Latham and Sayenko Kharenko take lead roles on Ukraine's $20bn debt restructuring

Pair advised JPMorgan on international agreement to save $6bn over two years
IRPIN, UKRAINE - Mar. 05, 2022: War in Ukraine. People cross a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, during heavy shelling and bombing

People crossing a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv Drop of Light;shutterstock

Latham & Watkins and leading Ukrainian firm Sayenko Kharenko have emerged as key legal advisers in the successful restructuring of Ukraine’s sovereign debt.

The duo advised JPMorgan in its role as solicitation agent for Ukraine - advised by White & Case and Ukrainian firm AVELLUM - in connection with a two-year freeze on payments on almost $20bn in outstanding Eurobonds and GDP-linked securities.

In a deal agreed on 10 August, holders of the securities agreed to amend certain terms and conditions allowing the war-ravaged country to save around $6bn on payments over two years.

‘The deal received unprecedented support from a group of creditors of Ukraine within the G7 and the Paris Club,’ Sayenko Kharenko noted in a statement today.

The Latham team was led by London partners David Stewart and Manoj Tulsiani supported by London associates Harrison Armstrong, Daria Latysheva, Carolina Gori, and Michael Czarnota. Regulatory advice was provided by London partner Nicola Higgs while New York partner Elena Romanova advised on tax.

The Sayenko Kharenko team providing advice in Ukrainian law was led by partners Igor Lozenko and Anton Korobeynikov and included associate Oles Trachuk and junior associate Yevgen Koval.

CEO Nazar Chernyavsky said: “We are extremely proud to be involved in this landmark transaction that allows Ukraine to gradually reinforce the resilience of its debt profile. The support of public creditors and investors on this deal is paramount for the recovery of Ukrainian economy.”

Earlier this week White & Case and Weil had emerged as key advisers on the deal

The White & Case team advising Ukraine was led by capital markets partners Ian Clark and Olga Fedosova, who are based out of London and Paris respectively. Weil, meanwhile, advised a large number of GDP-warrant and bond investors in relation to the deal.

Andrew Wilkinson, co-head of Weil’s London restructuring practice, led the team, assisted by counsel Kirsten Erichsen and capital markets partner Alexander Horstmann-Caines.

Ukraine last restructured its debt in 2015 in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a Russian-backed separatist movement in the east of the country. Clark also led for White & Case on that deal, with Wilkinson leading the Weil team advising the ad hoc creditors’ committee on the $18bn restructure.

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