Notice of Appearance: Joshua Sussberg, Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

This week PETITION welcomes a notice of appearance by Joshua Sussberg, Partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

PETITION: What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given in your career?

“Always be the most prepared. Period. Whether it is a call, meeting or court appearance, be the most prepared person there. This piece of advice is something I do not forget and pass on.”

PETITION: What is the best book you’ve read that’s helped guide you in your career?

A Civil Action. It was a requirement to read heading into law school and I went back and read it again years later. It teaches that one lawyer can ultimately make a difference. It also speaks to, and without question demonstrates, the high stakes and personal commitment the profession requires and demands. A must read.”

PETITION: What is the one product that helps make you a more efficient or relaxed pro?

“Wireless headphones. Airpods. But it really can be any wireless headphones at all.…”

PETITION: Cool. Anything interesting you’re listening to at the moment?

"Top hits on Spotify!”

PETITION Note: You’re one in (70) million, Josh!

PETITION: What is one notable trend you expect to see in ’18 that not enough people are talking about?

“Restructuring professionals spend lots of time these days talking about the retail, oil & gas and the healthcare sectors, with much less attention being paid to real estate (both commercial and multi family). While there is still a lot of capital in the market place, rising rates and lower rents may pressure this and cause dislocation later in the year.”

PETITION Note: We agree, Josh. We’ve been writing since our inception that the cavalier attitude that many players in the space have taken vis-a-vis the real estate sector is mistaken. If anything, the recent low price offered by Brookfield Capital Partners for General Growth Properties may be the canary in the coal mine for commercial real estate. Note also, this, relating to the liquidation of The Bon-Ton Stores:

Notice of Appearance: Anne Eberhardt, Senior Director of Valuation & Litigation Consulting at Gavin/Solmonese.

This week PETITION welcomes a notice of appearance by Anne Eberhardt, Senior Director of Valuation & Litigation Consulting in the New York office of Gavin/Solmonese.

PETITION: What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given in your career?

Do your homework, study, and show up to class.

PETITION: What is the best book you’ve read that’s helped guide you in your career?

Gone with the Wind. Though not everyone’s idea of a role model, Scarlett O’Hara had several admirable qualities:

Resourcefulness. When Tara Land Resources LLC was on the brink of insolvency, she sought funding from R. Butler Capital Management. Realizing she had nothing to wear to the meeting, she cut up the drapes to make an outfit that would make her desired first impression.

 Entrepreneurship. After the RBCM deal collapsed – and finding herself in a city the Yankees had just burned to the ground – she quickly grasped there was money to be made in the lumber business and sought a partnership with the Kennedy Lumber Company.

 Persistence. Whenever things didn’t quite go her way, she always reminded herself that “tomorrow is another day.”

PETITION: What is the one product that helps make you a more efficient or relaxed pro?

Frank’s Red Hot, Chili ‘n Lime

PETITION: What is one notable trend you expect to see in ’18 that not enough people are talking about?

The fallout from the effects of the collapse of trust. When even the auditors of the auditors’ audits are cheating (see DoJ’s press release of January 23, 2018, announcing the arrest of several former partners of a Big Four CPA Firm, accused of hiring PCAOB staff to provide confidential regulatory information to help the Firm improve its audit inspection results), you know we’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions: fire and brimstone, rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria.

PETITION Note: Yikes. Sounds like we ought to stock up the bunker with some Frank’s Red Hot Chili ‘n Lime.

Notice of Appearance: Rachel Albanese, Partner at DLA Piper

This week PETITION welcomes a notice of appearance by Rachel Albanese, a restructuring partner in the New York office of DLA Piper LLP.

PETITION: What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given in your career?

"Trust your instincts." I first heard this advice as a kid and even as recently as this past week from a mentor. It applies to every stage of life, but it's especially helpful to navigate the substantive, interpersonal and ethical issues lawyers face all the time. 

PETITION: What is the best book you’ve read that’s helped guide you in your career?

“Debt's Dominion” by Penn Professor (and Puerto Rico Oversight Board Member) David Skeel. Not as lofty as all that, but it's an eminently readable history of bankruptcy law in the US. Recommended reading for sure. 

PETITION: What is the one product that helps make you a more efficient or relaxed pro?

