Members in the News

Members in the News

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The Public Companies and Claims Trading Committee, established to study securities and corporate governance issues arising from chapter 11 filings by publicly traded companies, is co-chaired by Geoffrey Groshong and Glenn E. Siegel.

A partner in the Seattle office of Miller Nash LLP, Geoffrey Groshong concentrates his practice on bankruptcy matters, insolvency, workouts and restructuring. He advises businesses with problems involving debt from both the debtor's and creditor's points of view. In chapter 11 cases, he represents debtors-in-possession (DIPs), creditors, creditors' committees, trustees and examiners. He also helps businesses arrange out-of-court workouts and turnarounds, and he represents companies and individuals who purchase assets out of bankruptcy estates. Mr. Groshong served as a chapter 7 panel trustee for 10 years and continues to serve as a chapter 11 trustee. He is admitted to practice in the state of Washington, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was board-certified in business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certificiation in May 2002. Named one of Seattle's best attorneys by Seattle Magazine in January 2001, Mr. Groshong has also been listed as a "Washington Super Lawyer" by Washington Law & Politics.

Mr. Groshong has had significant engagements in numerous significant bankruptcy cases, including Reflex Communications, a privately held Seattle company that provided high-speed Internet access to apartment buildings and condominiums in 15 metropolitan markets before filing for chapter 7 in 2001, and StairMaster Sports/Medical Inc., a manufacturer acquired through a bankruptcy auction by Direct Focus Inc., a Vancouver, Wash.-based marketer that also owns the Bowflex, Nautilus and Schwinn brands. He is a member of the King County Bar Association and its Creditor-Debtor Section as well as the Washington State Bar Association.

Glenn E. Siegel, a partner in Dechert LLP's corporate recovery and insolvency group in New York, has more than 20 years of high-level bankruptcy experience. He represents indenture trustees, bondholders, creditors' committees, acquirers of troubled businesses, secured creditors, debtors and other participants in bankruptcy and workout matters. He has also advised major stakeholders in numerous high-profile bankruptcy cases, including WorldCom, Global Crossing Ltd., Formica Corp., PG&E National Energy Group, UAL Corp., VF Brands Inc. and Dow Corning Corp. Mr. Siegel is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey, as well as the U.S. District Courts in New Jersey and the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. He is a member of the American Bar Association's Business Reorganization Section and Committee on Trust Indentures. He also is an active member of the Uniform Public Laws Committee of the Association of the Bar of New York, as well as a member of the United Jewish Appeal Federation's Bankruptcy and Reorganization Planning Committee.

Mr. Siegel is the editor of ABI's forthcoming Guide to Trading Claims in Bankruptcy, of which two installments have been published in the ABI Law Review. He has also published articles on financial and insolvency law in several prestigious journals, including Business Lawyer, the Banking Law Journal and the New York Law Journal. He lectures frequently on issues of importance to public debt holders, including claims trading, champerty and subordination. Most recently, he served as a panelist for the discussion "Closely Held Companies: Issues for Managers and Their Professionals" at ABI's 2004 New York City Bankruptcy Conference.

More Members in the News

Leading restructuring and insolvency expert Maurice Moses, head of Business Recovery at Numerica in London, has been appointed president of the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA). Mr. Moses has more than 20 years of accountancy and U.K. and international banking advisory, insolvency and restructuring experience. Mr. Moses said he looks forward to working with Louise Verrill, the newly appointed vice president and partner at solicitors Addleshaw Goddard in London. Mr. Moses has been appointed administrator, administrative receiver and liquidator with respect to the restructuring and/or insolvency of large, high-profile complex groups and is particularly experienced in U.K./U.S. cross-border procedures. He is a member of the Turnaround Management Association, the Institute of Directors and the technical research committee of INSOL, and has a fellowship in the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.

Executive Women of New Jersey honored 14-year ABI member Geraldine E. Ponto, a director of Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione PC in Newark, N.J., at its "Salute to the Policy Makers" gala, honoring women on boards of directors or in executive management of major corporations and foundations. Ms. Ponto is a member of the firm's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Department, concentrating on corporate reorganization law, creditor/debtor relations law, troubled loans and insolvency law. In addition, she has been appointed as the chapter 11 trustee for a number of companies.

Patrick E. Mears has joined the firm of Barnes & Thornburg LLPin Grand Rapids, Mich., as a partner and will also maintain an office in Chicago. Mr. Mears concentrates his practice on insolvency, commercial finance, securitizations and creditors' rights, and he is admitted to practice law in Michigan, Illinois and New York. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1991 and is also a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. Afrequent speaker, Mr.Mears is a contributing author to Collier's Bankruptcy Practice Manual.

