The seasoned professionals in our International Insolvency and Restructuring group are at the forefront of developing effective solutions to the challenges presented in complex cross-border situations. At the front-end of any transaction, we are diligent about building protections against counter-party distress through workouts, restructurings and insolvency situations, both in and out of court, in multiple jurisdictions. Our attorneys are uniquely positioned to assist you anywhere in the world, whether you have a business confronting financial challenges or are a creditor or potential purchaser of a troubled business. As leaders and active members of the major international insolvency organizations, we have developed deep connections with the finest insolvency professionals around the globe. A description of our experiences and qualifications follows. If you find yourself involved in an international or cross-border insolvency, restructuring or workout, or have an opportunity to buy or a need to sell assets due to financial distress, please contact our International Insolvency practice Chair David R. Kendall (
With the increasing globalization of business, an essential and growing segment of our practice involves formal cross-border insolvency and restructuring court proceedings as well as informal workouts, financings and re-financings, acquisitions, reorganisations and dispositions and other transactions. Our International Insolvency team includes lawyers who have been recognized globally for their participation in developing the legislation that has shaped the practice of multinational insolvency during the past three decades. The Firm's international insolvency experience enables us to bring a unique breadth of knowledge to clients facing distressed situations or insolvencies in foreign or multiple jurisdictions. Our lawyers have represented bond holders, indenture trustees, borrowers, lenders, buyers, sellers, court-appointed officials (such as trustees, liquidators, administrators and foreign representatives), international creditors’ committees, multinational corporate groups, companies and their boards of directors and a variety of other constituents in many distressed situations.
Our experience includes insolvencies requiring work on fraud, inter-mingling of funds and the tracing and recovery of assets in other jurisdictions. A large portion of our insolvency work is international in nature and we have developed a strong network of contacts around the globe.
We have significant experience in cross-border insolvencies, including using the reciprocity provisions of Section 426 of the U.K. Insolvency Act as well as international rules of comity.
Our work for receivers, administrators and liquidators includes the following:
- Interrogations using private and public examination procedures
- Locating and freezing assets typically in foreign or local bank accounts
- Clawback proceedings reversing preferences and transactions at an undervalue
- Negligence proceedings against auditors
- Misfeasance and wrongful trading proceedings against directors
Representative engagements of our Firm and its professionals include:
International Insurance Insolvency
- Representation of the Province of Ontario, Canada as U.S. and U.K. counsel in insolvency proceedings pending simultaneously in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
- Representation of Chapter 7 Liquidating Trustee in United States bankruptcy case for the liquidation of a failed, start-up investment fund, which included the liquidation of the equity holdings based in foreign countries.
- Representation of a non-debtor Belgian subsidiary in litigation involving a group of multi-national companies, the ultimate parent of which was a post-confirmation Chapter 11 debtor in a U.S. bankruptcy case. This representation included extensive litigation to protect the foreign subsidiary from producing documents shared with the U.S. parent company based on attorney-client privilege. Representation also included extensive discovery, document review, and expert depositions in Brussels, Belgium.
- Representation of an Italian non-debtor subsidiary in U.S. insolvency proceedings of its corporate parent, to protect the non-debtor subsidiary's intellectual property from sale in the U.S. insolvency proceedings.
- Representation of Bermudan liquidators in the recovery of misapplied assets through U.K. proceedings pursuant to s426 Insolvency Act.
- Representation of a Swedish technology company in protecting its contracts and intellectual property rights in insolvency proceedings of its international airline customer.
Attorneys in our International Insolvency group have established a global expertise in insurance company insolvency proceedings. We have a substantial international client base throughout Europe, North America, Bermuda, Hong Kong and other important insurance locations. We have been involved in many of the largest and well-known insolvencies in the financial services sector over the last 50 years, including U.S. insurance company insolvency proceedings under the states' liquidation laws.
In recent years, our attorneys have been involved in significant and complex insurance insolvencies including:
Schemes of Arrangement and Insurance Business Transfers
- Representation of the liquidators and scheme administrators of many insolvent insurers and reinsurers, including the KWELM Companies, Bermuda Fire & Marine, Cambridge Re, Sovereign Marine, English & American and Lehman Re.
- Representation of Munich Re, Centre Re, and European International Reinsurance Company, reinsurers of T&N’s £500 million historic asbestos liability cover, in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of T&N’s U.S. parent company, Federal-Mogul Corporation (the largest asbestos-driven bankruptcy to date), and the administrations and company voluntary arrangements of Federal-Mogul’s U.K. subsidiaries.
- Representation of a major European insurer in its capacity as a creditor of Messenger, a Jersey protected cell insurance company under Jersey insolvency protection, which involved analysis of available core assets in the context of Jersey and U.K. law and the arbitration of disputes.
- Representing cedants and reinsurers of the Highlands Insurance Companies U.K. and U.S. in U.K. insolvency proceedings and in relation to U.S. rehabilitation proceedings.
We have one of the leading practices in the field of schemes of arrangement and insurance business transfers pursuant to Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act in the U.K.. Practicing in this area are three partners and six solicitors who posses the range of legal skills required to advise our clients on this complex area of law. We act for insurers, insolvency practitioners and others who manage portfolios of insurance business, advising them on and carrying out the implementation of schemes of arrangement, both solvent and insolvent, and transfers of insurance business. We also advise on schemes of arrangement and business transfers in Hong Kong.
Schemes of arrangement which we have drafted and implemented include Integer, CER, EW Payne pool, Fig Re and United Standard. We have drafted and implemented business transfers for clients including Transamerica (Hong Kong), Domestic & General, Victoria-Seguros, Chevanstall, Integer and Condor.
We also represent and advise policyholders and reinsurers on the implementation of schemes of arrangement and Part VII transfers, including in court proceedings.
and Chambers & Partners
recommend Edwards Wildman as a leading law firm in the following areas: Insurance: Reinsurance and Restructuring/ Insolvency: Insurance Insolvency.
We are also consistently ranked as one of the top law firms by Reactions Magazine
in the following areas: European Insolvency, U.S. Insolvency, and Reinsurance.
has heralded the Firm as being an “insurance industry legal powerhouse.”