Insolvency and Restructuring

Davis Polk is widely recognized as one of the world's premier law firms for restructuring. We represent companies, financial institutions, committees, hedge funds, investors, acquirers, trustees, administrators and receivers in connection with the largest and most complex: 

    • Restructurings
    • Exchange offer and debt/equity conversions
    • Reorganizations
    • DIP Financings
    • Exit Financings
    • Distressed Mergers and Acquisitions

We have advised on several marquee insolvencies and restructurings, including matters involving AIG, American Airlines, Delta, Enron, Frontier Airlines, Ford, Kodak, Lehman Brothers, LyondellBasell, Polaroid, Tribune and RadioShack. 

Davis Polk is also a firm of choice for cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters, particularly in Asia, Brazil and other parts of Latin America. We are actively involved in some of the largest insolvency cases in Latin America, with major assignments involving Odebrecht Oil & Gas, Pacific E&P, Oro Negro, Embraport, Grupo Infinity, USS Asucare Alcohol, Schahin and Tonon to name a few, as well as several notable sovereign assignments involving entities such as the Republic of Argentina and the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico.

Davis Polk is further distinguished from our peers by our market share of the most strategic and innovative advisory and transactional assignments. We have been the leading U.S.-based global law firm working, both domestically and internationally, with regulators to solve the “too big to fail” problem and with their financial institutions clients on “living wills” required under the Dodd-Frank Act. 

Recognition

  • Chambers Global – Bankruptcy/Restructuring: USA, Band 1

  • Chambers USA:

    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Nationwide, Band 1
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: New York, Band 1
  • Legal 500 – Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Corporate, Band 1

Davis Polk is consistently recognized for innovative and successful restructuring transactions, including most recently:

  • M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards – winner in nine categories in 2017, more than any other law firm.
    • "Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $10 billion) (PREPA), 2017
    • "Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $5 billion to $10 billion)" (Arch Coal), 2017
    • "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (over $5 billion)" (Alpha Natural Resources), 2017
    • "Cross-Border Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $1 billion)" (Pacific Exploration & Production), 2017
    • "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (over $1 billion to $5 billion)" (RCS Capital), 2017
    • "Sec. 363 Sale of the Year (over $500 million to $1 billion)" (Alpha Natural Resources), 2017
    • "Energy Deal of the Year (over $1 billion)" (Midstates Petroleum Company), 2017
    • "Energy Deal of the Year (over $100 million to $500 million)" (Venoco), 2017
    • "Utilities Deal of the Year" (PREPA), 2017
    • "Media Deal of the Year" (Houston Regional Sports Network), 2015
    • "Out-of-Court Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $500 million)" (Venoco), 2015
    • "Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $250 million to $500 million)" (RadioShack), 2015
    • “Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $100 million)” (Coach America), 2013 
    • “Sector Deal of the Year (over $50 million)” (Coach America), 2013
    • “Consumer Services Deal of the Year” (Foxwoods), 2013
  • Turnaround Atlas Awards
    • “Turnaround of the Year” (Tervita), 2017  
    • “Cross-Border Turnaround of the Year” (Pacific Exploration & Production), 2017
    • “Corporate Turnaround of the Year (over $5 billion)” (Arch Coal), 2017
    • “Corporate Turnaround of the Year (over $1 billion to $2.5 billion)” (C&J Energy), 2017
    • “Chapter 11 Restructuring Turnaround of the Year (over $5 billion to $15 billion)” (Alpha Natural Resources), 2017
    • “Chapter 11 Restructuring Turnaround of the Year (over $2.5 billion to $5 billion)” (Verso Corporation), 2017
    • “Industry Restructuring Turnaround of the Year: Energy” (Midstates Petroleum), 2017
    • “Industry Restructuring Turnaround of the Year: Financial” (RCS Capital), 2017
    • "Global Restructuring Law Firm of the Year,” 2014 
    • "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year” (Patriot Coal), 2014 
    • “Cross-Border Distressed M&A Deal of the Year” (Elpida), 2014 
    • “Transport and Logistics Turnaround of the Year” (Pinnacle Airlines), 2014 
  • Turnarounds & Workouts
    • "Successful Restructurings" (Arch Coal), 2016
    • “Successful Restructurings” (Patriot Coal), 2013
  • Corporate INTL Legal Awards – “Bankruptcy & Restructuring Law Firm of the Year in New York,” 2013, 2015-2017

