January 27, 2016
Weil’s Business Finance & Restructuring practice was recently profiled by Law360 in a follow-up to its recent Practice Group of the Year award for 2015. Weil is the only law firm to have received this honor every year since the awards’ inception six years ago. The profile delves into how the practice “showcased [the] international and interdisciplinary depth that has made the Firm a restructuring powerhouse,” from guiding The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. through a major auction, to advising creditors in the restructuring of Ukraine’s sovereign debt.
The A&P case in particular shows the qualities that have made the Weil restructuring practice a “go-to name in bankruptcy.” The supermarket chain had filed for chapter 11 protection in July, listing $1.6 billion in assets against liabilities of $2.3 billion. In response, the Weil team called on attorneys across the firm to help run the complicated process of auctioning off roughly 300 separate grocery stores. Ultimately, the Firm pulled off the auction process, including selling 95 stores to Acme Markets and Stop & Shop for a total of $370 million. Co-Chair of Weil’s Business Finance & Restructuring Department, Ray C. Schrock, P.C., a 2015 Law360 Bankruptcy MVP, said that saving 19,000 jobs is a remarkable achievement that the team is “quite proud of.”
Weil was also recognized for helping guide the structured dismissal that ended oil and gas exploration company Endeavour Operating Corp.’s chapter 11 case with a settlement with unsecured creditors. Co-Chair of Weil’s Business Finance & Restructuring Department, Gary Holtzer, commented that Weil’s success with Endeavour can be attributed to its leadership as a “first mover” in the recent spate of bankruptcy filings by oil and gas companies. The proceedings over the course of 2015 “charted the tragedy of the falling knife of oil prices,” Holtzer said.
Weil’s ability to skillfully represent clients on the debtor side was also balanced by its ability to represent creditors alike, most notably in its representation of the ad hoc creditors’ committee in the massive and ground-breaking restructuring of Ukraine’s sovereign debt. Weil played a major role in helping the parties involved reach an agreement in September to restructure $18 billion in eurobonds.
Other notable work of the past year included guiding auto supplier Chassix Inc. through chapter 11 proceedings, securing approval for the company’s restructuring plan in July after cutting $460 million in debt and pinning down $300 million in exit financing, and representing National Public Finance Guarantee Corp. in negotiations over $5 billion of exposure in Puerto Rico’s ongoing debt crisis.