguard) proceedings in the Commercial Court in Paris on 23 May, in an effort to deal with their €3.3 billion (US$3.69 billion) debt pile.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Creditors approve Ballantyne Re scheme, Chapter 15 filing to follow

23 May 2019 

Irish reinsurer Ballantyne Re will seek recognition of its US$1.65 billion note restructuring in New York in June, after creditors approved its scheme of arrangement.

On 22 May, the company told stock exchange operator Euronext in Dublin that creditor majorities had approved its plan to restructure seven sets of New York law-governed notes, at two votes held that day.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK retail group Arcadia announces CVA proposals, files Chapter 15 in the US

23 May 2019 

British retail tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has announced plans to close 23 of its UK and Irish stores and commence liquidation sales in the US, as part of a major restructuring that has given rise to new instructions for DLA Piper and Deloitte.

On 22 May, the group instigated seven company voluntary arrangements (CVAs), and filed administration proceedings for London-registered Arcadia Group (USA) (AGUSA) in the High Court of England and Wales.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UBS fails to block BVI liquidators’ US clawback claims

22 May 2019 

The UK’s top overseas appeal court has rejected a bid to stop liquidators of Madoff feeder fund Fairfield Sentry from bringing claims against UBS in America.

In a 20 May decision delivered by Lord Hodge, the UK Privy Council denied an appeal by UBS New York against a British Virgin Islands (BVI) appeals court decision of November 2017, finding foreign courts can grant avoidance motions.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Clifford Chance and EY advising as British Steel collapses

22 May 2019 

UPDATED: After weeks of failed negotiations with stakeholders, British Steel has been placed into compulsory liquidation by the High Court of England and Wales.

The official receiver was appointed as liquidator on 22 May, with EY restructuring partners Sam Woodward, Hunter Kelly and Alan Hudson selected as special managers.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

CJEU pre-packs employment ruling met with warning

21 May 2019 

A European court has ruled that pre-packaged sales are not exempt from EU restrictions on employee redundancies, with one practitioner warning the ruling may stifle restructurings.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued the preliminary ruling on 16 May against Belgian concrete producer NV Prefaco, concerning redundancies it made following the takeover of rival manufacturer NV Echo, which was subject to judicial supervision in Belgium.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

English High Court recognises winding-up of solvent Bermudian fund

20 May 2019 

An English court has recognised the Bermudian winding-up of a solvent investment fund, finding that insolvency is not a requirement for recognition under the UK's Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations (CBIR).

In a decision published on 17 May, Mrs Justice Faulk in the England and Wales High Court recognised as a foreign main proceeding the winding up of Sturgeon Central Asia Balanced Fund, a fund set up for Japanese investors in Central Asia that is subject to a shareholder’s winding-up petition.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Jersey court distributes Yugoslav refinancing trust assets to successor states

17 May 2019 

A Jersey court has ended a 15-year deadlock over how to split the assets of a former Yugoslav state-owned trust among five of the country’s successor states, in the tale of a sovereign debt refinancing waylaid by war.

On 6 May, the Royal Court of Jersey allowed the distribution of £9.9 million in assets from the Jersey-incorporated Banayou Trust to the states of Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Unpacked: How did they solve a problem like Mriya?

17 May 2019

GRR looks back at the restructuring of Ukrainian farming conglomerate Mriya: how counsel got it across the line against a backdrop of more than US$1 billion in debt, expiring land leases, a former owner accused of embezzlement, a convoluted corporate structure spread across Ukraine and Cyprus, and – in its darkest hours – armed men in fields trying to seize assets by force.

The rescue of Ukraine’s Mriya Agro Holding, completed in 2018, saw the company and its new managers negotiate their way to a consensual reorganisation through a Cypriot liquidation, multiple Ukrainian bankruptcies, and asset-tracing investigations in Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). It made precedents too, as for the first time Ukrainian courts accepted international bondholder claims represented by a trustee as pari passu to local bank claims.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Croatia’s Uljanik shipyard enters bankruptcy

16 May 2019

A shipyard in the Croatian city of Pula has entered bankruptcy proceedings after years of struggle, but looks unlikely to receive state support in the form of an emergency restructuring as Agrokor did.

On 13 May, Judge Adrijani Labinjan Skok in the Pazin Commercial Court opened bankruptcy proceedings for the 163-year-old Uljanik Shipyard, which is owned by holding company Uljanik dd.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

R&H Restructuring hires from EY in the Cayman Islands

15 May 2019

Recently rebranded boutique R&H Restructuring has hired EY executive director Claire Loebell in the Cayman Islands.

