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Bankruptcy & Reorganizations: Current Developments 2011


Speaker(s): Babette A. Ceccotti, Brian S. Hermann, Elisabetta G. Gasparini, Erica G. Weinberger, Gerald F. Munitz, Hon. Allan L. Gropper, Hon. Robert D. Drain, Jane L. Vris, Jane Rue Wittstein, Joseph Samet (Ret.), Judith Elkin, Kenneth A. Rosen, Lewis Kruger, Linda A. Riffkin, Lynn P. Harrison 3rd, Michael L. Cook, Philip M. Abelson
Recorded on: Apr. 14, 2011
PLI Program #: 28454

Philip M. Abelson's practice deals with debtors' and creditors' rights and corporate restructurings. Mr. Abelson represents debtors, official and unofficial committees, creditors, bondholders and third parties in connection with both in-court and out-of-court restructurings. Mr. Abelson's recent engagements have involved a number of different industries, including television broadcasting, airlines, telecommunications, plastics, natural gas, health clubs, residential roofing materials and automotive parts manufacturing. Mr. Abelson has played an active role in the chapter 11 proceedings of Adelphia Business Solutions, G-1 Holdings, Federal-Mogul, Delta Airlines, Bally Total Fitness, Granite Broadcasting, Wellman, Foamex, Capmark, Visteon, and Texaco.

Mr. Abelson received his B.A. in 1997 from Indiana University and his J.D. in 2000 from the University of Michigan Law School. He is a member of the New York and California (inactive) Bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Publications
  Co-author, "Why The Muni Bankruptcy Avalanche Has Not Arrived," The Bond Buyer (October 29, 2010).

Education
 University of Michigan Law School, 2000, J.D.
  Indiana University, 1997, B.A.

Bar Admissions
 New York

Court Admissions
 U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York


Elisabetta Gasparini is a trial attorney with the Office of the United States Trustee in Manhattan. Prior to joining the Office of the United States Trustee in 2009, Elisabetta practiced law in the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom from 2001 to 2003 and from 2007 through 2009, where she represented various entities in out-of-court restructurings as well as debtors in a number of Chapter 11 cases for companies in several different business lines. From 2004 to 2007 she also practiced bankruptcy law with the firm of WilmerHale where she represented both debtors and creditors in various matters, including representing insurance companies in major asbestos and mass-tort bankruptcy cases and preference action defendants in several adversary proceedings.  Elisabetta clerked for the Honorable John E. Waites in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina from 1999 to 2001. She is a law school graduate of the University of South Carolina where she graduated cum laude in 1999. She was the Associate Editor in Chief of the South Carolina Law Review and was also a member of the Order of the Wig and Robe and Order of the Coif. She received her undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University.


Jane Lee Vris brings more than 25 years of restructuring and reorganization experience to her clients which have included creditors, debtors, potential purchasers of assets from distressed companies, and equity investors in companies emerging from Chapter 11. Jane is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an organization in the United States consisting of approximately 60 of the leading bankruptcy lawyers, law professors, and judges. She is also a long-time contributing editor to Colliers on Bankruptcy, the leading treatise on bankruptcy in the United States, and participates frequently on continuing legal education panels, lecturing, and writing on bankruptcy topics. Prior to joining V&E, Jane was a founding partner of a New York-based bankruptcy boutique firm. Before that, she was a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
 


Education and Professional Background

  • New York University, J.D., 1983 (Managing Editor, NYU Law Review, 1983)
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A. magna cum laude, 1977
  • Admitted to practice: New York, 1989; District of Columbia, 1983; Maine, 1997


Kenneth A. Rosen leads the firm's Bankruptcy, Financial Reorganization & Creditors' Rights Group. Mr. Rosen is listed among The Best Lawyers in America in the bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights section, the 2008-2011 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, and was featured in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 issues of Super Lawyers in the Bankruptcy and Workout section of the publication. In addition, Mr. Rosen is ranked among the top unsecured creditor attorneys in the country by The Deal's Bankruptcy Insider.

