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Restructuring 2010

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Firm
Ranking
Innovation
Originality
Rationale
Impact
Total
Description
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & GarrisonStandoutRepresenting the junior bondholders in Charter Communications' pre-arranged Chapter 1187823The firm, working closely with Kirkland & Ellis, represented unsecured noteholders who co-sponsored Charter Communications’ pre-arranged Chapter 11 plan. With no precedent to follow, clients relied on their lawyers’ experience and judgment to pursue a novel legal strategy
Kirkland & EllisStandoutRepresenting Charter Communications' pre-arranged Chapter 1187823Helped reinstate nearly $12bn in debt borrowed at pre-credit-crisis interest rates. The debtor, junior bondholder and their advisers worked together to use a section of the bankruptcy code never previously used on this scale against the opposition of the senior debt holders
Cadwalader, Wickersham & TaftStandoutThe largest ever debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing for LyondellBasell, the petrochemical company78722Faced with 10 days of liquidity, the lawyers came up with the idea to do a DIP financing (worth $8bn) with a novel “roll-up” to keep the business afloat while putting it into Chapter 11. The firm used a unique structure of a single foreign debtor as a conduit to allow funding to reach European subsidiaries
Weil, Gotshal & MangesHighly commendedRestructuring SCA / Syncora, the monoline insurer87621Combining insurance, bankruptcy and structured finance expertise, the firm worked with the New York Insurance Department to issue the first-ever “1,310 order” to stop the company going into liquidation. With none of the tools of a Chapter 11 available, the firm restructured nearly $80bn in outstanding claims against the insurer
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & FlomHighly commendedWorking for CIT in its prepackaged bankruptcy67821Took a dual approach to restructure the financial services company and its banking business, resulting in a $33bn exchange offer. The lawyers dealt with a takeover attempt in the process and played a critical role in dealing with regulators, management and customer communications to ensure there was no run on the bank
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & GarrisonHighly commendedWorking for bondholders in CIT's prepackaged bankruptcy67821Over a single weekend, the group structured a $3bn loan from a group of rescue creditors to save CIT, the financial services company, in the short term. The firm delivered creative solutions and pulled together a diverse group of creditors to restructure $33bn in debt
White & CaseHighly commendedAdvising junior lenders in the restructuring of Six Flags, the amusement park operator67720Set the strategy for eventually getting its clients, the original junior lenders, 95 per cent of the equity in the company. White & Case objected to an initial plan, which would have wiped out clients’ claims, and brought in new finance that won more time to come up with the successful reorganisation plan
Davis Polk & WardwellHighly commendedFrontier Airlines Chapter 1158720Partner Marshall Huebner was critical in saving the airline from liquidation when its credit card processor gave notice that it would start withholding funds. Within 51 hours, the legal team had filed for bankruptcy protection. It then secured DIP financing and saw Frontier through to a successful auction
Latham & WatkinsHighly commendedCreating a precedent for credit bidding by private equity firms in distressed transactions76619Represented Centrebridge Partners in acquiring the “fulcrum” debt of Greatwide Logistics in the secondary market, and in a subsequent debt-for-control transaction. The lawyers found a way of dragging along dissenting minority lenders to a credit bid in a “section 363” asset sale, which has since been followed in other expedited asset sales
Mayer BrownCommendedArranging a DIP facility for Tribune66618Helped Barclays Capital create a unique structure to convert an existing trade receivables securitisation into a $225m DIP financing for Tribune, the media group. Lawyers developed the complex structure, which mixes securitisation and DIP financing, in just four days. The structure was the first to be rated by a national ratings agency
Kirkland & EllisCommendedChapter 11 for General Growth Properties, owner-manager of regional shopping centers66618The restructuring challenged the conventional wisdom that commercial mortgage-backed securities debt was “bankruptcy remote” and could not be restructured. Kirkland’s lawyers found a way to put the commercial mortgage-backed securities debt into bankruptcy and unlock its value for the company’s creditors
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & HamiltonCommendedCross-border asset sale of Nortel Networks, the telecommunications giant66618In the complex asset sale of Nortel Networks, the challenge was to allocate value fairly among a variety of constituents of this globally integrated business. The firm managed to achieve consensus by using shuttle diplomacy to ensure that two-thirds of 25,000 jobs at the company were saved
Weil, Gotshal & MangesCommendedSemGroup restructuring66517Negotiated a reorganisation plan for this mid-stream oil business under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It involved creating a set of procedures to deal with state statutory claims where there is little existing law. Lawyers were praised for the practical, commercial way in which they applied the law in court
DLA PiperCommendedErickson Retirement Communities56516Unusually, the firm acted as a mediator in credit disputes. It created a plan for the complex web of creditors, non-profit partners, property managers and regulators to ensure senior residents did not lose their initial entry deposits
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