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Bankruptcy & Reorganizations 2018: Current Developments

Speaker(s): Ana M. Alfonso, Benjamin Rosenblum, Hon. Allan L. Gropper, Hon. Robert D. Drain, Joseph Samet (Ret.), Kathryn A. Coleman, Kyle J. Kimpler, Lewis Kruger, Lisa M. Schweitzer, Martin J. Bienenstock, Michael L. Cook, Michael P. Richman, My Chi To, Peter L. Borowitz , Richard M. Seltzer
Recorded on: Apr. 25, 2018
PLI Program #: 218944

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 Corp,, 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.

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 recent public engagements have included serving as counsel to administrative agents and lenders in the chapter 11 cases of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Fieldwood Energy, Energy XXI, Samson Resources and Goodrich Petroleum. 

Ana is a frequent lecturer on insolvency law issues.  Most recently she participated in “Bankruptcy & Reorganizations 2019: Current Developments,” PLI Program and Webcast (May 3, 2018); “Leveraged Financing 2018,” PLI Program and Webcast (May 9, 2019); “Restructuring and Intercreditor Issues in E&C and E&P Workouts,” American College of Investment Counsel Spring Investment Forum (April 20, 2019); “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 (October 2016); and “Current Issues in the Energy Sector,” American Bankruptcy Institute, 18th Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference (May 2016).

Ana’s published work includes “Tackling Distress in the US Healthcare Sector,” Financier Worldwide Magazine (October 2017); and “E&P Financing: RBLs Trend Toward a New Normal,” Journal of Corporate Renewal, Turnaround Management Association (September 2017).  She served on the Editorial Advisory Board for Law360 (Bankruptcy) in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Ana has also 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.

Ben Rosenblum is a partner in the New York office of Jones Day specializing in business restructuring and reorganization. He focuses his practice on representing debtors, creditors, and other parties in interest in out-of-court restructurings and court supervised proceedings, including chapter 11 cases, municipal bankruptcy proceedings, international insolvency cases, and stockbroker liquidations. He also has extensive experience representing major financial institutions with respect to the application of bankruptcy law to derivatives.

In years past he has taught as an adjunct professor at the Rutgers Business School.

Ben graduated from Cornell University in 2005. Prior to joining Jones Day, he served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Peter J. Walsh in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. 

Ben was named as one of New York Metro Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in 2015. He maintains an active pro bono practice and has sat as a Steering Committee member for the New York City Bankruptcy Assistance Project.

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), equityholders, 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 ofAllen 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 M. Schweitzer’s practice focuses on financial restructuring, bankruptcy, insolvency and commercial litigation. 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 various bankruptcy cases including as counsel to Nortel Networks Inc. and affiliates in their U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings, and represented Nortel in asset sales raising over $7 billion dollars in sale proceeds, as well as a 21 day cross-border trial involving disputes with their affiliates. Lisa’s additional representations include BlueMountain Capital, LLC, a significant equity holder in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of PG&E Corporation, the largest utility in the United States and a case involving over $50 billion of liabilities; 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; and a consortium of Singapore banks as major secured and unsecured creditors of Ezra Holdings Limited and its affiliates, a provider of integrated offshore solutions for the oil and gas industry, in the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Lisa has also advised various financial institutions on the bankruptcy-related aspects of resolution and matters related to the preparation and implementation of 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 a “Dealmaker of the Year” and as a “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.

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. Martin also leads the Firm’s representations of the Westinghouse creditors’ committee and the Caesars Entertainment creditors’ committee for unsecured claimholders. In the Caesars cases, the creditors Martin represents were offered four cents at the outset and are settling for approximately 65 cents. General Motors retained him to formulate the section 363 strategy that he presented to the U.S. Auto Task Force, which deployed it to save General Motors and Chrysler. He represented Enron in its chapter 11 case that has now paid multiple creditors in full. Recently, Martin developed the Colombian-U.S.-Canadian reorganization plan for Pacific Exploration, supported by its bank creditors and bond creditors. Martin routinely provides legal and strategic advice to directors, businesses, investors and creditors, advising on complex restructurings, acquisitions, trials and appeals. He handled the Owens Corning appeal, reversing substantive consolidation to increase the value of his bank clients' claims against Owens Corning from $600 million to more than $2.2 billion. He charted the takeover of troubled Finova for a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corp., and achieved the successful reorganizations of companies such as Enron and Republic Engineered Products over multiple objections. Martin developed successful reorganizations for Capmark and AMBAC. He also prepared the initial draft of what became Ireland’s reorganization statute. 

