Restructuring/ Insolvency

Restructuring/ Insolvency

The global recession has proved challenging for many companies leaving them with shrinking asset values and heavy debt burdens. This combined with the Eurozone crisis and the recent developments in Greece’s financial situation made restructuring and insolvency cases more and more common and finally a well-established core practice area for Zepos & Yannopoulos. Our restructuring and insolvency team comprises experienced lawyers who operate with an in-depth knowledge of the local legal, regulatory and commercial environment within which they work. 

We are involved in many insolvency and reorganization cases, and we advise our clients on setting up viable claim recovery strategies vis-a-vis their ailing debtors, lying in the vicinity of insolvency.  

In the context of pre-insolvency claim recovery, we are often involved in so-called “rehabilitation” procedures under Article 99 of the Greek Bankruptcy Code. We structure petitions for the initiation of such procedures and we represent clients before courts adjudicating under Article 99.

Our advisory work covers cutting-edge and novel insolvency law matters, such as set-off in the context of complex financial structures, consequences of insolvency in ISDA arrangements and, finally, personal liability of members of the administration of ailing entities. 

We have been drafting the Doing Business Section of the “Resolving Insolvency Survey for Greece” conducted by the World Bank since 2014.

Related litigation includes representing the following clients:

  • filing a bankruptcy application on behalf of Robinson Club Greek subsidiary, active in hotel management and succeeded in obtaining court approval for the declaration of it bankruptcy; monitored consequences of such declaration for the subsidiary, its transactions and its executives; successfully represented subsidiary before court adjudicating on creditors’ appeals against said declaration of bankruptcy, as well as on Public Prosecutions appeal against the declaration of bankruptcy, as both appeals have been rejected in our client’s favour
  • a client applying for the opening of secondary insolvency proceedings initiated in Germany, under EC Regulation 1346/2000; the Court accepted the application opening the first secondary proceedings in Greece
  • a major Dutch fish/ animal feed group in pursuing the satisfaction of its claims against Greek debtors. Advising the same client in the conciliation procedure of two of its main debtors
  • filing a bankruptcy petition against a major Greek fish feed manufacturer
  • representing a foreign airport in the bankruptcy proceedings of Olympic Airways
  • representing a major IT manufacturer before the Greek Courts in a dispute against a foreign contractor, in the context of bankruptcy proceedings against the latter, initiated in Austria
  • a major foreign movie producer in the conciliation proceedings of a significant  debtor; our firm managed to put an end to these proceedings and to the unjustified protection that the debtor had enjoyed since the initiation of the conciliation proceedings
  • a client before court deciding on Expert’s conciliation procedure. 
Related advisory work includes the following:
  • drafting a legal opinion on bankruptcy law implications in connection with set off in the context of a hedge and credit facility transaction between Barclays and Pireaus Bank
  • drafting a legal opinion to Merrill Lynch on its Overseas Securities’ Lenders Agreement, Global Master Securities, Lending Agreement inter alia setting forth bankruptcy law implications of said documentation, particularly set off provisions thereof
  • advising the Piraeus Bank group in a large scale project exploring the optimum treatment of non-performing exposures. As part of the legal support given, we furnish to client tailor made input on the initiation of bankruptcy, pre-bankruptcy and reorganisation proceedings against its non-performing debtors
  • advised the Benaki Museum regarding the optimum strategy to be followed in connection with the treatment, from a bankruptcy and reorganisation law perspective of assets and controlled acquired over three, stand-alone ailing companies operating in the market of event organization
  • providing advice to Motor Oil Holding Limited after initiation of bankruptcy administration of  shareholder; advised client on the payments made to its shareholders after the initiation of bankruptcy administration, and the legal weapon available to client for reimbursement of the monies paid; finally, the client’s liability for failing to liaise with its shareholders’ bankruptcy administration
  • providing advice on insolvency law on implication of a cash pooling scheme to a major Greek retailer of electronic appliances
  • providing to Nordsimel AS extensive guidance setting out the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the (restructuring) “special liquidation” proceedings (Article 106 (R)) of the Greek Bankruptcy Code and the ordinary bankruptcy procedure in the context of the client’s assessment of its strategy vis-à-vis bad credit.
  • advising Shell International BV on the bankruptcy law implication in the context of a share pledge agreement
  • advising Decathlon in connection with the consequence of the declaration of bankruptcy of its counterpart on the conclusion and continued validity of its lease agreements, as well as the triggering of the Bankruptcy Code provision on avoidance (claw back)
  • advising Aquastream in an out-of-court settlement regarding the repossession of the fry sold to counterparts with reservation of property in the context of pre bankruptcy rehabilitation proceedings
  • exploring the bankruptcy law implication of the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the American Express card by Airlines
  • providing advice and assisting Glencore in the announcement of its claims in the course of an Article 46a (Law 1892/1990) reorganization procedure
  • advising the Benetton Group SA on the implications under Greek insolvency law of a purchase of a part of a business to set off claims, and proposing  a scheme with client’s  minimum exposure 
  • assessing the prospects of a client’s participation in tripartite arrangement involving Atlantik supermarket chain (insolvent debtor), third party and client (creditor), as an alternative to adhering to a claim haircut in the context of a conciliation procedure
  • advising  Hitachi on the implication of its debtors’ involvement in reconciliation proceedings
  • advising Ernst & Young on the ranking of the preferred securities holders’ claims and of ordinary shareholders’ claims and ensuing conflict of privileges under the Greek Bankruptcy Code
  • advising, in many instances, on the requirements and extent of personal, civil and criminal liability of board members under the Greek Bankruptcy Code
  • contributing to the drafting of the Greek Chapter for Deutsche Bank’s Insolvency Bible setting out the applicable rules on insolvency, bankruptcy, conciliation and reorganization of ailing enterprises.
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