Number of insolvency partners in US: 10
Number of insolvency partners in UK: 2
Number of insolvency partners outside the US and UK: 0
Clients include: Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, DLJ, ING Barings, Lehman Brothers, Paribas and numerous hedge funds.
Work: Advising the bondholder steering committee on the £150m restructuring of One Finsbury Circus; and the bondholders in the 1986 issue in Barings. Acting for the administrator of Ionica, the first simultaneous Chapter 11 in the US and administration in the UK since Maxwell; and representing the bondholders in the $175m (£110m) restructuring of Alpha Shipping.
The first to spot the potential in the transatlantic insolvency market, Cadwalader opened in London with a splash in 1997, with a team of four UK partners from Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Wilde Sapte. The Wall Street firm has a strong reputation in the US for insurance insolvency and capital markets (particularly mortgage-backed securities, which are its roots). Partner Andrew Wilkinson, ex-Clifford Chance, heads up the UK financial restructuring team, which is strongly in tune with the US practice, acting for bondholders and secondary debt market players to manage workouts.
Instability has seen the firm shed London partners at an astounding rate this year (five since January), leaving Wilkinson not only managing partner of the office, but with only one other partner in the restructuring team in Lyndon Norley. Highly-regarded client-handler James Roome, who Wilkinson recruited from Simmons & Simmons, left to set up the English law capability at Bingham Dana.
This lack of a stable environment may provide Bingham with the perfect opportunity to swoop on the bondholder market Cadwalader has made its own. Though the firm has the advantage of having a strong team in place, it has to break away from the just-Wilkinson image, and may need to market the rest of the team more actively, which includes star assistant Yvette Croucher.
Nevertheless, though lacking an Asian presence and depleted in London, Cadwalader has one of the City's biggest stars in Wilkinson, and being the first to spot the transatlantic potential, has it well executed.