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Reed Smith London restructuring partner Charlotte Møller (scroll down for video interview) found herself working on one of the key cases last year when she advised KPMG on the administration of spread betting business WorldSpreads.
Once KPMG partners Jane Moriarty and Samantha Bewick were appointed as special administrators of the AIM-listed company, long-time colleagues Møller and Reed Smith’s Europe and Middle East disputes head Richard Spafford were hired to handle the legals. This is only the third instance of the FSA’s special administrations (SARs) being used since they were introduced in 2011 under the Banking Act 2009 regime in the wake of the Lehman administration. The first two cases were MF Global and Pritchard.
The novelty of this matter and the glare of the media spotlight inevitably put even more pressure on Møller, Spafford and their legal team to perform.
“It’s a very new area,” says Møller. “The three cases are the test ground for the regulations and rules.”
Indeed, at the end of 2012 HM Treasury announced it was launching a review of the special administration regime, to be concluded by February this year. It is led by former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Peter Bloxham, now operating as a sole practitioner.
With WorldSpreads, Møller is genuinely breaking new ground.