Wednesday, 24 October 2018

EXCLUSIVE-Venezuela gets lawyer to advise on restructuring: sources

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Venezuela has hired a restructuring lawyer to advise the cash-strapped nation as it seeks to restructure some US$60bn of external debt, sources familiar with the matter told IFR.

David Syed is working with a team at global law firm Dentons to advise Venezuela, according to the sources.

Syed was a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe but left that law firm over the weekend after it refused to do business with Venezuelan government officials, many of whom are under US sanctions, the sources said.

In a statement, Dentons confirmed it has hired Syed “to help establish and lead its sovereign practice.” It declined to comment on its or his involvement with the South American country.

Jolie Goldstein, a spokeswoman for Orrick, told IFR Syed resigned over the weekend “for reasons related to client interests”.

“We are deeply grateful to David for his contributions as an Orrick partner and in the development of our international platform. We wish him continuing success.”

The exact scope of Syed’s and Dentons’s work for Venezuela was not immediately known.

One of the sources said Venezuelan officials plan to announce the hiring of legal advisors over the coming weeks and representatives for the Venezuelan government did not respond to a request for comment.

Venezuelan officials on Monday hosted a brief meeting with creditors and analysts in Caracas, but offered no concrete proposal on how they plan to alleviate Venezuela’s crippling foreign debt amid an economic meltdown.


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