Melbourne, 11 February 2009: Keeping pace with the rapid changes occurring in Australia's financial markets, Clayton Utz has further bolstered its restructuring and insolvency capability with the appointment of specialist corporate workouts lawyer Nick Poole as a partner in Melbourne.
Nick brings a wealth of restructuring experience to the firm having worked for nearly 8 years in Mayer Brown JSM's (previously Johnson Stokes & Master) leading Asian restructuring and insolvency practice in Bangkok and then Hong Kong.
Nick's extensive restructuring experience includes advising lenders, bondholders, debtors and insolvency practitioners in connection with all aspects of large, complex cross-border insolvencies, restructurings, workouts and non-performing loan sales.
Recently Nick was the lead partner advising a 27-member bank group in the restructure and then liquidation of the Hong Kong listed Moulin Group of Companies having bank debt in excess of HK$2.4 billion, involving formal insolvency proceedings in 11 jurisdictions and the US$600 million disposal of the Group's majority interest in the third largest eyewear retailer in the US. Nick also recently advised major creditors in respect of the liquidation of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines and the bondholders of Bio-Treat Technology Limited following its failure to redeem put bonds with a face value of S$156 million.
Given the current economic climate Nick's extensive Asian restructuring experience will prove invaluable as the number of financially distressed companies and defaults continues to rise.
"Falling commodity prices and the tightening of the credit market has seen the option for stressed companies and their lenders to exit positions through refinancings and asset sales become more difficult. Consequently it is imperative that interested parties are able to formulate and implement appropriate corporate restructurings in a timely fashion. Given the complex and sometimes opaque corporate structures that we are seeing being used, a broad mix of legal skills including in areas such as insolvency, tax, workplace relations, property, mergers & acquisitions and funds management is needed.
"As a leading firm in the Australian market, Clayton Utz not only has the necessary high-level restructuring and insolvency expertise but is able to quickly assemble a multi-disciplinary legal team with the skills needed to advise on major corporate workouts," he said.
Commenting on Nick's appointment, the national head of Clayton Utz' Banking and Financial Services practice, Grant Fuzi, said: "In the current economic climate, Nick's joining the restructuring and insolvency group is very timely and further enhances the broad expertise and capabilities of our national team. "