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Restructuring and insolvency - areas of experience

Contentious insolvency

Contentious insolvency

The Eversheds Sutherland insolvency disputes and investigations team has extensive experience of the full range of contentious issues which arise in an insolvency context, across our global network. Whatever the nature of the dispute, and wherever in the world it arises, our lawyers are dedicated to assisting you in reaching the best commercial outcome.

Our clients include banks, insolvency officeholders, debtors and other stakeholders, and the matters with which we assist them range from contested creditor claims to unravelling major international frauds.

Experience

Our recent experience includes:

  • Advising the administrators of Lehman Brothers Bankhaus in relation to cross-border litigation regarding client money claims totalling $1bn and related counterclaims
  • Advising the Hong Kong Liquidators of Lehman Brothers and MF Global on the unwinding of complex derivatives and securitisation positions
  • Advising the liquidator of an insolvent offshore fund on obtaining cross-border recognition and an evidence gathering exercise across four jurisdictions
  • Advising an investment bank in relation to a possible dispute about priorities in a £1bn securitisation structure
  • Successful actions to overturn antecedent transactions and misfeasance claims against directors

Insolvency

Insolvency

As businesses increasingly operate across national borders, insolvencies with cross-border elements are at an all time high.

Whether for debtors, creditors or insolvency practitioners, such cases present particular challenges, and require specialist legal advice.

The Eversheds Sutherland restructuring team has extensive experience of cross-border insolvency, and has been involved with many of the main cases in this area, including Lehman Brothers, and the Budget Rent a Car and MG Rover cases which set important precedents on the effect of the EC Bankruptcy Regulation.

With our network of international offices, we offer full international support, with a single point of contact for clients on even the most multi-jurisdictional case.

Experience

Our recent experience includes:

  • advising the administrator of Lehman Brothers Bankhaus in relation to cross-border litigation regarding client money claims totalling $1bn and related counterclaims;
  • advising the Hong Kong liquidators of Lehman Brothers and MF Global on the unwinding of complex derivatives and securitisation positions;
  • advising the liquidator of an insolvent offshore investment fund on obtaining cross-border recognition and an evidence gathering exercise across four jurisdictions;
  • the liquidation of the Forsyth Partners international fund management group, including the first ever insolvencies under the law of the Dubai International Financial Centre;
  • acting for a UK clearing bank in relation to distressed debts exceeding 120 million euros with assets located in a number of jurisdictions including Ireland and France.

Leveraged restructuring

Leveraged restructuring

To effectively restructure a leverage finance transaction,whether from the perspective of lender, borrower, or sponsor, you need to address a range of issues. These include renegotiation or refinancing of banking facilities, restructuring equity stakes and insolvency contingency planning.

What we do for our clients

At Eversheds Sutherland we have a unique team of lawyers to help you achieve this. Drawn from our restructuring, banking, private equity and tax teams, our lawyers work together regularly on the restructuring of leveraged finance transactions which are stressed or distressed.

As well as structuring and implementing the financing arrangements, we also provide legal advice relating to the operation of the business itself. We can add significant value by bringing our sector expertise to restructuring cases.

Eversheds Sutherland ensure that the needs of the business are properly dealt with. We find this part of our work is often the most valuable element of the advice we deliver to our clients, helping them to better understand and control the underlying business.

Independent comment

They’re always willing to fight their client’s corner in often challenging situations” and “They always meet my expectations, which are high in the first place, and they always come up with commercial advice"
Chambers UK

Personal insolvency

Personal insolvency

Our personal insolvency team has vast experience of advising insolvency practitioners, financial institutions and creditors on all aspects of personal insolvency and bankruptcy.

  • The scope of work undertaken by the team includes:
  • advising creditors on options and remedies available to them when a customer/client is insolvent/bankrupt
  • advising on enforcement of guarantees
  • advising trustees in bankruptcy, including international aspects
  • asset tracing and forensic investigations for insolvency practitioners and creditors
  • high level advisory work for creditors and insolvency practitioners in relation to the IVA and debt advice sector and its consolidation, FSA/OFT investigations/requirements, payment protection claims

Experience

Eversheds Sutherland has experience of seeking recognition and recovery of assets on behalf of UK office holders in the following jurisdictions: Holland, France, Spain, USA, Jordan, Jersey, Ireland, Honduras and Hong Kong.

The team are currently acting on behalf of a big four UK accountancy firm on a sole trader bankruptcy with a turnover in excess of £250,000,000. This case has involved numerous cross-border issues and resulted in a successful action in the Dutch Supreme Court to obtain records held by a Dutch entity.

Other actions involve acting for one of the big four accountancy firms in challenging a Jersey based trust as a sham for the benefit of UK creditors.

The team have also acted for a Hong Kong based creditor in connection with the securing of UK assets of a Hong Kong resident pending a Hong Kong bankruptcy order being made and recognised in England and Wales.

Real estate restructuring

Real estate restructuring

Eversheds Sutherland real estate restructuring team comprises dedicated specialists from our restructuring, finance, real estate and litigation groups from across our international network.

Acting for lenders, insolvency practitioners and creditors across all areas of the distressed real estate sector, we focus on delivering practical strategic advice. Whether assisting on bespoke turnaround and recovery options or traditional enforcement scenarios, our lawyers recognise that there is no “one size fits all” solution and are committed to finding innovative, cost effective solutions to the intricate issues that can affect distressed real estate.

Areas of expertise

  • Consensual restructurings and complex structured lending transactions, including bespoke profit share, overage and intercreditor arrangements 
  • Strategic advice on enforcement for lenders and borrowers, including licensing, construction,environmental and regulatory concerns 
  • Pre-sale estate and asset management aimed at preserving and maximising value 
  • Dispute management and litigation, including possession proceedings 
  • Project management and implementation of disposal strategies of both individual properties and distressed portfolios.

Recent experience

  • Acting for a UK clearing Bank on the restructure of a multi company multi site real estate development portfolio with debt in excess of £110m and advising the subsequently appointed administrators on the disposal and realisation strategy. 
  • Advised an overseas government agency on the sale of debt in excess of €25m relating to a UK branded hotel portfolio. 
  • Advised key stakeholders on the restructuring of the Southern Cross Group, the largest care home restructuring undertaken in the UK to date. 
  • Advised an International German Bank in respect of several debt restructuring processes across various European jurisdictions relating to its real estate debt portfolio in Spain, including shopping centres, office buildings and industrial parks. 
  • Acting for a UK clearing Bank on the restructuring and enforcement analysis of their syndicate position in respect of debt secured on a portfolio of real estate investment assets.  
  • Advising LPA Receivers on the realisation and disposal strategy regarding prime London real estate asset sold for £28m.

Independent recognition

Strong national practice benefiting from superb relationships with leading banking teams across the country. Instructed by all the major banks and accountancy firms. Frequently advises on complex transactions involving leisure, retail and real estate businesses.”
Chambers UK 2014; Restructuring & Insolvency