He has extensive experience helping companies develop viable solutions to financial crises, including Chapter 11 reorganization, out-of-court workouts, financial reorganization, and litigation. Mr. Rosen is a regular contributor to NY Metro area real estate publications, and has written extensively about bankruptcy in real estate and the general business press.


Education

  • Columbia University (M.B.A., 1980)
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D., 1979)
  • Cornell University (B.S., 1975)

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
    • Section on Creditor and Debtor Relations
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Corporation, Banking & Business Law Section
  • Business Bankruptcy Committee
  • Bankruptcy Lawyers Bar Association
  • Commercial Law League of America
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Court Administration and ADR Committee
    • Co-Chair
  • United Jewish Federation
    • Trustee
  • American Jewish Congress
    • Trustee
  • Saint Barnabas Healthcare System
    • Trustee
    • Audit Committee
    • Compliance Committee
    • Strategic Planning Committee


Bar Admissions

  • 1979, New Jersey
  • 1980, New York


Allan L. Gropper was appointed as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York on October 4, 2000 and retired on January 9, 2015. 

Prior thereto he was a member of the law firm of White & Case, initially as a litigator and later as head of the Bankruptcy and Reorganization group.  In the latter capacity he represented clients in connection with some of the nation’s largest Chapter 11 cases, including Manville Corporation, Texaco, LTV Corporation, Federated Department Stores/Allied Stores Corporation, Thatcher Glass Corporation, Maxwell Communications Corp., MGM, and United States Lines.   He was also active in international and cross-border restructurings and was located in the White & Case Hong Kong office during the year 1999-2000. 

Judge Gropper presently serves as a consultant and expert witness in litigated matters and as an arbitrator and mediator. He is an adjunct professor of law at Fordham Law School, a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.  He is a member of the United States delegation to Working Group V (Insolvency Law) of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).  He is also a member of the American Arbitration Association Roster of Neutrals and the INSOL International College of Mediation.  He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.  

Judge Gropper has frequently lectured on bankruptcy-related issues and has participated in educational sessions in several nations.  He was a consultant to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and advised on the drafting of the first bankruptcy law adopted by the Russian Federation.  His publications include the following:

Author, The Mediation of Bankruptcy Disputes in the United States, 14 Transnational     Dispute Management, issue 4 (Nov. 2017)

Author, United States Approaches to the Insolvency of Enterprise Groups,” 4/2015 Intl. Insolvency L. Rev. 364 (2015)

Author, “Cooperation in Cross-Border Insolvency Cases,” Festschrift for Heinz Vallendar, p. 207 (RWS Verlag 2015)

Author, The Curious Disappearance of Choice of Law as an Issue in Chapter 15 Cases, 9 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. & Com. L. 57 (2015)

Author, The Arbitration of Cross-Border Insolvencies, 86 Amer. Bankr. L. J. 201 (2012)

Author, The Model Law After Five Years:  The U.S. Experience with COMI, 2011 Norton Ann. Rev. of Intl. Insolvency 13

Author, The Payment of Priority Claims in Cross-Border Insolvency Cases, 46 Tex. Intl. L. J. 559 (2011)

Author, Comments on the Articles of Professors Baird and Janger, 4 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. & Com. L. 59 (2009)

Contributing author, Bufford, U.S. International Insolvency Law (Oxford Univ. Press 2009)

Author, Current Developments in International Insolvency Law, 15 J. Bankr. L & Proc. (Apr 2006)

Editor, International Insolvency, with Carl Felsenfeld and Howard Beltzer (2000)

Contributing Editor, Collier on Bankruptcy (to 2015)

 

 

 


Brian S. Hermann is the Deputy Chair of the Restructuring Department in the New York office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Brian focuses on a range of restructuring and bankruptcy matters for both borrower and lender clients. He has extensive experience representing clients in complex in-court and out-of-court restructurings and chapter 11 cases nationwide across a variety of industries.

