Graham Lane

Partner

London
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
CityPoint, 1 Ropemaker Street
London EC2Y 9AW
T +44 20 3580 4706
F +44 20 3580 4800
glanewillkie.com

Graham Lane is a partner in the Business Reorganization and Restructuring Department. He advises stakeholders in all types of restructuring and insolvency matters, with a particular focus on complex cross-border projects.

Graham is frequently called upon to: (i) act for par and distressed investors in both "yield" and "loan to own" scenarios; (ii) act for large multinational debtor groups in the negotiation, documentation and implementation of complex and frequently hostile restructuring transactions; (iii) act for private equity and venture capital investors seeking to capitalise on restructuring opportunities and to protect and optimise existing investments; and (iv) provide advice and guidance for insolvency practitioners, particularly in connection with novel and ground-breaking issues arising from "COMI shifts" and pre-packaged administrations.

Graham has gained extensive experience from playing key roles in some of the largest and most noteworthy market-leading restructurings of the last decade, including Eitzen, Travelodge, Klöckner Pentaplast, MF Global, European Directories, Eurotunnel, Sea Containers and Japan Airlines. He is also known for his broad experience in the French market having been involved in the Vivarte, Latécoère, Akerys, Belvedere, Du Fort/Jallatte and other significant French restructurings.

Among other accolades, Graham is recognised as a leading restructuring and insolvency attorney by Chambers Global (2013) - The World's Leading Lawyers for Business. In 2016, he was selected by Global Restructuring Review among its “40 Under 40” list of the world’s leading young restructuring lawyers.

Graham is a member of the International Insolvency Institute’s (III) NextGen Leadership Program, which comprises distinguished faculty from across Europe and the United States to lead discussions on pressing topics such as developments in national and international insolvency law.

Graham is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish.

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Highlights

Graham Lane is a partner in the Business Reorganization and Restructuring Department. He advises stakeholders in all types of restructuring and insolvency matters, with a particular focus on complex cross-border projects.

Selected Significant Matters

Graham has a wide range of cross-border restructuring and insolvency experience. Notable non-confidential mandates** include:

Creditors

  • Latécoère. Advised Apollo and Monarch, who led a lender working group in the completion of Latécoère’s restructuring, which comprised a partial debt-for-equity swap and new money injection (2015)
  • Vivarte. Advising significant creditors and anchor investors on the €3 billion Vivarte restructuring, involving the injection of €500 million new debt financing (2014+)
  • MF Global. Acting for significant clients and creditors of MF Global UK Limited (in special administration) including a member of the creditor's committee (2011-2013)
  • Klöckner Pentaplast. Advising Strategic Value Partners on the junior-led debt-for-equity restructuring of the Klöckner Pentaplast Group, involving the repayment in full of the senior lenders and the injection of substantial new money funding (2012)
  • Escada. Representing an ad hoc committee of holders of €200 million 7.5% Senior Notes issued by Escada AG, a German fashion retailer, with respect to Escada's Exchange Offer and subsequent insolvency proceedings (2009-2010)
  • Akerys. Acting for an ad hoc committee of bondholders in connection with the negotiation, documentation and implementation of a consensual debt-for-equity restructuring with the company, its shareholders and other key stakeholders, including innovative protections from French sauvegarde proceedings (2008-2009)
  • BorsodChem. Advising a Steering Committee of Mezzanine Lenders in connection with their investment in BorsodChem, a Hungarian chemical company (2009-2010)
  • Eurotunnel. Acting for the European Investment Bank in its capacity as a significant creditor and shareholder in connection with the successful complex Eurotunnel restructuring, including the French sauvegarde proceedings (2004-2007)
  • BAA. Acting for an ad hoc committee of junior acquisition lenders in connection with the BAA refinancing (2008)
  • La Veggia. Acting for bondholders of La Veggia Finance SA, an Italian packaging manufacturer (2006-2010)

Chapter 11 Debtors

  • CORE Media Group. Representing the production company behind the TV shows American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance in its chapter 11 case, including obtaining precedent-setting recognition of one of the UK debtor’s chapter 11 proceeding as a foreign main proceeding under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 (judgment reported here) (2015-2016).
  • Visteon. Acting for the Visteon Group, a tier 1 auto parts supplier, in connection with its $5 billion U.S. chapter 11 restructuring and ongoing European trading advice (2009-2012)
  • Questex Media Group, Inc. Acting for Questex Media Group, Inc., a leading global B2B media and information provider, in its Chapter 11 cases filed in the District of Delaware. Questex's chapter 11 cases involved approximately $242 million in total funded debt obligations (2009)
  • Sea Containers Group. Acting for the Sea Containers Group, a logistics and ferries business, in connection with its successful international restructuring, including multiple non-core asset disposals, settlements with creditors and implementation of significant exit financing (2006-2009)
  • Collins & Aikman. Acting for the European Collins & Aikman Group in connection with a successful application for administration orders with respect to 24 European companies, including a groundbreaking application of the EU Insolvency Regulation (2005)
  • Calpine Corporation. Acting for the Calpine Group in connection with the European aspects of its chapter 11 and concurrent Canadian bankruptcy proceedings (2006-2008)
  • Dura Automotive Group. Acting for the Dura Automotive Group in connection with its European operations (2006-2007)
  • United Airlines. Acting for the United Airlines Group on European aspects of its Chapter 11 restructuring (2003-2005)

