Clifford Chance, in particular partner Cliff Godfrey, has long been the obvious choice for European-based steering committees on sovereign debt rescheduling. After doing the first one way back in the 1970s when Citibank led the rescheduling for the Sudan, and then following it soon after with Keith Clark bringing in the rescheduling for Poland, Clifford Chance has now acted for about 20 countries.
This deal was the second rescheduling of Russian sovereign debt. Clifford Chance did the first rescheduling for the steering committee in 1992, led by Deutsche Bank, and faced no beauty parade this time. This deal included a structure to allow existing Russian Federation euro bonds to effectively “cross default” to the new issue.
A global team of eight partners was assembled and negotiations started last year – led by finance partners Cliff Godfrey and Andrew Yianni in London, alongside capital markets partner Andrew Coats. In New York, partner Kevin Kelley led the work, while in Moscow it was run by partner Arthur Iliev. International law partner Jeremy Carver and banking and finance partners Kate Gibbons and William Knowles were also pulled in.