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Insolvency lawyers hone international skills

The growing internationalization of investment and involvement of a wider range of investors has complicated the task of insolvency lawyers.


These days insolvency lawyers would like to see themselves portrayed as company doctors prescribing medicine that might taste bad but will cure the patient rather than as the right-hand hatchet men of the corporate grim reaper. The extent to which the managements of companies that come into their hands accept this self-image is unclear. What is certain is that in the present dismal economic climate insolvency lawyers look likely to experience a mini-boom in demand for their services. "It's the endless debate of the cocktail party - how busy are we going to get?" says Nigel Barnett, a partner in insolvency with London law firm Denton Wilde Sapte, "I think that generally the perception is that we will get busier."

There may, however, be a few obstacles in the way of firms that are tempted to try to capitalize on this slump-induced boom by, for example, "repurposing" their underemployed M&A lawyers as restructuring specialists.

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