Law firm of the year: Allen & Overy

Risk Awards 2023: A&O helps guide CDS market through multi-billion-dollar Russia default

Left to right: Paul Allan, Emma Dwyer and David Lucking
Left to right: Paul Allan, Emma Dwyer and David Lucking

Among the many consequences of its invasion of Ukraine was Russia defaulting on its sovereign debt, an event that posed the biggest challenge to the credit default swap (CDS) market since the global financial crisis.

Given the size of Russia’s economy and global markets’ exposure to it, a default under any circumstances would have been a major credit event. It was estimated that, in March 2022 – a week into the war – gross notional swaps outstanding were in the region of $40 billion, while JP

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