skip to main content

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our top-ranked Financial Restructuring team has been one of the busiest in the nation. The creditor-focused practice boasts over 50 lawyers and just this year has counseled:

  • Five “mega case” unsecured creditors’ committee representations
  • Over 30 ad hoc lender and noteholder, loan agent and company-side representations across the energy, restaurant/retail, travel, automotive, industrial and health care industries with aggregate restructured debt exceeding $40 billion

A Top-Ranked Team

Our FR team is regularly recognized by industry publications and organizations. We have garnered leading rankings in Chambers USA, Legal 500 and IFLR1000. The Turnaround Management Association, IFLR1000 and the Turnarounds & Workouts publication have also lauded specific deals that the team worked on and provided national awards to certain of our lawyers.

Among our recent accomplishments are:

“Deal of the Year” – Largest New-Money DIP Financing in History

The FR group won “Deal of the Year” from the IFLR1000 for handling the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s $5.5 billion debtor-in-possession financing. Led by Stroock executive committee member and FR practice chair Kris Hansen, the team represented JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. as administrative agent and lead arranger for the largest new-money DIP financing in history, provided to PG&E in connection with its chapter 11 cases. The DIP facilities provided PG&E with liquidity to fund its ongoing operations and prosecute and consummate its historic restructuring. A multidisciplinary team led the structuring, negotiation and documentation of the JPMorgan-led DIP facilities and assisted with PG&E’s exit from chapter 11 on July 1, 2020.

Turnaround Management Association  – “Large Company Transaction of the Year” Award

The FR team was awarded “Large Company Transaction of the Year” by the Turnaround Management Association for its work with the Aceto Corporation. A multidisciplinary FR team, led by partners Erez Gilad and Jayme Goldstein, represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in connection with the company’s chapter 11 cases. A manufacturer, marketer and distributor of pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals, Aceto commenced its chapter 11 filings to sell both business lines. The FR team successfully negotiated a highly complex settlement with one of the buyers and facilitated the implementation of a chapter 11 plan that ultimately resulted in payment in full to unsecured noteholders and other general unsecured creditors (a result which seemed extremely unlikely when the chapter 11 cases were filed).  

Consistent Top Rankings in Debtwire

For nearly all of 2020, Stroock’s FR team has been listed as one of the nation’s most active counsel according to Debtwire’s monthly “Restructuring Advisory Mandates” report, which ranks advisers by total number of both in- and out-of-court representations.

Debtwire’s “Advisory Relationship Report” also recognized our FR group as one of the top few choices for financial creditors and equity holders from January 2019 through August 2020. The report explores the distressed advisory space, providing mandate data on which advisory firms frequently work together and analyzes relationships between law firms and financial advisor/investment banking firms that were retained by key financial creditors and equity holders.

Tailoring the Team to Client Needs

To ensure that the team continued to provide the highest level of client service during this year’s explosive market demand, the FR group actively recruited and has expanded the practice by 10 lawyers since January 2020. One of the team’s most critical hires  was Allison Miller, who joined Stroock from Akin Gump early in the pandemic and was quickly assimilated into the team. At this juncture, our FR lawyers are adept at virtual onboarding, having added nine associates to the ranks during our virtual office experience.

These new lawyers have seamlessly integrated into a very busy team and hit the ground running – all while never physically meeting their new colleagues. Leveraging platforms such as WebEx and a firmwide remote onboarding process, the new lawyers immediately became involved in the group’s high-stakes workload, creating first-of-its-kind, strategic and innovative solutions to help drive the recovery of our clients.

One Big (Virtual) Family

When COVID-19 surged in the United States, this group of over 50 lawyers had to simultaneously adjust to working remotely while handling an increase in work and onboarding of new lawyers.

In a Law360 article, Kris Hansen noted how working remotely made him feel more on top of what everyone else is handling and also learned more about both his team members' and his clients’ lives and personalities.

“The team has been better able to reach out on the marketing front, as picking up the phone for a call or firing up a video chat has proven to be more efficient than driving across town for a lunch meeting,” he said.

Kris also noted a silver lining with remote working, physical separation has led to a more intimate workplace. "When you're in a Zoom chat or Webex call with your team, it's like a window into someone's living room," Hansen noted. "That's an invitation into peoples' lives you don't have each and every day in your office space."

The FR team continues to keep this momentum going, maintaining a more open, familial atmosphere that was fostered by the pandemic. “It's more human, and it's also good for business — close-knit, happy teams are more creative and productive ones,” he said.

Stroock Financial Restructuring

Stroock Financial Restructuring has a rich history.  The FR group was a central figure in the seminal Caesars chapter 11 cases, representing the ad hoc group of first lien lenders – a major creditor group owed more than $5.4 billion. The bankruptcy exceeded $20 billion, and was one of the largest and most financially complex chapter 11 cases in U.S. history. Additionally, some of the FR team’s more recent restructuring representations include Fieldwood Energy, Extraction Oil & Gas, Ultra Petroleum, Murray Metalurgical, EP Energy, Sandy Creek Energy, FTS, Chaparral Energy, Lonestar Energy, Carlson Travel, Travel Leaders Group, California Pizza Kitchen, Party City, Guitar Center, Garrett Motion, McClatchy, Revlon, J.Jill, Boardriders, Healogics, Navios, Diamond Sports, Deluxe Entertainment and Pyxus, among others.