My BlackBerry PRIV! I will never give up my BlackBerry, and there is a tribe of lawyers who feel the same way. We will keep them in business forever, notwithstanding this

PETITION NOTE: We legit had to look up what that even is. But we dig the old school. But, Rachel, check it…BLACKBERRY LIVES!:

Source: Yahoo! Finance 4/6/18

Source: Yahoo! Finance 4/6/18

PETITION: What is one notable trend you expect to see in ’18 that not enough people are talking about?

Large companies outsourcing legal services to legal vendors, like GE recently did with UnitedLex. Talk about law firm disruption... 

PETITION NOTE: Someone is thematically on point.

What the Pros Say (04/23/17)

  • Intercreditor AgreementsSkadden's Ron Meisler and Carl Tullson discuss recent trends.
  • Third Party Releases. And Delaware bankruptcy professionals are wondering why cases are filing elsewhere? See this summary of a recent case on the topic by Cole Schotz' Katharina Earle. Shmuel Vasser and Andrew Harmeyer from Dechert LLP also summarized the case here.

What the Pros Say (Week of 4/9/17)

  • Brand/IP Value. Hilco Streambank's David Peress is quoted herein discussing loans structured upon brands. 
  • CDS. Given the comments about CDS by Jason Mudrick (see above) and the events emanating out of iHeartCommunications Inc., credit default swaps are coming back into focus. Here (part 1) and here (part 2), Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's Stephen Zide and colleagues provide a solid two-part summary of the CDS determination made in the iHeart matter.
  • Feasibility. In an attempt to overtake Jones Day as the winner of "Most Prolific Marketing" content supplier, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's Stephen Zide and David Braun provide a summary of the Paragon Offshore matter which, from our perspective, has been wildly under-covered - other than by us.

What the Pros Say (Week of 4/2/17)

  • Jevic/Structured Dismissals. So. Many. Summaries. We understand the awkwardness of claiming to be "curated" while simply listing a dozen different firm's summaries without, at a minimum, opining as to which ones were mailed in and which ones were extensive thoughtful analyses. But, c'mon, do YOU really want to read 12 different summaries of the same case? Well, right, neither do we. Enjoy. P.S. If your firm hasn't produced one yet might as well not even bother at this point.
    • Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Tyler Nurnberg, Michael Messersmith, Michael Bernstein) here.
    • Bracewell LLP (Kurt Mayr, Shannon Wolf) here.
    • Dechert LLP (Mysterious Legal summary bot) here.
  • Drinker Biddle (Steven Kortanek and Patrick Jackson) here.
  • Duane Morris (Rudolph Di Massa Jr., Christopher Winter) here.
  • Foley & Lardner LLP (Charles Tabb) here
  • Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Adam Rogoff, Joseph Shifer, Alana Katz) here.
  • Jones Day (Bruce Bennett, Brad Erens, Dan Moss) here.
  • O'Melveny & Meyers LLP (Evan Jones, Peter Friedman, Daniel Shamah, George Davis, John Rapisardi, Suzzanne Uhland) here
  • Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP (Michael Lauter) here.
  • Vinson & Elkins LLP (William Wallander, David Meyer) here.
  • Winston & Strawn LLP (Everyone) here

What the Pros Say (3/26/17)

  • International Retail. Hey! Not to be defensive or anything but there's absolutely nothing "usual" about this newsletter, Baker McKenzie! In fact, ya'll didn't need to fly abroad to INSOL to know that "technology disrupters" are impacting things: you just have to read us every week! What you miss is that all of the examples you site - Uber, Alibaba and Facebook - are "platforms" matching end users with service/product providers, see, also eBay, Amazon. We highly recommend you read "Modern Monopolies" by Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson to understand more on this topic. You can get it here. See also the second chart above.
  • Jevic. Whoa. The Supreme Court decision is in. Now open the firm marketing floodgates: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's Marc Abrams, Matthew Feldman, Joseph Minias and Paul Shalhoub were among the first to provide a fulsome summary of the decision. As were Weil's David Griffiths and Vincent Yiu here. And Squire Patton Boggs LLP's Kate Thomas here

What the Pros Say (3/19/17)

  • Professional Compensation. Whereas we would typically demerit a firm for reviewing a "recent" case from 4 months ago, we'll pass here for two reasons: 1) this DLP Piper LLP summary by Richard Chesley, Rachel Albanese and Adam Lanza is solid; and 2) there's no ridiculous attempt here to shield the bankers from a decision that ultimately came down in their favor. Sidebar: speaking of fees, SunEdison was in the spotlight this week and these fees are in bleacher seat territory.
  • Unrestricted Subsidiaries. Anyone interested in understanding the shenanigans taking place in iHeartMedia or J.Crew ought to read this strong coverage of the use of covenants to restructure their capital structure by Chapman & Cutler LLP's Michael Friedman, Simone Tatsch, and Nicholas Whitney.

