Reorganisation and Restructuring Advice

As independent experts, we offer comprehensive advisory services in crisis situations. These range from the competent representation of a company throughout an out-of-court reorganisation or restructuring to advising and supporting the company in protective shield proceedings and in self-administration. The Act on the Further Development of Restructuring and Insolvency Law (Gesetz zur Fortentwicklung des Sanierungs- und Insolvenzrechts; German abbreviation SanInsFoG) is of particular importance in this context. An essential component of this law is the new restructuring framework based on the Corporate Stabilisation and Restructuring Act (Unternehmensstabilisierungs- und restrukturierungsgesetzes; German abbreviation StaRUG).

It is highly recommended that a restructuring advisor be consulted as early as possible in order to take advantage of the legal possibilities of out-of-court reorganisation and restructuring. In doing so, we never lose sight of the legal restrictions in order to exclude any personal liability of those involved.

Our highly qualified staff support the work of the restructuring advisors. This enables us to ensure efficient processes and fast response times and to lead complex as well as difficult projects of any size and sector to success.

We believe in a holistic approach when providing advice. Our certified specialists (Fachanwälte) for insolvency law, labour law, corporate law and construction law as well as tax advisors enable us to involve experts from all relevant areas of law in the restructuring process. Our restructuring advisors also have many years of experience in almost all well-known sectors. Our office locations and our network also enable us to assemble supra-regional specialist teams of lawyers, tax advisors, auditors, management consultants and M&A advisors in the shortest possible time.

Protective Shield Proceedings and Self-Administration

The German reform of insolvency law (Gesetz zur weiteren Erleichterung zur Sanierung von Unternehmen; German abbreviation ESUG) enables companies to implement their restructuring concept within the framework of so-called protective shield proceedings and at the same time obtain creditor protection.

With the ESUG, self-administration has gained importance in insolvency law. We initiated and supported the first self-administration in 2001.
In self-administration, management remains fully capable of acting and can independently implement the reorganisation measures.

In cases of self-administration, we advise managing directors and board members or accompany the proceedings as court-appointed custodians (Sachwalter).

When representing a company in self-administration, we support you in particular in all insolvency-specific issues such as the pre-financing of insolvency benefits (Insolvenzgeldvorfinanzierung).

The legal duty of a custodian is primarily to continuously review the financial situation of a company, its liquidity planning and its payment transactions.

Insolvency Plan Procedure

The insolvency plan is an instrument under insolvency law to facilitate quickly overcoming an insolvency through a settlement with the creditors. In addition to considerably shortening the insolvency proceedings, the main advantage is the individual direction and design of continuation solutions aligned to the debtor’s commercial and personal circumstances.

The plan procedure has been strengthened by law several times in recent years. The statutory facilitation of regulations under company law in the plan considerably expands the scope of application and scope for design in insolvency proceedings of legal entities. Among other things, the law provides for the possibility of influencing the rights of shareholders through the plan.

The scope for structuring is supplemented by the introduction of group insolvency plan procedures, which enable a coordinated reorganisation, restructuring or even liquidation of several insolvent and non-insolvent companies of a group. With the admission of the plan procedure in consumer insolvencies, the insolvency plan is now also interesting for private individuals for obtaining early discharge of residual debt.

Our special expertise in insolvency plan procedures is not only due to many years of practical experience with the preparation of such plans and supporting clients throughout the entire process, but also due to an intensive academic assessment of the development of the plan procedures in legislation, case law and practice. Our lawyers Dr. Tjark Thies und Dr. Solveig Lieder have significantly contributed to the development of this pragmatic restructuring instrument with their contributions to the “Hamburger Kommentar zum Insolvenzrecht” (Hamburg Commentary on Insolvency Law) and the Handbook on the Practice of Insolvency Law.

The Stabilisation and Restructuring Framework under StaRUG

On 14 October 2020, the German government published a bill for a Law for Further Development of the Restructuring and Insolvency Laws (Gesetz zur Fortentwicklung des Sanierungs- und Insolvenzrechts; German abbreviation SanInsFoG). A key component of this bill is the Corporate Stabilisation and Restructuring Act (Unternehmensstabilisierungs- und restrukturierungsgesetzes; German abbreviation StaRUG). The StaRUG came into force on 1 January 2021. [1]

With the stabilisation and restructuring framework, StaRUG provides an opportunity for companies threatened of becoming insolvent to pursue by themselves a reorganisation outside of insolvency proceedings by drawing up a restructuring plan. In the restructuring plan, certain legal relationships of the company can be restructured, such as claims against the company or collateral provided by the company. Until now, companies could only undertake such restructuring interventions out of court with the consent of all affected parties. The only alternative was, under certain conditions, the path to insolvency proceedings, for example within the framework of so-called protective shield proceedings, allowing similar interventions with the legal relationships of the company by means of an insolvency plan. The stabilisation and restructuring framework closes this gap between consensual, out-of-court restructuring and restructuring in insolvency proceedings – it allows legal relationships of the company being reshaped within the framework of a restructuring plan by qualified majority resolution of the parties affected by the plan without initiating public insolvency proceedings. In order to support the preparation of the restructuring plan by the company, the StaRUG provides for various procedural aids which the company can use as required (stabilisation and restructuring framework as a modular procedure).

[1] Excluded are sections 84 to 88 StaRUG (public restructuring cases), which will enter into force on 17 July 2022.