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22 July 2009 – Leading international law firm Mayer Brown has advised the Rowland family on the "good bank-bad bank" restructuring of Kaupthing Bank Luxembourg, which had been in suspension of payments, a special Luxembourg regime, for many months following the recent problems of its Icelandic parent.

The transaction involved the purchase by the Rowland family of Banque Havilland, the "good bank" created in the court-sanctioned demerger by which the restructuring was successfully implemented. The Rowland family also were awarded the asset management and realisation of the "bad bank" through a SPV securitisation structure.

Newly created Banque Havilland S.A. will focus on private banking and wealth management, targeting high net worth individuals in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The Rowland family owns the Blackfish Group, which was used as the regulated bid negotiation vehicle and which also runs a portfolio of investment funds.

Stephen Walsh, finance partner at Mayer Brown, said: “This was one of the first successful private good bank-bad bank restructurings in Europe in the current downturn. Our ability to guide Blackfish through the complexities of the acquisition and restructuring, the establishment of the new bank and the arrangements for dealing with the "bad bank" assets underlines our pre-eminence in both the restructuring and regulatory fields."

Michael C. Wright of the Rowland family office said: “The acquisition of a banking licence and well developed operating structure is a natural progression by the Rowland family within the financial services sector. Mayer Brown's excellent multi-disciplinary team took the deal head on and ensured this landmark transaction was successfully completed on time."

The Mayer Brown team was led by corporate partner Richard Page and by finance partner Stephen Walsh, with assistance from associates Benjamin Woolf, Miles Bake, Paul Olivera and Nicholas Glicher. Also advising on the deal were regulatory partners Nick Kynoch and Angela Hayes, and other specialists including lawyers from our employment and intellectual property teams.


For further information:

Charlotte Ward
PR Manager
Mayer Brown, London
+44 20 3130 8547

Notes to editors:

  • Mayer Brown is a leading global law firm with offices in key business centres across the Americas, Europe and Asia.  We have approximately 1,000 lawyers in the Americas, 300 in Asia and 500 in Europe.  The firm's Asia presence was enhanced by its 2008 combination with Johnson Stokes & Master, the largest and oldest Asia law firm.  (In Asia, we are known as Mayer Brown.)  This unequalled on-the-ground presence in the world’s leading markets for legal services enables Mayer Brown to offer clients access to local market expertise on a global basis.

  • The international reach of the firm is further enhanced through an affiliated trade office in Beijing as well as three independent alliances with leading law firms in Mexico, Italy and Spain.

  • Mayer Brown is a global legal services organisation comprising legal practices that are separate entities ("Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are:  Mayer Brown LLP, a limited liability partnership established in the United States; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales; and JSM, a Hong Kong partnership, and its associated entities in Asia.  The Mayer Brown Practices are known as Mayer Brown in Asia.