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Bankruptcy & Reorganizations 2021: Current Developments


Speaker(s): Ana M. Alfonso, Barbra R. Parlin, Benjamin I. Finestone, Genna Ghaul, Hon. Allan L. Gropper, Jamila Justine Willis, Jane VanLare, Jasmine Ball, Joseph Samet (Ret.), Kathryn A. Coleman, Kyle J. Kimpler, Lewis Kruger, Lisa M. Schweitzer, Lorraine S. McGowen, Martin J. Bienenstock, Michael L. Cook, Sandy Qusba
Recorded on: May. 3, 2021
PLI Program #: 303968

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, 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)


Ana M. Alfonso is a partner in the New York office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she practices in the areas of financial restructuring, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.  Known best for her representation of secured lenders, Ana regularly advises administrative agents, lender groups and bilateral credit providers in bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court debt restructurings.  Her most recent public engagements have included serving as counsel to administrative agents and lender groups in the chapter 11 cases of Southland Royalty Company, Ursa Piceance Holdings, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Fieldwood Energy, Energy XXI, Samson Resources and Goodrich Petroleum.

Ana is a frequent lecturer and panelist on insolvency law issues.  She participated in PLI’s “Bankruptcy & Reorganizations: Current Developments” Program in 2018 and 2019, as well as PLI’s “Leveraged Financing 2018,” Program in 2018, “Restructuring and Intercreditor Issues in E&C and E&P Workouts” (American College of Investment Counsel Spring Investment Forum 2018); “Recent Evolution of E&P RBL Financing” (Debtwire Podcast October 2017); “Hot Spots in a Cold Bankruptcy World: Energy and Healthcare Restructurings” (90th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 2016); and “Current Issues in the Energy Sector” (American Bankruptcy Institute, 18th Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference 2016).

Ana is the Chair of the Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization of the New York City Bar Association, and she has served on the Editorial Advisory Board for Law360 (Bankruptcy) since 2016.  She has been recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. and IFLR 1000 as a notable practitioner in her field.

Ana received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1994 and her juris doctorate from the New York University School of Law in 1997.


Barbra Parlin is a partner in Holland & Knight's New York office and a member of the firm's Litigation Section.  Ms. Parlin’s practice focuses on advising parties involved in complex commercial insolvency and restructuring proceedings, as well as related litigation and transactional matters.  She represents both U.S.-based and foreign companies, court appointed liquidators, indenture trustees, secured and unsecured lenders, asset buyers, landlords, licensors, parties to prepetition contracts and leases and litigants in adversary proceedings in connection with both domestic and cross-border insolvency cases and out of court restructurings and wind-down proceedings.  In addition, Ms. Parlin advises clients on the business aspects of bankruptcy and workouts, providing counsel with respect to pre-bankruptcy planning, transaction review, claims, distressed asset sales, and lending and investment strategies.  Her experience crosses a broad array of industries, including corporate and structured finance, securities, manufacturing, transportation, construction, real estate, higher education, energy, technology, telecommunications, retail, healthcare, resort and hospitality, leasing, professional firms, maritime and aviation. She appears on behalf of clients in matters pending in bankruptcy courts around the country, as well as in other state and federal courts.

Ms. Parlin also has broad experience in matters concerning corporate governance and fiduciary duties, director and officer liability, derivative actions, securities and common law fraud litigation and investigations, and other commercial litigation. She has advised boards of directors with respect to their fiduciary obligations and has managed a broad range of litigation matters, including bankruptcy and avoidance litigation, securities fraud, shareholder derivative litigation, SEC investigations, merger and acquisition (M&A) litigation, corporate governance actions, construction litigation, directors' and officers' insurance issues, and other general commercial litigation.

Ms. Parlin graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1990, and cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1993.

Ms. Parlin has served as the Holland & Knight New York office recruiting partner, chair of the New York office diversity committee, and as partner-coordinator of the New York office Women's Initiative.  She currently is a member of the New York office operations committee.

Ms. Parlin is a member of the advisory board for the New York City annual ABI Conference.


Ben Finestone is ranked as a leading New York Bankruptcy/Restructuring individual by Chambers USA (2013-2020), a “Recommended Lawyer” by Legal500, a “Super Lawyer” by New York Metro Super Lawyers (2013-2020), was one of the 12 attorneys nationwide named as one of Turnarounds  & Workouts’ “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers” in 2011, and has received Turnaround Awards by the M&A Advisors  in 2013 and 2018. Currently, Ben serves as the co-president of the Federal Bar Council-Bankruptcy Litigation Committee, a committee dedicated to encouraging respectful, cordial relations between the bench and bar.

Ben is able to see the field from all angles, representing creditor groups, such as in iHeartMedia, GenOn, Berry Petroleum Co., Essar Steel and Algoma, and Momentive Performance, debtors, such as Amplify Energy, OAS, Washington Mutual, The Colonial BancGroup, and Solutia, bankruptcy trustees, such as in Physiotherapy, CEVA Investments, and Petters Company, activist creditors, such as in EXCO Resources, Ultra Petroleum and Payless Shoes, and statutory committees, such as in Radioshack, NewPage, SemGroup, and Sentinel Management Group.

The Chambers, clients stated: “he’s phenomenal. Everyone is taken aback at how good he is.” Ben is describes as “extremely commercial,” possessing a “deft grasp of legal nuance along with a business person’s commercial instinct” and a “unique capacity to distill issues quickly to their core in a way that really enables us to make thoughtful, informed, strategic decisions.” When his clients’ interests are threatened, however, Ben is “fearless and thoughtful,” described as “one of the smartest bankruptcy litigators in the business.”

Prior to practicing law, Ben was a Certified Public Accountant and was a NASD Registered Representative in equity trading.


Genna Ghaul practices bankruptcy and restructuring law, including out-of-court restructurings, chapter 11 proceedings, section 363 sales, bankruptcy litigation, and other bankruptcy-related matters.

She currently represents SHL Liquidation Industries (f.k.a. Shiloh Industries, Inc.) and its affiliated debtors in their chapter 11 cases before the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Her past debtor representations include, among others, Aldrich Pump and Murray Boiler, GUE Liquidation Companies (f.k.a. FTD Companies), American Apparel, M&G USA Corporation, Transtar Holding Company, and Nextel (NII Holdings). Her past creditor representations include, among others, the purchaser of the assets of The Bon-Ton Department Stores, the 1.5 Lien Noteholders of Hexion, and the term loan lenders in rue21 and Seventy Seven Energy's chapter 11 cases.

Genna maintains an active pro bono practice. She has represented pro bono clients in immigration matters, family court proceedings and before the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Genna is a member of the Her Justice Junior Advisory Board, in addition to representing clients on behalf of Her Justice.

Prior to joining Jones Day, Genna served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Gerber of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.


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.


Jane VanLare’s practice focuses on representing investors in distressed assets, large financial institutions, and corporations in all matters relating to in- and out-of-court restructurings, bankruptcy, insolvency, and related litigation.

Jane has advised on significant transactions in the bankruptcy and restructuring space, including acting as counsel to Total SA and affiliates as major customers and contract counterparties in the Chapter 11 proceedings of McDermott International, a restructuring of $9.25 billion of debt; Goldman Sachs as lender, securitization noteholder and letter of credit provider in the restructuring of Hertz Corporation; Goldman Sachs and its affiliates as pre-petition term loan and revolving lender and letters of credit provider, DIP lender, and administrative and collateral agent under both pre-petition and DIP credit agreements, in the Chapter 11 proceedings of Ruby Tuesday, a casual dining restaurant chain; Nomura in an out-of-court liquidation of Malachite Capital Partners; and Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America in connection with the restructuring, wind-down, and close-out of repurchase agreements with real estate investment trusts managed by Angelo Gordon, MFA Financial, Invesco, New Residential Investment Corp, Malachite or their affiliates, as well as other derivative counterparties, largely triggered by the spring market disruption. Jane’s other noteworthy restructuring clients include Z Capital Partners, Nortel Networks, Modspace, Grupo Inbursa, Overseas Shipholding Group, Arsenal Resources, among others.

Jane has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation on the “Under 40 Hot List” for five years in a row and by the American Bankruptcy Institute as a “40 Under 40” honoree. She regularly publishes articles relating to bankruptcy and restructuring in the ABI Journal, Law360, and Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law.

Jane received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College.

Jane joined the firm in 2010 and became a partner in 2016.


