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COVID-19: Solutions to the challenges faced by companies during the pandemic

Dentons’ special Task Force develops legal solutions aimed at avoiding defaults and the threat of technical insolvency

Bucharest, April 30th, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the business environment. Businesses of all sizes need support and advice in various fields of expertise, including legal. Dentons Bucharest’s newly established Task Force brings together specialists from different disciplines to guide clients through the new world. The Dentons Task Force assesses the impact of COVID-19 on markets, business operations, financing arrangements and the work force, and develops legal solutions to avoid defaults and the threat of technical insolvency.

We are assisting clients and their advisors to design and implement strategies that avoid danger zones and allow them to take advantage of opportunities that may arise”, says Dentons Partner Simon Dayes, who leads the special Task Force. “Managers need assistance in identifying and mitigating risks, in easing dialogue with business partners and in formalizing how they will operate going forward”, added Dayes.

Dentons sets forth a set of priorities and considerations for businesses navigating through the new COVID-19 era:

– Payment relief and other legislative options – these may not provide sound solutions for the medium term. Consider follow-up refinements (with creditors and others) that are necessary to clear the path back to normal trading.

– Commercial agreements and financing – identify prospective covenant breaches well in advance (particularly sensitive financial ratios in credit agreements). Counterparties will appreciate a pro-active approach with solutions that avoid defaults.

– Time your approaches to key business partners – it may be risky to wait for a comprehensive fix to emerge, since it is difficult to predict future activity levels. It may be better to act now and address further refinement to your solution later.

– Groups with multiple loans – work to avoid cross-default and any suggestion of technical insolvency, while preserving revolving credit lines. Lead times for counterparty approvals are lengthening, so a swift, coordinated approach to business partners may be advisable.

– Pro-actively manage key business assets – protect the workforce and consider taking relief solutions to customers. This preserves value, flexibility and predictability for the future.

– Lead the way with documentation – opt for clear proposals in documentary form that promote dialogue and lead to quicker and more thorough resolution.

The Task Force at Dentons in Bucharest, comprising four Partners and three Counsels, is ready to advise businesses from an international as well as a local perspective:

Simon Dayes, Partner, leads the Restructuring and Insolvency task force at Dentons. He specialises in project finance, financial restructuring and the sale and purchase of credit assets. As a UK solicitor, Simon has been advising banks, international financial institutions and project sponsors in cross border credit transactions in Central Europe from a Bucharest base for over 15 years.

Simona Marin, Partner, has 15 years’ experience advising on a broad range of high-profile financing and project transactions throughout Central and South East Europe.  Specialising in real estate project finance and consensual restructuring, Simona’s client base includes both lenders and borrowers. Qualified as UK solicitor and a NY attorney, her focus (in both construction and investment finance) is in retail, logistics, office, and hotels and leisure sectors.

Bogdan Papandopol, Partner, has over 18 years’ experience in real estate, insolvency and litigation. Bogdan advises lenders and developers in complex real estate-related insolvency proceedings and restructurings, including asset and business sales, insolvency submissions and defences, as well as representations in formal proceedings and creditors’ meetings. He is currently focused on crisis management in real estate transactions and corporate/financial restructurings.

Tiberiu Csaki, Partner, has over 30 years of legal practice, focusing on dispute resolution, including international arbitration.  He has extensive expertise in insolvency and bankruptcy, including cross-border insolvency, business reorganization and sales of distressed assets. Tiberiu is a member of INSOL, the leading European organization of insolvency professionals, business reconstruction and recovery.

In addition to the four senior partners, Dentons Task Force includes three experienced Counsels: Maria Tomescu (+13 years’ experience advising banks, international financial institutions and borrowers in structured financings in Romania and throughout Central Europe), Magdalena Raducanu (+13 years of experience on loan workout and restructuring transactions assisting both lenders and borrowers) and Oana Ionascu (+14 years of experience in real estate finance, project finance and other financing structures, both syndicated and bilateral).

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About Dentons

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Referral Network. Dentons‘ polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.

Dentons’ legal team in Bucharest, under the leadership of Managing Partner Perry Zizzi, provides its clients with a results-oriented approach and efficient legal solutions. In over two decades of activity in Romania, the Firm has advised on cornerstone deals for domestic and international clients across multiple sectors. Key practice areas include Banking and Finance, Real Estate, Corporate, Employment, Energy and Infrastructure, Competition and Litigation.

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