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Corporate restructuring & advisory

Shoosmiths' corporate restructuring and advisory team delivers an excellent client experience for major high street lenders, companies in financial difficulty and insolvency practitioners throughout the UK, with specific expertise in the retail sector.

Our team of skilled corporate restructuring lawyers has a broad range of experience across the full spectrum of corporate advisory related matters, with specific recent experience in the retail sector in connection with company voluntary arrangements. Having acted on more retail CVAs than any other law firm over the past 12-18 months, Shoosmiths is now widely known in the restructuring community as the go-to law firm for retail CVAs and is a leader in its field.

The team has also been consistently working on high profile, highly complex corporate restructurings and high value disposals of businesses on behalf of insolvency practitioners, as well as purchases from insolvency practitioners. The team is a force to be reckoned with, winning roles as advisers in connection with a number of large, well known retail businesses going through this process.

Through these assignments, the team has consistently demonstrated its wide range of range of restructuring and advisory skills, displaying tenacity on behalf of its clients in implementing innovative solutions to complicated problems. The team employs creative thinking and innovative methods to unlock solutions to critical issues which may need to be overcome in order to achieve a consensual restructuring of the company in question.

Understanding the importance of fast response times

We recognise that in financially distressed scenarios our clients need urgent practical advice, which is why we pride ourselves on our fast response times.  We offer constructive, commercial and clear advice in a straightforward manner to provide solutions tailored to our clients’ objectives.

As well as specialising in non-contentious issues, we can also advise in relation to litigious matters, acting for insolvency practitioners and creditors in recovering funds through the use of corporate and insolvency legislation.

Capitalising on the team’s outstanding reputation as a leader in the field of retail CVAs, by winning roles as advisers to a number of large, well-known retail businesses going through this process. This successful year culminated with the team being shortlisted for National Corporate Restructuring team of the year at the TRI (Turnaround Restructuring and Insolvency) Awards in London, with James Keates winning Corporate Restructuring Lawyer of the Year at the same awards.

Recent experience includes:

  • Advising Monsoon Accessorize Limited and Accessorize Limited, a clothes, accessories and homeware retailer in 258 outlets, on its successful CVA after being hit by rising rent prices and a pressurised retail environment. The proposals were approved with a majority significantly above the required threshold on each proposal, saving circa 4,200 jobs.
  • Acting for the companies trading as Office Outlet (the stationers formerly known as Staples), in connection with its 87 store CVA.
  • Advising in relation to CVAs for Select Fashion (183 stores), Aldo Shoes and HJ Tenger Holdings Limited, a chain of Chinese restaurants.
  • Advising one of the major stakeholders of British Steel Limited prior to and following the liquidation of British Steel Limited.
  • Acting for Karen Millen in its acquisition of certain assets of Coast's business from its administrators. The team’s commercial approach resulted in this transaction being completed within an extremely limited timescale and structured in a way as to potentially save Karen Millen a significant amount of cash in terms of liabilities moving forward.
  • Advising Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited, formerly part of the Monarch Airlines Group, in connection with its high profile and high value restructuring. This involved the restructuring of the company’s debt profile, negotiating standstill agreements with key creditors and advising in connection with the change of ownership of the company to take it outside of the insolvent Monarch group. This culminated in a rescue of the company via the implementation of a successful CVA.
  • Advising KPMG LLP, the administrators of Late Rooms Limited, Superbreaks Mini-Holidays Limited and Malvern Travel Technology Limited in connection with the 42,000 customers who had future bookings with the Group at the time of the administration, and later in connection with the sale of certain assets of Late Rooms and Superbreaks.
  • Advising Late Rooms Limited which has significant investments in offshore mining operations in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We additionally advised RSM Restructuring and Advisory LLP in connection with the administration of Cyrus-RW Limited.

The team has strong links with a number of distressed private equity investment houses and has continued to build on its relationships with major high street lenders, as well as asset-based lenders. The team has developed strong links with a number of distressed private equity investment houses and has continued to build on its relationships with major high street lenders, as well as asset-based lenders. These relationships have enabled the team to secure a number of instructions across the full range of restructuring services and corporate insolvency matters.

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