Restructuring & Insolvency 2019: Analysis

The latest edition of WWL: Restructuring & Insolvency sees 575 individuals from across 42 jurisdictions highlighted in our guide. The lawyers listed are recognised for their market-leading work advising and representing stakeholders in matters across the restructuring and insolvency space.

Methodology

The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has idenitified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
 
Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.
 

The Americas and the Caribbean

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. James H M Sprayregen, PC Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Chicago
2. Kenneth N Klee Klee Tuchin Bogdanoff & Stern LLP, Los Angeles
3. John Sandrelli Dentons Canada LLP, Vancouver
4. Dennis F Dunne Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, New York
5. Neil Lupton Walkers, Grand Cayman
6. Chris D Simard Bennett Jones LLP, Calgary
7. Thomas B Walper Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, Los Angeles
8. Robert J Chadwick Goodmans LLP, Toronto

Leading Firms

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 

This US powerhouse sees five of its practitioners highlighted in the region this year.
Co-chair of the firm’s global restructuring team, Daniel Golden is held in high esteem, with sources giving strong support to his inclusion in our guide. His practice features superb expertise on out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcies.
Lisa Beckerman is a well-respected name in the space, with peers noting her wide-ranging expertise advising both debtors and creditors. She excels on matters including chapter 11 proceedings and corporate restructurings.
Michael Stamer is a prominent practitioner in the field and someone who commands great respect from market players. Sources state that he is “excellent at corporate restructuring”.
Ira Dizengoff has a stellar reputation in the region and is lauded by observers as “one of the best” practitioners in the USA. He advises both creditors and debtors on distressed asset acquisition and corporate restructurings.
Abid Qureshi is an impressive practitioner who gains widespread praise from commentators this year for his handling of chapter 11 restructurings and cross-border insolvencies.

Goodmans

Canadian firm Goodmans stands out in the market with an impressive six listings.
Robert Chadwick is a “very knowledgeable and practical” debtor-side lawyer, with clients stating that he is “always able to come up with creative solutions to complex issues”. He is particularly adept on corporate restructurings and M&A-related issues.
Jay Carfagnini possesses an impressive reputation in the North American region, with respondents lauding his expertise on bankruptcy proceedings and corporate reorganisations.
Gale Rubenstein is an excellent practitioner who garners effusive praise from respondents to our research this year. She is particularly adept on investor-side matters and has a deep understanding of liquidations and corporate restructuring.
Brendan O’Neill is a frequently recognised figure on the contentious side of the Canadian market, with commentators rating him highly for his work on mass tort-related restructurings and bankruptcy-related litigation.

Klee Tuchin Bogdanoff & Stern

Six of this firm’s most outstanding practitioners are recognised in our guide for their impressive work.
Kenneth Klee is a Global Elite Thought Leader and one of the most respected names in the market. He is “extremely well known” in the restructuring and insolvency space for the breadth of his expertise, and is particularly renowned for his skill in issues arising from chapter 11 reorganisations.
Michael Tuchin is widely recommended by respondents to our research who note his deep understanding of matters including chapter 11 reorganisations and corporate restructurings.
David Fidler draws plaudits from peers for his wide-ranging experience in restructuring. He frequently acts for both creditors and debtors on major chapter 11 cases.
Lee Bogdanoff is a “first-rate” practitioner who commands great respect from observers to our research. He runs an enviable practice that sees him represent debtors on asset acquisitions and corporate reorganisations.

Kirkland & Ellis

This full-service firm sees practitioners highlighted from across its US offices, receiving four listings this year.
The firm has a top-notch practitioner in James Sprayregen PC, a Global Elite Thought Leader in our research and unquestionably a pre-eminent individual in the restructuring field. He is a legend in the chapter 11 space, having acted on some of the most sophisticated and high-profile cases in the area.
A distinguished name at the firm, David Seligman PC continues to impress market sources with his deep understanding of chapter 11 restructurings.
The oft-recommended Marc Kieselstein provides clients with wide-ranging expertise in the field, notable expertise and deep understanding of complex buy-outs and out-of-court workouts.
Edward Sassower has a superb reputation in the North American region. Peers speak highly of his practice which offers in-depth knowledge in out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcies.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

This firm is a dominant force in Canada and sees five of its practitioners highlighted in our guide.
Peter Rubin is a standout figure in the Canadian market and is rated among the top 10 individuals in the country in this year’s research. He has an excellent contentious practice advising clients on both domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings.
William Kaplan QC is commended for his adept handling of complex insolvency proceedings, with broad expertise across the natural resources and industrial sectors.
Kelly Bourassa is “one of the leading practitioners in Canada” according to observers. Peers state that she is “fantastic when acting for secured lenders and syndicates”.
Pamela Huff draws admiration from across the region as a go-to adviser for complex insolvency proceedings. She offers clients wide-ranging experience, having acted for debtors, asset-backed lenders and financial institutions during her 30-year career.
Linc Rogers is renowned in Canada for his expertise on matters relating to the US. Respondents to our research commend his work advising private equity funds on distressed acquisitions.

