People

Philip D. Anker

Partner

Co-Chair, Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group

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Philip Anker, co-chair of the firm's Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group, is an experienced bankruptcy litigator and counselor who has practiced for more than 25 years in the field. Among other honors, he has been selected as one of the “Best Lawyers” in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law in the Best Lawyers in America each year from 2005-2017, with peers stating that he is “a first-class litigator who is tremendous in open court.” He is also listed in the 2013-2017 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of Litigation - Bankruptcy; the 2012-2017 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for his “excellent” Bankruptcy/Restructuring work, where clients describe him as “amazing in court,” "commercial, thoughtful and with a good command of the law" and “tough, tenacious, credible and incredibly effective;” and the 2010-2018 editions of Benchmark Litigation, which rates him as a “National Star” and “Top 10 Practitioner” for Bankruptcy Law and cites Mr. Anker's peers and clients as saying that he is “a superb lawyer, highly professional, and among the elite bankruptcy practitioners.”

Practice

Mr. Anker's practice is wide-ranging. He has represented the full panoply of clients in business bankruptcy cases: debtors, Chapter 11 trustees, trustees of post-confirmation trusts, creditors' committees, secured creditors, debtor-in-possession lenders, noteholders, indenture trustees, unsecured trade creditors, equity holders, investors and purchasers of companies, claims and assets in bankruptcy. In addition, Mr. Anker has played a leading role in some of the largest, most prominent bankruptcy-related litigation matters in recent years, including actions arising out of the Adelphia, Energy Future Holdings, Enron, Global Crossing, Lyondell, Momentive, Refco and Tribune Chapter 11 cases, as well as several consumer bankruptcy class actions. Among other prominent cases, Mr. Anker recently completed the successful defense at trial of a multi-billion-dollar fraudulent transfer action and the successful prosecution at trial and on appeal of claims for contempt arising out of an acquisition, also led by Mr. Anker, of substantially all of the assets of a leading data fusion company. In addition, Mr. Anker has argued and prevailed in eight separate bankruptcy appeals in the US Courts of Appeals, including Delaware Trust Co. v. Energy Future Intermediate Holding Co., 842 F.3d 249 (3d Cir. 2016); In re Tribune Co. Fraudulent Transfer Litigation, 818 F.3d 98 (2d Cir. 2016); Adelphia Recovery Trust v. Bank of America, No. 09-0039-CV, 379 F. App'x 10 (2d Cir. 2010), aff'g, 390 B.R. 80 (S.D.N.Y. 2008); Eastman Kodak Co. v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 456 F.3d 1277 (11th Cir. 2006); MBNA America Bank, N.A. v. Hill, 436 F.3d 104 (2d Cir. 2006); Arruda v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 310 F.3d 13 (1st Cir. 2002); and AT&T Universal Card Servs. v. Mercer, 246 F.3d 391 (5th Cir. en banc 2001). Mr. Anker also successfully argued for the investment bank defendants in the New York Court of Appeals in Kirschner v. KPMG, et al., 15 N.Y. 3d 446, 938 N.E. 2d 941, 912 N.Y.S. 2d 508 (N.Y. Ct. App. 2010), which resulted in that court's seminal decision reinforcing the in pari delicto defense and the dismissal of $2 billion in claims against the banks.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law since 2005
  • Named among the Top 10 practitioners and National Stars for bankruptcy, and recognized for his leading bankruptcy litigation practice in the 2010-2018 editions of Benchmark Litigation
  • Ranked in the 2012-2017 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for his Bankruptcy/Restructuring practice
  • Featured in the 2016 edition of Who's Who Legal: Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Chosen by peers and through independent research as a "New York Super Lawyer" from 2006 through 2017

Publications & News

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September 5, 2017

Judge Dismisses Lyondell Shareholder Adversary Proceedings

In articles published by The Wall Street Journal and Law360, a bankruptcy judge in New York tossed related lawsuits filed by trustees seeking to claw back more than $5.9 billion that Lyondell Chemical company's former shareholders—represented by Philip Anker and Ross Firsenbaum—received in the 2007 leveraged merger between Lyondell and Basell.

August 22, 2017

The “Absolute Priority Rule” and Other “Rules” of “Priority” in Bankruptcy

Phil Anker, in this article published by DailyDAC's Commercial Bankruptcy Alternatives, explores the “Absolute Priority Rule” and other “Rules” of “Priority” in bankruptcy and if they are really “absolute,” if they are really “rules,” and if they always provide “priority” to some claimants over others.

August 16, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, Nine Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 107 WilmerHale lawyers and names nine partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 24th edition.

August 7, 2017

Time Is Money: Historical Strip Prices and Valuation in Oil & Gas Bankruptcies

Timing is key to valuation of all types and in all contexts. But in bankruptcy, valuation timing can take on heightened importance because a central element of bankruptcy involves distributing value as of a specific point in time.

May 26, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2017 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers and Partners announced its rankings for the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, with WilmerHale listed among the nation's best in 50 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

November 23, 2016

WilmerHale Team Wins Precedent-Setting Third Circuit Bankruptcy Case

In a unanimous decision, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that holders of first-lien notes represented by the firm were entitled to a make-whole payment that could amount to approximately $431 million, together with interest.

