Erica J. Richards

Of Counsel | New York

erichards@mofo.com | (212) 336-4320

erichards@mofo.com
(212) 336-4320

Erica assists clients in a broad range of matters, including representing debtors, creditors and creditors’ committees, and court-appointed examiners, as well as representing third parties in connection with the purchase of distressed assets.

Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Erica was an associate with a New York-based financial services law firm, where her practice focused on structured finance transactions including whole-company securitizations, CLOs, and CAT bond offerings.

During her tenure at Washington and Lee University School of Law, Erica was the lead articles editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review.

Representative Experience

  • In re Windstream Holdings, Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Windstream Holdings, Inc., and its affiliated debtors in their chapter 11 case. Windstream is a leading provider of advanced network communications, technology, broadband, security, entertainment, and core-transport solutions to both consumer and business customers across the United States. Windstream had approximately $5.6 billion in prepetition obligations at the time of its filing.
  • Kingate Global Fund, Ltd. and Kingate Euro Fund, Ltd.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Mediation counsel to the Kingate Funds, BVI-based feeder funds of Bernard L. Madoff Investments Securities, Inc. (BLMIS), in the settlement of $926 million in claims brought against the Funds by the Madoff Trustee. The settlement resulted in allowance of the Kingate Funds’ $800 million customer claim against the Madoff estate and a full 502(h) claim for transfers repaid to the BLMIS estate, which will unlock more than $400 million in value for the Kingate Funds’ investors.
  • In re Tops Holding II Corporation
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of supermarket retailer Tops Holding II Corporation and affiliates in their chapter 11 cases. The company filed for chapter 11 in February 2018 with over $748 million in funded indebtedness and substantial pension liabilities.
  • In re Avaya Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors for international telecom company Avaya Inc. and its affiliated debtors. Avaya had more than $6 billion of secured debt at the time of its filing and was saddled with significant pension underfunding liabilities for its domestic and certain foreign affiliates.
  • In re Sungevity, Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. Del.) Counsel to Sungevity, Inc. and its affiliates in their chapter 11 cases. Prior to a section 363 sale of substantially all of its operations, Sungevity was one of the largest private residential solar installation companies in the United States. Sungevity filed with approximately $185 million in prepetition debt and exited chapter 11 in late 2017 pursuant to an unprecedented structured dismissal, which allowed the company to exit its chapter 11 cases in an orderly manner while preserving the majority of cash left in the estate for distribution to former employees.
  • In re UCI International, LLC, et al.
    (Bankr. Del.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of UCI International, one of North America’s largest manufacturers of automotive replacement parts.
  • In re Republic Airways Holdings Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Republic Airways Holdings Inc. and its affiliated debtors in their chapter 11 cases. Republic provides regional passenger services through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Shuttle America and Republic Airlines, which operate approximately 1,000 daily flights through codeshare agreements with United Continental Holdings, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., and American Group, Inc.
  • In re Walter Energy Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. N.D. Ala.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Walter Energy, Inc. and its affiliates. Walter, a major producer of metallurgical coal, struggled as a result of the precipitous fall in the price of metallurgical coal in recent years and eventually was forced to seek bankruptcy protection in July 2015 in an effort to restructure its more than $3.1 billion in debt.
  • In re Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al.
    (Bankr. D. Del.) Counsel to the official committee of TCEH unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 cases of Texas power company Energy Future Holdings Corp. and its affiliates, which filed for bankruptcy in April 2014. This is the 10th-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, with the debtors holding approximately $40 billion in debt.
  • In re Residential Capital, LLC, et al.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to Residential Capital and its affiliates, comprising one of the largest residential real estate finance companies at the time of its chapter 11 filing, with assets and liabilities each in excess of $15 billion. The debtors’ business was comprised primarily of loan servicing and origination. Residential Capital was the largest bankruptcy filing of 2012 and the case represents the first time ever that a mortgage servicer was able to successfully continue servicing and originating mortgages in bankruptcy and be sold as a going concern.
  • In re Global Aviation Holdings Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. D. Del) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 cases of Global Aviation Holdings Inc., et al.
  • In re Pinnacle Airlines Corp., et al.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 cases of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., et al. Pinnacle Airlines operates as Delta Connection for Delta Airlines, the Debtors’ largest customer and post-petition lender. At the time of filing of their bankruptcy petitions on April 1, 2012, the Debtors had 8,000 employees and over $1 billion in annual revenue and operated over 800 flights a day.
  • In re Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, et al.
    (Bankr. D. Del.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of the Los Angeles Dodgers in its chapter 11 bankruptcy. A plan of reorganization was confirmed by the bankruptcy court on April 13, 2012, pursuant to which the baseball team was sold for a record $2 billion. Unsecured creditors received a 100% cash recovery under the plan, in what is the largest and most successful restructuring of a sports franchise in U.S. history.
  • In re Hawaiian Telcom Communications, Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. D. Haw.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Hawaiian Telcom, the leading provider of telecommunications services in the state of Hawaii.
  • In re Mesa Air Group, Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Mesa Air Group, Inc., et al. in their chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
  • The Resolution Committees of Glitnir Bank hf. and Landsbanki Islands hf.
    Counsel to two of the largest banks in Iceland, on issues related to securities matters, restructuring of assets, cross-border conflicts of law, and litigation matters as well as providing advice related to the global settlement of claims. In addition, MoFo worked with the Icelandic banks to harmonize their winding-up procedures with those of the United States, the European Union, and Canada.
  • In re Innkeepers USA Trust
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to Innkeepers, a hotel REIT that owned and operated approximately 75 hotels across the nation with over 10,000 rooms under management, in its chapter 11 reorganization involving approximately $1.6 billion of indebtedness.
  • RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank
    Counsel to Amalgamated Bank as secured lender in the RadLax Gateway Hotel, LLC bankruptcy. Successfully defeated, before the Seventh Circuit and United States Supreme Court, the debtors’ attempts to restrict the ability of the secured lender to credit bid in a proposed sale of the hotels pursuant to a reorganization plan.
  • In re Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., et al.
    (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Counsel to Lehman Brothers Japan (LBJ) as creditor in the U.S. bankruptcy court restructuring of Lehman Brothers Holdings and the bankruptcy proceedings of Lehman Brothers, administered under the Securities Investor Protection Act. LBJ asserted claims against the U.S. estates in excess of $1 billion to distribute to creditors in its own Japanese administrative proceedings.
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Experience