What the Pros Say (3/5/17)

  • Combined Hearings. This would seem like a mundane technical issue to cover but since it can end up shortening cases and lessening fees, we figured you'd take an interest in it: Cole Schotz's Katherina Earle discusses the increased frequency of the practice.
  • Equity Committee. A review of recent equity committee cases by Morrison & Foerster LLP's John Pintarelli, Jordan Wishnew & Rahman Connelly and GLC Advisors & Co's Michael Kizer.
  • Marblegate/TIA. In case you haven't gotten your fill, here is more analysis of the Second Circuit opinion, this time from Hunton & Williams LLP's Jason Harbour and Shannon Daily.

What the Pros Say (2/26/17)

  • 2016 Ranked. Jones Day LLP, the most prolific distributor of bankruptcy-related content, released this highly unscientific ranking of top-10 publicly traded bankruptcy filings. Go big or go home, Jones Day: if you're going to put out a top 10, don't pull the old "if we rank our own deal second, nobody will notice the blatant self-promotion" trick. Go #1 and own it (arguably deserved here, anyway).
  • Cross-border. Jay Goffman and Christine Okike of Skadden discuss Hanjin Shipping and Chapter 15.
  • Out of Court Restructuring Alternatives. Bankruptcy professionals are really racheting up their tech skills a notch: here, Sam Newman of Gibson Dunn, Jim Baer of CMBG Advisors Inc., Michael Ozawa of Enterprise Management Advisors LLC, Kim Withrow of Bibby Financial Services and Neil Morganbesser and Alex Kasdan of DelMorgan & Co. discuss, by webinar, options like ABCs which our friends in the VC space love to use to keep their failures secret. Shhhhhh.
  • Retail. Greenhill & Co.'s Christopher Grubb opines about the state of retail in this Bloomberg video clip. Choice quote about coming retail bankruptcies: "I think there will be 30 or 40 of meaningful scale."

What the Pros Say (2/19/17)

  • Default Interest. Eric Goodman and Joseph Esmont of Baker & Hostetler LLP chime in on the recent Ninth Circuit decision on the subject.
  • Hedge FundsThe Boston Consulting Group discusses the challengesfacing the beleaguered masters of the universe. 
  • Marblegate/Trust Indendure ActAn analysis - from a capital markets perspective - from the fine lawyers at Sidley LLP
  • Roust. Myles MacDonald from Cole Schotz PC summarizes the recent Roust Corp. bankruptcy case, concluding that the speed of it is not "generalizable."

What the Pros Say (2/12/17)

  • European Distressed DebtOrrick and Greenhill & Co. Inc. team up to summarize the state of European distressed debt in 2017.
  • Malls. Kenneth Rosen of Lowenstein Sandler LLP discusses the need for malls to diversify given a multitude of challenges to retail. 
  • Marblegate/TIA - King & Spalding LLP's Michael Rupe, W. Austin Jowers, Jeffrey Pawlitz, Christopher Boies and Michael Handler offer their thoughts on the recent much-discussed ruling on the Trust Indenture Act. 
  • Subordination. Michael Friedman and Leo Gagion of Chapman & Cutler LLP discuss the recent Ninth Circuit decision on subordination. 
  • Survey. AlixPartners released its 2017 restructuring experts survey. Read it here. And here is a summary

What the Pros Say (2/5/17)

Jones Day LLP is back at it with a barrage of summaries.

  • Default Interest. Monika Weiner from Jones Day LLP provides an assessmentof recent case law aligning the Ninth Circuit with the majority view of 1123(d).
  • EFIH/MakewholeA review of the recent decision by Jones Day LLP's Bruce Bennett, Brad Erens, and Scott Greenberg. 
  • Lender LiabilityA discussion from...wait for it...Jones Day LLP.
  • MarblegateSkadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP arrives a little late to the party (Thoughts here by Jay Goffman, Mark McDermott, Sarah Pierce and Liz Downing) with Chadbourne as its date (more thoughts here by Marian Baldwin Fuerst and Christy Rivera). 
  • Retail. Amir Agam and Christa Hart of FTI Consulting cover the current state of retail.
  • Setoff. Charles Whitmann-Todd of, gulp, Jones Day LLP summarizes an important decision relating to the setoff of admin expenses against preferential payments.

