• Douglas Mannal advises and represents a diverse range of clients, including ad hoc creditor groups, creditors’ committees, and major secured and unsecured creditors, as well as debtors, bank agents, financial institutions and other parties, in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings and other distressed situations.

    Doug has led representations of creditors’ committees in numerous high-profile Chapter 11 cases, including recently in Bristow Group Inc., RAIT Funding LLC, Seadrill Ltd., CHC Group Ltd., Arch Coal, Inc., and Residential Capital.

    On behalf of creditors, Doug has designed and implemented numerous litigation-focused and negotiated strategies designed to maximize creditor recoveries. His creditor-focused work includes proposing and confirming plans of reorganization; investigating and prosecuting viable estate causes of action; negotiating intercreditor disputes; crafting cash collateral orders, debtor-in-possession/exit financing packages and creditor-sponsored equity rights offerings; challenging confirmation of nonconsensual plans; and terminating exclusivity to propose alternative creditor-sponsored plans, all with the goal of exponentially increasing creditors’ returns.

    Doug also often advises hedge funds and financial institutions regarding investments in distressed companies with complex corporate and capital structures, including in the purchase and sale of bank and bond debt, trade claims, and derivatives.

    Doug also counsels debtors and distressed businesses, helping them navigate the complex legal, financial and operational issues that arise from filing for Chapter 11 reorganization. His debtor-focused experience includes obtaining debtor-in-possession financing, negotiating forbearance agreements, achieving support from trade vendors, conducting sales of nonessential business lines, and negotiating plans of reorganization with secured lenders, creditors’ committees and other stakeholders.

    Chambers USA has recognized Doug (2013 – 2020) as a leading lawyer in the field, citing clients who call him “practical and deal-oriented” (2018), “very talented” (2014), and a “good, smart and tough advocate” (2016) for his clients. Turnarounds & Workouts named him among the Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers for 2012, and Law360 selected him as a Rising Star the same year, one of only five lawyers selected in the field of bankruptcy law.

    Experience

    • Bristow Group Inc. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Bristow Group Inc., one of the world's leading industrial aviation service providers, in connection with the Company’s balance sheet and fleet restructuring. Burdened by more than $1.5 billion of financial debt, the company sought chapter 11 protection in Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on May 11, 2019.

    • Nine West Holdings Inc. – Representation of Brigade Capital Management in connection with their interest in the Chapter 11 cases of footwear and apparel retailer Nine West Holdings Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries.

    • Seadrill Ltd. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Seadrill Ltd., one of the world's largest offshore drilling companies. Burdened by more than $8 billion of financial debt, the company sought chapter 11 protection in Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on Sept. 12, 2017. 

    • CHC Group Ltd. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of CHC Group Ltd., the largest commercial helicopter service provider primarily servicing the oil and gas industry.

    • Arch Coal, Inc. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy cases of Arch Coal, Inc. and its direct and indirect debtor subsidiaries, the second largest holder of coal reserves in the United States.

    • Caesars Entertainment – Representation of an ad hoc group of institutions holding more than $4 billion in first lien bonds issued by Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (owner and operator of Caesars Palace and 30 other casinos and resorts under the Bally’s, Harrah’s and Horseshoe brands, among others) in connection with a potential restructuring of the company and related litigation.

    • Neways – Representation of American Capital Ltd., as agent and lender, in connection with an out-of-court restructuring of approximately $34 million in first lien loans and approximately $111 million in second lien loans to Neways, a Utah-based international multilevel marketer of beauty and nutritional products.

    • Residential Capital – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, managing a multifaceted representation of creditors with divergent interests and claims against the company and its parent, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC). Doug helped create a strategy and framework for the global resolution of $10 billion in claims, including representation and warranty, breach of contract, securities fraud and other general unsecured claims against the company. Doug coordinated an extensive investigation of the relationship between the company and Ally Financial, which resulted in a settlement pursuant to which Ally Financial paid $2.1 billion to the company for the benefit of its creditors. Following Residential Capital’s emergence from bankruptcy, Doug led the representation of the liquidating trust in connection with pursuit of certain affirmative litigation, general corporate matters and resolution of remaining claims.

