Double win for Allen & Overy at GRR Charity Awards

The award for innovation went to the US$2.3 billion restructuring of Ukrainian steel and mining company Metinvest and involved 159 lawyers across A&O’s London, Amsterdam and New York offices. 

Completed in March, Metinvest used three schemes of arrangement in the UK, and three parallel Chapter 15 filings in the US over two years to restructure its debts. The first two schemes achieved a standstill agreement with creditors: the last scheme implemented the company’s restructuring plan.  

The innovation related to a novel ‘moratorium scheme’ which imposed a standstill on three series of bonds issued by Metinvest B.V., the Dutch holding company of one of Ukraine’s largest corporate groups. 

Partner Mark Sterling commented: “Moratorium schemes introduced to the bond market a technique which has been central to the success of restructurings in the syndicated debt market for the last 25 years We are very pleased that the team’s hard work and innovative thinking has been recognised with this award.” 

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The A&O team in London included Mark Sterling (Partner), Rupert Cheetham (Counsel), Hannah Valintine (Senior Associate) and Matthew Kimber (Associate). Dan Guyder (Partner) of A&O’s New York office led the Chapter 15 recognition process and   Brechje van der Velden (Partner) provided Dutch law advice. In relation to the capital markets aspects of the moratorium schemes, A&O worked with Metinvest’s co-counsel, Baker & McKenzie.  

Nortel’s global settlement won the “cooperation” award. The settlement reached between international Nortel debtors and their creditors in October 2016 put an end to eight years of disputes over how to allocate US$7.3 billion in liquidation proceeds kept in a lockbox.  

Its approval by courts in the UK, Canada and the US, in November and January, means that sale proceeds can now be distributed to creditors. Allen & Overy shared this award for its role in this as US counsel to Ernst & Young, as Monitor, and the Canadian entities of the Nortel Group on all Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 matters and the joint Canadian-US trial to determine the allocation of the sale proceeds. 

The A&O team in New York included Ken Coleman, Jacob Pultman and Laura Hall (Partners) and Joseph Badtke-Berkow (Associate). 

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