  • ACQ Global Awards – "Leading Restructuring & Turnaround Advisory (USA)," 2015, 2017

  • Global Law Experts – "Bankruptcy & Restructuring Law Firm of the Year in New York," 2015, 2017 
  • American Lawyer Global Legal Awards – “Global Finance Deal of the Year: Restructuring and Insolvency /Asia” (Elpida), 2014 
  • Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers
    • “Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers/Highly Commended” (Elpida), 2013 
    • “Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers/Standout” (Foxwoods), 2013 
  • International Financial Law Review Americas Awards
    • “Restructuring Deal of the Year” (Lehman), 2013
    • “Restructuring Team of the Year,” 2013  

Debtor Representations

  • Arch Coal. Advised Arch Coal and its subsidiaries throughout their chapter 11 proceedings, successfully completing one of the fastest multibillion-dollar bankruptcies in recent years.
  • Bonanza Creek Energy. Advised Bonanza Creek Energy on its restructuring under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Delta Air Lines. Advised Delta Air Lines on a comprehensive and integrated global settlement to restructure Delta’s codeshare relationship with, and provide DIP financing to, Republic Airways Holdings.
  • Mongolian Mining Corporation. Advised Mongolian Mining Corporation and its subsidiaries on its restructuring. 
  • Sun Edison. Advised the board of directors on Sun Edison’s chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Cobalt Energy. Advised Cobalt International Energy on a debt exchange and financing transaction with certain holders of Cobalt’s outstanding convertible senior notes.
  • James River. Advised the company on its restructuring under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and the sale of substantially all of its assets to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blackhawk Mining.
  • Magnetation. Advised the company on its restructuring under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and related $135 million DIP facility.

Creditor and Distressed Investor Representations

  • Venoco. Advised Venoco, Inc.’s first and second lien noteholders and proposed DIP lenders on the company’s pre-arranged chapter 11 filing that is expected to equitize nearly $900 million of debt; also advised the note purchasers, exchanging noteholders and lenders on the company’s $400 million debt recapitalization.
  • Sandridge. Advised an ad hoc group constituting a majority of the company’s $1.25 billion secured second-lien notes on a restructuring and chapter 11 case for SandRidge Energy, through which the second-lien notes are expected to receive the majority of the reorganized company’s equity, in addition to other considerations.
  • Midstates Petroleum. Advised the second lien bondholders of Midstates Petroleum on the company’s $2 billion in-court restructuring 
  • Pacific E&P. Advised the administrative agent under a $1 billion prepetition unsecured revolving credit facility for Pacific Exploration & Production Corp.’s filing under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
  • Memorial Production Partners. Advised an ad hoc group of senior unsecured noteholders on the chapter 11 restructuring of Memorial Production Partners. 
  • Enduro Resources. Advised the administrative agent under the company’s RBL credit agreement and a steering committee of lenders on a potential debt restructuring.
  • Key Energy. Advised the agent for the term lenders under a prepetition secured term loan in the chapter 11 restructuring of Key Energy Services.
  • Basic Energy. Advised the term loan lenders under both a prepetition $165 million secured term loan and a $90 million secured superpriority DIP facility in the pre-packaged chapter 11 restructuring of Basic Energy Services.
  • Ascent Resources. Advised an ad hoc group of first-lien term lenders on the restructuring of Ascent Resources.
  • Larchmont Resources. Advised the first-lien agent, working with a group of secured lenders, on a $265 million credit agreement to, and the recaptialization of Larchmont Resources.
  • RCS Capital. Advised the Ad Hoc Group of second lien lenders on the restructuring of RCS Capital Corporation and its subsidiaries.
  • JW Aluminum. Advised the exchanging lenders and noteholders on the comprehensive out-of-court restructuring of JW Aluminum Holding Corp. and its subsidiary.
  • ModSpace. Advised Solus and other noteholders on a restructuring of Modular Space Corporation and its affiliates.
  • Southcross Energy. Advised the senior ABL lender in the chapter 11 restructuring of Southcross Energy.

