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Martin Brown


CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English, French

Martin Brown has over 18 years’ experience of advising lenders, borrowers and insolvency practitioners on all aspects of financial restructurings and non-litigious aspects of formal insolvency proceedings. He also advises distressed debt investors on the acquisition and workout of non-performing loan portfolios, single credits and distressed businesses, and other stakeholders affected by corporate financial distress, including trustees of DB pension schemes.

Based in London, Martin qualified in 2000 and has been a partner since 2008. He is described in Legal 500 as ‘very smart and creative’ and in Chambers as having ‘great commercial acumen and good focus when handling complex multi-jurisdictional matters’.

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Relevant experience

  • The senior lenders to a listed UK retailer, with over 400 stores in the UK and Europe that used a company voluntary agreement (CVA) as part of its turnaround.
  • The corporate trustee of Flybe Group plc’s defined benefit pension scheme in connection with the sale of the listed airline’s business to a consortium led by Virgin Airways.
  • Various parties affected by the collapse of Carillion plc and its group, including the project company for the Midlands schools project and the lenders to various of the other projects.
  • A large private equity-owned E&P company on the restructuring of its debts in excess of USD 1.2bn and new loan facilities and other arrangements with its co-venturers and various other stakeholders.
  • Various different purchasers and sellers of a non-performing loan books with an aggregate face value in excess of EUR 5bn including Project Adelaide, Project Hurst and Project Serlby.
  • The Security Trustee to the bondholders and other lenders to the Phones 4U group.
  • The senior lenders to a major cross-border equipment supplier in the oil and gas sector, resulting in a debt restructuring and then on a successful refinancing.
  • A national dental practice group on the restructuring of its leveraged finance facilities, leading to a solvent sale generating equity return.
  • A leading provider of engineering and constructing services to the onshore and offshore energy industries, listed in the UK and headquartered in Dubai, on its negotiations with its lenders to restructure and subsequently refinance USD 800m of credit facilities.
  • An investment bank on its acquisition of a company with rights to a major infrastructure asset in the power sector and the restructuring of associated debt of over GBP 300m.
  • A syndicate of banks on their lending to a cross-border engineering and environmental consultancy listed on AIM, which included a debt for equity swap, a rights issue and subsequent refinancing.
  • An investment bank on its acquisition of certain senior bank debt and thereafter a restructuring via a pre-packaged administration sale and a CVA, in the waste management sector.
  • Various different lenders and investors on restructurings, refinancings and other exits in the hotel and leisure sector, with the aggregate amount of debt on such transactions exceeding GBP 2.5bn.
  • An investor in relation to its rescue package for a distressed mortgage lender.
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  • 1997 – LPC, The College of Law, Chester
  • 1996 - LLB Law with French, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham
  • 1995 - Diplôme d’Etudes Juridiques Françaises, L’Université de Limoges 
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Days of fu­ture past: the re­in­tro­duc­tion of Crown Pref­er­ence
HM­RC has launched a con­sulta­tion on new le­gis­la­tion that will re­store (and im­prove) its status as a sec­ond­ary pref­er­en­tial cred­it­or for cer­tain tax debts in busi­ness in­solv­en­cies (the “Con­sulta­tion”).
When do dir­ect­ors’ du­ties at law switch to be­ing owed to the com­pany’s...
A real, as op­posed to re­mote, risk of in­solv­ency is not ne­ces­sar­ily enough for the du­ties of a board of dir­ect­ors to switch from be­ing owed to its share­hold­ers to be­ing owed to its cred­it­ors. So ruled the Court of Ap­peal (“CA”) in its judg­ment in BTI 2014 LLC.
In­solv­ency con­sulta­tion puts gov­ernance in the spot­light
We closed the first quarter of 2018 fol­low­ing a peri­od of in­tense scru­tiny on the re­struc­tur­ing and in­solv­ency pro­fes­sion. The stress in the re­tail and din­ing sec­tors, the in­crease in CVAs and the vari­ous at­tend­ances of stake­hold­ers in the pro­fes­sion be­fore.
"Vul­ture Funds" are "fin­an­cial in­sti­tu­tions"
To a layper­son this may came as a sur­prise. But, to those fa­mil­i­ar with the sec­ond­ary loan mar­ket, it is con­firm­a­tion of ex­ist­ing law. A “vul­ture fund”– in­clud­ing a newly in­cor­por­ated com­pany with a share cap­it­al of only £1 that has not traded and has been.
“Phantom” float­ing charges still have teeth
Ad­min­is­trat­ors can be val­idly ap­poin­ted to a com­pany by the hold­er of a float­ing charge which was giv­en by the com­pany in breach of a neg­at­ive pledge in fa­vour of an ex­ist­ing se­cured cred­it­or and even if, both at the time of the pur­por­ted cre­ation of that float­ing.
The Re­cast EU In­solv­ency Reg­u­la­tion be­comes ef­fect­ive today
Since May 2002, we have had a re­gime which en­sures that an in­solv­ency pro­ceed­ing star­ted in one of the EU’s mem­ber states is, without fur­ther form­al­ity, re­cog­nised in all oth­er mem­ber states (ex­cept for Den­mark) and which de­term­ines the law ap­plic­able to such.