Kathryn A. (Katie) Coleman, a partner in Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s New York office, co-chairs the Corporate Reorganization & Bankruptcy practice and sits on the firm's Executive Committee. Katie has handled a wide range of chapter 11 representations and other high-stakes insolvency-related matters in her more than 30 years in practice, including dealing with “bet-the-company” litigation claims including trade secret and RICO cases, nationwide DOJ investigations, chapter 11 restructurings for US and non-US companies, cross-border insolvency matters, out-of-court restructurings, acquisitions and investments. Her clients include chapter 11 debtors, special committees of boards of directors, DIP lenders, equity sponsors, traditional and nontraditional secured lenders, unsecured creditors (both official committees and significant creditors for their own account), and financial and strategic buyers.
Ms. Coleman is a trusted advisor to the inner management circles of her clients, with substantial experience in advising management and boards of directors on corporate governance, fiduciary duty, and D&O insurance matters.
Ms. Coleman has advised clients on, and litigated at the trial and appellate levels, the significant legal issues inherent in modern restructuring and financial practice, including contested plan confirmations, prepackaged plans, credit bidding, exclusivity, debtor-in-possession financings, valuation, adequate protection of security interests, the ability to collaterally attack orders of the bankruptcy court and cash collateral usage. She has substantial experience litigating venue, remand, removal and stay issues, and has represented recovery trustees dealing with a myriad of post-confirmation issues and litigation.
Ms. Coleman is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. She serves on the board of directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and co-chairs its annual Complex Financial Restructuring Program. She frequently speaks on bankruptcy law and distressed investing, participating in programs sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, the American Bankruptcy Institute, Turnaround Management Association, ARA, the M&A Advisor, the New York City Bar Association, California Continuing Education of the Bar and the American Bar Association. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the NYC Bankruptcy Assistance Project. She has twice been named to Lawdragon's list of 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers.
Ms. Coleman was named a 2018 Bankruptcy MVP by Law360 and one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times. She is ranked by Chambers USA as a leading restructuring lawyer. Ms. Coleman was also designated a leading lawyer in bankruptcy in The Best Lawyers in America, and her experience in cross-border insolvency was noted in the IFLR 500 and in PLC’s Cross-Border Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook.
Ms. Coleman graduated magna cum laude from Pomona College. She earned her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law (U.C. Berkeley), where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She served as Senior Articles Editor of the California Law Review and is the author of “Arnel Development Co. v. City of Costa Mesa: Rezoning by Initiative and Landowners’ Due Process Rights,” 70 Cal. L. Rev. 1107(1982).
Ms.Coleman clerked for the Honorable C. Martin Pence, U.S. District Judge for the District of Hawaii.
Board of Directors and Audit Committee of MGM Growth Properties (MGP)
Board of Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute (2014-2020)
Co-Chair, American Bankruptcy Institute's annual Complex Financial Restructuring Program
Member, Steering Committee of the NYC Bankrupt Assistance Project
"Blocking the Use of 'Blocking Rights'," XXXIX ABI Journal 7 (July 2020)
“Bankruptcy Wildcatting: Challenging Midstream Contracts in the Wake of Sabine,” New York Law Journal (December 2016)
“Rounding the Square Peg: Clarifying the Jurisprudence of the Sale Model of Chapter 11,” XXXV ABI Journal 6, 22-23, 43 (June 2016)
“Halting the Race to the Courthouse: Limits of Post-Petition Lien Filings,” XXXI ABI Journal 5 (June 2012)
“Credit Bidding Under the Bankruptcy Code: Recent Developments, Case Study, and Suggested Strategies for the Secured Creditor,” published in Creditors’ Rights in Chapter 11 Cases, (2012)
Authored a chapter in "A Practitioner’s Guide to Prepackaged Bankruptcy: A Primer," published by the American Bankruptcy Institute (2011)
“The European Traveler’s Guide to Chapter 11,” Bankruptcy Law 360, May 5, 2010
“Recent Developments in Business Bankruptcy 2005,” 28 California Bankruptcy Journal 28, 3 (2006)
“Selling an Operating Business in Bankruptcy,” 33 UCC Law Journal 387 (2001)
“Unexpected Allies: The Bankruptcy Judge and Debtor’s Counsel,” 112 The Banking Law Journal (1995)
“Restructuring for 2020 and Beyond,” Rees Draper Wright, Webinar, July 2020
“Health Care Business Restructuring,” ABI’s Complex Financial Restructuring Program, Las Vegas, February 2020
“Current Developments in Executory Contracts,” PLI Current Developments in Bankruptcy, New York, December 2019
“Hit ‘Em Below The Belt (And In The Wallet): Professional Fees and Leverage Post-ASARCO, ABI Winter Leadership Conference, December 2019
“The Party’s Over, Now Who’s Cleaning Up?: The Post-Apocalyptic Landscape Following A 363 Sale,” ABI Winter Leadership Conference, December 2019
“What Does The Future Hold?,” ABI Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., April 2019
“Restructuring An Operating Company,” ABI Complex Financial Restructuring Program, Las Vegas, February 2019
“Executory Contracts,” “Plan Disclosure and Confirmation Issues,” PLI Current Developments in Bankruptcy, New York, December 2018
"VALCON Talks: What I'd Change About the Corporate Bankruptcy System," VALCON, Las Vegas, May 2018
"Liquidating In and Out of Chapter 11," American Bankruptcy Institute, New York City Bankruptcy Conference, May 2017
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Chapter 11 Debtors
Pace Industries: Financing counsel to the nation's largest metal die-caster in its prepackaged chapter 11 case.
