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Litigation Funding in Bankruptcy

Speaker(s): Amy T. Geise, Cathy Reece, Hon. Allan L. Gropper, Ken Epstein
Recorded on: Sep. 24, 2020
PLI Program #: 311673

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)

Amy Geise is an Associate Investment Manager and Legal Counsel for Omni Bridgeway.

Amy helps steer Omni Bridgeway’s bankruptcy and insolvency initiative from the company’s Houston office, where she frequently works with debtors, creditors, and other stakeholders to optimize the value of their claims. Amy is also experienced in helping commercial litigants outside of the bankruptcy context to obtain non-recourse funding for their disputes.     

Prior to joining the Omni Bridgeway team, Amy was a bankruptcy attorney and a litigator at Porter Hedges LLP, consistently recognized among the leading law firms based in Texas. Amy's practice focused on creditors' rights, trustee representation, and corporate reorganizations. Amy also has substantial experience as a general commercial litigator, including complex business litigation and representation of individuals before the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Amy received her J.D. and her B.A. from The University of Texas School of Law. She currently serves on the board of the Houston Chapter of the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation and of the Houston Urban Debate League. She is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and is recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Third Party Funding 2020 Guide.

Cathy Reece is a director in the Financial Restructuring Group at Fennemore Craig, P.C. in Phoenix, Arizona   She has extensive experience in commercial finance and real estate workouts and bankruptcies.  She represented the committee and plan proponent and now represents the  real estate liquidating entities of Mortgages Ltd., a hard money lender with a $900 million loan portfolio secured by real estate with thousands of investors. She represented (a) the committee and joint plan proponent in the Baptist Foundation of Arizona cases with over 13,000 creditors and $650 million of liabilities, (b) a municipality, which is the owner and landlord of the arena, in the Coyotes Hockey bankruptcies, (c)  the post-petition lender and ultimate buyer of the Nevada gold mines in the chapter 15 cross border Veris Gold USA cases, and (d) the indenture trustee of the bond financings in America West  and the Sun Valley Parkway cases.  She has represented secured lenders and unsecured creditors in large chapter 11 cases such as MicroAge, Einstein Bagel, Boston Chicken, Foster Grant, UDC Homes and in numerous real estate cases involving shopping centers, apartments, office buildings, golf courses, mines and health care facilities. Ms. Reece is a Member of The American Law Institute. Ms. Reece served in several international officer positions with  TMA Global, is the Treasurer  of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers and was chair of the ABA’s Loan Workout Subcommittee. She is listed in Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Benchmark’s Top 250 Women in Litigation.   

Ken Epstein is an investment manager and legal counsel at Omni Bridgeway, responsible for leading the company’s investments in bankruptcy and insolvency-related matters.

He serves as a resource for debtors, creditors (including hedge funds, private equity funds and alternative asset managers), bankruptcy estate representatives and other stakeholders seeking to maximize the value of litigation claims.

Ken has extensive experience advising and managing debtors-in-possession, individual creditors and creditor groups (ad hoc and official committees) and financial institutions in insolvency and bankruptcy-related litigation matters nationally and internationally. He began his career as a lawyer in the financial restructuring group of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Prior to joining Omni Bridgeway, he was managing director in the restructuring and remediation group at MBIA, a publicly listed financial institution.

Ken has taught bankruptcy law as an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School and has served as a panelist and author on bankruptcy-related topics. He earned his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2000, where he graduated cum laude after serving on the Journal of Law and Public Policy. Ken is recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Third Party Funding 2020 Guide and LawDragon Global Restructuring Advisors & Consultants Guide (2020).