Morrison & Foerster announced that Peter Declercq and Sonya Van de Graaff have joined its London office as partners in the Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group. Declercq and Van de Graaff come to Morrison & Foerster from Schulte Roth & Zabel where they regularly represented distressed investors – including individual and ad hoc groups of bondholders – in restructuring matters.

Declercq is a recognized global restructuring and insolvency lawyer and an INSOL International Fellow. Declercq provides comprehensive counsel to distressed investors in Europe, including hedge funds, private equity funds and investment banks, and also represents formal and ad hoc creditor groups in connection with multinational out-of-court restructuring transactions and formal insolvency proceedings. In addition, he has experience advising buyers and sellers of distressed assets including non-performing loan (NPL) portfolios – throughout Europe.

Van de Graaff specializes in European restructuring, distressed investing and financing, including direct lending. Van de Graaff represents hedge funds and other distressed investors, and has vast experience in identifying and analyzing distressed investment opportunities and restructuring strategies. She also advises clients in connection with custody and prime brokerage matters, and counsels private creditors and shareholders regarding financial institution restructurings where government intervention could result in subordination and disparate treatment of private investors.

The addition of Declercq and Van de Graaff is a natural expansion of the firm’s UK and global Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group, and provides stronger capabilities to represent clients in London and in cross-border restructuring matters. It follows the appointment last year of James M. Peck, a former bankruptcy judge who presided over the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, as the global co-chair of the Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group.

“Our global restructuring group has an outstanding diverse practice representing creditors, debtors, lenders, banks and other participants in the distressed markets,” said Gary Lee, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Finance Department. “Peter and Sonya’s focus on the representation of distressed investors and their experience in cross-border restructurings and insolvencies in Europe and beyond further builds on our strong expertise in the UK, Europe and globally.”