February 07, 2022
Weil has been profiled by Law360 as a 2021 “Bankruptcy Practice Group of the Year” for its work on notable chapter 11 and out-of-court restructurings in the last year, including oil and gas company Fieldwood Energy LLC, theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. and mall manager CBL & Associates Properties Inc., among others.
Weil Restructuring Department Co-Chairs Matt Barr, Gary Holtzer and Ray C. Schrock, told Law360, “the last year saw fewer of the larger bankruptcies than the Firm has handled in prior years, but the Firm pulled together in a team effort to take market share and broaden its platform.” “We have a culture in the group of really facing the market,” Gary said, noting that the results have taken them “a little off the beaten path,” handling more out-of-court restructurings and overseas work. Ray added, “There were many rescue financings in our portfolio over the last year.
Law360 highlighted Weil’s work on the $2.6 billion out-of-court restructuring for AMC, which saw the company though a 90% drop in revenue amid the pandemic. “That was a very active engagement, which utilized the full complement of the Firm's expertise in several areas,” Ray said.
The article highlighted Weil’s role as lead debtor counsel to Fieldwood Energy, an offshore oil and gas company, which filed for bankruptcy in August 2020 and emerged a year later. Law360 reported, “the approval of the plan included the ‘unique and complicated’ problem of abandoning a number of oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico, all of them subject to stringent environmental regulations and a ‘substantial and complex’ capital structure.” “We are folks that think outside of the box. We don't have a normal playbook,” Matt added.
Another oil industry-related challenge for Weil in the last year was found in its representation of international satellite provider Speedcast International, which filed for chapter 11 in April 2020, with the pandemic affecting its cruise ship satellite broadcast business. A large part of Speedcast’s business “was providing communication services to government related parties, and the bankruptcy had to be structured to release the liabilities on those parts of the business while keeping them out of bankruptcy,” Gary noted.
Law360 also highlighted the group’s representation of CBL & Associates Properties, a company that manages more than 100 malls across the U.S. The company entered chapter 11 in November 2020 with a plan to eliminate $1.6 billion in debt, but found itself embroiled in a fight with Wells Fargo over alleged loan defaults. “Ultimately a settlement was reached at trial, allowing the company to go on and win approval for its bankruptcy plan in August,” Law360 reported.