August 15, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2017 Best Lawyers in America®, Six Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 101 WilmerHale lawyers and names six partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 23rd edition.

May 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

January 12, 2016

Funds Tell 2nd Circ. JPMorgan, Others Fueled $1B Refco Scam

Phil Anker, Ross Firsenbaum and Ari Savitzky are mentioned in this article published by Law360 for their representation of JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch.

May 19, 2015

WilmerHale Practices, Lawyers Ranked Among Nation’s Best by Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2015 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 46 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale attorneys as leaders in their respective fields.

Highlights

Among other clients, Mr. Anker has represented:

  • The indenture trustee for, and holders of, billions of dollars in bonds in the successful prosecution and appeal of “makewhole” and related claims totaling approximately $600 million in the Energy Future Intermediate Holdings Company Chapter 11 case
  • A Fortune 50 company in the successful defense at trial of a multi-billion-dollar fraudulent transfer action brought by post-confirmation liquidation trust, with the court entering a defense verdict at the conclusion of the trial
  • The indenture trustee for, and holders of, $1.1 billion in notes issued by Momentive Performance Materials in the pending appeal of plan confirmation
  • A major trading firm in the successful defense and appeal of multi-billion-dollar fraudulent transfer litigation arising out of the Tribune leveraged buy-out
  • The indenture trustee for, and a steering committee of holders of, bonds in the recently confirmed Energy XXI oil and gas Chapter 11 case
  • Several funds and other financial creditors in connection with their acquisition of a majority interest in GT Advanced Technology under its confirmed Chapter 11 plan of reorganization
  • Various banks, broker-dealers and other institutions in obtaining the dismissal with prejudice of billions of dollars in fraudulent transfer claims arising out of the Lyondell leveraged buy-out and subsequent Chapter 11 case
  • Various investment banks in the Refco Chapter 11 proceedings and in the successful defense of related litigation
  • Major international banks in the Adelphia Communications Chapter 11 case and in the successful defense of related, multi-billion-dollar fraudulent transfer and other litigation
  • One of the nation's leading credit scoring companies in its acquisition of substantially all the assets of TLO LLC out of bankruptcy, in a transaction that the M&A Advisor listed as both the 2013 Financial Services and Professional Services deal of the year, and in its successful prosecution of third parties for contempt of court for violating the bankruptcy court's sale order
  • A Fortune 50 company in several leading telecommunications bankruptcy cases, including WorldCom, Global Crossing, CTC Communications, Adelphia Business Solutions, Adelphia Communications, Network Access, Choice One, Allegiance Telecom and ATX/CoreComm
  • The Canadian affiliates of a large clean energy group of companies in the Chapter 11 cases of their US affiliates and in related claims objections and avoidance actions involving hundreds of millions of dollars in claims
  • Investment banks in the successful defense of fraudulent transfer and other claims arising out of the insolvencies of the SPhinX/PlusFunds and Suffolk companies
  • Large hedge funds, bondholders and other investors in the Chapter 11 cases of Washington Mutual, American Airlines, TerreStar, Flying J and Innkeepers
  • The administrative agent for the first lien lenders in the Chapter 11 case of Workflow
  • Large set of hedge funds in the negotiation of the plan of reorganization, and in the resolution of subsequent claims disputes in Lehman
  • Various investment banks and hedge funds in the defense of fraudulent transfer litigation arising out of the leveraged recapitalization of Boston Generating and its subsequent bankruptcy
  • Defendants sued in Madoff-related claims
  • A major Wall Street broker-dealer in bankruptcy and class action litigation arising out of the collapse of the Foundation for New Era Philanthropy
  • Startec Global Communications in its successful Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings, leading to its reorganization and emergence from bankruptcy
  • A leading trust company in the commercial paper and other bankruptcy litigation brought by Enron
  • Various banks and other entities in the defense of large fraudulent conveyance and other claims brought in the Global Crossing bankruptcy proceedings
  • The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in the Northwest Airlines, General Motors and Harry & David cases
  • The liquidation trustee in the Chapter 11 case of Actrade Financial Corporation
  • One of the nation's leading insurance companies in several large asbestos or other mass tort bankruptcy cases, including Congoleum, Mid-Valley and Delaco
  • A major national retailer and credit card issuer in Homelife and many other Chapter 11 cases and work-outs, as well as in several bankruptcy-related class actions and appeals
  • The liquidator for the Navigator companies in their cross-border Chapter 11 cases
  • A major Wall Street investment bank in its successful challenge to the original plan of reorganization in the MCorp Chapter 11 case and in the negotiation of the amended plan
  • A leading insurance company in the Celotex bankruptcy case and related fraudulent transfer litigation

Professional Activities

Mr. Anker previously served as co-chair of the Debtor Practice Subcommittee of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. He is a member of the New York City Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee as well as the American Bankruptcy Institute, is a frequent speaker and panelist at bankruptcy law conferences, and is an author of numerous articles on issues of bankruptcy and related law.

Practices

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Education

JD, with Highest Honors, George Washington University Law School, 1982, Editor-in-Chief, George Washington Law Review; Order of the Coif

BA, magna cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 1978

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

New York

Clerkships

The Hon. Paul H. Roney, US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1982 - 1983

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