I am very pleased to present this thirteenth edition of The Restructuring Review. As with the previous editions, our intention is to help general counsel, government agencies and private practice lawyers understand the conditions that have been prevailing in the global restructuring market in 2020 and to highlight some of the more significant legal and commercial developments and trends during that period.
In particular, I would like to thank Chris Mallon for his editorship of all 12 of the previous editions. Having retired from a long and distinguished career as a restructuring lawyer in private practice, Chris is now a Senior Advisor in the Financial Advisory Group at Lazard, based in London.
2020 began with many market observers expecting a year of overall modest growth for the global economy. Of course, there were political and economic clouds on the horizon, as there usually are, such as the ongoing trade hostilities between the United States and China and the uncertain outcome of the Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the Member States of the EU as the United Kingdom finally withdrew from the EU on 31 January.
However, the world is now in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. Much of the world is in lockdown or taking tentative steps to emerge from lockdown. While the human cost is paramount, the economic impact has been enormous. This has prompted a huge response from governments and central banks around the world in an effort to support businesses and workers given the unprecedented drop in supply and demand. In some industries, the drop has been precipitous and virtually total. The full extent of the damage is yet to be assessed and the length and trajectory of the road to recovery are uncertain.
One prominent reaction to the crisis has been the emergence of new laws, rules and practices in restructuring, perhaps reflecting the maxim that one should never let a good crisis go to waste. These measures – as can be seen in the following chapters – include not only ones specific to covid-19, but also include broader reform of insolvency and restructuring law. Notwithstanding increasing nationalism in certain parts, the world's economies remain highly connected and interdependent. International, as well as national, efforts will be required to lead towards a full recovery. I hope that The Restructuring Review will be a useful guide at a time of evolution for restructuring law and practice internationally.
I would like to extend my gratitude to all the contributors for the support and cooperation they have provided in the preparation of this work, and to our publishers, without whom this would not have been possible.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP