Practice/Industry Group Overview
Edwards Wildman's Restructuring & Insolvency Department has broad experience in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings, cross-border proceedings and other distressed situations. Our lawyers regularly advise premier financial institutions, institutional investors, debt investors, finance companies, insurers and sureties to enforce creditors’ rights and to achieve strategic goals in the context of structured transactions, commercial litigation, loan workout, debt restructurings and bankruptcy.
The lawyers in the Restructuring & Insolvency Department develop practical, integrated solutions to the issues that confront businesses and investors in distressed situations. Our strengths emanate from our abilities to understand the businesses and the markets in which our clients operate so as to develop strategies that mitigate the risks and capitalize upon the opportunities presented by insolvencies and other distressed situations. The firm’s vast experience in its core practice areas of private equity, debt financing, intellectual property and insurance further bolsters our ability to obtain maximum results for our clients.
Core strengths of our restructuring and insolvency practice include:
Corporate Trust and Bondholder Representations
Our insolvency lawyers represent bondholders, bondholder committees, indenture trustees and other holders of publicly-held debt in many of the largest and most complex Chapter 11 cases throughout the United States.
Significant engagements include:
- Representation of the initial ad hoc committees and subsequent unofficial committees of bondholders in various bankruptcies.
- Representation of the special official creditors’ committee to bondholders and trade creditors.
- Representation of the ad hoc committee of bondholders in out of court restructurings and in Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
- Representation of corporate trustees in their capacities as mortgagee, pass-through trustee, subordination agent or indenture trustee in the Northwest Airlines and United Airlines Chapter 11 proceedings. Responsibilities included management of over 700 aircraft and hundreds of separate aircraft financing transactions, including enforcement of obligations under Sections 363, 365 and 1110, repossessions and foreclosures of collateral, restructuring transactions and litigations involving stipulated loss values, equity squeeze and other indenture provisions and tax indemnity agreements.
- Representation of indenture trustees in the Chapter 11 proceedings of numerous retail corporations.
Investments in Distressed Businesses, Private Equity and Venture Capital
Our restructuring and insolvency lawyers regularly direct clients through distressed mergers and acquisitions, whether through Section 363 sales, Chapter 11 plans or out-of-court transactions. We regularly represent equity sponsors and other investors in the acquisition of distressed businesses or assets, restructuring of portfolio companies or divesting of troubled businesses. Our Restructuring & Insolvency Department focuses on advising bond and equity investors on minimizing the risks or damages of fraudulent transfers, subordinations, recharacterizations and breaches of fiduciary duty when extending credit or investing in distressed businesses.
Recent engagements include the representation of private equity investors in developing and implementing strategies to reorganize capital structure and affect ownership change of a portfolio company, including obtaining releases and channeling injunctions.
In addition, we regularly advise private equity clients on asset acquisitions of distressed business, including due diligence review, bidding and stalking horse requirements, bid structuring, auctions and court approval hearings.
Restructurings, Debtor-In-Possession Loans and Exit Financings
Through our varied representation of global banks and financial institutions, our group has enforced and restructured all types of debt investments at every level of the capital structure, from senior secured and second lien loans, to mezzanine and subordinate debt financings. We can quickly focus on the particular concerns of each healthy and distressed debt financings to develop and implement an effective resolution to the problem at hand. Whether we are structuring and negotiating complicated intercreditor and subordination agreements or providing risk management and bankruptcy advice on complex transactions, we protect our clients.
With the increasing globalization of business, a growing portion of our practice involves cross-border insolvency cases, financings, acquisitions and other transactions. Our restructuring and insolvency lawyers have broad experience representing clients in ancillary proceedings under Chapter 15 and its precursor, Section 304, as well as in insolvency proceedings outside the United States.
The engagements of our Restructuring and Insolvency lawyers include:
- Currently representing a creditor suing an Icelandic bank in London proceedings raising further issues related to the European Financial Institutions cross border insolvency regime.
- Currently representing a shareholder obtaining appointment by the Court in Isle of Man of a receiver over the shares held in a subsidiary.
- Represented noteholders in restructuring of an international communications company involving parallel proceedings in the United States and Bermuda bankruptcy courts.
- Represented an administrative and collateral agent for post-petition lenders involving parallel bankruptcy proceedings in the United States and Canada.
- Represented a debtor transportation company involving restructuring proceedings in United States, Canada and Mexico.
- Represented a debtor toy company involving bankruptcy proceedings in United States and Hong Kong.
- Represented the London branch of an Icelandic bank in proceedings in London leading to the first English decision related to the European Financial Institutions cross border insolvency regime.
Insurance & Reinsurance
Edwards Wildman provides services for creditors of insolvent insurers and reinsurers, insurance departments as rehabilitators and liquidators, and state guarantee funds and insolvency practitioners in the US. The practice in the UK (which is led by an authorized insolvency practitioner) is consistently ranked in the top five of some fifty firms in the field by Legal 500 and Chambers. In the UK we have extensive experience of acting for UK insurance and reinsurance companies in provisional liquidation and liquidation. Our lawyers have represented regulators, liquidation bureaus and insolvency practitioners with respect to the structuring and implementation of complex multi-party receiverships. We have advised both life/health and property/casualty guaranty funds regarding their rights and obligations under their enabling statutes and we regularly advise insurers and reinsurers in relation to their dealings with other companies in conservation, rehabilitation or liquidation.
Edwards Wildman's Restructuring & Insolvency Department will handle the full spectrum of issues and problems that arise in distressed situations and navigate these matters through to successful results both in bankruptcy proceedings or out-of-court restructurings.