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Finance 2011

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Firm
Award level
Innovation
Originality
Rationale
Impact
Total
Description
Freshfields Bruckhaus DeringerStand-outLa Seda de Barcelona88824The first English scheme of arrangement of a Spanish borrower, achieved in Spain itself. Saved the company, led to a change in insolvency laws in Spain, and effectively transformed restructuring across Europe.
Arthur CoxStand-outDeveloping solutions to restructure the Irish banking sector78722Took a leading role in restructuring the Irish banking sector, beginning with the controversial Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act.
Shearman & SterlingStand-outEstablishing the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation repository for European over-the-counter derivatives77822Requiring a mixture of geopolitical negotiating skills and complex property-law expertise, the firm helped develop a key element of the Group of 20 nations’ plans to make financial markets safer and more transparent. Most of more than $6,000bn-worth (€4,400bn) of European derivatives are now being recorded by the system.
Mayer BrownStand-outDeveloping the mining industry in Afghanistan78621Instrumental in developing a legal framework to attract sophisticated investment into the country’s mining sector, potentially worth $3,000bn.
Stephenson HarwoodStand-outApplying Islamic finance to enable a new way to own homes87621Working for Gentoo, the firm developed a new structure based on the principles of risk sharing found in sharia-compliant financings, to enable a flexible and affordable way for people to own their homes. This has the potential to revolutionise the mortgage-finance market.
Uría MenéndezStand-outReorganisation of La Caixa77721The Spanish group was the first savings bank to carry out a reorganisation by transferring its banking business into a holding company in which it has a controlling stake. The landmark transaction required a series of complex interlocking deals to occur simultaneously to enable its banking activities to continue.
Freshfields Bruckhaus DeringerHighly CommendedSolvent restructuring of Cattles77620Invented a new model for debt-for-equity swaps using ideas from securitisation. The restructuring also involved novel balance-sheet re-engineering and pensions work, resolving a multifaceted set of problems to preserve maximum value in the company.
GarriguesHighly CommendedAccelerating restructurings in Spain67720Convinced a court to agree a restructuring plan for Bestin before any subordinate proceedings were brought, vastly accelerating the process and saving the company. Established a precedent that a court must try to minimise exposure of insolvent companies.
Herbert SmithHighly CommendedTheolia’s launch of €60.5m rights issue to restructure €253m convertible bonds77620Developed a technique to give bondholders the option to extend the maturity date or redeem early below nominal value, circumventing the usual restriction, through an improved conversion ratio.
LinklatersHighly CommendedAccelerated structured bond offering (Asbo)77620Conceived, designed, implemented and marketed by the firm, the Asbo meets the needs of the acquisition finance market in the wake of the recession. The bond proceeds are received on the completion date of an acquisition, saving costs and increasing ratings certainty.
Allen & OveryCommendedReclaim fund67619Structured a fund – the first of its kind in the UK – to use the balances of dormant bank accounts for good causes. A commercial perspective was essential to create a structure that made it easy for banks to transfer money to the fund.
Field Fisher WaterhouseCommendedDeveloping a new way for building societies to raise tier-one capital76619Created a mutually controlled banking business, backed by private equity, for Kent Reliance Building Society. The structure maintains a balance between mutual ownership and the ability to raise crucial capital.
Freshfields Bruckhaus DeringerCommendedAchieving a share- pledge enforcement for Primacom67619The first-ever German non-consensual debt-for-equity swap, using a “two-step” share-pledge enforcement strategy. With the firm as strategic and legal adviser, this restructuring has established hostile enforcement as a newly viable approach in Germany.
LinklatersCommendedFirst holding company bond securitisation for the UK water sector67619Advising Anglia Water, the firm developed a product to gain access to new investors. Effectively, the holdco bond is a securitisation on top of a securitisation, and enables flexibility in choppy market conditions. The firm has since taken the product to other companies.
Allen & OveryCommendedSolvent restructuring of Cattles66618Resolved intercreditor issues and took a leading role on negotiating with the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme to organise the first “choreographed” default.
Norton Rose FulbrightCommendedDanaos restructuring66618Worked for five international banks in the $3.5bn restructuring and rescheduling of a large listed shipping corporation.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & FlomCommendedTele Columbus restructuring66618Put in place the first English scheme of arrangement for a German company. The scheme enabled €1.1bn of debt to be effectively restructured, expanding the range of jurisdictions in which a UK scheme would be effective.
AshurstCommendedAdvising banks on acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland's Worldpay, worth $2bn56617Developed an extremely complex financing arrangement to take account of the new role played by independent mezzanine lenders, requiring a ìback-to-basicsî approach to the principles of syndicated lending.
CMS, RussiaCommended2bn Moscow toll road project financing56617One of the first big financings under the new Russian federal concession law. The complex contractual scheme, involving state finance, equities, senior debt, bridge and subordinated debt, export credit facilities, currency and interest rate swaps sets a new standard for Russian public-private projects.
De Brauw Blackstone WestbroekCommendedTennet acquisition of Transpower65617Took a lead role in the first cross-border electricity transmission system acquisition. Tennet's status as a Dutch state-owned company created unique complications, requiring the firm to devise an alternative route to achieve the successful acquisition financing of Germany’s Transpower.
LinklatersCommendedDeveloping contingent convertible capital for Credit Suisse65617Following the new Basel III capital requirements, the firm developed a form of contingent convertible capital instruments for European banks. The ìbuffer capital notesî convert into equity under key risk conditions, and are an attractive way for banks to meet the new capital requirements.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & FlomCommended€1.8bn capital raising for the National Bank of Greece66517Faced with a need to increase the bank’s capitalisation, the firm used extremely short-term convertible debt-for-equity notes to circumvent a restriction on new equity offerings. Has significantly improved the bank's core tier-1 capital ratio.
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