The American Lawyer Names Arnold & Porter Partner to '2015 Dealmakers of the Year' List
Washington, DC, April 3, 2015 -- Arnold & Porter's Whitney Debevoise has been named to The American Lawyer's 2015 Dealmakers of the Year list for his "creative thinking, novel approaches and innovative work." In a profile published on March 30, Mr. Debevoise was particularly recognized for his helping the International Capital Markets Association develop a new sovereign bond model in the wake of a 2012 appellate ruling that gave a problematic reading to the so-called "pari passu" clause, which was supposed to place all creditors on an equal footing. In NML v. Argentina, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had read that clause (appearing in certain Argentine bonds) to require any nation servicing restructured bonds to pay in full the holdouts who had refused to trade in their bonds at a discount.
One innovative proposal accepted by the ICMA countered this interpretation by strengthening its various collective action clauses so as to allow a set number of bondholders to modify all bonds over the holdouts' wishes. Another suggested by Mr. Debevoise was to revise the pari passu clause itself, i.e., by clearly stating that the Second Circuit's reading in the NML case was not intended. In September 2014, on Arnold & Porter's advice, Panama and El Salvador became the first nations to implement ICMA's new pari passu clause.
In addition, The American Lawyer cited a Debevoise-led legal team's recent representation of Kenya on the largest debut offering in African history, and development of a "one-day switch" tender model for Brazil, a complex bond refinancing structure which has already been mimicked by three Latin American nations.
Arnold & Porter has an extensive history of advising sovereigns in financial transactions and related issues and undertakings. It has represented the ministries of finance and central banks of many countries since well before the original debt crisis of the 1980s. The firm has handled numerous financial transactions on behalf of sovereigns throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. Among its sovereign clients are Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Hungary, Israel, Turkey, Tunisia, Panama and Venezuela.