Paul Basta is a partner in the Restructuring Group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and is a member of the Firm's 15-person Global Management Committee. He represents debtors, creditors and investors in restructuring distressed companies. Paul has been recognized as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business every year since 2006. Most recently, Chambers USA described him as an attorney who "'takes it up a notch higher' for clients." In 2014, Paul was described as "superstar and a 'go-to' for complex bankruptcy matters." In 2013, Paul was praised as a "very effective lawyer who is practical in his approach" and was described as "incredible when it comes to court and credibility with the judges." The 2011 edition applauded him for being "a stellar restructuring specialist," while previous editions commended him on being "extremely smart and creative" as well as "always keeping in mind what's best for the company and providing consistently good advice on extremely difficult and challenging issues." Clients recognize that he "knows how to pull together disparate views and find the right solution," that he has "one of the best analytical minds on the street" and that he's "hard working, intuitive and a great communicator." He has also been recognized in the 2012 through 2015 editions of Chambers Global, World's Leading Lawyers for Business. In 2012, Paul was selected as one of Law360's "Bankruptcy MVPs" for accomplishments including "successfully bringing warring parties to the bargaining table in out-of-court restructurings." IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, has selected Paul as a leading lawyer in Restructuring and Insolvency every year since 2008. The 2011 edition praised him as "very creative. He loves to get into the deal and really work it. He finds angles that other people generally don't see."
Some of Paul's significant debtor representations have included Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc., Kerzner International, Charter Communications, which was selected as one of the deals of 2009 by The Deal, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Reader's Digest Association, MS Resorts, Hawaiian Telcom, BLB (Twin Rivers Casino), MoneyGram, Hawker Beechcraft, Tecumseh Products Company, TOUSA, Leiner Health, Kimball Hill Homes, American Color Graphics, Autocam Corporation, Dura Automotive Systems, and Global Crossing. Paul has also recently represented the LuxCo ad hoc committee of bondholders during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of NII Holdings Inc. and the special committee of the boards of directors in connection with the ongoing restructuring of LightSquared.
In addition to Paul's broad debtor representation experience, he also represents numerous private equity funds in connection with their distressed portfolio companies. Paul represented the Houston Astros in connection with the Houston Regional Sports Network. Paul has also represented numerous parties in the power area, including Samson Resources, Longview Power, Flying J, OGX and Creditors of Mirant, as well as buyers of distressed power assets.
The Legal 500: The Clients Guide to the U.S. Legal Profession has repeatedly recommended Paul as "brilliant, but above all he relates to people and manages to create compromise from initially acrimonious situations." Paul was also selected by Turnarounds & Workouts in 2008 as an "Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer" and in 2002 and 2003 as an "Outstanding Young Bankruptcy Lawyer." In addition, Paul was selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America from 2007–2016. He also was named by Crain's New York Business as one of the 40 "Young Rising Stars" in New York in its January 2003 issue.
Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc.: Representing Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc. ("CEOC") in its Chapter 11 restructuring. CEOC, a majority owned subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, provides casino entertainment services and owns, operates or manages 44 gaming and resort properties in 13 states of the United States and in five countries primarily under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brand names. CEOC and its debtor subsidiaries had more than $18.4 billion in funded debt obligations as of the commencement of their Chapter 11 cases.
Samson Resources: Representing Samson Resources, a privately held onshore oil and gas exploration and production company with headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in its Chapter 11 restructuring. Samson has operations primarily located in Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, and operates, or has royalty or working interests in, approximately 8,700 oil and gas production sites.
Longview Power, LLC: Representing Longview Power, LLC and certain of its affiliates, including Mepco Holdings, LLC and its affiliates, in connection with their Chapter 11 cases involving the restructuring of approximately $1 billion in funded debt. Longview operates a 700 net megawatt supercritical coal fired power generation facility in Maidsville, West Virginia, and Mepco is one of the largest independent coal companies in North Appalachia. Together, Longview and Mepco operate an integrated power generation enterprise that is at the forefront of the clean coal movement.
Barneys: Represented luxury specialty retailer with flagship stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Scottsdale in connection with its successful out-of-court restructuring that resulted in a debt for equity conversion and new money investment that reduced Barney's long-term outstanding indebtedness from more than $590 million to $50 million.
