2022 has been an important year in INSOL’s history. It has seen us hold our first in-person conference since 2019 and we have celebrated INSOL’s 40th birthday. While this anniversary of the inception of INSOL International has given us cause to spend time looking back at the last 40 years, refamiliarizing ourselves with INSOL’s origins, its history and key achievements, this occasion has also provided us with the opportunity to look to the future.
We are therefore delighted to introduce our Young Practitioner Spotlight – which seeks to highlight the young talent in our industry whom we hope may be champions of INSOL for decades to come. These individuals have been nominated by their peers and colleagues in the insolvency and restructuring community and it is a pleasure to see so many young and talented people recognised for their hard work and dedication by those they work with.
Chief Executive Officer
I have specialised in contentious and complex insolvency for over 17 years, the work is varied and technically challenging, which I have found hugely rewarding.
Many of the cases I have been appointed on have required me to deal with foreign jurisdictions, giving me an opportunity to learn how insolvency regimes around the world work, in the context of real-life situations.
However, the main reason I have found this career so enjoyable is getting to work with so many talented lawyers, barristers and other restructuring experts, along with my colleagues at Kroll.
I enjoy the constant challenge and variety of the work we do as insolvency and restructuring professionals.
I also take great satisfaction in bringing together diverse stakeholders, in stressful environments, to resolve complex situations.
I lead a team that handles a broad spectrum of insolvency and business restructuring matters. As an insolvency practitioner, I also take on assignments as Liquidator, Receiver, Caretaker.
My job experience is one that I call a rollercoaster, some days being more fulfilling than others. What I enjoy most about my work is the opportunity to effect and see real and direct impact of my work.
I witness people reorganizing their affairs and rising out of dire situations. On the other hand, I have seen failure first hand and chosen to learn from it every chance I get. Through my job, I get to learn about the intricacies of different businesses and professions which augment my practice.
I have interacted with construction, intellectual property, agriculture, mining, logistics, schools, hospitals, manufacturing, real estate. I am challenged in every case, to provide bespoke advice and solutions to various situations my clients face.
Finally, I also have the opportunity to contribute towards the advancement and development of insolvency law and policy in Uganda through litigation that sets precedent, curating spaces for practitioner training and policy engagement for which I stand proud.
Rita Birungi Mwesige
Cross-border insolvency is fun. I work with international friends and learn how things get done in other countries.
This has turned me into a much more creative professional, replicating some of those foreign solutions in national cases. For example, we recently followed the UK and Dutch examples when introducing prepacks in Spain even though it was not crystal clear it would work.
The know-how gained in international cases thus improves national solutions too. It is beautiful to be part of that impact.
Traveling is also worth a mention. Cross-border restructurings bring us to many wonderful places around the world (in my case, UK, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, US, Canada...), meet very diverse people (both within the companies we turn around and other advisors) and speak different languages. It makes me feel incredibly lucky.
I also enjoy that moment in which you come up with the strategy that might put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Not only because everything clicks... but because it means contributing to saving a business, its workforce and what so many people before us have worked so hard for.
Carles Cuesta Abogados
What excites me about Restructuring is that we are not limited to a certain industry.
When situations happen, we are put into the businesses of any nature – it could be oil & gas, education, real estate, mining… Hence it is never boring as we learn (and very quickly!) about the various businesses.
My background was from an investment bank, a venture capital and a startup company. These experiences have given me a spectrum of perspectives, and I am capable to think from different angles to serve clients from varying industries.
I enjoy that we always try our best to find solutions in challenging situations. It is extremely satisfying and a great experience to be able to add value to our clients, particularly when we successfully complete the asset realization and recover clients’ investment.
People's Republic of China
Helena Clarke is a counsel in the Firm's Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Practice Group.
Helena’s transactional experience encompasses default and enforcement, solvent and insolvent restructurings, and technical cross-border insolvencies.
Helena also has experience in various types of financing, including funds finance, litigation, finance, and art lending. Helena is a member of the U.K. Restructuring team recognised by ILFR1000 as a leading practice.
Squire Patton Boggs
I love being a restructuring lawyer for many reasons.
Restructuring brings together a mix of different practice areas: finance, insolvency, litigation, M&A, and others. This means every day is different: whether it is negotiating a shareholders’ agreement or preparing barristers for trial. I really enjoy this versatility.
It is a fast-paced field in which new precedents and innovative structures are constantly being created. The last couple of years have seen new restructuring regimes introduced across Europe and we have guided clients on how to use (or protect themselves from) these tools to meet their goals. Kirkland’s restructuring practice has been at the forefront of this.
The structures we advise on are complex and involve multiple sets of stakeholders, each with competing interests. The legal analysis is often central to the strategic decision-making, so restructuring lawyers become pivotal to the process.
Finally, I enjoy that our job is not limited to working on live deals. We need to be across potential restructuring targets, the constantly evolving legal landscape, and the economy more broadly. Part of this involves tracking distressed situations in the market in close contact with investors and other advisors. This is very rewarding, both personally and professionally.
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
For me, the global interconnectedness, diversity and complexity of mandates in Offshore Insolvency and Restructuring is both motivating and engaging.
Engagements often involve the management of high profile stakeholder interests across a number of jurisdictions, including the major business hubs of the world.
Equally, cross-jurisdictional work is rewarding as it requires the ability to drive commercial outcomes across a variety of different insolvency and restructuring regimes and our work is directly utilized in achieving client outcomes through Court or out-of-court proceedings and negotiations.
