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As US-based Dewey & LeBoeuf went the way of the dodo in the biggest law firm collapse of recent years, its UK LLP, covering the London and Paris offices, turned to CMS Cameron McKenna to advise the partners on liquidation matters.
More particularly, it turned to CMS’s head of banking and finance and restructuring expert Rita Lowe. The choice was pretty clear as Lowe had previously acted for the administrators of extinct law firm Halliwells in 2010.
Sorting out the fallout from the wind-down has taken up a lot of Lowe’s time but “it is still very much on my radar”, she says. “I am working on issues surrounding the partners’ settlement proposals in the US and the conclusion of UK administration. There are also issues around regulatory responsibilities arising from the disposal of files in the US that might relate to English clients and cross-jurisdictional issues.”
She says the success of the administration owed much to co-operation. “We were working very closely with the Solicitors Regulation Authority on a daily basis. From day one we each knew about the protocols and processes developed from the Halliwells experience. We were very much on the front foot with issues.”
Apart from the Dewey insolvency, Lowe has also worked on several substantial restructurings, particularly in the hotel and leisure sector. Away from her work for clients she became a member of the firm’s management board in May and will take up the presidency of the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association.