Loebell joined R&H as a director earlier this month after 12 years with the Big Four firm.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Stephenson Harwood advising as Bolton Wanderers kicks off administration

15 May 2019

Paul Appleton and Asher Miller of David Rubin & Partners have been appointed joint administrators of English football club Bolton Wanderers.

The club and its holding company Burnden Leisure Limited (BLL) entered administration on 13 May after successfully blocking a series of winding-up applications over the last few months.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Dutch court adopts JIN guidelines

14 May 2019

A court in the Dutch city of Utrecht has become the second in Europe to adopt the Judicial Insolvency Network’s guidelines for cross-border insolvency, as the organisation drafts further proposals on inter-court cooperation.  

The District Court Midden-Nederland – which covers the central Netherlands – adopted the JIN’s guidelines for communication and cooperation between courts in cross-border insolvency matters on 1 May.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Former South Square barrister named English solicitor general

10 May 2019

Lucy Frazer QC MP, a former barrister and insolvency practitioner at London-based chambers South Square, has become the new solicitor general for England and Wales.   

Frazer took over the role on 9 May, replacing fellow barrister Robert Buckland QC MP. She previously served as a justice minister.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Debenhams creditors approve CVA proposals

9 May 2019

Creditors of Debenhams have approved two company voluntary arrangements (CVA), hours after the group’s owners revealed they had failed in a bid to sell the struggling UK department store chain.

The company says that “a majority significantly above the required threshold of 75%” voted in favour of the proposals at a creditors’ meeting this afternoon.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK review proposes special airlines regime

9 May 2019

Airline insolvencies should be subject to a special administration regime to avoid stranding passengers overseas, according to the UK government’s newly published Airline Insolvency Review.

The review, published on 9 May, recommends that the primary purpose of airline administration should prioritise the repatriation of passengers over the airline’s duties to creditors.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK Supreme Court hears Marex reflective loss arguments

8 May 2019

The rule against reflective loss is “driving litigants away from the seat of justice,” lawyers for UK foreign exchange broker Marex have told the UK Supreme Court, as they seek to overturn a Court of Appeal ruling from June last year.

At a hearing before a seven-judge panel in the UK’s highest court today, Marex’s lawyers argued that the rule against reflective loss should not apply to the broker’s claim against Dubai-based businessman Carlos Sevilleja Garcia, whom it accuses of asset-stripping his companies to avoid paying out on a judgment debt.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

R3 appoints Swift as new president

7 May 2019

Moore Stephens partner Duncan Swift has taken over the presidency of British insolvency trade association R3.

Swift took over the presidency from Stephenson Harwood partner Stuart Frith at the organisation’s 3 May annual general meeting, after a serving a year as vice president.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Kalo hires from Borelli Walsh

7 May 2019

Offshore boutique firm Kalo has hired a manager in the British Virgin Islands from Borrelli Walsh.

Emma Clifton has joined Kalo’s BVI office as a manager, the firm announced on 3 April. Clifton has more than 10 years’ experience in restructuring and insolvency work in the UK and Cayman Islands, specialising in contentious liquidations.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Irwin Mitchell hires from Edwin Coe in London

3 May 2019

Edwin Coe partner Kunal Gadhvi has joined UK firm Irwin Mitchell’s office in London.   

Gadhvi joined Irwin Mitchell on 1 May, after ending six-and-a half years as a partner at Edwin Coe in March.  

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Abengoa restructures again after reaching creditor resolution

2 May 2019

Renewable energy group Abengoa has carried out its second restructuring in three years, after reaching a resolution with creditors who objected to its 2016 judicially approved Spanish scheme of arrangement.

The multinational group announced on 26 April that it had put into effect a new restructuring agreement, two-and-a-half years after receiving court approval for the compromise of a €9 billion debt pile in what was the largest-ever restructuring carried out in Spain.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Joint liquidators appointed over dissolved Guernsey claims handler

2 May 2019

A Guernsey court has handed down its reasons for appointing joint liquidators over dissolved claims handler Highbridge Investments (HILP), finding the possibility its customers had been “duped” warranted further investigation.

Deputy Bailiff Richard McMahon of the Royal Court of Guernsey handed down the reasons for the decision on 23 April, and confirmed the appointment of David Rubin and David Sheil of David Rubin & Partners as joint liquidators of the Guernsey-registered company.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

New Look schemes approved in London

30 April 2019

The English High Court has sanctioned two schemes of arrangement for global fashion retailer New Look, after its creditors voted in favour of the plans last week.

