Informal creditors' committee in a restructuring
Informal creditors' committee in a restructuring

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Informal creditors' committee in a restructuring
  • Rationale and role
  • Membership
  • Practical examples
  • Confidentiality and information sharing
  • Guidance on committees

In many restructurings, informal (ad hoc or unofficial) creditors' committees are formed as opposed to formal creditors' committees (see Practice Note: Formal creditors' committee in a restructuring) and can greatly assist negotiations between the debtor company and its creditors.

The rise of alternative finance providers since the 2007/8 credit crunch, including hedge funds and other investors, has enhanced the role of informal creditor committees. They are usually formed by bondholders, noteholders or unsecured creditors.

As with formal committees, there are no statutory rules or best practice guidelines on the creation of committees and the constitution and conduct of informal committees is even more flexible than formal committees. Informal committees have no specific powers and its members owe no fiduciary duties to other members of the committee or other creditors. Members are not automatically entitled to recover their costs unless provided for in the finance documentation or agreed as part of the restructuring.

The difference between formal and informal committees is perhaps more marked in other jurisdictions, such as the US, where ad hoc committees have no automatic right to reimbursement of their fees by the debtor (in contrast to formal committees).

Rationale and role

The debtor company may invite bondholders o