Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Massachusetts
THE FIRM The capabilities of this Boston institution are broad-reaching on both the domestic and the international scene. The team is able to advise on bankruptcy litigation, out-of-court settlements and Chapter 11 matters, and has a wealth of experience representing debtors, creditors and committees. As one of the premier insolvency practices in the state, clients seek Goodwin out for its combination of innovative legal advice and superlative client service.
Sources say: "They are a preeminent bankruptcy firm. They have the resources for large, sophisticated cases, but they can also handle the smaller matters. They just have outstanding bankruptcy people."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel Glosband is truly a leader in the restructuring space and he has plentiful experience in international insolvency work, having served as an adviser to the American Law Institute and the US State Department. This year he has notably served as counsel to the court-appointed receiver for a Madoff feeder fund. Peers and clients are quick to praise his talents, with one describing him as "a guru" and another as "my go-to guy for particularly thorny issues."
Michael Pappone is also highly regarded in the insolvency sphere, and is as comfortable working on a high-stakes corporate restructuring as he is with smaller clients. He has had a string of success representing clients in the retail industry, and has particular flair in matters relating to the technology sector. He has recently represented BRIKOR, BuyWithMe and Exit41.
THE FIRM This team is very well established in the state market and has a depth of resources to draw on nationwide. It handles the full range of business bankruptcy matters, and this is combined with a leading tax-exempt bond practice which gives them the edge in Chapter 9 work. The group is at home representing both creditors and debtors from a wide range of industries, including the healthcare and life sciences industries.
Sources say: "They are a terrific firm and a powerhouse in Boston and New York."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Star individual Richard Mikels is a revered practitioner with a name for debtor representation in complex restructurings. Clients speak at length about his calming presence during negotiations and his pragmatism, saying: "He has a unique ability to identify issues that should be negotiated as opposed to hard fought, and he always finds a good compromise. He has the respect of everybody that he deals with."
Daniel Bleck is best known for his work in the healthcare space and is an expert on cases involving continuing care retirement communities, although his practice is more broad in scope and covers the full range of bankruptcy and restructuring work. Clients praise him highly, remarking: "He has common sense, he looks for solutions and takes the time required to get a deep understanding of the transaction."
Paul Ricotta is described as being "very practical, and he knows when to hit hard and when to find a compromise." He brings an air of business-minded authority to his work for clients in the banking space by virtue of his experience as in-house counsel at M&T Bank. He has recently worked on a high-value workout in the gaming field, and is a celebrated litigator.
William Kannel is lauded as a masterful negotiator and concentrates his practice on nationwide Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcies. Clients say: "He is very good at bringing disparate parties together and reaching consensus."
Kevin Walsh has a broad insolvency practice, and this year he has represented the liquidating trustee in a high-value Chapter 11 case as well as various creditors' committees. Clients praise his practical business focus, saying: "He is not afraid of a fight, but he understands that the goal is to resolve money for the creditors and he is very capable in achieving that."
Up-and-comer Adrienne Walker is accomplished in Chapter 9 and 11 proceedings, and has experience in both bankruptcy litigation and out-of-court restructurings. She has handled healthcare bond bankruptcies throughout the USA.
THE FIRM This Boston institution retains its dominant position in the Massachusetts market and is highly regarded by both clients and competitors. The team predominantly undertakes debtor-side Chapter 11 work across a range of industries, including the telecom, construction and pharmaceutical sectors. The firm stands out as being a top-tier firm offering competitive rates and outstanding client service, with a well-developed geographical reach which extends beyond the confines of New England into the New York and Delaware markets.
Sources say: "Murphy & King has a large bankruptcy practice and has some of the best insolvency lawyers in the city."
KEY INDIVIDUALS An undisputed champion of the New England bankruptcy Bar, Harold Murphy is a widely recognized leader for midmarket debtor cases. Competitors are readily prepared to refer both debtor and creditor work to him, and they shower him in praise for his work: "He continues to be tremendous. He's really a king of this practice."
