Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring TRANSACTIONAL

From billion-dollar fraudulent transfer litigation and appellate resolution of cutting-edge bankruptcy issues to multi-national Chapter 11 restructurings, WilmerHale has been at the forefront of complex financial restructuring and bankruptcy litigation and policy matters for decades.

Legal issues in bankruptcy are often complex and evolve at a fast pace. Addressing these issues requires the persistence, focus and dedication of counsel with sophisticated legal skills in order to turn difficult financial issues into opportunities. Our lawyers have decades of experience advising clients in virtually all aspects of financial restructuring matters—both in and out of court—and in complex bankruptcy litigation, regulation and policy matters across the globe. We collaborate regularly with lawyers in the firm’s corporate, debt finance, securities, derivatives, real estate, tax, international trade, intellectual property, venture capital, regulatory, and insurance groups to advise clients and achieve successful results for them. We have unparalleled experience where bankruptcy and financial institutions issues intersect, and on matters where bankruptcy and intellectual property issues overlap.


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Sigel, John

John D. Sigel

Chair, Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group

+1 617 526 6728 (t)


Philip D. Anker

Vice Chair, Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group

+1 212 230 8890 (t)

Goldman, Andrew N.

Andrew N. Goldman

Vice Chair, Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group

+1 212 230 8836 (t)


Bankruptcy Litigation, Regulation and Policy

  • Defended a Fortune 20 company against a suit brought by a litigation trust on behalf of creditors of a former subsidiary in US District Court, related to the spinoff of the former subsidiary prior to its bankruptcy.
  • Tried and settled claims of the Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. estate against multi-national defendant Lukoil, related to Lukoil’s spinoff of Getty, following the assignment of those claims to a liquidating trust through Getty’s confirmed Chapter 11 plan.
  • Represented a leading national mortgage servicer in connection with a number of disputes in bankruptcy courts across the country relating to the treatment of home mortgages in Chapter 13, and in connection with its residential mortgage business generally, helping the bank to navigate the evolving policy and regulatory regimes in that area.
  • Represented financial institutions in their defense of claims arising from the Lyondell and Tribune Company bankruptcies, related to the leveraged buyouts that preceded those bankruptcy filings, as well as other financial institutions in their defense of claims relating to the bankruptcies of Refco and the SPhinX Funds.
  • Represented the Loan Syndication and Trading Association as amicus curiae in the US Supreme Court RadLAX case, regarding the right of a secured creditor to credit bid its claim in bankruptcy, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association as amicus curiae in a Second Circuit Madoff appeal, regarding the Bankruptcy Code’s safe-harbor provisions relating to securities contracts.

Financial Restructuring

  • Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 cases of Getty Petroleum Marketing, Frontier Airlines, and Alamo/National Car Rental.
  • Represented lenders and bondholders in the restructurings and exchanges of Tribune, American Airlines, Bicent Power, RJ O’Brien, Inergy, ATA Holdings, Satmex and McLeod.
  • Represented the first-lien agents and DIP agents in the Chapter 11 cases of Digital Domain Media Group and Workflow Management.
  • Represented Constar, KB Toys, Kmart, and PSINet as debtors in their Chapter 11 restructurings, and the involuntary petitioners in the Chapter 11 filing for a Houston sports cable network.
  • Represented buyers and sellers in Section 363 sales in the bankruptcy cases of Kodak, Coach America, Nortel, BearingPoint and TLO, among others.

Publications & News


April 11, 2014

All or Nothing: Delaware Bankruptcy Court Decision in Physiotherapy Holdings Addresses Contract “Integration” for Purposes of Assumption Under Section 365(a)

Among the many tools the Bankruptcy Code provides a debtor in bankruptcy is the ability to assume and reject executory contracts and unexpired leases. This powerful tool is not without limits, however. Among other things, it is an “all or nothing” proposition—a debtor must assume or reject the entire agreement.

March 6, 2014

Law v. Siegel: The End of Equitable Disallowance?

Bankruptcy courts have divided over the question of whether a creditor's otherwise valid claim may be "equitably disallowed" on account of the creditor's inequitable conduct. The reasoning of the Supreme Court's decision this week in Law v. Siegel, while arising in the context of an individual debtor's claim of exemption, strongly suggests that no such authority exists.

January 30, 2014

Cross-Border Bankruptcy in 2013: 10 Decisions Shaping Chapter 15

Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code, addressing cross-border bankruptcy cases, is fewer than 10 years old, but the cumulative volume of Chapter 15 cases has become substantial. In 2013 alone, 38 Chapter 15 cases (or groups of related cases) were filed.

