Our bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers advise stakeholders in all aspects of financially troubled situations, including bankruptcy and workouts in the United States, the UK, and elsewhere. Our goal is to assist clients in realizing maximum returns, and our experience includes representations of debtors, creditors’ committees, acquirers, boards of directors, shareholders, senior and junior debt holders, and hedge funds. We are one of the leading legal advisers in sovereign debt matters. We also advise creditors of companies in the wake of nationalizations.
Our work includes:
Through our work for important creditors, investors, and trustees, our team has played a central role in the resolution of each recent financial crisis. Our partners restructured US credits in the wake of the savings and loan (S&L) crisis of the late 1990s, Latin American credits in the 1990s and early 2000s, East Asian credits in the wake of currency crises in the early 2000s, and numerous secured and unsecured credits following the worldwide recession of 2007–2008. We also helped clients gain the opportunities that ensued, most recently helping clients realize substantial equity returns in debt-for-equity reorganizations that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Our partners have represented client groups such as EFH, LightSquared, ATP, MPM Silicones, Visteon, ResCap, Delphi, Lyondell, and Lehman in recent major cases.
Our partners are lead lawyers for the executive defense groups in Tribune and Lyondell, led the successful damage-mitigation phase of the Tronox litigation, and are active in recent sovereign debt litigation involving Argentina and Grenada.
Our clients are financial institutions and other debt and equity holders in all aspects of financially distressed situations, and we are recognized as a leading firm in the area of DIP and exit lending. The firm is active in the distressed debt-trading arena on behalf of investment banks and funds, and represents parties in a variety of turnaround situations.
We assist public companies in the liquidation of their finance company subsidiaries and the workout of distressed investments, and we advise foreign participants in cross-border transactions. We also advise venture capital investors and bridge lenders, as well as vendors, in connection with transactional and bankruptcy issues.
Our working relationships include leading legal and financial advisers globally, related trade associations like Chambers and INSOL International, and key bar associations. We are also know well senior and workout officers at leading banks, financial institutions, and hedge funds, as well as key officials in organizations including the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US Treasury, and the European Commission, and officials at the national level in many countries.
Our extensive background in complex reorganizations and our reputation with financial institutions have enhanced our ability to work effectively with distressed companies in both workout and bankruptcy contexts. Supported by the breadth of the firm’s practice and intimate involvement in a wide array of industries, we have represented debtors as diverse as retailers, telecommunications providers, technology and biotech companies, venture capitalists, ocean carriers, and mortgage trusts.
Morgan Lewis frequently represents purchasers of assets in bankruptcy sales, foreclosure sales, and assignments for the benefit of creditors, and we have handled all aspects of due diligence, contract negotiations, stalking horse procedures, auctions, and closings related to the purchase of assets from a bankruptcy estate or other distressed transactions, as well as litigation relating to such transactions. We have experience in leading distressed acquisitions in many industries, including oil and gas, power, securitization trusts, media, retail, and maritime.
At Morgan Lewis, we have dedicated trial and appellate lawyers whose focus is on handling disputes in bankruptcy and receivership actions, from the small adversary proceeding to the plan valuation contest. We also represent stakeholders in federal and state court litigation involving stressed and distressed situations. Where skill in expert cross-examination is needed, we excel. Where deep experience navigating sensitive situations is needed, clients look to us, as did a major bank when it faced the threat of sanctions in the Southern District of New York. Our lawyers won significant victories in the Second Circuit in Enron and Quebecor, mitigated the damage claim in the epic Tronox fraudulent transfer litigation, and have handled major litigation disputes in Tribune, ATP, Bennu, and Sea Containers. We’ve made law in the realm of creditor-led derivative actions in the Delaware Chancery Court, and are members of the executive groups leading the defense in Lyondell.
World leaders in the energy industry, Morgan Lewis partners have guided clients through every up cycle and every down cycle. Working closely with our global energy team that handles the acquisition, divestiture, structuring, development, and financing of upstream, midstream, and downstream energy assets, our restructuring team has energy industry experience—particularly in oil and gas restructurings.
Our restructuring clients include lenders and creditors at every level of the capital structure as well as debtor representations.
We have represented creditors in many of the largest and most complex energy bankruptcy cases filed in the United States, including representation of the DIP lenders and ultimately the successful 363 bidder in the ATP Oil and Gas bankruptcy, representation of the largest DIP lender in the Energy Futures Holdings bankruptcy, counsel to $1.5 billion leveraged lease bondholders in the Chapter 11 restructuring of Mirant Corporation, and significant creditor representations in the SemGroup, NEGT, and NRG bankruptcies.
We also have experience in international restructurings, both in and out of court, including as counsel to bondholders and senior lenders in Epic Energy and Griffin Coal (Australia), Grupo Mexico, Norse Energy Group (Brazil), and Suntech (multinational). Our debtor representations include as counsel to Evergreen Solar.
Representative engagements include the following:
Morgan Lewis represents receivers, policyholders, creditors, and investors in insurance receivership proceedings and restructurings. We have been involved in representing companies across the entire industry, including property casualty companies, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, life insurers, financial guarantors, and mortgage insurers. Our experience includes both in- and out-of-court restructurings, and litigation of contested receivership matters.
We also have experience with insurance products in insolvency proceedings. We have appeared in mass tort bankruptcies, including the first prepackaged mass tort bankruptcy, and represent clients in major disputes over surety bonds and related indemnity obligations in Chapter 11 cases. We have unparalleled depth in loss-sensitive insurance programs utilized by most major insureds.
We have experience in municipal finance and restructuring. We have represented secured creditors and financial guarantors, including municipalities, hospitals, Native American–sponsored casinos, and special-purpose entities, in a wide array of proceedings. We regularly publish and lecture on public finance insolvency. We have represented major positions in Chapter 9 and Chapter 11 cases, as well as out-of-court restructurings, foreclosures, and receiverships.
Morgan Lewis is a leading adviser on sovereign debt transactions, and we frequently work on some of the most cutting-edge topics in this area. Our work includes counseling governments, creditors, and investment banks on a wide range of sovereign bond transactions and sovereign debt restructurings.
Our team’s extensive experience in sovereign debt transactions dates back to the 1980s, when we worked on the sovereign debt restructurings of Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. Morgan Lewis lawyers also advised Indonesia and Korea in connection with their programs in 1999–2000. Since then, members of our team have advised governments, creditors, or investment banks on sovereign debt transactions by Albania, Argentina, Belarus, Belize, Bermuda, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Grenada, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Suriname, Ukraine, and Venezuela. We also have advised governments in connection with their International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs, including in the field of debt restructuring reform.
Our lawyers are frequent speakers and authors on sovereign debt policy reform, regularly participating in events organized by, among others, the IMF, the Paris Club, the United Nations, the US Treasury Department, the Financial Markets Law Committee, and the Emerging Markets Trading Association. And we serve as a coordinating liaison for private sector consultations in the IMF’s ongoing policy reform efforts.