Brian’s recent company experience includes advising Preferred Sands, Jack Cooper Ventures, Animal Supply, Expro Holdings and CGG S.A. and his noteworthy creditor-side representations include advising key stakeholders in the restructurings of Windstream, TOMS Shoes, Toys “R” Us, Country Fresh, Gibson Brands, American Tire, Tidewater, Paragon Offshore, Sabine and Arch Coal, among others. Brian is currently representing the California Public Utilities Commission in the chapter 11 cases of PG&E Corporation and its primary operating subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, California’s largest investor-owned public utility and the largest public utility in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy relief. Brian also represented the Commission in PG&E’s previous chapter 11 case, including in related litigation and appeals, from which PG&E emerged in 2003.

Brian is recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal and Super Lawyers, and he was as a Featured Dealmaker in The Deal’s Bankruptcy Law Firm Power Rankings for individual lawyers.

Brian’s representation of an ad hoc committee of senior secured noteholders in the successful chapter 11 reorganization of Gibson Brands, Inc. was recognized as Turnaround Management Association’s 2019 “Mid-Size Company Transaction of the Year” and Private Debt Investor’s 2018 “Distressed Deal of the Year.” Brian was named an American Lawyer 2018 “Dealmaker of the Year” for his work representing French oilfield services company CGG S.A. in its chapter 11 cases, among the largest restructurings in French history and the first-ever successful coordination of a French “Sauvegarde” proceeding with a U.S. chapter 11 case. The Financial Times commended Brian in its 2015 Innovative Lawyers report for his work advising Preferred Sands in connection with its out-of-court restructuring.

Brian serves on the Practicing Law Institute’s Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights Advisory Committee and writes frequently on bankruptcy issues, including several published works in The Strategic View: Corporate Restructuring, Global Restructuring Review and New York Law Journal.

Brian received his B.B.A. from Pace University, followed by his J.D. from UCLA School of Law.


Jane Rue Wittstein has 27 years of experience litigating at the trial and appellate levels in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts across the country. In bankruptcy litigation and appeals, Jane has represented debtors, reorganized debtors, lender groups, creditors, and unsecured creditors' committees in numerous adversary proceedings and contested matters, including pension terminations, revocation actions, DIP financing proceedings, preference actions, claims objections, fraudulent conveyance proceedings, turnover actions, and plan objections.

Jane has litigated in various chapter 11 cases in New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, and Florida, including Lehman Brothers Holdings, Thornburg Mortgage, Harry & David Holdings, Davis Petroleum Corporation, Old Carco Liquidation Trust (successor-in-interest to Old Carco LLC, f/k/a Chrysler LLC), Interep National Radio Sales, FLYi, Meridian Automotive Systems, Musicland, TWA, and Drexel Burnham Lambert. In 2011, Jane obtained Delaware bankruptcy court approval of the distress termination of Harry & David's pension plan over the PBGC's objection after a two-day bench trial. From 2006 to 2011, Jane successfully defended Evercore Capital Partners and Davis Petroleum Corporation in various litigations and appeals up to the Fifth Circuit challenging the acquisition of Davis Petroleum through a prepackaged bankruptcy sale. Jane has also litigated various aspects of bankruptcy jurisdiction, including removal to bankruptcy court and withdrawal of the reference for noncore matters.

Jane's non-bankruptcy experience is extensive, including more than a decade of product liability litigation (pharmaceutical, automotive, and toxic tort), contract disputes, securities litigation, and commercial arbitration. She currently serves on the National Council of the Ohio State University College of Law.

Experience

Computershare Trust Company achieves win-win litigation settlement on behalf of Travelport senior noteholders

Jones Day, on behalf of Computershare Trust Company, N.A. in its capacity as indenture trustee for various series of senior unsecured notes issued by Travelport LLC, successfully resolved litigation arising out of a 2011 transaction, including claims for fraudulent transfer brought by Computershare on behalf of all senior noteholders in connection with such transaction.