At a hearing on 30 April, Mr Justice Morgan approved the schemes brought by New Look Secured Issuer (NLSI) and New Look Ltd (NLL) in an effort to deal with the company’s substantial £1.44 billion (US$1.88 billion) debt pile.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Directors disqualified in Isle of Man over company’s collapse

29 April 2019

An Isle of Man court has banned three company directors for misconduct, finding them responsible for the collapse of an investment group that operated between the jurisdiction and the British Virgin Islands.   

Deemster Murray Rosen QC handed down the decision in the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man on 8 April, finding that directors Alan Louis, Lukas Nakos and John McCauley were unfit to be company officers. The court disqualified Louis for 12 years, and Nakos and McCauley for six and five years respectively.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

KPMG supervises Debenhams CVAs

29 April 2019

UK department store Debenhams has proposed to shut 22 stores next year as part of two company voluntary arrangements (CVA), with KPMG supervising.

The CVAs, announced on 26 April, follow Debenhams’ sale to secured creditors through administration on 9 April, with lenders agreeing to swap £100 million (US$129 million) in debt for equity and provide £200 million (US$258 million) in new money for the ailing retailer.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Freshfields partner faces sexual assault accusation

26 April 2019

Freshfields restructuring partner Ryan Beckwith has faced the UK Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), accused of sexually assaulting a colleague.

Beckwith, who is on indefinite leave from the firm, is accused of sexually assaulting the woman at her home following a night drinking with colleagues in a pub, the SDT was told at a case management hearing on 26 April. The woman no longer works at Freshfields.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

News / European Market Watch

UK regulator addresses “deep-seated problems” in audit sector

23 April 2019

A UK competition regulator has recommended that the Big Four accountancy firms separate their auditing and consulting operations but stopped short of calling for a legal carve-up of their businesses.

In a 18 April report on the competitiveness of the UK’s audit market, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expanded on recommendations it first proposed in December to remedy the “deep-seated problems” it identified.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Cambridge Analytica placed into liquidation in England

17 April 2019

Political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica’s six UK companies have been placed into liquidation, with their joint administrators from Crowe UK appointed as liquidators over objections from a New York-based creditor.

Mr Justice Norris made the winding-up orders in the High Court of England and Wales on 17 April, finding the “toxicity of the brand” and a continuing investigation into the companies by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) meant nothing of value could be salvaged.

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English court swaps bankruptcy petitions against Karen Millen founder

12 April 2019

An English court has ruled that the Lugano Convention barred an Icelandic bank’s bankruptcy petition against the British founder of fashion chains All Saints and Karen Millen – but the court substituted it with another filed by the UK’s tax authority.

ICC Judge Clive Jones handed down the reasons for his decision in the Insolvency and Companies Court of England and Wales, explaining why he made the substitution at a 22 February hearing.

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Freshfields advising Arcadia as its former restructuring head joins board

11 April 2019

Freshfields partner Neil Golding has been advising British multinational retail group Arcadia on its restructuring options, while the law firm’s former global head of restructuring Peter Bloxham has joined the group’s board.

Arcadia, which owns a host of high street chains including Topshop and Miss Selfridge, confirmed the appointments of Bloxham and former Deloitte restructuring partner Jamie Drummond-Smithto its board on 11 April, as speculation about a potential company voluntary arrangement (CVA) intensified.

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GÖRG advising Senvion in German self-administration

10 April 2019

German firm GÖRG is advising Hamburg wind turbine maker Senvion in preliminary self-administration proceedings as the company seeks new finance from lenders.

Senvion, which failed to reach a refinancing deal with lenders last month, entered the insolvency process alongside its German subsidiary, Senvion Deutschland, when the Hamburg District Court approved its 9 April application, the company announced the same day.

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Maple Bank sues Freshfields in Germany over cum-ex transactions

10 April 2019

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has confirmed it is facing a lawsuit from defunct Canadian lender Maple Bank for allegedly providing the bank with incorrect advice on dividend-stripping trades it is currently being investigated over. 

German newspaper Handelsblatt first reported on 2 April that the administrator for now-defunct Maple Bank,  Michael Frege, a partner at CMS Law in Leipzig, had filed a €95 million civil claim at Frankfurt District Court demanding damages from Freshfields for allegedly assuring the bank that its transactions, known as cum-ex deals, were legal. 

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Magic Circle firms and Kirkland in Debenhams administration

9 April 2019

After weeks of fraught discussions with its majority shareholder, UK department store chain Debenhams has entered administration and will be sold to lenders – with Freshfields, Kirkland & Ellis, Allen & Overy and Linklaters all taking roles.

