GRR 100 2022

Katten Muchin Rosenman

Katten Muchin Rosenman

Professional notice

Acted in aircraft leasing company Nordic Aviation Capital’s US-Irish restructuring

Heads of restructuring and insolvency:Peter Siddiqui, Steve Reisman
Partners in restructuring team18
Restructuring lawyers in Who’s Who Legal: 1
Active cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters20

History of the practice

Katten Muchin Rosenman was established in 2002 through the merger of Chicago firm Katten Muchin & Zavis and New York’s Rosenman & Colin. Primarily US-based, it also has an office in London and one in Shanghai.

For years, Katten’s national restructuring and insolvency practice was led by the late John Sieger, a partner who had been at the practice in Chicago since 2005 and had credits in several household-name cases, including the Chicago Tribune and United Airlines bankruptcies. After his sudden death in March 2021 at the age of just 51, the firm, which described him as “a true leader… a loyal friend and partner to so many and a natural mentor and sponsor to many of our colleagues”, waited several months before announcing the practice’s new co-chairs in July: New York partner Steve Reisman and Chicago-based Peter Siddiqui.

Reisman, who had already been co-chair with Sieger, arrived at Katten in 2018 as part of a high-profile five-partner hire from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle.

In August 2020, the firm launched a restructuring practice in the UK for the first time with the hire of partner Prav Reddy from Charles Russell Speechlys.


Unsurprisingly, the majority of Katten’s restructuring and insolvency lawyers are based in Chicago and New York, with a few faces also working out of Los Angeles and Orange County, California, Dallas, Texas and London.

Who uses it?

Everyone across the insolvency spectrum, but especially financial institutions and lending groups, in both complex bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court restructurings. The firm acted for Bank of America as administrative agent of lending syndicates that funded a Las Vegas casino operator and a Nevada oncology hospital. It was also hired by the indenture trustee of US$6.4 billion in first lien notes issued by casino operator Caesars Entertainment Operating Company in the latter’s Chapter 11; and by the official committee of equity security holders in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of pigment manufacturer Tronox.

On the debtors’ side, Katten represented Hartford Computer Group and telecoms repair and installation company Nexicore Services in Chapter 11 proceedings in the Northern District of Illinois, which were carried out in parallel to Canadian insolvency proceedings. It also acted for Long Island-based retailer Vitamin World as its co-Chapter 11 counsel with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr.

The firm has recently been carving out a name for itself in the retail and fashion sectors especially, having been brought in for directors in the Toys “R” Us bankruptcy and for the debtors in luxury department store Barneys’ Chapter 11.

Historic track record

Katten was lead counsel to inventory data collection group WIS International in a successful out-of-court restructuring of senior and mezzanine debt claims, which involved the sale of its Canadian and European subsidiaries. The deal also saw the resolution of various tax and litigation claims.

It also provided lead counsel to Wilmington Trust National Association as indenture trustee for US$200 million worth of notes issued by a Canadian Nortel entity, Nortel Networks Limited, in the long-running sale proceeds allocation dispute that delayed the telecoms group’s US–Canadian bankruptcy. A global settlement in late 2016 finally brought an end to the dispute over US$7 billion trapped in a lockbox, receiving court approval in Delaware, Ontario and London.

In a case that went all the way up to the US Supreme Court, Katten acted for US Bancorp and co-led the Seventh Circuit and Supreme Court brief drafting teams in In re RadLax and In re River Road. The cases dealt with whether a secured creditor (in this case, US Bancorp and its co-lender) has the right to credit bid at a bankruptcy sale of its collateral, even if that sale is being carried out under the terms of a restructuring plan to which the secured creditor has objected. Siding with US Bancorp, the Supreme Court found that it does, resolving a split in the US circuit courts.

Katten also acted as counsel to a disinterested manager of debtor entity Mariposa Intermediate Holdings in the Chapter 11 proceedings of luxury department store Neiman Marcus. Twenty-three companies in the chain entered bankruptcy proceedings in May 2020, blaming the severe impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on its business operations. By the time of the filing, the group had already replaced the boards at Mariposa and another entity with restructuring experts – in Mariposa’s case Tony Horton of AR Horton advisers. Neiman Marcus exited Chapter 11 in September 2020, having eliminated around US$4 billion and US$200 million in annual interest payments from its balance sheet.

Recent events

In February 2021, Katten hired Latham & Watkins partner Peter Knight in Chicago. The firm also saw the return of New York partner Cindi Giglio, who rejoined in June 2021 following a year at US advisory and investment firm Gordon Brothers, and it added associate Ashley Rona Chase in New York from White & Case three months earlier.

Past the research period, Katten lost special counsel Stacy Tecklin, who joined Glenn Agre Bergman & Fuentes as partner in March 2022. But the firm added former Morrison Foerster partner Sonya Van de Graaff in London from political and legal advisory firm Avonhurst two months later.

Top cases of the research period

Reisman led a team acting for Richter Advisory, the Canadian receiver of nine companies in the Nygard clothing group, seeking Chapter 15 recognition in New York. White Oak, one of Nygard’s lenders, applied for the Canadian receivership after the retailer repeatedly defaulted on a credit facility. In the Chapter 15 petition, Reisman explained that White Oak had lost all confidence in the clothing company when it discovered its sole owner and director, Peter Nygard, had been named in a class action lawsuit before a Manhattan district court alleging he raped and sexually assaulted multiple women and children. Since the recognition order, which was granted in November 2020, Katten advised Richter in the management and administration of the Nygard group’s assets in the US. The class action against Nygard has been stayed pending a criminal investigation, but he was arrested in Canada in December 2020 under the local Extradition Act. In October 2021, in the Manhattan district court, he agreed to be extradited to face charges of sex trafficking.

