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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has been a key player in the energy bankruptcy boom, with a number of high-profile mandates during the rush of energy exploration and production (E&P) company bankruptcies. The firm has represented unsecured noteholders of Atlas Resource Partners and the official committee of unsecured creditors of Goodrich Petroleum Corp in the respective Chapter 11s of the two companies. Ira Dizengoff, Abid Qureshi and Scott Alberino continue to represent the $1.7bn ad hoc group of unsecured noteholders in the high-profile Energy Future Intermediate Holdings Corp case, and the firm’s representation of Quicksilver Resources et al as debtor and debtor in possession came to a successful conclusion with the sale of substantially all of its domestic assets. Michael Stamer led a team that negotiated on behalf of the official committee of creditors in the Quiksilver Chapter 11 for an amended plan of reorganization which nearly doubled the cash payout to creditors. Stamer and Washington DC-based James Savin represented an ad hoc group of noteholders holding approximately 62% of CHC Helicopter’s $1bn in senior secured notes relating to CHC’s Chapter 11. Qureshi, Daniel Golden and Phil Dublin jointly lead the practice. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP concluded the year with the successful Chapter 11 restructuring of Arch Coal. Led by team co-head Marshall Huebner, key restructuring attorney Brian Resnick and bankruptcy litigator Elliot Moskowitz, Arch Coal emerged from bankruptcy a month after plan confirmation. The firm continues to be engaged in a number of key energy bankruptcies, primarily on the creditor side, where it represents leading financial institutions in the Chapter 11s of Peabody, Alpha Natural Resources and Pacific E&P. However, it has also expanded into representing energy servicing companies, the latest casualties in the energy price crisis. The team has been representing an ad hoc group of noteholders and plan sponsors in connection with the Chapter 15 case of Tervita Corp, and the administrative agent under both the pre-petition and debtor-in-possession facility in the C&J Energy Services Chapter 11. Darren Klein has been advising Delta Air Lines in connection with the Republic Airways bankruptcy. The group has also been representing an ad hoc group of bondholders of the Governmental Development Bank for Puerto Rico in connection with the potential restructuring of around $3.7bn in bonds. Donald Bernstein heads the New York-based team alongside Huebner.

Jones Day continues to act as debtor’s counsel in a number of high-profile bankruptcies and is ‘elite when it comes to larger bankruptcy matters’. Cleveland-based Heather Lennox is representing Peabody Energy in its Chapter 11 and, in New York, Scott Greenberg and Michael Cohen are acting for American Apparel in its Chapter 11. The team, which considers the ‘legal and business side of each issue’, is also advising the debtors in the Chapter 11s of Swift Energy Company and Alpha Natural Resources. The firm has also been strengthening its creditor-side practice; head of team Bruce Bennett, who splits his time between New York and Los Angeles, and Los Angeles partners Sidney Levinson and Joshua Mester represent the second priority noteholders’ committee in the Caesars Entertainment Chapter 11. In a key litigation matter, the firm has been defending a group of lenders and noteholders of iHeartCommunications in connection to a transfer of shares by one of its subsidiaries to a separate entity. There have been several changes to the team following the notable departures of Paul Leake and Lisa Laukitis to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Bennett has taken over from Leake as head of team and three partners have been added by way of promotion: Paul Green in Houston, Daniel Merrett in Atlanta and Dan Moss in Washington DC. Thomas Wearsch joined the Cleveland office from Baker & Hostetler LLP.

The premier debtor-side practice at Kirkland & Ellis LLP had a bumper 2016 for work in the E&P sector. The firm acted as debtor’s counsel in the Chapter 11 of Magnum Hunter Resources and also of Sabine Oil & Gas, which was a particular achievement for the team after it was ruled midstream agreements could be rejected in the event of an upstream bankruptcy. The firm also successfully represented Sabine in litigation involving claims by unsecured creditors. Other debtor representations included LINN Energy, Midstates Petroleum and Penn Virginia Corporation - the last of which is notable for the decrease of funded debt obligations from $1.2bn to around $90m. James Sprayregen, who is a ‘great manager of cases and lawyers’ and ‘commands the respect of other law firms’, heads the practice from the Chicago office. Sprayregen leads representations of Energy Futures Holdings and Caesars Entertainment Operating Company alongside the head of the New York team Paul Basta. New York-based Nicole Greenblatt and Chicago-based Adam Paul, who has ‘great intelligence and capability’, are also names to note.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has a ‘deep bench with wide expertise’, which it utilizes to represent a range of clients, including debtors, creditors’ committees, financial institutions, funds and trustees in domestic and cross-border restructurings. Practice head Dennis Dunne represented Oaktree Capital Management as pre-petition secured lender in the Chapter 11 reorganization of Molycorp, a global rare earths and metals company that filed with $1.8bn in liabilities. The ‘very experienced and practical’ Dunne also worked with Evan Fleck on the Vantage Drilling Chapter 11 case for an ad hoc committee of secured term loan lenders and represented the official committee of secured noteholders in the bankruptcy case of Alpha Natural Resources. The firm is also representing Caesars Entertainment Corporation in connection with the Chapter 11 of its subsidiary Caesars Entertainment Operating Company. Practice co-head Paul Aronzon works out of the Los Angeles office, alongside key partners Gregory Bray and Mark Shinderman. Along with Dunne and Fleck, other key names in New York include Gerard Uzzi, Samuel Khalil and Tyson Lomazow.

