Number of insolvency partners in the US: 22
Number of insolvency partners in the UK: 2
Number of insolvency partners outside the US and UK: 1 (Singapore)
Clients include: Barclays, Credit Suisse, FleetBoston, International Monetary Fund, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.
Work: Representing the junior term lender group – mainly distressed debt purchasers – in the £260m restructuring of Queens Moat Houses. Counsel to the bondholder group, both original investors and distressed debt purchasers, in the simultaneous scheme of arrangement and Chapter 11 of Tiphook. Total bondholder debt was $740m (£445m). Special international bankruptcy counsel to the Singer Group and 53 of its foreign affiliates, all filing for Chapter 11 in the US.
The recent appointment of James Roome from Cadwalader marks the Boston firm's first move into English law capability, although its London office is well established. The finance firm made its first splash into the financial restructuring world in 1999 when it pulled off a merger with one of the world's premier firms in the practice area, Hebb & Gitlin.
In the US that meant the addition of the pre-eminent Richard Gitlin, who focuses on complex multinational workouts and insolvency and insurance matters. He was the appointed examiner in the cross-border Maxwell insolvency, the first to run simultaneous Chapter 11 proceedings in the US and administration in the UK.
In London, the merger added Hebb & Gitlin restructuring partner Barry Russell to Bingham's 26-year-old office, now boosted with the arrival of Roome. Russell's practice is targeted towards par bondholders, and Roome hopes to use that as a leverage to secure work from the secondary distressed debt bondholders.
The plan is to build a broader practice than Cadwalader, which focuses on secondary bondholders and does a limited amount of work for the pars. Bingham will also try to set itself apart by acting for US insurance companies investing in European bonds.
This year in the US the firm has pulled off a coup in attracting Tina Brozman to its New York office, the former chief judge of the US bankruptcy court for the southern district of New York. She was the judge in the groundbreaking Maxwell case and brings with her a premium understanding of international financial restructuring issues.
The firm also boasts a useful niche in advising governments and international institutions on legislative issues.
Resources will obviously be an issue in London, but if Roome can attract the team of associates necessary to beef up the practice, the firm should be able to use the extremely strong, large group in the US for leverage.