Kerzner International: Represented leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels in connection with its successful out-of-court restructuring of more than $3 billion of indebtedness. The multi-part reorganization included the restructuring of more than $2.5 billion of indebtedness in a commercial mortgage backed security structure. Under the One&Only brand, Kerzner manages seven of the top-rated luxury resort properties in the world, located in The Bahamas, Mexico, Mauritius, the Maldives, South Africa and Dubai.
Hawker Beechcraft: Represented Hawker Beechcraft Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft, in its prearranged Chapter 11 cases. Hawker, which listed more than $1 billion in assets and debt at the time of filing, cited market conditions and its leveraged capital structure as primary causes for the restructuring. Prior to filing, the company reached an agreement with multiple senior secured lenders and senior bondholders on a financial restructuring plan that would equitize $2.5 billion of funded debt and avoid $125 million of annual cash interest expense.
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P): Represented the company, which operates 395 supermarkets and food and beverage stores throughout the United States, in its Chapter 11 cases.
UTGR, Inc.: Represented UTGR, Inc. and its affiliates, BLB Worldwide Holdings, Inc. and BLB Management Services, Inc., Rhode Island's largest slot parlor, in their Chapter 11 cases.
Flying J: Represented Flying J Corporation in connection with its Chapter 11 proceeding.
Charter Communications, Inc.: Represented the fourth largest cable operator in the United States in one of the largest prearranged Chapter 11 filings in history. Charter's prearranged bankruptcy reduced debt by approximately $8 billion, or more than 40 percent. Won contested confirmation hearing.
The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.: Represented media company in prearranged bankruptcy that was completed in six months and that exited Chapter 11 with favorable new bond financing. Won contested confirmation hearing.
TOUSA, Inc.: Represented the company, a leading homebuilder and financial services provider, and its subsidiaries in connection with restructuring liabilities arising out of litigation involving a joint venture.
Autocam Corporation: Represented auto parts manufacturer in consensual out-of-court recapitalization of the company.
Kimball Hill: Represented homebuilder in its Chapter 11 case.
Leiner Health: Represented vitamin supplier in Chapter 11 proceedings and in connection with proposed sale of its business.
Hawaiian Telcom Communications: Represented the state of Hawaii's incumbent telecommunications provider in its Chapter 11 restructuring. Won contested confirmation hearing.
American Color Graphics: Represented printing company in proposed merger with Vertis to be implemented through a prepackaged Chapter 11 case.
Moneygram: Represented company in consensual out-of-court restructuring.
Dura Automotive Systems: Represented Dura Automotive in its Chapter 11 reorganization.
Tecumseh Products Company: Represented the company, a leading manufacturer of engines, compressors, and related products, in a series of restructuring and sales transactions.
Global Crossing: Coordinated massive restructuring of global communications enterprise consisting of over 80 affiliated debtors operating in 27 countries and more than 200 major cities worldwide. Implemented sale to Singapore buyer through Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
The Grand Union Company: Represented the company, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, in 60 day prepackaged Chapter 11 case and, subsequently, in the wind down of its business operations.
ChoiceOne Communications: Represented competitive local exchange carrier in 60-day prepackaged Chapter 11 restructuring.
2 Broadway Associates: Implemented prepackaged Chapter 11 case for single purpose entity owning the 2 Broadway office tower in New York.
SunCom Wireless: Represented wireless provider in consensual out-of-court restructuring.
Footstar: Represented Footstar and thousands of its store corporations in complicated multi-year restructuring. Restructuring involved the immediate shut down of the Just-for-Feet store chain, the sale of the Footaction chain to Foot Locker for $300 million and the reorganization around the company's Kmart shoe business. The company successfully emerged following litigation with Kmart and paid all creditors in full with a significant recovery to stockholders.
Acterna Corporation: Led Chapter 11 reorganization of billion dollar maker of telecommunications testing equipment through prearranged Chapter 11 case that lasted less than six months. Coordinated sale of non-core businesses in Chapter 11.
Rhythms NetConnections: Represented rapidly deteriorating DSL provider in Chapter 11 restructuring and sold business to Worldcom through a section 363 bankruptcy sale.