FTI Consulting’s London-based senior managing directors Chad Griffin, Simon Kirkhope and Andrew Johnson were appointed joint administrators over the group’s holding company Debenhams plc on the morning of 9 April.

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Locked out: Fashion chain LK Bennett files Chapter 11 in Delaware

9 April 2019

One month after its UK parent called in administrators, the US subsidiary of luxury fashion chain LK Bennett has filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware, in light of the store owner at one of its Texan premises changing the locks following its failure to pay rent.

With counsel from DLA Piper managing partner Stuart Brown, LK Bennett filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on 3 April.

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Advocate general opines on requirements for cross-border claims submissions under 2000 EIR

8 April 2019

An advocate general at the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has given an opinion on the level of information required under the 2000 European Insolvency Regulation (EIR) for a foreign creditor to make a claim in main insolvency proceedings, in a dispute between a Polish government agency and the administrator of insolvent Austrian construction group Alpine Bau.

Issuing his opinion in French on 4 April, advocate general Yves Bot said the 2000 EIR, which applied to the case at hand, set “maximum requirements” that EU member states must enforce for the valid submission of a claim – and that in cross-border cases, the validity of any contested submissions should be assessed against the law of the member state where the main insolvency proceedings are based.

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A&O makes up London restructuring partner

8 April 2019

Allen & Overy’s Nick Lister has been promoted to restructuring partner in the firm’s London banking group.

Lister’s promotion from senior associate to partner takes effect from 1 May, his firm announced today.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Irish High Court opts for res judicata over EU law to dismiss English traders' claims

5 April 2019

The Irish High Court has dismissed claims by two Forex traders facing bankruptcy against their Irish broker on res judicata grounds, because they had already been defeated in English courts - finding it unnecessary to bring in EU jurisdictional rules.

On 29 March, Mr Justice Denis McDonald struck out Shane and Mary George’s breach of contract claims against broker AVA Trade EU, since they could not reargue issues already decided against them in English county and district courts.

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UK report calls for full break-up of Big Four auditors

5 April 2019

A UK governmental committee has recommended the top four accountancy firms legally sever their auditing business from other activities, describing the sector as so concentrated that a Big Four failure would lead to a precarious situation.  

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee (BEIS) released its report on the UK’s auditing sector on 2 April. It follows a spate of high-profile audit failures in the UK preceeding major insolvencies, including those of department store BHS, public contractor Carillion and most recently, cake chain Patisserie Valerie.  

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New Look seeks Chapter 15 recognition of English scheme

4 April 2019

The holding company of global fashion retailer New Look has sought Chapter 15 recognition of its English scheme of arrangement, hours after an English court ruled it could convene a creditor vote. 

New Look Secured Insurer (NLSI) filed the petition in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on 2 February, the same day the High Court of England and Wales gave the green light for creditor votes on schemes for NLSI and another subsidiary of the retail group, New Look Ltd (NLL).

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Norwegian court rejects enforcement of German fraudulent transfers ruling

3 April 2019

A Norwegian court has refused to enforce a German judgment ordering the CEO of a bankrupt rapeseed oil producer to reimburse it for money transferred away from the company while it was in distress, finding the case fell within a bankruptcy exception to the Lugano Convention.

The 20 March decision by the Agder Court of Appeal said the German action fell within the exception in article 1(2)(b) of the Lugano Convention, which extends the EU’s Brussels Regulation on recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial cases to non-EU states like Norway that are part of the European Free Trade Association.

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English court strikes out another Novo Banco claim

3 April 2019

The English High Court has struck out a fund’s claim against Portuguese bridge bank Novo Banco and its note-issuing affiliate, ruling it was “impossible to see” how bad bank Banco Espirito Santo’s (BES) default on an unrelated loan five years ago could give rise to one on their behalf.

Mr Justice Marcus Smithruling on 1 April, relied on the UK Supreme Court’s July 2018 decision in Goldman Sachs International to reach the conclusion that no event of default happened. That decision also found Novo Banco not liable for BES’s default, according to Portuguese law.

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UK recognises Singapore’s moratorium law in “ground-breaking” ruling

3 April 2019

UPDATED: An English court has recognised Singapore’s new moratorium law for the first time, in a decision that some lawyers say will boost its ambitions to become Asia’s debt restructuring hub.

