Restructuring & Insolvency

Restructuring & Insolvency

Clients involved in a company experiencing financial difficulties need thorough advice and a 360° view of the problems confronting them. In situations of cross-border restructuring or imminent insolvency, it is essential to have an understanding of and experience in complex financing structures, as well as the EU Insolvency Regulation and foreign insolvency proceedings such as the US Chapter 11 and the English 'scheme of arrangement'.

It is sometimes also necessary to conduct legal proceedings swiftly and effectively. Insolvency disputes require strategic insight and a thorough approach. Houthoff has built up an unrivalled insolvency practice. Our litigators have the expertise and authority to litigate at the Dutch Supreme Court, and our lawyers regularly act as bankruptcy trustees or administrators in insolvency proceedings.

Houthoff’s Restructuring & Insolvency Team is a market leader. They are internationally recognised and have been ranked highly in legal guides such as Chambers and the Legal 500 for many years. The team has in-depth expertise and experience, and has played a leading role in almost all of the cases in the Dutch market in recent years. 

  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm. 
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring & Insolvency (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm. 
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring & Insolvency: Administration (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "They have shown good skills and ability to cross the bridge between the legal and the financial world."
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring & Insolvency: Administration (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Another source is impressed with the lawyers' 'deep knowledge and sharp eye'."
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring & Insolvency: Administration (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm. 
    Legal 500, Restructuring & Insolvency (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Houthoff’s ‘extremely commercial and practical’ department has excellent cross-border capabilities, and is ‘very knowledgeable about complex legal matters’."
    Legal 500, Restructuring & Insolvency (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring/Insolvency (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "The team was excellent. They were always available, proactive, fast and had a good understanding of our business and risks. They were very dedicated and reliable."
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring/Insolvency (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Others describe the team as 'knowledgeable and committed to the task. They had a goal-orientated working attitude which was no-nonsense but nuanced at the same time.' The same source was impressed by the 'multi-disciplinary team work' exhibited by the firm."
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring/Insolvency (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "These people are superb. The degree of ingenuity they bring to a problem is sometimes astonishing."
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring/Insolvency (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm. 
    Legal 500, Restructuring and insolvency (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "The practice’s bankruptcy trustee abilities stand out."
    Legal 500, Restructuring and insolvency (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    IFLR1000 (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring/Insolvency (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "A terrific firm which I have since recommended to others. The Houthoff lawyers are able to make commercial judgements and have been involved in a number of recent corporate restructurings in the Netherlands, which is a huge plus as they can provide background and know what is relevant to our case."
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring/Insolvency (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Houthoff Buruma's work is really remarkable. The lawyers are by far the most efficient we have worked with."
    Chambers Europe, Restructuring/Insolvency (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm. 
    Legal 500, Restructuring & Insolvency (2016 Edition)

Our expertise in restructuring and insolvency

Our Restructuring & Insolvency Team has been involved in complex, high-profile financial insolvencies, including Oi, OSX/OGX, SwissAir, Van der Hoop Bankiers, V&D, DSB Bank, Lehman Brothers, Yukos, Joh. Enschedé, and Landsbanki.

Our team works closely with experts in sectors such as M&A, and banking and finance. Houthoff is also a member of Lex Mundi, an exclusive global network of law firms. Moreover, the team has a network of excellent foreign financial experts, and insolvency lawyers and firms, which it has built up in previous cross-border cases. Therefore, our clients can rest assured that we work exclusively with the best domestic and foreign advisers in international matters.

  • Advised Aurelius, through its investment vehicle Capricorn, in lodging several claims in the Netherlands, relating to, among others, (a) the voidance of several intercompany transactions of the Oi Group which have been to the detriment of the group's creditors and (b) to prevent the ailing Brazilian parent company from borrowing any more money from one its Dutch subsidiaries. Furthermore, Houthoff advised Aurelius investment vehicle Citadel in bankruptcy proceedings against a financing entity of the Oi group. This branch of the matter ended in a victory at the Supreme Court.

     

    Click here for the judgment of the Supreme Court.

