Kennedys’ global insolvency and restructuring team has a broad client base including insolvency practitioners, government departments, banks, insurance companies, directors, shareholders, creditors and companies in financial distress.
We have particular expertise in complex investigations and contentious insolvencies, including pre-insolvency investigations, provisional liquidations and planning with stakeholders where there has been suspected wrongdoing. Indeed, we act for insolvency practitioners in a wide range of claims arising from alleged wrongdoing and many of these cases involve serious and complex fraud, tax evasion, money laundering or recovery of the proceeds of crime.
We are proud of our reputation for taking a pragmatic and commercial approach to achieve the best outcome for our clients, who return to us again and again to handle challenging and significant domestic and cross-border assignments.
The team’s skill set is complemented by specialist legal expertise across finance, corporate/M&A, employment, real estate, commercial dispute resolution and white collar crime and investigations, providing a seamless and integrated service.
Our insolvency and restructuring services include
- Acting for administrators, liquidators, receivers, trustees in bankruptcy and other insolvency practitioners
- All forms of insolvency litigation and associated litigation
- Investor and creditor claims
- Directors duties, directors defence and investigations
- Directors disqualification
- Employment issues
- Purchase of businesses and assets from insolvent companies
- Fraud litigation, protection and recovery of assets, freezing orders
- Personal insolvency
- Advisory work in relation to the effects of insolvency law on contracts, corporate structures, property transactions and other areas
- Banking and financial litigation
- Contingency and rescue planning
- Regulatory compliance
- Insolvency solutions including administration and pre-packaged sales
- Voluntary Arrangements, Schemes of Arrangement and Restructuring Plans
- Moratorium procedures
- Accelerated mergers and acquisitions
- Creditor, supplier and customer negotiations
- Security reviews and enhancement
- Debt and equity restructuring and refinancing
- Non-performing loan advice
- Cross border issues
- Share buy backs
- Capital reductions
- Share redemptions
- Allotments, including debt capitalisation
- Share for share exchanges
- Share consolidation, sub-division, conversion and the creation of new share classes
- Ring fencing and licence-back of assets and intellectual property
- Statutory and non-statutory demergers
- Legal diligence of historic restructures and rectification (so far as is possible), particularly in the context of M&A transactions
Our work highlights from around the world
- Placing companies involved in the provision of labour, in the construction industry, into Provisional Liquidation following suspected fraud and advising upon asset recovery and enforcement of searches of the companies registered and trading addresses.
- Placing a number of companies into Provisional Liquidation, assisting with the investigation into suspected fraud, and successfully defending an application challenging the appointment of the Provisional Liquidators
- Acting for the joint liquidators of companies that operated a currency exchange business in an application to determine whether monies paid to the companies immediately before their insolvency were held on trust for the payors.
- Successfully applying to court on behalf of the bank for an Administration Order in circumstances where the company’s indebtedness to the bank and the bank’s security (including its floating charge) were being challenged by the directors of the company.
- Advising the joint liquidators of a multinational telecommunications business with complex applications under section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986, for disclosure of information from the company’s worldwide professional advisers.
- Advising on the restructure of a group of companies which owns and operates restaurant and cafe businesses throughout South East England. Restructuring total facilities of c.£26 million to the group, drafting facility documentation to allow for the retrenching of the facilities and the novation of certain parts of the debt, and the drafting of further security. In addition, acting on restructuring the equity of the group to reflect the updated equity profile of the existing stakeholders post-restructure and completing a share warrant.
- Acting on a pre-pack sale of a group of companies, which involved drafting sale documentation for the sale of the business and assets to a Newco, appointing administrators, drafting new facility documentation to effect the roll-over of debt into the purchasing vehicle and security. The matter also involved a restructure of the equity of the group and also significant work on the property of the portfolio, within a tight timescale.
- Advising a financial institution in relation to a substantial security review and enforcement options regarding a cross-collaterised property portfolio of properties located throughout the country involving lending facilities of c. £150m.
- Advising a financial institution on a spread of multimillion pound facility portfolios currently in default as regards enforcement options against debtors and third party guarantors, including advice on cross-border and COVID-19 enforcement issues.
- Placing companies into compulsory liquidation and assisting the private liquidators in investigations into suspected fraud and advising the private liquidators in relation to the merits of a claim.
- Advising the private liquidators of a multinational trading company in relation to a tracing action and forensic accounting in relation to the assets of a company that were dissipated by its directors and successfully commencing litigation against its directors and former directors. After trial we successfully obtained a judgment against the directors and ex directors and enforcement proceedings against these directors and ex-directors are currently being pursued.
- Advising the private liquidators of an offshore law firm in relation to potential fraudulent activities undertaken by its former managing partner.
- Advising an insurance company on the interpretation of ipso facto clauses in the light of section 440 of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018.
- Acting for a majority creditor and shareholder of Opus Offshore Limited, a Bermuda exempted company providing offshore drilling, engineering and project management services to the oil and gas industry via subsidiaries in Singapore and elsewhere, in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Bermuda involving competing petitions for the winding up of and competing applications for the appointment of Provisional Liquidators in a matter that gave rise to the leading authority in Bermuda on the principles to apply to competing petitioners and competing provisional liquidator appointments: Re Opus Offshore Limited  Bda LR 14.
- Acting for the joint liquidators of Kingate Euro fund and Kingate Global Fund Ltd., (two of the largest Madoff feeder funds, incorporated in the BVI but with places of business in Bermuda), initially appointed in the BVI, in successfully seeking orders winding up the funds and appointing the BVI liquidators as permanent liquidators in Bermuda, assisting in contested applications to exercise document production rights: Pricewaterhousecoopers Bermuda (A Firm) v Kingate Global Fund Ltd ((in Liquidation))  Bda LR 41; and in various other matters arising in the course of the liquidation.
- Acting for the successful petitioning creditor in contested proceedings for the winding up of Gerova Financial Group Ltd, an exempted company owning a failed reinsurance business: Re Gerova Financial Group Ltd.  Bda LR 43 ; Gerova Financial Group Ltd.  Bda LR 20).
- Acting for the petitioning creditor in contested proceedings for the winding up of Titan Petrochemicals Group Limited leading to a successful application (unusually, against the company’s wishes) for the appointment of joint provisional liquidators with soft powers (for restructuring purposes) (Re Titan Petrochemicals Limited  Bda LR 76).
- Acting for joint provisional liquidators appointed with “soft powers” for restructuring purposes in connection with the successful Scheme of Arrangement in 2021 of the debts of Samson Paper Holdings Ltd, a Bermuda exempted company listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange acting as an investment holding company primarily engaged in the trading of paper products.
- Acting for the representative of the class of fixed and indexed policyholders of Northstar Financial Group (Bermuda) Ltd. (in liquidation) and Omnia Ltd. (in liquidation), in proceedings to determine the existence and extent of the use of segregated accounts by two companies in liquidation in Bermuda.
- Acting for a large US manufacturer, leading creditor on insolvency proceedings against a major construction company in Chile.
- Acting for creditors in large and complex credit restructuring negotiations prior to or during insolvency proceedings in Latin America.
- Acting for the main creditors of a major private clinic and healthcare centre in Santiago, Chile, on the appointment and control of provisional managers.
- Acting for minority shareholders affected by mismanagement, insolvency and restructuring of a major Chilean retail chain store.
- Advising and acting for retail credit card issuers on cardholders´ individual insolvency proceedings.