A&O lands biggest insolvency this year

Allen & Overy has won one of the biggest insolvencies this year, with Barclays instructing it on the receivership of Independent Energy.

After billing problems, Independent Energy collapsed with a bank debt of £165m on 8 September, despite having reached a market capitalisation of £1.3bn in the spring. It is the largest receivership in the UK since TransTec in December 1999.

“It was a complex job, especially the interrelationship with the other electricity companies,” says A&O partner Francis Bridgeman. The A&O team advised Roger Oldfield of accountancy firm KMPG on the receivership, and continues to advise on ongoing issues.

Independent Energy has been sold out of receivership to Innogy, the demerged UK part of National Power, advised by a Linklaters & Alliance team led by banking and restructuring partner Robert Elliott.

Herbert Smith acted for the regional electricity companies and was instructed by Northern Electric.

Stephen Gale, who led the corporate recovery team at Herbert Smith, says: “This is clearly of significance. If one reason why Independent Energy went down was difficulties with collecting revenue, then it needs to be addressed. It’s for the receivers to discuss that with the industry, which includes regional distributors as well as generators.”