Bankruptcy Judge James L. Garrity Jr.:
“My thanks go out to you [The Togut Firm] and Mr. Togut. I think I said earlier on in the case that this was a case that required a unique skill set and ability to think outside of the box, an ability to bring years and years of experience to bear in connection with a very delicate and difficult situation.…this has been a hugely successful case….”
Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman:
“Togut, Segal & Segal LLP has moved heaven and earth to get to the point where we are today.”
Togut, Segal & Segal LLP‘s representation of bankruptcy trustees in Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 cases is well-known. The firm’s attorneys have represented Chapter 7 trustees in the bankruptcies of a wide variety of businesses, including real estate, commodities, manufacturing, retail, not-for-profits, art dealerships, pharmaceuticals, professional services such as law firms, and commodities brokerages. Our firm’s senior partner, Albert Togut, is a highly regarded member of the official bankruptcy trustee panel maintained by the Department of Justice for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, and he has served as the Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 trustee in literally tens of thousands of cases including some of the most significant cases ever filed. Mr. Togut has been on the panel approved by the Office of the United States Trustee of the Department of Justice since 1981 and has become one of the most respected trustees in the nation. He has served in cases ranging in size and complexity from individual debtors to Refco LLC, which, with assets exceeding $4 billion, was the largest Chapter 7 debtor in history. More recently, Mr. Togut was appointed as the trustee for Kossoff PLLC, a real estate law firm that was forced into an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding after the firm and its founder were named in several lawsuits alleging fraud and misappropriation of millions of dollars of client escrow funds. All in all, as a Chapter 7 trustee, he estimates that he has administered more than $5 billion in assets over the course of his career.
Mr. Togut served as Chapter 11 trustee for the debtors in the cases known as Kingston Square Associates, et al. In the Kingston Square cases, which involved apartment complexes in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida that were subject to mortgage claims of approximately $400 million, former Chief Bankruptcy Judge Brozman of the Southern District of New York authored a landmark decision concerning the viability of bankruptcy-remote provisions and directed the appointment of a trustee to investigate serious allegations of fraud. Togut, Segal & Segal LLP represented the trustee, assisting him in brokering settlements with all the major creditors and confirming a fully consensual Chapter 11 plan pursuant to which general unsecured creditors were paid 100% of their claims.
Togut, Segal & Segal LLP is widely recognized for its ability to act quickly to preserve value and obtain approval of sales when time is of the essence. In one of many such examples, Mr. Togut was appointed the Chapter 7 trustee of a prominent New York City pharmacy that abruptly ceased operations, leaving hundreds of customers without access to prescription care products. Within one week, the trustee and the Togut Firm secured the company’s premises, obtained an appraisal of its assets, and negotiated and consummated the sale of the business to a nearby drug provider, all with bankruptcy court approval. Hundreds of customers were provided with uninterrupted service, and creditors were paid a dividend.
Working with Togut, Segal & Segal LLP, Mr. Togut has located and administered assets that were thought to be beyond the reach of creditors. In the Portney case, for example, Mr. Togut compelled the debtor to repatriate assets from a Channel Island trust so that creditors could be paid in full.
Mr. Togut has also handled extensive fraud investigations, always assisted by Togut, Segal & Segal LLP. The two work like a well-oiled machine, and the results speak for themselves. Twice, Mr. Togut’s investigation led to attorneys’ prosecutions, incarcerations, and disbarments. Twice, he has caused individual debtors to be incarcerated for bankruptcy fraud or interference. His reputation precedes him, and you can be certain that parties do not want to mess with him. They cooperate…or else!
The firm has also represented several trustees other than Mr. Togut who came to us for our expertise. These are senior professionals who know their way around the bankruptcy community. In three recent cases, the firm represented the trustee of an employment company that contacted us for help. We are currently representing James Feltman of Duff & Phelps who was appointed Chapter 11 trustee of Corporate Resource Services (CRS) following the discovery that over $100 million of withholding tax for CRS employees mysteriously had not been paid to the Internal Revenue Service. We also represented Stephen Gray (formerly of Deloitte) in two cases in which he served as trustee. One case involved a not-for-profit charity that we helped him sell, and the other was a highly litigated individual’s case before Judge Robert Drain that was filled with litigation in every direction and resolved by way of a Chapter 11 plan that was confirmed over the objection of the debtor. Both cases were highly successful.
Mr. Togut has partners and staff who have assisted him for decades, and his firm has developed proprietary software and procedures that others do not have. His extensive experience in recovering preferences and fraudulent conveyances led Kevyn Orr (not exactly a trustee, but close, as the emergency manager) to hire Togut, Segal & Segal LLP in the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy case to prosecute and pursue all such actions for Detroit.
Togut, Segal & Segal LLP brings its decades of experience and its understanding of the trustee’s role to every engagement. Just like trustees, whose primary function is to maximize asset values while minimizing administrative expenses, our attorneys seek to create value wherever it can be found while working to reduce administrative expenses and litigation costs.