The bankruptcy and corporate reorganization team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is appreciated by its clients for its ‘unique and creative solutions and ability to go above and beyond’. Alongside head of practice Alan Kornberg and deputy head Brian Hermann, the recently promoted Jacob Adlerstein represented the ad hoc committee of certain first lien senior secured creditors in the Texas Competitive Electric Holdings Company Chapter 11. In another creditor-side engagement, Elizabeth McColm and Andrew Rosenberg represented the unsecured creditors’ committee in the Quicksilver Resources bankruptcy and continued to represent an ad hoc group of senior unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 of Paragon Offshore, which has operations in Brazil, Mexico, the North Sea and the Middle East. In another example of its cross-border expertise, the ‘incredibly hands-on, commercial, efficient and client-service-oriented’ team were US counsel to the ad hoc committee of senior noteholders and certain debtor-in-possession financing providers in the Pacific E&P Chapter 15 case. On the debtor-side, Kelley Cornish and Stephen Shimshak represented Walter Energy in all aspects of its Chapter 11 case, resulting in the discharge of over $4bn of secured and unsecured debt. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a market-leading debtor-side firm and has recently assisted in the Chapter 11s of Basic Energy Services, Breitburn Energy Partners and CHC Group. Practice co-heads Ray Schrock and Gary Holtzer pre-packaged the $1bn and $1.5bn debt restructurings of Basic Energy Services and CHC Helicopters respectively. Schrock also led a team including Garrett Fail in assisting Aeropostale with its successful restructuring, notable for keeping the majority of stores open and saving the jobs of over 13,000 employees. Capitalizing on the upsurge of work in the energy sector, the firm has also represented creditors in some of the most high-profile bankruptcies. It has been representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the SunEdison bankruptcy, the largest filed in 2016 with over $16bn in debt, and represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Ultra Petroleum Corporation case, which filed with $3.75bn in liabilities. Other key names are Marcia Goldstein and Matt Barr, who has just been made co-head of the practice alongside Schrock and Holtzer. All named attorneys are based in New York.

With its ‘thoughtful commercial judgment and in-depth legal knowledge of multiple jurisdictions’, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has been involved in some of the largest cross-border bankruptcies of the year. The New York-based team is especially strong in restructuring and bankruptcy mandates involving Latin American clients, and in this space, Richard Cooper is hailed as ‘one of Cleary’s practice leaders and one of the most talented lawyers in his field’. With Cooper leading, the firm has acted as counsel to the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority. Cooper also represented an ad hoc group of bondholders of bonds worth $4bn in the Oi SA Chapter 15, acted as debtor’s counsel to Empresas ICA in its ongoing $3.9bn Chapter 15 restructuring, and collaborated with colleagues in São Paulo to act as counsel to an ad hoc group of bondholders in connection with the possible restructuring of Odebrecht Oil & Gas (one of the largest oil and gas service providers in Brazil). James Bromley and Lisa Schweitzer represented Nortel Networks in matters related to its Chapter 11 case, including a cross-border dispute regarding the allocation of $7.5bn of sale proceeds. Jane VanLare was promoted to partner and Humayun Khalid to counsel at the beginning of 2016. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP has been advising on numerous restructurings in the energy sector on behalf of bondholder groups and creditors’ committees, and continues to win high-level victories for its clients in connection with the Puerto Rican debt crisis. In a case before the US Supreme Court, Amy Caton secured a ruling that protects bondholders from a now-void statute enforced by Puerto Rico in connection with its restructuring of $72bn of debt. The firm, which ‘provides a scholarly approach and street-smart experience’, has represented some of the largest groups in high-profile Chapter 11 cases, including the largest hedge funds engaged in the Peabody bankruptcy case and the official committee of unsecured creditors in Arch Coal. In the Energy Future Holdings (EFH) bankruptcy, the firm represented both the indenture trustee for $2.2bn of second lien notes and an ad hoc group of second lien bondholders of Energy Future Intermediate Holdings, a subsidiary of EFH. Douglas Mannal (who alongside Joshua Brody is ‘among the leaders of the next wave of young bankruptcy partners’) represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of CHC Group. The team also continues to represent the ad hoc group of $3.5bn first lien noteholders issued by Caesars Entertainment in connection with the company’s Chapter 11 and related litigation. Kenneth Eckstein and Thomas Moers Mayer head the New York-based practice.

Latham & Watkins LLP has a busy creditor-side practice and is representing multiple first lien lenders in the SunEdison Chapter 11 case, an ad hoc committee of third lien lenders to Halcon Resources, and the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Energy XXI bankruptcy. In another high-profile engagement, David Heller from the Chicago office and Mark Broude in New York represent Caesars Acquisition Company in all issues related to the Caesars Entertainment Operating Company bankruptcy, including lawsuits brought by noteholders. The firm has also worked on the debtor-side in the energy space, assisting Stone Energy and Chaparral Energy in their respective Chapter 11 cases, both of which involve liabilities of over $1bn. Regarding the Republic Airways Chapter 11, Jan Baker in New York represented American Airlines as co-chair of the creditors’ committee and Republic’s largest codeshare partner. Demonstrating the firm’s expertise in out-of-court restructurings, co-head Mitchell Seider (New York and Houston) advised Toys R Us on $850m of out-of-court debt exchanges. In the New York office, Adam Goldberg and David Hammerman made partner in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Peter Gilhuly leads the team in Los Angeles and Peter Knight leads in Chicago.