McMillan

McMillan is a first point of call for many in Canada and sees three of its lawyers recognised in our research this year.
Waël Rostom is a widely recognised name in the market who wins high praise from sources for his impressive knowledge of workouts, receiverships and distressed loans.
Peers speak highly of Andrew Kent, who maintains a prominent standing in the field. He is noted for his deep understanding of issues including reorganisation proceedings and distressed purchases.
Peter Reardon is a fantastic lawyer with a well-established practice that provides clients with a wealth of expertise on disputes relating to securities, franchising and leases.

Latham & Watkins

This Magic Circle firm demonstrates its international credentials with six impressive individuals highlighted in our guide.
Richard Levy has built a superb reputation in the North American region, with respondents praising his long-standing expertise. He stands out for his adeptness on bankruptcies, with broad expertise across the natural resources, healthcare and consumer goods sectors.
George Davis is well regarded for his deep understanding of matters in the restructuring and insolvency space, providing a wealth of experience handling bankruptcy-related financings and cross-border insolvencies.

Other Leading Individuals

Canada

Bennett Jones’ Chris Simard is one of the pre-eminent lawyers in our listings and is rated as a Global Elite Thought Leader in our research. He has earned widespread respect for his capability on some of the most complex cases in the field, including recently acting as debtors’ counsel in the Walton Group’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings.

At Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Mary Buttery continues to impress in our research due to her deep understanding of commercial insolvency issues. Her practice covers loan workouts, debt restructuring and corporate reorganisations.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt’s Tracy Sandler is a first-rate lawyer in the Canadian market and commands great respect from peers for her handling of corporate recapitalisations and cross-border restructurings.

Dentons’ John Sandrelli has a top-notch reputation and continues to gain widespread plaudits from market players, while also being highlighted by us as a Global Elite Thought Leader in the field. He is adept on matters relating to the CCAA, with additional expertise on US-related cross-border insolvencies.
David Mann is lauded by respondents to our research for his in-depth experience handling distressed acquisitions and cross-border restructurings.

Cayman Islands

Walkers’ Matthew Goucke is “the most gifted advocate in the Cayman Islands”, with specialist insight into private equity matters and superb expertise on cross-border insolvency litigation. Sources note that he is “very good technically”.
Neil Lupton is a well-established figure in the market who gains widespread support from commentators as “probably the most senior and influential figure in the jurisdiction” for restructuring. He excels on issues arising from distressed situations, advising a range of parties including private equity funds and debtors.
The “highly thought of” Colette Wilkins is commended by colleagues for her excellent work on contentious-side issues in the insolvency space. A “great lawyer who is much in demand”, she is adept on CVAs and liquidations.

Campbells’ Mark Goodman is a “very commercially minded” and “responsive practitioner who gives practical advice”. He excels on liquidation disputes, with clients stating that he is “really smart and very sharp”.
Another distinguished name from the firm is Guy Manning, who is highlighted by peers for his impressive practice that spans a range of issues involving cross-border restructuring and liquidation.

Marc Kish of Ogier is “dynamic, smart and very thorough” according to observers who note that he is “someone whose judgement you can trust”. He excels in both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Ulrich Payne is an “outstanding lawyer” who is recommended for his impressive experience working with directors, shareholders and investment funds on company valuations and contentious insolvencies. Interviewees promote him as someone who “handles difficult situations with ease”.

At Maples and Calder, Caroline Moran is noted by sources as a superb practitioner who has “had an excellent year”. She is praised in particular for her outstanding performance leading the Ocean Rig cross-border restructuring.

Carey Olsen’s Sam Dawson has a “calm and reassuring” approach to contentious restructurings, with peers praising him as an “excellent and pragmatic litigator”. He provides clients with “solid advice” and is a “safe pair of hands” on liquidations in the finance sector.
Jan Golaszewski is a “very good practitioner” who is noted for his “really impressive work” representing liquidators and shareholders on both contentious and non-contentious matters, often with a multi-jurisdictional element.

USA

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s James Bromley is a widely renowned individual who receives plaudits this year from interviewees thanks to his breadth of expertise on debt restructuring and distressed sales.

