Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditors' Rights

"BakerHostetler is a go-to firm on bankruptcy matters. They are skilled and knowledgeable lawyers who examine all sides of any issue, provide careful analysis and valuable guidance, and forcefully advocate their client's positions."

– This comment appears on the U.S. News & Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" website at bestlawfirms.usnews.com

BakerHostetler’s national Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights team brings rich experience and creativity to the representation of clients across industries and to the full spectrum of issues that arise in stressed and distressed situations.

Drawing on the firm’s tradition of deep client relationships and our extensive experience as counsel to companies in major commercial sectors, we bring business advisory skills and strong advocacy to every representation, tailoring solutions to meet each client’s unique business needs. In an interview with Chambers & Partners, we were described as, “Excellent from a strategic standpoint, and 'outside-the-box' thinkers who find non-traditional ways to get to the end result." The work of our team is complemented by the strength of our litigation, hospitality, employment, healthcare, tax, corporate, intellectual property, and real estate attorneys across the country.

As tireless advocates for our clients, we have been actively involved in cases that range from the largest and most complex insolvency cases nationally and globally, most notably as counsel to Irving H. Picard, the SIPA Trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS), to more modestly-sized cases in which we are equipped to be highly attuned to cost sensitivities. As out-of-court workouts and pre-packaged bankruptcies have become increasingly common in recent years, we have excelled at representing distressed clients of all sizes and restoring them to viability quickly and cost-effectively.

Our team—nearly 50 attorneys strong—includes the first U.S. Trustee for the Southern District of New York; a former senior trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the U.S. Trustee; former judicial law clerks; and attorneys who have represented the complete array of interests and constituents in out-of-court restructurings, bankruptcy proceedings, and litigation matters.

Select Experience

  • Court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee Irving H. Picard for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) . The SIPA liquidation requires thorough investigation of global banking practices, the feeder fund industry and financial instruments, among countless other issues surrounding this unprecedented financial fraud. More than 1,000 lawsuits seeking the return of fictitious profits and fraudulent transfers have been filed on behalf of the SIPA Trustee, as part of the ongoing liquidation efforts to marshal assets for ultimate distribution to BLMIS customers with allowed claims. Venues include the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as state and several foreign court systems. In the fifth year of the recovery initiative in 2013, the Customer Fund stands at more than $9.35 billion, and over $5 billion has been distributed pro rata to BLMIS customers with allowed claims.
  • Represented the FDIC as Receiver in four recent bank failures, including complex litigation over unique issues relating to capital commitments made by bank holding companies to their regulators, as well as disputed ownership of hundreds of millions of dollars of tax refunds and fraud and preference claims.
  • Served as lead debtors’ counsel in the separate Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of two timeshare developers, Island One Resorts, Inc.. and Tempus Resorts International LTD, in which the firm led the successful confirmation of reorganization plans for each of the companies, restructuring more than $200 million in debt in each case.
  • Represented aerospace supplier Swift-Cor Aerospace, Inc., which was days away from missing payroll and being forced to shut down operations. Swift-Cor engaged BakerHostetler as counsel for its successful restructuring and sale to Impressa Aerospace.
  • Represented the Official Committee of Administrative Claimants in matters relating to the LTV Steel Company, Inc. Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the outset, the client’s constituents expected to receive an approximately 20 percent pay out on more than $165 million in claims, but we were able to secure settlement of a significant lawsuit against former directors and officers of LTV Steel for $85 million.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Brian A. Bash Partner Cleveland
Jonathan D. Blattmachr Associate New York
Seanna R. Brown Associate New York
Kelly S. Burgan Partner Cleveland
Natacha Carbajal Associate New York
Bik Cheema Associate New York
Nicholas J. Cremona Partner New York
Douglas D. D'Arche Partner Houston
James W. Day Associate New York
Michael T. Delaney Associate Los Angeles
Joseph M. Esmont Associate Cleveland
Adam L. Fletcher Associate Cleveland
Lars H. Fuller Counsel Denver
Christopher J. Giaimo Partner Washington, D.C.
Wendy J. Gibson Counsel Cleveland
Matthew R. Goldman Partner Cleveland
Eric R. Goodman Partner Cleveland
Elizabeth A. Green Partner Orlando
Regina L. Griffin Partner New York
Lauren M. Hilsheimer Associate Columbus
Marc E. Hirschfield Partner New York
Joseph F. Hutchinson Jr. Partner Cleveland
Pamela Gale Johnson Partner Houston
Chirag B. Kabrawala Associate Orlando
Elyssa S. Kates Associate New York
Dena S. Kessler Associate Washington, D.C.
George Klidonas Associate New York
Andrew V. Layden Associate Orlando
Sherri Blank Lazear Partner Columbus
Patrick T. Lewis Partner Cleveland
Michelle Manzoian Associate Cleveland
Tatiana Markel Associate New York
Ashley M. McDow Counsel Los Angeles
David M. McMillan Associate New York
Keith R. Murphy Partner New York
Geoffrey A. North Partner New York
Alexis C. Osburn Associate Cleveland
Ferve E. Ozturk Associate New York
Jimmy D. Parrish Partner Orlando
Tiffany D. Payne Partner Orlando
Irving H. Picard Partner New York
Geraldine E. Ponto Partner New York
Jorian L. Rose Partner New York
David J. Sheehan Partner New York
Marc Skapof Counsel New York
Wendy Cramer Townsend Counsel Orlando
Amy E. Vanderwal Associate New York
Michael A. VanNiel Partner Cleveland
Brett A. Wall Partner Cleveland
Thomas M. Wearsch Partner Cleveland
Alec Wightman Partner Columbus
Donald A. Workman Partner Washington, D.C.