Sidley Austin LLP is strong in bankruptcy-related litigation and continues to represent The Flintkote Company with certain claims adjudication relating to its amended plan of reorganization, and represents General Electric and General Electric Railcar Services Corporation in litigation related to the bankruptcies of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway and its subsidiary. In another high-profile matter, the team is representing United Airlines as one of Republic Airway’s largest creditors and co-chair of the official creditors’ committee in connection with Republic’s Chapter 11. The team has also been engaged in a company-side mandate in the Key Energy Services Chapter 11 case. Heads of department James Conlan and Larry Nyhan (both Chicago) continue to represent Energy Future Holdings as special counsel in its Chapter 11 proceedings.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP secured 2016’s biggest debtor-side engagement in the SunEdison Chapter 11 and continues to represent the renewables developer in the restructuring of its balance sheet and debtor-in-possession financing. Also on the debtor side, it handled the pre-packaged bankruptcies of Atlas Resource Partners and Quiksilver, and represented Triangle USA Petroleum in connection with its Chapter 11. In an unusual cross-border matter, Jay Goffman represented the Austrian province of Carinthia, Kaerntner Landesholding and Kaerntner Ausgleichszalungs-Fonds (a trust created by the province) in setting up a special purpose vehicle in connection with the $12.3bn debt restructuring of HETA Asset Resolution AG, an asset left over from the dismantling of Austrian bank Hypo Alpe Adria. Goffman co-heads the team with new arrival Paul Leake, who moved over from Jones Day with Lisa Laukitis. Van Durrer (Los Angeles) and Ron Meisler (Chicago) are also key names. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

White & Case LLP continued to build on its strong creditor-side practice with engagements in some of the largest bankruptcies of the year. It is representing an ad hoc group of unsecured noteholders in the Chapter 11s of both Energy XXI and Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, as well as the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Samson Resources Chapter 11. The firm has also been representing lenders, including the committee of senior secured lenders holding over $10bn of indebtedness in the Seadrill Ltd restructuring and the joint lead arrangers and bookrunners in the restructuring of SunEdison. Out of its Miami office, the firm has an active Latin American restructuring practice; John Cunningham represents clients Oi SA and OAS SA in their respective cross-border restructuring proceedings as well as the ad hoc group of noteholders of GOL, one of Brazil’s largest airlines, in connection with its proposed restructuring of over $780m in notes. The firm has also had a role in Puerto Rican debt crisis, representing UBS Group AG, which holds over $3bn in bonds. Global director Anthony Morro and global practice head Thomas Lauria (who is ‘among the most creative lawyers in the bankruptcy field’) lead the team from New York.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a rounded practice acting mainly for creditors but also for debtors. On the creditor side, in the SunEdison case, My Chi To is leading the representation of D E Shaw and Co and Madison Dearborn Partners as holders of notes and other claims against the debtor. With litigation partner Shannon Rose Selden and new arrival Christopher Updike, To also represents D E Shaw and Madison in the New York Supreme Court regarding breach of contract claims against TerraForm Power, LLC and TerraForm Power, Inc. The group is a ‘hidden gem’ and, ‘for the cost-benefit they provide, a shop to watch’ and also represented Oaktree Capital in the high-profile Energy Future Holdings Chapter 11. In the retail sector, the firm is representing hedge fund Standard General regarding its distressed investment in the second American Apparel bankruptcy and private equity sponsor Kelso & Company in connection with the prearranged Chapter 11 of Logan’s Roadhouse. In a notable debtor-side engagement, the firm is acting as aircraft counsel to CHC Group in connection with its Chapter 11 proceedings, with Richard Hahn and Jasmine Ball working alongside the firm’s aviation team. Hahn and Natasha Labovitz lead the New York-based team.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is particularly strong in bankruptcy litigation and continues to represent clients in major, ongoing disputes. Examples include representing Chandler Trusts in litigation arising from the leveraged buyout of the Tribune Company in 2007, defending claims against major secured lender/stockholder Yucaipa Companies brought by the unsecured creditors’ committee in the Allied Holdings bankruptcy case, and representing Yucaipa in litigation brought by hedge funds Black Diamond and Spectrum regarding the distribution of sale proceeds. The team is also representing Macquarie Investments in the Relativity Media Chapter 11 in litigation concerning enforcement of its secured claim. Los Angeles-based Robert Klyman is co-head of the group and is representing Sports Authority in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest retailer to file in 2016. The firm also represents SH 130 Concession Company in its restructuring negotiations with senior secured and second lien lenders. Also in the Los Angeles office is co-head Jeffrey Krause, while co-heads David Feldman and Michael Rosenthal are based in New York.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is especially noted for its ability to negotiate brokerage firm liquidations under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA), as demonstrated by its roles as SIPA trustee in the high-profile Lehman Brothers and MF Global cases. As of August 2016, as trustee in the liquidation of Lehman Brothers International, senior counsel James Giddens - a nationally recognized expert in this field - had distributed more than $8.8bn to general unsecured creditors. Giddens and Christopher Kiplok (who is a ‘real talent that combines a rare combination of legal, commercial and political instincts’) also achieved high recoveries for former customers and unsecured creditors of MF Global. The firm has employed its excellent litigation practice in the Nortel Networks insolvency. With Kiplok, litigator Scott Christensen also represented the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in litigation following the closure of Puerto Rico’s Doral Bank. On the debtor side, it has been acting for Republic Airways in its Chapter 11 proceedings. Kathryn Coleman is a ‘bankruptcy lawyer of the highest caliber’ and assisted Digital First Media with its purchase of Freedom Communications. Meaghan Gragg made partner at the end of 2016 and Gabrielle Glemann was promoted to counsel. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP has been engaged in a number of creditor-side representations and is ‘first class when it comes to providing advice in a quickly changing environment and in long legal proceedings’. The New York-based group represented the committee of unsecured creditors of Essar Steel Minnesota; the team filed a motion opposing approval of the debtor-in-possession loan. It also represents the ad hoc group of Energy Future Holdings legacy noteholders and is advising the former officers and directors of Forest Oil Corporation, a company that merged with Sabine Oil & Gas in 2014, in claims brought by the official creditors’ committee of breach of fiduciary duty. In a private equity sponsor representation, it is representing TPG Capital concerning its portfolio company Caesars Entertainment, which filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. Another highlight is the representation of the equity committee appointed in the latest Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Hercules Offshore, in which the team has filed an objection to the pre-packaged plan. The ‘very responsive, hard-working, pragmatic and smartDavid Rosner is a ‘great litigator’ and leads the team with David Friedman, a ‘senior partner that offers vast experience in legal strategy’. Daniel Fliman is also highly recommended.

