Bankruptcy News Makers

 
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    Bentham IMF Platform Launched, Hirings Announced

    Bentham IMF is launching a new bankruptcy litigation funding platform to help debtors, creditors and other stakeholders involved in commercial disputes. The initiative will be led by New York bankruptcy lawyer Ken Epstein, who joins the company as an Investment Manager and Legal Counsel. Epstein was formerly a Managing Director in the restructuring group at MBIA, a financial guarantor. He started his career in the financial restructuring group at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. At the same time, Bentham announced the appointment of experienced in-house corporate and financial services lawyer Christopher Young as Corporate Counsel, helping structure and negotiate the company's growing portfolio of investments. Epstein has extensive debtor and creditor-side restructuring experience across multiple industries both in the U.S. and abroad. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, he has taught bankruptcy law at Cardozo Law School, advised and served on distressed company boards, authored numerous articles and spoken on panels about bankruptcy-related topics. He is also certified as an insolvency and restructuring advisor by the AIRA. In his new role as Corporate Counsel, Young will advise and represent Bentham's investment team in the U.S. as well as IMF's international staff on U.S. corporate legal issues. He is a seasoned corporate and commercial lawyer with experience handling investment contracts, distressed loan and bankruptcy claim trades, leveraged credit facilities and corporate restructurings. He also has experience on employment matters and strategic initiatives. He previously spent over five years as Vice President and Counsel with Royal Bank of Scotland, where he advised RBS' U.S. Financing & Risk Solutions and UK Commercial & Private Banking franchises, while covering general U.S. corporate matters. Before joining RBS, he held positions an Associate at the firms of Andrews Kurth LLP and Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP. A graduate of Yale University, Young earned his JD from Cardozo Law School and received an LLM in Taxation from New York University. With its new platform, Bentham IMF will provide non-recourse funding to debtors-in-possession, creditors and official committees, Chapter 11 trustees and post-confirmation estates.

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    Grant Thornton UK Associate Director Added

    Grant Thornton UK LLP announced the appointment of Darren Fisher to its Financial Services Regulatory team. Fisher brings over 26 years of regulatory experience in financial services, with a specific focus on retail conduct within consumer lending markets. This includes authorizations and variations of permissions, corporate governance (including the Senior Managers and Certification Regime), complaint handling governance, advice suitability, outcomes testing frameworks, compliance monitoring and conduct and culture assessments. He joins Grant Thornton from Huntswood CTC Ltd. At Huntswood, Darren served as Director of Advisory Services, where he led advisory services to a wide range of banks, life and general insurers, wealth managers and consumer credit firms. Fisher joins Grant Thornton as an Associate Director and is also a level 3 qualified financial advisor.

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    Bingham Greenebaum Doll Accolade Announced

    Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP announced that James R. Irving has been named a 2017 honoree of the American Bankruptcy Institute's (ABI) 40 Under 40. The award recognizes bankruptcy, insolvency, and restructuring professionals from around the world who are 40 years old or younger as of December 1, 2017. Irving is the Managing Partner of the firm's Louisville office and Chair of the Bankruptcy /Restructuring Practice Group. His practice focuses on bankruptcy matters and creditors' rights, as well as commercial litigation. Irving has experience representing debtors, creditors, committees, trustees, and interested third parties in Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, in addition to representing creditors in foreclosure proceedings and other litigation. Irving is a long-standing member of ABI and has served the organization as a member of the Advisory Panel to the ABI Southeast Workshop since 2016, and as an ABI CARE Program volunteer since 2015.

