Restructuring & Insolvency

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When reputation is at risk and creative and effective solutions are urgently needed

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Our lawyers have been key to the restructuring of the Dutch Retail Icon, HEMA; the rescue attempts of various financial institutions; extensive litigation resulting from Russian Yukos Bankruptcy; and finance vehicles (Spanish Isolux Group, Brazilian OI, Indian Jet airways). All these matters were front-page news in both the national and international press.

We advise financial institutions, multinational companies, private equity investors and management, on all types of restructuring or insolvency-related issues with the benefit of the expertise within the firm, be that in Litigation, Corporate Governance, Regulatory, Distressed M&A, Tax, IP, and/or Employment. We are frequently involved in international and multijurisdictional transactions and litigation proceedings, and we occasionally accept appointments by foreign courts to act as special counsel or an expert in foreign proceedings.

We are the oldest Dutch law firm to be a member of the INSOL International Group of Thirty-Six (G36). Member firms of this select body provide significant ongoing financial support to INSOL, enabling INSOL to carry out its collaboration with major projects. Aside from handling individual matters, our insolvency team is also heavily involved in making recommendations on bills submitted by the Dutch government, notably the Dutch Scheme (WHOA).

Recent Matters

21 October 2020

Debt restructuring HEMA successfully completed

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek advises on the successful restructuring of HEMA's capital structure. De Brauw advised HEMA on the implementation of a complex and multi-jurisdictional debt restructuring and recapitalisation process. This process was successfully completed on 19 October 2020. As a result, HEMA's existing bond debt of €750 million was more than halved to €300 million and its liquidity position greatly improved with an additional bond financing of €42 million. With a solid balance sheet and a profitable operation, HEMA can now fully concentrate on its future. De Brauw and HEMA have been working on the restructuring of HEMA's capital structure since 2019. On 15 June 2020, after extensive negotiations, HEMA reached an agreement with its banks and a group of noteholders holding approximately 62% of the €600 million senior secured notes and more than 50% of the €150 million senior notes, to reduce its debt in a controlled manner to safeguard the future of the company. The restructuring was implemented through court proceedings in three jurisdictions: a scheme of arrangement in England, a Chapter 15 proceeding in the United States and security enforcement proceedings in the Netherlands. The recapitalisation was achieved through a number of debt-for-equity swaps. The existing debt structure, including NY law and UK law governed publicly traded notes and bank financing, added particular complexity to the transaction. The transaction required a multi-expertise and cross-jurisdictional approach. De Brauw worked with counsel in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium and Luxembourg. Involved practice groups included finance & restructuring, corporate advisory, capital markets, competition, employment and employment benefits, tax, M&A and financial regulatory. As lead counsel, De Brauw worked as part of an integrated team with Slaughter and May and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Goldman Sachs International acted as financial adviser. The De Brauw team was led by restructuring partner Ferdinand Hengst.Finance & Restructuring: Ferdinand Hengst, Reinout Vriesendorp, Niek Biegman, Tristan Peters, Laurens Peters, Sebastian Hinse, Gilles Becker, Thijs Elseman, Roos de Blécourt, Chris Noordam, Kirsten Lagerweij, Laurens van de Ven and Hafida FaroukTax: Wiebe Dijkstra, Joppe de Bruijn, Pim Siemons, Dana Horvath and Maarten van der WeijdenLitigation: Reinout Vriesendorp, Berto Winters, Charissa Veldman, Hylke ten Bruggencate, Mick Gerrits, Dennis de Feij, Geert Lokhorst, Malte Malycha, Rein Ferwerda and Jeroen van der SchrieckCorporate advisory: Mark Rebergen, René van Tricht, Peter Nolten, Daan Gieben and Tijmen van de Leemkolk Employment: Janneke van der Kroon, Barbara Kloppert and Rik van Haeringen M&A: Arne Grimme, Heather Giannandrea, Chaggai Kon and Sasja Uijldert FMR: Mariken van Loopik and Tjalling Waterbolk Competition and state aid: Maikel van Wissen
12 June 2020