DIP and Exit Financings

  • Peabody Energy. Advised the administrative agent on Peabody’s $2.85 billion prepetition first-lien secured credit facilities and $800 million DIP facility in the company’s chapter 11 cases.
  • Avaya. Advised the administrative agent on Avaya’s $725 million DIP facility in the company’s chapter 11 cases; also advised the administrative agent on Avaya’s $3.235 billion prepetition cash flow credit facility.
  • Alpha Natural Resources. Advised the administrative agent on $1.25 billion in prepetition credit facilities and a $600 million DIP facility for Alpha Natural Resources; advising the agent and a steering committee of lenders on the company’s chapter 11 cases.
  • RadioShack. Advised a group of hedge and private equity funds constituting the “First Out Lenders” on a $285 million superpriority debtor-in-possession credit facility for RadioShack Corporation and its affiliates in its chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Essar Steel. Advised a group of prepetition senior secured term lenders on its $200 million superpriority debtor-in-possession credit facility.
  • Verso Paper. Advised the administrative agent and the joint lead arranger on a $100 million superpriority secured debtor-in-possession ABL credit facility (with a $50 million letter of credit subfacility) for Verso Corporation and certain of its affiliates.

Individual Recognition and Leadership Positions in Insolvency and Restructuring

Davis Polk’s insolvency and restructuring lawyers have also been named:

  • Turnarounds & Workouts 

    • “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer,” 2008-2013, 2015-2016
    • "Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer," 2005, 2007, 2010-2012, 2017
  • U.S. News & World Reports – "Best Law Firms/Best Lawyers," 2013
  • Law360 – “Bankruptcy Rising Star,” 2012-2013
  • Chambers USA – “Up & Coming” New York: Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2012
  • The American Lawyer – “Dealmaker of the Year," 2007, 2009, 2010

  • Best Lawyers – “New York Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Lawyer of the Year,” 2010

Many of our lawyers maintain or have held the following leadership positions in the field of insolvency and restructuring:

  • Members of INSOL International, a former co-chair of the G-36 Committee and an INSOL Fellow
  • Founding director, former President and Members of the International Insolvency Institute
  • Member of the Official U.S. Delegation to the Insolvency Working Group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • Managing Editor and contributing author of The International Insolvency Review, an annual publication devoted to recent insolvency law developments in 25 countries around the globe
  • Co-Chair of IBA's Insolvency Legislation & Policy Subcommittee 
  • Publisher of the Global Distress Signal, a periodic firm newsletter on international and cross-border insolvency (www.davispolk.com/global-distress-signal/)
  • Members (2) and director of the American College of Bankruptcy
  • Chairman and member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an organization consisting of 60 of the leading lawyers, law professors and judges in the field of bankruptcy law. The Conference has been an adviser to Congress on every major piece of bankruptcy legislation since the 1930s
  • Commissioner and Advisory Committee Members (2) on the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Study Reform of Chapter 11
  • Chairs (2) of the Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization, New York City Bar Association
  • Past and Present Members, Executive Committee and Treasurer, New York City Bar Association
  • Chair of the Courts Subcommittee of the Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization, New York City Bar Association
  • Board of Directors and Executive Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Co-Chair, Secured Credit Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Member, Legal Advisory Panel, Financial Stability Board
  • Co-chair of the TriBar Opinion Committee. Co-reporter for the TriBar Opinion Committee's Special Report, "Opinions in the Bankruptcy Context"
  • Co-chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute 2016 NYC Bankruptcy Conference
  • Vice Chair of the IBA Insolvency Section’s Financial Institutions Insolvency Subcommittee 
  • Adjunct professors / guest speakers on corporate bankruptcy and the resolution of financial firms at several major universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, New York University and the University of Pennsylvania