Kennedys on the menu as Auberge operator files for administration

Kennedys has won a role acting for the administrators of Town Centre Restaurants, the company behind the Café Giardino chain.

London banking and restructuring partner Dino Paganuzzi has been instructed to advise Zolfo Cooper partners Nick Cropper, Fraser Gray and Anne O’Keefe on the case, with the trio appointed as administrators last month.

Town Centre Restaurants, whose lenders include Clydesdale Bank, operates the Café Giardino chain as well as French gastro Auberge near London’s Waterloo Station and the Azzurro restaurants across London, Portsmouth and Woking.

Clydesdale strategic business services executive Malcolm Swettenham, who is understood be leading the bank’s negotiations, declined to comment on his selection of legal adviser.

Town Centre Restaurants filed for administration on 26 June despite a rebranding earlier this year that saw it introduce new menus across all its chains.

Zolfo Cooper partners have spread their restructuring mandates out widely, with a number of firms winning recent roles on cases.

O’Keefe was one of three Zolfo Cooper partners who instructed DLA Piper partner Sarah Coucher for the administration of fashion retailer Jane Norman last year (29 June 2011).

Salans partner Sonia Jordan led for Gray, O’Keefe and fellow Zolfo Cooper partner Peter Saville on the administration of furniture retailer Habitat last summer (28 June 2011), while colleagues Cropper, Peter Holder and Stuart Mackeller turned to TLT Solicitors partner James Forsyth for the administration of bar owner Balls Brothers in 2010, an instruction that came through TLT’s relationship with lender Barclays Bank (6 December 2010).