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Recent Developments in Distressed Debt, Restructurings and Workouts 2020

Speaker(s): Alice Belisle Eaton, Andrew M. Parlen, David M. Hillman, Jamila Justine Willis, Jason Koh, Joseph Samet (Ret.), Kyle J. Kimpler, Laura Metzger, Rick Antonoff, Spencer Ware
Recorded on: Jan. 30, 2020
PLI Program #: 275306

Andrew Parlen, a member of the firm’s Restructuring & Special Situations Practice and Chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy Advisory Committee, creates value-maximizing strategies for public and private companies, creditors, and investors in diverse restructuring matters, both in and out of court.

Mr. Parlen offers clients innovative, strategic counsel as they navigate business challenges related to complex restructurings. He draws on his experience across a broad range of industries — including power, exploration and production (E&P) services, retail, financial services, healthcare, and homebuilding — to help his clients develop commercially sound solutions in any troubled-company situation. His extensive work includes:

  • Chapter 11 proceedings
  • Complex out-of-court restructurings
  • Ad Hoc Group representations
  • Exit and debtor-in-possession financings
  • Pre-packaged and pre-arranged reorganizations

Mr. Parlen has been recognized by numerous publications and organizations. He was named an Up and Coming lawyer by Chambers USA 2019, a Rising Star by both Law360 and the New York Law Journal, an Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer by Turnarounds & Workouts, and a Next Generation Lawyer by The Legal 500 US 2017-2019. He was also ranked among the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. The Legal 500 US notes that clients describe him as being “very diligent and creative.”

Mr. Parlen participates in the NextGen Leadership Program of the International Insolvency Institute, an invitation-only organization that focuses on promoting international cooperation and coordination through improvements in restructuring-related law and transactional regimes. He is also a member of Bloomberg Law’s Bankruptcy Innovation Board, which helps to inform the direction of content on the Bloomberg Law platform.


JD, Harvard Law School, 2003
cum laude

BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1999


David M. Hillman is co-head of the Private Credit Restructuring Group and a member of the Business Solutions, Governance, Restructuring & Bankruptcy Group at Proskauer Rose LLP.  David has 24 years of experience with an emphasis on representing private credit lenders, private funds, sovereign wealth funds and other alternative lenders and distressed investors in special situations and restructurings both in and out-of-court, whether the lender is secured or unsecured, unitranche or structured preferred. He has substantial experience in every phase of restructuring and distressed investing, including credit bid sales under section 363, debt-for-equity swaps, chapter 11 plans, out of court restructurings, foreclosures, and navigating inter-creditor issues involving the relative rights of majority and minority lenders. David also litigates the issues facing private credit lenders, including issues involving plan confirmation, solvency, valuation, inter-creditor disputes, financing and cash collateral disputes, fraudulent transfers, equitable subordination, recharacterization, breach of fiduciary duty and similar disputes. 

David was listed as a “leading individual” in bankruptcy/restructuring by Chambers USA, which noted that interviewees praised him as “wonderful to deal with,” “very effective” and an “excellent litigator and strategist” who “thinks outside the box.” Chambers also noted that David is “an excellent counselor for distressed situations with significant litigation elements” and “a terrific, conscientious and focused lawyer.” He has also been recognized as a leader in his field by New York Super Lawyers as well. A member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, David speaks frequently on bankruptcy-related topics including recent decisions affecting secured creditor rights and preparing creditors for bankruptcy risks.  David graduated, with honors, from Albany Law School in 1995.


Jamila Justine Willis focuses her practice in the area of financial and corporate restructuring and has extensive experience in complex restructurings across industries.

Jamila represents debtors, distressed investors, sponsors, purchasers of distress assets and other interested parties in a wide range of restructuring and insolvency matters, including cases under chapters 11 and 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code and cross-border insolvency proceedings.

In addition, Jamila represents debtors, secured creditors, acquirers and distressed investors in distressed asset sales and acquisitions, including Uniform Commercial Code Article 9 foreclosure sales and Bankruptcy Code Section 363 sales.