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    Hilco Streambank S.V.P. Appointed

    Hilco Streambank announced the appointment of Richelle Kalnit as Senior Vice President. Kalnit will be based in New York City, and will focus on management of IP disposition engagements for Hilco Streambank's clients, while expanding the firm's successful retail and brand IP business. Kalnit joins Hilco Streambank with 12 years of legal experience at two of the nation's top law firms. Most recently, Kalnit served as a Senior Associate at Cooley LLP, where she focused on large retail transactions as well as litigation. During her tenure at the firm, Kalnit managed the sale, reorganization and liquidation of several of the most prominent retailers, hotels and restaurants in the country, including Orchard Brands, hhgregg, Golfsmith, City Sports, Edwin Watts Golf Shops, Baha Mar Hotels, Pizzeria Uno, Crabtree & Evelyn, Samsonite, SkyMall, Mervyn's and many more. Kalnit began her career at King & Spalding LLP in 2005, where she gained critical experience with distressed corporate financing and litigation. Kalnit received her Juris Doctorate from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at the Yeshiva University, following completion of her Bachelor's degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Kalnit has been honored by New York Lawyer magazine as one of New York's rising legal stars for four consecutive years beginning in 2013.

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    Grant Thornton National Managing Principal Appointed

    Grant Thornton LLP named Craig Stanley National Managing Principal of the firm's Financial Services industry practice. Based in New York, he is responsible for leading Grant Thornton's Financial Services practice and overseeing the delivery of high-quality service to clients within this industry. Stanley has more than 20 years of experience delivering strategic consulting services to clients in the financial services industry with a focus on large, global account management. He was most recently at EY, where he founded and led the Financial Services technology advisory practice and founded the managed services business line for the Americas Financial Services practice. Previously, Stanley was a Managing Partner at Andersen Consulting, subsequently Accenture, where he held a number of senior consulting, practice leadership and client relationship partner roles. Stanley received a bachelor's degree in computer science from Cornell University.

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    McDonald Hopkins Managing Member Announced

    McDonald Hopkins LLC announced that David A. Agay has been named the new Managing Member of the Chicago, IL office. Agay is an accomplished corporate restructuring attorney who previously served as the office's assistant managing member. He succeeds Richard N. Kessler, who served as the Chicago managing member since 2007. Agay is licensed in Illinois and New York. He practices in the areas of business restructuring, business counseling, commercial finance, mergers and acquisitions and distressed M&A. He is also a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Turnaround Management Association. He has been a recipient of several awards, such as being named one of the Best Lawyers in America and was selected for inclusion in Illinois Rising Stars and Illinois Super Lawyers. Agay earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He received a B.A. from Pomona College.

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    Kirkland & Ellis Elections Announced

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP announced that 97 attorneys were promoted to Partner, effective October 1, 2017. The firm has 13 offices around the world: Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C. The following elections, all within the Restructuring practice, are of most interest to restructuring professionals: Chicago - Robert Britton; Emily E. Geier; Joe Graham; Gregory F. Pesce and W. Benjamin Winger / Hong Kong - Daniel Margulies and Robert Sandes / New York - Anthony R. Grossi and Cristine Pirro. In general, the admission date will be October 1, 2017, or such later date when any necessary regulatory requirements have been satisfied.

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    KPMG International Chairman Announced

    William B. Thomas, 49was named Chairman of KPMG International, effective October 1, 2017. He will lead the KPMG global network of professional services firms for a four-year term, succeeding John B. Veihmeyer, who completed his term as Chairman and is retiring from KPMG. Thomas previously served as Chairman of KPMG's Americas region since 2014 and has been a member of the Global Board since 2009. He has been a leader in defining KPMG's global strategy and is a champion in promoting an inclusive and high-performing culture throughout the KPMG network. He was C.E.O. and Senior Partner of KPMG in Canada from 2009 to 2016, achieving strong growth in the market and making strategic investments that contributed to expanding the firm's capabilities. In his 28 years with KPMG, Bill has also held a number of leadership roles in the Canadian firm and within KPMG International and has served as an audit partner for prominent clients in a variety of industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia and achieved his Chartered Accountant designation in 1992 from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia. He was named a Fellow of the Institute in 2008. Thomas is a past recipient of Business in Vancouver's Forty-under-Forty award, which recognizes British Columbia's top 40 outstanding young entrepreneurs, executives, managers and professionals. In 2012, he was honored with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to Canada. In 2015, he was named a Catalyst Canada Honours Champion in recognition for his leadership in building a diverse and inclusive culture in KPMG in Canada.

