There is never a greater demand for timely, expert and commercial advice than in times of distress and insolvency, and our team has a wealth of experience providing this.  We enjoy assisting our clients in maximising their recoveries and minimising their risk.  We work closely with many lenders and international creditors, as well as professional and SME boards, to consider strategy in distressed scenarios.  We also work with all the major firms of insolvency practitioners in implementing their strategies and bringing claims, as well as using insolvency processes as a fraud recovery tactic.

  • Our expert team of specialists cover the full spectrum of the distressed curve, acting for companies, boards, secured and unsecured creditors and insolvency practitioners throughout the industry.
  • In particular, we:
    • assist companies in dealings with their secured and unsecured creditors, and other stakeholders including pension trustees. We offer advice as to strategies, risk and responsibilities.  We also frequently advise boards of directors on their personal risks and ways to mitigate the same.
    • advise creditors on maximising their recoveries in a distressed or insolvency scenario. Any such strategy must balance the risk and cost of an insolvency process, against the alternative of consensual solutions, and we have decades of experience in advising on the likely outcomes in such situations.
    • work with insolvency practitioners in affecting sales of businesses and assets in time pressured environments, both maximising realisations and mitigating exposure for the IP. We have teams of talented specialists with expert skills, and experience in distressed situations, to assist in sales in the Pharma/Life Sciences, Energy & Natural Resources, Tech and Finance sectors.
    • litigate for insolvency practitioners and funders, bringing Insolvency Act claims, misfeasance and breach of duty actions and trust and tracing claims, as well as the usual panoply of litigation found in commercial litigation practises. We are especially experienced in CIS/Russia issues.

Our clients include listed companies to SME, Big 4 accountants to niche insolvency firms.  All demand a high level of dedication and technical excellence that we aim to provide on all our cases with a very partner led approach.


 

Notable Deals

  • Representing Plastipak Holdings, a US packaging company in the acquisition of the PET Division of La Seda de Barcelona (“LSB”), a Spanish listed company which, together with its European subsidiaries had filed for Insolvency at Barcelona Commercial Courts. The acquisition, for an amount of €230 million involved assets in 12 different jurisdictions. We advised the client within the bidding proceeding at the Court, as well as during the discussions carried out with LSB’s Insolvency Administrator regarding the Asset Purchase Agreement and defining the best corporate and tax structure to implement the cross-border acquisition bearing in mind there were assets outside the European Union.
  • Acted on the restructuring and subsequent administration of the Circle Oil Group of companies. This involved a COMI shift to the UK and the restructuring of $50 million secured debt.  Fieldfisher advised the companies and the administrators in respect of assets and debts spread across the UK, Morocco and Egypt, dealing with oil and gas exploration licences with the governments of those countries. 
  • Acted for the administrators of Redx Pharma Plc, an AIM listed pharma company, in a ground-breaking corporate rescue in which Redx was returned from administration to the control of its directors and its shares were re-listed on AIM. Redx operated in the highly specialised pharmaceuticals sector and traded whilst in administration, raising a number of complex issues which were highly unusual in the context of an administration.  Eventually the joint administrators sold patents to a US pharmaceuticals company for US$40 million enabling the rescue.
  • Acting for UWV (Employee Insurance Agency; an autonomous administrative authority commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment to implement employee insurances and provide labour market and data services), a regular client of the firm, at the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. The issue concerned the ranking of claims by the governmental client in the insolvency of a Dutch company, and we successfully obtained a judgment that the claims ranked as a super-priority, behind only the liquidator's own fees.
  • Acted for a global manufacturer, which acquired a company that had entered into a facilities agreement with ISDA Master Agreement terms with Landsbanki. A dispute has arisen as to whether the original transactions were terminated after Landsbanki went into administration, which is made more difficult because in December 2015 Landsbanki came out of administration and it claims that the transactions were merely suspended as a result.
  • Acted for the commissioner, appointed by the Italian Ministry of the economic development pursuant to special bankruptcy law for large companies, to manage a Group of companies with more than six hundred employees and more than €100 million of revenue, to assist him in: the agreement with the unions and the suppliers to manage the continuity of the business during the special bankruptcy procedure; the assessment of branches of companies; the acquisition of the main branch from a Chinese Group; all the revocatory actions to collect payments; the civil and penal claims against the board of directors and the auditors; the agreement with the commissioners of the branch of company in Austria; all further actions, agreements, claims thereby finalized for the best possible payment solution to the creditors of the companies.

 

Expertise spotlight