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz’s Richard Mason heads the firm’s restructuring practice and is one of the foremost practitioners in the country. His prominent practice sees him represent creditors on issues including complex out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcies.

Pauline Morgan of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor has outstanding expertise in the restructuring space. She runs an impressive practice that sees her handle issues including distressed acquisitions and credit securitisation.

At Munger Tolles & Olson, Thomas Walper is a renowned name in the market for his wide-ranging expertise on bankruptcies, with recent work including the chapter 11 cases of Toys “R” Us and iHeartMedia.

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell’s Derek Abbott is a top lawyer in Delaware who possesses invaluable insight on cross-border insolvency and contract litigation.

In New York, David Polk & Wardwell’s Damian Schaible has a “very positive reputation” for his work on high-profile cases, according to peers. A “fantastic lawyer”, he is adept at handling chapter 11 restructurings and debtor-in-possession financing arrangements.

Richards Layton & Finger’s Mark Collins remains immensely popular among market players for his deep understanding of matters arising from chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings.

Dennis Dunne at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is a top-tier name in the market who brings “an amazing grasp of trends” and an ability to “consistently attack problems from creative angles”. Interviewees call him “one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in the restructuring field”.
Gerard Uzzi is recommended by interviewees internationally for his knowledge and experience acting for both creditors and debtors on high-value matters.

Bruce Bennett at Jones Day is an extremely prominent name in restructuring, with 35 years’ experience working on some of the most complex reorganisations in US history in that span. He has expertise across sectors including telecoms, gaming and aviation.

 

EMEA

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Andreas Spahlinger Gleiss Lutz, Stuttgart
2. Pekka Jaatinen Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd, Helsinki
3. Lars Westpfahl Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hamburg
4. Rebecca Jarvis Linklaters LLP, London
5. Adam Gallagher Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London
6. Ian Field Allen & Overy LLP, London
7. Stefan Sax Clifford Chance, Frankfurt
8. Fedra Valencia Cuatrecasas, Madrid

Leading Firms

South Square 

This market-leading set continues to impress in our research, seeing 11 of its barristers highlighted in our guide.
The “outstanding” Tom Smith QC is a prominent name at the English restructuring Bar who comes highly rated for his wealth of expertise on cross-border insolvency proceedings and operational restructurings.
Felicity Toube QC has a standout reputation for her top-tier contentious restructuring and practice, with peers praising her ability on both onshore and offshore litigation.
William Trower QC is an established and “very senior” figure with wide-ranging expertise handling complex cases for clients. He is adept on matters relating to cross-border insolvencies and debt remission.
The “extremely clever” Gabriel Moss QC is a go-to barrister at the set, renowned for his breadth of insight in relation to onshore and offshore contentious restructurings and insolvencies.
Daniel Bayfield QC is an impressive silk with more than 20 years’ experience in the area. He excels on all aspects of debt restructuring, insolvencies and cross-border transactions.
Sources give him effusive praise to Robin Dicker QC, who maintains a strong position in our research thanks to his impressive experience and skill in corporate restructuring and insolvency, with particular insight into the banking sector.

Clifford Chance

Seven individuals from this international full-service firm are recognised in our research this year.
Global Elite Thought Leader Stefan Sax is rated as one of the top individuals in Germany, “highly recommended” by sources for his work. His Frankfurt-based practice sees him advise debtors, financial institutions and administrators on a range of restructuring matters.
Reinhard Dammann from the firm’s Paris office is one of the leading practitioners in France in this year’s research. He is well thought of by peers across Europe and beyond, garnering strong support for his deep insight into cross-border insolvencies relating to the finance sector.
In Madrid, Iñigo Villoria is a firm favourite among respondents to our research who describe him as a lawyer who is “technically excellent”. He possesses deep understanding of insolvency proceedings and asset purchasing, working on both the debtor and creditor side.
Iain White commands great respect from interviewees, who continue to speak highly of his London-based practice in our research. His experience covers the gamut of issues, including cross-border debt restructuring and recapitalisations.
Also in London, Philip Hertz is recommended by respondents to our research for his wide-ranging expertise in the restructuring and insolvency space, with recent successes including the restructuring of the Co-operative Bank.
In the firm’s Dubai office, Robin Abraham gains plaudits this year for his outstanding work in the field, advising a range of prominent clients on refinancing and restructuring measures.
Bartosz Krużewski in the firm’s Warsaw office is a go-to name on contentious matters, with commentators describing him as a “great litigator” on restructurings.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Seven outstanding practitioners from Freshfield’s EMEA offices are listed in our guide, including two Global Elite Thought Leaders.
Lars Westpfahl is “one of the leading lawyers in the space” who is “very professional and experienced” at handling out-of-court restructurings and refinancings. He is rated as a Global Elite Thought Leader and is described as “one of Germany’s best restructuring practitioners”, by interviewees.
The excellent Adam Gallagher is rated as a Global Elite Thought Leader in our research and stands out as one of the UK’s best in the area. His practice features wide-ranging expertise on issues arising from complex international restructurings, with experience across sectors including construction, shipping and retail.
Ken Baird has a top-notch reputation in the cross-border insolvency market with clients praising his “total client commitment” as well as the “Rolls-Royce service” he provides.
Ryan Beckwith is a highly regarded partner who receives plaudits from peers across Europe for his skill acting for a broad range of parties in the area.

