• Kenneth H. Eckstein, co-chair of the Bankruptcy and Restructuring department, has played a prominent role in many of the largest and most complex Chapter 11 reorganizations over the past 30 years. Ken 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, Ken has been repeatedly recognized by Chambers and Legal 500 as one of the pre-eminent bankruptcy practitioners both in New York and in the United States. According to Chambers, he is regarded as a “very good deal lawyer” who is “extremely knowledgeable about the law and … very bright” (2017). He is also 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” (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).

    Ken’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, Ken 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 lawyers 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.

    Experience

    • Toys “R” Us Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy cases of Toys “R” Us Inc. and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries. The company is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, with nearly 65,000 employees worldwide and approximately 1,900 locations in 38 countries. Burdened by more than $5 billion of financial debt, the company sought Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, on Sept. 18, 2017. The nine-member committee consists of LEGO Systems Inc., Mattel Inc., Huffy Corp., The Bank of New York Mellon, Simon Property Group Inc., KIMCO Realty, Evenflo Co. Inc., Veritiv Operating Co. and Euler Hermes North America Insurance Co.

    • Caesars Entertainment – Representation of the first lien bondholders holding more than $4 billion in first lien bonds issued by Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. (owner and operator of Caesars Palace and 30 other casinos and resorts under the Bally’s, Harrah’s and Horseshoe brands, among others). Ken continues to play a pivotal role in the restructuring and related litigation. He led negotiations that resulted in a restructuring support agreement supported by holders of more than $5 billion (80 percent) of first lien notes, the company and its parent and formed the basis for Caesars’ 2015 bankruptcy filing. He continues to represent the interests of his clients in connection with one of the largest pending Chapter 11 cases.

    • Peabody Energy Corp. – Representation of members of 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. Ken played a key role in pre-petition negotiations on behalf of the ad hoc group, and continues to represent the ad hoc group’s interests in connection with the bankruptcy case.

    • The Republic of Argentina – Representation of the funds managed by Elliott Management, Aurelius Capital, Davidson Kempner and Bracebridge Capital in the settlement of their 15-year dispute with Argentina as well as in the implementation and funding of the settlement. Ken served as settlement counsel for the funds.

    • NII Holdings Inc. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy of NII Holdings Inc., a leading provider of mobile communication services operating under the Nextel brand in Latin America, which listed approximately $8 billion of debt on its balance sheet at the time it sought bankruptcy protection, making it one of the largest Chapter 11 cases of 2014. The Chapter 11 plan, for which the creditors’ committee was a co-plan proponent, was confirmed in June 2015 in the Southern District of New York.

    • Residential Capital – Representation of the Official Creditors’ Committee in the bankruptcy of Residential Capital (ResCap), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC) that serviced more than 2.4 million domestic residential mortgage loans with a value of approximately $374 billion. Ken played a key role in negotiations on behalf of the committee, managing a multifaceted representation of creditors with divergent interests and claims against ResCap and its parent, AFI, which ultimately led to a co-proposed plan of reorganization that included the sale of ResCap’s servicing and origination business and its loan portfolio for approximately $4.5 billion, and the negotiation of a $2.1 billion settlement between AFI, ResCap and ResCap’s major creditor constituencies, nearly tripling the amount that ResCap had originally negotiated with AFI. ResCap’s Chapter 11 plan was ultimately confirmed in December 2013, after ResCap and the committee settled with the junior secured noteholders.

    • Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP– Representation of the lender, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., in the largest law firm bankruptcy case ever filed and one of the most newsworthy bankruptcies in 2012 involving the legal community.

    • General Motors Corp. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of GM, the largest automobile manufacturer in the United States and the second-largest in the world, in the fourth-largest bankruptcy case in history.

    • Chrysler LLC – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in one of the most important and expedited Chapter 11 restructurings on record, and the ninth-largest bankruptcy in history.

    • Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, helping negotiate a fully consensual Chapter 11 plan that eliminated more than $600 million in funded debt.

    • Magna Entertainment Corp. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Magna Entertainment Corp., commencing an adversary proceeding seeking to recharacterize or equitably subordinate in excess of $375 million in insider loans from Magna’s majority shareholder, MI Developments, resulting in a settlement of claims at an estimated value of at least $130 million.

    • Leap Wireless International Inc. – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Leap Wireless, the holding company of Cricket Communications Inc., one of the largest wireless carriers in the country.

    • Big V Supermarkets – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Big V Supermarkets Inc., the owner and operator of a chain of 35 ShopRite stores in the New York Hudson Valley and surrounding areas.

    • SGL Carbon – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, obtaining an order from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing the SGL bankruptcy on the ground that it had been filed in “bad faith” the first such ruling in a Chapter 11 case involving a substantial operating company.

    • Cityscape Financial Corp. – Representation of a committee of subordinated noteholders in connection with Cityscape’s prepackaged bankruptcy plan of reorganization, negotiating a restructuring that converted all of Cityscape’s debt into equity, and participating in the documenting of a prepackaged plan of reorganization.

    • Olympia & York – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in this complex bankruptcy case concerning the U.S. assets of O&Y, formulating a strategy that effectively blocked the debtors’ non-negotiated plan of reorganization and provided the basis for a negotiated plan that significantly enhanced the recovery to unsecured creditors.

    • Integrated Resources – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Integrated Resources.

    • SLM International – Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of SLM International, the leading manufacturer of hockey equipment and other sporting goods, in the Delaware bankruptcy of this Canada-based company.

