Hot 100: Adam Gallagher, Freshfields

In a year during which restructuring has been a vogue practice area, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Adam Gallagher (scroll down for video interview) has advised on some of the highest-profile turnaround cases in 2012.

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He led for National Car Parks and Mouchel Group on their restructurings, and, in the latter end of 2011, advised Capita Asset Services, the special servicer to the £1.2bn of debt owed by landlord NHP amid the collapse of Southern Cross.

And in a major coup for the firm, which demonstrates its growing ties with HSBC, the firm replaced Hogan Lovells to advise the senior lenders, including the UK bank, on the £1.1bn debt restructuring of waste disposal group Biffa, with Gallagher leading.

The City partner is one of the leading restructuring partners in the market, but Gallagher didn’t start as a restructuring lawyer per se. He was initially an old-fashioned insolvency lawyer, handling administrations and liquidations. He switched to restructurings in the last 10 years. (Some of the old days remained: he acted for the administrators of Woolworths in 2008.) Gallagher was previously an associate at Lawrence Graham and the DLA Piper before moving into the magic circle.

Gallagher is a leading light in Freshfields’ restructuring team, following in the footsteps of the likes of Richard Tett, who pioneered the use of schemes of arrangement for non-UK companies.

Meanwhile, Gallagher is quietly making his way towards the group of star City restructuring solicitors.

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