International Insolvency

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International Insolvency

Published September 2019

Author

Richard Mason

Firm: McGuireWoods
Country: USA - Illinois

Practice Area: Insolvency

  • 77 W Wacker Dr #4100
    Chicago
    60601

McGuireWoods is a full-service firm providing legal and public affairs solutions to corporate, individual and nonprofit clients worldwide for more than 200 years collectively. Our commitment to excellence in everything we do gives our clients a competitive edge in everything they do.

Our law firm, over its 185-year history, has earned the loyalty of our many longstanding clients with deep understanding of their businesses, and broad skills in corporate transactions, high-stakes disputes, and complex regulatory and compliance matters. Our wholly owned affiliate, McGuireWoods Consulting, now in its 21st year, provides a unique – and uniquely potent – combination of state and federal government relations prowess, buttressed by world-class infrastructure, economic development, and advocacy expertise.

Working together from 26 offices in the US, Europe and Asia, McGuireWoods and McGuireWoods Consulting share a dedication to diverse perspectives, impeccable service, and innovative delivery of practical, business-minded solutions.

It all adds up to excellence . . . for our clients.

Restructuring and Insolvency

McGuireWoods’ Restructuring and Insolvency Department stands ready to assist clients with any and all insolvency situations. Our national team includes lawyers with transactional and litigation strength. We represent debtors and debtors in possession, secured creditors and unsecured creditors' committees, agents, bank groups, senior and mezzanine lenders, trustees and receivers in all types of debt restructuring, litigation and bankruptcy reorganisation proceedings, including out-of-court workouts.

Our lawyers handle large regional, national and international matters, and our practice crosses industries, including energy, retail, transportation, real estate, manufacturing and telecommunications. The firm’s clients include manufacturers, trade creditors, and financial institutions such as banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, bondholder committees and asset-based lenders.

We bring hands-on skill to each engagement. Team members include business bankruptcy specialists certified by the American Board of Certification; members of the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy; and members of regional and national industry organisations such as the American Bankruptcy Institute, International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, and Turnaround Management Association. In addition, many team members began their legal careers as judicial clerks for federal bankruptcy judges.

Because of our experience, geographic reach and size, the team represents parties in restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings anywhere in the United States. Our collaborative approach means we achieve prompt results, knowing that a speedy resolution reduces costs, improves efficiency and preserves value for clients. McGuireWoods lawyers have tried cases and successfully argued appeals on a myriad of bankruptcy issues involving bankruptcy sales, termination of pension plans, modification of retiree benefits, bankruptcy class action certifications and numerous other complex matters.

Representative Matters Include:

·         Representation of Xybernaut Corporation as Chapter 11 debtor.

·         Representation of Weirton Steel Corporation as Chapter 11 debtor.

·         Representation of Virginia Carolina Peanut Farmers Cooperative Association as Chapter 11 debtor.

·         US bank as administrative and collateral agent in the restructuring of $225 million of loans to a publicly held hospitality company.

·         Representation of US Airways Group, Inc. as Chapter 11 debtor.

·         Representation of media group in the wind-down of its operations following the sale of the majority of its assets to various purchasers. Relationship began as emergency response to a court order freezing company assets and continued as general assistance including negotiations with trade vendors, landlords, and subtenants.

·         Representation of lender in Chapter 11 of operator of 600-room hotel, successfully opposing cramdown and obtaining relief from stay. Represented lender in subsequent bankruptcy of land lessor to prior debtor, again obtaining relief from stay. In addition, representation of a trustee in bankruptcy of Midwestern publicly held limited partnerships with hotels undergoing Chapter 11 reorganisation.

·         Represented one of Chicago's largest banks in a lawsuit brought by a commercial borrower alleging the bank caused more than $30 million in damages and the downfall of its company when the bank improperly declared an event of default under the loan documents, failed to approve an infusion of capital through mezzanine financing, tortiously interfered with prospective business relationships and wrongfully dishonoured checks. After granting the bank summary judgement regarding breach of approximately $6 million in loans, the court entered judgement in favour of the bank on the borrower’s remaining claims after a bench trial that extended over the course of a year.

·         Representation of Pittsburgh Hockey Associates d/b/a Pittsburgh Penguins as Chapter 11 debtor.

