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Bankruptcy Experience (some with names)

Bankruptcy Experience - SOME WITH NAMES - GET PERMISSION
Representation of Secured Lenders, including as DIP Lenders

  • Crown Pacific: Our firm served as co-counsel with Debevoise & Plimpton, and handled all litigation briefs and appearances, for a group of lenders and insurance companies led by John Hancock Life Insurance Company and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America as secured creditors in jointly administered bankruptcy cases in Phoenix. The debtors owned and operated tree farms, lumberyards and sawmills in several states, and owed our clients over $500 million. After taking a hard line with the debtors and negotiating the support of the unsecured creditors committee, we were able to confirm a joint plan providing for the assets to be sold or transferred to a new entity owned by the secured lender group.
  • Styling Technology Corporation and Hi-Rise Recycling Systems: We represented GECC as secured creditor and DIP lender in reorganization cases in Phoenix. Plans acceptable to GECC were confirmed in both cases.
  • Representation of First National Bank of Arizona in a chapter 11 case in Tucson as secured creditor and DIP lender. The revolving line of credit was about $12 million on the petition date and should be paid off by the end of the year.

Representation of Aircraft Lessors

  • National Airlines: Our firm represented three of the aircraft lessors/secured lenders in the chapter 11 case filed in Las Vegas by National Airlines. We negotiated agreements for continued usage of the aircraft, terms for new leases and plan treatment, and ultimately reposession of the aircraft when the plan failed.
  • In the National Airlines case in Las Vegas before Judge Riegle, we represented three aircraft financiers that leased one third of the debtor’s fleet. We negotiated interim treatment terms and plan provisions and litigated various issues, even conducting a UCC foreclosure sale on a Boeing 737, which met our clients’ goals and did so at a fraction of the cost charged by counsel for the debtors and other creditors, according to their fee applications.

Representation of Trustees

  • Our firm is currently representing Lewis and Roca partners Gerald K. Smith, as liquidating trustee of Boston Chicken under the reorganization plan of the company that operated the Boston Markets business, and Susan M. Freeman as liquidating trustee of Oregon Arena Corporation, that operated the Portland, Oregon basketball arena for the Trail Blazers. In each case, we recovered millions of dollars for distribution to creditors. Much of the Boston Chicken litigation was handled with a contingency fee firm as co-counsel.
  • SF - Representation of liquidating trustees in the Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt bankruptcies.

Representation of Debtors in Possession

  • Our firm served as co-counsel representing All Star Gas Company and its affiliates in Phoenix Chapter 11 cases, operating a propane delivery business across the midwest and southwest. We confirmed a reorganization plan, and our firm has continued as litigation counsel to recover additional money for creditors under the plan.

Creditors Committee Representation

  • Our firm is currently counsel for the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the USA Commercial Mortgage cases in Las Vegas. The company operated a commercial loan servicing business, with over $960 million in loans on the petition date. Plan confirmation hearings are scheduled for next week -- need result!.
  • Represented the Creditors Committee as co-counsel with the LeBoeuf Lamb firm in MicroAge, Inc., Arizona bankruptcy no. 00-03833. MicroAge was a Fortune 500 company with about $4.5 billion in revenue, providing computer integration services and products distribution. Our Committee members included Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Microsoft, Panasonic and Xerox. The Committee evaluated that debtor’s business plan, concluded it would not succeed, persuaded the debtor of our conclusions, and played an active role in selling the business in going-concern increments that netted a significant return for unsecured creditors. We negotiated a liquidating plan that ultimately resulted in full payment of creditors. We took a hard line when necessary, but established and maintained cooperative and effective working relationships with the secured lender and the debtor’s officers and counsel, which led to a Committee-supported confirmed plan within a year.