There are a number of reasons I enjoy having an international insolvency practice, including the nature and complexity of the work involved when dealing with challenging multi-jurisdictional issues.
Most significantly though, I enjoy meeting new colleagues and working with friends and colleagues from all over the world.
Baker & Partners
I feel privileged to enjoy my work. No two deals are the same in restructuring; new and interesting challenges arise all the time, and it is the dynamism and creativity inherent in the work we do and the clients we serve that challenges and motivates me, including in the tough times. It is very rewarding to work on market-leading transactions and to obtain the best possible outcomes for our clients.
I am grateful for the mentoring and encouragement I have received along the way. I hope to pay this forward in the way I mentor other members of our firm and industry and to emphasise to the next generation - including and in particular women - that it’s ok to feel insecure and to seek guidance.
When I joined the firm in 2016 our group in London was a fraction of the size it is now, and it is a testament to the hard work and commitment of each team member that we have grown in the way we have. I am excited to see that growth continue globally as we deepen our client relationships and strive to achieve excellent results for our clients.
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
Ben Crilly is a managing director and head of Indonesia for Kroll, based in the Jakarta office.
He has over 18 years’ experience, having worked exclusively in the fields of restructuring and turnaround with time spent in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, PRC and Australia.
Ben advises onshore and offshore corporates, borrowers, banks and funds in often contentious and complex cross border financial and operational restructurings and transactions in Indonesia and South-East Asia.
In the recent years, he has been the lead advisor on almost all the major restructuring matters in Indonesia and many across South-East Asia with an aggregate debt value of more than USD30 billion.
Whereas some people may compare the work of insolvency practitioners to the work of an undertaker, I take a more positive view.
Whenever anyone requires my assistance, his situation may seem desperate, but it’s my challenge to do justice to my client’s position and make the most of a seemingly bad situation. As such, I can make a real difference for my client.
Since I also get appointed as bankruptcy trustee, I am also entrusted the interests of the creditors in bankruptcy. In those situations, I am not only asked to do justice to the (legal) position of all stakeholders, but also to maximize proceeds for the joint creditors.
To be able to fulfill those tasks, an insolvency practitioner requires a sound understanding of the legal positions and the economic reality, but also – given the big impact insolvencies can have on people’s daily lives – an eye for the individuals involved whose position may be affected by the debtor’s insolvency. It’s this combination of both the necessary legal and economic analyses and the human factor that makes my work both intellectually challenging and at times rewarding.
Roseanna is an experienced advocate and litigator in the insolvency and restructuring field, with an extensive domestic and international practice.
She regularly appears in the High Court and was recently led in Baglan Operations Ltd  EWHC 647 (Ch) acting for the Official Receiver.
This matter involved a number of interesting aspects within the context of the liquidation of a Welsh energy plant, including when a liquidator has the power to carry on a business and whether the human rights of third parties impacts this.
Roseanna has also appeared in the Court of Appeal in the jurisdictional dispute of Etihad Airways PJSC v Prof. Dr. Lucas Flöther  EWCA Civ 1707 (led by the late Robin Dicker QC) concerning whether an asymmetric jurisdiction clause fell within Article 31(2) of the Brussels Recast Regulation.
It is this variety of work which first appealed to Roseanna when she began practicing as a barrister and it is what she still loves most about her role today.
Every case is different involving multiple industries, areas of the law, and jurisdictions and so Roseanna counts herself lucky that she has the opportunity to develop her career within this extensive and rewarding field.
One of the things that drew me to, and keeps me interested in the field of restructuring is that it constantly pushes me to learn new skills, new industries, and new ways of solving problems.
One day I find myself litigating conflicting lien rights arising out of cross-border organic grain trades. The next I am helping sell a niche media company. Then I find myself analyzing enforcement options for international telecommunications assets or salvaging broken tech startups.
Being in the restructuring field means being a litigator, an M&A attorney, a secured transactions expert, an appellate lawyer and, perhaps most important of all, someone who understands the fundamentals of different businesses across a range of industries.
I get to be one of the last true “generalists” at a big law firm, which means every day seems to bring a different challenge that requires creative thinking.
When layering on the international aspect of the practice, suddenly there is a need to solve all of these problems across different jurisdictions whose respective legal systems are not designed to fit together neatly.
The result? Rarely a dull day at the office. Not many lawyers get to say that.
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
United States of America
Koen Durlinger is a financial restructuring and insolvency lawyer in the Amsterdam office of Norton Rose Fulbright.
His practice includes advising on complex cross-border (both consensual and contentious) restructuring mandates. His client base consists of lenders (both financial institutions as well as direct lenders) and companies in distress, as well as directors and officers.
Koen speaks regularly on restructuring and insolvency-related topics, both in the Netherlands and beyond. Recent international speaking engagements include lecturing in Madrid and taking part in a panel as part of a conference in Prague, discussing the recently-enacted Dutch scheme (or “WHOA”).
Koen regularly writes articles on key developments in the restructuring arena in the Netherlands. Further, Koen took the lead in putting together Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Preventive Restructuring Frameworks Guide.
In addition to being a member of INSOL International, Koen is a member of INSOL Europe, INSOLAD (the Dutch association of bankruptcy lawyers), the Dutch Restructuring Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Herstructurering) and a member of NACIIL (Netherlands Association for Comparative and International Insolvency Law).
Norton Rose Fulbright
I enjoy the problem solving aspect of insolvency work: in general, there is no obvious solution that is perfect for all stakeholders as by definition there isn’t enough for everyone, and it’s fascinating to go through the process of finding something that works as a compromise.
