Funds Talk: October 2016
Kramer Levin Elevates Three to Partnership
Kenneth H. Eckstein, Co-chair of the Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy department, has played a prominent role in many of the largest and most complex Chapter 11 reorganizations over the past 30 years. Mr. Eckstein represents creditors’ committees, bondholders and other stakeholders in both in- and out-of-court restructurings, as well as trustees, examiners and third parties seeking to acquire the assets or businesses of financially troubled companies. He also counsels and represents debtors in the complex legal, financial and operational issues arising in reorganizations, including obtaining debtor-in-possession financing; negotiating forbearance agreements; negotiating plans of reorganization with secured lenders, creditors’ committees and other stakeholders; and conducting sales of businesses.
A Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, Mr. Eckstein has been repeatedly recognized by Chambers and Legal 500 and as one of the pre-eminent bankruptcy practitioners both in New York and in the United States, and as an “outstanding” lawyer, “renowned in the field for his significant experience representing major parties to bankruptcy and restructuring cases, particularly large Chapter 11 matters,” and lauded for his “understanding of the financial and legal issues” and the way he “provides [clients] with a level of focus in complex negotiations.” (Chambers USA 2016). His clients describe him as “one of the best bankruptcy lawyers in court – very practical and very smart,” and “a real consensus builder” who “does a phenomenal job of getting people to focus on what the end game is and making sure the case stays on track.” (Chambers USA 2014). He is noted for being “great at organizing a creditors’ committee and getting it focused on a solution,” as well as “very learned in the bankruptcy arena, and easy to work with.” (Chambers USA 2015).
Mr. Eckstein’s recent work includes representing the ad hoc group of first lien bondholders holding more than $4 billion in bonds issued by Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. in connection with the company’s restructuring; funds managed by Elliott Management, Aurelius Capital, Davidson Kempner and Bracebridge Capital in the settlement of their 15-year dispute with The Republic of Argentina; the ad hoc group of senior noteholders holding more than $1.6 billion of unsecured notes issued by Peabody Energy Corp., the world’s largest private-sector coal company, in connection with the company’s bankruptcy; the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Residential Capital LLC in the largest bankruptcy of 2012; the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy of NII Holdings Inc., one of the largest Chapter 11 cases of 2014; Genco Shipping & Trading in the $1.4 billion shipping company restructuring that required negotiating with more than 25 sophisticated financial investors and resulted in a true “prepackaged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was confirmed in less than three months; and General Maritime in structuring a $75 million debtor-in-possession facility and negotiating a restructuring that enabled the shipping company to emerge from bankruptcy after eliminating approximately $600 million of financial debt and $42 million in annual interest expenses.
In 2014, Mr. Eckstein was named to Global M&A Network’s list of Global Top 100 Turnaround Professionals and to Law360’s MVP List, one of only eight named in the area of Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring, as well as one of the Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers by Turnarounds & Workouts in 2011 and Restructuring Lawyer of the Year by Global M&A Network in 2010.