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Financial services 2010

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Award level
Clifford ChanceStand-outFirst big lender-led restructuring of a private equity holding in continental Europe87823Helped lenders to Monier use a Luxembourg share pledge to enforce the security and take control of the business. Required collaboration between 180 institutions, challenging the presumption they could not enforce
White & CaseStand-outShifting the centre of main interest (COMI) for Wind Hellas78722Largest-ever pre-pack administration in the UK, valued at €3.5bn ($4.8bn). Moved the COMI from Luxembourg to England to take advantage of more flexible insolvency laws
Freshfields Bruckhaus DeringerStand-outRestructuring of McCarthy & Stone87722First leveraged buy-out restructuring to combine a scheme of arrangement with a pre-pack administrative sale. Helped make dealing with a large number of banks significantly more efficient
SJ BerwinHighly commendedAdvising Apax Partners on a $956m investment78621Separated investors’ already invested funds from their future commitments, then used a special-purpose vehicle to repackage the future commitments to new investors
Gide Loyrette NouelHighly commendedDeveloping solutions to the French credit crisis77721By setting up a recapitalisation company and a refinancing company for the government and banks in France, the firm avoided the nationalisations elsewhere in Europe
AshurstHighly commendedProtecting Dubai World debt holders67821At the heart of the Dubai World crisis, the firm put in place an aggressive strategy to defend the bondholders’ interests in a potential restructuring. The bondholders were repaid in full
Allen & OveryHighly commendedMerckle restructuring67821Co-ordinated the main strategy in Germany’s biggest postwar restructuring. Using a set of interlocking dual-purpose trusts to ensure that trustees controlled the sale, it helped save 100,000 jobs
White & CaseHighly commended7bn Nord Stream pipeline project finance67720Untangled cross-border regulatory issues and secured a gas transportation agreement with Gazprom to enable the largest project finance deal since the credit crisis, one that is strategically important for the EU’s oil supply
Latham & WatkinsHighly commendedRestructuring the Schoeller Arca Systems group debt67720With Dutch firm NautaDutilh, the firm used a court-sanctioned private sale in the Netherlands for the first time, and liquidation valuation principles tested in the UK
Freshfields Bruckhaus DeringerHighly commendedPre-pack sauvegarde process for French company Technicolour77620The first big debt equitisation through France’s sauvegarde borrower protection procedure featured unique complications. Credit default swaps required the firm to use ISDA’s “small bang” auction approach for the first time
Addleshaw GoddardHighly commendedNew “profit-participating deferred share” concept for building societies77620By designing a new equity security equivalent to ordinary share capital, the firm developed a form of convertible contingent notes suitable for building societies
Weil, Gotshal & Manges; and Slaughter and MayCommendedLargest-ever equity capital raising in the UK for the owner of Canary Wharf67619The two firms formed a “virtual team” to take on a £1.03bn ($1.6bn) recapitalisation, requiring a unique new shareholding structure and governance arrangements
Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves PereiraCommendedIn-the-shadows financing agreements66719Grupo Aliser needed to restructure debt related to leases. The firm developed an ingenious credit facility with large creditors to avoid tax issues associated with altering leases
Clifford Chance and Taylor WessingCommendedDeveloping tax law to benefit Islamic finance67619Collaborated to lobby the UK government, ensuring that tax relief designed to keep London as the western centre of Islamic finance would work correctly
Arthur CoxCommended3.4bn capital raising for Bank of Ireland66719To avoid diluting the existing shareholders’ stake, the firm ran the debt-for-equity offers to bring the bank precisely to their target. This is a new technique that has been well received by the markets
Allen & OveryCommendedConvertible bond to enable Cable and Wireless demerger76619Designed a convertible bond that could be “flipped” into a new holding company, which then demerged. This allowed an issuance for a company that had yet to exist
Shearman & SterlingCommendedFinancing the $2.1bn Al Dur project in Bahrain66618Using a “hard mini-perm” payment structure for the first time in the Middle East, the firm ensured the project survived
LinklatersCommendedSocial investment bond for Citylife57618Advising Citylife on a pro bono basis, the firm systematised the issuing of bonds, allowing Citylife to expand greatly its loan programme to worthy causes
CobbettsCommendedNew share issue model for community benefit societies77418Involved in shaping legislation and regulation as well as developing new funding mechanisms to allow capital raising through share issues
Clifford ChanceCommendedFirst investment-grade sukuk (Islamic bond) for a US corporate66618Used aircraft as underlying assets for a sukuk for the first time in a $500m deal for GE Capital. The firm has subsequently completed another five similar transactions
Baker McKenzieCommendedFirst off-balance-sheet SPV in the ISS refinancing66618Using an SPV developed with Goldman Sachs, the firm was able to refinance the company without touching senior creditors. A securitisation was teamed with a concurrent tender offer to refinance the debt in multiple jurisdictions
Uría MenéndezCommendedDeveloping Banco Santander’s “scrip” dividend56617The scheme allows shareholders to decide to receive either a cash dividend or newly issued shares. This has been widely copied and works to increase cash flow and capital levels, crucial in the current economic climate in Spain
Paul HastingsCommendedUnusual multi-jurisdictional restructuring for EMPG65617Used Irish law schemes of arrangement to convert the New York law governed holding co debt, and English law to lock creditors into agreeing to the restructuring. A smart multi-jurisdictional approach that reduced EMPG's debt by $1bn
LinklatersCommendedDar Al-Arkan sukuk65617Replicates the structure found in western high-yield real estate transactions, and uses a novel wakala structure to address concerns over foreign ownership of land in Saudi Arabia
Latham & WatkinsCommendedHonsel restructuring65617Instrumental in pushing the German restructuring law closer to that found in the UK, enabling more flexible solutions to be developed
Clifford ChanceCommendedFirst French securitisation company for Natixis75517Developed a new form of securitisation company. Featured a bespoke form of compartmentalisation, which allowed independence of assets on the acquisition side but a single liability, increasing commercial flexibility
Bredin PratCommendedA guarantee mechanism for the assets of Natixis66517BPCE set up a guarantee for their subsidiary Natixis covering €40bn worth of assets. The firm helped BPCE to have the same risk exposure as before, but with a greatly improved share price for Natixis
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