"very knowledgeable, personable and practical."Chambers UK 2020
Devi Shah is a partner and co-head of the Restructuring practice of the London office. With 25+years' experience, she advises on all aspects of restructuring and insolvency and has a particular interest in international and cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters, as well as pensions- and insurance- related restructurings. She has worked on high-profile transactions across a range of sectors including retail, energy, mining, real estate, insurance, financial services and automotive.
Devi's broad practice spans pre-investment structuring advice; restructuring and enforcement options analysis; transactional, out of court restructurings including schemes of arrangement and consensual deals utilising inter-creditor mechanics; as well as advising on formal insolvency appointment and contentious matters, such as investigations, clawback claims and the use of statutory information-gathering powers. She has led on matters in this area across all levels of the courts in the UK, including in the Supreme Court.
Devi's experience includes advising:
- The trustees of two pension schemes in relation to the restructuring of the Debenhams group, including the company voluntary arrangement approved by its creditors, the entry into administration of Debenhams plc and the post-packaged administration sale of the group, as well as in the agreement brokered with the company and its lenders for the grant of security and related intercreditor issues, involving liaison with the Pension Protection Fund and The Pensions Regulator.
- LBO France, as sponsor in relation to the US$340 million multi-jurisdictional restructuring of the French retailer, IKKS Group.
- HSBC Bank, N.A. and HSBC Bank plc in their respective capacities as trustee and offshore accounts bank in the extrajudicial reorganization proceedings in Brazil and Chapter 15 recognition proceedings in the US of Odebrecht Oil & Gas and its subsidiaries and affiliates, which resulted in the successful restructuring and mandatory exchange of more than $2.5 billion of secured notes.
- 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.
- Joint administrators from PwC, in relation to their appointment as administrators of UC Group Limited, the leading UK-based provider of omni-channel payment processing and business solutions in Europe and North America and the sale of the group to a consortium of investors, led by Cordet Capital Partners, including subsidiaries in the UK, Malta and Delaware.
- The trustees of the two pensions schemes operated by the Mothercare group, in relation to its company voluntary arrangement and the subsequent hive-out and transfer of the pension schemes to a group company by administrators.
- Wilmington Trust (London) Limited as security agent 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.
- Wilmington Trust (London) Limited as security agent in relation to enforcement activity in connection with financing provided to a European satellite television, internet and mobile operator, Bulsatcom.
- 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 to bless the transaction.
- Various landlords in connection with numerous Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) proposed by tenants in the UK retail and casual dining sectors.
- The supervisors the company voluntary arrangement of North Sea operator Alpha Petroleum Resources Limited on the amendment of its terms and in relation to the farm-out of one of the key development fields.
- US Bank Trustees Limited as security trustee in respect of the sale of the German tire retail and fast-fit chain Auto-Teile-Unger (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 partners at FTI Consulting as provisional liquidators in the Cayman Islands.
- Former administrators in relation to an ongoing £250m claim in the High Court alleging the sale at an undervalue of a landmark mixed use development site in the City of London.
- The liquidator of New Cap Reinsurance Corporation on a complex cross border application for enforcement of an Australian preference judgment including successfully representing the liquidator before the UK Supreme Court in the seminal case New Cap Re v Grant (in the conjoined appeal Rubin v Eurofinance SA).
- North Sea operator ATP Oil & Gas (UK) Limited on its successful $1.2 billion restructuring by way of a company voluntary arrangement, and its sale to Alpha Petroleum (UK) Holdings Limited, including on cross-border aspects such as approval of the sale before the US Bankruptcy Court in Houston and issues arising with regard to Eastern Mediterranean oil fields.
- The state-owned Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group on its $4bn restructuring, including promoting and implementing a ground-breaking scheme of arrangement.
- The joint provisional liquidators of ACAL, a corporate member of Lloyd's Syndicate (which had operated on Lloyd's Asia Platform in Singapore and was now in run-off) on the application to bring the provisional liquidation to an end and return it to its shareholder.
- The Pension Protection Fund in relation to the restructuring of the Hoover Group and its entry into a regulated apportionment arrangement.
- A private hospital in the Home Counties on its consensual financial restructuring.
- Berlin-Hannoversiche Hypothekenbank AG as senior lender in relation to the enforcement, restructuring and sale of Goldman Sachs‘ UK headquarters at Peterborough Court, including on parallel UK and BVI schemes of arrangement.
- 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.
- The administrators of Comet Group in relation to their appointment, powers, retention of title and other contentious and commercial issues arising in the administrations.
- The liquidators of Robin Symes Limited (insolvency practitioners from BDO LLP) in respect of the complex liquidation of one of the world's largest antiquities dealerships, including in relation to court proceedings in Italy.
