Schulte Roth & Zabel (SRZ) has expanded its London office with the addition of partners Peter JM Declercq and Sonya Van de Graaff to the business reorganisation practice.
Declercq and Van de Graaff (pictured) are joining the firm from Brown Rudnick.
Adam Harris, head of the SRZ business reorganisation practice, says: “Two years ago, we began a distressed debt & claims trading practice in London as it became clear to us that our clients were increasingly dedicating personnel and other resources to UK and European restructuring opportunities. That practice has blossomed, and the addition of Peter and Sonya will help us expand the practice to include corporate restructurings and distressed investing, consistent with our practice in New York.”
Declercq’s practice focuses on cross-border insolvencies, restructurings and distressed mergers and acquisitions. He provides advice to distressed investors, including hedge funds, private equity funds and investment banks. In addition, he has a wealth of experience in leading formal and ad hoc creditor groups in connection with multinational in-court and out-of-court restructuring transactions. He also advises both financial and strategic buyers and sellers in the acquisition or divestiture of distressed assets across Europe.
Among other matters, Declercq currently represents the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group for structured notes issued by Lehman Brothers’ Dutch finance subsidiary, Lehman Brothers Treasury Co BV. As an INSOL International Fellow, he is a recognised expert in global insolvency and is qualified to practise law in The Netherlands as an advocaat, England and Wales as a solicitor, and New York as a counsellor-at-law.
Van de Graaff’s practice focuses on European restructuring, distressed investing and debt trading. She represents hedge funds, private equity funds, financial institutions and other investors that are active in these markets. She has significant experience in identifying and analysing distressed investment opportunities and restructuring strategies, and in representing clients in NPL auctions and the settlement of LMA, APLMA, LSTA and hybrid debt trades. She also advises clients in connection with custody and prime brokerage matters.
Currently, Van de Graaff is advising various private eurozone creditors and shareholders in connection with financial institution restructurings where government intervention could result in subordination and disparate treatment of private investors. She is also advising investors in connection with the Eurosail 2007-3 PLC court proceedings which is currently under appeal at the UK supreme court. Previously, Van de Graaff was legal counsel for six years with Bear, Stearns International Limited in London
“SRZ is the premier quality brand in investment management in the two key markets — New York and London. They are also key players in both the mature US distressed investment market and the still developing European distressed investment market. These factors make SRZ a natural fit for Sonya and me. We are very excited about this great opportunity to further enhance SRZ’s firm-wide restructuring practice,” says Declercq.