In the High Court of England and Wales on 25 March, ICC Judge Clive Jones recognised moratorium relief granted by a Singaporean court to steel producer H&C S Holdings as foreign main proceedings under the UK’s Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations.

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UK consultant’s bankruptcy appeal fails in Singapore court

2 April 2019

A Singapore court has issued its reasons for upholding a bankruptcy order against the British founder of financial consulting firm Straits Advisory, after hearing from two of his creditors that a proposal to repay his debts was “doomed to fail.”  

On 19 March, Justice Lee Seiu Kin of the Singapore High Court explained his decision, issued months earlier orally, to refuse Dominic Andrla’s appeal against a bankruptcy order issued in January 2018 by the Singapore Supreme Court, and to uphold another order from the same court rejecting Andrla’s debt proposal.

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GRR/INSOL Europe Roundtable: What will the post-Brexit insolvency landscape look like?

2 April 2019

Is the UK set to become a “third state” when it leaves the EU? Will insolvency proceedings opened in the UK be recognised by member states? Can UK schemes of arrangement maintain their dominance in the market? And how will legislative changes shape the post-Brexit landscape? GRR invited nine distinguished guests to find out.

On 21 March, then just one week before what we all thought would be “Brexit” day, a group of European and UK lawyers, a former judge, and a director from the UK Insolvency Service met at Spanish firm Uría Menéndez’s London office to try and address some of the many unanswered questions troubling insolvency professionals across the continent.

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Denmark told to "relax" debt cancellation law that breaches EU principles

1 April 2019

An advocate general at the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has told Denmark it should “relax” a residency requirement in its debt cancellation law that contravenes EU freedom of movement principles, highlighting differences between the requirement and the centre of main interest (COMI) rules in the recast European Insolvency Regulation.

Advocate general Maciej Szpunar handed down the opinion on 27 March, comparing the facts of the case to a 2012 CJEU precedent, Radziejewski. In that precedent, the court ruled that freedom of movement rules embodied in article 45 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) prevented EU member states from enacting national legislation that makes debt relief subject to a residency condition.

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Perella Weinberg hires from Goldman Sachs in London

1 April 2019

Financial services firm Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP) has hired two Goldman Sachs managing directors to expand its European restructuring advisory practice.

Clinton Ray will join as a partner in June, while Guy Morgan will become a managing director, PWP announced on 1 April.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

DIFC recognises BVI liquidator

29 March 2019

The courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre have recognised a British Virgin Islands court’s appointment of a liquidator for the first time.

In a 25 March rulingJustice Ali Al Madhani granted the application for recognition filed by Kalo BVI managing director Paul Pretlove as joint liquidator of forex brokerage firm FCI Markets.

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EU Parliament passes restructuring directive

28 March 2019

The European Parliament has endorsed the new EU directive on preventive restructuring frameworks, passing reforms hoped to streamline insolvency procedures across Europe.

MEPs passed the directive at a plenary session in Strasbourg on 28 March, following a debateheld the day before. 327 members voted in favour, with 34 against and 142 abstentions.

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English court stays tax authority’s MF Global claim pending German action

25 March 2019

The German Federal Tax Office (GTA) can proceed with a €52 million withholding tax claim against insolvent broker MF Global’s UK subsidiary in Germany, after the High Court in London agreed to stay its English action.

In a judgment handed down on 22 March, Mr Justice Hildyard said there were “rare and compelling” reasons for granting a stay, provided that the German Fiscal Court in Cologne was an available forum to decide the dispute.

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Paper maker Sequana calls in receivers in France and UK

25 March 2019

Paper company Sequana will convert French “safeguard” proceedings for some of its subsidiaries into a receivership, saying it is unable to file a restructuring plan in the wake of a €135 million English High Court judgment against it last month.

The Commercial Court of Nanterre approved Sequana’s request to convert the proceedings for its UK subsidiary Arjowiggins and two French affiliates under the same brand on 21 March, the company announced.

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Paperchase CVA approved introducing turnover-aligned rents

25 March 2019

Creditors of UK stationery chain Paperchase have approved a company voluntary arrangement that counsel Kirkland & Ellis describes as “the first CVA of the current cycle” to introduce turnover rents, aligning retailers’ leases to their cash generation.

The stationery chain’s joint CVA supervisor, KPMG partner Will Wright in London, announced that creditors had approved the “innovative CVA proposal” on 22 March. Wright, who worked on the CVA with partner David Costley-Wood at KPMG in Manchester, said its approval would allow Paperchase to move forward with additional financial and operational restructuring plans. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

BVI court annuls winding-up of Chinese-run hotel development

25 March 2019

A British Virgin Islands court has annulled a winding-up order for a Chinese developer’s hotel project, after overturning a ruling in a dispute between the development’s owners.

