Outline of the practice area
Restructuring is part of DLA's Finance, Projects and Restructuring (FP & R) practice group. The Restructuring team advises clients both before and after the onset of insolvency or restructuring, and in contentious and non-contentious matters. As a result (and particularly during a global pandemic!), no two days in Restructuring are the same.
The variety of work undertaken by the Restructuring team (a flavour of which I set out below) has been a real highlight of my time here, and I have personally really enjoyed working for clients in a multitude of sectors. The team regularly advises stakeholders at all stages of the financial distress spectrum in sectors including financial services, energy, real estate, hospitality, consumer goods, food and retail. This, coupled with the international nature of much of the work undertaken by the team, fully utilises DLA's global network and sector focused approach to the delivery of legal services.
Example of the type of work completed / of a deal
As mentioned above, there is real variety to the work trainees in Restructuring can get involved with. I have really enjoyed sitting in Restructuring in my final seat, as I have been able to build upon my learnings in my earlier seats of Real Estate, Employment and Finance, practice areas which all overlap with Restructuring. Furthermore, I have gained exposure to practice groups like Corporate and Litigation, which I have not sat in during my training contract. I feel that when I leave the Restructuring team at the end of August to start my NQ role in Real Estate, I will have a much more holistic understanding of the services provided by a global firm like DLA.
A Restructuring seat gives trainees the opportunity to develop a number of skills in transactional and contentious contexts. For example, on the transactional side, I have developed my document review skills, frequently assisting with contract reviews and security reviews for banking clients. I have also undertaken research tasks on a variety of topics, including aspects of property and corporate law.
Contentious work is just as varied. I am currently working on one of the team's biggest mandates, acting for the administrators of a global business drafting information request letters, and assisting with the project management of the same. On other matters, I have attended numerous client calls with partners, which has given me an insight into strategy and litigation tactics, an experience I had not had in my previous seats.
Furthermore, there is a very active Knowledge Management team within Restructuring, with plenty of opportunities for trainees to assist with writing articles, and training sessions and legal updates to attend to keep up to date with the changes in this ever-changing area of law. I have helped the Knowledge Management team update multiple articles on the pandemic related insolvency legislation – this has really helped me understand the measures the government has taken to support businesses during the pandemic, and to get involved with business development.
Why is the practice group an exciting place to work/ innovations & exciting things happening in that area
I would highly recommend undertaking a Restructuring seat if you get the opportunity to do so. The dynamic nature of insolvency law gives rise to a diverse workload, which provides an unparalleled learning experience and opportunity to develop as a trainee.