Verado Communications: Represented competitive local exchange carrier in wind down of its business operations.
Nextwave Telecommunications: Served as corporate and corporate finance counsel to owner of wireless licenses and coordinated multiple financings, the sale of licenses to Cingular and the transfer of licenses to Verizon through a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
Olympia & York Companies (USA): Assisted in the representation of the U.S. operations of Paul Reichmann's United States real estate enterprise which entailed restructuring numerous New York properties with billions of dollars in debt, including the World Financial Center, over a five year period.
Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.: Assisted in the representation of Marvel Entertainment, one of the nation's largest comic and media companies, in its Chapter 11 reorganization.
Sun Healthcare Group, Inc.: Represented company and hundreds of its affiliated companies that formed one of the largest providers of long-term subacute and respiratory healthcare services in the United States. Assisted in the renegotiation of hundreds of leases and developed consensual plan of reorganization.
PHP Healthcare Corporation: Represented rapidly deteriorating healthcare provider in its Chapter 11 wind down.
healthcare provider in out-of-court restructuring.
Distressed Investors/Distressed Purchasers
Lehman Brothers: Represented Lehman Brothers, as lender, in connection with Chapter 11 case of Mirant.
Confidential Matters: Represents confidential buyers of distressed power assets.
FGIC: Represented multi-billion dollar bond insurer as lead restructuring counsel.
Six Flags, Inc.: Represented H Partners Management LLC, a hedge fund managing over $700 million in assets, in their capacity as one of the largest unsecured creditors of Six Flags, Inc. where H Partners and other creditors converted their claims into ownership of Six Flags through a Chapter 11 proceeding.
Ziff-Davis Media: Represented bondholders in consensual restructuring accomplished through an exchange offer.
Allegiance: Represented Qwest Communications as stalking horse bidder to Allegiance Communications, a competitive local exchange carrier.
Excite@Home: Represented bondholders of Excite@Home in Chapter 11 case of owner of high-speed cable-modem technology.
FSA: Assisted in constructing multi-lateral trading program of derivative contracts.
Gold Corporation: Represented
Dresdner Bank in Chapter 11 case of gold company and assisted in enforcement of
Lehman Brothers: Represented numerous counterparties in connection with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
Service Merchandise: Represented Citigroup as provider of debtor-in-possession financing to Service Merchandise.
Friedmans Jewelers: Represented Citigroup as provider of debtor-in-possession financing to Friedmans Jewelers.
RCN: Represented Credit Suisse as bidder for exit financing for RCN.
Anchor Glass: Represented Credit Suisse as provider of exit financing to Anchor Glass, a Florida-based manufacturer of glass products.
Healthsouth: Represented Credit Suisse as agent for various lenders to Healthsouth and successfully negotiated for an early out-of-court payout in full of their loan with a premium.
Mervyns: Represented Sun Capital as stockholder and lender to Mervyns, a large retailer.
American Cellular: Represented Lehman Brothers in connection with consensual out-of-court restructuring of wireless company.
Mirant Corp.: Represented Lehman Brothers as agent to various lenders to a subsidiary of Mirant in connection with Mirant's Chapter 11 case. Mirant is one of the nation's largest energy companies.
Greater Southeast Community Hospital Corporation: Represented receivables lender to Washington, D.C. hospital and successfully litigated validity of lender's security interest.
New Century, American Home, C-Bass: Represented Citigroup as lender and counterparty to various repurchase agreements.
Criimi Mae: Represented Citigroup as counterparty to repurchase agreements regarding mortgage-backed securities in Chapter 11 case of Criimi Mae.
