Mayer Brown’s London restructuring head Ashley Katz has a growing reputation for handling complex restructuring and insolvency cases, as 2012 has been a busy year for him. One client describes him as “a tenacious lawyer who is a real hustler”.
Katz’s work in the retail insolvency space has made the year stand out. He has been instructed to advise the administrators of high street retailer Comet, clothing chain Ethel Austin and women’s fashion brand Fenn Wright Manson. His representation to Deloitte as the administer of Comet is a high-profile and complex mandates, with the case regarded as one of the biggest insolvencies since Woolworths in 2008.
Katz’s responsibilities include employment issues, advice on the validity of the administrators’ appointment and preparation of draft letters and document review on retention of title matters.
In the structured finance area, Katz has been involved in the restructuring of several commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions which have underlying real estate assets overseas. The restructuring of Signac and Plus Retail, which hold properties in France and Germany respectively, are particularly noticeable. Katz worked with Mayer Brown’s European offices and led the UK advisory team on the two transactions.
In light of the continuing eurozone sovereign debt crisis, Katz has also been instructed by bondholders holding Greek sovereign debt to help them understand the possible scenarios and come up with potential enforcement options.
As joint head of the practice in London, Katz plans to grow the practice to become “one of the best competitors in the City for restructuring and insolvency”.