Michael Buenzow, a senior managing director at FTI Consulting in Chicago, has been elected to serve as the company's interim Chief Executive Officer for Bush Industries, a manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture and surface technologies, by the company's board of directors. Prior to joining FTI in September 2002, Mr. Buenzow, who has been working with Bush Industries during its restructuring process, was a partner in the Business Recovery Services Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has had 15 years of restructuring experience and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

J. Christopher Marshall, a former U.S. Trustee for Region 1, has joined the firm of Ford & Weaver P.A. in Portsmouth, N.H. He may be reached at 10 Pleasant St., Suite 400, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: (603) 433-2002, Fax: (603) 433-2122, cmarshall@

James M. Matour, a shareholder with Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin in Philadelphia, was recently named "a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics Media, appearing in the June issue of Philadelphia Magazine. Fewer than 5 percent of the state's lawyers were eligible for this designation. Mr. Matour concentrates his practice on corporate reorganization, bankruptcy and commercial workout matters, representing middle-market businesses. He is a director of the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project, a contributing editor of The Bankruptcy Strategist and a member of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference.

Nancy V. Alquist, a partner with the firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP in its Baltimore office, has been selected by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a 14-year term as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Maryland's Southern Division in Greenbelt, pending a background investigation. Ms. Alquist concentrates her practice in the areas of bankruptcy, creditors' rights litigation and insolvency matters. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, she was a partner in the Bankruptcy Department of Winston & Strawn in Chicago, and has lectured and written extensively on a variety of bankruptcy and insolvency issues. Ms. Alquist serves on the Board of the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and is a former president of the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the District of Maryland. She was recently honored by The Daily Record as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women of 2004.

Corporate Revitalization Partners LLC announced that William K. Snyder, a founder and managing partner, was appointed examiner in the Mirant Corp. bankruptcy case by the U.S. Trustee's Office. He was chosen from among more than half a dozen business executives and lawyers after consultation with attorneys for the stakeholders, the SEC and the U.S. Attorney. Mirant filed for chapter 11 protection in July 2003. Mr. Snyder has handled more than 70 corporate turnarounds and served as court-appointed examiner for the Co-Serv Electric bankruptcy filing in 2001, reviewing intercompany transactions and helping to negotiate a settlement involving several classes of unsecured creditors.

Bankruptcy and financial restructuring firm White & Case announced it has appointed Sam J. Alberts as a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Alberts has significant experience in complex business bankruptcies representing debtors, creditors, creditors' committees, trustees, lenders, landlords and purchasers of distressed assets in all phases of bankruptcy and reorganization. He is particularly noted for his work with distressed health care systems, representing the unsecured creditors' committee in the Greater Southeast Community Hospital and Doctor Community Hospital Corporation chapter 11 cases in Washington, D.C., and serving as special counsel to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the AHERF bankruptcy cases in Pittsburgh. He is a co-editor of ABI's Health Care Insolvency Manual.

Damon & Morey attorney William F. Savino, Buffalo, N.Y., was named as a co-author of the Commercial Law Section of the Syracuse Law Review, an annual survey of the developments in New York state law, and will also author a series of commercial litigation-related articles for the Buffalo Law Journal. Mr. Savino is a senior partner and the chairman of the firm's 11-lawyer Business Litigation and Insolvency Department, where he focuses his practice on business litigation (including construction, corporate and partnership dissolution, Uniform Commercial Code and intellectual property matters) and bankruptcy litigation. He has been admitted to practice in New York (including all four districts of its federal courts), Ohio, and before the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts.

GMAC Commercial Finance, part of General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) since 1999, announced the new location of its Retail Finance Group's office in Quincy, Mass., at 1 Battery March Park, Suite 106 Quincy, MA 02169. Andrew H. Moser, senior managing director, led the development of the retail lending franchise and oversees business development and day-to-day lending activities for the group at its new headquarters.

Scott C. Clarkson, a member of Clarkson, Gore & Marsella PLC in Los Angeles, has been elected to a two-year term as chair of the Bankruptcy Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Clarkson has been practicing in Los Angeles since 1990, and beginning in 1982 previously practiced in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. He served as legislative director to a member of Congress in Washington, D.C., from 1977-82, where he participated in the 1979 redrafting of the Bankruptcy Code. His practice focuses on debtor, creditor and committee roles in chapter 11 proceedings and bankruptcy litigation. Mr. Clarkson is author of "Representation of Creditors in Individual and Small Business Chapter 11 Cases," published in the 2003-2004 California CEB book Personal and Small Business Bankruptcy Practice of California.

