image of Orla McCoyOrla McCoy

Clayton Utz Partner , Sydney T +61 2 9353 4240 https://www.claytonutz.com

Orla is a Partner in the Sydney Restructuring and Insolvency practice, with over 20 years of local and international experience, including acting on a number of Australia’s largest corporate insolvency and distressed workout matters. 

Recently, Orla's work has included roles in the Ralan Constructions, RCR Tomlinson, Elk Petroleum, Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics, Foodora Australia, Custom Bus, Arrium and Network Ten matters.

Orla advises debtor companies, secured and unsecured creditors, sponsors, bondholders, insolvency practitioners (receivers, administrators and liquidators) and the Australian Commonwealth Government on all aspects of corporate restructurings, workouts and cross-border insolvency matters. 

Clients seek Orla's advice in respect of corporate distress and counterparty insolvency risk, including advice on options, rights and obligations; security review and protections; perfection or preservation of rights under the Australian Personal Property Securities Act; forbearance and standstill arrangements; consensual corporate or financial restructuring, including by scheme of arrangement; as well as on enforcement remedies and all aspects of formal external administration appointments.

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Expertise

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Restructuring and Insolvency

Restructuring

  • Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics: acted for the Administrators of NPC on the administration of this significant retail group. Advised on and implemented a restructure of the business and transfer of ownership to KUBA Investments via Deed of Company Arrangement and Creditors' Trust.
  • Foodora Australia:  act for Delivery Hero SE in relation to the administration and successful implementation of a Deed of Company Arrangement of its subsidiary, Foodora, involving complex untested issues arising from the insolvency of a "gig economy" entity.
  • Network Ten: acted for a strategic unsecured creditor of Network Ten in relation to the external administration and restructure via Deed of Company Arrangement of Ten.
  • SCF Group restructure: acted for a UK listed PE fund in relation to its portfolio investment vehicle, including on the successful restructure of the top holding company via receivership and debt for equity swap.
  • Emeco: acted for BNYM as noteholder trustee in relation to the restructuring and Chapter 15 recognition of the Emeco Scheme of Arrangement.
  • Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory: acted for WCB on the solvent restructure and amalgamation of a corporate group via section 413 members' Scheme of Arrangement.
  • Arrium Limited: acted for a secured creditor of Arrium subsidiary OneSteel, in relation to all aspects of the external administration of Arrium and OneSteel.
  • Hughes Drilling: acted for Jason Preston and Shaun Fraser of McGrathNicol as administrators and subsequent deed administrators of the ASX listed Hughes Drilling group including on the sale of US subsidiary Reichdrill Inc, the sale of the JSW Group and on the recapitalisation of the listed vehicle. 
  • Mirabela Nickel: act for the secured ad-hoc noteholder group in relation to the enforcement of security and all aspects of the receivership of Mirabela.
  • Virgin Australia: Orla acted for the administrators of Virgin Australia Airlines (and currently acting for the Trustees of the creditors' trust) in relation to the very high profile, complex and expedited administration and ultimate restructuring of Virgin Australia Airlines, including in relation to the multiple Court applications for unprecedented and extraordinary relief arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, on the contested bondholder litigation and on the Wells Fargo Cape Town Convention proceedings in which the administrators were successful.  Orla was also part of the team advising the administrators on the transactional aspects of the transaction, including the sale process and ultimate successful sale to an affiliate of Bain Capital.
  • Speedcast International: Orla acted for a significant contractual counterparty of Speedcast International Limited (ASX: SDA) in relation to the US Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of the Speedcast Group, including on the creditor's participation in the Chapter 11 proceedings and on the negotiation and execution of an acquisition of business from the Speedcast Group which was ultimately approved by the US Bankruptcy Court and all relevant stakeholder groups.
  • Branded Media Holdings: Orla intervened on behalf of the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department in relation to a Supreme Court application for directions by liquidators in relation to the "true employer" in a corporate group. The Court accepted the Commonwealth AG's submissions that there was no intelligible business objective in allocating employment liabilities to an assetless company. As a result of our intervention, the Commonwealth AG recovered 100% of the advances it had made to meet employee entitlements.

Insolvency

  • RCR Tomlinson: acts for the Commonwealth Government in relation to a complex application for directions to determine priority to AU$100m in funds as between priority employee creditors and secured creditors.
  • Ralan Constructions Group: acts for the Receivers of two Ralan entities in respect of issues arising in the receivership of construction companies.
  • Foodora Australia: act for Delivery Hero SE in relation to the administration of its subsidiary, Foodora Australia, involving complex untested issues arising from the insolvency of a "gig economy" entity including the analysis and proper characterisation of tax and workplace liabilities.
  • Custom Bus Australia: act for the liquidators of Custom Bus, a large manufacturer of buses for the private and public sector, including public transport buses for a number of Australian states and territories, in all aspects of the administration and liquidation of the companies, including on asset sales and disposals, multiple Personal Property Securities Act issues and on insolvent trading and voidable transaction recovery matters.
  • Pluton Resources Limited: Act for the Commonwealth in relation to the Pluton Resources Limited receivership, including on a successful application to the Supreme Court of Western Australia.
  • Lehman Brothers Australia: acted for the liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia (including on the preparation and implementation of a successful creditors' Scheme of Arrangement).
  • HIH Insurance, FAI General Insurance: act for the Hong Kong Law Society's Solicitors' Indemnity fund in one of Australia's longest running (commenced in 2001) and most complex liquidations, including sitting on the Committee of Creditors in the companies' liquidations and schemes of arrangement. 

