WASHINGTON, February 6, 2006— LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The highly-rated bankruptcy team from Swidler Berlin, led by one of the nation’s leading bankruptcy lawyers, Roger Frankel, is joining Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, effective today.
Frankel was called “a dean of the bankruptcy practice” by Chambers. A former managing partner at Swidler Berlin from 1998-2000, he brings with him to Orrick the entire bankruptcy team from his former firm — Richard Wyron, Jonathan Guy, Monique Almy and Mary Wallace and five associates.
The 10-member team, with its roster of national clients, will be based in Orrick’s Washington, D.C. office. The team has built a reputation as a leader in both the energy sector and in asbestos-related cases, and its lawyers are leading practitioners on complex issues in these industries. The lawyers have represented the National Grid companies in the NRG and USGen Chapter 11 cases. They advise court-appointed future claims representatives in the high-profile cases of Combustion Engineering, W.R. Grace and Congoleum. This week, Frankel and Guy are scheduled to argue before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit representing Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), a major creditor in the Mirant bankruptcy case.
“The addition of this highly respected team strengthens Orrick’s bankruptcy practice and achieves several strategic objectives for the group, including raising our visibility on high-stakes matters of national importance,” said Lorraine McGowen, a New York partner who is the co-chair of the Bankruptcy and Debt Restructuring Group. At McGowen’s suggestion, Frankel will join her as cochair of the group.
“We got to know Orrick and its lawyers very well during discussions between the two firms in 2004,” said Frankel. “We were very impressed with the firm, but conflicts prevented a merger. When at the end 2005 we learned that conflicts would prevent our bankruptcy team from joining other Swidler lawyers who will be going to Bingham McCutchen, we immediately contacted Orrick. There was nowhere else we wanted to go.”
Frankel continued, “Orrick is second to none in terms of the quality of its practices and its culture. Taking into consideration Orrick’s global network of offices, we are clearly in a better position than ever before to help our clients achieve their goals, on the complex matters they face today.”
About the New Orrick Lawyers
Roger Frankel led Swidler’s bankruptcy and creditors’ rights group and was a member of the firm’s board of directors. A practitioner in the areas of business reorganization and creditors’ rights since 1972, Frankel represents a wide range of companies and fiduciaries in debt restructuring and reorganization matters ranging from multi-bank out-of-court workouts to proceedings under state insolvency statutes and the Federal Bankruptcy Code. Recently, he has counseled clients with asbestos matters, including representing a debtor in a successful pre-packaged Chapter 11 case as well as representing other significant parties in pending asbestos cases. Frankel was named one of Washington’s top bankruptcy lawyers in Washingtonian in December 2004. Chambers calls Frankel a “dean of the bankruptcy practice.” He has been named in every edition of the “Best Lawyers in America,” and has appeared on the PBS news program, “Nightly Business Report.”
Richard Wyron represents debtors, creditors, lenders, equity holders, asset purchasers and other parties-in-interest in proceedings under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code as well as in non-judicial workouts and restructurings. He has been lead counsel in a wide variety of Chapter 11 cases. Among other clients, Wyron has represented a multi-state retailer in its successful reorganization proceedings, a national manufacturer in designing, implementing and confirming its pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan, and the principal creditor in the restructuring proceedings of an independent energy producer. His practice includes significant asbestos matters. Wyron represented an asbestos defendant in developing and confirming its Chapter 11 pre-packaged plan, and he currently advises the legal representative for future claimants in several pending asbestos bankruptcies. Chambers has described Wyron as “an imaginative strategist” with “good judgment and a balanced approach,” and as a “smart lawyer who gets the best deal for his client.”
Jonathan Guy has extensive experience as lead counsel in complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the U.S. His clients include major companies in the utility, energy trading, asphalt, oil, asbestos, retail, and telecommunications industries. Guy’s litigation experience includes bankruptcy, antitrust, environmental, security, and employment law, as well as common law issues such as fraud and breach of contract. Guy also represents debtors-in-possession, secured and unsecured creditors, and committees in all litigation matters that arise in large and complex Chapter 11 cases. He also has been active in pro bono matters, including immigration appeal matters and a class-action race discrimination suit. He is an advisor to the bipartisan Presidential Commission for the National Museum for African American History. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Guy worked in investment banking.
Monique Almy has 18 years of experience in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters. Almy has represented commercial banks and other financial institutions in bankruptcy-related litigation, SBAand state-guaranteed transactions, and contested mortgage foreclosure and distressed loan workouts. Other clients include DIP Lenders, official creditors’ committees, health care providers and long distance providers.
Mary Wallace has extensive experience in sophisticated corporate and finance transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings, private debt and equity financings, joint ventures, and strategic licensing arrangements. Her clients include venture funds and other financial institutions in connection with their investments as well as telecommunications, media and technology, manufacturing and biotechnology companies.
Joining the firm as associates are Matthew Cheney, Kathleen Orr, Debra Lessin Felder, Kimberly Neureiter and Katherine Thomas.
The addition of the ten-lawyer bankruptcy team brings the total number of lawyers in Orrick’s D.C. office to 77. It adds considerable depth to the firm’s bankruptcy practice, which, in addition to Washington, has a presence in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, London, Paris and Moscow.
About Orrick’s Bankruptcy and Debt Restructuring Group
Orrick is renowned for its successful representation of secured and unsecured lenders, major institutional investors, debtors, official and ad hoc creditor committees in the United States, Europe,Asia and Latin America. The firm’s experience enables it to handle every complex issue that arisesin bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings and recapitalizations. Its bankruptcy and debt restructuring lawyers represent many of the largest institutional investors in distressed debt and are recognized leaders in preserving and creating value for creditors, bondholders and shareholders in both out-of-court and judicial restructurings of large national and multinational companies. The firm’s ability to handle transnational matters is enhanced through the firm’s offices in Hong Kong, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Taipei and Tokyo. While providing a full range of restructuring-related legal services, the firm’s bankruptcy and debt restructuring lawyers draw upon, when necessary, the resources of lawyers in other Orrick practice groups, including those in corporate finance, securities, litigation, tax, pension and real estate.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is an international law firm with more than 850 lawyers in North America, Europe, and Asia. The firm focuses on litigation, complex and novel finance, and innovative corporate transactions. Orrick clients include Fortune 100 companies, major industrial and financial corporations, commercial and investment banks, high-growth companies, governmental entities, start-ups, and individuals. The firm’s 16 offices are located in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Orange County, Pacific Northwest, Hong Kong, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Taipei and Tokyo.