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Arent Fox LLP’s interdisciplinary team, which is located across the firm’s New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles offices, has expertise in municipal finance, public pensions, bond workouts and municipal bankruptcy. The group continues to advise clients on matters arising from the debt crisis of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and in a notable highlight, George Angelich and Mark Angelov are representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of Kennewick Public Hospital District, which involved negotiations for the disposition of assets and confirmation of the plan of adjustment. The client roster also includes Vanguard Mutual Funds and Wells Fargo Bank. David Dubrow and Les Jacobowitz is another key name to note. All individuals referred to are based in the New York office.

The New York-based distressed municipal finance team at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has secured key roles in many of the largest municipal bankruptcies. With Ivan Loncar and Lary Stromfeld taking the lead, the group continues to advise Assured Guaranty Corp and Assured Guaranty Municipal as insurers of $5.4bn of the bonds issued by Puerto Rico and its public corporations and it has also been involved in extensive litigation opposing Puerto Rico’s fiscal plan and in relation to the bankruptcies of other public entities. The team also acted for Assured Guaranty Corp and Assured Guaranty Municipal in negotiating terms of a restructuring support agreement, under which the clients, alongside other creditors, provided $400m of bridge financing to Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). Ingrid Bagby and Stromfield jointly head the practice, which also includes recently promoted partner Michele Maman.

Jones Day frequently advises on the largest and most complex municipal restructurings in the US and in the context of Puerto Rico’s current debt crisis, the team is assisting several lenders and noteholders with transactional as well as contentious matters. In recent highlights, Washington DC-based Kevyn Orr led a team advising the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on its operational and financial restructuring and the practice is also representing the joint owners of the Allen W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, which includes the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and the City of Dalton, Georgia in relation to a construction agreement with Westinghouse Electric Co, currently in Chapter 11 proceedings. Bruce Bennett heads the practice and splits his time between the Los Angeles and New York offices.

Boutique offering Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP is well regarded for its restructuring and bankruptcy experience as well as its in-depth knowledge of municipal insolvencies. The team previously represented Jefferson County and the Californian town of Mammoth Lakes in Chapter 9 proceedings and in the current Puerto Rico debt crisis, the team has been engaged as special municipal bankruptcy counsel to the COFINA Agent, Bettina Whyte. Kenneth Klee is highly respected and fellow founding members Michael Tuchin, David Stern and Lee Bogdanoff, who now acts as of counsel, are also recommended.

Incorporating the legacy practice of Chadbourne & Parke, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has experience both in out of court and in court restructuring of municipal entities. Led by New York-based practice head Lawrence Larose, the group advised the autonomous municipality of San Juan on the restructuring of the Government Development Bank in Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, which included litigation against the oversight board, the Governmental Development Bank and the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority. The team is also assisting Assured Guaranty as a monoline bond insurer of bonds issued by Atlanta City, New Jersey and by Hartford, Connecticut in relation to the cities’ financial distress. In relation to Jefferson County’s Chapter 9 case, the firm continues to be engaged by Assured Guaranty, as insurer of $2bn of County warrants, in appeal of the confirmation order. Christy Rivera in New York was recently promoted to the partnership.

Based on ‘excellent business understanding and industry knowledge’, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s diverse municipal finance, bankruptcy and restructuring practice has a strong standing on both the East and West coast. In Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, the team was engaged by Scoggin Capital and Tilden Park Capital Management, who in aggregate hold nearly $1bn in Senior COFINA bonds, to strategize for immediate payment of bond debt. On the debtor-side, California-based senior council Marc Levinson leads the team representing the City of Beaumont in out-of-court restructuring following the indictment of previous city officers for financial crimes. In this matter, the team successfully achieved a settlement agreement which enabled the city to avoid a chapter 9 filing. Raniero D’Aversa heads the practice from the New York office. Other key names to note include fellow New York attorney Lorraine McGowen and Douglas Mintz in Washington DC.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.’s restructuring and public finance expertise is predominantly sought by creditors and investors. In Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis, the group continues to advise several institutional investors on public corporation bond issues, including in relation to PROMESA, on the commonwealth’s fiscal plans as well as on litigation strategy. Recent work includes representing UMB Bank as indenture trustee in litigation related to a multi-year receivership involving defaulted parking revenue bonds issued by Scranton Parking Authority and in the healthcare space, practice head William Kannel and Ian Hammel, who are both based in Boston, acted for the indenture trustees in the Chapter 9 cases of Atoka County Medical Center and Tulare Local Health Care District.

Representing both debtors and creditors, Ballard Spahr LLP’s practice combines municipal restructuring and public finance expertise with experience in pension and monetization of public assets matters. The team advised the city of Fairfield, Alabama on its fiscal crisis including assistance with defaults, forbearance, restructuring and connected litigation. In addition, the group is acting for a monoline municipal bond insurer of general obligation bonds in negotiations with a large US city in financial distress. It also has experience representing placement agents, and acted for the agent in the private placement of electric system revenue bonds for Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority. Philadelphia-based Vincent Marriott III and William Rhodes head the team which benefits from the addition of five bankrupcty partners across Minneapolis and Denver following a merger with Lindquist & Vennum in January 2018.

The team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP frequently utilises its strength in restructuring and bankruptcy in negotiating on behalf of governmental entities and holders of government debt obligations and fields particular expertise in municipal and public bond obligations, pension, and related restructurings. James Sprayregen heads the practice and splits his time between New York and Chicago.

The New York-based restructuring practice at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP applies its bankruptcy expertise in representing financial institutions and creditor groups in municipal insolvencies. In Puerto Rico, the group continues to be engaged by the mutual fund group which holds $10bn of Puerto Rico investments including General Obligation Bonds and COFINA Sales Tax Revenue Bonds. Amy Caton leads this representation, which has included negotiations with the Oversight Board for Puerto Rico in restructuring and related litigation. The team has also been involved in litigation and mediation on behalf of an ad hoc group of PREPA bondholders, collectively holding 35% of issued bonds. In addition, the team is advising the holders of $2.2bn FirstEnergy Solutions’ pollution control revenue bonds on the companies restructuring and potential bankruptcy filing. Kenneth Eckstein and Thomas Moers Mayer jointly head the practice.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s ‘very responsive’ restructuring and insolvency practice typically advises financial institutions on some of the largest municipal bankruptcies. In relation to Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis, the group is assisting Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who is owed $1.8bn in various debt instruments; this matter is overseen by William Smith, while Nathan Coco is handling the negotiated settlement and Jay Kapp is leading a team advising on bankruptcy aspects. In another highlight, the practice assisted Barclays as a major creditor and underwriter of $725m of bonds issued by the Chicago public school board and advised bond insurer Ambac on City of Fairfield, Alabama’s financial distress. Timothy Walsh is based in New York and heads the practice. All other mentioned attorneys are based in Chicago.

Reed Smith LLP combines its public finance practice and restructuring and bankruptcy expertise in acting for indenture trustees in municipal bankrupties. The group is representing a financial institution as trustee in relation to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. This engagement includes protection of respective interests of bondholder groups as well as defending the client against bondholder attacks and third party creditors’ challenges. Eric Schaffer, who splits his time between the Pittsburg and New York office, leads a team representing a successor indenture trustee for research facilities revenue bonds issued by the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Global head of the restructuring and insolvency group Peter Clark leads the team from Philadelphia alongside New York-based Edward Estrada.

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