Morrison & Foerster LLP continues to attract creditor roles in major bankruptcies, particularly in the energy space. Key names in the practice include Jennifer Marines and Lorenzo Marinuzzi, who have been representing the official committee of unsecured creditors of Peabody Energy and acting as special renewables counsel in the SunEdison bankruptcy. The firm has also represented the official committee of unsecured creditors for Texas Competitive Energy Holdings and certain affiliates in connection with the bankruptcy of parent corporation Energy Future Holdings, and represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of UCI International in relation to UCI’s Chapter 11. Todd Goren and Brett Miller advised the official committee of unsecured creditors of Republic Airways Holdings in connection with settlements between the debtor and each of its codeshare partners. In a debtor-side engagement, the firm represented Maxus Energy and four affiliated debtors in their Chapter 11 cases, a matter that involves over $1.5bn of potential environmental remediation obligations as well as litigation and legacy employee liabilities. Jonathan Levine joined the practice from Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP and Mark Lightner joins as of counsel from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Marinuzzi and James Peck lead the practice. All named attorneys are based in New York.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s balanced debtor and creditor practice has strength on both the East and West coasts. On the debtor side, the team has been representing weapons manufacturer Colt Defense, oil and gas infrastructure company Cal Dive International and retailer Hancock Fabrics in their respective Chapter 11 cases. The team also advised Verso and NewPage Corporation in connection with the restructuring of its capital structure, involving over $2.8bn of debt owed to different constituencies with separate liens and security interests. The firm’s creditor-side engagements include representing Apollo Global Management as a first lien lender of Texas Competitive Electric Holdings, advising an ad hoc group of holders of Halcon Resources’ second lien notes, and assisting an ad hoc group of second lien noteholders of LINN Energy. In the LINN Energy matter, the team also took a lead role in spin-off litigation, representing Wilmington Trust NA. In a significant out-of-court restructuring, the team renegotiated more than $1.4bn of indebtedness for the ad hoc group of first lien lenders of Foresight Energy. From New York, George Davis and John Rapisardi co-chair the global restructuring practice and Suzzane Uhland chairs the US restructuring practice. Other key names are Steve Warren and Evan Jones in Los Angeles, Andrew Parlen in New York, Washington DC-based Peter Friedman, who specializes in high-stakes litigation, and Jennifer Taylor in San Francisco.

Proskauer Rose LLP has been handling a number of cases on the debtor side with a combination of lawyers from its Chicago and New York offices. In one of the headline cases of the year, practice head Martin Bienenstock and Timothy Karcher from the New York office represented Pacific Exploration Company in its pre-packaged bankruptcy cases in New York, Canada and Colombia, involving the restructuring of around $5bn of debt. On the creditor side, the team also continues to represent the unsecured creditors’ committee in all aspects of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company’s Chapter 11. In another high-profile engagement, the firm represented the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico in its case before the US Supreme Court regarding the upholding of the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act against federal bankruptcy law. Further debtor-side engagements included advising The Budd Company on its Chapter 11, representing Ocala Funding in litigation arising from its 2012 bankruptcy, and assisting Monomoy Capital Partners with the pre-packaged Chapter 11 of its majority-owned portfolio company EveryWare Global. Mark Thomas co-chairs the practice with Bienenstock and Jeff Marwil. Partners named are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is a go-to firm for bankruptcy-related litigation. In a case involving emerging law around allocation issues relating to Chapter 11 sales, James Tecce represents Solus Alternative Asset Management, on behalf of certain funds and managed accounts, and PointState Capital in their capacities as noteholders issued by Nortel Networks and Nortel Networks Capital. A particular highlight was group head Susheel Kirpalani’s involvement in the formulation of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, and testifying before Congress about its debt restructuring provisions in connection with the firm’s representation of an ad hoc group of senior bondholders of the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation. The firm often receives referrals for its expertise in bankruptcy litigation and acted as conflicts counsel to Peabody Energy and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries in its Chapter 11 cases. Also in the energy space, Andrew Rossman obtained a complete defense victory for client First Reserve in connection with the Sabine Oil & Gas Chapter 11, and K John Shaffer represented Barrick Gold in connection with the Midway Gold bankruptcy. Ben Finestone is another key litigator and has been active in the LINN Energy Chapter 11 case, successfully asserting the position of an ad hoc group of bondholders of Berry Petroleum (a subsidiary of LINN).

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s bankruptcy and restructuring group brings together the firm’s corporate, finance and litigation expertise. Emil Kleinhaus has been leading the representation of debtor YH Limited in its bankruptcy case involving $1.5bn in debt and of Education Management Corporation in continued litigation related to the restructuring of over $1bn in debt. Kleinhaus argued an appeal at the Second Circuit on behalf of the latter relating to the Trust Indenture Act. Joshua Feltman advised the largest creditor of Dex Media in connection with Dex’s bankruptcy proceedings and, on the debtor side, assisted Key Energy Services in connection with its pre-packaged bankruptcy. The team has also been representing Scotiabank and other lenders in restructuring negotiations and litigation with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. The restructuring and finance group is chaired by Harold Novikoff.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has advised debtors and creditors in a number of high-profile bankruptcies and in energy cases representing financial institutions. Ana Alfonso has been representing banks as administrative agents in a number of high-profile cases, including to the $1bn pre-petition second lien term loan lenders in the Samson Resources bankruptcy, the first lien holders in the respective Goodrich Petroleum and Energy XXI Chapter 11 case. In a high-profile company-side engagement, the team represented CORE Media Group in the AOG Entertainment ‘American Idol’ bankruptcy filing and reaching final approval of the plan of reorganization. The firm has also been representing Nortel Networks UK Pension Trust and the Board of the Pension Protection Fund in a case that has seen emerging law on allocation theory. In the Chapter 15 proceedings of Pacific E&P, the firm represents PricewaterhouseCoopers as the court-appointed monitor and authorized foreign representative, which involves a complex restructuring of around $5bn of debt involving US, Canadian and Colombian law. Marc Abrams has a substantial cross-border practice and represents AHMSA in its emergence from Mexican bankruptcy and with its Chapter 15 case in the US. Matthew Feldman leads the business reorganization and restructuring team alongside Abrams.