·         Representation of both debtors and landlords in lease assumptions and rejections in chapter 11 cases, including representation of an institutional landlord of approximately 30 properties in foreclose on a Southwestern retailer restructuring debt under chapter 11.

·         Representation of real estate company that invests in, develops, acquires, and manages multifamily residential properties as defendant in fradulent transfer action brought by a trustee of American Housing Foundation. We successfully negotiated a fair settlement and avoided trial.

·         Representation of Fortune 100 financial services company as the primary secured lender in the bankruptcy cases of two real estate holding companies of a group of companies that the bank had been litigating against in state and federal court in Virginia. Obtained the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee in 2013, and are working with him to liquidate the real estate to satisfy the bank’s claim.

·         Representation of an insolvent Icelandic bank in relation to potential claims against another major international bank arising from various outstanding foreign exchange positions at the time of the insolvency of the Icelandic bank in 2008. Complex legal and factual accountancy points arose as to the proper calculation of amounts due in relation to the underlying derivatives. The opponent denied that any sums were due to our client above those it had already paid but, following a number of hard-fought negotiations, agreed to a confidential settlement agreement pursuant to which it would be required to make a further payment of €19 million.

·         Representation of a state finance authority in a matter involving a lender’s attempt to release a borrower and its related corporate entity, which had filed for bankruptcy, from a guarantee for a loan in which the authority had participated. This matter, which concerned the relative rights and powers between a lender and its participant, was settled favourably and our client received over 97% of the repurchase calculation.

Richard Mason

Richard represents significant business interests in transactions and litigation, with a strong concentration in the areas of business insolvency and debtor-creditor relations. He has extensive experience representing a range of clients in business matters throughout the United States and overseas.

Richard is an adjunct professor at Chicago Kent College of Law, where he has taught Bankruptcy Law each year since 1983. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America, Illinois Superlawyers and Leading Lawyers Network and currently serves as co-chair of the Insolvency Section of the International Bar Association and chair of the Education Committee of the American College of Bankruptcy. He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programmes sponsored by organisations such as the American Bar Association, International Bar Association, American Bankruptcy Institute, Commercial Law League of America, Practicing Law Institute, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, and state and local bar associations.

Richard has been admitted to and appeared in various federal courts in 20 states.

Experience

·         Representation of foreign entity purchasing businesses from restructuring debtor.

·         Representation of foreign insolvency representative in US ancillary proceeding.

·         Representation of a state agency sued by a bankrupt estate for breach of contract and defamation.

·         Representation of the principal commodity trading partner of Chapter 11 debtor with several billion dollars in debts.

·         Representation of trustee in bankruptcy in multi-billion dollar Chapter 7 case.

·         Representation of a national chain of medical clinics facing regulatory matters.

·         Representation of directors in disputes concerning corporate governance.

·         Representation of an unsecured creditor’s committee of airline reorganising in Chapter 11.

·         Representation of an unsecured creditor’s committee of printing equipment producer in Chapter 11.

·         Representation of a principal partner of a Midwestern real estate venture restructuring debts exceeding $3 billion.

·         Representation of various banks and insurance companies with financially troubled borrowers.

·         Representation of a company in a Midwestern telecommunications business suing to invalidate a $50 million leveraged buy-out.

·         Representation of a leveraged lessor of approximately $100 million in hotels to a national hotel chain reorganising under Chapter 11.

·         Representation of an unsecured creditors committee of Midwestern metal stamping manufacturer restructuring under Chapter 11.

·         Representation of an institutional landlord of approximately 30 properties to a Southwestern retailer restructuring debt under Chapter 11.

·         Representation of a trustee in bankruptcy of Midwestern publicly held limited partnerships with hotels undergoing Chapter 11 reorganisation.

·         Representation of a purchaser of all operating assets of a Midwestern manufacturer of automotive parts undergoing Chapter 11 reorganisation.

·         Representation of a group of creditors with multimillion-dollar claims against the bankruptcy estate of one of the country's largest “Ponzi schemes".

·         Representation of a producer of the operations of a leather belt manufacturer reorganising under Chapter 11.

·         Representation of a defendant in asbestos-related litigation relating to a bankruptcy case.

·         Representation of a foreign bank seizing the bankruptcy estate of a locomotive manufacturer for improper liquidation of its collateral.


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