Three judges of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court issued the decision on 14 March, annulling the winding-up order and the appointment of joint liquidators over BVI-incorporated Crown Treasure.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

German filmmaker’s estate files Florida Chapter 15

22 March 2019

Funds in a Florida bank account belonging to the late German filmmaker and Federico Fellini collaborator Gideon Bachmann are at the centre of a new Chapter 15 application, two years after he died seemingly bankrupt in Germany.

Peter Jost, a partner at Jost Rechtsanwälte in Stuttgart, applied to the Tampa division of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida for recognition as foreign representative of Bachmann’s estate on 13 March.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Spanish court approves refinancing agreement for insolvent Isolux

22 March 2019

Multinational construction group Isolux has secured approval of a refinancing agreement from a Spanish court, in an unusual decision outlining when homologation processes are open to companies already in insolvency proceedings.

Judge Carlos Nieto Delgado of the Mercantile Court of Madrid issued the decision on 18 December, finding that Isolux’s plan could be granted homologation because it sought to refinance claims that arose after the insolvency order was made.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Shareholders back Russian billionaire’s rescue plan for Spanish retailer

21 March 2019

Uría Menéndez and Clifford Chance are advising the board of Spanish supermarket chain Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación (Dia) in rescue talks, where shareholders have voted to back a plan put forward by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

During a general meeting in Madrid on 20 March, Dia’s shareholders voted in favour of a €500 million share capital increase proposed by Fridman’s Luxemburg-based investment company LetterOne, which owns 29% of Dia through its L1 Retail fund.

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German wind turbine maker Senvion appoints London restructuring adviser

20 March 2019

Hamburg wind turbine maker Senvion has hired a London-based restructuring adviser with credits on several cases that have seen centre of main interests and governing law shifts from Europe to the UK to help it seek a refinancing.

Senvion announced on 20 March it has appointed Neil Robson, a partner at turnaround advisory firm THM Partners, as its chief restructuring officer, as the company pursues a “transformation program” to stem losses.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Cleary overturns Brussels’ rejection of Italian bank rescue

19 March 2019

An EU court has upheld the 2014 rescue of Italy's troubled Banca Tercas, accepting a challenge to a European Commission state aid ruling from a banking consortium represented by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

The General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on 19 March that the rescue did not include the use of Italian state resources and were not imputable to the state. The court’s English language summary of the ruling can be found here.

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Cambridge Analytica seeks winding-up in London as US creditor objects

18 March 2019

The joint administrators of Cambridge Analytica’s six UK companies have applied for winding-up orders and to have themselves appointed as liquidators – but a New York-based creditor has raised concerns about their independence.

At a hearing in the High Court of Justice in London on 18 March, lawyers for US academic David Carroll told Mr Justice Norris that it would be “inappropriate” to appoint the current joint administrators – Crowe UK partners Vincent Green and Mark Newman – as liquidators, and to do so could undermine public confidence in the UK’s insolvency procedures.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Interserve files for administration after shareholders reject restructuring

15 March 2019

EY's Hunter Kelly and Alan Hudson have been appointed administrators over UK construction services company Interserve, hours after it failed to secure shareholder approval for a restructuring plan.  

Kelly and Hudson were appointed over Interserve Plc, the holding company for the Interserve Group, on 15 March after the plan failed to win approval at a shareholders' general meeting earlier the same day. 

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

UK Supreme Court sides with tax office in Lehman interest dispute

13 March 2019

The joint administrators of Lehman Brothers' main European arm must deduct income tax before paying interest to creditors, after the United Kingdom’s highest court sided with tax authorities in a long-running dispute.

On 13 March in the UK Supreme Court, a five-judge bench led by Lord Briggs dismissed the joint administrators’ appeal against the Court of Appeal’s 2017 ruling that interest payable to the creditors of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (LBIE) amounts to “yearly interest” under the Income Tax Act 2007.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

“Nasty little trick”: UK MP slams pre-packs after Pensions Regulator drops Johnston Press probe

12  March 2019

The chair of a UK parliamentary committee has criticised a report by the Pensions Regulator into publisher Johnston Press’ insolvency, labelling the regulator’s decision to rule out the use of anti-avoidance powers over its pre-packaged administration sale as “beyond baffling”.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) confirmed in the 11 May report it would drop an investigation into the sale of the company’s assets in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, after finding no evidence that the insolvency was avoidable. global restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency practice, and of its UK and European practice.