Brown Rudnick LLP is particularly well known for its representation of distressed investors in complicated insolvency cases and is recommended as the ‘place to go when you really need someone to fight hard for a position against all odds’. On the creditor side, the firm represented the term loan lenders as the leading creditor voice in the Sports Authority bankruptcy and has also been representing an ad hoc consortium of second lien noteholders and their indenture trustee as special counsel in Energy Future Holdings’ Chapter 11 proceedings. In another energy sector engagement, Edward Weisfelner represents an ad hoc equity committee in the Ultra Petroleum bankruptcy, which has resulted in an agreement with the debtor and an ad hoc noteholder committee to support the debtor’s proposed Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. On the litigation side, the firm represented plaintiffs in claims relating to ignition switch defects in the well-publicized General Motors case. The sizable practice is led by managing director of litigation and restructuring William Baldiga, as well as co-heads of the bankruptcy and corporate restructuring group Weisfelner and Jeffrey Jonas. All three split their time between the Boston and New York offices.

Dechert LLP is known for its strength on the creditor side and is a go-to firm for parties involved in Latin American restructurings under the leadership of co-head Allan Brilliant. Brilliant is currently representing Peaje Investments, the largest holder of ‘unwrapped’ special revenue bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority, in all aspects of the authority’s debt restructuring as well as an ad hoc group of noteholders of Brazilian mining company Samarco Mineração in connection with its potential $3.8bn restructuring. The firm, led by Michael Sage, is also representing an ad hoc committee of TerraForm Power noteholders in the structuring, negotiation and documentation of a consent solicitation by TerraForm Power to senior noteholders, a unique matter related to the Chapter 11 proceedings of TerraForm Powers’ controlling shareholder, SunEdison. On the debtor side, the firm is advising RCS Capital and its subsidiaries in connection with various prearranged and pre-packaged plans of organization; Sage led on this matter too. Eric Brunstad is strong on the litigation side and has been drafting briefs for clients in Supreme Court cases; for Daniel Lee Ritz Jr regarding exemptions from discharge under the Bankruptcy Code, and for Tribune Media in its petition regarding the doctrine of equitable mootness. Sage co-heads the team with Brilliant and has been leading the representation of the ad hoc noteholder group of senior secured lien notes issued by Modular Space in negotiations to restructure the company.

The restructuring group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is chaired by Renée Dailey from the Hartford office and John Goodchild III in Philadelphia. The firm has been representing a group of holders of untendered Argentine sovereign bonds in connection with its rights following the country’s continued default. In another Latin American engagement, the firm has advised an ad hoc group of United States OAS noteholders regarding the cross-border bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings of the company. The firm has a specialized debtor practice and has expertise in Section 363 sales - a representative example being its representation of Garden Fresh in a process whereby the second lien lender will act as the ‘stalking horse’ bidder at a public auction. Joshua Dorchak continues to work in the Lehman Brothers ‘waterfall flip’ case as lead counsel to the noteholder defendant group that briefed, argued and succeeded in obtaining dismissal on summary judgment of all bankruptcy and state law claims against them in the case. The firm also acted as lead bankruptcy and litigation counsel to UMWA Health and Retirement Funds in connection with its Chapter 11 and represented the pension plan in ERISA litigation against Peabody for ‘evade or avoid’ withdrawal liability.