Allen & Overy

Four individuals from across Allen & Overy’s European offices are highlighted this year.
Ian Field is one of the top lawyers in the region and is recognised as a Global Elite Thought Leader in our research for his outstanding work on cross-border and domestic restructurings.
With a wealth of expertise in the German restructuring space, Peter Hoegen stands out in the market. He is able to draw on several years of in-house experience in the financial services sector.
Jennifer Marshall has a distinguished reputation, earning plaudits from across the region for her handling of complex international restructurings and transactions. She is particularly well known for her long-running work in various Lehman Brothers cases.
Earl Griffith heads the firm’s group in London and is widely respected by our sources, who note his impressive ability acting for the full array of parties in insolvencies and restructurings.

RESOR

This Dutch boutique is home to some of the region’s most respected names. Four practitioners from the firm are highlighted in our guide.
Lucas Kortmann is highly regarded among market observers across Europe and beyond for his breadth of expertise in cross-border insolvency and restructuring litigation.
Nicolaes Tollenaar is an excellent lawyer whom commentators continue to give widespread praise to in our research. He is adept in both contentious and non-contentious scenarios.
Sijmen de Ranitz is frequently mentioned by respondents to our research as a go-to name in the space, providing clients with superb knowledge of corporate recoveries and international insolvencies.
Jako van Hees is a well-known figure in the Netherlands and has a strong reputation in the European market due to his in-depth knowledge of bankruptcies and corporate recovery.

Leading Individuals

England

In London, Linklaters’ Rebecca Jarvis is a Global Elite Thought Leader in the space with respondents to our research giving great acclaim to her handling of workouts, stressed financings and business recoveries.
Richard Hodgson has broad expertise in the field of restructuring and insolvency, frequently advising high-profile clients in relation to cross-border matters. He is particularly well known for his work in the financial services sector.

Charles Russell Speechlys’ James Hyne gains widespread recognition from sources this year. He is sought after by a range of parties looking for high-quality representation on contentious recoveries and liquidations.

Finland

Castrén & Snellman Attorneys’ Pekka Jaatinen is a “highly experienced” attorney who is “extremely capable” when it comes to high-profile insolvencies. We name him a Global Elite Thought Leader, a view shared by interviewees, who highlight Jaatinen as a “star individual”.

Germany

Gleiss Lutz has a distinguished individual in Andreas Spahlinger who is “very active and well-known” in the market, and wins praise from peers across the continent for his “excellent work” on cross-border acquisitions and corporate restructuring.

Michael Pluta of PLUTA Rechtsanwalts is one of the pre-eminent names in the country, earning recommendations from across Europe for his extensive expertise on corporate recoveries and distressed acquisitions.

Greece

Bazinas Law Firm’s George Bazinas continues to impress in our research and is recognised by sources in the market for his wealth of knowledge on cross-border insolvencies. He has over 35 years’ experience and is the top name in Greece in this year’s edition.

Ireland

Arthur Cox’s William Day is renowned in Ireland and internationally for his sheer breadth of expertise on corporate insolvencies. His practice sees him advise banks and insolvency firms among others on a range of issues in the space.

Jersey

Walkers has an outstanding lawyer in Fraser Hern, who demonstrates wide-ranging knowledge of both contentious and non-contentious matters. He has a highly international background, with experience working in Hong Kong before moving to the firm’s Jersey office.

Netherlands

Robert van Galen of NautaDutilh is a widely recognised figure in region, with more than two decades’ experience handling cross-border insolvencies across a range of industry sectors.

Spain

Jones Day has an excellent lawyer in Juan Ferré who earns plaudits from observers for his top-notch practice which sees him advise and represent clients on refinancings and bankruptcy proceedings.

Fedra Valencia is one of Spain’s top insolvency lawyers and comes highly recommended by sources as a “very experienced and technically sound” practitioner with more than 25 years working in the area.

