December 11, 2003

After several months of jockeying between Advanced Lighting Technologies and its creditors, a final reorganization plan was approved at a December 8 hearing before Judge A. Benjamin Golgar in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Chicago.  The transactions provided under the plan closed on December 10, transferring control of Advanced Lighting to Saratoga Partners IV II.

Jenner & Block Partners Jeff J. Marwil and Jerry L. Switzer, Jr. had filed a motion on October 27 detailing the creditors’ support for this most recent version of the reorganization plan, which has been contested over the past several months by several of the company’s creditors.  However, now that a consensual plan is in place, Advanced Lighting plans to repay all its creditors in full.

The flurry of activity in Advanced Lighting’s reorganization is emblematic of an overall active year by Jenner & Block’s Bankruptcy Practice, which is currently involved in over a dozen large bankruptcy matters in a variety of roles, from lead debtor counsel, as in the Advanced Lighting reorganization, to serving as attorneys for a creditor’s committee.  Most recently, the Firm became lead counsel for the secured lenders in the closely-watched Gingiss International, Inc. bankruptcy action in Delaware.

“We’ve been tremendously pleased at the variety of corporate restructuring and bankruptcy litigation work our practice has seen in 2003,” said Bankruptcy Practice Co-Chair Ronald R. Peterson.  “Obviously, we’re looking forward to building on this foundation and expect another strong year of expansion in 2004.”

Other high profile bankruptcies in which the Firm is actively engaged include Covanta Energy (Lead Debtors’ Counsel), Babcock & Wilcox (National Counsel), Conseco (Counsel to TOPRs Committee), Level Propane Gas (Lead Counsel for banking interests), Anicom, Inc. (Lead Counsel for Creditors’ Committee), WorldCom (Special Counsel for Regulatory and Litigation Matters) and United Airlines (Lead Counsel for Creditor GE Aircraft Services).

Helping to fuel the growth in the Firm’s bankruptcy practice is the rise of Chicago’s bankruptcy court as a destination for some of the nation’s most complex corporate bankruptcy filings.  Earlier this year in Legal Week Global, Daniel R. Murray, Co-Chair of Jenner & Block’s Bankruptcy Practice, accounted for the Chicago bankruptcy court’s newfound popularity in terms of its growing experience in managing mega-bankruptcy cases and its willingness to expedite the docket when time is of the essence to avoid liquidation.