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Flybe cleared for takeover as UK scheme approved

8 March 2019

The English High Court has approved a shareholders' scheme for UK regional airline Flybe, finalising its takeover by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic as part of a January rescue deal.

Mr Justice Norris approved the company’s takeover by way of a scheme of arrangement on 8 March after shareholders voted for it on 4 March, the company says. Flybe was advised by Bryan Cave partner Nick Myatt with Erskine Chambers’ Andrew Thornton.

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English appeal court weighs in on floating charge avoidance

8 March 2019

In the absence of any previous authorities, an English appeal court has given guidance on how to value payments exempt from the UK Insolvency Act’s section on avoidance of floating charges.  

In an 8 March decision from Lord Justice Henderson with agreement from Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Moylan, the England and Wales Court of Appeal determined that a law firm’s £3.86 million (US$5 million) fixed-fee agreement cannot, in its entirety, be saved from section 245 of the UK Insolvency Act, which deals with the avoidance of floating charges created in a relevant period before a debtor enters insolvency.

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Reimer hires new head of litigation from Arnold & Porter

8 March 2019

German bankruptcy boutique Reimer has hired Alexander Druckenbrodt as its new head of litigation in Frankfurt.

Druckenbrodt will join Reimer Rechtsanwälte as a partner on 1 April, after over 12 years with Arnold & Porter and its German predecessor Kaye Scholer, with which it merged last year.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

DLA Piper partner duo to depart for Mayer Brown

1 March 2019

Mayer Brown has announced it is hiring a pair of senior DLA Piper partners in London - including one of its restructuring group’s global co-chairs and the head of its London practice.

Partners Michael Fiddy and Amy Jacks will join Mayer Brown as co-leaders respectively of its global restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency practice, and of its UK and European practice.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Compression tights maker Skins enters insolvency in UK and Switzerland

1 March 2019

An Australian sportswear company, Skins, has entered UK and Swiss insolvency proceedings with Wilkins Kennedy partners as administrators, after collapsing under debts left over from a 2008 crisis-era private equity deal.

Wilkins Kennedy insolvency director Nick Parsk and partner Louise Brittain were appointed joint administrators to Skins’ UK subsidiary on 15 February, advised by London law firm Fletcher Day.

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“A strong whiff of old-fashioned forum shopping”: English court stays winding up in favour of Italian proceedings

1 March 2019

An English court has stayed an attempt to force a UK-based fund manager to wind up an Italian investment fund, finding that Italy is a more appropriate forum for the claims and rejecting arguments that EU regulations should have barred the stay. 

On 28 February, Murray Rosen QC, sitting as a judge in the High Court of England and Wales, stayed the action brought against Petricca & Co Capital, a fund manager incorporated in England but with assets exclusively located in Italy.

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Return to feudalism? UK tax authority seeks feedback on preferential status plans

1 March 2019

The UK tax authority is inviting comments on its plans to become a secondary preferential creditor in insolvencies, as lawyers and insolvency practitioners called the proposals a return to “feudal times” and a “cash grab” that could impact the already ailing retail sector at a time of Brexit uncertainty.

Opening the consultation on 26 February, tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said it was seeking views from interested parties, including businesses, lenders, insolvency practitioners, advisers and representative bodies, on plans that would see it come third in the insolvency hierarchy after secured creditors with fixed charges and insolvency practitioners’ fees and expenses.

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New Agrokor to be renamed as UK scheme approved

28 February 2019

Croatian food conglomerate Agrokor has announced its restructuring will become effective on 1 April, when it will be renamed Fortenova Group.

Agrokor announced the restructuring finish date after a meeting of its interim creditors’ council in Croatia on 28 February, the same day a UK court sanctioned its restructuring of a €1.06 billion English law-governed loan facility.

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Lehman offshoot dodges €411m swaps claim in London court

25 February 2019

The English High Court has sided with a Swiss Lehman Brothers entity in its challenge against a €411 million creditor claim seeking losses from terminated swaps transactions.

Mr Justice Snowden ruled on 22 February that companies connected to the late Klaus Tschira, a billionaire co-founder of German software company SAP, wrongly calculated their losses from terminated swap agreements with Swiss company Lehman Brothers Finance (LBF).

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No sweet treats for Candey: UK firm denied success fees in Peak Hotels debacle

22 February 2019

Recognising foreign liquidation proceedings does not turn them into a liquidation under the UK Insolvency Act for the purpose of claiming success fees, the English High Court has ruled.