This means that every matter raises different challenges and legal questions to work through.
Related to this is the second great aspect of this type of work, the people: working on insolvency matters invariably means an opportunity to work in a team with really bright and dynamic people, whether internally with other lawyers at my firm or externally with other lawyers, insolvency practitioners and their teams or financial advisers. It’s a real pleasure to be part of that.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
I feel really fortunate to practice in one of the most interesting and varied areas of law - insolvency and restructuring.
What I enjoy about insolvency law is the combination of legal rigour with a human element. By a human element I mean that to succeed it’s necessary both to understand the motivations of creditors and debtors, rather than seeing them as numbers on a balance sheet, and also to keep in mind the public policy issues at the core of every insolvency.
Insolvency law involves the compromise of rights that every other part of the law does its best to uphold - contractual rights, property rights, rules about who gets to govern a company, to some extent even human rights - so even though it’s a technical area, you also have to have an eye on broad questions of fairness and policy.
In my experience, it’s when you bring together the black letter law with an understanding of this human element that you really get to the heart of a case and are able to make it compelling to the Court.
Working at Kroll provides a different challenge on a daily basis, dependent upon the industry, engagement and management team that I am currently working with.
The variety of work undertaken and the dynamic nature of working in Restructuring is one of the most personally rewarding aspects of my role.
I also take a keen interest in supporting the personal and career development of more junior colleagues, striving to ensure that the team is performing at the highest standards and working towards a common goal.
Working within a team which shares common values and has a familial atmosphere makes Kroll an enjoyable place to work.
Insolvency practitioners are problem-solvers. Despite our professional background we use very special skills to identify the underlying problems and put together the puzzle pieces.
I believe that I am very fortunate to have a “360 degree” vision on insolvency. I have been an insolvency practitioner for more than 15 years.
I was the chief bankruptcy judge of Colombia until December 2021, but I decided to explore the other side of the bench.
During my role in the government, I had the wonderful opportunity to lead the drafting of the new bankruptcy law issued to face the emergency caused by the COVID-19 and to represent the Republic of Colombia in the Group V of UNCITRAL in a diplomatic role.
I have also taught bankruptcy at several universities for more than 10 years and therefore, I have had the chance to explore the academic side of bankruptcy as well.
Nowadays I am also exploring the economic side of the insolvency working at a top financial advisory firm.
Thus, after having experience on every side, I must say that bankruptcy never gets boring and every case is a an opportunity to enrich not only our professional perspective but also our live.
Susana Hidvegi Arango
Hidvegi & Betancourt Consultores S.A.S.
I have worked on a number of restructuring and insolvency matters during my time in Allen & Overy’s London restructuring practice group and now in Singapore, working on matters across the APAC.
What I really enjoy and appreciate is that for each restructuring and insolvency matter, the set of circumstances are unique and there are so many different factors that need to be understood, including the cultural background within which the company and its stakeholders operate, in order to drive a solution.
As a restructuring and insolvency lawyer, it is my role to fully understand these factors and bring all the stakeholders together and this can involve being creative in problem-solving.
You are a trusted advisor to your client, they put their faith in you to apply the law, technical skills and exercise commerciality and diplomacy to deliver a solution. There is a tremendous amount of job satisfaction in delivering the final deal.
We are also rapidly moving into a digital age and, in dealing with digital assets, the restructuring and insolvency laws will need to develop and grapple with new issues. I look forward to this evolution of the restructuring and insolvency space!
Allen & Overy
When I answered an advert for a trainee insolvency administrator and cashier, I certainly didn’t envisage the career path that it would set me on.
However, I am lucky enough to have found my niche and specialise in providing timely restructuring advice to corporates, lenders and other key stakeholders who are involved in distressed and insolvent situations.
The best part about my job is the brilliant team that I work with and also having the opportunity to guide and support clients through challenging times. I particularly enjoy the fast-pace of my work - helping clients to quickly get clarity in often complex and uncertain scenarios, working logically through the options, advising on contingency plans and then delivering at pace to achieve the best outcome.
I love the variety of my role too. I have delivered engagements across a broad range of sectors, and advised all kinds of clients (including large multi-nationals, family-owned businesses, financial institutions, charities, government departments and regulators), although having worked with a number of healthcare businesses I particularly enjoy supporting those clients and co-lead BDO Restructuring’s growing Healthcare sector team.
Insolvency is highly challenging and rewarding work. It has allowed me to work some of the top professionals in the industry and work on a number of high value and interesting litigations.
This has certainly allowed me to develop my understanding through exposure and my own general curiosity. All of the professionals I have come across have been incredibly helpful and patient with their time.
Another aspect that I enjoy is being given the responsibility to advise both debtors and creditors in what can be one of the most stressful times in their life or career. Problem solving and identifying the key questions that need to be answered are a big part of insolvency law and makes every day interesting.
Insolvency is such a varied area of law that every day is different. There’s also a new question that needs answered or a new problem to solve.
After three years of working in insolvency law I know that there are still a number of areas that I have not dealt with yet, and I am excited to tackle these areas when they do arise.
I thoroughly enjoy the team I work alongside on a daily basis and the variety of key clients, advisors and stakeholders within the Restructuring community.
The team strives to excel and we continually push each other to develop both personally and professionally. It is that team environment and willingness to support each other through both thriving and challenging times is what enables us to succeed.