Royal Bank of Scotland dismissal request pending in Thornburg bankruptcy case

Jones Day represents The Royal Bank of Scotland and certain of its affiliates in connection with a lawsuit filed by the Chapter 11 Trustee appointed in the chapter 11 case of Thornburg Mortgage, Inc.

Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate obtains advice in connection with potential litigation concerning derivative transactions

Jones Day represents Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and its affiliated debtors and debtors-in-possession in the chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings before the United States Bankruptcy Court.

Harry & David negotiates pre-arranged bankruptcy plan

Jones Day represented Harry & David Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates in their chapter 11 cases filed in the District of Delaware.

Lehman Holdings defends actions brought by Barclays for alleged failure to pay placement fees

Jones Day represented Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and certain Real Estate Funds, which were all at one time owned by Lehman (collectively, "Lehman") in two actions brought by Barclays alleging that Lehman failed to pay more than $30 million dollars in placement fees to the "Private Investment Management" group, a former division of Lehman that was purchased by Barclays.

Interep National Radio Sales files for bankruptcy

Jones Day represented Interep National Radio Sales, Inc. and its direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries in their ongoing chapter 11 cases commenced as a means to implement the terms of a pre-negotiated plan of reorganization for the company that will provide for a comprehensive restructuring of the company's balance sheet, principally by effecting an equity conversion of the company's $100 million in Senior Subordinated Notes.

Davis Petroleum obtains summary judgment against former shareholders' action seeking revocation in reorganization

Jones Day defended the reorganized debtors Davis Petroleum Co. in an adversary proceeding brought by a former shareholder seeking revocation of the confirmed prepackaged reorganization plan under section 1144 of the Bankruptcy Code; obtained dismissal on summary judgment.

FLYi Inc. and Independence Air file for bankruptcy with $455 million in debt

Jones Day represented FLYi, Inc., its operating entity, Independence Air, and their respective subsidiaries in filing voluntary petitions for reorganization under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Meridian Automotive lienholders seek protection of rights

Jones Day represented the second lien lenders in the chapter 11 case of Meridian Automotive Systems, an auto parts supplier.

IBM wins defense verdict in San Jose workers' toxic tort litigation case

In the first "toxic tort" case involving the microelectronics industry to go to trial anywhere in the U.S., Jones Day successfully obtained a unanimous defense verdict for International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in a California jury trial.

TWA files for bankruptcy with $4 billion in debt

Jones Day represented Trans World Airlines in its first chapter 11 case.

Publications

Nov/ Dec 2012
In re Charter Communications: Driving the Equitable Mootness Wedge Deeper? 

June 2003
Decoding Summer Dress Codes, New York Law Journal Magazine - PDF Only 

Speaking Engagements

  • April 12, 2012 - PLI's Bankruptcy & Reorganizations 2012: Current Developments panel with Judge Drain on Current Jurisdictional and Procedural Issues - Stern v. Marshall and its progeny New York, New York
  • April 14, 2011 - PLI's Bankruptcy & Reorganizations: Current Developments 2011 Current Jurisdictional and Procedural Issues New York, New York

Areas of Focus

  • Business Restructuring & Reorganization
  • Business and Tort Litigation (USA)
  • Product Liability Litigation
  • Distressed Company Litigation

Honors & Distinctions

  • Legal 500 US (2012): finance — corporate restructuring "recommended lawyer" recognized as a "leading name" in Jones Day's restructuring practice "who is praised for her ‘good street sense’ and ‘comprehensive knowledge’"
 