Debtors in Out-of-Court Restructurings

  • Rijnmond Energie C.V. Advising the directors and the company in connection with the disposal of the mothballed 810MW Rijnmond Energie combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Rotterdam, both prior to and after the commencement of enforcement proceedings by lenders (2015)
  • Axcess Financial. Acting for the Axcess Financial group on the restructuring of Cheque Centres, the UK's second largest high street payday lender, including a rationalization of its leasehold portfolio and a pre-packaged administration sale (2014)
  • Eitzen. Advising the Eitzen Group, a leading Norwegian chemicals shipping company on the international elements of its successful debt-for-equity restructuring (2014-2015)
  • Travelodge. Acting for GoldenTree, Avenue Capital and Goldman Sachs on the successful operational and financial restructuring of Travelodge Hotels, including a groundbreaking CVA and interlocking Schemes of Arrangement and the injection of substantial new money funding (2012)
  • Public Safety Equipment (PSE). Acting for PSE, a leading supplier of highway safety and enforcement solutions, on its debt for equity restructuring, involving a significant reduction in liabilities and a settlement with the UK pensions authorities (2010)
  • Codemasters. Advising Codemasters, a leading computer games manufacturer, on all aspects of its financial and corporate restructuring, involving a debt-for-equity swap, negotiations with creditors and the settlement of significant liabilities, the disposal of non-core assets and a significant co-investment by Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries (2008-2012)
  • Japan Airlines Corporation (JAL). Acting for JAL, Asia's largest air carrier with a fleet of more than 270 aircraft, as international restructuring counsel (2010)
  • Global Automotive Logistics (GAL). Acting for GAL in connection with the implementation of its restructuring (2007)
  • Nybron. Acting for Nybron Flooring on its multi-jurisdictional debt-for-equity restructuring (2007-2011)
  • Treofan Group. Acting for the Treofan Group, a German manufacturer of oriented polypropylene film products, in connection with its complex financial restructuring (2005-2006)
  • Jallatte-Almar. Acting for the Jallatte-Almar Group, a leading manufacturer of safety shoes, in connection with its successful pan-European restructuring, involving negotiations with its senior and mezzanine bank facility providers and equity stakeholders, and the implementation of standstill arrangements, a debt-for-equity swap and significant additional funding (2004-2006)

Insolvency Practitioners

  • Evans Easyspace. Acting for Zolfo Cooper LLP as the administrators of Evans Easyspace, a major serviced office group, in relation to the sale of the business and assets of Evans Easyspace to Regus plc. (2013-2014)
  • Modec. Acting for Zolfo Cooper LLP on the administration of Modec Limited, a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles (2011)
  • Lehman Australia. Acting for PPB Advisory as the liquidators of Lehman Brothers Australia Limited in connection with various issues arising from the Lehman Brothers insolvencies (2011)
  • European Directories. Advising PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the administrators to European Directories (DH6) B.V. in the largest-ever COMI shift pre-packaged administration, involving the restructuring of €2 billion in debt (2010-2011)
  • Collins & Aikman. Acting for Kroll as joint administrators of the European Collins & Aikman Group, including dealing with local creditors and threatened secondary proceedings, advising foreign counsel on the impact of English insolvency laws, assisting with the successful disposal of its core European business to a consortium lead by W L Ross & Co. LLC, and the successful exit from administration and subsequent dissolution of the various group companies (2005-2010)
  • J. L. French. Acting for BDO Stoy Hayward LLP as joint administrators of auto parts manufacturer J. L. French UK Limited (2006-2007)

Other

  • American Industrial Partners. Acting for American Industrial Partners on the acquisition of certain significant US aerospace subsidiaries of Hampson Industries Plc via a pre-packaged administration (2012)
  • Brakes Bros. Advising Brakes Bros. on the acquisition of certain assets from its insolvent competitor DBC Foodservice Limited (in administration) (2012)
  • Regularly acting for leading hedge funds and private equity houses, both in connection with their diligence and review of European investment opportunities and the restructuring and/or winding-up of their European portfolio companies
  • Pro bono advice to individuals on debt counseling and insolvency matters

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Willkie, Graham was a partner at Kirkland and Ellis International LLP.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

Graham is a member of the Insolvency Lawyers' Association and a member of the International Insolvency Institute’s (III) NextGen Leadership Program, which comprises distinguished faculty from across Europe and the United States to lead discussions on pressing topics such as developments in national and international insolvency law.

