Hot 100: Adam Gallagher, Freshfields

In a year during which restructuring has been a vogue practice area, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Adam Gallagher (scroll down for video interview) has advised on some of the highest-profile turnaround cases in 2012.


He led for National Car Parks and Mouchel Group on their restructurings, and, in the latter end of 2011, advised Capita Asset Services, the special servicer to the £1.2bn of debt owed by landlord NHP amid the collapse of Southern Cross.

And in a major coup for the firm, which demonstrates its growing ties with HSBC, the firm replaced Hogan Lovells to advise the senior lenders, including the UK bank, on the £1.1bn debt restructuring of waste disposal group Biffa, with Gallagher leading.

The City partner is one of the leading restructuring partners in the market, but Gallagher didn’t start as a restructuring lawyer per se. He was initially an old-fashioned insolvency lawyer, handling administrations and liquidations. He switched to restructurings in the last 10 years. (Some of the old days remained: he acted for the administrators of Woolworths in 2008.) Gallagher was previously an associate at Lawrence Graham and the DLA Piper before moving into the magic circle.

Gallagher is a leading light in Freshfields’ restructuring team, following in the footsteps of the likes of Richard Tett, who pioneered the use of schemes of arrangement for non-UK companies.

Meanwhile, Gallagher is quietly making his way towards the group of star City restructuring solicitors.