Joseph Samet has been a partner and member of Baker McKenzie's Global Recovery, Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group, residing in the New York office. He retired from the firm in 2015, and still teaches and writes in the R & B fields. He is available for mediating, expert witness, officer/director, and other work. Since 1975, Mr. Samet has been immersed in national and international restructurings, chapter 11 reorganizations, distressed sales of assets, SIPC and bankruptcy practice, representing all parties in interest. This includes chapter 15 cases. He counsels parties in interest and transactional lawyers on potential creditors’ rights/bankruptcy implications of deals, sales, investments and litigation settlements they are considering. His experience includes structured finance, corporate governance, pre- and post-bankruptcy litigation, negotiations and mediation. He counseled on insurance, monolines and bank liquidations, and advises corporate boards. He analyzes executory contract issues, including licenses for businesses in the e-commerce economy, and gave written opinions and analysis in transactions. His practice has involved diverse businesses, including in manufacturing, financial services, retail, service, airlines, energy, healthcare, real estate, e-commerce, sports and telecommunications. He prosecuted and defended preference, fraudulent conveyance, equitable subordination and substantive consolidation actions, officer/director liability and Ponzi scheme issues.  He counsels professional firms and their principals on risk management, “unfinished business” and clawback type issues. Mr. Samet has prepared expert reports and testified as an expert witness in jury trials and in an international arbitration.  He is on the SDNY bankruptcy court mediation panel and took extensive meditation training courses in 1994, and in 2015 through the ABI.

Mr. Samet is the principal co-author of the two-volume annotated Herzog’s Bankruptcy Forms and Practice published by Thomson Reuters. He has been a contributing author of Collier on Bankruptcy 15th Edition, and the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide treatises, having written and updated for many years three chapters on voluntary and involuntary bankruptcies totaling about 400 printed pages. He has written or co-authored published articles and outlines including on Arbitration and Intellectual Property in Bankruptcy; Breakup Fees and Topping Agreements in Sales of Assets; Multinational Insolvencies; Duties of Officers and Directors and Liability Issues; Unfinished Business; Mediation; Partners and Partnerships; The Basics of Chapter 11 and Chapter 15; and Research Tools.  Since 1981, he has chaired or lectured at over 250 CLE and Industry programs in the U.S. and internationally on pre-bankruptcy restructuring and bankruptcy-related issues, including programs of the National Bankruptcy Judges’ Conference, the Practising Law Institute, The American Bankruptcy Institute, the Commercial Law League, the Turnaround Management Association, and INSOL. He is chair of the annual PLI programs “Current Developments in Bankruptcy and Reorganizations” 2009-2018, and “Recent Developments in Distressed Debt, Restructurings and Workouts” 2008-2018. Mr. Samet was an Associate Conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference and a member of its Bankruptcy Code Review project which was submitted to the United States Congress in 1994.  He has been an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn Law School, and served on bankruptcy committees of national and local bar associations. Mr. Samet has been regularly selected by Super Lawyers as one of the Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers, the Best Lawyers in America, in Banking and Finance Law, and Who’s Who in America. He received the 2004 Burton Award for Legal Writing at the Library of Congress as co-author of the article entitled “When Worlds Collide: Intellectual Property and Arbitration Rights in Bankruptcy Cases.”  Mr. Samet is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the ABA, the NYS Bar Association, TMA, the NYC Bar Association and CPR relating to mediation. He has served as a member of boards of directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the CLLA Fund for Public Education and the NY Chapter of the TMA, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Zaretsky Roundtable at Brooklyn Law School.


LINDA RIFKIN

WORK EXPERIENCE

Assistant United States Trustee  January 2007 to Present
Southern District of New York
Office of the United States Trustee

  • Representation of the United States Trustee ("UST") in bankruptcy cases filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, and in appellate courts.
  • Supervision of attorneys and support staff on a day-to-day basis.
  • Implementation of UST program and policy and management directives
  • Training of attorneys in legal skills and trial techniques.
  • Supervision of Chapter 7 and 13 panel trustees.

 



Acting Assistant United States Trustee
  January 2006 - December 2006
Brooklyn Division, Eastern District of New York
Office of the United States Trustee     

  • Representation of the United States Trustee ("UST") in bankruptcy cases filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, and in appellate courts.
  • Overseeing move of Office in March 2006 from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
  • Supervision of staff of Brooklyn Office on a day-to-day basis.
  • Supervision of Chapter 7 panel trustees.