Jamila also advises firm clients in liquidations, corporate wind-downs, bankruptcy litigation and other bankruptcy-related matters.

Internally, Jamila is a member of DLA Piper’s Policy Committee and serves as chair of the New York Office Diversity & Inclusion Committee and co-chair of the Consumer Goods and Retail subsectors.

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.

Kyle Kimpler is a partner in the firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Reorganization Department. He has broad experience advising clients in complex restructuring and bankruptcy cases, including secured creditors, ad hoc creditor committees, distressed investment funds, claim purchasers, and equity sponsors. Kyle has particular expertise in bankruptcy-related litigation and insolvency issues involving structured finance and derivative transactions. 

Kyle’s recent representative matters include:

  • Expro Holdings, a leading provider of well flow management services to the oil and gas industry, in its pre-packaged chapter 11 case;
  • The ad hoc group of Puerto Rico General Obligation Bondholders in restructuring the $18 billion of Constitutional debt issued or guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
  • Citigroup and its affiliates worldwide in connection with prosecuting and defending claims arising from Lehman’s collapse;
  • The second lien agent in the chapter 11 case and related fraudulent transfer litigation concerning Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation, an oil and natural gas exploration and production company;
  • The ad hoc committee of first and second lien secured creditors in the pre-packaged chapter 11 case of Allen Systems Group, Inc., a provider of information technology management software solutions;
  • The Citco Group of Companies in bankruptcy-related litigation and cross border insolvencies arising out of the collapse of the Fletcher Funds;
  • An informal committee of certain holders of secured and unsecured notes of Chassix Holdings, Inc., in connection with Chassix’s restructuring through a pre-arranged chapter 11 case;
  • Oak Hill Capital Partners in the restructuring and chapter 11 case of Southern Air Holdings, a leading air cargo carrier;
  • Silver Point Capital, as prepetition and postpetition agent for lenders to Hostess Brands; and
  • An ad hoc group of trade creditors in the chapter 11 case of Spansion Inc.

Laura Metzger is a partner in the Restructuring Group and Office Leader of Orrick’s New York office.

She regularly represents financial institutions, funds and investors involved in bankruptcies, out-of-court restructurings, foreclosures, distressed sales and acquisitions, loan and claims trading, bankruptcy litigation and refinancing involving syndicated loan facilities and debtor-in-possession financing.

Recognized as “outstanding” by Legal 500, Laura was also named an "up and coming" lawyer by Chambers USA, which praised her “very commercial and solution oriented” approach. She is “a very capable lawyer who gives great advice,” according to clients.

She serves as counsel to lenders, creditors, investors, purchasers and sponsors. Her clients include Wells Fargo, Royal Bank of Canada, Citigroup Financial Products Inc., ECN Capital Corporation, Portigon AG, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Transurban, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Commerzbank, Hackman Capital, Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, and KBC Bank, among others.

Laura has been involved in many prominent bankruptcy and out-of-court restructuring cases, including Legacy Reserves, White Eagle, Lily Robotics, Seadrill, Chaparral, CHC Helicopters, Erickson, GT Advanced Technologies, Hostess, Pocahontas Parkway, Indiana Toll Road, Eagle Bulk, Fresh & Easy, American Airlines, Chemtura Corporation, Lazare Kaplan, Hawker Beechcraft, Metro Fuel, Claim Jumper Restaurants, Abitibibowater, Nortel, Fabrikant, Scotia Pacific, VICORP, Sea Containers, Lyondell, Foxwoods, Delta, US Air, Northwest, Star Diamond, and Ritchie Risk-Linked Strategies Trading (Ireland) Limited. She handles cross-border restructuring matters in major international jurisdictions such as Canada, Europe, and Hong Kong.