GE Commercial Finance Business Credit announced that it has named Michael P. Knuckles as senior vice president, manager of origination for the Southern region. Based in Atlanta, Mr. Knuckles will manage a team of originators covering Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Mr. Knuckles originally joined GE in 1981 through its Financial Management Training Program, then became field examiner, underwriter and business development officer for GE's Commercial Financial Services Division. Since 1986, he has held senior business development/team leader positions with Bankers Trust Commercial Corp., Barnett Bank, Southtrust Bank, Mellon Business Credit, Heller Business Credit and Wells Fargo/Foothill Capital.

Robert Somma, who has specialized in bankruptcy and insolvency in private practice for the past 27 years, was named to a judgeship with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, filling the seat opened by the impending retirement of Judge Carol Kenner in July. Previously, he was with the Boston office of Seyfarth Shaw. Mr. Somma has served as special assistant attorney general for bankruptcy matters for the state for the past 10 years, has taught at Boston University and is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Burr & Forman LLP has relocated its Atlanta office to Suite 1100 of the 171 17th Street Building at Atlantic Station. Formerly at One Georgia Center, the law firm moved its nearly 70 employees to the Atlantic Station location on May 21 and currently occupies all of floor 11 and part of 10. ABI members Erich N. Durlacher and Graham H. Stieglitz can be reached at the new location. More details can be found on the firm's web site at

Denise H. Abramow has become a shareholder with the law firm of Shea & Carlyon Ltd. in Las Vegas. Ms. Abramow practices primarily in the areas of creditors' rights, insolvency and commercial litigation.

GE Commercial Finance's Restructuring group announced that it has named Penny G. Friedman, senior vice president, to lead its origination efforts for the Central Region. Based in Chicago, Ms. Friedman joined GE in 1994 from the corporate finance group of Heller Financial Corp. and is a certified public accountant and active member of the Turnaround Management Association.

Hale and Dorr LLP and Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP have announced the completion of their merger and are now operating as Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. The new firm will use the domain name and e-mail address. Former ABI Board Member William J. Perlstein will serve as a co-managing partner. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP will be one of the nation's largest law firms, with more than 1,000 lawyers. This is the first merger by two members of The American Lawyer's elite "A-List," an annual index that ranks the nation's 20 leading law firms based on all-around excellence, including financial success, commitment to pro bono work, workforce diversity and the training and development of younger lawyers. ABI members at the combined firm are Mitchel Appelbaum, Kristin Collins, Paul Patrick Daley, Dennis Jenkins, Michael S. Pandolfi, Mark N. Polebaum, George W. Shuster Jr., John D. Sigel and C. Hall Swaim in Boston; Linda Bray Chanow, Nancy Manzer, Duane D. Morse, Kevin J. Smith in McLean, Va.; Philip D. Anker, Adam C. Dembrow, Jeffrey Gleit, Andrew N. Goldman and Jorian Rose in New York; and Lisa F. Al-Bashir, Carol Banta, David K. Bowsher, Andrew J. Currie, Knight Elsberry, Eric S. Galler, Craig Goldblatt, Sean P. McCann, Gwendolyn K. Ponder, James A. Shepherd, Nicole Walter and James R. Wrathall in Washington, D.C.

Several ABI members have recently been listed in The Best Lawyers in America. They include Daniel M.Lewis (Arnold & Porter), Daniel M. Litt (Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky), Richard E. Lear (Holland & Knight) and Francis P. Dicello (Reed Smith) in Washington, D.C.; Jay A. Shulman and Irving E. Walker (Saul Ewing LLP) in Baltimore; and H.Slayton Dabney Jr. of McGuire Woods in Richmond, Va.

Prof. Bruce A. Markell has been appointed to serve as a judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas. His 14-year term on the bankruptcy bench began July 9, when he was sworn into office by Chief Bankruptcy Judge Gregg Zive of the District of Nevada. Most recently, Prof. Markell was the Doris S. and Theodore B. Lee Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he had taught since 1999. Prof. Markell has been of counsel to Stutman, Treister & Glatt in Los Angeles since 2002 and serves on the board of directors of the American Board of Certification, and as a consultant to the Advisory Committee on Federal Bankruptcy Rules of Procedure. He joined ABI in 1996 and participated in a panel at ABI's Symposium on the 25th Anniversary of the Code.

Textron Financial announced that Russell E. Brant has joined its Business Credit Division as president, based in the division's Alpharetta, Ga. headquarters. Most recently, Mr. Brant was a senior executive in Ernst & Young's Corporate Finance Group, where his financial advisory expertise centered on designing optimal capital structures and raising capital for clients. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth and the Turnaround Management Association, and was a prior board member of the Commercial Finance Association.

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Thursday, July 1, 2004