February 8, 2022

Milbank Named Law360 Bankruptcy Practice Group of the Year 2021


Milbank LLP was named a Law360 2021 Bankruptcy Practice Group of the Year, one of only five US law firms recognized in the category. The annual Practice Group of the Year awards, which received more than 900 submissions from 91 law firms, honors the teams behind “litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry this past year.”

The Milbank team is lauded for its innovative work on several high-profile matters, including steering creditors through the bankruptcies of retailers JCPenney and Guitar Center, helping shareholders of Garrett Motions develop the company's Chapter 11 plan, and securing $2 billion in bankruptcy financing for Colombian airline Avianca.

The firm’s Restructuring Group leader Dennis Dunne noted that the JCPenney plan – which involved the unprecedented move in retail bankruptcy of converting half the company to a real estate investment trust and the sale of both halves of the company for a total $1.75 million – proved a particular challenge, requiring stretches of daily court hearings. "To be able to call that a success was amazing," said Mr. Dunne. "There were just so many pieces you had to put together."

The chapter 11 plan for vehicle-parts maker Garrett Motion Inc., approved by a Delaware bankruptcy court in April 2021, had been proposed by Milbank's clients in the case. Garrett faced the "huge headwind" of $1.2 billion in asbestos liabilities it inherited when it was spun off from Honeywell Inc. in 2018. Andrew Leblanc, managing partner of Milbank’s Washington, DC, office, said that getting the plan approved meant getting the case's major creditors – including a "very active" equity holders group that had put forward its own plan – on board with a $1 billion settlement with Honeywell, despite their feelings about the former parent company's actions.

Milbank’s extensive presence in Latin America proved vital to its representation of bankrupt Avianca, which became one of multiple airlines forced into chapter 11 by the effects of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company secured $2 billion in debtor-in-possession financing in October and saw the approval of a restructuring plan in November.

Consistently ranked as a leader by Chambers, Legal 500, IFLR1000, Turnarounds & Workouts and Benchmark Litigation, Milbank’s Financial Restructuring Group is renowned globally for prominent corporate restructurings and groundbreaking chapter 11 cases.

"If you work here,” Mr. Dunne said, “you can work on the biggest, most interesting cases."

See the full list of Law360 2021 Practice Group of the Year winners.