Rick Antonoff is a Partner in the Finance, Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice at Blank Rome LLP in New York City.  Rick represents global banks and other financial institutions, direct lenders, private equity and alternative investment firms, landlords, intellectual property licensors and licensees, trade creditors and other parties in bankruptcy proceedings, out-of-court restructuring, M&A transactions and commercial litigation.  His clients are secured and unsecured creditors, strategic and financial buyers of distressed companies, lenders, foreign receivers in cross-border cases and defendants in preference and fraudulent transfer cases and mediation.

Rick is a member of the Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization Committee of the New York City Bar Association where he also Co-Chairs Puerto Rico Task Force. He has been an observer at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Insolvency Working Group sessions since 2014.  He earned his law degree with honors from Cardozo Law School where he was a Law Review Editor and a bachelor of arts degree from Harpur College at Binghamton University.

A partner in the Restructuring Department, Alice advises creditor and debtor clients in corporate reorganizations and bankruptcies, with a focus on postpetition financings, exit financings and related transactions. Her recent company-side matters include advising Animal Supply Company, Preferred Sands, Expro Holdings, Performance Sports Group and Foresight Energy, and recent creditor-side experience includes advising stakeholders in Neiman Marcus, Exide Technologies, Whiting Petroleum, LSC Communications, Mallinckrodt and TOMS Shoes.

Chambers USA recognizes Alice for her “rare combination of bankruptcy and financing experience” in dealing with distressed companies in major chapter 11 cases, and cites clients who have called her a “very talented lawyer” and complimented her abilities as she is someone who “works hard-nobody is going to outwork her.” The Legal 500 writes that Alice’s “ease in grasping complex structures make her the perfect lawyer to attack difficult restructuring issues” making her a “standout talent.” She is also recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for her work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. In 2020, Lawdragon included Alice in their inaugural list of “500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers.” Additionally, Alice was selected by Law360 to its list of Rising Stars for 2011, recognizing her as a legal talent under the age of 40, notably in connection with the successful bankruptcies of AbitibiBowater and CIT Group Inc.

Alice’s matters are routinely recognized by industry publications and associations. The M&A Advisor selected the restructuring of BPS US Holdings and its debtor affiliates (the Performance Sports Group restructuring) as its “Restructuring of the Year ($500M-$1B)” in its 10th Annual International M&A Awards. The Turnaround Management Association (TMA) has honored Alice in two awards; 2018 “Transaction of the Year: Large Company” for her work on Performance Sports Group’s chapter 11 case, as well as 2016 “Turnaround of the Year: Mega Company” for her work on behalf of Chassix Holdings Inc. debtholders. The Financial Times has recognized Alice’s work on a number of restructurings in its annual report on “U.S. Innovative Lawyers,” including “Highly Commending” her work on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee of Dynegy Bondholders (2012) and CIT Group bondholders (2010), and “Commending” her work on the successful restructuring of AbitibiBowater (2011).

Alice received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin College.

Jason joined Ducera Partners in 2015, where he advises companies, investors, and interested third-parties on complex financial and strategic issues, including matters related to restructurings, M&A, and capital raising. Jason’s experience spans across a broad range of industries, including power, energy, mining, automotive, retail, real estate, and telecommunications and media.

Prior to joining Ducera Partners, Jason worked at FTI Consulting in the Corporate Finance and Restructuring practice. Jason received a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA.

Spencer has more than 15 years of experience in the development of comprehensive business solutions for corporate restructurings and reorganizations. As part of domestic and international teams, he has represented and negotiated with key stakeholders, including government entities, corporations, joint ventures, boards, senior executives, and creditors ranging from banks to suppliers. Spencer has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Haverford College and attended the London School of Economics. He has served in a number of industry and nonprofit leadership positions ranging from Haverford's alumni president to trustee at the Turnaround Management Association. He is an author and a frequent speaker on the topic of corporate restructuring and was named as one of ABI’s 40 under 40 leading restructuring professionals and was awarded the Future Leader of the Year Award by the New York Institute of Credit.