Charles Bennett is revered for his skills as both an adviser and a litigator. This year he has led a reorganization for a global health club client and has been a dominant figure on local filings.
Ethan Jeffery is a gifted attorney for both debtor and creditor representations in the bankruptcy and restructuring space. Recent work highlights include acting as lead counsel for a major telecoms provider and representing the lead creditor in a New Hampshire construction company case.
Andrew Lizotte is equally well regarded as an all-around insolvency practitioner who is very active on Chapter 11 work and out-of-court restructurings.
THE FIRM The Boston headquarters of this international firm continues to impress the market with its strong foothold on insolvency matters both at home and abroad. The firm's strength in private equity work permeates the bankruptcy practice, and the team is able to offer a truly comprehensive service package to investment funds and advisers on both the creditor and debtor side. The team is at the forefront of healthcare-related restructurings and insolvencies within the energy sector. The group maintains an impressive client base including Bain Capital as well as Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo.
Sources say: "Ropes is very much a top-tier New England firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Hoort is a commanding figure in the market and focuses his practice on bankruptcies in the healthcare industry. In the last year he has undertaken significant work concerning tax-exempt bond restructuring for Northern Berkshire Healthcare, and has handled a Chapter 11 proceeding in Delaware for Pyxis Capital.
Ross Martin provides robust insolvency advice to private equity sponsors and institutional investors. Notable work highlights of the last twelve months include the defense of a group of big-ticket higher education institutions in a claim for recovery of funds. He remains a key player in the ongoing Lehman Brothers creditor disputes.
Jim Wilton remains a popular choice with clients for bankruptcy and restructuring work. He has been involved in the Lehman Brothers creditor cases and has successfully negotiated a high-value out-of-court settlement on behalf of a prominent pharmaceutical client.
THE FIRM This team prides itself on its defense practice in bankruptcy litigation, and typically works for creditors and acquirers in insolvency proceedings. The group boasts depth in both the Boston and the New York office, and has the resources of a nationwide practice at its disposal. It recently represented Kodak in a Section 363 patent sale and represented the unsecured creditors' committee for Getty Petroleum.
Sources say: "They did an excellent job of representing the committee, protecting our rights while at the same time keeping a fractious bondholder group together. Their efforts enabled us to achieve a successful resolution to the negotiation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mitchel Appelbaum is respected for "his ability to point out real, as opposed to theoretical, business risks." With established expertise in Chapter 11 proceedings, he is valued counsel for debtors, creditors and bondholders groups.
With specialist knowledge of UCC matters and distressed finance transactions, John Sigel has a broad practice which reflects both financing and restructuring experience. This year he has assisted with the negotiation of high-value credit facilities for a diverse client base.
Dennis Jenkins has recent experience in the representation of unsecured creditors, and is widely praised by market commentators for his strength in "advising the steering committee of the group's broader position while still maintaining everyone's confidentiality."
THE FIRM This group maintains a strong presence in both Boston and New York, and is well versed in sophisticated restructuring issues. The team has developed a collective specialty in complex intercreditor agreements, and is known for its work in the energy sector. Clients include Beacon Power, ATP Oil & Gas and Pinnacle Airlines.
Sources say: "They're very strong advocates and litigators, and they will fight to the death for their clients. If it's going to be a big fight, they're the guys I want."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say of William Baldiga: "His legal brilliance, strategic thinking and communication skills are top-notch. He is inarguably excellent." His reputation as a bankruptcy litigator goes before him, and he has recently represented Beacon Power in its Chapter 11 proceedings.
THE FIRM This Boston-based firm fields an impressive bankruptcy team at both state and federal level. It is particularly distinguished in its representation of insurers during insolvency proceedings, but maintains a good balance of work for both creditors and debtors. The team recently served as bankruptcy counsel for Gordon Brothers in a New Jersey court action.
