Richard Johnson

Richard has specialised in restructuring, corporate insolvency and work outs since 2003. He regularly provides advice in relation to these matters to creditors, distressed investors, directors and many of Australia’s leading insolvency practitioners.

Richard also acts for a number of creditors and financial investors in connection with non-performing credits, distressed debt trades (both acquisition and sale) and the structuring and execution of loan-to-own strategies in both consensual and contested debt restructuring matters.

Richard also acts in relation to regulatory investigations and commercial litigation matters arising out of financial distress and has successfully acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in relation to a number of high-value voidable transaction, insolvent trading, directors’ duties and equitable accessorial liability claims.

Richard has published a number of refereed papers in relation to debt restructuring issues. Richard has been named “Lawyer of the Year” for Insolvency and Reorganisation Law in Best LawyersTM Australia 2019 edition. He is also recognised in Best LawyersTM Australia for Restructuring and Insolvency and by Doyle’s guide in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 as a ‘leading’ lawyer for this category. Richard has also been awarded the Fellowship by the Australia Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association.

Experience

Richard’s recent experience includes:

  • Major Australian Bank: Advised a major Australian bank in relation to financial restructuring and workout arrangements with respect to multi-currency corporate facilities totalling A$63 million provided to a listed Australian marine service company. The company was an ASX-listed provider of integrated subsea engineered solutions to the international oil and gas, marine and renewable energy industries;
  • Leading insolvency practice: Advised the receivers and managers of an ASX-listed iron ore producer in relation to complex operational and intercreditor issues and the contested debt and equity restructure of the company by way of a deed of company arrangement that provided for a combination of debt rescheduling and conversion of debt to equity;
  • Distressed debt investor: Acted for shareholder proponent in connection with the voluntary administration and subsequent deed of company arrangement in respect of an ASX-listed miner. This matter involved the structuring of a deed of company arrangement and creditors’ trust designed to deliver equity control to the proponent, together with the successful defence of Federal Court litigation by an aggrieved rival bidder seeking to terminate the deed;
  • Leading national insolvency practice: Acted for a leading restructuring and insolvency practice in relation to the voluntary administration of a large transport, storage and logistics company operating out of Perth and the North West of Western Australia. This matter involved the provision of advice to the administrators in relation to the negotiation and drafting of business sale and Deed of Company Arrangement term sheets and transaction documents and the completion of the sale transaction; and
  • National professional services firm: Advising the equity directors of a large professional services practice in relation to corporate control matters and the liquidation of the holding company within their corporate group (ie the liquidation being the result of an oppression action by a minority shareholder in the holding company). This matter entailed the provision of advice to the equity directors in relation to the insolvency process and the structuring, negotiation and execution of a transaction to see them regain control of the subsidiary entities and certain intercompany debts within the corporate group.

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