Just Eat to combine with Grubhub

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, working as a combined team with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Slaughter and May, is advising Just Eat on its announced USD 7.3 billion all-stock acquisition of Grubhub Inc., which would create the world’s largest online food delivery company outside of China. The combined group will be built around four of the world’s largest profit pools in online food delivery: the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, increasing the Combined Group’s ability to deploy capital and resources to strengthen its competitive positions in all its markets. Just Eat is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and will introduce an ADR listing in the US. As adviser to Just Eat, the intricacies of this transaction required a multi-expertise approach whereby experts from various practices including M&A, corporate advisory, capital markets, competition law, employment and employment benefits, tax and financial regulatory were involved. Team effort by: Klaas de Vries, Reinier Kleipool, Tijmen Klein Bronsvoort, Gert Slatman, Max Lamb, Gaby Smeenk, Jan Willem Hoevers, Vivian Lee, Josse Klijnsma, Helen Gornall, Evija Butane, Barbara Kloppert, Daniël van Gerven, Henk van Ravenhorst, Vera Gal, Mariken van Loopik, Maurits ter Haar and Bas Boutellier
10 March 2020

Digital Realty completes InterXion exchange offer

Despite the coronavirus outbreak and a 30% fall in oil prices, resulting in heavy losses on stock markets around the world, Digital Realty has completed its USD 8.4 billion exchange offer for Netherlands-based InterXion Holding N.V. De Brauw advised Digital Realty alongside Latham & Watkins. As an NYSE-listed US Real Estate Investment Trust, Digital Realty is subject to specific tax restrictions. Dutch company InterXion is also listed on the NYSE, and it has 50 data centres in 11 European countries. This transaction posed intertwining, complex legal and tax issues that had to be carefully navigated. Our firm’s extensive experience in this type of transaction and our cross-expertise teamwork were instrumental in achieving a successful completion. Read more about this deal here. De Brauw team: Paul Cronheim, Wiebe Dijkstra, Tijmen Klein Bronsvoort, Myrthe van der Klei, Klaas Versteeg, Willem Bijveld, Rozemarijn Vernooij, Joppe de Bruijn, Casper Nagtegaal, Sanne Veenstra, Bojana Prlja, Pim Siemons, Sophia van Straalen, Stephanie The, Fatima el Ghamarti, Barbara Kloppert, Daniel van Gerven, Tim Bird, Etienne Dijkhorst, Alisha Autar, Thijs Elseman, Anna Sablicova, Koen Orbons, Laura Elize de Vries and Bart de Rijke.
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WHOA - the Act on Court confirmation of extrajudicial restructuring plans bill - entered into force on 1 January 2021.

WHOA gives both domestic and foreign companies a game-changing ability to safeguard their business continuity for the benefit of all stakeholders. It offers an attractive Dutch alternative to the US Chapter 11 mechanism, and to the English Scheme of Arrangement and Part 26A Plan.

We have been heavily involved helping to sculpt this legislation since 2014, but the timing now could not be better, given the challenges faced by so many due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Well able to handle multi-jurisdictional matters thanks to its well-established relationships with law firms abroad - the team's service is excellent.

Chambers Europe, 2021
London banner

Dutch roots and a UK anchor

Anchored and unrivalled in the Netherlands with global reach, De Brauw London is an integral part of our Restructuring & Insolvency practice based in Amsterdam. From the U.K. we advise UK-based clients – investment banks, financial institutions, private equity and private and public companies – who do, or intend to do, business in the Netherlands.

Our London Office


27 February 2024

Ban on appealing lower court decisions in WHOA proceedings reaffirmed

On 13 February 2024, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that the statutory ban on filing appeals against decisions by courts of first instance in Dutch WHOA proceedings meets the requirements set out in the EU Insolvency Regulation. According to the Court of Appeal, this regulation does not give parties a stand-alone right to have their case re-evaluated by a second fact-finding court. Parties looking to have a first-instance WHOA decision overturned may only do so under specific circumstances allowing them to override the statutory appeal ban.
13 September 2023

US and Dutch courts allow combined US-Netherlands restructuring for Diebold Nixdorf

On 11 August 2023, Diebold Nixdorf, the cash machine manufacturer operating worldwide, successfully completed an extensive debt restructuring by combining and carrying out Chapter 11 proceedings in the US, and WHOA proceedings in the Netherlands. De Brauw partner Ferdinand Hengst took a key role as court-appointed observer in the WHOA portion, which was recognised under Chapter 15 in the US for the first time ever.
26 March 2023

Refinancing coming up in 2023-2024: what to expect and how to respond

Companies looking to refinance or increase borrowings in 2023-2024 will find themselves in a changed environment. Even a year ago, the markets were full of cash looking for returns. But now, lenders are retreating, trying to reduce their commitment and pushing for higher pricing and stricter terms. In this article, we describe how borrowers can prepare for financing transactions in this new lending landscape. We also discuss some of the innovative solutions that have helped close recent financing deals. Finally, we advise borrowers not to wait in hope of more favourable market conditions in the future, but to kick-start their upcoming financing transactions now.