What the Pros Say (01/29/17)

What the Pros Say (01/22/17)

What the Pros Say (Week of 01/08/17)

  • Death Traps. Katharina Earle of Cole Schotz PC discusses the risks of proposing death traps in a plan.
  • Energy. The US Energy Information Administration has released its annual energy outlook with forecasts through 2050.
  • Lease Rejections. Kenneth Rosen of Lowenstein Sandler LLP articulates that BC 365(d)(4) is causing retail liquidations.
  • Makewhole. Gregory Horowitz of Kramer Levin reviews the EFIH decision.
  • Privacy. Shmuel Vasser of Dechert LLP discusses internet privacy issues in the context of international bankruptcies.
  • Professional Fees. Michael Cook of Schulte Roth & Zabel summarizes the recent In re Relativity Fashion LLC case relating to objections to investment banking transaction fees. In this instance, attempts to revisit 328-approved fees failed. For some inexplicable reason, Cook doesn't indicate whose applications were at risk - to the point of blatantly avoiding it even though the court makes no attempt to hide it. To spare you the suspense, it was Houlihan Lokey and PJT Partners LP that were attacked. 
  • Takata. Brendan Best of Varnum LLP writes about the implications of a Takata bankruptcy for trade creditors.

What the Pros Say (Week of 12/18/16)

  • Makewhole. Geoffrey Raicht, Trevor Hoffman, Ian Peck and Stephen Pezanosky of Haynes & Boone LLP contribute to the recent onslaught of review pieces post Third Circuit opinion. 
  • Notice. Lorie Ball of Robins Kaplan LLP reviews the recent SDNY Chemtura decision relating to publication notice and due process. 
  • Trademark License Rejection. Ira Sacks and Julia Lissner of Akerman LLP write on the opinion split in the area of rejected trademark licenses

What the Pros Say (Week of 12/11/16)


  • Ignoring the podcast host's painful lack of charisma, Pachulski's Jeffrey Pomerantz provides an intriguing interview about the state of retail; he discusses macroeconomic trends, e-commerce trends, and the pros/cons of selling a retail asset pursuant to 363 or a plan (i.e., net operating loss benefits); he also draws on experience from Radio Shack, Wet Seal, Pac Sun and Delia's. Finally, he indicates that "there are rumors that Dick's Sporting Goods has hired Houlihan Lokey to pursue restructuring alternatives" and highlights Sears, Forever 21 and Claire's Stores as potential near term bankruptcy candidates. He forgot to mention J. Crew

Jones Day LLP has a lot to say...

  • 2017. Deloitte CRG's Kirk Blair predicts restructuring activity in...wait for, shipping and retail. Really going out on a limb.
  • Aeropostale. Jones Day LLP's Brad Erens summarizes the stinging defeat the company took in its efforts to equitably subordinate and/or recharacterize Sycamore Partners' claims (and limit credit bidding rights).
  • Avoidance Actions. A limited expansion of the lookback period as noted by Jones Day LLP's Amanda Parra Criste.
  • Chapter 15. Verle Roovers of Jones Day LLP provides an analysis of recent Chapter 15 precedent (Sanjel).
  • Consumer Privacy. John Drennan of Baker Donelson discusses a critical issue.
  • Equitable Mootness. G. Christopher Meyer of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP discusses the doctrine in the context of Detroit's Chapter 9 appeal (spoiler alert: still equitably moot).
  • Indenture Trustee Standing. Andrew Silfen, Leah Eisenberg, Jeffrey Rothleder and Jordana Renert of Arent Fox LLP collaborated on a summary of a recent NY Supreme Court decision.
  • Jevic - Structured Dismissals. Mark Salzberg from Squire Pattong Boggs LLP discusses the SCOTUS deliberations.
  • Makewhole. Simpson Thatcher is a little late to the EFIH-summary party but this is a solid memorandum by John Lobrano, Sandy Qusba, Elisha Graff and Morris Massel discussing the recent 3rd Circuit decision. As is Arent Fox LLP's summary by Andrew Silfen, Jeffrey Rothleder and Beth Brownstein here.
  • Midstream Contracts. Kathryn Coleman and Anson Frelinghuysen of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP provide a summary of the March SDNY decision in Sabine that still rankles Judge Jones in Texas to this day.
  • Restaurants. Edward Neiger of ASK LLP summarizes a few of the recent casual restaurant filings. We have also covered this space in here.