Experience

"I'd give them five out of five. They're the leading experts in this field."– Chambers & Partners interviewee
BakerHostetler as Counsel for Trustees, Receivers and Fiduciaries
  • Court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee Irving H. Picard for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS). The SIPA liquidation requires thorough investigation of global banking practices, the feeder fund industry, and financial instruments, among countless other issues surrounding this unprecedented financial fraud. More than 1,000 lawsuits seeking the return of fictitious profits and fraudulent transfers have been filed on behalf of the SIPA Trustee, as part of the ongoing liquidation efforts to marshal assets for ultimate distribution to BLMIS customers with allowed claims. Venues include the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as state and several foreign court systems. In the fifth year of the recovery initiative in 2013, the Customer Fund stands at more than $9.35 billion and over $5 billion has been distributed pro rata to BLMIS customers with allowed claims.
  • Counsel to the Trustee in the Fair Finance Company Chapter 7 case pending in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio. This ongoing matter involves efforts to unravel a $250 million Ponzi scheme and collect funds for distribution to defrauded investors. The case, which entails a national investigation and multimillion-dollar claims against individuals and entities in multiple states, presents novel legal issues due to the unusual circumstances and business practices involved, the complex insider transactions, and parallel state and federal criminal investigations.
  • Counsel to the Court-appointed Receiver for Michael Kenwood Group and affiliates pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. This ongoing international Ponzi scheme case involves the largest financial fraud in Connecticut history with investor losses of more than $500 million. Numerous lawsuits have been commenced to recoup investor losses, one of which resulted in a settlement that yielded $250 million for the Ponzi scheme victims.
  • Served as counsel for the FDIC as Receiver in four recent bank failures, including complex litigation over unique issues relating to capital commitments made by bank holding companies to their regulators, as well as disputed ownership of hundreds of millions of dollars of tax refunds and fraud and preference claims.
  • Represented Jeffrey I. Golden, the Chapter 7 Trustee for the liquidation proceedings of Aletheia Research and Management, Inc., a one-time industry leading asset manager with over $8 billion in assets under management.
  • Represented assignees for the Benefit of Creditors in the states of Florida and California, including assignments for developers In re Wetherington Development, LLC, In re Manasota, LLC, and In re RDR Communities, LLC.
  • Served as counsel to the Patient Care Ombudsman in the Chapter 11 cases of Daytop Village and affiliates, which was pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Patient Care Ombudsman was responsible for monitoring patient care at Daytop’s 14 facilities throughout New York City and other parts of New York State, and regularly reporting to the Bankruptcy Court.
BakerHostetler as Counsel for Debtors
  • Served as lead debtors’ counsel in the separate Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of two timeshare developers, Island One Resorts, Inc. and Tempus Resorts International LTD, in which the firm led the successful confirmation of reorganization plans for each of the companies, restructuring over $200 million in debt in each case.
  • Served as lead debtors’ counsel in numerous hospitality-industry cases, including F.F. Station, LLC d/b/a Church Street Station, a five-acre entertainment complex in downtown Orlando, and numerous other hotels, golf courses, and condo hotels.
  • Served as debtor’s counsel to the Plaza, LLC, a multi-building office condominium project in downtown Orlando, in which the firm led a successful reorganization.
  • Served as lead debtor’s counsel for Legacy Healthcare, Inc., successfully reorganizing three nursing homes in upstate New York, and currently representing the buyer of several nursing homes from bankruptcy estates.
  • Represented Sarkis Investments Company LLC, a commercial shopping center debtor, in Chapter 11 reorganization efforts worth more than $20 million.
  • Served as counsel to a debtor of a multimillion dollar internet company, Specialties West, Inc., a Chapter 11 case which was preceded by a state court receivership, involving a dual-track sale process and reorganization.
