Jenner & Block

Bankruptcy Litigation

Jenner & Block’s Bankruptcy Litigation Practice concentrates exclusively on litigation related to bankruptcy and insolvency cases.  Members of this practice group have represented hundreds of clients in high-profile bankruptcy adversary proceedings, contested matters, plan disputes and insolvency-related litigation.  Our lawyers have both prosecuted and defended against major fraudulent transfer, preferential transfer, dischargeability and successor liability actions, and have conducted many fraud investigations in connection with bankruptcy cases.  Members of the firm also have briefed and argued appeals from bankruptcy decisions in appellate courts throughout the country, including several appeals before the United States Supreme Court.  We believe that the experience, breadth and depth of Jenner & Block’s Bankruptcy Litigation Practice is unmatched by any other law firm.

Members of our team have earned reputations as pre-eminent practitioners in litigation matters related to bankruptcy and insolvency cases.  Our lawyers have represented hundreds of clients in high-profile bankruptcy adversary proceedings, contested matters, plan disputes and insolvency-related litigation.  Our lawyers have both prosecuted and defended against major fraudulent transfer, preferential transfer, dischargeability and successor liability actions and have conducted many fraud investigations related to bankruptcy cases.  Members of the firm also have briefed and argued appeals from bankruptcy decisions in appellate courts throughout the country, including several appeals before the United States Supreme Court.  Some of our notable matters in this area include:

  • Representation of hedge funds that hold $1+ billion of residential mortgage-backed securities in challenging the rehabilitation plan of Ambac Assurance Corporation, including taking actions permitting the holders to realize substantial recoveries on their investments.
  • Representation of the Section 1114 Committee of Retired Employees of American Airlines, Inc. in successfully opposing the airline’s attempts to obtain a judicial declaration that retiree benefits totaling $1.3 billion were not vested.
  • Representation of Canopy Financial, Inc. as debtor, and subsequently Canopy’s bankruptcy trustee as special counsel, after an internal investigation showed that audited financial statements were falsified, and health saving account funds maintained for the benefit of customers had been misappropriated.  Our attorneys assisted the trustee in recovering sufficient assets to pay all of Canopy’s customers.
  • Representation of Sam Zell and EGI-TRB, LLC in the Chicago Tribune bankruptcy case and related litigation.  We prosecuted objections to confirmation of proposed plans of reorganization and participated in plan negotiations.  We also are defending our clients in litigation arising out of the 2007 transaction pursuant to which Chicago Tribune became owned by an employee stock ownership plan.
  • Representation of the bankruptcy trustee of Consolidated Industries Corporation as special litigation counsel.  The bankruptcy court (N.D. Ind.) entered a $43.3 million fraudulent transfer judgment against Consolidated Industries’ former owner, which was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit on appeal.
  • Representation of the bankruptcy trustee of Emerald Casino in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and U.S. District Court litigation against the casino’s former directors and officers.  The district court directed the defendants to pay $272 million in damages arising from the casino’s loss of its gaming license.
  • Representation of the bankruptcy trustee for Griffin Trading Company, a failed commodity broker.  We successfully avoided fraudulent transfers made to the owners on the eve of the bankruptcy and succeeded on other claims.  Following an appeal and partial remand, the bankruptcy court held that the defendants' use of customer property to pay a significant creditor constituted gross negligence and was not protected by the Delaware business judgment rule.  That decision was upheld by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Representation of the bankruptcy trustee, Ronald R. Peterson, of Lancelot Investors Fund and its affiliates in the $1.8 billion liquidation proceeding of the largest feeder fund to the Petters Ponzi scheme in Minnesota.
  • Representation of an individual in the U.S. Supreme Court case Law v. Siegel involving the question of whether a bankruptcy court has the equitable authority to sanction a debtor by surcharging a homestead exemption.  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the firm's client.
  • Representation of the NKK Litigation Trust, formed pursuant to the confirmed plan for National Steel Corporation, prosecuting preference, fraudulent transfer and other claims against the former owners of the debtor.  We obtained a $50 million settlement that represented 75 percent of the transfers sought to be avoided.
  • Representation of the liquidation trustee of Sentinel Management Group in all matters related to this $1+ billion investment advisor fraud case, including the litigation of avoidance actions involving “safe harbor” and novel customer property issues; claims against Sentinel’s lender, which accepted putative customer property as collateral for Sentinel’s loans; claims against its auditors; claims against brokers who sold securities to Sentinel; and claims against Sentinel’s insiders.
  • Representation of Wellness International Network Limited before the U.S. Supreme Court in a high-profile appeal involving whether the bankruptcy courts have the constitutional authority to enter final decisions in certain cases.

The above matters are just some of the literally hundreds of bankruptcy litigation matters we have handled for our clients.