Ronit J. Berkovich

Biography

Berkovich

Ronit J. Berkovich is a partner in Weil’s Business Finance & Restructuring Department and is based in New York. Ms. Berkovich represents debtors, creditors, lenders, investors, and acquirers of assets in all aspects of distressed situations. She has served as debtors’ counsel in several of the largest and most significant chapter 11 cases in history, including General Motors, Lehman Brothers, WorldCom/MCI, and Takata. She also has extensive experience representing large and mid-market companies in prepackaged chapter 11 cases, out-of-court workouts, and international restructurings in a variety of industries and has provided advisory services to Fortune 500 companies and other companies on corporate structuring strategies.

Ms. Berkovich actively lectures on various topics relating to restructuring (including for organizations such as the Practising Law Institute, Bloomberg Law, the American Bar Association, the American Bar Institute, and Columbia Law School), taught legal research and writing at Harvard Law School for two years, and taught a seminar in economics at Harvard College. She is the co-editor of the Weil Bankruptcy Blog and has also written extensively, including articles published in The Banking Law Journal, The American University Law Review, Real Estate Finance, and the Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable.

Ms. Berkovich was recently (2018) profiled in Law360’s “Sealing the Deal” for her work advising Takata in its global restructuring and $1.6 billion asset sale to Key Safety. She has been named a Restructuring and Insolvency “Rising Star” by IFLR1000, a 2015 Bankruptcy “Rising Star” by Law360 and among the 2015 “Top Women” for Creditor Debtor Rights in New York by Super Lawyers. She has also been recognized by Turnarounds & Workouts magazine as one of its Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers on multiple occasions.

Ms. Berkovich serves as co-Chair of Women@Weil in New York, on TOWER (Taskforce on Women’s Engagement and Retention) and on Weil’s Hiring Committee. She is also active in her community. Among other things, she is a member of its Lawyers Executive Committee and Bankruptcy and Reorganization Group of the UJA Federation of New York and co-chaired its Next Generation Bankruptcy and Reorganization Group for several years. In 2013 she received the James H. Fogelson Emerging Leadership Award from the UJA Federation of New York. She is also on the Alumni Advisory Board for the Harvard Association for Law and Business.

Representative Experience

Debtor/Company-Side Experience:

  • Takata: represented Takata, a Japan-based automotive parts supplier subject to massive mass tort liabilities and other creditor claims, in its global restructuring, including the chapter 11 cases of its U.S. and Mexican entities and the ultimate $1.6 billion sale to Key Safety Systems
  • GulfMark Offshore: represented GulfMark Offshore, a provider of offshore support vessels to oil and gas companies, in its prearranged chapter 11 restructuring of roughly $730 million in total debt
  • Basic Energy: represented Basic Energy Services Inc., a Texas-based oilfield services company, in its prepackaged chapter 11 case to restructure $1.1 billion in debt
  • Vantage Drilling: represented Vantage Drilling Company (a/k/a Offshore Drilling) in its prepackaged chapter 11 cases to restructure more than $2.5 billion in senior secured debt; as party of the strategy, the primary operating company, Offshore Drilling, filed a prepackaged chapter 11 case, while the Cayman Islands-incorporated public parent company filed a liquidation proceeding in the Cayman Islands
  • Confidential Representations: several confidential representations of Fortune 500 and other large companies in connection with corporate restructuring and ring-fencing liabilities
  • FXCM: represented FXCM, a foreign currency dealer, in connection with a distress sale/bailout to Leucadia National Corp.
  • NexTag: represented the price comparison website in the restructuring of its debt ($150 million to $200 million) through an out-of-court restructuring
  • Foxwoods: represented Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the owner of Foxwoods Resort Casino, in the successful out-of-court restructuring of $2.3 billion in debt obligations
  • Dallas Stars: represented Dallas Stars LP, owner of the Dallas Stars National Hockey League Club, and certain subsidiaries, in their prepackaged chapter 11 cases
  • Texas Rangers: represented Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, the owner and operator of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball Club, in its prepackaged chapter 11 case, which was commenced to consummate a sale of substantially all assets, including the Texas Rangers MLB team, to Rangers Baseball Express, a group owned in part by baseball legend Nolan Ryan
  • Centro: represented Centro, one of the largest real estate companies in Australia, in its restructuring, particularly in connection with the sale of its U.S.-based real estate portfolio to Blackstone
  • General Motors: represented General Motors Corporation, the largest automobile manufacturer in the U.S. and the second largest in the world, and its debtor affiliates, with assets of over $82 billion and liabilities of over $172 billion, in their historical chapter 11 cases, including a 363 sale to an entity owned by the U.S. government
  • Bearing Point: represented BearingPoint, Inc., and its domestic subsidiaries, one of the world’s leading providers of management and technology consulting services, in their chapter 11 cases
  • Lenox: represented Lenox, the iconic china, tabletop, and giftware manufacturer, in its chapter 11 cases
  • Lehman Brothers: represented Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the fourth largest investment bank in the world, and its affiliated debtors, in filing the largest chapter 11 cases in history
  • Vertis: represented Vertis Holdings Inc., a direct marketing and printing company, in its prepackaged chapter 11 case, through which it merged with an unaffiliated chapter 11 debtor, American Color Graphics, in the first ever “double prepack merger”
  • Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers: represented hospital chain in its chapter 11 cases
  • Independent Wireless One: represented IWO Holdings, Inc., and its affiliates, a provider of personal communication services (PCS), in its prepackaged chapter 11 cases
  • Parmalat/Parmalat USA/Farmland Dairies: represented Parmalat, the Italian dairy company, in its worldwide restructuring, including subsidiaries Farmland Dairy and Parmalat USA in their chapter 11 cases
  • Telewest: represented Telwest as foreign debtor in recognition proceedings under Section 304 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (the predecessor to current 15) in support of the company’s restructuring under the law of Jersey (a self-governing dependency of the United Kingdom in the Channel Islands)
  • WorldCom/MCI: represented WorldCom (formerly MCI) and its affiliates, then the second largest long distance telephone company in the U.S., in the largest chapter 11 cases of its time
  • Velocita: represented Velocita Corp. and its affiliates, a telecommunications services company with approximately $827 million in debt, in their chapter 11 cases and the sale of substantially all of their assets to AT&T in a section 363 sale

