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Raphaela Cotoulas



Raphaela Cotoulas acts for a full range of stakeholders across the capital structure — including creditors, creditor committees, large corporates, asset managers, insolvency practitioners, banks and other financial institutions, and private equity sponsors — on complex, cross-border and domestic restructurings, special situations and financings. She has broad experience in drafting and implementing schemes of arrangement, as well as other restructuring arrangements.

Raphaela has extensive experience and acute commercial judgment delivering creative and strategic options and contingency planning for large corporates and creditors, as well as nonperforming loans (NPLs) and loan-to-own strategies for private equity sponsors. She has particular skill in distressed real estate matters, having undertaken secondments at a private equity real estate investment fund and at a global provider of serviced offices and co-working spaces.

With her very client-focused and commercial approach, Raphaela is able to offer practical and creative solutions to complex issues. Her clients have often praised her ability to drive difficult deals to completion. One client has described her as “one of the best associates in recent years.”

Raphaela is the finance and restructuring team’s associate representative for the firmwide international team, a cross-disciplinary group of lawyers and consultants who advise clients on international legal and regulatory issues. She is also the co-lead for the London office’s Women Forward Committee, and works closely with the associates on formulating and implementing related initiatives to support the recruitment, advancement and retention of women professionals.

Representative Experience

  • A debtor in relation to restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings in Luxembourg and Jersey.
  • The ad-hoc lenders on the non-U.S. insolvency matters in the Cineworld bankruptcy and administration.
  • A series of debtor companies in relation to out-of-court administration appointments and restructurings.
  • A global serviced office and co-working space provider in coordinating its continued internal restructuring in various European, Asia-Pacific and African jurisdictions.
  • A leading financial institution on its creditor position of various distressed companies including Thomas Cook and a European travel company.
  • Exide in its internal group restructuring.
  • A lender in its role as a short-term liquidity provider in a distressed commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) product.
  • A fund in the securitization of short-term unsecured loans in certain EU jurisdictions.
  • A group of lenders in the restructuring of an Azerbaijani bank.
  • A Chinese property development company in its restructuring of five series of convertible notes through inter-conditional Cayman and Hong Kong schemes of arrangement and Chapter 15 recognition.
  • Northwood Investors in the acquisition of a majority holding in the €961 million French-listed prime-office SIIC, CéGéREAL S.A., and a subsequent tender offer for the remaining shares; negotiated with various institutional investors, including AXA and GIC, in relation to a sale of shares; and advised on and negotiated advisory agreements and regularizing corporate governance measures to match Northwood’s requirements.
  • Northwood Investors in the acquisition and subsequent restructuring of the £635 million Highcross portfolio of UK regional commercial properties together with the related asset management platform, Highcross Strategic Advisers Limited.
  • Northwood Investors in several matters, including the purchase of various loans from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and related acquisitions and refinancings of Diagonal Mar Shopping Centre in Barcelona, the Four Seasons Hotel in Prague, and the offices at Heuston South Quarter in Dublin.
  • LDK Solar Co., Ltd., in its multijurisdictional restructuring of more than $700 million in offshore debt, believed to be the first judicially approved multijurisdictional debt restructuring of its kind for a China-based corporate group. This transaction was named “Finance Deal of the Year: Insolvency and Restructuring” by The Asian Lawyer and “Cross Border Deal of the Year, U.S.–Asia Region” by M&A Advisor.
  • The winding-up committee of Kaupthing Bank hf (formerly Iceland’s largest bank) in relation to schemes of arrangement for its finance subsidiary, Murray Holdings Ltd. The innovative schemes restructured over £400 million of the company’s obligations and made it possible to settle long-standing and complex litigation relating to the bank’s investment in the Somerfield supermarket chain. The restructuring involved inter-conditional English and Isle of Man schemes of arrangement, with recognition proceedings in the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Raphaela’s firm was recognized as a “Commended” law firm by the Financial Times’ “Innovative Lawyers 2015” report for its role advising Kaupthing in the Somerfield litigation and settlement.
  • A global serviced office and co-working space provider in the acquisition of the secured debt of another serviced office provider and subsequent enforcement and acquisition of its assets.

Related Industries



Solicitor of the Courts of England & Wales [Solicitors Regulation Authority]


BPP Law School
LPC with distinction (2010)

King's College London
LL.B. in Law with European Legal Studies, 2:1 (2009)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Volunteered in Lesbos in connection with the migrant crisis and has continued to provide support and donation drives.
  • Acted as a mentor for BPP University Law School’s Access to Practice program, which provides an opportunity for students to have access to a professional mentor in a law firm.
  • Personal Independence Payment appeal pro bono advocacy through LawWorks.


  • IFLR1000 — Restructuring and Insolvency, 2016
  • The Legal 500 — United Kingdom, 2024
    • Finance and Restructuring, 2024
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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