The team at Ropes & Gray LLP often takes on debtor-side mandates and advises distressed portfolio companies of the firm’s many private equity clients. On the creditor side it has represented the unsecured creditors of LINN Energy in connection with the company’s Chapter 11 plan and litigation regarding a complex cash collateral dispute. Mark Bane and Mark Somerstein also represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Magnum Hunter Resources Chapter 11. Keith Wofford focuses on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, and alongside Somerstein and D Ross Martin (who splits his time between Boston and New York) represents the official committee of unsecured creditors of Sabine Oil & Gas with its objection to Chapter 11 plan confirmation and various claims against the secured lenders. LINN Energy bankruptcy. Bane and Stephen Moeller-Sally (Boston and New York) co-chair the business restructuring practice. Recent hire Gregg Galardi also comes highly recommended. Lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP has a strong creditor-side practice and has been representing groups of noteholders, new money investors and lenders in a number of high-profile bankruptcies. Highlights for team head Kristopher Hansen included representing an ad hoc group of bank lenders owed $5.4bn in the Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Chapter 11 proceedings, and assisting senior lenders to Intelsat Jackson SA. In the energy sector, Jayme Goldstein and Matthew Schwartz have been advising a group of senior unsecured noteholders of Foresight Energy and, in a separate matter, an ad hoc group of lenders in an unusual out-of-court restructuring of Targus Group International, in which Targus participated in a sales process while turning over its equity to lenders in the event of an unsuccessful sale. In another out-of-court highlight, the firm acted for certain noteholders of DynCorp International. The firm promoted three lawyers to the partnership last year: Jonathan Canfield, Alex Cota and Lucas Charleston. Sherry Millman was promoted to special counsel at the beginning of this year and Alon Goldberger joined the team as special counsel in October from Dechert LLP. Brett Lawrence is another notable name. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Bracewell LLP is hailed as a ‘top-tier firm in oil and gas’ and has secured engagements in some noteworthy energy company bankruptcies. Of note is the role a Houston team comprising William Wood III and Jason Cohen is playing on behalf of pipeline gatherer Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering in a contract rejection dispute relating to the Sabine Oil and Gas case that is currently on appeal; the central issue is whether the rights of pipeline gatherers include property rights that cannot be abridged in bankruptcy and the outcome of the dispute will have a significant impact on the restructuring of other oil and gas businesses. Cohen and Wood have been acting as debtor’s counsel in the Energy & Exploration Partners Chapter 11, which listed around $1bn of funded debt, and in the Chapter 11 of Linc Energy in Texas. Stephanie Koo Song from the Houston office is ‘as good as it gets in the oil and gas sector’. In the New York office, Robert Burns has been advising Venoco Inc on a brokered settlement with noteholders to end opposition to efforts to reorganize. Kurt Mayr heads the practice from Hartford.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP leverages its financial services and litigation teams in representing investment banks in restructurings. The New York team, which includes co-chair Greg Petrick, Ingrid Bagby, recently promoted partner Michele Maman and senior counsel Mark Ellenberg, represents MBIA in multiple capacities relating to two collateral loan obligation investment funds, Zohar I and Zohar II; the group recently won a case for the client against Patriarch, the sponsor and former manager of the funds, in a claim that would have prevented the client from buying all assets noticed for sale. The New York financial restructuring group has also been representing Morgan Stanley Capital Group as first lien swap counterparty and an intervenor-defendant in an inter-creditor adversary proceeding in connection with the Chapter 11 of Energy Future Holdings. In another example of the firm’s representation of swap providers, Bagby has been representing Morgan Stanley Capital Services as the holder of the largest derivatives-related claim in the Peabody Energy Chapter 11, in which the debtor has filed a Chapter 11 plan that provides for a 100% recovery of swap claims. Yushan Ng co-chairs the practice from the London office.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP acts for a range of clients in bankruptcy and restructuring matters, including debtors, creditors’ committees and purchasers of distressed assets. The firm is particularly well known for its work as conflicts counsel and regularly receives referrals from top-tier law firms. Recent examples include representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in Peabody Energy’s Chapter 11 and, on the debtor side, acting for the debtor and debtor in possession in both the Fairway Group Holdings and Breitburn Energy bankruptcies. The firm also represented Flextronics Industrial as co-chair of the official committee of unsecured creditors in the SunEdison bankruptcy. Theresa Foudy brings ‘more of a litigation angle’ and the ‘diligentShaya Rochester can ‘always be relied on to provide considered and sensible advice’. Steven Reisman, who has ‘great intellect and interpersonal skills’, and Lynn Harrison III, who is ‘a very safe pair of hands and a supportive, proactive member of the multi-jurisdictional team’, lead the New York-based practice.

The insolvency and restructuring team at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is recommended for the ‘strength of its skill set’ and has been involved in a number of bankruptcy cases noted for novel law issues and complexities. Practice head John Sieger represents several shareholders of the Tribune Company in fraudulent transfer litigation arising out of the company’s bankruptcy, which has implications for whether investors can avoid returning money from leveraged buyouts and other securities deals when companies later go into bankruptcy. The firm argued for the dismissal in the Tribune creditors’ $8.3bn clawback suit against the former shareholders - a question that may be a candidate for review by the US Supreme Court. The firm has also acted as lead counsel to Wilmington Trust, as indenture trustee regarding $200m of notes issued by Nortel Networks Limited (Canada), in an ongoing dispute over sale proceeds after the decision to opt for a ‘modified pro rata allocation’. In the defense of fraudulent transfer litigation relating to the Thornburg Mortgage bankruptcy, the firm is defending UBS against accusations by the trustee for the debtor that UBS and other defendants made ‘unjustified’ margin calls in a case that reflects changes to trustees’ rights under the US Bankruptcy Code. Sieger leads the team, which includes Paige Barr and Peter Siddiqui in Chicago, and Karen Dine, Craig Barbarosh and litigator David Crichlow in New York.

Mayer Brown is particularly well known for representing financial institutions in the their capacities as lenders as well as distressed investors. The team has been involved in a number of high-profile energy engagements, including Arch Coal, in which the firm represents PNC Bank and PNC Capital Markets regarding an exit finance facility; and, for the same clients, in their capacity as administrator of the asset-backed debtor-in-possession securitization and letter-of-credit facility, it is advising on the Peabody Energy bankruptcy. In a highlight showcasing the firm’s litigation strength, New York-based Frederick Hyman and Houston litigator Charles Kelley represented Wilmington Trust as bilateral loan agent in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the Taiwan-based company TMT Shipping. Brian Trust heads the team from New York.

