Mr. Lazar has represented clients in a number of significant trials and litigation involving fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty and similar claims. He successfully defended an individual recipient of alleged fraudulent transfers in a two-week trial and subsequent appeal; prosecuted fraud, accounting negligence and fraudulent transfer claims on behalf of the bankruptcy trustee of Corporate Resource Services; pursued enforcement of a $1.3 billion arbitration award against affiliates of an insolvent mining company; obtained a favorable settlement for the CEO of a large medical industry debtor in a case involving fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty allegations; litigated multi-million dollar reclamation and consignment claims arising from the hhgregg bankruptcy proceedings; defended against large avoidance actions in numerous high-profile cases; successfully prosecuted several fraudulent transfer cases to judgment on behalf of the Canopy Financial bankruptcy trustee; represented Sentinel Management Group’s trustee in precedent-setting lawsuits against its insiders, auditors, lender and custodian bank, as well as clawback litigation; and defeated at trial attempts to claw back transfers made to investors in the Lakes States Commodities ponzi scheme.
Mr. Lazar’s restructuring clients have included Covanta Energy Corporation in its chapter 11 reorganization; Exelon Boston Generating in its out-of-court restructuring and sale of its power plants (2,700 MW capacity) to its lenders; a syndicate of Hungarian lenders to North American Bus Industries, Inc., a heavy-duty bus manufacturer, in the company’s out-of-court restructuring; Harrah’s Jazz Company, the owner of the land-based casino in New Orleans, in its chapter 11 reorganization proceeding; the creditors committee of Pentacon, Inc., an aircraft and industrial parts distributor; the secured lenders and preferred shareholders in the Perpetua (Burr Oak Cemetery) bankruptcy case; a national cable and broadband provider in a negotiated Article 9 foreclosure; and a medical equipment manufacturer in a protracted out-of-court workout.
Mr. Lazar also has played a leading role in many high-profile financial services sector insolvency proceedings, including representing the trustee of Sentinel Management Group, a $1 billion+ fraud case involving the misuse of segregated FCM customer assets; CME Group in the SIPA liquidation proceeding of MF Global, including its management of an unprecedented transfer of under-margined positions to other commodity brokers; the examiner in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case; the National Futures Association in connection with Peregrine Financial Group’s bankruptcy case; and bankruptcy trustees in commodity broker bankruptcy cases such as Stotler & Company and Refco, LLC, where he acted as the trustee’s special counsel in the first-ever successful bankruptcy sale of a commodity broker business. He also represents trading firms in connection with acquisitions or sales of their businesses and advises clearing organizations concerning member defaults and insolvency issues. Mr. Lazar is a frequent speaker on insolvency issues affecting the derivatives and securities industries, is co-chair of the ABA subcommittee drafting proposed changes to the CFTC’s Part 190 rules, and contributes to industry symposiums and workshops addressing potential resolution scenarios for clearing organizations, commodity brokers and broker-dealers during a financial crisis.
In addition, Mr. Lazar regularly works with members of the firm’s Professional Responsibility Practice, advising law firm clients in connection with negligence, professional liability and claw back claims arising from bankruptcy cases and related adversary proceedings.
Mr. Lazar also gives back to the community, representing several worthy organizations on a pro bono basis. His pro bono representations have included counseling a national architectural not-for-profit organization in winding down its operations; representing a charitable organization in negotiations to provide financial and operational support needed to keep roughly 30 Archdiocese of Chicago schools open; representing the American Liver Foundation in a number of transactional and litigated matters; advising a charitable organization in the restructuring of its operations and restricted giving policies; and representing on a pro bono basis the 200 workers who engaged in a nationally publicized six-day sit-in at the closed Chicago factory of Republic Windows & Doors (which was later featured in the Michael Moore movie Capitalism, A Love Story) to press their demands for severance and vacation pay.