I also enjoy the solutions orientated focus of restructuring with the objective of creating value add for key stakeholders. It is an ever changing environment with heightened emotions and the ability to explore strategic options and effectively implement optimal solutions is key.
Latham & Watkins LLP
Hong Kong, P.R.C.
I feel really fortunate to practice in one of the most interesting and varied areas of law - insolvency and restructuring.
What I enjoy about insolvency law is the combination of legal rigour with a human element. By a human element I mean that to succeed it's necessary both to understand the motivations of creditors and debtors, rather than seeing them as numbers on a balance sheet, and also to keep in mind the public policy issues at the core of every insolvency.
Insolvency law involves the compromise of rights that every other part of the law does its best to uphold - contractual rights, property rights, rules about who gets to govern a company, to some extent even human rights - so even though it's a technical area, you also have to have an eye on broad questions of fairness and policy.
In my experience, it's when you bring together the black letter law with an understanding of this human element that you really get to the heart of a case and are able to make it compelling to the Court.
I am a barrister at South Square, and my practice includes cross-border insolvency and restructuring, commercial litigation and arbitration, banking and finance, bankruptcy and personal insolvency, offshore and fund litigation, civil fraud, company law, and trusts.
There are two things which I particularly enjoy about my work.
The first is analysing and applying the law in new and creative ways, often in response to difficult legal or strategic issues. During my time at South Square, I have been able to work on a number of very absorbing and high-profile matters, which have raised novel and challenging problems. I enjoy the stimulus and satisfaction of wrestling with them, and developing solutions.
The second is the sense of purpose and vocation in representing a client’s interests. I find this highly motivating, especially when the brief is shared with the members of a team, whether the aim is to achieve a certain objective or to make the best of a high-pressure situation. So far, I have been fortunate to work as a member of superb teams of counsel and solicitors.
The one thing that keeps me interested and engaged in my work over the years is the diversity involved in different cases.
Being based in in Hong Kong, which is the key hub for cross-border transactions, I can be restructuring a Hong Kong-listed aluminium company in China one winter and be on a Chinese-owned oil and gas field in Canada at minus 20 degrees the next winter, and staying home due to COVID is not any less fun when you represent the landlord in a battle against the former owner of Grade A commercial building in Hong Kong.
Every new job which we take on is a different experience and a new learning opportunity. It is an exciting and ever-changing job to be in.
Hong Kong, P.R.C.
I am currently undertaking the INSOL Foundation Certificate in International Insolvency Law, following which I have ambitions to undertake the INSOL Fellowship.
Interpath acquired Kalo in July 2022 and I am currently an Assistant Manager in their BVI office and long-term would like to become an appointment taker and the first female BVI Islander to become a licensed insolvency practitioner in the jurisdiction.
I am currently managing the liquidations of two of the largest Madoff feeder funds. One of the things I find most stimulating about my job is that all our cases are unique in some way, we see all sorts of different industry sectors and the assets or underlying businesses can be located literally anywhere in the World.
Conducting investigations and asset tracing are two aspects of my job that I particularly enjoy as we aim to maximise realisations for stakeholders.
Insolvency and restructuring is a career path I never thought I’d pursue, much less one I knew existed whilst I was completing my undergraduate degree. However, I am pleased to be working in a robust industry, and more than pleased to take this industry forward in the next 40 years.
British Virgin Islands
As an attorney (and lifelong nerd) I love the dynamic nature of insolvency law, as it adapts to the ever-changing commercial and global landscape by both case law development and statutory reform, driven domestically and also internationally by organisations like INSOL.
We are constantly presented with opportunities to develop innovative solutions to new problems, and then to sell those ideas to clients, stakeholders and the courts to achieve our clients' objectives.
I enjoy that intellectual challenge as I do the many opportunities I have to appear as my clients' advocate in court, advancing their interests, and engaging with the arguments put forward by the other parties, all of which drives towards achieving the best outcome possible.
I also enjoy the often collaborative nature of the work.
Whether it's working with my team at Ogier, advising the many talented insolvency practitioners we work for in the Cayman Islands and around the world, negotiating agreements with my colleagues at other onshore and offshore firms in relation to multi-party restructuring and insolvency disputes, or collaborating with the myriad other professionals who intersect with our industry, the great relationships we build along the way make the practice of insolvency law a really rewarding endeavour.
Opportunities to build a diverse practice in a variety of areas of law and the ability to collaborate with businesses, individuals and my wonderful colleagues to make a unique impact are aspects that I love most about my work.
My experience in insolvency, restructuring, financial regulatory and corporate governance has provided me with a set of diverse skills to call on when helping clients navigate complex situations, which, as we have seen in recent years, are rarely confined to any one particular area of law.
It is rewarding to draw on my international experience and linguistic abilities when gaining a better understanding of my clients’ circumstances and their objectives and goals – all I think are necessary to build trust and partnership with the client and grow the relationship!
Norton Rose Fulbright
Having worked on precedent-setting matters as lead counsel, I relish breaking new legal ground. For example the Diablo Fortune matter that I was involved in resulted in legislative amendments that had an impact on the shipping industry.
Insolvency is an interesting and fast-moving area of law which means having to keep pace with new developments around the world. Learning never stops and I am honoured to be one of the first three Singapore-qualified lawyers to be bestowed with the INSOL Fellow title.
Insolvency entails confronting challenging situations which then allows me to rise to the occasion and to grow as a person. This may involve arguing a novel point of law or filing an urgent judicial management application in the wee hours of the night.