The New York-based restructuring and bankruptcy practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which is headed by Sandeep Qusba, has been representing JP Morgan in a number of transactions, including as agent for an $850m revolving credit facility in connection with the Chapter 11 of Paragon offshore and as agent for Quicksilver Resources and Quicksilver Resources Canada in connection with Quicksilver’s pending CCAA proceedings in Canada and Chapter 11 case. The firm has also represented JPMorgan Chase Bank as administrative agent under Halcon Resource’s pre-petition credit facility, debtor-in-possession financing facility and prospective exit facility, and as administrative agent under Logan’s Roadhouse’s pre-petition revolving credit facility. Qusba and Elisha Graff also represent Templar Energy in connection with its financial restructuring and, in a demonstration of the firm’s M&A capabilities, represented L-3 Communications in connection with its announced acquisition of certain assets of Implant Sciences Corp, which recently entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In addition, Qusba and William Russell have been representing the official committee of unsecured creditors of Gawker Media. Since publication Michael Torkin has joined from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP leverages the strength of its Texas practice to bring in notable energy-related bankruptcy and restructuring mandates. The team is acting as local co-counsel to the ad hoc committee of second lien noteholders in the Energy XXI case and, in another energy case, represented the board and individual directors of Quicksilver Resources. In the CHC bankruptcy, the firm is advising HSBC in its capacity as administrative agent for the revolving credit facility lending group. Louis Strubeck, who splits his time between Dallas and New York, has been representing GasFrac as monitor for seven Canadian oil and gas service companies in their Chapter 15 proceedings. Jason Lee Boland in the Houston office was promoted to the partnership in January 2016 and corporate finance partner Stephen Castro joined the New York team in March from Kaye Scholer LLP. Following the firm’s combination with the legacy Chadbourne & Parke LLP in June 2016, the practice has grown significantly. The incoming team from Chadbourne is noted for its expertise in cross-border restructurings and insolvencies and has recently worked on a number of big-ticket Latin American engagements. Representative work by the team, described as ‘clever tacticians and strategically savvy’, includes representing Argentina-based energy company YPF SA in the Chapter 11 proceedings of its subsidiary Maxus Energy Corporation, and advising Bank of New York Mellon as indenture trustee for $400m of notes issued by Rede Energia SA on the debtor’s Chapter 15 case. Howard Seife is ‘the leading practitioner in New York for applications under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code and is highly regarded internationally for this expertise’. Highlights for Seife included advising the British Virgin Islands-court-appointed liquidators of OAS Finance Limited, a BVI company that is part of the Brazilian-based OAS Group. In another Chapter 15 engagement, the firm filed on behalf of the Scheme Administrators of OIC Run-Off Limited and The London and Overseas Insurance Company Limited, two English insurance and reinsurance companies with liabilities in excess of $1bn. There have been some changes to the team, with the departure of Douglas Deutsch to Clifford Chance and the promotion to the partnership of Christy Rivera.

At Squire Patton Boggs, according to clients, the team is ‘able to provide best-in-class restructuring counsel for debtors’ and has represented Midway Gold US and Atna Resources in their respective Chapter 11 plans of liquidation. Also in the mining sector, it represented Zolfo Copper as British Virgin Islands liquidator of Midway United Limited and Glad Worldwide Limited in their respective Chapter 15 proceedings. On the creditor side, the team has represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 cases of both Midstates Petroleum and Constellation Enterprises. In each, the team was able to increase the initial recovery proposed by the debtors, particularly in the Midstates case where recoveries were doubled. The firm has also represented US Bank as indenture trustee in various bankruptcy cases, including those of Goodrich Petroleum, Energy & Exploration Partners and Sandridge Energy. Cincinnati-based practice head Stephen Lerner ‘excels at resolving disputes’ and ‘keeps the process moving by gaining consensus among parties’. Other key partners include San Francisco-based Karol Denniston and New York-based Nava Hazan.

The ‘proactive, thoughtful and practical’ team at Vinson & Elkins LLP continues to pick up notable energy-related mandates in both New York and Texas, such as representing Goodrich Petroleum and Energy XXI in their respective Chapter 11 cases. It has also been representing RAAM Global Energy, an upstream oil and gas E&P company, and Sundevil Power Holdings in their Chapter 11 proceedings, and in the latter case it also advised on the proposed sale of a power generation asset portfolio. On the creditor side, the firm has been acting for various banks and investors in energy-related bankruptcy matters, and advised certain equity investors in connection with a plan to allow Energy Future Holdings and its subsidiaries to emerge from Chapter 11. It also represented JPMorgan Chase as administrative agent and senior lender under a credit facility to Chaparral Energy in connection with Chaparral’s Chapter 11. In an engagement outside of the energy sector, the firm has been representing Hardeman County Hospital District in a rare Chapter 9 debt adjustment - the only case of its kind to have been filed in Texas since 2013. William Wallander heads the department and splits his time between New York and Houston. Other key names include David Meyer in New York and Harry Perrin in Houston.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has been representing various groups of noteholders, most notably in the respective Chapter 11s of Basic Energy Services, Forbes Energy Services and Talen Energy. The team has also represented Goldman Sachs as equity owner and term loan lender to Constellation Enterprises in connection with Constellation’s Chapter 11, and Gary Kaplan has acted as counsel to Goldman Sachs and BlackGold Capital Partners as holders of subordinates notes of Tervita Corporation. New York-based Brad Scheler leads the team, which also includes newly promoted partners Matthew Roose and Peter Siroka as well as Julia Smolyanskiy, who was recently promoted to special counsel.

The restructuring and bankruptcy practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP is spread across the country, with matters led from the firm’s New York, Chicago, Miami and Houston offices. In a high-profile debtor-side engagement, New York-based Nancy Mitchell has been representing SFX Entertainment in its Chapter 11. The New York team has also been acting as special energy counsel to Energy Future Holdings and its affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases. Other notable work includes the representation of Benjamin Moore & Co as a party of interest in the Maxus Energy Chapter 11 in connection with the civil action filed against the debtor alleging liability for environmental damages from pollution caused by a plant it formerly owned - the firm’s client is just one of the potentially responsible parties with respect to clean-up costs. Mitchell co-heads the team alongside Mark Bloom in Miami and Keith Shapiro in Chicago. Karl Burrer and Lenard Parkins both joined the Houston office from Haynes and Boone, L.L.P..

