Our firm was engaged to act as the insolvency counsel to Olympia & York ("O&Y") in early 1992. Over the course of this mandate, we counseled O&Y on their strategic and legal options relating to their financial challenges in the midst of the recession of the early 1990s and resulting, in large part, from the costs and delays encountered in connection with the development of their massive Canary Wharf Project in London, England.
With debts in the neighborhood of $20 billion, this was Canada’s largest and highest profile cross-border insolvency proceeding and amongst the largest on a worldwide basis.
Over the course of the mandate, the lawyers of our firm appeared on behalf of O&Y on numerous occasions in the CCAA proceedings before the Ontario Court of Justice and provided advice to both O&Y and the Reichmann family on a wide range of matters. In the context of these insolvency proceedings, we conceived of the role, and first coined the names, of "Information Officer" and "Claims Officer" (neither used prior to this file), both of which being later adopted by the Canadian insolvency community and regularly employed in CCAA proceedings after that time.
Another notable contribution of our firm related to the novel use of third party releases in favour of the Reichmann family as an integral component of the O&Y restructuring plan ultimately approved by numerous classes of creditors and the CCAA Court.
Some of these innovative and creative approaches and solutions developed and worked on by our firm in the groundbreaking O&Y insolvency proceedings are described in the following articles which can be accessed by clicking on the following link: