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28 January 2009– In response to the difficult market conditions, leading international law firm Mayer Brown has launched an international Asset Based Lending (ABL) Workout Group which combines the expertise of Mayer Brown's highly regarded Asset Based Lending and Receivables Financing Group with the Restructuring Bankruptcy and Insolvency Team.

Marshall Stoddard, co-chair of Mayer Brown's Global Banking and Finance practice, said
: “In the current market, we are seeing an increasing number of workouts and insolvencies where ABL lenders have exposure. Clients require a streamlined process for instructing ABL lawyers and experienced workout specialists yet this combination is rare to find in the market.”

Dominic Griffiths, the finance partner who is leading the Group
in London, added: “This group brings together our top-end and cross border ABL expertise, in which we always examine in detail the work-out strategy of lenders, along with our insolvency team. It will enable us to be more agile as we continue to advise on complex, cross border transactions for the world’s largest financial institutions and companies in challenging market conditions.”

The group boasts lawyers in the key financial centres of London and New York who understand ABL issues in a restructuring and insolvency context. It has extensive cross-border experience in the ABL and Restructuring market and recent notable transactions include:

  • Advising Merrill Lynch Capital, as administrative agent for a syndicate of leading financial institutions holding $8 billion of prepetition bridge debt, in connection with their participation in the $8.07 billion debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing of Lyondell Chemical Company and over seventy of its affiliates, which includes a $1.57 billion asset based lending facility, $3.25 delayed draw term loan facility and $3.25 roll-up loan facility. This financing was the largest DIP loan in history.
  • Advising JP Morgan as Agent, Collateral Agent and Documentation Agent in relation to an ABL facility to the Office Depot group of companies. The facility was for an amount of up to $1.25 billion and is to be used for the general working capital purposes of the Group. This was a cross border ABL transaction run out of London involving the taking of security and the conduct of diligence across four jurisdictions in Europe (England and Wales, The Netherlands, Ireland and Luxemburg).
  • Advising JP Morgan Chase on a complex asset-based lending transaction involving 17 jurisdictions for global fashion designer and retailer Liz Claiborne Inc. and its subsidiaries. The transaction involved the amendment (including the introduction of the asset-based structure) and extension of Liz Claiborne’s bank credit facility which was reduced to $600 million from $750 million with an extended maturity date of May 31, 2011.
  • Advising clients (including numerous financial institutions) in relation to key issues arising from the administration of the UK entities in the Lehman group and nationalisation/ insolvency of certain Icelandic banks. Work includes advising on the effect of the statutory moratorium on a counterparty's ability to close out transactions, recover collateral and take steps to enforce security, the termination of securities lending transactions, the operation of set-off provisions and the close out of ISDA Master Agreements and other derivatives transactions.
  • Representing the global diversified financial services company GMAC LLC and its wholly owned subsidiary, Residential Capital LLC, in one of the largest global restructuring and refinancing projects ever completed. The $60 billion refinancing consisted of dozens of interrelated and complex transactions and involved more than 50 institutions worldwide and partners from five Mayer Brown offices in the US and Europe.
  • Advising Barclays Bank in connection with a $350 million debtor-in-possession financing for the Tribune Company and its subsidiaries which involved a highly innovative trade receivables securitisation facility and the provision of a new letter of credit facility.
Mayer Brown was the only law firm to be commended in the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2008 for “helping its clients respond to the credit crunch”.

For further information:

Charlotte Ward
PR Manager, London
+44 20 7782 8547

Dominic Griffiths
Partner, London
+44 20 7782 8292