Patriot National Inc.: Lead chapter 11 debtor's counsel to Florida-based insurance services company and 18 of its domestic subsidiaries in its chapter 11 restructuring. Three months after filing, Patriot National confirmed a plan involving an exit loan facility and a new term loan facility.
CST Industries: Lead chapter 11 debtor's counsel to CST Industries, the world's largest and leading tank and dome manufacturer, in its chapter 11 restructuring. After four months in chapter 11, CST sold substantially all of its assets to a new investor, thereby preserving hundreds of jobs and significant creditor value.
Exelco NV: Lead chapter 11 debtor's counsel to Exelco NV, a Belgian diamond wholesaler and distributor, and six of its U.S. affiliates.
Delta Petroleum Corp.: Lead chapter 11 debtor’s counsel to Delta, a public oil and natural gas exploration and production company, and eight affiliated entities in all aspects of their chapter 11 restructuring. Eight months after its chapter 11 filing, Delta confirmed an innovative plan of reorganization that both realized value for Delta’s assets and preserved over $1 billion of tax attributes for the benefit of creditors.
Affiliated Media Inc.: Lead restructuring counsel in the prepackaged bankruptcy of the second-largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. Achieved acceptance of the prepackaged plan by virtually all creditors, and confirmation of the plan in 41 days.
Almatis: Ms. Coleman was lead restructuring counsel to Almatis, a Europe-based chemicals company, in its restructuring negotiations and developed a strategy for a chapter 11 filing in the United States and related insolvency proceedings in Europe.
The Scotia Pacific Company LLC: Ms. Coleman served as lead chapter 11 counsel to Scotia Pacific in its highly contentious chapter 11 case, which was filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (Corpus Christi Division). The Scotia Pacific/Pacific Lumber case is remarkable for the number of issues that were fully litigated, including venue, use of cash collateral, Scotia Pacific’s alleged status as a single-asset real estate debtor, exclusivity, valuation, cramdown standards, administrative claims and a stay pending appeal. Ms. Coleman and her team defeated the noteholders’ attempt to have Scotia Pacific declared a “single asset real estate debtor,” and obtained an affirmance of the trial-level decision at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in one of the first cases to be directly certified to the Court of Appeals from the bankruptcy court. The opinion, which was the first Court of Appeals decision on the issue, is reported at 508 F.3d 214 (5th Cir. 2007). The multi-week contested confirmation trial in the Scotia Pacific case initially involved five competing plans of reorganization, cramdown standards and valuation of Scotia Pacific’s assets. The confirmation of the plan for Scotia Pacific and its related debtors was appealed to the 5th Circuit and resulted in an important opinion on equitable mootness, reported at 584 F.3d 229 (5th Cir. 2009).
Scotia Pacific’s chapter 11 filing followed two years of negotiations between Scotia Pacific and its secured noteholders, during which Ms. Coleman led a team in formulating proposed restructuring plans and negotiating with the noteholders over the terms of the proposed restructuring, retention and payment of advisors, and trading restrictions during the negotiation period.