    • Financial News Network – Representation of the Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Financial News Network.

    • PSNH – Representation of the Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of PSNH.

    • Eastern Airlines – Representation of the Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee of the airline that was one of the Big Four that dominated the passenger airline business in the United States for nearly 50 years, in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

    • Texaco – Representation of the Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Texaco.

    • Adelphia Communications Corp./FrontierVision – Representation of the bondholders holding approximately $350 million of notes issued by FrontierVision, a subsidiary of Adelphia, in Adelphia’s sale to Time Warner and Comcast for a record price of more than $17 billion.

    • Owens Corning – Representation of the agent for a consortium of 47 bank lenders with $1.6 billion of debt in opposing efforts by bondholders and asbestos creditors of Owens Corning to use substantive consolidation or fraudulent conveyance theories to set aside guarantees obtained by the banks against several Owens Corning subsidiaries.

    • Calpine Corp. – Representation of the bondholder of Calpine Canada Finance ULC II (a Calpine Canadian subsidiary) in the Calpine restructuring proceedings in the United States and Canada, which ultimately resulted in the payment of our client’s claims in full, including post-petition interest and a negotiated make-whole.

    • Dow Corning – Representation of the Tort Claimants Committee in one of the largest mass tort bankruptcy cases filed to date, in which tort claimants asserted billions of dollars in personal injury claims against Dow Corning arising from the manufacture and sale of silicone breast implants. Litigation resulted in the negotiation of a plan that devoted up to $3.2 billion to resolving tort claims.

    • Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. – Representation of the company in a $1.4 billion restructuring of three separate secured loan facilities and an unsecured convertible note facility. Ken led the company in negotiating a restructuring support agreement, obtaining support from over 25 sophisticated financial investors and banks, as well as a voluntary agreement to leave all other unsecured creditors (including trade) unimpaired and make a gift of new warrants to the then-existing equity holders, permitting Genco to commence a true “prepackaged” Chapter 11 case to implement its restructuring, the confirmation of which the company obtained in less than three months.

    • General Maritime Corp. – Representation of one of the largest shipping companies to ever file bankruptcy in structuring a $75 million debtor-in-possession facility and negotiating a restructuring support agreement with secured creditors and, eventually, an agreement with the creditors’ committee and certain large noteholders on a consensual plan of reorganization allowing the company to emerge from bankruptcy as a going concern, eliminating approximately $600 million of financial debt and $42 million in annual interest expense all during one of the worst downturns in the shipping industry.

    • Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers – Representation of the historic New York City acute-care hospital and related entities as debtors in possession in Chapter 11 cases, which involved several going-concern sales of the hospital system’s health care services, preserving critical patient care needs in the communities served by the hospital system. The Chapter 11 plan provided for a 100 percent recovery for administrative and priority creditors and secured lenders, and a substantial recovery by the employees and pensioners.

    • Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp. – Representation of one of the largest full-service commercial operators of fitness centers in North America in the restructuring of the company’s operations (including more than 300 fitness clubs), the securing of exit financing, the negotiation of a consensual disclosure statement and plan of reorganization, and its emergence from bankruptcy with a substantially restructured operational footprint and its debt burden reduced from approximately $800 million to $75 million.

    • Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Representation of a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in its Chapter 11 case, enabling the company to consensually restructure its balance sheet and emerge from bankruptcy in less than five months.

    • Ascendia Brands Co. Inc. – Representation of a national leader in the manufacture and sale of blended and private-label health and beauty care products in a bankruptcy that involved marketing and selling the company’s portfolio of internationally recognized brands such as Baby Magic, Binaca, Mr. Bubble, Calgon, Ogilvie and Lander.

    • Malden Mills Inc. – Representation of a worldwide leader in the research, development, manufacture and branding of synthetic, high-performance fabrics, including the Polartec global brand, in this difficult, fast-paced Chapter 11 case.

    • MicroWarehouse Inc. – Representation of the worldwide supplier of computers and computer accessories, successfully negotiating and documenting the sale of substantially all of MicroWarehouse’s domestic and international assets.

    • Berry-Hill Galleries – Representation of a world-class art gallery operated by members of the Hill family for more than 100 years, in obtaining confirmation of a plan of reorganization that provided for payment in full, plus interest, of allowed claims, and the stabilization of a fragile business that was beset by litigation on multiple fronts and confronted with significant liquidity concerns.

    • Elite Model Management – Representation of one of the leading national model management companies, successfully managing the sale of Elite’s business as a going concern and negotiating a consensual Chapter 11 plan that resolved class action claims and other significant litigation claims.

    • Cross Media Marketing – Representation of a substantial seller of magazine subscriptions to end users through direct and cross-channel marketing, negotiating a plan that sold the debtor’s assets as a going concern.

    • The Wiz Inc. – Representation of a secured lender in the Chapter 11 filing of The Wiz Inc., one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in the Northeast.

    Credentials

    Education

    • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1979
      • Research Editor, Journal of International Law and Politics, 1978-79
    • B.A., cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 1976

    Bar Admissions

    • New York, 1980

    Clerkships

    • Honorable John J. Galgay, U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York, 1978 - 1979

    Court Admissions

    • U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York, 1980
    • U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York, 1980

    Professional Affiliations

    • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
    • New York City Bar Association, Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization
    • American Bar Association, Section on Corporation, Banking and Business Law