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    McDonald Hopkins Elections Announced

    McDonald Hopkins LLC announced the election of four attorneys to the firm's membership, effective October 1, 2017: Alexa Guevara (West Palm Beach), Joshua Gadharf (Detroit), Jason Harley (Columbus) and Ilirjan Pipa (Cleveland). Of most interest to restructuring professionals, Gadharf is in the Business Restructuring Services Department and counsels clients on strategic alternatives in distressed business settings. He regularly represents public and private companies, directors, officers, lenders, creditors, shareholders and strategic and financial investors. Gadharf's debtor practice involves advising companies and their boards in business restructurings scenarios ranging from out-of-court restructurings to Chapter 11 reorganizations and liquidations. He also regularly advises boards and management teams on strategic, corporate and governance matters and regularly litigates in federal and state courts. Selected for inclusion as a Michigan Rising Star (2015-2017) by Super Lawyers, Gadharf is a member of the Turnaround Management Association, Turnaround Management Association - NextGen and the American Bankruptcy Institute. Gadharf earned a J.D., with honors, from Illinois Institute of Technology's Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2008. He received a B.A., with honors, from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003.

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    Thompson & Knight Partner Added

    Thompson & Knight LLP announced Patrick J. Trostle has joined the firm as a Partner in its New York office in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice Group. Trostle focuses his practice on complex restructuring and Chapter 11 reorganizations, including litigation related to troubled or insolvent businesses. He has extensive experience in cross-border restructurings and in the evaluation and acquisition of distressed debt, assets and businesses. He has represented a number of the world's largest hedge funds in a variety of matters, including disputes involving mortgage-backed securities, derivatives and other structured products. He has been involved in a number of landmark bankruptcy cases, including as appellate counsel in multiple cases before the United States Supreme Court. Notably, Trostle served as a team leader in the representation of the Court-appointed examiner in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case and as co-debtor's Counsel in the General Motors Chapter 11 case regarding the sale of its assets to a newly formed entity sponsored by the United States Treasury. Recognized for his legal work, Trostle has been selected for inclusion in New York Metro Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters (2010-2017) and The Legal 500 U.S. by Legalease (2013). Trostle is the Former Vice Chairman of the Business Bankruptcy Trust Indenture Subcommittee of the American Bar Association and a member of the Advisory Board of the Commercial Law Centre for Harris Manchester College - University of Oxford. He was recently appointed Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute of Transnational Commercial Law at Queen Mary University of London. He often speaks on issues related to insolvency, restructuring, and bankruptcy. Trostle has received several awards for his pro bono representation of a United States charity operating in Rwanda, a project that created the largest grid-connected solar field in east Africa. The National Law Journal recognized his efforts on its "Pro Bono Hot List." His work was also honored by American Lawyer with its Global Legal Award for Citizenship and by the Financial Times in its North American Innovative Lawyers report as a "standout" - the publication's highest rating. Trostle received a J.D. from Vermont Law School in 1992 and a B.A., with highest honors, from Trinity College in 1989. He also attended the University of Oxford, and he served as a law clerk for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York. Prior to joining Thompson & Knight, he was a Partner at an international law firm in New York and served as Chair of its New York Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice. Trostle is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut.

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    Piper Jaffray Companies Managing Director Added

    Piper Jaffray Companies announced the hiring of Bruce Urbanek as a Managing Director in its financial institutions investment banking group focused on financial technology coverage. He will be based in the firm's New York office. Prior to joining Piper Jaffray, Urbanek was a Director and Co-Founder of the financial technology investment banking practice at Houlihan Lokey, Inc. Previously, he was a V.P. in the financial institutions group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and had positions within the financial institutions and technology groups at Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. Over the course of his career, Urbanek has advised on a wide variety of M&A and capital-raising transactions for clients in the payments, financial processing, lending and capital markets sectors. Urbanek holds a bachelor's degree in finance and entrepreneurship/small business management from Florida State University.