For the last 10 years, the National Law Journal listed Martin as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America." He has been listed at the top of his field by other leading legal publications and organizations, including Turnarounds & WorkoutsThe International Who's Who of Business LawyersChambers, and Euromoney Legal Media Group's "The Best of the Best."

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

Michael P. Richman is a partner with the firm of Steinhilber Swanson LLP in Madison, Wisconsin. He also teaches bankruptcy law as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.  With more than 39 years of legal experience, he is skilled in all aspects of chapter 11 bankruptcy, mediation, and litigation. Michael focuses on representing Chapter 11 debtors and creditors’ committees, secured and unsecured creditors, equity holders, purchasers, and other parties in interest on virtually every aspect of financial distress and bankruptcy. Among his recent engagements he represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of O.W. Bunker and the Government of Puerto Rico’s Department of Treasury, as well as the Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors of Simplexity and Prince Sports. He also played a central role in the litigation over the Government-engineered fast-track sale of General Motors representing the lead group of bondholders who opposed the sale.

Throughout his extensive career, Michael has earned a reputation as an outstanding courtroom advocate. He is a member of the bars of New York, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, and has appeared as counsel in state, federal and bankruptcy courts in more than 20 states and territories. Michael is also an active member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, having served as an ABI director (1996-2008), chairman of the board (2006-07) and president (2004-05), while also serving as a member of ABI’s management and executive committees. Michael also recently served as Co-Chair of the Section 363 subcommittee of the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 and Co-Vice Chair of the ABI’s National Ethics Task Force. He is currently an advisory board member of the ABI’s VALCON annual conference program.

A frequent speaker and lecturer on bankruptcy law and related topics, Michael was for many years a contributing editor to the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal and, while in law school, served as the managing editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School, attended the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received his undergraduate degree from Vassar College. Last, but not least, Michael is the founder and a proud performing member as keyboardist for ABI’s house band, the Indubitable Equivalents, which performs at bankruptcy events around the country.

My Chi To is a corporate partner and a member of Debevoise & Plimpton’s Business Restructuring & Workouts Group. She has experience representing corporations, creditors and investors in complex restructurings and bankruptcies in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. Ms. To also regularly advises clients in connection with distressed acquisitions in and out of court, including cross-border transactions, intercreditor disputes and insurance insolvency matters.

Ranked as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US, clients describe Ms. To as a “solution-oriented” lawyer with “excellent judgment,” who “thinks through all the permutations and is great at tackling complex situations” and has the “ability to straddle that line between legal advice and practical judgment.”

Ms. To is the recipient of the Kathryn R. Heidt Memorial Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association. She is a frequent speaker and author on bankruptcy and restructuring topics.

Ms. To is an editor-in-chief of the Debevoise Women’s Review and a member of the Steering Committee of the US 30% Club, a business leadership group focused on achieving 30% women on S&P 100 boards by 2020. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine. Ms. To received the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s “Best Lawyers Under 40” award.

Ms. To received an LL.L. and LL.B. in civil law and common law from the University of Ottawa and was a law clerk to the Hon. Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Supreme Court of Canada. She received an M.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. During her tenure at Debevoise, Ms. To was seconded to Nishimura & Asahi in Tokyo, focusing on distressed cross-border acquisitions and restructurings. Ms. To is fluent in French.

RICHARD M. SELTZER became a partner with Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP in 1987. He represents labor unions in bankruptcy proceedings, and has litigated: (a) the leading case establishing the right to arbitrate labor contract grievances, In re Ionosphere Clubs, Inc., 922 F. 2d 984 (2d Cir. 1990), (b) the leading case establishing the right of unions to serve on creditors’ committees, In re Altair Airlines, Inc., 727 F. 2d 88 (3d Cir. 1984), (c) a leading case on PBGC claims, In re CF&I Fabricators of Utah, Inc. et al.,150 F. 3d 1293 (10th Cir.1998), (d) cases involving termination of DB plans, Jones & Laughlin Hourly Pension Plan, 824 F.2d 197 (2d Cir. 1987), In re US Airways, Inc., 296 B.R.734 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2003), (e) cases under Section 1113, In re Hostess Brands, Inc., Case No. 12-22052 (S.D.N.Y.) (May 14, 2012); In re Wright Air Lines, Inc., 44 B.R. 744 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 1984), In re Ionosphere Clubs, Inc., 139 B.R. 772, 780 (S.D.N.Y. 1992), (f) cases involving 1113 and asset sales, In re Journal Register Company 488 B.R. 835, 840 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2013), and (g) cases on executive compensation. In re US Airways, Inc., 329 B.R. 793 (Bankr. E.D.Va. 2005); In re Geneva Steel Co., 236 B.R. 770 (Bankr. D. Utah 1999).

