Legal Business

Hedge funds: Get debt go

In the global financial crisis, the hedge fund industry lost about a fifth of its value. Now distressed debt in Europe is seen as the route to renewed wealth, and two law firms look set to dominate, again.

When the dotcom bubble burst at the start of the Noughties and the fantastic bull market of the previous decade shuddered to a halt, two little-known American firms in London cleaned up, big style. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Bingham McCutchen made hay a decade ago acting for bondholders on a wave of contentious restructurings that pitted American hedge funds against European senior debt holders. Ten years on, and some serious personnel changes later, they’re doing the same again.