AREA OF PRACTICE

Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring

Biography

Richard Obank is a Partner and the Practice Group Leader of the Firm's Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Practice Group in the UK. Richard practices in the area of corporate restructuring with particular expertise acting for boards of directors in financially distressed situations. He advises regularly on distressed M&A transactions, debt and capital restructuring and work out situations, often involving significant cross-border issues, where the objective is to ensure the best outcome for stakeholders., and wherever possible, avoid a damaging insolvency process.

Richard has a proven track record advising on high profile and complex acquisitions, disposals, reorganisations, company voluntary arrangements and schemes of arrangement across a broad range of sectors including retail, construction, real estate, financial, football (Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership), casual dining, hotels and leisure, and mining.

Richard acts for corporates, private equity investors, funds and financial institutions. He regularly advises turnaround professionals and accountants operating in the restructuring and work out arena and is highly familiar dealing with and advising on UK insolvency processes, contingency planning and options analysis. Richard also has extensive experience acting for boards of directors and liquidators on solvent liquidations. 

Richard has hands-on experience as a board director and charity trustee in debt restructuring scenarios and overseeing operational turnarounds. Richard is known in the market by clients as a veteran practitioner with over 30 years of experience acting for a broad range of stakeholders. He is recognised nationally for his work and contribution in the turnaround, restructuring  and insolvency sector and has won numerous industry awards and accolades.

Richard is a member of the UK Restructuring team recognised by ILFR1000 as a leading practice.

Awards

Representation

In recent years, Richard has worked on the following matters:

Acting for Clarks in relation to a £100 million private equity investment by LionRock Capital and company voluntary arrangement involving c.350 UK and ROI stores.

Acting on behalf of the administrators of various professional football clubs in England and Scotland and also for their administrators (successful restructurings, company voluntary arrangements; and disposals involving the Takeover Panel).

Acting for senior secured lenders on the refinancing and restructuring of the UK’s mining industry.

Acting for the administrators of numerous high street fashion retailers in the UK.

Acting for senior lenders on the restructuring and pre-packaged sale of an international drilling group in the oil and gas sector operating in 22 jurisdictions.

Acting for a listed company in the automotive components sector on its debt and equity reorganization, pension scheme restructuring, and disposal of US subsidiary. 

Acting on various acquisitions, structured disposals, and portfolio reorganizations for private equity investors. 

Acting on the restructuring of a leading UK hotel and leisure group and subsequent solvent liquidation following a successful sale to private equity investors.

Acting for a national probation and rehabilitation services provider and solvent sale to a private equity investor involving the UK government.

Acting for the administrators on the pre-packaged sale of Europe’s largest printing group.

Reorganization and pre-packaged sale to private equity sponsor of a leading bathroom appliances group with operations across the UK, Canada, and the US.

Acting for a private equity investor on the solvent liquidation of a leading drilling technology business in Scotland.

Acting on the debt restructuring and turnaround of a leading UK producer of static modular homes.

Acting on the solvent liquidation of a leading UK house builder following a successful sale of the group to a private equity investor.

Acting for a leading UK wholesale and retail grocery business on its operational turnaround and refinancing followed by a scheme of arrangement to effect a sale to new owners.

Acting for the administrators of a UK discount retail operation with over 350 stores.

Acting for the administrators of Europe’s largest suppliers of merchandise and equipment in the golf sector.

Acting for a PE sponsored listed company in its bid for a soft furnishings retailer.

Acting for the administrators of a leading womenswear fashion brand and combining this with a Chapter 11 filing to liquidate stock in the US. 

Acting for the administrators of a global fast fashion brand and combining this with a Chapter 15 filing to liquidate stock in the US.

*Some of the above matters were handled by Richard prior to joining Brown Rudnick.

Education

Guildford College of Law – 1987
University of Manchester – 1986

Bar Admissions

Solicitor, Senior Courts of England & Wales
Publications
Co-author, “Law and Practice in UK,” Chambers and Partners Global Insolvency Guide (November 2020)
Professional Affiliations
Licensed insolvency practitioner (non-appointment taker) authorized by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Board member of the Institute for Turnaround
Awards and Honors
The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom, Insolvency and Restructuring Law, 2009-2022
Chambers UK, Restructuring & Insolvency, 2020. He is described as a "superb lawyer."
The Legal 500 UK, Restructuring & Insolvency, 2020. He is described as "methodical and super-efficient."
The Lawyer, Hot 100, 2019. This prestigious list, according to The Lawyer, comprises “the most daring, innovative and creative lawyers in the UK.” Richard’s work in the retail sector led to him being named as one of the UK’s top deal makers. The Lawyer commented at the time that Richard “has carved out a name for himself in this area, working with boards of directors to save businesses from going under."
Yorkshire Legal Awards , Partner of the Year, 2019. He was described as “a partner at the top of his game."
Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency (TRI) Awards, Corporate Restructuring Lawyer of the Year, 2019