Sources say: "Outstanding bankruptcy people. They can provide one-stop shopping for whatever issues I have."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Gooding is an accomplished insolvency practitioner who is admired for his litigation skills. "He's a good adversary," sources say; "forceful but reasonable." He regularly represents Bank of America, and has undertaken significant recovery work for Hudson Advisors.
John Ventola acts as counsel for John Hancock and Bank of America. Clients value his collaborative approach, with one saying: "He takes the time to learn our business so that he can be a better lawyer for us, and he takes a keen interest in helping us develop our team through legal training."
THE FIRM This stalwart of the Boston legal scene has a solid reputation for real estate restructuring work, although market commentators are keen to emphasize that the practice is broader in scope. The team routinely handles midmarket creditors' committee work, as well as Chapter 11 proceedings and distressed M&A transactions. Clients include Rogge Global Partners, Audax and JPMorgan Chase.
Sources say: "They're great to work with. It's been a smooth and easy process dealing with them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Rosner is a real market leader and took a prominent role in representing Rogge Global in relation to the Lehman Brothers collapse. With experience in creditor, debtor and trustee work, he has this year represented Betsy Johnson as lead debtor-in-possession counsel throughout its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
James Wallack is an accomplished bankruptcy litigator whose clients put a premium on his extensive courtroom experience. He has recently been involved in the Pilgrim's Pride bankruptcy case, and has represented Audax in relation to the Madoff proceedings. Clients describe him as "a very direct and very businesslike lawyer."
Christine Lynch continues to cut an impressive figure in the bankruptcy market and is known for her prowess in creditors' rights matters. She remains lead counsel to the unsecured creditors' committee in the Elephant & Castle Chapter 11 proceedings.
Greg Kaden has been a key member of the team supporting Rogge Global Partners, Lehman Brothers and other high-profile clients. Commentators remark: "He is very responsive and a pleasure to work with."
THE FIRM This team has drawn on a traditional strength in bankruptcy litigation to carve out a niche in the representation of litigation trusts, and is accomplished in work involving troubled energy projects. This creditor-focused group prides itself on the well-established cross-border capabilities of its members, and has recently represented Bank of America in connection to a complex restructuring involving multiple jurisdictions for debtor-in-possession TBS International.
Sources say: "One of the finest players nationally for bankruptcy litigation work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Edwin Smith is a celebrated practitioner of the bankruptcy Bar and this year has been active in representing a prominent investment fund in its settlement of substantial avoidance claims. Market commentators have said: "If you have a banking problem it doesn't get better than him."
Sabin Willett has an established reputation as a bankruptcy litigator, and has recently represented Evergreen Solar in a Delaware Chapter 11 case. Clients remark on his "strong presence in the courtroom," and say "he is very knowledgeable and is able to negotiate very favorable resolutions."
THE FIRM This team has established a name for itself in debtor representation, but also undertakes significant creditors' committee and potential acquirers work. The practice is national in scope, and the team has strong capabilities in the bankruptcy hubs of New York and Delaware. The team continues to represent the unsecured creditors' committee in the Quincy Medical Center Chapter 11 case.
Sources say: "They have great geographical coverage. They are very competent attorneys and very responsive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Moore is a masterful and much-admired attorney in the bankruptcy space. Impressed observers comment: "When he's on the other side from you, you know you're going to have your hands full!" He continues to represent CrossHarbor Capital in connection with a Chapter 7 filing.
Jeffrey Sternklar is renowned for committee work. He continues to serve as counsel to the unsecured creditors' committee in the Quincy Medical Center case, and successfully negotiated a substantial recovery for the unsecured creditors. "He represents his clients' interests in an intelligent way and is forceful when necessary. He always moves toward a consensual resolution."
THE FIRM This respected team is very active regionally, and covers a broad range of insolvency and restructuring matters for both creditors and debtors. The group has experience of cross-border work, and is able to capitalize on the strength of its European office to provide a comprehensive and far-reaching service to non-US clients.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Schwartz is a talented bankruptcy litigator who is much admired by both peers and clients for his courtroom prowess. He is well versed in guiding international clients through the complexities of US securities law.