Trial Attorney
  August 2000 - January 2, 2006
Brooklyn Division, Eastern District of New York
Office of the United States Trustee

  • Representation of the UST in bankruptcy cases filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York and in appellate courts.


Assistant United States Attorney
  November 1987 - August 2000
Office of the United States Attorney - Civil Division    
Southern District of New York

  • Representation of the United States of America in myriad cases brought in the Southern District of New York and Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Representation of the United States of America, the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Customs Service, and other federal agencies in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Knowledge and use of discovery tools available under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure  including depositions, interrogatories and document demands.

Attorney   November 1984 - November 1987
Office of the General Counsel
Department of Health and Human Services

  • Representation of Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") in connection with administrative appeals to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding denials of social security benefits.
  • Assisting with appeals to the United States Court of Appeals to the Second Circuit.
  • Oral argument before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.


Education

New York Law School, New York, NY  J.D., May 1984
Randolph Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, VA  B.A., 1980; Major in History


Michael L. Cook is of counsel in the New York office of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. He served as a partner in the New York office for 16 years, devoting his practice to business reorganization and creditors' rights litigation after leading the reorganization practice at another international law firm for 20 years. His clients include professional firms, lenders, acquirers, trustees, creditors' committees, troubled companies and other
parties.

Michael is past chair of the American College of Bankruptcy, which has established the "Michael L. Cook Extraordinary Grant" for legal services organizations that provide pro bono bankruptcy services for indigent consumer debtors. He is also the former chair of the American Bar Association's Creditors' Rights Litigation Committee, Lawyers Alliance for New York, and the New York City Bankruptcy Assistance project.

A frequent contributor to major publications, Michael serves as lead editor and contributing author of Bankruptcy Litigation Manual (rev. ed., Aspen Law & Business, 2019), is on the editorial boards of Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law and The Bankruptcy Strategist, is a contributing author to Collier Bankruptcy Guide (rev. ed., Matthew Bender, 2018) and Collier on Bankruptcy (15th rev. ed., 2003), and he co-authored Creditors’ Rights, Debtors’ Protection and Bankruptcy (3rd ed., Matthew Bender, 1997) (with NYU School of Law Professor Lawrence P. King). Michael served for 26 years as an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law, teaching courses on creditors’ rights, debtors’ protection and bankruptcy. He received his A.B. from Columbia University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.


Robert Drain is a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York. 

Judge Drain received his B.A. degree cum laude with honors from Yale University in 1979 and his J.D. degree in 1984 from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar for three years.

At the time of his appointment in 2002, he was a partner in the Bankruptcy Department of the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he represented debtors, trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, official and unofficial creditors committees, and buyers of distressed businesses and distressed debt in chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcy-related litigation and also was actively involved in several transnational insolvency matters.

Judge Drain is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a member and board member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a member of the International Insolvency Institute, a member and Secretary of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and a founding member and chair of the Judicial Insolvency Network.  He also is the current chair of the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Group established through the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and was appointed to the FDIC’s Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee through May 1, 2021.  He was an adjunct professor for several years at St. John’s University School of Law’s LLM in Bankruptcy Program and currently is an adjunct professor at Pace University School of Law and has lectured and written on numerous bankruptcy-related topics.

Since his appointment he has presided over such chapter 11 cases as Loral, RCN, Cornerstone, Refco, Allegiance Telecom, Delphi, Coudert Brothers, Frontier Airlines, Star Tribune, Reader’s Digest, A&P, Hostess Brands, Christian Brothers, Momentive, Cenveo, 21st Century Oncology, Tops, G A&T, Sears, Full Beauty Brands, Sungard, Windstream, and  Purdue Pharma.  He also has presided over the ancillary or plenary cases, as the case may be, of Corporacion Durango, Satellites Mexicanas, Parmalat S. p. A. and its affiliated United States debtors, Varig S.A., Yukos (II), SphinX, Galvex Steel, TBS Shipping, Excel Maritime, Nautilus, Landsbanki Islands, Roust and Ultrapetrol.  He has served as the court-appointed mediator in a number of chapter 11 cases, including New Page, Cengage, Quicksilver, LightSquared, Molycorp and Breitburn Energy.

