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Sovereign Debt

Our Sovereign Debt team has assisted clients on the most significant and high-profile issues confronting sovereigns over the last 50 years.

We have been at the heart of the most complex set of sovereign crises to date including those of the Eurozone (Greece, Ireland and Cyprus) as well as that of 2005-2015 Argentina.

Countries all over the world entered 2020 with high levels of debt, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of their GDP. The Covid-19 pandemic is adding an unprecedented burden on all economies and it affects their structure and future performance in complex ways.

How to raise funds, address illiquidity, successfully restructure, and set the world into a path of sustainable development will be critical issues in the coming years. The challenges have increased by the complexity of financing instruments, the range of stakeholders and the rise of policy and compliance requirements in the major financial centres.

The scale of our network and the depth of our expertise means that we can mobilise the right teams quickly to find solutions. Our experience on similar sovereign crises and the associated lessons can be leveraged.

How can we help?

  • Anticipate: As a sovereign counterparty shows signs of distress we can help you with your diligence in understanding your exposure and scenario planning.
  • Prepare: From experience we know that a rapid and coordinated response is required during a crisis. Key decisions need to be made which will affect the efficiency of your response and the accuracy of your decision-making.
  • Insights: We are plugged into ongoing discussions of key stakeholders at the highest levels and are using that intelligence to guide clients on the most effective strategies. This involves active dialogue with international organisations, industry bodies and multilateral agencies.
  • Coordination: In the event of a crisis, expertise is required across a number of critical areas to be able to navigate the complexity of sovereign financing instruments, the array of stakeholders and variety of regulatory measures. Our team includes both English and New York qualified lawyers – essential given that these two governing laws underpin global financial markets in tandem.
  • Understanding all stakeholders: We’ve acted for arranging banks, creditors, official sector entities, central banks and sovereigns in debt raising, debt management, restructurings, structured and project financings, disputes before national courts, bilateral investment treaty arbitrations and regulatory matters.

Download the practice brochure

Find out more about our Sovereign Debt experience.

Transition to a sustainable economy

Sustainability and ESG (environment, social and governance) issues are rising to the top of the agenda.

The transition of the economy to align with the Paris Agreement aims and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is set to dominate the next decade. Explore our insights on developments in the key themes in the sustainability transition.

News & insights

News: 19 OCTOBER 2020

Allen & Overy represents the initial purchasers in USD600 million sovereign bond offering by the government of The Bahamas

Allen & Overy represented Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets as initial purchasers of the Government of The Bahamas’ USD600 million of 8.950% Notes due 2032. The offering closed on October 15, 2020…

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News: 17 SEPTEMBER 2020

A&O advises on the Kingdom of Thailand’s first THB30 bn dual-tranche sustainability bond issuance

Allen & Overy has acted as Thai and international counsel to Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited and Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) Public Company Limited (the…

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Publications: 24 JUNE 2020

Podcast: G&R Airtime shines the spotlight on sovereign bonds and state debt

This week’s episode of G&R Airtime shines the spotlight on the current state of affairs in relation to sovereign bonds and sovereign debt, with a particular focus on Indonesia. 

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Publications: 14 FEBRUARY 2020

Understanding sovereign debt – options and opportunities for Africa

A practical Guide for public debt managers and others involved in public financial management in Africa.

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Related content

Understanding sovereign debt – options and opportunities for Africa

The handbook serves as an accessible, practical guide for public debt managers and others involved in public financial management in Africa, and will empower these individuals by demystifying the complex concepts and terminology related to sovereign debt.