CMS makes UK Awards shortlist for Scottish oil and gas insolvency work

Scottish-based colleagues at the law firm which managed the complex insolvency of a North Sea exploration and production (E&P) company have been recognised for their ground-breaking work by the British Legal Awards.

The work carried out for First Oil PLC, led by CMS’s Edinburgh and Aberdeen offices, has resulted in the firm being shortlisted in the Restructuring Team of the Year category at this year’s annual UK awards.

When it became apparent that a refinancing solution was not ultimately possible to secure First Oil’s future, CMS advised the company through an accelerated process, disposing of the majority of its assets in an insolvency sale.

This included the sale of the company’s interest in the Kraken oil field being transferred to Cairn Energy PLC and EnQuest PLC and the sale of two First Oil subsidiaries to Zennor Petroleum together with three other assets in the North Sea.

This series of transactions set a number of precedents as First Oil became one of only two E&P companies to go into administration since the recent fall in the global oil price.

This was also the first occasion that the approach of the new regulatory body, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) was tested in the context of an insolvency involving the sale of interests and the break-up of a company.

CMS colleagues were commended by for their work by their client, the companies which acquired its assets and fellow advisers involved in the transaction. The firm will now be hoping to take top honours for their innovative work when the British Legal Awards take place on 24 November in London.

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