He is the author of a novel, The Great Work in the United States of America.


Mr. Harrison is co-chair of the firm's Restructuring and Insolvency group. He has experience in insolvency proceedings, workouts and liquidations on behalf of debtors, creditors and trustees. Clients include foreign and domestic, public and private corporations, financial institutions, underwriters and governmental creditors in Chapter 11 reorganizations, structured financings, distressed trades, asset and stock sales, and acquisitions.  Recent highlights of Mr. Harrison's practice include his key role in the firm's international representation of the Italian Extraordinary Administrator of a multinational dairy and food corporation and its affiliates in restructuring some of the company's subsidiaries in the United States and Latin America. Mr. Harrison also counseled the foreign representative of the first successful ancillary proceeding initiated by a "sindico" (a Mexican liquidator) in the United States since the enactment of Mexico's insolvency law, the Ley de Concurso Mercantiles.

Among Mr. Harrison's domestic insolvency matters, he has represented debtors and creditors in high profile Chapter 11 cases. He currently is leading the insolvency aspects of the firm's representation of a major global financial institution, among other matters.

Mr. Harrison is a frequent lecturer and writer on international and domestic insolvency issues.  He has spoken throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Far East.  Mr. Harrison has also been a featured commentator for Forbes Magazine in the United States and Phoenix TV InfoNews Channel in China.

Mr. Harrison is recognized as a leading restructuring and insolvency professional in New York by both Chambers USA and Legal 500 USA. Clients note that he “combines keen intelligence and high technical knowledge with warm client-handling skills.”

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law
  • B.A., Morehouse College, Merrill Scholar
    • Thomas J. Watson Fellow

COURTS

  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of New York

MEMBERSHIPS

  • International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL)
  • INSOL World, Editorial Board Member 2007-2009
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association
    • Insolvency Committee, Co-Chair
  • International Insolvency Institute

AWARDS

  • Fellow, INSOL International
  • Chambers USA - Recognized as a top Bankruptcy/Restructuring attorney in New York
  • Best Lawyers in America® - Peer-selected in 2015 in the practice area of Litigation - Bankruptcy
  • AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®


Ms. Elkin is a partner in the Business Reorganization and Bankruptcy Section of Haynes and Boone, and is resident in the New York office.  She has over 30 years’ experience representing debtors, creditors, creditors' committees, lenders, acquirers and other parties-in-interest in domestic and cross-border reorganization proceedings and financial restructurings.  She speaks frequently on domestic and international insolvency issues, both in the U.S. and internationally, most recently at the ABA International Section 2013 Meetings in London, the International Bar Association’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Dublin and the International Insolvency Institute’s 2012 Conference in Paris.

Recent representations include: out of court restructuring of the largest privately owned office complex in Washington, D.C., secured lender in out-of-court restructuring of a multi-billion dollar time share company; Goldman Sachs in defense of $2.3 billion fraudulent transfer litigation in Extended Stay cases; Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank as agent lender in Trinity Coal cases and in related international arbitration proceeding; senior secured lender in SemGroup cases; potential acquirer in Delphi cases, agent lender in Adelphia cases; co-chair of the Enron Creditors’ Committee; and Mirant as debtor-in-possession in its chapter 11.

Member: ABA: International Section (Vice Chair, Secured Transactions and Insolvency Committee (2013-2015); April 2014 Spring Meeting planning committee; Litigation Section  (Co-Chair, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee 1997-2001), Section of Business Law (Business Bankruptcy Committee); International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) (Chair 2010-2012/Executive Board member/Co-Chair Advisory Board); IBA: Insolvency Section (Co-Chair 2010-2012); III; ABI; TMA and NYSBA (Animal Law Committee).  She served on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Zoological Society (2000-2004), is a Patron of the Wildlife Conservation Society and a member of the Board of the New Rochelle Humane Society.

