Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has won the 2022 IFLR Europe Deal of the Year: Restructuring award for the second consecutive year, this time for its representation of a syndicate of lenders in the financial restructuring of subsea services provider DeepOcean Group (DeepOcean).
A team of restructuring and finance lawyers in London and Amsterdam advised the group of senior secured lenders to DeepOcean, a leading provider of offshore subsea services for the oil & gas and renewables industries, on its successful restructuring via inter-conditional restructuring plans (under the new Part 26A of the UK Companies Act 2006).
These restructuring plans were sanctioned by the English Court in a landmark decision under English restructuring law, the first in which the cross-class-cram-down mechanism - introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA) - was approved by the Court.
The plans were proposed with the primary aim of facilitating the restructuring and solvent wind down of the plan companies in order to provide a better return to certain creditors than the likely alternative, and to ensure the continued survival of the wider DeepOcean group.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by financial restructuring partner James Stonebridge and banking partner Eleanor Martin, with the help of counsel Alex Blaney and associate Geon Sik Kang in London, as well as partner Wouter Hertzberger, counsel Mei Land Man and senior associate Koen Durlinger in Amsterdam.
Last year, the firm won the same award for advising Delta Air Line on the recapitalisation of Virgin Atlantic Airways, the first use of the UK’s Restructuring Plan under CIGA.
James Stonebridge commented:
“We are delighted that our work in support of the lenders in the financial restructuring of DeepOcean has been recognised with the 2022 IFLR Europe Deal of the Year: Restructuring award. This case saw the first ever use of the cross-class-cram-down under CIGA, arguably one of the most significant developments in English restructuring law since schemes of arrangement were introduced in 1870. We are pleased to have supported the ongoing business security of the DeepOcean Group and look forward to advising on such matters in the future.”
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