Seward & Kissel LLP, founded in 1890, is a full service corporate law firm with an international reputation. We are a recognized leader in the distressed debt and claims trading industry. Seward & Kissel has been actively involved in the distressed debt industry since its inception and assisted in the development of many of the standard form documents utilized throughout the market place.

Our Distressed Debt and Claims Trading practice is able to draw upon the expertise of numerous practice groups, including our Restructuring and Bankruptcy, Corporate Finance, Derivatives, Tax, ERISA, Capital Markets and Private Investment Funds practice groups to assist our clients in identifying risks, navigating market uncertainties and capitalizing on opportunities.

Our clients include investment banks, broker-dealers, commercial banks, hedge funds, investment managers, CLOs and other participants in all aspects of the secondary loan trading and claims trading market. We have extensive experience in all aspects of the purchase and sale of par and distressed loans and the transfer of trade claims, executory contracts, rejection claims and reclamation claims.

We are an active member of both the Loan Syndications and Trading Association, Inc. (LSTA) and the Loan Market Association (LMA). Seward & Kissel has played an important role in the evolution of the distressed market since the 1980s. Our attorneys also participate on many of the key committees and working groups for the LSTA and LMA that continue to help shape the market.

What Sets Us Apart

In addition to our experience in distressed debt and claims trading and the bankruptcy and restructuring areas, attorneys in Seward & Kissel’s Distressed Debt and Claims Trading Practice understand the leverage loan market. Our attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating complex broadly syndicated, middle market and bilateral loan facilities on behalf of some of the largest domestic and international financial institutions. Seward & Kissel is also nationally ranked as one of the leading firms in the private fund and investment management space, which gives us valuable insight in the issues faced by market participants. Our attorneys also regularly represent many of its leading managers, issuers, arrangers and trustees in broadly syndicated and middle-market CLOs. The depth of Seward & Kissel’s knowledge in the leverage loan space provides Seward & Kissel with a unique perspective to efficiently represent clients in the distressed debt area.

Representative Services

Examples of debt trading and claims trading services include:

• Drafting, reviewing and negotiating trade confirmations, purchase and sale, assignment, participation, total return swap and repurchase documentation

• Due diligence reviews

• Portfolio transfers pursuant to auctions or in connection with securitizations

• Assisting in assessing recovery risk

• Monitoring bankruptcy proceedings and creditor recoveries

• Advising clients in connection with their participation on creditor committees

• Advising clients in connection with the implementation of effective strategies to influence or control subsequent restructurings, reorganizations and bankruptcy proceedings

• Advising clients on the various tax and regulatory compliance issues relating to purchasing and holding debt and claims

• Resolving disputes related to failed trades

• Structuring investment funds and debt trades to comply with prohibited transaction rules under ERISA


Seward & Kissel frequently provides in-house training seminars to our clients on various issues relating to secondary market trading, including detailed walkthroughs to first time participants of all relevant operational issues and documentation requirements.

Seward & Kissel is committed to working with industry groups and market authorities to further the goal of increasing liquidity for loans and claims in the secondary market. In addition to regularly publishing articles in the leading distressed debt and loan market publications, we periodically issue a “Distressed Debt Report” to keep our clients apprised of the various issues and developments impacting secondary market transactions.