Reisman also led the team representing the Luxembourg holding company of global satellite group Intelsat, which entered voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in May 2020 to deal with its US$16 billion debt pile. The satellite group’s restructuring plan, which was approved by a Virginia court in December 2021, reduced its debt to US$7 billion and provided it with US$6.7 billion in new financing, consisting of a revolving credit facility, term loan and secured notes. Intelsat exited its bankruptcy proceedings in February 2022.

Elsewhere, Katten is continuing to advise the joint administrators of Guernsey-based mining company BSG Resources, which was controlled by the family of Israeli diamond tycoon, Beny Steinmetz. BSG fell into administration in March 2018, after its board took pre-emptive action to protect the company against an adverse judgment from arbitration proceedings brought by Brazilian miner Vale in a dispute over a failed joint venture in Guinea. During the research period, the Katten team resolved a large claim against George Soros in New York and continued to advise on potential claims against connected persons, an ongoing Chapter 15 proceeding in New York and the progression of the Guernsey administration.

Reisman also led the Katten team that represented a subsidiary of Denmark-founded, Ireland-headquartered Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) in the aircraft leasing group’s Chapter 11 restructuring. In December 2021, 119 NAC entities entered Chapter 11 proceedings, following the completion of an Irish scheme of arrangement in July 2020 to defer some of its obligations that was recognised in the US as a foreign main proceeding. In June 2022, NAC emerged from bankruptcy, eliminating nearly US$4.1 billion of debt, reducing its fleet count and with access to US$537 million in additional capital.

Also in the US, Katten acted for an ad hoc group of unsecured creditors of Mexican flag carrier Aeroméxico’s operating company, which had its Chapter 11 plan approved in New York in January 2021 and exited bankruptcy in March 2022 with US$1.1 billion eliminated from its debt pile and US$1.4 billion secured in new financing.

Meanwhile in the UK, Reddy’s team has been advising administrators appointed by Wells Fargo over the UK arm of international steel trader Kurt Orban Partners (KOP). At the same time, a US Katten team has been acting for KOP’s US receiver, who was appointed to oversee some of its local operations in July 2020. Wells Fargo filed breach of contract and guarantee claims against KOP and its sole member, Kirt Matthew Orban, before a California district court and in arbitration, after alleging that the trader failed to pay US$82 million on loans that matured at the end of June 2020.

At Katten, we think like business people first and foremost.

Katten’s Insolvency and Restructuring attorneys approach each engagement with a creative, outside-the-box outlook, an understanding of the motivations and goals of the parties involved, practical counsel that takes business realities into consideration, and focuses on exceeding the clients’ objectives. This approach provides the best results efficiently, allowing clients to get back to their most pressing concern — running their businesses.

Our practice consists of a well-integrated team of attorneys practicing throughout the United States and around the world. Our experience and legal acumen, coupled with the depth of our firm resources, enable us to provide highly sophisticated, yet practical and timely legal advice in all areas of insolvency, problem loan workouts and related commercial litigation. We focus on managing the business and legal risks inherent in the restructuring process, and offering practical and innovative solutions to challenging problems.

Our clients include debtors, independent directors, special boards, purchasers of distressed assets, banks and other financial institutions, agents and participants in syndicated loan transactions, indenture trustees and bondholders, secured and unsecured creditors, private equity sponsors and family offices, shareholders, hedge funds, official and unofficial creditors’ committees, landlords, equipment lessors, partners, vendors, trade creditors, and borrowers and other interested parties in all types of in-court and out-of-court proceedings. 

In representing these constituents in large, complex Chapter 11 cases, we have developed valuable experience appearing before bankruptcy courts across the United States, formed close relationships with other premier bankruptcy firms, and possess a keen understanding of how to effectively and efficiently represent our clients.

We have had substantial involvement playing central roles in some of the largest and most complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in recent history, including Intelsat, Mallinckrodt, Seadrill, GWG Holdings, Gulfport, Sable Permian Resources, J.C. Penney Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Sears, Barneys, Toys “R” Us, Alex & Ani, and Le Pain Quotidien, among many others.

With more than 30 full-time bankruptcy attorneys in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orange County and London, Katten’s Insolvency and Restructuring practice has in-depth familiarity representing different constituencies and in all types of in-court and out-of-court restructurings and workouts, with a focus on bankruptcy litigation, Section 363 transactions and other M&A transactions involving distressed companies. Katten also is one of the preeminent firms in representing independent directors in Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings.

Recognized By

  • Chambers USA and Chambers Global for Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • The Legal 500 United States for Restructuring (including Bankruptcy)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and Bankruptcy Litigation
  • The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, including awards for Restructuring Deal of the Year ($100MM-$1B), Restructuring Deal of the Year ($1B-$5B), and Consumer Discretionary Deal of the Year ($100MM-$500MM)
  • Global M&A Network Turnaround Atlas Awards, including awards for Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year (small mid markets), Consumer Retail Restructuring of the Year, and Corporate Turnaround of the Year (large)


“They are willing to go down rabbit-holes with you – they will roll up their sleeves and get creative. Their level of service is amazing.” – Chambers Global 2022 survey response

“The attorneys at Katten were able to help me navigate a very complex and large bankruptcy. The team was extremely responsive whenever I had a question or problem.” – Chambers USA 2022 survey response

“They’re very responsive, proactive, easy to work with and flexible.” – Chambers Global 2022 survey response

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