  • Houthoff advised ABN AMRO Bank, ING Bank and ABN AMRO Lease on a complex asset based financial restructuring and LTV pool based financing of an international group of companies.
  • Advising OSX Brasil S.A. (a Brazilian publicly listed oil and gas company) and the Dutch OSX group of companies on the restructuring of their consolidated debt of over US$ 2.5 billion, including representing the OSX companies in various litigation and restructuring matters in the Netherlands as well as coordinating litigation abroad. The team is also involved in the restructuring of OSX debt structures, more specifically related to OSX 3, the USD 450 million bond structure and recently OSX 2, the syndicated debt of USD 850 million.

    The OSX restructuring is currently the largest restructuring case in Latin America, with several billions of dollars at stake. An important part of the OSX group of companies is located in the Netherlands. The Dutch aspects of the matter, and thus the Dutch litigation, are crucial to the OSX global restructuring plan.
  • V&D was a landmark brand of high street located department stores (63 stores) in the Netherlands and was founded in 1887. Houthoff advised the company in a wide array of matters, including the restructuring of its debt, and representing the company in several high profile litigation matters related to real estate and labour law.
  • Houthoff acted on behalf of De Viersprong, a highly specialised mental healthcare institute (GGZ) employing over 300 people, in its successful standstill and turnaround negotiations with its financiers, institutional creditors, the WFZ (healthcare guarantee sector fund) and the relevant health care insurers.
  • Houthoff advised a privately-held U.S. investment company with a focus on industrial companies, in respect of restructuring options regarding a distressed portfolio company based in the Netherlands.
  • Acting as one of the bankruptcy trustees over Rijnmond Energy, an 820 megawatt and EUR 0,5 billion base load power plant in the Rotterdam area.
  • Houthoff advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Neuberger Berman on a large Sharia based financial restructuring.
  • In deviation of its judgment Vis q.q. / NMB from 1989, in JPR / Gunning q.q. the Supreme Court found that a bankruptcy trustee can revoke an electronic payment transaction if the payment order has not led to a credit entry in the bank account of the receiving party on the moment of the bankruptcy. The Supreme Court overruled its own old judgment prospectively: the new rule is only applicable to bankruptcies declared after the new judgment.

    Click here for the judgment of the Supreme Court.
  • Acting as a court-appointed liquidator of Rolsa N.V. A fund holding investments in US life settlements. The fund is financed through notes issuance and risks are hedged through derivative contracts. The bankruptcy trustee manages the fund in coordination with the key creditor.
  • Houthoff acted for Great American in the winning offering for the bankrupted Schoenenreus business.
  • Houthoff acted for Alteri in the bidding process of the bankrupted retailer Mexx.
  • Acting as court appointed bankruptcy trustee of DSB Bank, Houthoff continued through 2014 to unwind the legacy of the failed bank following the settlement agreement made with claimants regarding overcharged premiums and interest obligations. To date, 40 employees of the bank are employed.
  • Acting as counsel to Great American in its tender for the wind-up of V&D and MacIntosh.
  • Houthoff assisted Alcogroup, Vanden Avenne Commodities and Vandema in the purchase of the bio-ethanol factory of Abengoa Bioenergy Netherlands in Rotterdam, which was declared bankrupt earlier this year due to financial problems of the Spanish parent company Abengoa S.A. The transaction is subject to permission being granted by the relevant competition authorities.
  • Acting as bankruptcy trustee of VLM Nederland B.V., a flight crew entity employing 75 people flying VLM.
  • Houthoff, together with Stikeman Elliott LLP, advised Essar Steel Algoma, Inc. and its (Dutch) group companies in respect of a USD 200 million DIP-financing, which was provided by Deutsche Bank AG for the purpose of the voluntary proceedings under (i) the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and (ii) chapter 15 of title 11 of the United States Code.

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 65 36
+31 6 4316 3064
Christiaan Zijderveld

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 50
+31 6 2290 6791
Gerhard Gispen

Key Contact

Rotterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 10 217 21 06
+31 6 5314 0193
Bert Verburg

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 30
+31 6 5184 5351