- In relation to the insolvency/restructuring of various RMBS vehicles, including Edeus and Victoria Mortgages, and of multiple structured investment vehicles, including Goldenkey and Sigma Finance.
- Major property market lenders on enforcement options in relation to cross-border property finance transactions, including on complex cross-border and tax-driven restructuring solutions.
- A number of major financial institutions in relation to the collapse of the Lehman group and Icelandic banks.
- Advised Bank of America in $6bn proceedings brought against it by the liquidators of BCCI.
College of Law, London, LPC
Pembroke College, Oxford University, BCL
University College London (University of London), LLB
- England and Wales
- Insol International
- Insolvency Lawyers Association
- Mayer Brown's Fusion Network Steering Committee
Consistently ranked as a leading individual by the legal directories:
- Listed as a 'Leading Individual', London practice head Devi Shah is praised by clients for being "very knowledgeable, personable and practical." She regularly advises clients on cross-border matters, with particular expertise in pensions and insurance restructurings. (Chambers UK 2020).
- Listed in the 'Hall of Fame' for Insurance Insolvency & Restructuring (Legal 500 2020).
- Listed as 'Highly Regarded' in IFLR 1000 2020.
- Devi Shah is 'extremely pleasant to work with and provides reliable advice' across both domestic and cross-border mandates, with particular niches on insurance insolvencies and pensions-related restructurings.' (Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency); She is praised for her 'pragmatic' approach. 'Devi Shah and Colin Scagell have been very pragmatic in their approach to providing recommendations and opinions in instances where other competitors had taken a rather more overly cautious approach that would have resulted in an unnecessarily increase workload.' (Insurance Insolvency & Restructuring) (Legal 500 2020).
- Head of the firm's London restructuring practice Devi Shah has particular expertise in pensions and insurance restructuring. She acts for a broad range of clients on cross-border matters, spanning from debtors and lenders to insolvency practitioners. Clients say: "She really explains the situation and ensures that we understand both the risks and the rewards." (Chambers UK 2019).
- As part of her broad-ranging practice, the "technically strong and extremely personable" team head Devi Shah has niche expertise at handling pensions-related insolvency matters. Shah is also noted for her prowess at handling restructurings within the insurance sector.
- Leading Lawyer - Highly regarded. (IFLR 1000 2019).
- "Fantastic lawyer" Devi Shah is adept at handling both contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. She is well regarded for her expertise in pensions and insurance restructurings, and is also able to advise on cross-border matters. (Chambers UK 2018).
- Devi Shah is highly regarded by clients, who describe her as "a fantastic lawyer and a joy to work with." She has a broad practice acting for debtors, lenders, insolvency practitioners and pensions trustees on challenging cross-border mandates. (Chambers UK 2017).
- The "experienced" Devi Shah advises on contentious insolvency and restructuring issues, and "is a joy to work with, always delivering on technical issues". (Legal 500 2016).
- According to her clients, Devi Shah "is very user-friendly, extremely capable, has excellent black-letter legal skills and her advice has a strong commercial focus. A client could not be in better hands." She is known for her advisory and contentious practice on behalf of pension sector clients, and is particularly proficient in cross-border concerns. (Chambers UK 2016).
- Is "a delight to deal with, always instilling confidence and providing clear recommendation" (Legal 500 2015).
- Global M&A Network selected Devi as one of the “Top 100 Restructuring & Turnaround Professionals” for 2015, a list that features the most accomplished, brilliant and innovative consultants, investment bankers and lawyers from the global restructuring, distressed M&A, bankruptcy and insolvency industries. Devi was also selected for 2014.
- Devi Shah is the joint head of the firm's restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency group. She is highly praised by clients and peers as an "exemplary" practitioner, and is active on contentious and transactional restructuring and insolvency issues. (Chambers UK 2015).
- The "exceptional" Devi Shah is "technically excellent" (Legal 500 2014).
- Clients value Devi Shah for her strategic acumen. One source notes: "She proved outstanding in developing and successfully executing strategy." She is particularly adept at handling restructuring matters in the insurance sector, yet also demonstrates abilities in pension and retail matters. (Chambers UK 2014).
- Devi moves up in this year's rankings having earned praise from interviewees for being "knowledgeable and technically strong." One client states: "She has that very rare ability to combine technical excellence with commercial acumen." (Chambers UK 2013).
- Highly popular with clients, she "is really approachable and really knows her stuff" (Chambers UK 2012). she is an "exceptional lawyer who is technically strong and commercially savvy" (Legal 500 2012).