Kurpfälzer Restructuring Lunch: The interaction in the crisis - how do creditors, administrators, consultants and entrepreneurs interact?

Heidelberg, March 1, 2018 - At its second event, the Kurpfälzer Restructuring Lunch dealt with the interaction of creditors, administrators, consultants and entrepreneurs in the crisis. Around 85 guests followed the lively discussion. All panelists agreed that efficient communication between all those involved is essential for a successful reorganization.

“You cannot not communicate” - with these words Dr. Raoul Kreide (lawyer and mediator, GSK Stockmann), his keynote speech. Communication, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to make optimal use of scarce resources: “When you're dividing an orange, cutting in half isn't always the best solution. Maybe one of them needs the peel for the cake and the other wants to drink the juice.” This also applies in particular to reorganization situations. Dr. Kreide promoted trusting, appreciative communication between all those involved.

In the panel discussion - moderated by Manfred Hornig (PSC Management- und Sanierungsberatung GmbH) - the panelists reported on their extensive experiences with interaction in the crisis. Dr. Karl Beck (Head of Corporates Workout, Commerzbank AG) explained that communication could be very disordered, especially in the period before filing for insolvency. Frequently, the stakeholders are not included in fundamental considerations, for example, which type of procedure is the most sensible in the respective procedure. “ESUG has still not found its way everywhere. Even if creditors and sometimes even the entire designated creditors' committee have uniformly proposed an administrator, other administrators are appointed by the court on the grounds that the proposed person is not listed,” said Dr. Beck. For him, this is an unacceptable situation in a creditor proceeding.

Tobias Wahl (lawyer, anchor lawyers) made it clear in the discussion that communication and transparency are the prerequisites for precise task regulation and assignment of responsibilities. “Individual goals are disclosed and a common goal is defined. Based on this, the respective competencies and responsibilities can then be determined,” explained Wahl. He explained the interaction of all those involved in practice using the example of the cooperation between self-administrator and administrator: Rules of procedure are negotiated and concluded that regulate the cooperation in detail. For example, it will then precisely specify which businesses are part of normal business operations. In order to guarantee an unrestricted exchange of information, trust between the parties involved is another crucial prerequisite. “When obtaining information, it is also essential that those involved adhere to the agreements made,” said the lawyer.

Eva Ringelspacher (Senior Manager, hww Unternehmensberater GmbH) underlined the need for a communications consultant in major crises. “The communications consultant is then responsible for defining the communications strategy, coordinates the press work and takes on the common language for all stakeholders. He is also responsible for internal communication, for example towards employees,” says the lawyer. When asked how to deal with those involved who do not have the same common goal, Ringelspacher was convinced that one had to convince them with factual arguments in order to find a consensual solution. The experienced lawyer recommended that either consultants or insolvency administrators or trustees should have the authority to communicate and thus be able to moderate banking rounds as a neutral person, for example.

The organizers of Kurpfälzer restructuring lunch are anchor Rechtsanwälte, GSK Stockmann Rechtsanwälte, hww hermann wienberg wilhelm and PSC Management- und Sanierungsberatung GmbH. The next event of the Kurpfälzer Restructuring Lunch will take place in February 2019.