Contact details

James Watson

T: +44 20 7809 2502 M: +44 7824 814 988 Email James | Vcard Office: London

James Watson Senior associate

Contact details

James Watson

James Watson
Senior associate

T: +44 20 7809 2502 M: +44 7824 814 988 Email James | Vcard Office: London

A senior associate in the London restructuring and insolvency team, James has advised on some of the most significant distressed situations in the market.
  • Profile
  • Services
  • Sectors

James has acted for a wide range of stakeholders, including individual lenders, steering committees, sponsors, borrowers and insolvency officeholders. His experience includes using UK schemes of arrangement, CVAs, receiverships and pre-pack administrations to implement restructuring solutions and maximise value.

He also advises corporates and investors on commercial matters, including mitigating the risk and impact of counterparty insolvency, and potential investments in or acquisitions of assets in distressed situations.

James spent a year on secondment to the work-out team of a major UK bank in 2010-2011.

  • Restructuring and insolvency

James has advised on numerous restructuring and formal insolvency mandates dating back to before the 2008 financial crisis. Notable transactions on which James has worked include:

Winsway Enterprises Holdings Limited (now called E-Commodities Holdings Limited) 

Advising a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed coal company on its bond restructuring, implemented through parallel Hong Kong and BVI schemes of arrangement and Chapter 15 proceedings. The deal was nominated for restructuring deal of the year at the British Legal Awards 2016.

Incisive Media

Acting for the majority creditor in relation to the business media group's financial restructuring and debt-for-equity swap.

PHS

Acting for the ad hoc group of first lien lenders on the financial restructuring of this workplace services group.

M6 Toll

Acting for the owner of the UK's only toll road in relation to the £1.6 billion restructuring of its loan and hedging liabilities, implemented through a two-stage scheme of arrangement.

Johnston Press

Acting for the bank lenders in relation to the group's financial restructuring and later refinancing.

Kodak

Acting for the UK company in relation to its release from its £1.8 billion pension deficit liability through the innovative sale of certain business divisions to its UK pension scheme.

Travelodge

Acting for the independent senior lenders in relation to the group's financial and operational restructuring, implemented through interlocking schemes of arrangement and a CVA.

Clinton Cards

Acting for the administrators in relation to the sale of the majority of the group’s business.

National Car Parks

Acting for the company in relation to its multi-stakeholder financial and operational restructuring.

British Midland

Acting for the company in the period leading to its sale to British Airways.

Heritable Bank

Acting for the administrators of the UK subsidiary of Landsbanki Islands hf., in relation to the wind-down of its £1.1 billion estate.

More: Restructuring and insolvency
  • Accountancy firms
  • Banks and banking
  • Funds and financial services
  • Aviation

James regularly acts for accountants in their capacity as insolvency officeholders (and alongside them in their capacity as financial advisers). He has provided advice in the context of both "pre-pack" transactions and longer term administrations or receiverships. Notable transactions on which James has worked include:

Clinton Cards

Acting for the administrators in relation to the sale of the majority of the group’s business.

Citypoint

Acting for the receivers of the Citypoint tower in relation to their appointment and negotiations with respect to a new capital expenditure programme.

Heritable Bank

Acting for the administrators of the UK subsidiary of Landsbanki Islands hf., in relation to the wind-down of its £1.1 billion estate.

More: Accountancy firms

James has advised banks in their capacity as lenders, facility agents and security trustees in several stressed and distressed situations. He also advised on the failure of a number of financial institutions during and after the banking crisis of 2008. Notable mandates on which James has worked include:

Johnston Press

Acting for the bank lenders in relation to the group's financial restructuring and later refinancing.

Dunfermline Building Society

Acting for the administrators in relation to the transfer of various assets to Nationwide.

Heritable Bank

Acting for the administrators of the UK subsidiary of Landsbanki Islands hf., in relation to the wind-down of its £1.1 billion estate.

More: Banks and banking

James regularly acts for funds and other alternative capital providers, both in relation to potential investments in distressed situations and on substantive restructuring solutions. Notable restructuring mandates on which James has worked include:

Incisive Media

Acting for the majority creditor in relation to the business media group's financial restructuring and debt-for-equity swap.

PHS

Acting for the ad hoc group of first lien lenders on the financial restructuring of this workplace services group.

Travelodge

Acting for the independent senior lenders in relation to the group's financial and operational restructuring, implemented through interlocking schemes of arrangement and a CVA.

More: Funds and financial services

James has advised both debtors and creditors in a number of distressed situations in the aviation sector, including:

British Midland

Acting for the company in the period leading to its sale to British Airways.

XL Airways

Acting for the main lender to the group in relation to the provision of various facilities and subsequent purchase of the French and German airline businesses through a pre-pack administration sale.

Scandinavian airline

Providing advice to an airline in financial distress with respect to its negotiations with creditors.

More: Aviation

Latest news & insights

06 Dec 2016

From Insights

Scheming in Hong Kong: court hands down Winsway and Kaisa decisions

We highlight the key points arising in two notable scheme of arrangement cases. The decisions include interesting points relating to consent fees, use of schemes to co..

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29 Jun 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood completes major cross border restructuring

Deal paves the way for further Hong Kong and BVI schemes to be used to restructure foreign law governed debt

More

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© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.