M. Ridgway Barker
Partner | Greenwich
The success of your organization is inevitably exposed to turbulent economic and political conditions, and the world is currently an unpredictable place to be.Even without those external forces, every business goes through challenging times at some point depending on its stage of growth. As a business leader, your organization going through financial or operational difficulties can be incredibly stressful.
In the course of business, you may sometimes find yourself dealing with a business partner with monies owed to you facing a distressed situation. Or if you are a lender or creditor who suddenly finds yourself in a situation where payments owed to you have been defaulted, our team has deep experience to guide you through the situation to devise a strategy which best protects your interests.
As part of a global team of dispute lawyers, we are well-placed to help where your insolvency or restructuring has assets held cross-border.
We were recently counsel to Blue Ocean Resources Limited (BOR) in the successful restructuring of its US$162,465,275 guaranteed senior secured notes due in 2021 issued by BOR and guaranteed by its IDX-listed parent, PT Central Proteina Prima Tbk (CPRO) and certain of its subsidiaries, by way of a scheme of arrangement in Singapore. The transaction involved significant elements including a complicated existing structure comprising two significant debts which were “stapled” together at the outset notwithstanding that they were issued by two separate legal entities. It also involved managing multiple counterparties and processes, often at the same time, in order to meet the timelines imposed by the scheme. As one of the lenders had structured its new money investment by way of a Singapore incorporated variable capital company (VCC), the team was also closely involved in the establishment of the VCC and review of the VCC fund documentation in order to ensure that they were consistent with the group’s interests.
We are proud of our role in creating and defending success at every stage of the business life cycle and do this in and out of court. Clients include multi-national companies, financial institutions, individual directors, trustees and investors as well as advisors and insolvency administrators.
We are instructed by the trustees of two BVI trusts worth in excess of US$400 million, who are currently undergoing a restructuring exercise involving assets in multiple jurisdictions. Recent issues relating to this matter have involved a discussion of parental rights in the BVI.
Represented HSBC as a creditor in actions against debtor companies and their guarantors ranging across corporate schemes of arrangements, individual voluntary arrangements, winding up and bankruptcy proceedings.
Represented the interim judicial managers, judicial managers and the current liquidators (from KPMG) in all aspects of the attempted restructuring and subsequent insolvency of ZenRock.
Represented Top Capital Securities Pte Ltd, a creditor of 8Telecom International Co. Ltd. (a Bermuda company listed on the Mainboard of the Singapore Exchange (SGX)). The matter involves a novel issue under Singapore law of whether a judicial management application can be allowed to proceed before the Singapore courts given that the underlying subscription agreement contained an agreement to arbitrate.
Represented FTI Consulting in their capacity as the Judicial Managers of 6 SPVs owned by Xihe Capital Pte Ltd, which collectively own 15 vessels (including unfinished vessels).
Represented UOB against KH Foges Pte Ltd, a major construction company in the business of piling, civil engineering, foundation, and geotechnical engineering works, which was a controlling shareholder of Swee Hong Limited, a company which was listed on the Mainboard of the Singapore Exchange.
Represented Cambium Grove Capital as a lead arranger on a HK$1.75 billion restructuring and refinancing of an existing senior facility of a real estate group in Hong Kong.
Acting for a majority shareholder and creditor in a joint venture company established to develop a treatment for Parkinson’s Disease and spinal chord injury. The matter involved a contentious administration, against the background of entrenched shareholder disputes, which we persuaded the Court to terminate, allowing our creditor client to assert contractual rights which had been stayed by the administration.
Represented Blue Ocean Resources Limited (BOR) in the successful restructuring of its US$162,465,275 guaranteed senior secured notes due in 2021 issued by BOR and guaranteed by its IDX-listed parent, PT Central Proteina Prima Tbk (CPRO) and certain of its subsidiaries, by way of a scheme of arrangement in Singapore.
We acted for the US parent of a well-known UK marketing agency and its immediate parent company, Mission Media Holdings Limited. Following a dispute between the management of the UK and US companies, the UK companies were placed into administration by their director. Following swift and effective legal advice, both companies were rescued and exited from administration within 21 days through the provision of emergency funding and working capital to the satisfaction of the administrators and the High Court. This result is a very rare occurrence, as only in a handful of cases has the primary purpose of an administration been achieved.
We successfully applied for the appointment of a BVI Receiver over the shares in and assets of a BVI company, including shares in a Russian company which owns valuable real estate in Moscow. Working with external Russian Counsel based in Moscow, the Receiver was able to protect the Russian real estate to ensure that a BVI Freezing Order would not be breached and a BVI Claim would not go unsatisfied.
Representing Diesel, the well-known Italian fashion brand, in the recovery of outstanding amounts owed to it by House of Fraser and a retention of title claim for stock supplied to House of Fraser, in the context of a CVA and subsequent administration and business sale.
We have advised various banks on enforcement of securities including mortgagees’ sales and specialist advice on disputes relating to real estate and financing transactions, standstill arrangements, restructuring of debts owing to multiple lenders and the taking of securities on a collective basis.
We represented creditors, including an international bank and global engineering company, in a high profile restructuring matter valued at over US$2 billion involving a multinational environmental solutions public company based in Singapore.
We advised our client on a variety of contentious matters related to the acquisition of the Force India Formula One team (FIFOT), including questions around the insolvent administration of FIFOT. Our ability to work quickly and efficiently was pivotal to the success of this case and the winning bid for FIFOT from the client.
Our restructuring and insolvency team acted for a debtor in a landmark case where the court declared that a liquidator of the insolvent creditor company could not continue an action which was commenced by the judicial manager of the company at the time the company was in judicial management.
Representing the creditor of a BVI company, we successfully applied for a dissolved BVI company to be restored back into liquidation to enable a liquidator to investigate the whereabouts of the BVI company's assets, believed to be located in Switzerland and Russia. This matter involved cross-border cooperation with practitioners based in Russia, Switzerland, the BVI and the Netherlands.
Our client, the well-known Italian bank, Unicredit SpA, sought enforcement of an Italian costs order obtained in complex Italian court proceedings against a UK company, Server Plus Limited (‘Server Plus’). We successfully obtained a winding up order against Server Plus, despite its attempts to claim that the liquidation proceedings were a vexatious attempt to bring an end to ongoing Italian proceedings Server Plus had brought against our client and a State third party. Ultimately, Server Plus did not have the funds to meet the debt owed to our client, and is now in liquidation.
14 December 2022 | article
7 October 2022 | article
27 October 2021 | firm news
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