January 15, 2014

11th Circ. Sows Doubt Over Insolvent Bank Tax Refunds

Phillip Anker and Nancy Manzer publish an article in Bankruptcy Law360.

December 19, 2013

In re Qimonda AG: Fourth Circuit Upholds US Patent Licensee Protections in Chapter 15 Cross-Border Bankruptcy Case

The Fourth Circuit found that the US Bankruptcy Court was correct in considering the rights of Qimonda's licensees in that balance, and in holding that protecting licensee rights under Section 365(n) was a necessary part of allowing the Qimonda foreign representative to proceed with its Chapter 15 case.

December 18, 2013

Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Group: 2013 Recap

WilmerHale’s Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Group is pleased to report another successful year. Led by nine partners out of the firm’s New York, Boston, and Washington DC offices, the group presents a unique combination of litigation and transactional practices spanning the bankruptcy and financial restructuring landscape.

December 2, 2013

‘Free and Clear’ Has Broad Reach in Bankruptcy Sales

An article by Craig Goldblatt, Andrew Goldman and Nancy Manzer, published in the Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy section of the New York Law Journal.

December 2, 2013

Washingtonian Magazine Names 14 WilmerHale Attorneys to "Best Lawyers" List

November 22, 2013

Third Circuit Affirms Ruling that Purchaser of Trade Claims Takes Subjects to Disallowance Based on Sellers' Failure to Repay Preference Liability

On November 15, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held in KB Toys that certain trade claims purchased on the secondary market were subject to disallowance because the trade creditors that sold those claims had not repaid their preference liability.

November 4, 2013

Whose Refund Is It? Round Three Goes to Bank Holding Company Bankruptcy Estate

In prior Client Alerts, we reported on two recent Eleventh Circuit decisions (BankUnited and NetBank) that, in a seeming break with the established precedent in lower courts, held that tax refunds attributable to losses incurred by an insolvent bank belonged to the FDIC, as receiver for the bank, rather than to the bankruptcy estate of the bank's holding company that received those refunds. In those Alerts, we suggested that because of unique facts in those cases, other courts might limit those decisions to their facts and reach a different result in future cases. That is exactly what the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware did in its recent decision in the bankruptcy case of Downey Financial Corp.


The excellence of WilmerHale’s Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring practice consistently receives wide recognition in the professional press and throughout the business sector.

  • Business Week – Named WilmerHale as one of the nation’s "top bankruptcy shops”
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business – In 2013, Chambers named our Bankruptcy/Restructuring practices among the top in Massachusetts and Washington DC, with sources saying our attorneys are "very professional" and "truly brilliant." Phil Anker, Mitch Appelbaum, Craig Golblatt, Andrew Goldman, Dennis Jenkins and John Sigel were individually honored as leaders in the field.
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business – Acknowledged our "increasingly prominent" bankruptcy/restructuring practices in 2010-2013 with band one rankings, quoting sources as saying our team is "a top notch group of lawyers with great depth and breadth.” In the most recent edition, Mitch Appelbaum, Craig Goldblatt, Andrew Goldman, Dennis Jenkins and John Sigel were individually honored as leaders in the field. The department has received top rankings in Chambers USA every year since 2004.
  • U.S. News - Best Lawyers® – In the 2010-2014 "Best Law Firms" rankings, the firm was honored with first-tier national rankings in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, as well as first-tier metropolitan rankings in that same category in Boston, Washington DC and New York. The firm is also recognized with second-tier national rankings in Banking and Finance Law.
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Recognized nearly 100 partners, naming eight "Lawyer of the Year" in 2014. In 2012 and 2013, Best Lawyers named William Perlstein as the Washington DC "Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year" and named six other WilmerHale attorneys as "Lawyers of the Year" in their respective areas of practice.
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Ranked WilmerHale in 2010-2014 number one for Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law in Boston and Massachusetts and also recognized Phil Anker, Michel Appelbaum, Bill Perlstein and John Sigel for their bankruptcy practices.
  • The Legal 500 United States – In the 2009 edition, WilmerHale was recognized for bankruptcy in the Northeast and also identified John Sigel as a leader in this practice area.
  • Washington Business Journal – In 2008, WilmerHale Partner Craig Goldblatt was named a "Top Lawyer" for his outstanding knowledge and experience in the area of Bankruptcy
  • American College of Bankruptcy – Partners Paul Daley, William Perlstein and John Sigel are fellows of the American College of Bankruptcy