Miscellaneous Bankruptcy Representation

  • Representing our partner as the Boston Chicken plan trustee, we recovered fraudulent transfers from insiders, including employees, who withdrew excessive sums from the company before bankruptcy, and with co-counsel, recovered preferential transfers from New York law firms and investment bankers concerning preferential transfers.
  • In the Hacienda del Sol condominium case in Tucson, I represented the general contractor of a condo developer. The client’s lien included substantial mechanics’ and material suppliers’ liens. The client’s lien was subject to a $12 million HUD lien in foreclosure. Through our creditor’s plan, we obtained a sale of the property, full payment of HUD, our client, the subcontractors and suppliers.
  • RC served as examiner in the chapter 11 case of a bankruptcy lawyer. After the eport was filed, the State Bar of Arizona commenced disciplinary proceedings that, along with new complaints, resulted in the lawyer’s disbarment.
  • Principal secured creditors in the Crown Pacific Chapter 11 case holding over $400 million of collateral comprised of timberlands, sawmills and lumberyards.
  • Major creditors in the Megafoods Stores case.
  • Principal secured creditors in the Chapter 11 cases filed by 51 Trammell Crow entities.
  • Creditors committees in the MicroAge cases.
  • The liquidating trustees in the Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt bankruptcies.
  • The liquidating trustee in the Oregon Arena Corporation bankruptcy case.
  • Aircraft lessor and secured lenders in airline bankruptcy cases, including 14 aircraft financiers in the America West Airlines Chapter 11 case in Arizona, an aircraft lessor in the Great American Airways Chapter 11 case in Nevada, and aircraft lessor in the Western Pacific Airlines case in Colorado and aircraft financiers in the National Airlines case in Nevada.
  • Creditors committees in the Desert Health Products, Inc., SupeRx/Medicare Glaser/Defender Drug, Computer Warehouse, FastMicro and O’Malley Lumber Company cases.
  • A group of banks in the Baldwin United bankruptcy case.
  • A committee of lenders in the Storage Technology bankruptcy case.
  • A major lender and equipment lessor in the Chapter 11 reorganization of Washington Group International.
  • A major secured creditor and equipment lessor in the U.S. Aggregates bankruptcy case.
  • A major lender and equipment lessor in the Amerco (U-Haul)-related bankruptcy cases.
  • Financial institutions in trustee’s sales of commercial buildings, offices and hotels, including some of the largest foreclosures in Arizona’s history.
  • Floor plan lenders and other creditors in UCC sales of tens of millions of dollars of inventory and other collateral, involving artwork, rental car fleets, aircraft, watercraft, recreational vehicles, horse trailers and mobile homes.
  • Lenders in the restructure of loans involving dairies, ranches, a feed lot, a cotton gin, airport concessions, a printer, an office products and service supplier and medical offices.
  • A Canadian life insurance company in obtaining relief from the automatic stay and foreclosing on several apartment complexes.
  • A lessor of a cement plant in the GTI bankruptcy case.
  • A communications company in obtaining relief from the automatic stay and pursuing leasehold and foreclosure remedies to recover tracts of land surrounding radio towers.
  • A French bank in recovering converted funds.
  • A bank in discharge litigation against a prominent real estate developer.
  • A religious institution in “preference” litigation brought by bankruptcy trustees.
  • Trustees in the liquidation of stock brokerage firms under the Securities Investor Protection Act.

Members of the Bankruptcy Practice Group have developed particular experience in the following areas:

  • Representing banks and other lenders as secured and unsecured creditors and as DIP lenders
  • Representing insurance companies as secured and unsecured creditors and as parties to executory contracts
  • Representing equipment lenders and lessors in replevins, receiverships and bankruptcies
  • Representing financiers of aircraft and engines in bankruptcy cases
  • Representing private and publicly traded debtors in possession
  • Representing trustees
  • Representing creditors’ committees
  • Representing SIPC in Securities Investor Protection Act cases
  • Fraudulent conveyance and preference litigation, in contexts such as leveraged buyouts, Ponzi schemes, corporate stripping, and asset protection
  • Serving as Chapter 11 trustee and examiner
  • Creditor plans of reorganization
  • Purchasing assets from debtors in possession
  • Cross-border insolvency issues
  • Radio station bankruptcies and asset sales
  • Representing parties in telecommunications and health care reorganizations
  • Bankruptcy malpractice defense, attorneys' fees, conflicts and disinterestedness disputes, including serving as consultants and expert witnesses
  • Mediation/arbitration of commercial bankruptcy disputes
  • Bankruptcy appeals

Bankruptcy Client Representation

  • Representation of asset-based (personal property) lenders such as CIT, Fort Motor Credit Corporation and Associates (n/k/a Citicorp Financial).
  • Lewis and Roca’s creditor clients in bankruptcy cases include John Hancock Life Insurance Company, General Electric Credit Company, and Freescale Semiconductor.
  • The firm’s aircraft finance company clients include Boullioun Aviation (acquired last year by Aviation Capital Group), Pegasus Aviation, and Sunrock Aviation.
  • Representation of CIT in Chapter 7 and 13 cases for over a decade. Our attorneys have litigated stay relief motions, negotiated adequate protection orders, and litigated plan confirmation. Lewis and Roca has also represented CIT for years in all aspects of Chapter 11 cases, including litigating lift stay motions, motions to compel assumption or rejection of a lease, motions to enforce lease obligations, as well as plan confirmation. The firm has represented CIT in numerous bankruptcy cases in Arizona and Nevada. The firm has represented CIT in airline bankruptcy cases throughout the western United States, including National Airlines and Great American Airlines in Las Vegas, Western Pacific Airlines in Denver, Great Lakes Aviation in Wyoming, and America West Airlines in its bankruptcy case years ago in Phoenix.
  • Reorganization for All Star Gas, a chain of propane gas distributors across several Midwestern and Western states, where we have served as co-counsel with Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern, and are continuing as post-confirmation litigation counsel for the reorganized debtor.
  • Succeeded in confirming plans for Phoenix Hospitality, which owned and operated a downtown Phoenix hotel.
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