  • Served as counsel to aerospace supplier Swift-Cor Aerospace, Inc. when it was days away from missing payroll and being forced to shut down operations. Swift-Cor engaged BakerHostetler as counsel for its successful restructuring and sale to Impressa Aerospace.
  • Represented Veritrans Specialty Vehicles, a bus and ambulance manufacturer, in its successful sale as part of its Chapter 11 proceeding. The company was sold as a going-concern 21 days after the filing of the case.
  • Represented Creative Engineered Polymer Products, an engineered plastic and rubber automotive parts supplier, in the successful sale of its assets as a going-concern through the Chapter 11 process.
  • Represented Excello Automotive, a Tier 2 automotive parts supplier, in the sale of its assets through the Chapter 11 process.
  • Represented a waste hauling company and a wall coverings manufacturer in the successful sales of their respective assets going-concerns through separate receivership proceedings.
  • Represented a diagnostic imaging company in its successful plan confirmation and sale through the Chapter 11 process.
  • Represented a distressed pharmaceutical distribution company is its successful out-of-court sale.
BakerHostetler as Counsel for Creditors, Purchasers of Assets and Other Interested Parties
  • Served as lead counsel for the largest unsecured trade creditor in the Eastman Kodak bankruptcy case filed in the Southern District of New York. BakerHostetler negotiated the resolution of a six-year dispute between the creditor and Kodak.
  • Served as counsel to an international baking company in the MF Global Inc. SIPA liquidation pending in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in connection with the clients’ customer commodities accounts.
  • Represented a telecommunications company that served on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 case of Fairport Communications, Inc. and related entities, which successfully confirmed its plan of reorganization.
  • Represented a national factoring company in the telecommunication case of In Re Cordia Communications Corporation, et. al.
  • Represented Marubeni Specialty Chemicals, Inc. in assignment estate litigation.
  • Represented a former investment bank in connection with multiple retention and banking claims matters.
  • Represented bondholders in several large Chapter 11 cases.
  • Represented the Official Committee of Administrative Claimants in matters relating to the LTV Steel Company, Inc. Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the outset, the client’s constituents expected to receive an approximately 20 percent pay out on more than $165 million in claims, but we were able to secure settlement of a significant lawsuit against former directors and officers of LTV Steel for $85 million.
  • Represented a German entity in the purchase of Cardinal Fasteners, Inc., a specialty fastener company, through a bankruptcy sale.
  • Represented a large engineered products manufacturing company in the purchase of the secured debt of an insolvent aluminum casting company and the subsequent purchase of the aluminum casting company through a managed receivership proceeding.
  • Represented a large, international commercial vehicle manufacturer in multiple workouts with its distressed suppliers.
  • Represented a secured creditor in successful out-of-court restructuring of manufacturer of alternative energy products.
  • Represented multiple large financial institutions in connection with their derivative exposure arising out of a number of large Chapter 11 cases, including Lehman Brothers, AbitibiBowater, and General Motors.
  • Represented a large investment bank in connection with litigation regarding its success fee in a chapter 11 case.

Recognition

"I have the highest regard for them. They are working on matters all across the globe." – Chambers & Partners interviewee
  • Chambers 2014 ranks BakerHostetler’s Bankruptcy practice among the leading practices in Florida and Ohio.
  • Chambers USA 2014 ranks 10 BakerHostetler bankruptcy partners among our Florida, New York, and Ohio offices.
  • BakerHostetler received 2014 “Best Law Firms” National Tier 1 Rankings in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
    • Regional Tier 1 rankings were earned in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law in Cleveland, New York City and Orlando.
    • Regional Tier 1 rankings were earned for Litigation – Bankruptcy in Cleveland and Orlando.
  • Eleven lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 in bankruptcy-related fields.
    Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.

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