King & Wood Mallesons

Restructuring/Insolvency Department

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What the team is known for An in-demand group for its extensive experience acting for a broad range of clients across the mining and resources, construction, manufacturing and retail sectors. Regularly advises on multi-jurisdictional and high-profile restructuring and insolvency mandates, including those with a Chinese aspect. Clients include major banks, insolvency practitioners in their roles as appointees, and distressed companies. Works closely with other practice groups in the firm, such as banking and finance, M&A and private equity, to provide a seamless service to clients on distressed investment restructuring, and offers a wealth of experience handling insolvency litigation at all levels of the Australian court system.

Strengths The practice is praised for its "really strong bench strength across the team" by one client who goes on to add: "I've been really impressed with the quality of the team, and they're good at pulling in resources from the rest of the firm as well."

A further client describes the team as "the market leader in complex insolvency-related litigation."

Work highlights Advised the special purpose liquidator of Queensland Nickel, which collapsed owing in excess of AUD200 million to creditors including AUD74 million of entitlements owed to workers, in recovery proceedings that ultimately settled, resulting in full recovery for all unsecured creditors.

Notable practitioners

David Cowling
is a pre-eminent lawyer within the restructuring and insolvency space. He regularly represents insolvency appointees such as voluntary administrators and special purpose liquidators on high-profile matters. According to one client: "He is an extremely talented and gifted litigator who is often the one driving the strategy and looking for alternative ways to progress the matter to a successful conclusion. His ability to approach a matter from multiple angles is definitely a strength."

Philip Pan
"provides reliable and prompt service and useful advice," according to a client. The client goes on to add that he is "friendly and extremely easy to deal with." He has substantial experience in representing a clientele that includes administrators, liquidators and distressed companies on complex domestic and cross-border mandates.

Samantha Kinsey
is "technically brilliant and balances a really strong technical base with being extremely commercial," according to one client. The client goes on to add: "She can slide up and down the scale, she's capable at dealing with super complex matters as well as being sharp and commercial on smaller issues." She is active in a range of sectors and advises corporates, banks, and insolvency appointees in domestic and cross-border matters that are often contentious.

Tim Klineberg
"is practical and givesexcellent insolvency advice" according to one client. Another client rates him highly, underlining that "he's absolutely part of the next generation of top restructuring lawyers in Australia." He frequently advises distressed companies, trustees and appointees, especially regarding company administration and schemes of arrangement.

Tony Troiani
is a widely acknowledged lawyer with a wealth of experience on restructuring and insolvency mandates. He acted for Bank of Communications, Westpac and BBVA as creditors attempting to recover damages from certain directors as part of the long-running Arrium insolvency.