The team at Jenner & Block LLP is ‘strong in specific restructuring skills’, particularly cases requiring knowledge of the nuances of bankruptcy law, such as avoidance action litigation, the representation of trustees and examiners in bankruptcy cases and the representation of Section 1114 retiree committees. Recent work includes advising committees regarding the Chapter 11s of The Budd Company and Walter Energy; in the former, the firm represented the committee of executive and administrative retirees, and negotiated a settlement agreement in addition to conducting an investigation into causes of action against certain third-party entities. In the latter, the firm represented a 3,000-member 1114 committee and negotiated a settlement resolving the debtor’s motion to terminate and cease paying for retiree benefits. Elsewhere, the team represented the Chapter 7 trustee for Emerald Casino and the liquidation trustee of Sentinel Management Group with respect to an ongoing $1bn investment adviser fraud case. Catherine Steege in Chicago and Richard Levin in New York head the team.

The team at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP comprises ‘smart, strategic deep thinkers that are immediately responsive’. The New York-based team is particularly strong on the creditor side but has also secured company-side engagements in Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings. On the creditor side, the firm has been representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Energy Futures Holdings bankruptcy. In another creditor-side energy engagement, the firm has been advising the ad hoc committee of creditors in the Key Energy Services bankruptcy in a successful pre-packaged Chapter 11 case - the client was able to list on the NYSE the day after emerging from bankruptcy. On the company side, Andrew Dietderich represents Terraform Power and Terraform Global in relation to the SunEdison Bankruptcy and represent Ascent Resources in its $1.2bn out-of-court restructuring. The firm has also assisted Pacific Drilling in its attempts to restructure the business outside of the courtroom. Dietderich heads the team and is a ‘brilliant strategic thinker with excellent communication skills’. Litigator Brian Glueckstein is another name to note. Since publication Michael Torkin has moved to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

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  • EU and Malta Securitisation Market

    Following the US subprime crisis that began in 2007, the notion of securitisation has suffered from bad press that tainted its reputation. However, securitisation is still considered as an essential component to continued economic recovery and for well-functioning financial markets.
  • PATENTABILITY OF SOFTWARE IN SINGAPORE

     leading_lines_newsletter_dec_2017
  • DOJ Makes the Pilot Program Permanent and Announces FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

    The US Department of Justice ("DOJ") had announced a pilot program [1] ("Pilot Program") on April 5, 2016, which created new mitigation opportunities for companies that (i) voluntarily self-disclosed, (ii) cooperated fully, and (iii) took timely and appropriate remedial actions in FCPA matters that fell within the Fraud Section's mandate. The Pilot Program was to remain in effect for 1 year, starting from the day of its announcement. On March 10, 2017, the Acting Assistant Attorney General, Kenneth A. Blanco, announced in a speech that the Pilot Program would continue in full force until the DOJ reached a final decision on whether to extend it, and what revisions, if any, should be made to it. [2] The evaluation period of the Pilot Program ended on November 29, 2017, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the new FCPA Enforcement Policy ("Policy"), which effectively makes the Pilot Program permanent with some revisions. According to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, the FCPA Unit received 30 voluntary disclosures during the time period that the Pilot Program was in force, as opposed to 18 voluntary disclosures that were received during the previous 18-month period. The Policy has been incorporated into the United States Attorneys' Manual in order to "be readily understood and easily applied by busy prosecutors" as opposed to being promulgated in memorandum format. [3]
  • Effects of State of Emergency Law in Turkey On Prison Sentences Under Criminal Execution Laws

    With the Statutory Decree No.671 dated August 17, 2016, and the recent changes with Regulations No.29987 and No.29824 on Regulation Regarding an Amendment on Placement to Open Punishment Execution Facilities effecting execution of the Law No.5275 on Punishment Execution Law has introduced significant changes.
  • [SOUTH KOREA] Supreme Court Affirms Lower Decision, Finding Invalid the Regulations on Foreign ...

    Supreme Court Affirms Lower Court Decision, Finding Invalid the Regulations on Foreign Exchange Report on Incorporation of Offshore Subsidiary by an Offshore Company
  • Disputes on Health-Related Commercial Advertisements under Consumer Law

    Introduction
  • [SOUTH KOREA] New Administration’s Key Environmental Policies

    To step forward as an environment-friendly government, the Moon Jae-in Administration has announced its key environmental policies, including improving safety in chemical substances and household chemical products, and reinforcing implementation measures of the Paris Agreement.  Under the “sustainable development” paradigm, the new administration will continually promote new regulations to protect the environment and strengthen its enforcement of environmental regulations.
  • [SOUTH KOREA] Lower Court Issues Favorable Decision for 27,000 KIA Motors Employees in an ...

    Lower Court Issues Favorable Decision for 27,000 KIA Motors Employees in an Ordinary Wage Case 
  • SyCipLaw TMT Bulletin: “More Philippine Data Privacy Act: Are you Ready for Phase II?”

    Controllers and processors who have completed Phase I registration with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) will now have to gear up for Phase II. Phase II involves providing the NPC certain information on the organization’s compliance with the Data Privacy Act (DPA).
  • Crowdfunding - The Path towards a regulatory Framework

      The importance and feasibility of crowdfunding platforms is increasing in stature and importance for current and future the entrepreneurs. Malta has recently acceded to the rising trend by creating its first crowdfunding platform, ZAAR, a reward-based crowdfunding platform who has recently been awarded with the first prize in its section at the National Enterprise Support Awards 2016 also as well as being one of the local projects that have represented Malta at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2016, held in Slovakia. Nonetheless start-ups based in Malta with global aspirations often rely on international platforms. An increase in interest has emerged amongst the art and culture community as well in social entrepreneurship projects. Crowdfunding in Malta is still at the early stages of development. Despite this, there are endless opportunities for local entrepreneurs and the local business community. Research has shown that through international crowdfunding platforms, monies have been raised for projects in the field of gaming consoles, apps and software as well as for artistic projects.  Testimony to this is a new game design studio in Malta, that launched its first game, Politicks, raised financing through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

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