Awards and accolades do not define me, but character certainly does. And I have learnt to wear adversity as a badge of honour. Indeed, it is the intangible things that matter the most to me. Some of my clients have become my closest friends and it could be said that these relationships are my lasting achievement.
Most importantly, I am proud to be part of the great team at Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP!
Dentons Rodyk & Davidson
I enjoy the variety that comes with working in the restructuring & insolvency space. It’s exciting to work across a mixture of market leading litigious, advisory and restructuring matters.
Each matter brings a new business to understand and new challenges to overcome.
I enjoy the strategy behind analysing the position of a distressed entity and developing and implementing turnaround strategies. It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of a team working to achieve positive results for clients and stakeholders. A recent highlight was assisting our clients in the restructure of the Virgin Group – Australia’s headline insolvency of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I enjoy the challenge of working on complex cross-border restructures. It’s fascinating to work with the different insolvency and workout regimes around the globe – comparing and reconciling them with the Australian regime, and learning from their various strengths. In particular, I’ve had the opportunity to assist numerous clients with exposure into US Chapter 11 filings.
I also find the court work associated with insolvency appointments exciting – both appearing as counsel on applications, and working with experienced counsel teams on larger pieces of litigation. Recently, I assisted with a suite of successful proceedings acting for the former administrators of Tiger Resources Limited.
Norton Rose Fulbright
Working in this constantly evolving legal field has been very rewarding.
Whether it be advising clients in relation to cross-border insolvency issues in a post-Brexit context or unpacking the UK Government’s legislative response to the COVID pandemic to assist a struggling business, there are daily reminders of the dynamism of insolvency law.
I am particularly grateful for the collegiate spirit of practitioners working in this space, and for the exchanges I have had with colleagues internationally in Singapore, the Cayman Islands and the United States, to name a few.
I have been an insolvency lawyer for the past 13 years and I believe that the core part of this practice is its possible interconnection with multiple other areas of law and with finance and economy.
During these years, I have dealt with high profile cases involving insolvency and distressed M&A, arbitration, capital markets, real estate, environmental law, compliance, labor, among others which allows a broader perspective on law and of the legal market.
This multiple and diverse practice also enables landing clients of several industries and fields, amplifying the view of the economic market too.
All of those angles make me passionate about the insolvency industry and I am really looking forward to the years ahead!
I enjoy the diversity of the nature of my work – ranging from complex cross border restructurings, liquidations, shareholder disputes and valuations, investigations to litigation support matters.
All of my work are cross border in nature - while based in Cayman Islands, I am constantly on the roads flying between UK, US, Cayman Islands and Asia, managing the various projects and working with people of various backgrounds and regions.
In the whirlwind of it all, I also lead Kroll’s restructuring service in Cayman Islands, as well as the firm’s funds and asset management services (acting as replacement General Partner to realise the assets within a portfolio, or to manage the exit and wind down of end-of-life funds).
Things are constantly happening and changing, there is never a dull moment at this job and that’s what motivates me.
I enjoy seeing first-hand how global, macroeconomic change impacts our clients’ businesses and assisting our clients in navigating the resulting challenges.
In doing so, we as restructuring professionals learn how our debtor clients’ businesses function and how this, in turn, shapes our investor clients’ opportunities.
A cross border restructuring is like a series of interconnected puzzles – it requires an understanding of the industry-specific ripple effects of the underlying distress and a tailored, multi-jurisdictional approach.
Whether it is increased production costs due to inflation, rising energy prices or geopolitical uncertainty, or headwinds faced by service-based industries such as labor shortage, supply chain disruption and pandemic-related change in consumer behavior — each cross-border restructuring is a microcosm of the effects of global economic trends.
As restructuring professionals, we collaborate with our counterparts across jurisdictions to navigate our clients through these issues. We are at the forefront of how the world responds to change.
Davis Polk and Wardwell
United States of America
Like so many others in restructuring I joined the profession without really understanding what the role would involve, that was over 15 years ago and I would still have difficulty defining what my day to day role involves which is what makes it so interesting.
Every case I work on is an opportunity to learn something new, some projects can be very technical, some involve dealing with different jurisdictions, many are lessons in human behaviour, and I find it all fascinating. I am very lucky to have stumbled across a profession that I enjoy so much.
In recent years I have also been given the opportunity to get involved with organisations such as IWIRC which has allowed me to promote diversity in the restructuring profession and help create a network of professionals that support one another to achieve great things.
Being part of a collaborative and supportive network both within my own firm and externally makes my role an extremely rewarding one.
Living and working in a major financial services hub, like the Cayman Islands, I am fortunate to have opportunities to advise large corporate groups with operations all over the globe and to have the chance to learn from experts in various industries.
Having practised at top-tier law firms in London, Dublin and Auckland in the past, I’ve been exposed to different common law approaches and a wide range of interesting work for excellent clients. My background and diverse training is especially useful when dealing with complex cross-border insolvency and restructuring assignments.
I really enjoy navigating difficult scenarios as part of a multi-faceted team. I always relish the prospect of being challenged and collaborating with talented people to find novel solutions. We deal with all manner of different situations, whether hotly contested or entirely non-contentious.
In my view, while recognising bias, there is no better area of the law in terms of constant learning and variety.
I am a partner in Mourant’s litigation and insolvency team in the Cayman Islands.
I enjoy the international nature of the work. Cayman Islands law is influenced by the approach taken in other common
law jurisdictions and produces appellate decisions of global significance, particularly at the Privy Council level. The cross-border dimension of insolvency matters is exciting and reflects the range of offshore and onshore jurisdictions involved in modern corporate structures. It also provides a great opportunity to travel and meet industry professionals from other countries.
