04:06, February 06 601 0

2018-02-06 04:06:08
Mayer Brown to handle Carillion pensions after Pension Protection Fund

Mayer Brown is advising the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) on the transfer of Carillion’s pension schemes, The Lawyer can reveal.

The partner advising the statutory fund is understood to be Devi Shah, the head of the firm’s restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency group.

Shah has extensive experience in advising on high-profile administrations. She was one of a number of lawyers who worked on the administration of courier business City Link, when it was handed over to Ernst and Young at the end of 2014.

Shah also acted on the $1.2bn restructuring and $133m sale of ATP Oil & Gas UK to Alpha Petroleum, the UK subsidiary of private equity house Petroleum Equity in 2014.

The PPF has said it has the funds to absorb the pension deficit, reported as £600m.

Last month, The Lawyer reported that the PPF had also turned to Mayer Brown to advise it on the liquidation of Carillion. 

It is understood that Mayer Brown has advised the statutory fund on Carillion’s possible restructuring, which has since been rejected, and has continued to advise it during the liquidation process.

Mayer Brown is one of the six firms to have won a place on the statutory fund’s newly revamped panel, which originally was made up of 23 firms.

Mayer Brown and the PPF have been contacted for comment.

Carillion, the UK’s second largest construction firm, collapsed in early January after running up losses on contracts and substantial debts.

Dentons and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have won the top roles on the liquidation of Carillion after talks to save the company failed at the weekend.

The Lawyer understands that both firms are acting for the official receiver, or High Court, as the liquidator of the company.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed as special managers on the deal to support the official receiver on the liquidation.

Dentons has acted for the UK Government throughout the negotiations, with a team led by partner Nigel Barnett. Partner Neil Griffiths is also understood to have been brought on board for the official receiver and PwC.

It is believed that partner Adam Gallagher is leading the team for Freshfields, while Slaughter and May has been on hand for the company throughout the negotiations.

In an example of the far-reaching effects of Carillion’s collapse, a raft of firms are on call to advise on the future of the HS2 line.

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Eversheds Sutherland are the likely contenders to win the HS2 mandate. Both firms are the most prominent advisers to the project since its inception.

HSF UK and EMEA infrastructure head Patrick Mitchell led the team when it was appointed as the main adviser for HS2 three years ago.

Eversheds Sutherland partners Stephen Collings and James O’Connor advised on the High Speed Rail Act 2017 which received royal assent last year. The act approved construction on this section of the HS2 line and the firm declined to comment on its involvement with any advice at this stage.