Jasmine Ball is a corporate partner and member of the Debevoise’s Restructuring Group. Ms. Ball regularly represents debtors, investors, creditors and other parties in distressed mergers & acquisitions, workouts, debt and equity financing and refinancing, complex restructurings and Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Ms. Ball is recognized by The Legal 500 US (2019) and IFLR 1000 (2019) as a leading restructuring lawyer. She was among the winners of Turnaround Management Association’s 2018 “International Restructuring of the Year”, Global M&A Network’s “Turnaround Atlas Awards 2018 Corporate Turnaround of the Year” and M&A Advisor’s 2017 “Restructuring Deal of the Year ($1B to $5B)” for her role as aircraft counsel to CHC Group in its successful Chapter 11 proceedings.

Ms. Ball is a member of the Bar of the State of New York and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Ball is Co-Chair of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) New York Chapter and serves on the Board of Directors of The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). She is also a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association and on the TMA New York Academic Relations Committee, the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Advisory Board of Practical Law Bankruptcy. She is also a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council and is active in various Asian legal associations, including Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and Asian American Bar Association activities.

Ms. Ball received her B.S. from Princeton University and her J.D. from the University of Michigan, where she was an executive editor of the Journal of International Law.


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.


Kathryn A. (“Katie”) Coleman, a partner in Hughes, Hubbard & Reed’s New York office, has handled a wide range of insolvency-sensitive and other high-stakes matters in her more than 30 years in practice, including dealing with “bet-the-company” litigation claims, chapter 11 cases for U.S. and non-U.S. companies, cross-border insolvency matters, out-of-court restructurings, acquisitions and investments.  Her clients include individuals and companies defending trade secret theft and RICO lawsuits, publicly-traded and privately held companies restructuring their financial affairs, traditional and nontraditional secured lenders, unsecured creditors (both official committees and significant creditors for their own account), equity holders, potential acquirers, equity sponsors and financial and strategic buyers.

Ms. Coleman is a trusted advisor to the inner management circles of her clients, with substantial expertise in advising management and boards of directors on corporate governance, fiduciary duty and D&O insurance matters.

Ms. Coleman has advised clients on, and litigated at the trial and appellate levels, the significant legal issues inherent in modern restructuring and finance practice, including contested plan confirmations, prepackaged plans, credit bidding, exclusivity, debtor-in-possession financings, valuation, adequate protection of security interests, the ability to collaterally attack orders of the bankruptcy court and cash collateral usage.  She has substantial experience litigating venue, remand, removal and stay issues, and has represented recovery trustees dealing with a myriad of post-confirmation issues and litigation.

Ms. Coleman is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and co-chairs its annual Complex Financial Restructuring Program.  She frequently speaks on bankruptcy law and distressed investing, participating in programs sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, the American Bankruptcy Institute, Turnaround Management Association, AIRA, the M&A Advisor, the New York City Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the NYC Bankruptcy Assistance Project.


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.


Lisa Schweitzer’s practice focuses on financial restructuring, bankruptcy, and commercial litigation, including cross-border matters. She has extensive experience advising corporate debtors, individual creditors and strategic investors in both U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings and restructurings in other jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Asia.

Lisa has served as lead counsel in some of the world’s most high-profile bankruptcy matters across North America, Europe and Asia, advising corporate debtors, creditors and counterparties in U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings as well as in restructurings and risk mitigation advice. Lisa has advised many companies and creditors in various bankruptcy cases, including LATAM Airlines in its voluntary reorganization and restructuring of over $7B of debt under Chapter 11; Vale in its heavily contested litigation of recognition of BSGR’s Guernsey administration through a chapter 15 proceeding, which relates to Vale’s enforcement of a $2B judgment obtained against BSGR; Total S.A. as a major contract counterparty in the McDermott bankruptcy; Grupo Inbursa, a financial services company in Mexico and secured lender to multiple entities in the Mossi & Ghisolfi S.p.A. corporate group (M&G), in the M&G Chapter 11 cases; a shareholder in the PG&E case, and strategic lenders and acquirers in various retail cases.  Lisa also has been providing strategic advice to several Fortune 100 U.S. and multi-national companies on liquidity and restructuring advice arising from the COVID pandemic, and continues to advise several leading financing institutions, including UBS and Credit Suisse in matters relating to their resolution plans.

