"Commercial and responsive"
Legal 500 2017

Overview

Jessica Walker is a partner in the Restructuring practice of the London office. She has considerable experience in respect of domestic and international restructuring, insolvency and special situations.  She advises financial institutions and other lenders, companies, private equity funds, insolvency practitioners, directors, pension trustees, joint venture partners, landlords and all other stakeholders and has been recognised in the Legal 500 as “commercial and responsive”.  Her experience covers contentious and non-contentious matters, particularly in respect of distressed transactions, restructuring of complex financial arrangements, insolvency appointments, company voluntary arrangements (CVAs), pensions restructuring and schemes of arrangement.  

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

Some of Jessica’s recent experience includes:

  • Advising a leading Indian bank on the enforcement of various guarantees provided by Essar, in respect of lending for a power project in India including on its complex cross-border enforcement strategy and successfully achieving the dismissal of an application by the lender's guarantor to restrain the presentation by the firm's client of a winding-up petition based on the bank's statutory demand for in excess of $500m.
  • Acting for the Mothercare Pension Trustees in respect of the company’s CVA and subsequent administration, including the transfer of the pension scheme, together with its £160 million deficit, across to the buyer of the international business from the administrators.
  • Advising a private equity fund client in respect of the restructuring of debt into an opco/propco structure, including strategy as to enforcement action, new financing and a debt-for-equity swap.
  • Advising LBO France, as sponsor in relation to the US$340 million multi-jurisdictional restructuring of the French retailer, IKKS Group.  
  • Advising Wilmington Trust in its capacity as security trustee  in relation to the acquisition of the Ideal Standard group, a multinational bathroom furniture and accessories manufacturer, by funds Anchorage and CVC. The deal involved 23 jurisdictions and the use of a novel acquisition process under Luxembourg restructuring laws to effect the disposal where the group had been structured using a double Luxco structure.
  • Advising various private equity, fund and lender clients in relation to distressed debt acquisitions, loan-to-own strategies and enforcement action, including assisting with strategy before lending and on enforcement, particularly in the retail sector.
  • Advising a French parent company in relation to the distressed sale of its UK subsidiary. 
  • Advising a number of clients in the construction sector in respect of Carillion’s collapse, including in respect of contractual termination and step-in rights, as well as the impact of the liquidation on contracts in place with Carillion’s Canadian subsidiaries.
  • Advising various landlord clients in relation to their position in the CVAs of their tenants, in the UK retail and casual dining sectors.
  • Advising North Sea oil and gas company, ATP, on its successful $1.2 billion restructuring by way of a CVA, and its sale to Alpha Petroleum, including on cross-border aspects.
  • Advising US Bank Trustees Limited as security trustee on the sale of the German tyre retail and fast fit chain, ATU group, to Mobivia Groupe. The sale was preceded by a restructuring of ATU group’s US$300 million plus debt, with security granted across nine jurisdictions, and involved the appointment of provisional liquidators in the Cayman Islands.
  • Acting for the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group in respect of its restructuring through an English scheme of arrangement (the first Asian company to use this approach), which established new law relating to the ability of the court to impose a stay on litigation where a scheme of arrangement is proposed.
  • Advising directors of companies in distress, during the period prior to a rescue or an insolvency, assisting them navigate the risks of trading and transacting at an uncertain time.
  • Advising various Construction sector clients in respect of the insolvency of entities within the contractual framework, often working with those clients to develop a strategy to avoid delay to developments.
  • Acting for the administrators and liquidators of Comet in respect of the day-to-day trading of the company and issues arising throughout the administration and liquidation, including retention of title, disclaimer and creditor communication issues.
  • Acting for the administrators of a number of companies, including dealing with day one issues, employee implications, licensing issues and managing the sale of all or part of the relevant business and assets by way of pre-pack or sale in administration.
  • Acting for security trustees on the multi-million pound enforcement of security over a prime London real estate development and its subsequent sale, including court proceedings in Guernsey.
  • Advising a number of creditors and stakeholders in respect of MF Global Limited’s special administration.
  • Advising Berlin-Hannoversche Hypothekenbank AG in its role as senior secured lender in respect of the appointment of receivers over the Goldman Sachs UK headquarters on Fleet Street and the implementation of parallel schemes of arrangement in England and the BVI.
  • Advising a major stakeholder providing CDS cover on the restructuring of the General Healthcare Group.
  • Advising the nominees and subsequent supervisors of an interlocking partnership voluntary arrangement and CVA arrangement to restructure a 1907 Act limited partnership.
  • Advising insolvency practitioners, professional advisors and corporate clients in respect of requests for documents under sections 234, 235 and 236 Insolvency Act 1986, including defending court applications brought by liquidators.
  • Advising a number of fund clients on their acquisition of portfolios of real estate and non-performing loans. 
  • Acting for the Pension Protection Fund in respect of its position as creditor in a number of high-profile insolvencies.

Education

University of Northumbria, LPC (Distinction)

Bournemouth University, LLB

Admissions

  • England and Wales

Memberships

  • Jessica is chair of the Mayer Brown London Women’s Network, which works to ensure that no woman should face obstacles at Mayer Brown because of her gender.
  • Listed as a 'key lawyer' for Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency and Fraud (Legal 500 2020).
  • Newly promoted partner Jessica Walker is recommended. (Legal 500 2018 Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency).
  • The "commercial and responsive" senior associate Jessica Walker is recommended. (Legal 500 2017).