On 15 February, Andrew Hochhauser QC, sitting as deputy judge of the chancery division, found that a 2016 order, recognising a pair of British Virgin Islands (BVI) liquidators in the UK, did not turn their foreign proceedings into a liquidation under Parts IV or V of the Insolvency Act 1986 in a way that could have allowed UK law firm Candey to recover success fees.

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Duff & Phelps hires new managing director

22 February 2019

Duff & Phelps has hired a new managing director for its UK and European restructuring advisory practice.

Ben Collett joined the firm on 4 February from multinational engineering company IMI Precision Engineering, where he was the global director of strategic projects.

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BDO appointed as administrators of collapsed airline flybmi

18 February 2019

BDO partners Graham NewtonTony Nygate and James Stephen have been appointed joint administrators of UK-based airline flybmi, which ceased operations over the weekend.

Flybmi announced it was filing for administration on 16 February after it cancelled all of its flights, reportedly leaving thousands of passengers stranded across Britain and Europe.

Read full news on the website of Global Restructuring Review

Swiss cosmetics distributor survives winding-up, despite lacking defence

14 February 2019

Justice Jonathan Harris in Hong Kong has declined to wind up a company established to distribute Swiss cosmetics into China, despite it failing to establish a bona fide defence on substantial grounds against a creditor's petition.

In a decision just published but issued on 1 February, Justice Harris in the Hong Kong Court of First Instance said though Swiss Cosmeceutics (Asia) had failed to meet its burden of proof to avoid being wound-up, it had placed HK$1.2 million (US$150,000) into court as security.

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Agrokor proposes English scheme to complete restructuring

14 February 2019

Croatian food conglomerate Agrokor has proposed an English scheme of arrangement and obtained court permission for a creditors’ meeting, hoping to bind a group of lenders to its global restructuring settlement.

On 14 February, Mr Justice Timothy Fancourt in the English High Court granted the company’s request to convene a scheme creditors’ meeting for 26 February after a proposal by Agrokor’s counsel, South Square’s Tom Smith QC and Kirkland & Ellis.

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Administrator of television network breached his duty of care

13 February 2019

The administrator of the UK arm of a Pakistani television network acted negligently by selling some of the company’s intangible assets at a significant undervalue, the High Court of England and Wales has found.

On 11 February, Chief Judge Briggs of the Insolvency and Companies Court ruled that Cooper Young partner Zafar Iqbal in London failed in his duty of care and was in breach of his fiduciary duties as administrator of ARY Digital UK.

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Maud granted last-minute documents access ahead of bankruptcy trial

12 February 2019

UK property mogul Glen Maud’s defence against what he calls an abusive bankruptcy petition has had a last-minute boost before trial next week, after winning access to documents from a dispute between two of his creditors.

At a hearing on 12 February, Mr Justice Richard Snowden granted Maud’s application, telling counsel for Luxembourg investment fund Edgeworth Capital that they must make “best endeavours” to produce the documents the same day, or failing that, by 10am on 13 February at latest.

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UK director’s extradition to Italy on bankruptcy fraud charges delayed

11 February 2019

The English High Court has just stopped short of rejecting a UK national’s appeal against his extradition to Italy on bankruptcy fraud and money laundering charges, calling for more information on his one remaining argument, regarding the Italian case’s progress.

In a 13 December decision published on 7 February, Mr Justice Popplewell and Lord Justice Hickinbottom rejected three grounds of appeal against Stephen Carpenter’s extradition and directed the parties to file written submissions on a fourth ground of appeal within 14 days.

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Freshfields and Schultze & Braun advising as Germania files for insolvency

11 February 2019

Teams from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Schultze & Braun, Kebekus et Zimmermann and Dentons are advising Berlin-based airline Germania as it goes through insolvency proceedings alongside two of its subsidiaries.

Germania filed proceedings in the Charlottenburg District Court on 4 February and Rüdiger Wienberg of German law firm Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm was appointed provisional administrator the next day.

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"Are you saying there’s nothing you could have done better?": UK MPs question audit regulator on Carillion

5 February 2019

A committee of UK parliamentarians has accused the UK’s audit regulator of “sitting on” information that should be in the public domain for the benefit of company stakeholders.

At a 5 February hearing before the House of Commons business, energy and industrial strategy select committee, MPs asked Stephen Haddrill, CEO of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), whether his organisation could have done more to prevent the failures of companies like Carillion, and queried whether it was right that representatives of the Big Four accountancy firms sit on the regulator’s board.

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