As a litigator, I enjoy the court process and the challenge of delivering commercial results for clients. This often involves strategic thinking and presenting a client’s case in the most attractive light.
A highlight of my last twelve months has been acting for the Primeo Fund liquidators, alongside Peter Hayden, in their complex set of claims against HSBC. This involved two hearings in the Privy Council and will set precedent on various legal issues including reflective loss, limitation and contributory negligence.
I enjoy the rush of adrenaline that accompanies a restructuring or contentious insolvency.
Frequently, time is of the essence and a restructuring and insolvency practitioner needs to not only be well-grounded in insolvency law, but at the same time remain a strong generalist in other areas of law.
A complex restructuring tends to involve multiple stakeholders and a myriad of intricate issues that need to be delicately managed, which is challenging but very satisfying when a successful restructuring is implemented.
More importantly, the restructuring and insolvency fraternity is a tight-knit one and the friendships and camaraderie in the international and local restructuring and insolvency communities are definitely on the top of the list of things I enjoy about my work!
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
I enjoy the challenges of working on fast-paced complex restructurings where the competing interests of stakeholders need to be managed.
A rewarding part of my role is in closing out deals which gives my clients improved stability and security for the future.
Since the onset of the pandemic I have spent more time working on debtor side mandates, collaborating with management teams to secure additional liquidity to navigate through the pandemic and now the global economic headwinds.
The most distinguishable aspect of practicing in insolvency laws is that one gets to not only deal with the legal and commercial complexities involved in resolution of a distressed company, but also experience the thrilling courtroom debates throughout the process.
The corporate insolvency laws in India were overhauled in 2016 and citing this opportunity at the embryonic stage, I was fortunate to start my journey as an insolvency lawyer.
Having gained more than 6 years of experience, I have seen the new law playing out and jurisprudence being ironed out.
As a part of a leading law firm in India, I have had the opportunity to advise and represent a wide array of parties, including creditors committee, resolution professionals, resolution applicants, etc.
I have enjoyed every bit of this evolution and I am excited to be a part of what lies ahead. The satisfaction you get when you are able to contribute towards successful resolution of an entity is unmatched- and that is what keeps me going!
Not only that, every day is an enriching experience when you get to witness and contribute to the inter play of commercial and legal nuances to align the interest of various stakeholders.
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
My restructuring and insolvency career has provided me with the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and respected professionals in the industry for which I am very grateful.
This combined with the fact that every assignment is unique and presents its own challenges to overcome is what I really enjoy about my role at AlixPartners. It also helps that I am part of a fantastic team who support each other and enjoy working and socialising together.
Finding and implementing solutions for our clients when they are faced with complex and business critical problems, when it really matters, is extremely rewarding.
I have been fortunate to have worked on some of the most high-profile and complex restructuring and insolvency assignments over the last 16 years and it is this exposure to a variety of interesting situations, across multiple industries and jurisdictions that really motivates me.
I have worked in the accountancy profession with Grant Thornton for 13 years, and the insolvency profession for 7 of these, and there are two aspects of my role and insolvency work that I enjoy - the variety and the technical challenge.
We all know that no two days are the same in insolvency, and the fact that there is always something new, different and challenging to work on is a key draw of the insolvency profession for many, whether it be winding up a solvent corporate structure, advising local trading companies in difficulty or pursuing claims against directors or third parties.
As a Chartered Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and UK qualified Insolvency Practitioner, the technical challenge is a must for me and, again, recovery and insolvency work always delivers, whether it be conducting a forensic examination of incomplete company records or substantial cross border asset recovery work.
Couple the variety and technical challenge with working in an offshore environment (I am based in Jersey), I think it is easy to see why my role and the work is enjoyable.
As a barrister in restructuring and insolvency, I am constantly learning about new industries, or working on novel solutions for a particular fact pattern.
Some of my most innovative cases include the $3.6bn scheme of arrangement in respect of Noble Group Ltd in 2018, where financial and disputed contingent creditors voted as a single class; the restructuring of Virgin Atlantic Airways in the wake of the international travel bans in 2020, which broke new ground by using the process introduced as Part 26A of the Companies Act 2006; and the contested restructuring of Virgin Active in 2021, which successfully crammed down all of the dissenting classes in the first restructuring plan sanctioned under section 901G.
I also enjoy the international aspects of my work. For example, I worked on the ambitious restructuring of Markel CATCo in Bermuda, which was sanctioned earlier this year, and am frequently instructed in cases involving other offshore jurisdictions, such as the Cayman Islands and Nevis.
As a junior barrister, it is a particular privilege to work alongside the leading practitioners in the field, and learn first-hand from their detailed experience and expertise.
My practice consists of all aspects of company-side in-court and out-of-court restructurings, including reorganizations, asset sales, liquidations and structured wind-downs, both within the U.S. and offshore.
I represent companies across all sectors, although have extensive experience in the distressed retail, professional services and microfinance spaces.
A significant focus of my practice is cross-border restructurings, including chapter 15 representations. As part of my international work, I have developed unique expertise in advising distressed micro-finance companies across the globe, which often involves many foreign jurisdictions, undeveloped insolvency regimes and one-of-a-kind workout frameworks.
My work is my passion — working closely with companies, being fully immersed in the financial and operational restructuring process alongside management, financial advisors and investment bankers, untangling legal issues that straddle many jurisdictions and crafting strategic solutions that best position businesses for long-term success.