Lisa has advised clients in some of the most high-profile bankruptcy matters in North America, and her work repeatedly has been recognized by the business and legal press, including Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Legal 500 U.S., IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and The International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers. Lisa was honored as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” by Benchmark Litigation and as a “Dealmaker of the Year” and “Dealmaker in the Spotlight” by The American Lawyer.

Lisa received a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a  B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lisa joined the firm in 1996 and became a partner in 2006.


Lorraine S. McGowen is a restructuring partner at Orrick, a leading global law firm focused on serving the financial, energy & infrastructure and tech sectors.   One of IFLR1000’s Leading Lawyers, she is a seasoned legal practitioner and business advisor involved in the most complex transactions where parties are seeking to maximize recoveries or reduce liabilities.

She is a member of Orrick’s Management Committee and Partner in Charge,  Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.  Lorraine also co-leads Orrick's Automotive Technology & Mobility Group.

Recent engagements include representing Toyota (one of the largest creditors with more than $7 billion in claims) in the highly complex global restructuring of Takata Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of automotive safety systems, including airbags; representing financial institutions in connection with Puerto Rico’s $70 billion restructuring; representing VMware in connection with the assumption of its vendor contracts and enforcement of its claims in the chapter 11 reorganization of  Windstream and its subsidiaries; and representing several alternative energy PPA counterparties in connection with the assumption of their power purchase agreements and enforcement of their claims in the PG&E chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

As a leading D&I advocate, McGowen creates programs for the legal profession and the community.  She has been recognized as an MCCA Rainmaker, Savoy’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2018 and 2015, and Savoy’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America   and received the National Bar Association’s Outstanding Woman at a Majority Firm, NYC Bar Association’s Diversity Champion Award and Legal Outreach’s Pipeline to Diversity Champion Award.

McGowen received her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

 

 

 


Martin Bienenstock is chair of the Firm's Business Solutions, Governance, Restructuring & Bankruptcy Group. Martin provides clients with multidisciplinary solutions that draw on his combined experience in restructuring, corporate governance, reorganization, litigation, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley. Martin’s restructuring practice focuses on restructuring troubled situations including Puerto Rico to benefit all their stakeholders including their people, investors and creditors. Martin’s governance practice is targeted at keeping healthy companies healthy and growing, and saving distressed companies, while protecting directors and officers with cutting edge best practices.

Martin is repeatedly retained to solve momentous problems. Currently, Martin leads the Firm’s representation of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, charged with restoring fiscal responsibility and market access to the Commonwealth by developing fiscal reforms and restructuring its $74 billion of bond debt and $50 billion of unfunded pension obligations. In that connection Martin recently argued the appeal to the First Circuit that resulted in Puerto Rico freeing up $5 billion of pension payments from liens.  Martin also represents McKinsey and other large institutions.

For the last 12 years, the National Law Journal listed Martin as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America." Recently, he was named Litigator of the Week, although his practice involves more corporate reorganization and governance than litigation.  He has been listed at the top of his field by other leading legal publications and organizations, including Turnarounds & Workouts, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Chambers, and Euromoney Legal Media Group's "The Best of the Best."

Martin also teaches corporate reorganization at Harvard Law School, University of Michigan Law School, and University of Pennsylvania Law School.


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., Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., 2021), 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, 2020) 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.


Sandeep “Sandy” Qusba is the Head of the Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice at Simpson Thacher. His practice focuses primarily on restructurings, bankruptcies, acquisition of distressed companies and bank financings. He has represented private equity sponsors, special committees of boards and portfolio companies, agent banks, steering committees, and official and ad hoc committees, creditors in some of the largest Chapter 11 proceedings and out-of-court restructurings in recent years across a wide range of sectors, among them media, real estate, healthcare, energy, automotive, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Sandy was recently named an “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer” by Turnarounds & Workouts and has also been inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Sandy regularly speaks on topics related to the bankruptcy industry. Some of his past speaking engagements have included presentations at the PLI’s “Nuts and Bolts of Corporate Bankruptcy” program, South Asian Bar Association's Annual Conference, the American Bankruptcy Institute's Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference, a roundtable event hosted by the American College of Bankruptcy and New York University School of Law and the JPMorgan Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference. In addition, he has also been named by Chambers USA as one of the leading lawyers for restructuring/bankruptcy. Sandy received his B.A. from Tufts University in 1991 and his J.D., cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1994. He served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Stephen D. Gerling in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of New York.


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.