Séamas is a restructuring and insolvency specialist with over 20 years’ experience who has advised on a wide variety of assignments from UK mid-market to some of the largest and most complex European and global financial restructurings and insolvencies.

Séamas qualified into US ‘white shoe’ law firm Cadwalader before spending some 8 years at DLA Piper and then proceeding as partner to join and jointly head the London Restructuring & Insolvency teams at Pinsent Masons and then Olswang. Prior to joining gunnercooke he worked at Penningtons Manches where he led and grew its multi-disciplinary Restructuring & Insolvency team.

Séamas possesses a great wealth of experience in complex contentious and non-contentious insolvencies and restructurings, both international and domestic.  He is particularly good at getting to the crux of issues early in transactions and disputes as well and bringing the various parties together to a sensible solution that works for his client.

Whilst Séamas has acted in most industry sectors from automotive and energy to life sciences, he focusses particularly on real estate, healthcare, retail/leisure and pensions and is the only restructuring lawyer rated in Legal 500 for healthcare work.

  • Financial institutions
  • Insolvency practitioners
  • Directors/shareholders
  • NHS hospitals and care homes
  • Pension trustees

Recent Highlights

  • Project Silver – Advising management and then company through UK distressed fund financed acquisition of UK group from Netherlands and ultimately US group in Chapter 11 together with a balance sheet restructuring structured through a CVA.
  • DP Holdings SA – Advising UK and non-UK resident ex-directors of through contentious s.236 litigation brought by BVI provisional liquidators of Swiss company.
  • Whitehorse/Buckingham Palace Road – Advising UK liquidators of BVI registered, Reuben Brothers owned real estate investment companies through rates’ liability related and Land Registry rectification dispute to solution.
  • Project Light – Advising this high profile 31,000 resident care home group (previously part of the Bondcare Group) on its amicable separation from the rest of the Bondcare group, restructuring of its £260m bank debt (including swap break), real estate and management services reorganisation and asset recoveries followed by AMA solvent sale to US private equity fund.
  • Rowbury & Dweck v Rubin & Franses – Acting for creditors in combined proceedings successfully challenging both IVA and trustee appointment through erroneous solicitor proxies in relation to self-styled 7th Monty Python and substituting creditor preferred trustee in bankruptcy (with 3 separate reported judgments).
  • Project Hudson – Advising owners of distressed European property portfolio on restructuring and exit following sale of its £70m debt to Lonestar.
  • Project Curry – Advising real estate investment fund landlord in relation to exposure to distressed hotel tenant with syndicated £110m (approx) facilities.
  • Ashpol Group – Advising property portfolio group with £130 million professional securities exchange listed debt through a pre-packaged administration restructuring.
  • Peverel Group – Advised Chamonix and Electra on the administration acquisition of the business and assets of the UK’s leading residential property management services group (£125 million of debt, 4,200 employees and over 200,000 residential units).
  • Milton Keynes NHS Hospital Foundation Trust – Advising this £285m turnover, 3,000 employee, NHS Foundation Trust Hospital in relation to its financial difficulties generally including “protected property” asset releases, working capital facilities, solvency and governance issues.
  • Reader’s Digest (2013) – Advising this household name book distributor in relation to the agreement of its current CVA and related issues.
  • Heatherwood & Wexham Park NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust – Acting for this £285m turnover, 3,000 employee, NHS Foundation Trust hospital in relation to its financial difficulties generally including “protected property” asset releases, private sector working capital and FTFF facilities, solvency and governance issues.
  • Composite Technology Corporation – Advising this United States listed global producer of wind turbines and energy efficient products in relation to the reorganisation of certain of its UK and German subsidiaries complicated by ongoing litigation in each of the United States, Germany and the UK resulting in the successful and now leading European decision (Court of Appeal) on the interpretation of Article 28 of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 for the stay of related pending actions in different European jurisdictions.

 

Other Highlights

  • Orchard Group – Advising a group of funds (£25m unsecured mezzanine loan note holders) in relation to this 3,000 bed healthcare management group through an initial balance sheet restructuring and novel CVA restructuring ‘fairly’ compromising landlords’ future rental rights.
  • Reader’s Digest (2010) – Advising the pension trustees of the £1.2 billion global turnover, 4,300 employee, book distributor in relation to issues arising on the Chapter 11 filing of its US parent and in relation to the Pensions Regulator.
  • JJB Sports Group – Acting for the lead lender of quasi-club syndicate in relation to this high profile £800m turnover, 17,000 employee, retail and fitness business through its ground-breaking CVA and the administration of part of the club group (Kaupthing).
  • Ennstone Group – Advising agent (four bank syndicate – £125m secured facilities) and Deloitte administrators in relation to this £240m turnover product/services supply business to the construction/rail sectors through pension restructuring and AMA sale to syndicate/PPF owned newco.
  • Borders – Advising the group in relation to the restructuring of this £218m turnover, 2,000 employee, well know High Street book retailer and its ultimate sale to Hilco; then advising the group on behalf of Hilco through to its subsequent trading and ultimate administration.
  • MFI – Advising the directors in the lead up and post the administration of this £650m turnover, 3,100 employee, home furniture retailer.
  • University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Advising this £700m turnover, 4,000 employee, NHS Foundation Trust Hospital in relation its working capital facilities and related matters.
  • MKOne – Advising lender (£50m secured facilities) to this £120m turnover, 3,000 employee, fashion chain through AMA process with Deloitte and ultimate LMA distressed debt trade to Hilco.
  • Project Utah – Advising pension trustees in relation to a debt restructuring (£130m pension deficit/£50m unsecured bank debt) of £250m turnover, 2,300 employee, media business.
  • Julian Graves/Whittards of Chelsea – Acting for lender (£40m secured facilities) to this £55m turnover, 1,800 employee, premium brand retailer and its refinancing with Bauger/Landsbanki.
  • BA Peters PLC – Advising the lender and KPMG as subsequent administrators of the largest European yacht retailer through its restructuring and successful complex trust issues including dealing with the directions application at Court of Appeal level.
  • DANA – Advising directors of UK group in relation to the work out, European cash pooling and pension restructuring of this international car parts manufacturer.
  • Unwins Group – Acting for KPMG administrators of this 400 outlet licenced retailer.
  • WorldCom – Advising EMEA directors through the workout of this global media business.
  • Enron – Acting for General Motors (including representation on the creditors’ committee) in relation to significant aluminium trading debt recoveries.
  • Farepak – Advising senior lender, including in relation to the contentious high-profile trust issues.

Previous law firms

  • Penningtons Manches LLP, Partner
  • Olswang LLP, Partner
  • Pinsent Masons, Partner
  • DLA Piper, Senior Associate
  • Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Associate

 

Education

  • College of Law, London – LPC
  • University of Edinburgh Law School, Master’s Degree, Law
  • University of Cambridge, Bachelor’s Degree, Law

Recent awards