I discovered my passion shortly after I arrived in the U.S. at age 19 in search of an American dream. I worked tirelessly to fulfill my dream of becoming a lawyer. Ever since, I have been living my American dream and my passion by serving as a trusted boardroom advisor and being a proud mother of three.
Oksana Koltko Rosaluk
DLA Piper LLP (US)
United States of America
What fascinates me about my work as an insolvency and restructuring lawyer is the complexity of the legal issues we are requested to solve and the reward once we have found a solution which preserves value for all stakeholders.
I am fortunate to live this passion with a team of dedicated lawyers at Homburger. All my colleagues share the drive and curiosity to find extraordinary solutions for our clients even under highest time pressure.
A fair share of our work includes cross-border issues and demands alignment and coordination with specialists from foreign jurisdictions. Often we are facing situations for which there are not precedents and are requested to review a situation from a new angle.
In this setting, every working day becomes a new challenge and is different from the past.
It is this combination of complexity, adding value for our clients, team work and variety that I extraordinarily enjoy about my work.
Corporate restructuring and insolvency is an area of law that is constantly evolving as a result of global markets, consumer behaviour and political will.
Restructuring matters also vary based on the stakeholders involved and their varying psychologies and pressure points. Solving problems under pressure, navigating challenging situations and working in teams to deliver creative yet straightforward solutions for clients mean that no two days are the same.
Highlights include co-ordinating the wind down and restructuring of Agent Provocateur’s international business located across 19 countries (including a Chapter 11 in the US) and advising the buyer of Patisserie Valerie’s business out of administration.
These are just some of the reasons why I enjoy my job and find it interesting, challenging and rewarding in equal measures.
The UK and international restructuring communities are incredibly collaborative, supportive and inspiring. I have been lucky to work alongside and learn from some fantastic professionals.
I made Partner at Burges Salmon in May 2021 and have been blown away by my colleagues, former colleagues, clients and contacts who championed me through that process. Being nominated for and recognised by INSOL’s Younger Practitioner Spotlight highlights the strength of the network that supports me.
Burges Salmon LLP
I am proud to belong to our profession. The mental stimulation our line of work provides is phenomenal.
Every day that yields a challenge that needs to be remedied, is a chance to sharpen my mind, learn something new and make myself not only a better lawyer, but a better person.
Norton Rose Fulbright
Kunwarpreet is partner at Prakul & Kunwarpreet LLP, Company Secretaries.
He is an Insolvency Professional, Practicing Company Secretary and Masters in Commerce with a major in Business Policy and Corporate Governance, with prior experience of working at Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (“IBBI”), Big4 consultancy firm, insolvency professional entity and a law firm.
Kunwarpreet was part of the foundation batch of the Graduate Insolvency Programme, a first-of-its-kind programme for young practitioners to take up the discipline of insolvency professionals.
Working in restructuring and insolvency requires you to extend beyond traditional practice. It teaches you valuable skills such as critical thinking and business problem-solving skills. Most of all, providing a successful resolution for a struggling business to bounce back using your professional skills, offers immense work satisfaction as a professional.
Prakul & Kunwarpreet LLP
I have always been interested in how businesses deal with stress and distress (I’m not sure what that says about me), so a career in Restructuring seemed an inevitability.
One of my favourite parts of the job is stepping in alongside clients to support them through difficult and uncertain situations – quickly working out the key issues, advising on options and then tailoring a strategy that delivers the best outcome.
The other is working with a great network of people - both inside and outside of my firm.
I am lucky enough to have supported a diverse range of clients too (private and listed businesses, financial institutions, industry regulators and government departments), across a wide range of sectors. My work has also allowed me to build up a specific expertise in the energy sector, which is a fascinating and complex area - and particularly lively at the moment!
Junya Suzuki is a member of the Restructuring and Insolvency Group and the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Baker McKenzie.
He focuses his practice on cross-border restructuring and insolvency and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Based on his extensive knowledge and experience on these practice areas, Junya has frequently advised on high-profile multi-jurisdictional insolvency and distressed M&A transactions on the buyer/sponsor side or on the seller/debtor side, including global restructuring of Takata Corporation and its subsidiaries.
Junya is triple-qualified in Japan, England and Wales and the State of New York. He is currently lecturing cross-border reorganisation and restructuring at the Business Law Department of Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Law.
Junya is really enjoying tackling and solving complicated issues we encounter in multi-jurisdictional restructuring cases involving stakeholders with diverse (and often conflicting) interests by liaising with professionals with various backgrounds, expertise, and locations.
Junya finds work as restructuring professionals challenging but very rewarding.
One of the founders of BlackOak LLC, Darius’ work focuses on special situations, including both contentious and non-contentious aspects of corporate restructuring and insolvency (“CRI”), banking and finance as well as mergers and acquisitions for special situations.
Darius approaches each special situation with a bespoke and a solution-driven mindset. He enjoys working through complexities and difficult fluid situations, requiring him to foresee potential risks, issues and counter-arguments while taking into account legal and commercial factors when providing quality advice to each client in the distressed environment.
To him working with each client in the CRI space is like fighting for the survival of the Companies he works with and there is no greater joy then successful navigating a successful restructuring saving business and saving jobs, whilst creating value for all stakeholders.
Singapore lies at the heart of the debt restructuring space in South-east Asia, which puts me in prime position to work with financial institutions and investors that have their eye on the region.
I love practising in the area of cross-border restructuring and insolvency in particular, because the matters are always exciting and dynamic, and you get the opportunity to work with different teams around the world.
