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Alex Smith

Special Counsel
Fax +61.2.9513.2399
Ms. Smith has over 15 years' experience working on restructuring and insolvency matters across a wide range of industries and sectors including real estate, retail, infrastructure, leisure and automotive. She provides legal and strategic advice to lenders, investors and creditors in relation to formal insolvency situations, security and debt enforcements and consensual restructurings. She advises companies experiencing financial distress and company directors on their duties at such times. She acts for liquidators, receivers and administrators of insolvent companies.

Professional Background

Ms. Smith has previously worked in the restructuring and insolvency teams of an Australian commercial law firm and a top international law firm based in London. She has also worked in the restructuring teams of ANZ Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland and in the institutional legal teams of ANZ and Credit Agricole Group.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member of ARITA.
  • Member of INSOL International.

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Smith is an experienced legal training presenter and facilitator, including for the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA), the Commercial Law Association in Australia and R3 in the UK. She has presented on topics such as directors' duties and insolvency law reform and has acted as a workshop leader on ARITA's Insolvency Education Program.
  • Advised senior lending syndicate to ABC Learning Centres as to the implications of public examinations of bank officers conducted by the administrators, potential claims against the syndicate and examinations conducted by ASIC. Senior syndicated debt c.$1bn.
  • Advised a group of leading international banks holding syndicated senior, mezzanine, junior debt and swap exposures in relation to restructuring strategy and standstill arrangements in relation to a distressed New Zealand based corporate borrower with total debt of c.$1.5bn.
  • Advised distressed investment funds as to the legal and structural risks relevant to potential purchases of, or holdings of, credit-wrapped bonds in a distressed Australian infrastructure project. Secured bond debt c.$1bn. 
  • Advised a major Australian bank in respect of litigation threatening its property security interest, including investigating and advising in respect of potential fraud by corporate borrower.
  • Advised McGrathNicol as administrators of the Sydney Cross City Tunnel infrastructure project. 
  • Acted for Westpac as secured lender to Retravision, a state-wide purchasing group of electrical retailers and Deloitte as receivers of the state purchasing and supply company. 
  • Acted for Westpac as secured lender to Auto Group, a national group of vehicle auctioneers and retail motor dealerships and Ferrier Hodgson as receivers.
  • Advised Ernst & Young as liquidators of New Cap Reinsurance Corporation with complex recoveries in the liquidation through litigation against directors, parent companies and other third parties and liquidation exit via scheme of arrangement. 
  • Advised major European investment bank on its exposure to a variety of structured investment vehicles and monoline insurers.
  • Advised a major European investment bank on various standstill and waiver requests and security restructuring proposals from corporate customers, particularly in emerging market sectors, including co-ordination of advice from external counsel in related jurisdictions.
  • Restructuring and insolvency of First Leisure, one of the UK’s largest nightclub and leisure operators, involving a renegotiation of the syndicate banks’ facilities using administrative receivership as a procedure to assist with the roll-over of a significant part of the secured debt.
  • Advised the UK division of Henlys Group, US motor manufacturer, on the group's global restructuring, including a debt for equity swap and complex negotiations with secured lending syndicate, a major noteholder and the pension fund trustees.
  • Acted for the Royal Bank of Scotland on the restructuring of over £1bn of assets of Le Meridien Hotel Group.