Selected Publications and Lectures

Graham is co-author of the following works:

  • “Expedited Corporate Debt Restructuring: Procedural Law Implications in the EU under the Insolvency Regulation” in the book Expedited Corporate Debt Restructuring in the EU – edited by Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal Oxford University Press
  • “Schemes of arrangements: theory and practice” in the book Investing in Distressed Debt in Europe – The TMA Handbook for Practitioners
  • “Expedited Corporate Debt Restructuring: Procedural Law Implications in the EU under the Insolvency Regulation,” Expedited Corporate Debt Restructuring in the EU (Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • "Legal Analysis: England & Wales", Chapter 8 of A Practitioner's Guide to Corporate Restructuring (City & Financial, 2008)
  • "UK (England & Wales)", Q&A Chapter of PLC Cross-border Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook 2006/07 (PLC, 2006)
  • "The EC Insolvency Regulation: Three Years On", PLC Cross-border Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook 2005/06 (PLC, 2005)
  • "Two Systems Divided By A Common Language: U.S. Chapter 11 -v- English Administration: A Practical Comparison", ABI International Insolvency Symposium, September 2005 (ABI, 2005)

Graham has also contributed to the following articles:

  • "American Idol maker uses Model Law," Global Turnaround (May 2016)
  • “SIP 16: no easy answers!” Insolvency News (January 2016)
  • “Apollo and Monarch take stake in Latécoère,” Global Turnaround (September 2015)
  • “Giant Dutch ‘Rijnmond’ power plant for sale,” Global Turnaround (September 2015)
  • Successful distressed investing,” Financier Worldwide (November 2014)
  • “The Pros and Cons of English Schemes”, Global Turnaround (2014)
  • “Schemes of Arrangement: flexible, global and here to stay”, Financer Worldwide (March 2014)
  • "Know Your Place", The Lawyer, May 23, 2005
  • "Tooled Up", The Lawyer, November 10, 2003

Graham's speaking engagements include:

  • Chair and moderator, Global Restructuring Review’s inaugural “GRR Live London” conference (November 2016)
  • Presentation to Queen Mary University of London, 3rd Annual Sino-UK Conference on Commercial and Corporate Law, “Cram-Down on the Up: Article 87 of China’s Enterprise Bankruptcy Law and the UK Proposals for a ‘New Flexible Restructuring Plan’” (June 2016)
  • Presentation to University of Reading, School of Law, Conference on Latest Trends in Corporate and Bank Restructuring & Resolution, “Special Administrations in Regulated Industries – The Case for a Differentiated Regime for the Healthcare Sector” (May 2016)
  • Visiting lecturer on the LLM programme at the Centre of Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, “European Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings” (2013 - present)
  • Presentation to University of Reading, School of Law, Conference on Latest Trends in Corporate and Bank Restructuring & Resolution, “Special Administrations in Regulated Industries – The Case for a Differentiated Regime for the Healthcare Sector” (May 2016)
  • Presentation to Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies corporate insolvency law LLM programme entitled “European Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings” (January 2015 and January 2016)
  • Moderator, Euromoney Distressed Debt Forum, "High yield bonds and distressed debt: value propositions in the search for higher yield" (November 2013)
  • Presentation to the European Distressed Debt Investor Seminar, CVAs in the Current Era: Fitness First and Travelodge, London, (September 2012)

Graham is quoted in the following publications:

  • Global Restructuring Review (August 2016, June 2016) – Graham regularly discusses the implications of Brexit on the UK restructuring market with Global Restructuring Review
  • Global Restructuring Review (May 2016) – Graham comments on UK court’s recognition of client Core Media’s U.S. chapter 11 case
  • Bloomberg (April 2016) – Graham discusses the implications of pension deficits in insolvency cases
  • ShippingWatch.com (January 2016) – Graham is interviewed regarding the state of the oil industry
  • Ship & Bunker (June 2015) – Graham is quoted discussing the prolonged depressed price of oil, and the resulting uptick in opportunistic private equity transactions and M&A activity

 

 

** Graham advised on those matters completed before September 1, 2013 at his prior firm.

*Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is a limited liability partnership formed under the laws of the State of Delaware, USA and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 565650.