Award Chambers & Partners

The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010: Bankruptcy/Restructuring

On an annual basis, Chambers & Partners conducts extensive research and thorough data analysis in compiling its objective list of talent available at the highest level of international legal practice. Its research methodology has been independently audited and confirmed to be thorough, robust and complete.

In Chambers' 2010 review of international legal talent in the area of Bankruptcy/Restructuring, our Firm is listed among the best in the world.

Chambers' comments:

Global Ranking: Tier 1

The Firm: This firm's US arm is particularly strong, and market sources are adamant that its global restructuring capabilities earn it a place at the top of the rankings. The practice includes more than 120 lawyers worldwide, mainly based in Chicago, New York, London and Munich. In the USA, the team is best known for its debtors' counsel work and recently assisted casino operators Majestic Star and Tropicana in separate bankruptcy cases. The firm also acted for shopping mall owner General Growth Properties on the USD9 billion debt restructuring in its Chapter 11 case. Lawyers in Chicago and London joined forces to represent marine leasing company Sea Containers in its restructuring and emergence from Chapter 11. Cable company Charter Communications retained the firm in its hotly contested Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Key Individuals: Richard Cieri in New York and James Sprayregen in Chicago are leading names for the US side of the practice. Kon Asimacopoulos and Partha Kar in London are key contacts for the European practice group following the departure of former head of the European restructuring group Lyndon Norley in November 2009.

USA Ranking: Tier 1

This premier restructuring group is spread across the firm's Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC offices. It is a leading debtor shop but also handles creditor work, and represents hedge funds and other investors in distressed companies. The New York outfit has been bulking up its bankruptcy and restructuring team, including snaring a partner and three associates from Weil Gotshal in 2008. The group handled the USD2.43 billion restructuring of casino operator Tropicana Entertainment, and has been retained by debtors on some of the largest bankruptcy cases of recent times, including that of homebuilder TOUSA. What makes this group so successful, according to clients, is that the lawyers operate as a team rather than a collection of individuals. The group also marries legal knowledge with a practical understanding of business needs, and "knows the real secret of restructuring, which is how to get where you need to be, either through negotiations or court." In a recent high-profile development, James Sprayregen returned to the firm after a three-year term as co-head of Goldman Sachs' Americas Restructuring Group. He is an illustrious name with an outstanding reputation in the handling of complex Chapter 11 cases. New York-based Richard Cieri is described as a "legendary and extremely strategic expert" in complex restructuring cases. He has a lead role in the TOUSA case and is currently assisting cable operator Charter Communications with its prearranged bankruptcy case.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers Global, The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010