  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of supermarket retailer Tops Holding II Corporation and affiliates in their chapter 11 cases. The company filed for chapter 11 in February 2018 with over $748 million in funded indebtedness and substantial pension liabilities.

  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors for international telecom company Avaya Inc. and its affiliated debtors. Avaya had more than $6 billion of secured debt at the time of its filing and was saddled with significant pension underfunding liabilities for its domestic and certain foreign affiliates.

  • Counsel to Sungevity, Inc. and its affiliates in their chapter 11 cases. Prior to its 363 sale, Sungevity was one of the largest private residential solar installation companies in the United States. Sungevity filed for chapter 11 with approximately $185 million in prepetition debt, including funded debt, trade debt, and potential employee related claims.

  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of UCI International, one of North America's largest manufacturers of automotive replacement parts.

  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Republic Airways Holdings Inc. and its affiliated debtors in their chapter 11 cases. Republic provides regional passenger services through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Shuttle America and Republic Airlines, which operate approximately 1,000 daily flights through codeshare agreements with United Continental Holdings, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., and American Group, Inc.

  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Walter Energy, Inc. and its affiliates. Walter, a major producer of metallurgical coal, struggled as a result of the precipitous fall in the price of metallurgical coal in recent years and eventually was forced to seek bankruptcy protection in July 2015 in an effort to restructure its more than $3.1 billion in debt.

  • Counsel to the official committee of TCEH unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 cases of Texas power company Energy Future Holdings Corp. and its affiliates, which filed for bankruptcy in April 2014. This is the 10th largest bankruptcy in U.S. history with the debtors holding approximately $40 billion in debt.

  • Acted as counsel to Residential Capital and its affiliates, comprising one of the largest residential real estate finance companies at the time of its chapter 11 filing, with assets and liabilities each in excess of $15 billion. The debtors’ business was comprised primarily of loan servicing and origination. Residential Capital was the largest bankruptcy filing of 2012 and the case represents the first time ever that a mortgage servicer was able to successfully continue servicing and originating mortgages in bankruptcy and be sold as a going concern.

  • Representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 cases of In re Global Aviation Holdings Inc., et al.

  • Representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 cases of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., et al. Pinnacle Airlines operates as Delta Connection for Delta Airlines, the Debtors’ largest customer and post-petition lender. At the time of filing of their bankruptcy petitions on April 1, 2012, the Debtors had 8,000 employees, over $1 billion in annual revenue and operated over 800 flights a day.

  • Representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors of the Los Angeles Dodgers in its chapter 11 bankruptcy. A plan of reorganization was confirmed by the bankruptcy court on April 13, 2012, pursuant to which the baseball team was sold for a record $2 billion. Unsecured creditors received a 100% cash recovery under the plan, in what is the largest and most successful restructuring of a sports franchise in U.S. history.

  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of Hawaiian Telcom, the leading provider of telecommunications services in the State of Hawaii.

  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of Mesa Air Group, Inc.. in its chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

  • Represented Glitnir Bank hg. and Landsbanki Islands hf., two of the largest banks in Iceland, in chapter 15 proceedings.

  • Representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors of Innkeepers USA Trust in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is one of the largest national cases, by debt size, filed in 2010 with $1.29 billion in prepetition secured debt, which culminated with the sale of 64 of Innkeepers' hotels to affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management for $1.02 billion. Unsecured creditors are estimated to recover approximately 80–90% on their allowed claims, with many to be paid in full.

  • Represented Amalgamated Bank as secured lender in the RadLax Gateway Hotel, LLC bankruptcy. Successfully defeated, before the Seventh Circuit and United States Supreme Court, the debtors’ attempts to restrict the ability of the secured lender to credit bid in a proposed sale of the hotels pursuant to a reorganization plan.

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