This award recognises teams that have played a critical role on the most complex restructuring mandates of the year. In choosing winners in this category, judges will be looking for clear examples of innovation and where the lawyers have achieved crucial outcomes for their clients.
2017 WINNER: Ashurst
Advising EnQuest, the largest independent UK oil producer in the UK North Sea, on its financial restructuring. This involved senior debt, high-yield bonds, retail notes and an equity raise across multiple jurisdictions.
ALLEN & OVERY
Advising three of the four main Greek banks on a critical debt-for-equity swap that allowed them to recapitalise. To overcome various legal obstacles that were delaying the swap, A&O devised a novel holding instrument – a non-transferable receipt.
Advised the administrators on the special administration of Avalon Investment Services, which followed the rogue actions of its former managing director. The team deployed a novel ‘lift and drop’ technique, which ensured the clients had access to their assets throughout the process.
CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON
Represented the Kazakh iron ore producer, Eurasian Resources Group, in its $5.7bn dual-track debt restructuring, which was crucial to the survival of the group. The deal was unusual because the debt was split 50/50 between the two key lenders – VTB and Sberbank – without an intercreditor arrangement.
Represented Codere on the restructuring of its revolving credit facility and high-yield bond indebtedness, a process that lasted two-and-a-half years and involved establishing a new English company and launching an English scheme of arrangement to restructure the debt.
Advising Gulf Keystone Petroleum on its complex restructuring, which was achieved through a UK scheme of arrangement. In order to make a success of the workout, the firm had to win the support of 31,000 existing shareholders in what was a careful balancing of the interests of notes, bonds and shareholders.
WHITE & CASE
Advising the creditors on the restructuring of African Bank, South Africa’s sixth-largest lender. This was the first African banking crisis resolution process in 12 years and was modelled on the frameworks established in the EU and UK after the 2008 financial crisis.