This also necessarily means that every new matter presents fertile ground for learning, exchanging ideas, and fine-tuning my own approach to the practice.
Over time I have had the privilege of getting to know and work with more professionals in this area – we have put our heads together to find solutions and set aside time to celebrate one another’s victories. In the next forty years I look forward to working on even more interesting matters, and making more memories and friendships to last a lifetime.
Allen & Gledhill
Jane is a leading bankruptcy and restructuring practitioner, who represents financial institutions, large enterprises, and investors in distressed assets, in matters relating to in- and out-of-court restructurings, bankruptcy, insolvency, and related litigation.
Jane has advised on some of the industry’s most complex bankruptcy and restructuring matters, including LATAM Airlines in the voluntary reorganization and restructuring of approximately $11 billion in debt; Grupo Posadas in the successful restructuring of approximately $400 million of senior notes; Goldman Sachs as prepetition agent on a $110 million pre-petition facility and DIP agent in the Chapter 11 proceedings of Rockall Energy; Goldman Sachs as agent in the Limetree Refinery Chapter 11 proceedings; and Automotores Gildemeister, in its Chapter 11 proceedings and restructuring of almost $600 million in debt. Jane’s other clients include TotalEnergies, McDermott International, Valaris, Pacific Drilling, Seadrill, and Chesapeake Energy.
Jane has continuously been recognized for her work. Among other accolades, she has been named a Rising Star in Bankruptcy by Law360 and an Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer by Turnarounds & Workouts, and has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation on the “Under 40 Hot List” for six years in a row and by the American Bankruptcy Institute as a “40 Under 40” honoree.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
United States of America
With a background in law and financial economics, I enjoy applying my specialized knowledge of law, economics and (distressed) valuation in complex cases, both for the purpose of restructuring advisory work and complex litigation proceedings accompanied with these special situations.
I have a special interest in (distressed) valuation and obtained my PhD (2019) on the topic: valuation in Dutch corporate and insolvency law.
In the past I worked for 2 years in New York City and find it enriching to work alongside clients and advisors with a different cultural and technical background, thereby working on international restructuring & insolvency matters and advising about the Dutch angle and proceedings in the Netherlands in general - and the new Dutch Scheme in particular.
On the short term, I am looking forward to celebrating INSOL’s 40th anniversary and to contribute to INSOL’s impressive technical collection by means of editing an INSOL book on valuation in R&I matters (expected in 2023) and to organize the co-branded INSOL Europe & R3 conference in London (summer 2023) again.
Sebastiaan van den Berg
After graduating with a BCom degree in Entrepreneurship, I was faced with a difficult year as part of South Africa’s workforce.
After my first retrenchment for the year, I joined hands with a Business Rescue and Consulting firm. This firm stationed me at a company in rescue that had no prospect of success.
As a completely green employee, I was tasked with running the operational side of the business whilst being faced with employees that haven’t been paid for months and creditor and management engagements that were hostile at best.
Unfortunately, the company ultimately fell into liquidation, and I was retrenched shortly after due to my employer’s financial difficulties. This experience, however unfortunate, showed me exactly how I should not approach a business rescue, but more importantly, it taught me a great lesson about empathy.
My studies in business rescue, luckily led to me meeting my current employer as well as allowing me to qualify as one of the youngest business rescue practitioners in South Africa. Being a business rescue practitioner comes with very high highs and extremely low lows, but most importantly, it allows me to make a meaningful difference in saving livelihoods.
Ruan van Niekerk
Engaged Business Turnaround (Pty) Ltd
Republic of South Africa
Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a broad portfolio of cases covering a range of matters.
What keeps this work interesting is that I invariably have to deal with complex and challenging matters, where no two cases are ever the same. Having said that, it’s always rewarding to know that the experience and expertise which I’ve built up over the course of my career continues to stand me, and my colleagues, in good stead.
Furthermore, every day at work I get the chance to interact with a number of stakeholders across various jurisdictions, and take great fulfilment from building those professional relationships.
There’s always those times when someone you’ve got to know from a case years gone by re-emerges, and the hard work put in all that time ago pays off.
On a personal side, I’ve enjoyed immensely my time at BDO and getting to know a fantastic group of colleagues both past and present (which I’m bound to say given my wife is also BDO alumni!)
I really enjoy the intellectual challenge of working in insolvency; every matter is different, and I feel very fortunate to have a career in which every day presents a new challenge.
Insolvency work often requires barristers to draw on experience of other areas of law – for me, that has been litigation – and I enjoy the depth and breadth of work that falls within the broad area of insolvency. I’ve had the opportunity to work on interesting matters in a number of jurisdictions.
While insolvency presents its intellectual challenges, it also requires a level of pragmatism and practicality and I also enjoy working with others in the insolvency industry to find practical solutions for clients as well as working on complex problems.
I have been lucky to work with some incredibly talented professionals across the industry. I have found that the insolvency industry is very collegiate, and supportive of more junior practitioners.
One of the things I enjoy about my area of practice is that, in addition to being very specialized in insolvency law, you also must have a strong skill set and knowledge of many different areas of law.
You must be able to triage problems, think creatively, and find ways to preserve and unlock overall value for your client. What I really enjoy about my cross-border matters is learning about different cultures and customs, finding commonalities, and harmonizing solutions across jurisdictions.
Additionally, despite great distances, connecting with the global insolvency community has allowed me to meet new colleagues and friends and gain innovative insights.