Mr. Seltzer has represented major international unions in such cases as A&P I, II, Hostess, AMR, US Airways I, II, Northwest Airlines, Eastern Airlines, Pan American, National Steel, LTV I, II, Wheeling-Pittsburgh II, WCI, Kaiser Aluminum, M&G, Appvion, Cenvo, Pillowtex, Asarco, Tops and Bidermann.

Mr. Seltzer has spoken at numerous programs sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute, ABA, PLI, AFL-CIO Lawyers Conferences, UFCW Lawyers Conference, Cleveland Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association, Boston Bar Association Labor Law Institute, Labor and Employment Relations Association, New York State Bar Association, Cornell Law School, and the National Employment Lawyers Association/NewYork. He is the author of “The Changed Role of Unions in Chapter 11 Bankruptcies,” 18 The Air and Space Lawyer 8 (Fall 2003, Volume 2), and the co-author of “The Return of Government by Injunction in Airline Bankruptcies,” 15 American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review (Winter 2007, Volume 2).

Mr. Seltzer also represents unions in ERISA, labor, and health law matters. In recent years he has been litigated cases involving such varied issues as a target benefit plan negotiated during the Northwest Airlines bankruptcy, Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. Phillips, 675 F.3d 1126 (8th Cir. 2012), and the future of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. New York State Nurses Ass'n v. State University of New York, 39 Misc.3d 588, 960 N.Y.S.2d 631 (N.Y.Sup. 2013).

Mr. Seltzer received a B.A. magna cum laude and a M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972, and a J.D. in 1975 from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He served as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1975-1981. He has served as a member of the Bankruptcy Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. A union-side labor lawyer, he was elected by the Board of Regents of the American College of Bankruptcy as a Fellow in the College.

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.  He 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 board member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and a founding member of the Judicial Insolvency Network.  He also is the current chair of the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Group established through the Administrative Office of the Courts.  He was an adjunct professor for several 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 and Sears.  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.                     

After three decades at Debevoise & Plimpton, Peter Borowitz retired from the partnership in 2007, so that he could focus exclusively on acting as mediator in all types of commercial disputes, with particular emphasis on disputes arising in domestic and cross-border bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings.  In recent years Mr. Borowitz has served as mediator in connection with a number of major Chapter 11 cases, including mediation of Chapter 11 plan issues in the Energy Future Holdings, Tousa and US Capital cases and mediation of adversary proceedings in connection with the Madoff, Lehman, Adelphia, BearingPoint, Polaroid, Refco,  Rhodes Companies, SemCrude and 360networks cases.  (Mr. Borowitz’s mediation cv can be accessed at

Mr. Borowitz received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1974 and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1978, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review and a recipient of the Sears Prize.  Mr. Borowitz joined Debevoise & Plimpton in 1978 and became a partner in 1986.  While his career initially focused on the representation of debtors in bankruptcies and workouts (such as Chrysler, Western Union and Baldwin United), in later years he primarily represented creditors in restructurings in and out of court (including such domestic cases as Orion Pictures, TWA, Enron, USGen, Calpine, Kmart, Oregon Arena, and Dulles Greenway, and such cross-border cases as Sea Containers, Parmalat Canada, LJ Hooker, AeroMexico, Mexicana, Kvaerner, and  Burmeister and Wain). 

Michael L. Cook served as a partner in Schulte Roth & Zabel's New York office for 16 years, devoting his practice to business reorganization and creditors’ rights litigation, including mediation and arbitration. His clients include lenders, acquirers, trustees, creditors’ committees, troubled companies, professional firms and other parties.

Chambers USA listed Michael as a “leading individual” in bankruptcy/restructuring and interviewees praise him for his “tremendous experience and vision in bankruptcy matters.” He has also been recognized by Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and AttorneysThe Best Lawyers in AmericaExpert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Law LawyersThe K&A Restructuring RegisterThe Legal 500 USNew York Super LawyersPLC Cross-border Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook and Who’s Who in American Law. 

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 a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation, a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Creditors’ Rights Litigation Committee, and a former chair of the Bankruptcy Litigation Institute. 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.

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.