Memberships & Affiliations
Member, Board of Directors for Her Justice
Member of the Federal Bar Council Bankruptcy Litigation Committee
English Teacher, Beijing Aeronautics Institute, Beijing, China, September 1988 – June 1989
Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Florence K. Murray, Rhode Island Supreme Court, September 1992 – August 1993
Essar Steel Algoma: Restructuring Under the Canada Business Corporations Act and Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code, INSOL International News Update, January 2015, (co-author)
A Practitioner's Guide to Prepackaged Bankruptcy: A Primer, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2011, (co-author)
District Court Limits the Right to Credit Bid in Asset Sale Conducted Under Chapter 11 Plan, PLI, June 11, 2010
Break-Up Fee Denied for Stalking-Horse Bidder in Bankruptcy Asset Sale, PLI, June 11, 2010
For Subprime Lenders - A Primer on the Bankruptcy Code, Daily Bankruptcy Review, March 28, 2007, (co-author)
Trading in Debt Securities: Bankruptcy and Securities Laws Implications, Chapter in Weil, Gotshal & Manges' "Reorganizing Failing Businesses," 1998 (updated 2006), (co-author)
Acquisition of A "Troubled" Business: Bankruptcy and Reorganization Issues, Winter, 1999, (co-author)
Trading in Claims: Treatment of Purchases by Insiders, New York Law Journal, January 21, 1999, (co-author)
An Introduction to the Bankruptcy Code, Winter 1997, (co-author)
Trading in Claims, Weil, Gotshal & Manges Bankruptcy Bulletin, October 1997, (co-author)
Pre-Chapter 11 Planning: The Dynamics of Survival From The Perspective of the Debtor and Its Bank Creditors, September 1998 (updated 2006), (co-author)
Hot Topics in Business Bankruptcies: Venue in Corporate Cases: DIP Financing: Going Out of Business Sales and Ethical Issues, Georgetown University Law Center Continuing Legal Education, August 1997, (co-author)
Limiting the Scope of the New Value Exception, Weil, Gotshal & Manges Bankruptcy Bulletin, April 1997
Enforceability of Prepetition Waivers of the Automatic Stay, Memorandum to National Bankruptcy Review Commission, March 21, 1997, (co-author)
That "Scumbled Area": Ethical Issues Facing Bankruptcy Professionals, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, 1997, (co-author)
Discharge or Release of Third Parties Under The Bankruptcy Code, Memorandum to National Bankruptcy Review Commission, October 31, 1996, (co-author)
Bondholder's Claim is Not Automatically Assigned to Subsequent Purchaser, Weil, Gotshal & Manges Bankruptcy Bulletin, September 1996
Treatment of Partnerships in Bankruptcy, Weil, Gotshal & Manges Bankruptcy Bulletin, January 1996
Enforceability of Derivatives in Troubled Situations, September 1994, (co-author)
The Treatment of Derivatives under the Bankruptcy Code, 402 PLI/Real 231, April-June 1994 (updated 2006), (co-author)
Avoiding Fraudulent Transfers, January 1994, (co-author)
Cross-Border Bankruptcy Issues, 17th Annual ABI New York City Bankruptcy Conference, May 14, 2015
Building a Successful Career: Tips from the Titans, TMA NextGen, May 22, 2012
Discussion on Career Development, George Washington University Law School, April 3, 2012
Methods for Achieving Consensual Restructurings in Today's Environment, American Bankruptcy Institute's 3rd Annual Mid-Level Professional Development Program, October 28, 2011
Managing Relationships with Stressed Companies: A Lawyer's Guide to Stress and Distress 2010, PLI, June 11, 2010
Restructuring Panel, Third Annual Duke Private Equity Conference, April 15, 2009
American Color Graphics and Vertis: The First Dual Prepack Merger, Turnaround Management Association Distressed Investing Conference, January 21, 2009
American Color Graphics Case Study: The First-Ever Double Pre-Packaged Merger Bankruptcy Executed Through Chapter 11, Distressed Debt Investing and Risk Management's Navigating the Post-Subprime World, September 17, 2008
Homebuilders Part II: TOUSA, Renaissance American Management's 11th Annual Corporate Reorganizations Conference, June 20, 2008
Troubled Hedge Fund Liquidations, Tenth Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference, May 12, 2008
The Practical Impact of the Credit Crunch, 12th Annual AlixPartners Conference, April 16-18, 2008
Complex Financial Restructuring Program, 15th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, September 6-8, 2007
Update on Autos and Auto Suppliers, Renaissance American Management's 10th Annual Corporate Reorganizations Conference, June 22, 2007
Second v. Third Circuit Precedents, American Bankruptcy Institute 7th Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference, May 9, 2005
Overview, Tension Between Bankruptcy and Regulatory Regimes, 4th Annual Telecommunications Law Conference, October 2001