Creditor/Acquiror/Other Experience:

  • General Motors Korea/General Motors: represented General Motors as the largest creditor and equity holder of General Motors Korea, a joint venture with the state-owned Korean Development Bank, in connection with the restructuring and potential bankruptcy of General Motors Korea
  • Texas Competitive Energy Holdings/Brookfield: represented Brookfield Asset Management, a first lien lender, and the largest creditor, in the Energy Future Holdings/Texas Competitive Energy Holdings chapter 11 cases, one of the largest in history
  • Dendreon/Valeant: represented Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in its acquisition of the worldwide rights to the cancer treatment Provenge and certain other assets from Dendreon Corporation in a section 363 sale process under chapter 11
  • AirFastTickets/HNA: represented HNA, a Chinese aviation company, in connection with the successful purchase in a 363 sale of substantially all of the assets of AirFastTickets, a proprietary airline ticketing platform
  • DirectBuy: represented an ad hoc group of second lien bondholders in the out-of-court restructuring of DirectBuy Holdings Inc.
  • Gores Group: represented the Gores Group, a private equity firm, in connection with numerous chapter 11 cases, including as a creditor and equity holder in National Envelope and as a section 363 bidder for Genmar
  • Ener1/Goldman Sachs: represented Goldman Sachs, the largest creditor, in the chapter 11 cases of Ener1 Inc., a maker of lithium-ion and other batteries for electric cars
  • BP Clothing/Guggenheim: represented Guggenheim as the largest creditor in the chapter 11 cases of BP Clothing (a/k/a Baby Phat), through which Guggenheim acquired the majority of the equity interests in the debtor through a debt to equity conversion
  • ResCap/Syncora: represented Syncora, as creditor, in chapter 11 cases of ResCap
  • Nortel/Apple: represented Apple as a bidder and member of the winning consortium of bidders in the purchase of a portfolio of patents for $5.4 billion through a section 363 sale in the chapter 11 cases of Nortel Networks
  • Moonlight Basin/Lehman: represented Lehman Brothers, the largest creditor and the acquirer of Moonlight Basin, a Montana ski resort, in Moonlight’s chapter 11 cases
  • Epic Air/AVIC: represented China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd (also known as AVIC General Aviation Co., Ltd.) as the successful bidder in a section 363 sale of the assets of Epic Air (Aircraft Investor Resources, LLC/In re Aircraft Completion Services, LLC), a company in the aviation industry
  • Spheris/Nuance: represented Nuance in connection with a potential purchase, through a 363 sale, of substantially all of the assets of Spheris, a medical
  • Hawaiian Telcom Communications/Lehman: represented Lehman Commercial Paper, Inc. (LCPI), as administrative agent and collateral agent in a $575 million senior secured term facility, in the chapter 11 cases of Hawaiian Telcom Communications, Inc. and its affiliates, the then-leading provider of telecommunication services in Hawaii
  • TerreStar/Harbinger: represented Harbinger Capital Partners as an unsecured creditor in the chapter 11 cases of TerreStar Networks
  • FiberMark: represented Harvey R. Miller, as examiner, in the chapter 11 cases of FiberMark

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