Restructuring

As some companies experience financial hardship as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, bankruptcy filings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code are on the rise. Companies looking to restructure and streamline costs in the bankruptcy process often look to employee benefit plans as one area for change. This article broadly addresses the impact of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy on employee benefit plans and some of the significant employee benefits issues that debtors face in a Chapter 11 restructuring, including potential sale of the debtor’s assets under 11 U.S.C. §363 of the Bankruptcy Code. Companies with significant benefits liabilities…
Employers across the country are restructuring business operations to mitigate the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Restructuring business operations—whether by complete shutdown, sale, or bankruptcy—implicates several employer-sponsored health and welfare plan issues. This article provides a high-level overview of common health and welfare plan scenarios that plan sponsors may encounter during a restructuring. Managing Health & Welfare Plans During Restructuring
For many sponsor-backed and other highly leveraged private companies, the business impact of COVID-19 is just beginning to apply pressure to financial covenant compliance.  As borrowers and private credit (or other) lenders think through options on how best to address pending or anticipated defaults, structured preferred equity should be considered as a versatile tool in the toolbox. Structured preferred equity can take different forms but is generally characterized as equity filling gaps between traditional equity and debt positions on a balance sheet. Whether consideration for covenant holidays, right-sizing balance sheets through debt for equity swaps or a method of “handing…
Further to our last update on prospective changes to the UK insolvency regime in light of COVID-19, the UK government revealed the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill on 20 May. The Bill follows the lead of several other jurisdictions including the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Spain, Australia and Germany in introducing such emergency measures and includes perhaps some of the most significant reforms to the UK insolvency regime since The Enterprise Act 2002. The Bill introduces a number of both temporary and permanent changes as follows: Temporary changes  Wrongful Trading: wrongful trading sanctions are temporarily suspended from 1 March to 30…
Further to our update to the existing insolvency laws, whilst it appears from the recent government announcement that UK wrongful trading provisions may be retrospectively relaxed from 1 March for a three month period, directors should continue to have regard to their individual conduct, particularly given the increase of claims funded by the growing litigation funding market. There are as yet no firm details regarding relaxation of personal liability for wrongful trading, but rather only an indication by HMG as to what is intended. Directors will bear the risk for any conduct that may amount to wrongful trading up to…
The UK Government has announced changes to the existing UK insolvency laws in order to ease pressure on companies and give them breathing space to trade through the COVID-19 pandemic. Exact timing for implementation of the changes is not clear and Parliament is in recess until 21 April 2020 but the changes will be amended “at the earliest opportunity.” The proposed changes follow those recently implemented in Germany, Australia and The Netherlands. The proposed changes are: Wrongful trading – a three month temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions (with effect from 1 March 2020) to allow company directors to continue…