Kenneth Leonetti is regarded as a strong player in the bankruptcy space, with particular reference made to his experience in Chapter 11 work.
THE FIRM Midmarket companies facing financial distress form the key client base for the Boston branch of this firm, which uses its expertise in asset disposition and in-house counseling to great effect. The team maintains a strong hold over local filings as well as an impressive caseload for international borrowers. This year the group has successfully represented Silver Sun Partners as trial counsel in a contested confirmation hearing, as well as handling the more general aspects of the Chapter 11 proceedings.
KEY INDIVIDUALS National practice group leader John Monaghan remains a leading figure of the state and federal bankruptcy Bar. His practice has a strong international dimension, particularly in the maritime and hospitality industries. He has recently secured a substantial victory for client Haymarket Capital in relation to its loans to Planet Fitness.
THE FIRM This local firm has an established expertise in bankruptcy work and can harness the strength of its New York office to provide comprehensive coverage in the key insolvency markets. The team is known for its strength in committee representation and is well versed in bankruptcy litigation.
Sources say: "My experience with the firm has been very positive - they are superb counsel in the bankruptcy area."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner and group head Bruce Smith is a multitalented attorney with extensive experience of corporate insolvency and bankruptcy litigation.
THE FIRM This team is highly regarded in the Massachusetts market for its work in creditor representation in the context of both litigation and out-of-court settlements. The group also has a specialty in restructuring aircraft financing transactions and represents several airlines in Chapter 11 proceedings.
Sources say: "They are a very engaging group of people. All my experiences with them have been positive and I always received very prompt advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the practice group Patrick Dinardo is praised by clients for his effective communication skills and his practical approach. "He really understands the client's objectives," says one interviewee. "He tailors his representation accordingly and he is very realistic about what is achievable." Notable work this year includes his representation of Staples in matters stemming from the Kodak bankruptcy.
Of the same firm, Michael Goldberg has a broad base of experience in insolvency-related matters. He has carved out a niche in real estate financing transactions and restructurings.
John Morrier of Casner & Edwards, LLP is a go-to attorney for both creditors and debtors in the market, who have commented on his ability to translate the law into business strategy: "He was invaluable in helping our CFO to keep things moving day to day. He was very collaborative."
Christopher Panos of Craig and Macauley PC commands the highest degree of respect from market commentators. One peer remarks: "He is very well rounded, and has a personality that clients really appreciate."
The highly lauded Charles Glerum of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP has long been a clear favorite for creditor-side representation. He has recently represented clients including NewStar Financial in a wide variety of bankruptcy matters. "He keeps his head screwed on tight, is good at getting parties who aren't in a negotiating mood to negotiate, and is able to move the process forward," says one interviewee. "We left every meeting having accomplished something."
Sole practitioner Janet Bostwick is held in high esteem by her peers in the Massachusetts market. She is accomplished in all areas of insolvency work and her practice focuses on assisting financially distressed companies.
Charles Dale of K&L Gates is a lawyer of choice when it comes to insolvency work and his practice covers the full range of bankruptcy and restructuring work. He is described as being "very smart, very personable and very practical."
Daniel Cohn of Murtha Cullina LLP is a revered debtor-side attorney, although his practice is broader in scope and encompasses the full range of insolvency work. Recent highlights include a substantial recovery for Harvard University when a biotech company it had sponsored made a Chapter 7 filing.
Richard Levine of Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC remains one of the foremost authorities of the state bankruptcy Bar and has been a guiding influence in the development of bankruptcy administration nationwide.
Mark Berman of Nixon Peabody LLP is a highly experienced bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer, who this year has represented a large number of high-profile clients in connection with the Lehman Brothers Chapter 11 cases.
Gayle Ehrlich of Pierce Atwood LLP has a masterful command of insolvency work within the telecoms sector, and in this capacity has represented clients including American Tower and a prominent European bank. "She gives tactical advice, and is assertive and decisive in her negotiating style. That's what we need to represent our interest."