Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights
Friedman Kaplan’s bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice draws upon the insight and excellence of our attorneys to provide our clients with the creative and tenacious representation that has become the hallmark of the firm. We have substantial experience representing and advising corporations, investment funds, officers and directors, liquidators, and bankruptcy trusts and trustees in connection with the many complex issues associated with domestic and foreign insolvency proceedings. Because our firm is relatively free of the conflicts that encumber many large firms, we are able to advise parties on all sides of the bankruptcy table, including debtors, creditors, official and ad hoc committees, litigation trusts, and liquidating trustees.
Reflecting the work of the firm overall, Friedman Kaplan’s bankruptcy and creditors’ rights group excels in handling cutting-edge, high-stakes, and exceptionally complex matters. The firm has played an active role in several of the most significant bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings of the past several years, representing the litigation trustee for a preeminent newspaper and broadcast company which filed for bankruptcy after an $8 billion LBO, two major bondholders seeking payment on more than $1 billion in defaulted bonds from the government of Argentina, and a major supplier to the automotive industry in litigation against a group of investment banks and hedge funds that backed out of a $2.55 billion financing commitment, among others.
To ensure that clients benefit from the full range of Friedman Kaplan’s outstanding litigation, corporate, and transactional expertise, we augment our teams as needed with exceptional attorneys from multiple practice areas. In this way, Friedman Kaplan brings to bear in bankruptcy matters the same smart, aggressive, and agile approach that defines our entire practice.
Over the course of nearly a decade, we represented two hedge funds pursuing claims against the Republic of Argentina to recover on defaulted bonds. Our clients recently finalized a settlement with the Republic in which they recovered approximately $1.3 billion. The litigation involved novel issues of contract, creditor and judgment enforcement law, and their intersection with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
- We represented U.S. Bank National Association in its capacity as indenture trustee of certain notes issued by Windstream Services, LLC in connection with litigation concerning an alleged default under the indenture. We litigated the matter through trial, with the court ultimately ruling in favor of U.S. Bank on all points, and finding that Windstream had in fact breached the indenture.
- We are representing the Tribune Company Litigation Trust and indenture trustees for Tribune’s pre-LBO bondholders in prosecuting claims for intentional and constructive fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, and professional malpractice, among others, against Tribune's former shareholders and financial advisors arising out of Tribune’s 2007 leveraged buyout.
We represented Caesars Entertainment in defense of federal and chancery court lawsuits brought by various creditor groups alleging that certain transactions violated the terms of bond issuances and the Trust Indenture Act.
- We are representing Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB as successor indenture trustee for $250 million of unsecured notes of Nine West Holdings, Inc. in connection with Nine West’s bankruptcy and potential claims arising out of the company's 2014 leveraged buyout and asset sales. A three-week contested bankruptcy confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin in January 2019.
- We advised the Chapter 11 Plan Administrator of Cobalt International Energy, Inc. and its debtor affiliates in connection with his retention, the administration of the company’s liquidation, the settlement of class action securities litigation against the company, and claims against the company's insurers.
- We represented Sony Electronics Inc. in defense of $200 million in claims by the trustee of the Circuit City Liquidating Trust alleging preferential transfer, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other claims. This matter reached a favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
- We represented a litigation trust formed in the Marvel Entertainment Group bankruptcy to prosecute claims for breach of fiduciary duty against Marvel's former controlling shareholder and affiliated directors in Delaware federal court as well as a successful appeal to the Third Circuit.
- We represented Delphi Corporation in bankruptcy litigation against a group of investment banks and hedge funds alleging breach of a $2.55 billion equity financing commitment.
- We represented an investment fund against 48 subsidiaries of the bankrupt Mexican glass maker Vitro, S.A.B. de C.V. in a complex case involving refusal to honor guarantees on payment of bonds. Despite Vitro’s, and its subsidiaries’, attempt to circumvent their duties and argue that the U.S. courts should extend comity to the Mexican bankruptcy proceeding, the firm prevailed on summary judgment in New York state court, and won an affirmance on appeal. Ultimately, the client reached a favorable global settlement of its claims.