Hoop Holdings LLC (The Disney Store): Hoop operated several hundred Disney Stores in the United States and Canada. Ms. Coleman was lead restructuring counsel in Hoop Holdings’ pre-negotiated chapter 11 case, filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
NextCard: Ms. Coleman was lead chapter 11 counsel to NextCard, one of the first Internet-only banks. NextCard’s bankruptcy case was filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Solutia Inc.: In Solutia’s chapter 11 case filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Ms. Coleman led the team responsible for negotiating, documenting and obtaining approval for both the initial debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing and the highly unusual replacement DIP loan. Prior to the filing, Ms. Coleman also led the team of finance lawyers that successfully relied on a sui generis “desecuritization” provision in the loan documentation to restructure Solutia’s bank debt. The desecuritization was challenged and then upheld in Solutia's subsequent bankruptcy case.
The Madison Square Garden Company: In connection with the acquisition of a majority stake in nightclub operator Tao Group.
Scout Media, Inc: Stalking horse bidder and successful purchaser of assets of Scout Media in its chapter 11 case.
Freedom Communications: Purchaser in hotly contested purchase of the Orange County Register out of the Freedom Communications chapter 11 case.
Blackbird Capital I: Issuer in an $800 million aircraft lease ABS securitization, the proceeds of which will be used by Blackbird to acquire a portfolio of 19 aircraft.
Boston Semi Equipment: Acquisition of MVTS Technologies.
NE Opco Inc.: Purchaser in complex private sale of certain assets of debtor NE Opco Inc. When a former employee sought to collaterally attack the sale order and pursue claims against her client for its conduct in negotiating the sale, Ms. Coleman successfully invoked the protections included in the Section 363 order.
MSR Resorts: Stalking horse bidder and successful purchaser of the Doral resort in Miami, Florida.
National Envelope Corp.: Represented Cenveo, the Debtors’ largest competitor, in bidding for substantially all the assets of National Envelope, the largest envelope manufacturer in the United States.
Atrium Corp.: Existing equity holder in acquiring ownership of a reorganized Chapter 11 debtor via a “new value” plan of reorganization. The debtor and its affiliates manufacture residential windows and patio doors.
Nortel Networks Inc.: Ms. Coleman represented a bidder for Nortel’s enterprise solutions business involving operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Kenetech (U.S. Windpower): Ms. Coleman represented ESI, an affiliate of Florida Power & Light, in its successful bid for the assets of Kenetech, a large wind power company.
Windkraft: ESI also bought the assets of Windkraft, a provider of wind energy, and in connection with that acquisition proposed a plan of reorganization for Windkraft.
Barneys New York: Ms. Coleman represented Saks Fifth Avenue in connection with its efforts to purchase Barneys New York.
Selected Creditors and Defendants
Delta Air Lines, Inc.: Counsel to Delta Air Lines, a majority equityholder and strategic partner of Grupo Aeroméxico, S.A.B. de C.V., in Aeroméxico's chapter 11 restructuring.
Aircraft Lessor: Ms. Coleman represents the lender to an aircraft company in loan enforcement, workout and restructuring efforts.
Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP (former management): Ms. Coleman represented Dewey’s former Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer in connection with the firm’s chapter 11 case and related litigation.
Out-of-Court Workouts: In addition to the above publicly disclosable matters, Ms. Coleman led the legal team in negotiating and documenting numerous out-of-court workouts, representing both borrowers and lenders for borrowers in industries including alternative energy, online gaming, wind power, home products, automotive parts suppliers, real estate development, office products, retail and agriculture. Ms. Coleman structured and negotiated innovative intercreditor arrangements and UK ringfencing schemes in the context of some of these transactions. In connection with a recent representation of a truck lighting manufacturer, Ms. Coleman crafted a strategy that led to a consensual rightsizing of the capital structure, an opportunity for the client to restructure obligations and equity, retaining its ownership stake without the need to seek chapter 11 protection.
Trade Secret Misappropriation: Lead defense counsel for a company president accused of misappropriating trade secrets; defeated a wide-ranging injunction sought against the client.
RICO: Lead defense counsel for a group of affiliated companies and individuals defending a RICO action alleging poaching of employees and trade secret misappropriation.
Fraudulent Transfer/Clawback: Defended the former CFO of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in a $22 million clawback suit brought by the liquidating trustee of the Dewey estate.
Securities Fraud: Defended the former CFO of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in a securities fraud action pending in federal district court, and obtained a full stay of the action.