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    O'Melveny Tax Partner Added

    Alexander Anderson is joining O'Melveny as a Tax Partner. He will reside in the firm's New York office and work closely with O'Melveny's award-winning Restructuring Practice. Anderson's practice is focused on U.S. federal and state income tax law, with an emphasis on bankruptcy and financial restructuring transactions, mergers & acquisitions, financing transactions, investment funds, cross-border tax planning, securities offerings, investment fund structuring, aviation and equipment finance and inbound and outbound investment structures. Anderson is recognized by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 United States as a leading tax lawyer. Anderson dedicates significant time to pro bono matters and has been recognized by the New York State Bar Association as an "Empire State Counsel" for his commitment to pro bono legal work. He also is a regular participant in the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts program and has counseled numerous artists, playwrights, filmmakers and musicians on a pro bono basis in support of their for-profit and not-for-profit entity formations, conflict-of-interest policies and applications for tax-exempt status. Anderson earned an economics degree from Boston College in 1996 and a JD from the University of Michigan in 1999.

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    Collier on Bankruptcy Co-Editor-in-Chief Named

    Jenner & Block Partner Richard Levin has been named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Collier on Bankruptcy. An author of the 1978 United States Bankruptcy Code, Levin is internationally recognized as one of the foremost restructuring, bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights lawyers in complex bankruptcy litigation, transactional and special situations. With more than 40 years in the practice, he has gained a reputation by leading or playing a major role in numerous precedent-setting domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings. More recently, Levin advised on the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on the City of Detroit's bankruptcy case, coordinating a broad effort that protected the DIA's priceless collection from the city's creditors and negotiated the first and most favorable settlement of clawback claims in the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities SIPA proceeding. He currently is a member of the Jenner & Block team advising the official committee of retired employees of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in connection with the restructuring proceedings. Levin first began his association with Collier on Bankruptcy in 1979 as a consulting editor and contributing author. He has served on the Collier on Bankruptcy Board of Editors since 1997. Levin, Co-Chair of Jenner & Block's Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice, joins Henry J. Sommer who has served as Co-Editor-in-Chief since 2002. Levin is a member and the former Chair of the National Bankruptcy Conference and is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He was a consultant to the World Bank and the Central Bank of Brazil regarding Brazil's 2005 bankruptcy legislation. Since 2002, he has served as a faculty member at the Federal Judicial Center's Bankruptcy Judge Workshops and he was a lecturer in law at Harvard Law School. He is a sought-after speaker and author on a wide range of bankruptcy issues.

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    Great American Group Managing Director Return Announced

    Great American Group, LLC announced that Chad Yutka has returned as Managing Director, Strategy of its Corporate Advisory & Valuation Services (CAVS) subsidiary. In his new role, Yutka will be responsible for promoting growth and providing the direction for the strategic development of the CAVS practice. He will provide additional experience and leadership to an already formidable team of seasoned advisory and valuation professionals. Before joining Great American Group in January 2012 as Vice President for the firm's Corporate Valuation Services practice, Yutka started his career in the appraisal industry in 2003. Since then he has specialized in the valuation of industrial plants, machinery, equipment and other tangible assets and has led over 850 valuations of international and domestic corporations' assets for advisory, financial reporting, tax, dispute resolution, financing, insurance and liquidation purposes. Yutka has been recognized as an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) by the American Society of Appraisers since 2008. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2002. He will be based out of Great American Group's offices in Chicago, IL.

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    Gordon Brothers Board Member Appointed

    Gordon Brothers announced the appointment of Sheila Smith to its Board of Advisors. Smith has over 25 years of experience in financial advisory and restructuring services. She will be responsible for providing guidance on the firm's ongoing evolution. Smith retired in 2015 from Deloitte after serving in numerous leadership positions including Restructuring Service Line Leader for the Americas Region, Service Line Leader of the U.S. and the New England FAS practice. She has participated in hundreds of bankruptcy, restructuring, financial consulting and §363 sell-side advisory engagements. She has been recognized by numerous professional organizations including the ABI, Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), New York Institute of Credit (NYIC) and Turnaround Management Association (TMA). Smith began her professional career as a special education teacher moving to Boston to get her MBA in Public Management. Thereafter she was a senior finance officer of a building materials company that failed, resulting in her introduction to insolvency.

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