Australia’s leading independent law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has significantly bolstered its Restructuring & Insolvency and Banking & Finance practices with the appointment of five new Partners with market-leading reputations.

The five partners, all joining from Henry Davis York, will be based in Corrs’ Sydney office and include Patrick O’Grady, Cameron Cheetham, Craig Ensor, Ben Emblin and Michael Catchpoole.

The team has expertise across the full spectrum of the capital structure in the front end lending, restructuring, workout, insolvency and recovery space. Recent experience has included significant roles in Channel 10, the Salim Mehajer-related insolvency, McAleese Ltd’s restructuring, Emeco Ltd’s scheme of arrangement, the John Holland A$1 billion syndicated bank guarantee facility, Lehman Brothers’ international insolvency, Babcock and Brown’s ongoing wind-down and Bonnyrigg.

“Corrs has achieved significant success in the restructuring and insolvency space over the past few years and, with these appointments, we are now positioned as the market leader in this area. Patrick, Cameron, Craig, Ben and Michael are each in their own right incredibly experienced and well respected, and we are thrilled they are coming across to Corrs as a team to provide our clients with the very best. We know that a number of clients presently serviced by this team will also now be working with Corrs into the future and we are excited to welcome them into the Corrs client community,” said Corrs Partner and CEO, John W.H. Denton AO.

“With the arrival of the new safe harbour legislation, we are expecting to see an increasing demand for broad based multifunctional restructuring skills, and we will be extremely well-equipped to provide this,” he added.

The new Partners have experience acting for leading insolvency practitioners, government, litigation funders, commercial banks and non-bank alternative capital providers. They have a deep history of acting for major Australian banks in contentious and non-contentious engagements together with other major financial institutions.

The appointments complement Corrs’ existing Restructuring & Insolvency practice led by Partners Jason Salman and Mark Wilks, which has secured high profile engagements in recent years including Arrium, Emeco, Midwest Vanadium, Wellard and Bandanna Energy. The team includes Partners Sam Delaney, Matthew Critchley and Kirsty Sutherland, along with Partner Jade Rowarth who joined Corrs in April this year as part of the firm’s increasing focus on this area.

Background on Patrick O’Grady

Patrick has significant experience in corporate finance, structured property and development finance, asset finance, project finance and workout arrangements. He is also a recognised expert in the areas of surety bonds and credit enhancement products.

Patrick is a senior banking and finance lawyer with over 20 years' experience and is a trusted adviser to a number of Australia's leading banks and other financial institutions. He also has experience acting for project sponsors and large corporate borrowers and developers.

Background on Cameron Cheetham

Cameron is qualified and has practised for more than 20 years in Australia, London and New York in domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters. He acts for strategic investors and creditors, public, portfolio and private debtor companies and equity sponsors in distressed lending and restructuring transactions and related contentious disputes.

Cameron combines his understanding of formal insolvency regimes and his unique global experience to drive sensible, commercial outcomes.

Background on Craig Ensor

Craig has 20 years' experience in banking, restructuring, insolvency and commercial litigation, and is recognised by his clients and peers as a leading practitioner in all aspects of banking and insolvency law.

Craig has advised Australia's leading banks and other non-mainstream lenders on numerous corporate collapses, and has acted for voluntary administrators, liquidators, provisional liquidators and receivers and managers in many high-profile corporate insolvencies. Craig also has extensive experience in bank-related litigation involving secured and unsecured debt recovery, cheque conversion, fraud and unconscionable conduct claims and significant experience in breach of director duty litigation. He has acted for secured creditors in respect of financial ombudsman complaints.

Background on Ben Emblin

Ben is a leading adviser to financiers, providing acquisition, project and general corporate finance, and is well-known for his ability to achieve successful outcomes in complex negotiations.

Ben has been involved in a broad range of corporate financing transactions, primarily acting for banks and other financial institutions and for large corporates and property funds. He advises on the structuring and documentation for transactions involving project finance, construction and property finance, and acquisition finance as well as workouts and complex debt restructuring.

Background on Michael Catchpoole

Michael is a specialist in complex corporations, domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters. Michael has extensive experience advising on work-out, distressed and special securities investing strategies. He has also advised on disputes both in Australia and off-shore.

Michael acts for a range of major clients including financial institutions, creditors, large corporations and professional trustees. His focus is on contentious restructuring and re-organisation matters and corporate litigation. Michael's expertise across corporate insolvency law, banking and securities law and restructuring has seen him work on complex litigation and investigations. Michael is also experienced in cross border insolvency law and restructuring matters.

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