Insolvency and Restructuring

Carson McDowell has rejuvenated its insolvency and restructuring practice and has strong links with the majority of lenders and insolvency practitioners in Belfast, together with the larger insolvency practices further afield. The team has worked with NAMA, Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland/Certus, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Credit Suisse, First Trust Bank, and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited, together with insolvency practitioners from KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, Horwood Neill Holmes, RSM McClure Watters, BDO, Cavanagh Kelly and fixed charge receivers from BTW Shiells, Osborne King, and Morton Pinpoint.

We advise all the major domestic financial institutions in relation to options and strategies for enforcement of security or renegotiation and restructuring of distressed debt portfolios, together with advising administrators, receivers, liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy pre and post-appointment. The team has also advised several major borrowers in relation to restructuring of debt and advice on insolvency options.

Our specialist lawyers work with teams across the firm to provide comprehensive in-house support for clients managing distressed debt, including specific advice on distressed property matters which form the majority of the current appointments in Northern Ireland. The team draws from the vast array of specialisms within the firm to advise on specific issues facing insolvency practitioners and fixed charge receivers, including licensing matters, construction queries, planning and environmental concerns and employment matters. It is this wide array of specialist knowledge within the wider team that allows us to deal with any query, no matter how novel, arising during an enforcement scenario.

What we do

  • Security review and reporting
  • Advice on powers of receivers and insolvency practitioners
  • Appointment of IPs and receivers
  • Advice in relation to IVAs and CVAs
  • Debt restructuring and debt for equity swaps
  • Loan book acquisitions and restructuring
  • Incentivised exit strategies
  • Consideration and challenge of Centre of Main Interests (COMI) issues
  • Advising directors of insolvent companies
  • Disposal and realisation of assets by consent or enforcement
  • Advising on duties of IPs in office

What Others Say About Us

The Legal 500 2018

What the team is known for

Carson McDowell’s team provides "pragmatic and commercial advice" on a range of insolvency cases, for clients ranging from accountancy firms and lenders to individuals and distressed companies.

Work highlights

Recent work for the firm included high-profile administrations, debt recovery issues and bankruptcies across the healthcare, construction and professional sport sectors.

In a key mandate, the group is advising longstanding client Grant Thornton, as administrator of a local trading company, on challenges to the former directors of the trading company, a property unit trust and a local Irish League football club concerning transactions taking place before the insolvency proceedings involving the recovery of a multimillion-pound loan from the trust.

Notable practitioners

Sinead McGrath leads the team with the "very knowledgeable and responsive" Darren Toombs, who is well known for his debt recovery expertise.

Significant clients

Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, and the Lakesmere Group.