James Michael Peck

Senior Of Counsel | New York

jpeck@mofo.com | (212) 468-8094 jpeck@mofo.com
(212) 468-8094
I find enormous satisfaction in helping parties resolve their differences and reach successful commercial outcomes in complex insolvency–related disputes.

The Honorable James M. Peck is head of Morrison & Foerster’s Cross-Border Restructuring practice. 

Before joining Morrison & Foerster, former Judge Peck served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York from 2006 to 2014. During his judicial service, former Judge Peck presided over the chapter 11 and SIPA cases of Lehman Brothers and its affiliates and a number of other major chapter 11 and chapter 15 cases.

As a judge, he has written multiple legal decisions that have helped to define the impact of the safe harbors on qualified financial contracts.

Former Judge Peck has extensive experience as a mediator of sophisticated commercial disputes. As mediator, he has brokered settlements in a number of high–profile cases, including American Airlines, Syms/Filenes, MF Global, General Motors, Residential Capital, Excel Maritime, Toisa Limited, and Mesabi Metallics.

Former Judge Peck belongs to a great many professional organizations and over the years has served in a variety of leadership roles. By invitation, he is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a member of the Panel of Recognized International Market Experts in Finance. From June 2016 to June 2017, he served as president of the International Insolvency Institute and remains active on its Executive Committee. Former Judge Peck served on the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Board of Governors and was judicial chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute's annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference.

Former Judge Peck was co–chair of the ABI's Advisory Committee on the Safe Harbors. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Asian Business Law Institute and is listed as a qualified member of mediation panels maintained by INSOL International, the Singapore Mediation Center, and the Singapore International Mediation Center and has been named to the Panel of Arbitrators for Financial Services Disputes of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center.

Former Judge Peck has been retained on a number of occasions to furnish expert witness statements for submission to the High Court in London in relation to issues of New York law, comity, and the recognition of main and non–main insolvency proceedings. He is also a frequent speaker worldwide on insolvency issues, and has participated as keynote speaker and panel chair across the globe in conferences presented by numerous international organizations and law schools. These include INSOL International, the International Bar Association, INSOL Europe, and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. He has authored articles published in the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal and International Insolvency & Restructuring Report and is an editor of a recently published book titled "The Art of the Ad Hoc."

Before his judicial appointment, former Judge Peck was in private practice for over 35 years, concentrating for much of that time on bankruptcy law, business reorganization, and creditors’ rights. He was a partner in the reorganization and finance section of Duane Morris LLP and co–head of the business reorganization department of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. He is recommended by Legal 500 US in the area of corporate restructuring.

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  • (Bankr. D. Del.) Court appointed mediator resulting in settlement of plan related disputes in the chapter 11 cases of Gulf Coast Health Care.

  • Confidential successful resolution of claims against insolvent hedge fund. Selected by fund and dealer parties as facilitator to allow claims and resolve disputes in private out of court resolution process involving the close out of complex derivatives.

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Court appointed mediator in the chapter 11 cases of Trident Holding Co. leading to plan confirmation and settlement of alleged violations of the federal anti-kickback statute.

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Court appointed mediator in unusually complex and protracted chapter 15 caee leading to settlement of claims between Luxembourg foreign representative and U.S. creditors and consensual dismissal of the chapter 15 case.

  • (Bankr. D. Del.) Court appointed mediator in adversary proceeding brought by chapter 7 trustee asserting substantial avoidance claims against multiple parties involved in a failed merger transaction.

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Selected as court appointed mediator of claims and defenses in adversary proceedings brought against a Canadian mining company based on refining of precious metals.

  • (Bankr. D. Del.). Appointed by bankruptcy court to resolve claims arising out of a cyber crime theft of millions of dollars held in trust for the benefit of the GUE Liquidation Trust (successor to the debtor FTD).

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Court appointed mediator engaged to resolve disputes over the disposition of funds held in reserve in the chapter 11 cases of Fairway Markets.

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Mediator in the chapter 11 cases of Pacific Drilling and its affiliated debtors. Pacific Drilling operates a multinational offshore drilling business that specializes in ultra–deepwater and complex well construction services. Former Judge Peck assisted Pacific Drilling, various classes of lenders, and a controlling equity holder in negotiating the terms of a consensual plan of reorganization.

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Court–appointed mediator in the chapter 15 cases of In re Perforadora Oro Negro, S. de R.L. de C.V. et al., which are ancillary proceedings to certain concurso proceedings pending in Mexico. Oro Negro and its affiliates own and operate five offshore drilling rigs presently located in the Gulf of Mexico. Working with the court–appointed conciliador in Mexico, former Judge Peck mediated disputes between Oro Negro and its bondholders with the aim of promoting a consensual resolution. This is believed to be the first court–ordered mediation in a case under chapter 15.

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Court–appointed mediator in the chapter 11 cases of Nine West Holdings, Inc. and its ten affiliated debtors. Former Judge Peck served as plan mediator among fourteen mediation parties, including the debtors, the creditors committee, multiple ad hoc bondholder groups, and Sycamore Partners. The parties in Nine West ultimately reached a global resolution, and a consensual plan of reorganization has been confirmed.

  • (S.D.N.Y.) Mediator appointed by agreement of the parties in the 10–year multi–district fraudulent transfer litigation (MDL) resulting from the failed leveraged buyout of Tribune Company. The mediation involving hundreds of mediation parties relates to fraudulent transfer claims against public shareholders that received $8.3 billion in cash distributions (in the aggregate) as part of the leveraged buyout. The MDL is uncommonly complex and has been before every level of the federal system from the Bankruptcy Court to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) Mediator in the chapter 11 cases of international shipping fleet owner and operator Toisa Limited.

  • (Bankr. D. Del.) Mediator in the chapter 11 cases of iron ore producer Mesabi Metallics Company LLC (f/k/a Essar Steel Minnesota LLC).

  • (Bankr. D. Del.). Counsel to Maxus Energy Corporation and four affiliated debtors in their chapter 11 cases, which addressed over $12 billion in claims, predominantly in connection with environmental liability relating to the country’s largest superfund site – the Passaic River and related bodies of water. The Maxus chapter 11 cases concluded in July 2017 following confirmation of an innovative chapter 11 plan supported by over 99% of creditors.

  • (Bankr. D. Del.) Counsel to the official committee of 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.

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