Creditors and Official Committees
The Togut Firm has extensive expertise in representing Chapter 11 creditors’ committees, individual secured and unsecured creditors, and employee and retiree committees, having served as a court-approved committee counsel in hundreds of cases, including those involving American Airlines, Kodak, Nortel, Ames Department Stores, New York Crane & Equipment Corp., Relativity Media, and many more. Our experience in representing companies informs our creditor work because we fully understand the company’s thinking, needs, and goals. That understanding helps us represent creditor interests that, more often than not, are in sync with the company’s goal of a successful restructuring and emergence as a going concern.
Because of our size, efficiencies, and lower-than-market billing rates, we can handle cases more economically than virtually any other New York City firm. That helps us be part of the solution in repaying creditors rather than part of the problem. The lower the cost, the higher the creditor recovery.
Examples of the work we have done in this area include:
First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation
Co-counsel with Skadden Arps to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of American Airlines, which emerged from its Chapter 11 cases as the world’s largest global airline carrier. The Togut Firm:
- Helped build consensus among the debtors’ creditors to obtain a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization that paid creditors in full, plus interest
- Assisted with the settlement of antitrust and other litigation claims, the debtors’ settlement with Citibank N.A. related to a co-branded credit card program and multibillion-dollar claims, and the committee’s objection to certain tax claims totaling approximately $425 million
- Assisted the committee in the review, analysis, and reconciliation of reclamation claims totaling approximately $40 million and section 503(b)(9) claims, seeking approximately $56 million
Counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Relativity Media, an American media company that restructured in 2016 by selling its television assets and confirming a Chapter 11 plan. During that case:
- As a result of the Togut Firm’s diligence and extensive negotiations with debtor-in-possession (DIP) lenders and prepetition lenders, the Togut Firm secured $2 million in cash from the sale of the debtors’ television business, a $2 million reduction of the prepetition lenders’ claims and third-party causes of action for the benefit of unsecured creditors.
- The Togut Firm later negotiated highly favorable terms for unsecured creditors under the debtors’ Chapter 11 plan and negotiated a settlement with one of the junior secured creditors. The settlement subordinated the secured creditors’ claim in an amount that would have doubled the recovery for general unsecured creditors under the plan that was confirmed by the court. (Unfortunately, the debtors did not obtain their anticipated post-effective date financing and later filed a Chapter 22 case and liquidated.)
Eastman Kodak Company
Co-counsel with Milbank to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Eastman Kodak Company, the photography pioneer and camera and technology company that used Chapter 11 to restructure its global business operations. During that case:
- The Togut Firm handled the review and investigation concerning the validity, priority, and amount of the prepetition secured lender claims. The Togut Firm also handled all matters related to Apple that aided in negotiating a sale of disputed patents to a consortium of purchasers that included Apple.
- Additionally, the Togut Firm prosecuted approximately 175 actions to avoid and recover alleged preferential transfers.
New York Crane and Equipment Corp.
Counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of New York Crane and Equipment Corp. and its affiliates, which commenced their Chapter 11 cases following the entry of two adverse judgments totaling approximately $100 million in connection with a crane collapse. The Togut Firm litigated in favor of the committee and achieved creditor recoveries of 100%, plus interest. The Togut Firm:
- Led an investigation of the debtors’ financial affairs and obtained orders compelling the production of information that led to the discovery of more than $100 million in previously undisclosed assets and transfers that paved the way for confirmation of a 100% payment plan of reorganization
- Obtained an order, following several contested evidentiary hearings, that established a novel “confirmation account” that set aside assets of approximately $18 million and restricted the debtors’ ability to move assets from the reach of creditors
- Obtained an order appointing a Chapter 11 trustee following a contested evidentiary hearing that was prosecuted by the Togut Firm
- Most importantly, obtained a 100% payment of all creditor claims
Nortel Networks Inc.
Counsel to the Official Committee of Retired Employees. Litigated and negotiated a settlement for the recovery of more than $90 million on behalf of approximately 5,000 Nortel retirees and their dependents, the highest recovery ever for retirees.