Press Release

Lehman Bankruptcy Judge James M. Peck To Join Morrison & Foerster

Former judge who presided over the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history will co-chair the firm’s global Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group

19 Feb 2014

NEW YORK – February 19, 2014 – Morrison & Foerster announced today that Hon. James M. Peck will join the firm as co-chair of its global Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group, effective March 3, 2014.

During his tenure as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York, Judge Peck presided over the chapter 11 and SIPA cases of Lehman Brothers and its affiliates, which collectively held approximately $600 billion assets at the time of filing, constituting the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Other notable matters over which Judge Peck presided include the chapter 11 cases of Iridium, Quebecor, Charter Communications, Extended Stay Hotels and ION Media and the chapter 15 case of Japan Airlines. Judge Peck also brokered settlements in several high profile cases including American Airlines, Syms/Filenes, MF Global, General Motors Nova Scotia noteholders, Residential Capital and Excel Maritime.

As well as enhancing Morrison & Foerster's current restructuring practice, Judge Peck also brings expertise in the area of complex mediation in both domestic and international insolvencies.

"As a result of the increasing multinational nature of businesses and globalization of capital, in the last six years we have seen the most complex cross-border and domestic bankruptcy and insolvency matters in history.  Judge Peck's experiences presiding over some of these matters, including the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 case, in addition to his experience acting as a mediator in others, such as Residential Capital and MF Global, will add a wealth of expertise to our practice.  We are delighted that Judge Peck will be joining Morrison & Foerster," said Larren M. Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster.

"Bringing on a practitioner of Judge Peck's stature strengthens our already robust practice in complex domestic and cross-border restructuring," added Gary S. Lee, chair of Morrison & Foerster's Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group.  "Judge Peck will offer expertise in a myriad of areas where he has helped advance bankruptcy law.  This is especially true of his landmark rulings relating to derivatives and the bankruptcy safe harbors. We are excited to offer his insights to our clients and colleagues."

Judge Peck said:  "I look forward to continuing to do in private practice what I did on the bench – working on world class domestic and cross-border cases and engaging in complex mediation matters – at Morrison & Foerster.  MoFo's global platform and practice strength in restructuring and insolvency make this a most exciting opportunity."

Judge Peck joins at a time of meteoric trajectory for the practice.  The firm has recently advised on a number of high-profile cases, including representing Residential Capital, LLC, one of the largest real estate finance companies in the world, as the debtor in the largest chapter 11 case of 2012.  In addition, the group represented the chapter 11 trustee for MF Global in the largest chapter 11 case of 2011.  Morrison & Foerster played a significant role in Iceland's bank restructurings through its representation of the Resolution Committee and Winding-up Board of Landsbanki Islands hf.  The group also represents official creditors' committees in some of the highest profile cases, including in the recent cases of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Ambac Financial Group. Indeed, the firm was named "Bankruptcy Firm of the Year" for 2013 by Chambers USA.

Judge Peck also joins on the heels of leading insolvency practitioner Howard Morris, who joined the firm's London office, bringing a wealth of expertise on cross-border and pan-European insolvency, and Jörg Meissner and Thomas Keul, highly regarded restructuring lawyers in Morrison & Foerster's Berlin office.

Judge Peck was appointed to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in January 2006.  Prior to his appointment, he was a partner in the business reorganization department at Schulte Roth & Zabel and previously a partner in the reorganization and finance practice of Duane Morris.  He earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Judge Peck is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, a member of the International Insolvency Institute and is co-chair of the ABI's Advisory Committee on Financial Contracts, Derivatives and Safe Harbors.  He is an adjunct professor of finance at NYU's Stern School of Business and is a frequent speaker and moderator at global industry conferences and universities.




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