See Restructuring and Insolvency

Debt Trading and Special Situation Investing

  • Elk Petroleum Limited: act for a HK based special situations fund in relation to its investment in EPL, an Australian listed entity which appointed administrators following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of other members of the Elk Petroleum group.
  • Carbon Energy Limited: acted for a private equity sponsor (a Pacific Road fund) in relation to its investment in portfolio vehicle, Carbon Energy Limited, including on enforcement rights and the realization of that investment via deed of company arrangement.
  • SCF Group restructure: acted for a UK listed PE fund in relation to its portfolio investment vehicle, including on the successful restructure of the top holding company via receivership and debt for equity swap.
  • Mirabela Nickel: act for the secured ad-hoc noteholder group in relation to the enforcement of security and all aspects of the receivership of Mirabela.
  • Hughes Drilling: acted for Jason Preston and Shaun Fraser of McGrathNicol as administrators and subsequent deed administrators of the ASX listed Hughes Drilling group including on the sale of US subsidiary Reichdrill Inc, the sale of the JSW Group and on the recapitalisation of the listed vehicle.  
  • Virgin Australia: Orla acted for the administrators of Virgin Australia Airlines (and currently acting for the Trustees of the creditors' trust) in relation to the very high profile, complex and expedited administration and ultimate restructuring of Virgin Australia Airlines, including in relation to the multiple Court applications for unprecedented and extraordinary relief arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, on the contested bondholder litigation and on the Wells Fargo Cape Town Convention proceedings in which the administrators were successful.  Orla was also part of the team advising the administrators on the transactional aspects of the transaction, including the sale process and ultimate successful sale to an affiliate of Bain Capital.

See Debt Trading and Special Situation Investing

Banking and Finance

  • Arrium Limited: Acted for a secured creditor of Arrium subsidiary OneSteel, in relation to the preservation of existing rights and the provision of new financing arrangements to OneSteel during the administration of the group.
  • Emeco: Acted for BNYM as noteholder trustee in relation to the restructuring and Chapter 15 recognition of the Emeco Scheme of Arrangement.
  • SCF Group restructure: Acted for a UK listed PE fund in relation to its portfolio investment vehicle, including on the successful restructure of the top holding company via receivership and debt for equity swap.
  • Lehman Brothers Australia: Acting for the liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia (including on the preparation and implementation of a successful creditors' Scheme of Arrangement). 
  • Toyota Finance Australia Limited: Acted for a secured party in relation to the remediation of circa 30,000 defective security interests, including seeking Court orders extending the time for registration of over 7000 registrations.  The proceedings were served on over 6,500 grantors and other secured parties and final orders were made within 2 months of commencement.  The Court application by TFA is the largest and most complex extension of time application to have been brought before Australian courts in relation to the PPSA, to date.

See Banking and Finance

Government

    • RCR Tomlinson: Orla acted for the Commonwealth Government (Attorney General's Department) in significant Supreme Court proceedings involving complex questions of law and statutory priority arising in respect of the distribution of a $100m fund. (2020)
    • Branded Media Holdings: Orla intervened on behalf of the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department in relation to a Supreme Court application for directions by liquidators in relation to the "true employer" in a corporate group. The Court accepted the Commonwealth AG's submissions that there was no intelligible business objective in allocating employment liabilities to an assetless company. As a result of our intervention, the Commonwealth AG recovered 100% of the advances it had made to meet employee entitlements. (2020)
    • Pluton Resources Limited: Orla acted for the Commonwealth in relation to the Pluton Resources Limited receivership, including on a successful application to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in respect of the Personal Property Securities Act. (2019-2020)
    • ABC Learning Centres: Orla acted for the Commonwealth on the ground-breaking (and award winning) special purpose receivership of ABC Learning Centres (for DEEWR), restructuring and selling 246 of the 262 previously underperforming childcare centres within a 6 month period. (2010-2011)
    • Advice work: Orla drafted the suite of template (liquidator and litigation) funding agreements and associated documents for the Commonwealth FEG Recovery team. Multiple departments - advising on various counterparty risk, security and insolvency matters. Acted for the Department of Defence in respect of the insolvency of THO Services Limited (2016) and the EC&M subcontractor insolvency (2020)

    See Government

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