Honors: 2013 recipient Melnik Award for exceptional contributions by an IWIRC member. Recognized: Best Lawyers in America - Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2005-2013, Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2012-2013 and a Super Lawyer - Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights Law (2007-2013).


Babette Ceccotti is a partner at Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP in New York City, a law firm specializing in the representation of labor organizations and employee benefit plans. Ms. Ceccotti divides her time between the firm's bankruptcy practice and employee benefits practice. She has represented labor organizations in numerous bankruptcy cases in a wide range of industries, including Global Aviation Holdings, Inc., United Air Lines, Dana Corporation, Delphi Corporation, Chrysler and GM, the L.A. Dodgers, and other bankruptcy cases in the auto, steel, healthcare, textile, retail, sports, media and maritime industries.  She has served as outside counsel to the AFL-CIO on bankruptcy matters since 1998. She was one of three members appointed by President Clinton to the 1995-1997 National Bankruptcy Review Commission. She has been appointed to the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11.

Ms. Ceccotti is a frequent speaker and contributor to programs on labor and employee benefits interests in bankruptcy cases, including programs sponsored by ABI, the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Council, the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.  In 2010, she testified at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on H.R. 4677,  "The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2010."

Recent articles: "Lost in Transformation: The Disappearance of Labor Policies in Applying Section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code," 15 American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review 415 (Winter, 2007); "What About My Pension: Bankruptcy Invades What Was Once a Secure World," Business Law Today, Volume 16, No. 2, American Bar Association Section of Business Law (Nov./Dec. 2006); "Wake Turbulence: Litigation Over Termination of United's Pension Plans," American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Newsletter, Volume 33 (Summer 2005). She has been a contributing editor of the Employee and Union Member Guide to Labor Law, published by the National Lawyers Guild and a contributing author of the Employee Benefits Law Treatise and Supplements published by the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and BNA Books. 


Lewis Kruger is internationally recognized for his knowledge of insolvency law. Mr. Kruger, with over 40 years of experience, has played a major role in many of the significant reorganization proceedings in the United States.

Recognized by his peers for his experience, Mr. Kruger serves as the International Bar Association’s liaison to the United Nations Committee on International Trade Law, and has been selected as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

He has been a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy law for the Practising Law Institute and for Bar Associations in the United States and abroad. In addition, Mr. Kruger has taught insolvency courses at Columbia Law School, New York University School of Law, St. John’s School of Law and has lectured at Harvard Law School and Kings College, Oxford.

Mr. Kruger pursues a wide array of interests beyond insolvency including his current position as Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Art & Design in the City of New York. His past public service includes Special Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary with respect to corporate reorganization and as Special Counsel to the Governor of New York and the New York State Urban Development Corporation.

Representative Matters

Mr. Kruger has extensive experience representing both debtors and creditors in insolvency matters. He was the co-founder and co-manager of a fund focused on acquiring/operating businesses with a view towards running and selling businesses, winding down, collecting receivables and selling assets.

Mr. Kruger served as Chief Restructuring Officer of ResCap.

Mr. Kruger’s debtor representations include Columbia Gas Systems, Seatrain Lines, Anchor Glass Container Corporation, Pegasus Shipping Hellas, Cabot Cabot & Forbes, Tosco, Tiphook Finance Corporation, Daniel M. Galbreath, Neisner Brothers, Planet Hollywood, The Icing, The McCall Pattern Company and Victor Technologies.

Honors and Awards

Mr. Kruger’s accomplishments have been recognized by a number of publications including The International Who’s Who of Insolvency and Restructuring LawyersThe International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.

In addition, Mr. Kruger has been selected for membership in the American College of Bankruptcy.


Mr. Munitz is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BA 1955) and the University of Chicago Law School (JD 1960). He is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and the American College of Bankruptcy.