    • General Maritime Corp. – Representation of one of the largest shipping companies to ever file bankruptcy. Assisted the company in structuring a $75 million DIP facility and negotiating a restructuring support agreement with secured creditors that contemplated a $175 million new capital infusion. General Maritime, the secured creditors, the creditors’ committee and certain large noteholders ultimately reached an agreement on the terms of a fully consensual plan of reorganization, and the company emerged from bankruptcy as a going concern, having eliminated approximately $600 million of financial debt and $42 million in annual interest expense.

    • Orchard Brands Corporation – Representation of American Capital Ltd., the largest creditor and bank agent, in connection with a $140 million debtor-in-possession financing and successful restructuring of one of the nation’s largest catalog retailers.

    • Wolverine Tube Inc. – Representation of the first lien lender Plainfield Asset Management, as the largest secured creditor, in the bankruptcy case of Wolverine Tube, a global manufacturer of copper and copper alloy tube and metal joining products. Our work also included assisting Plainfield leadership in the plan process, which led to a successful restructuring of the company’s more than $300 million of indebtedness. 

    • Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation – Representation of the Official Creditors Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, the second largest manufacturer of paperboard and paper-based packaging products in North America (approximately $7.450 billion in assets and $5.582 billion in liabilities at the time the company filed Chapter 11). Our work also included assisting in the negotiation of a very successful plan that allocated 95.5 percent of Smurfit-Stone’s equity to unsecured creditors, essentially paying the unsecured claims in full.

    • AbitibiBowater – Representation of an ad hoc group of bondholders and lenders of $206 million in DIP financing to AbitibiBowater Inc., the world’s largest producer of newsprint by capacity and one of the largest publicly traded pulp and paper manufacturers in the world, in connection with their successful Chapter 11 restructuring.

    • White Birch – Representation of an ad hoc group of secured lenders in a contested “credit” bid by the first lien agent, in connection with the 363 sale of White Birch, the second largest producer of newsprint in North America.

    • Alpha Media – Representation of the first lien agent in connection with an out-of-court restructuring for a leading magazine and media company, which involved the conversion of first lien debt into new debt and equity of the reorganized company.

    • Legacy Cabinets – Representation of BNP Paribas as first lien agent in connection with restructuring of first and second lien facilities for this manufacturer of cabinets.

    • Dura Automotive Systems, Inc. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy of a leading independent designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating control systems, glass systems, engineered assemblies, structural door modules and exterior trim systems for the global automotive and recreations and specialty vehicle industries, which at the time it sought the protection of the bankruptcy court in October 2006 had annual sales in excess of $2.3 billion and approximately $1 billion of outstanding unsecured debt obligations.

    • Dana Corp. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Dana Corp. in the reorganization of a leading supplier of automotive parts to every major vehicle producer in the world, which involved numerous issues impacting creditor recovery and the ability of Dana to successfully reorganize, including the large scale divestitures of unprofitable business segments, pension and other post-retirement medical benefits, intercompany claims, the appropriateness of restrictions on trading securities to preserve Dana’s NOL, potential asbestos liabilities, negotiations with customers and suppliers, and other issues common to automotive suppliers.

    • W.R. Grace – Representation of the Official Equity Committee in the bankruptcy of this leading specialty chemicals and materials company, in which key issues included the valuation and treatment of present and future asbestos claims, assisting in the negotiation of a reorganization and defending it on appeal to the district court and the 3rd Circuit, which paved the way for a substantial distribution to equity holders.

    Credentials

    Education

    • J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 2000
    • B.A., Government and Law, Lafayette College, 1995

    Bar Admissions

    • New York, 2001

    Clerkships

    • Honorable Conrad B. Duberstein, U.S.B.C., Eastern District of New York, 2001

    Court Admissions

    • U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York
    • U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York