Switzerland

Schellenberg Wittmer’s Vincent Jeanneret is "the person to turn to in Geneva". He is described as "solution-oriented and great to work with", as well as someone who "knows the insolvency field very well".

 

Asia-Pacific

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. David Kidd Linklaters, Hong Kong
2. John Marsden Mayer Brown, Hong Kong
3. Dominic Emmett Gilbert + Tobin, Sydney
4. Scott Atkins Norton Rose Fulbright, Sydney
5. Neil McDonald Kirkland & Ellis, Hong Kong
6. Patrick Ang Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, Singapore

Leading Firms

Drew & Napier 

A leader in the Asian market in this year’s guide, with four of its outstanding practitioners highlighted.
Sushil Nair has “consistently produced excellent results on complex restructurings” according to clients. Observers state that he “possesses an impressive ability to lead the development and implementation of effective and creative strategies”.
The “hard-working” and “extremely intelligent” Julian Kwek is lauded by peers for his “inventiveness when dealing with extraordinarily complex multinational debt restructurings”.
The Singapore-based Blossom Hing is a go-to name in the region. She earns effusive praise for her handling of debt restructurings and contentious matters both in court and in arbitration.
Top-class litigator Davinder Singh SC is recommended for his experience in restructuring-related matters.

Tanner De Witt Solicitors

This firm is home to two of the region’s top restructuring and insolvency lawyers.
Robin Darton is highlighted by observers as a top-quality litigator who excels on winding-up proceedings as well as claims against directors and auditors.
Ian De Witt has a superb reputation in the region with commentators acclaiming his work on contentious restructurings for parties including directors, creditors and liquidators.

Kirkland & Ellis

This international powerhouse sees two of its practitioners nominated from its Hong Kong office.
Global Elite Thought Leader Neil McDonald wins overwhelming praise from market players in this year’s research. He impresses across a number of areas of expertise, including corporate turnarounds and distressed acquisitions.
Damien Coles is highly rated by sources for his impressive handling of a wide array of matters including distressed acquisitions, debt financing and cross-border insolvencies.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Three individuals are listed from this international firm’s Australian offices.
The “excellent” Scott Atkins is a Global Elite Thought Leader whom commentators describe as “one of the top lawyers in the market”. Peers state that they “would go to him without hesitation” for cross-border insolvency matters.
Steven Palmer has a well-established presence in Australia. He is noted for his skill when advising creditors, insolvency practitioners and directors on a range of issues in the space.
John Martin wins widespread commendation from sources for his adept handling of cross-border insolvencies and is involved in both litigation and arbitration onshore and offshore.

Gilbert + Tobin

Two practitioners from this firm are highlighted for their exceptional work in restructuring and insolvency.
A Global Elite Thought Leader in the market, Dominic Emmett is a distinguished lawyer who stands out for his in-depth expertise and extensive experience on debt restructuring schemes of arrangement
Simon Lynch is an outstanding practitioner who is recognised for his skill on matters relating to the infrastructure sector, including out-of-court restructurings.

Leading Individuals

Australia

Arnold Bloch Leibler’s Leon Zweir is a distinguished lawyer in the jurisdiction who commands great respect from peers. He is a highly proficient litigator, providing more than four decades’ expertise on both domestic and international disputes.

Hong Kong

Linklaters’s David Kidd is one of the top lawyers in our research is described by one peer as “the doyen of the Hong Kong insolvency market”. He frequently advises creditors, directors, banks and liquidators on all areas of complex insolvency.

At Mayer Brown, John Marsden is a go-to name in the jurisdiction and a Global Elite Thought Leader this year. He garners strong support from observersfor his skilful handling of corporate restructurings and disposals of non-performing loans.

Harney Westwood & Riegels’ Ian Mann is spoken of highly in the restructuring and insolvency space by sources to our research. His impressive practice covers the gamut of contentious issues, and he has built specialist insight into matters relating to offshore jurisdictions.

Singapore

Shook Lin & Bok’s David Chan is described as a “very sharp” sharp practitioner who offers “advice which is legally sound and commercially pragmatic”. Clients praise his “quick, efficient and responsive approach” and his “mastery of the details” on cross-border insolvencies.
Sarjit Singh Gill SC is a “highly experienced and well-regarded practitioner” who is lauded for his “responsiveness and high-quality practical advice”. He excels on contentious matters in the financial sector.

Patrick Ang of Rajah & Tann Singapore is a pre-eminent name in the Singaporean market with over 30 years of experience in a variety of complex transactional restructuring matters as well as notable expertise in contentious issues.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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