An Overview of the ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee

A highly respected New York bankruptcy attorney with more than three decades of experience, Norman Kinel serves as a partner at Squire Patton Boggs LLP. In his current duties, he deals extensively with restructuring and insolvency. He also has vast experience in bankruptcy asset sales, cross-border insolvency proceedings, and mergers and acquisitions. Norman Kinel serves on the American Bar Association Business Bankruptcy Committee.

The American Bar Association (ABA) acts as the national representative of the legal profession, promotes the best quality legal education, and enhances professionalism and ethics. The mission of the ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee is to act as the main resource for legal professionals who handle bankruptcy issues. The committee provides quality educational content in multiple formats and is involved in the formulation and review of proposed bankruptcy legislation.

Through the committee, young attorneys get a chance to work with experienced experts in order to build their legal credentials and reputation. The Business Bankruptcy Committee facilitates global connection of over 1,500 legal experts through meetings, discussion groups, and webinars about bankruptcy and insolvency. In addition, legal colleagues can collectively brainstorm to come up with ideas, solve challenges, and seek solutions on various issues affecting bankruptcy law.

What is a Fraudulent Conveyance?

For more than three decades, Norman Kinel has gained valuable skills in the field of bankruptcy, litigating numerous cases on behalf of his clients. In his current duties, he serves as a partner in the New York office of Squire Patton Boggs LLP and also serves as the National Chair of Creditors’ Committee Practice Group. During the course of his career, Norman Kinel has gained extensive experience in various legal areas, including fraudulent conveyances.

A fraudulent conveyance refers to the transfer of property to another individual in order to avoid payment of a debt or potential debt, to ensure the property is out of creditors’ reach, especially during bankruptcy proceedings or when they are just about to begin. Fraudulent conveyance can involve a company or an individual, whereby property is transferred to family, friends, or other third parties.

Under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), there are various factors that determine if a fraudulent conveyance occurred. This includes whether the transfer was made to an insider such as a family member and whether the debtor retained possession or control of the property after the transfer. Other considerations include if a debtor had been threatened with legal action before the property transfer was made, if the debtor received payment for the transfer of assets, and whether they transferred a substantial portion or all of their assets.

Norman Kinel on the Roster of 2019 O’Neill Bankruptcy Institute

 

Norman Kinel

Norman Kinel

Based in New York, Norman Kinel serves as a partner in the Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group of Squire Patton Boggs. In recognition of his achievements, he has been recognized again in 2019 by Super Lawyers as one of New York City’s top bankruptcy lawyers.

In May 2019, Norman Kinel will be among the professionals who will speak at the William J. O’Neill Regional Bankruptcy Institute, sponsored by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA),which will address a variety of bankruptcy law issues. At the event, Mr. Kinel will serve as a member of a panel focusing on the topic “Retail Apocalypse Now?” He will speak alongside fellow professionals who possess a substantial knowledge of and experience with law, financial services, and accounting. The panelists on the roster represent firms with offices across the country.

A number of individuals with knowledge of financial trends have projected that the overall 2019 retail sector will continue its trajectory of disruption – and not only in terms of digital transformation – as consumer power and demand increase, and companies continue to fight for customers.

Mr. Kinel’s panel, entitled “Retail Apocalypse Now?”, will examine numerous issues relating to the surge in retail bankruptcy cases, including: extending trade credit, critical vendor issues, administratively insolvent cases, special concerns of commercial landlords and the composition and role of creditors’ committees in retail cases.

Amid rising global economic and political unrest, the relatively prosperous American economy demonstrated mixed results for retailers in 2018 that included some notable bankruptcies for a range of businesses. It may be that 2019 is shaping up to be a year in which survival for many retail businesses will involve thorough-going change in response to uncertainty.

Unsecured Creditors Represented in Constellation Enterprises Case

 

Norman Kinel

Norman Kinel

An attorney with Squire Patton Boggs, Norman Kinel has extensive experience in complex business bankruptcy cases involving chapter 11 filings.

In August 2017, Norman Kinel represented a committee of Constellation Enterprises LLC’s unsecured creditors in urging a federal appeals court judge to overturn a Bankruptcy Court decision denying approval of a settlement agreement negotiated by the creditors’ committee for the benefit of unsecured creditors.

The settlement was denied on the basis that it ran afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. The Committee argued, however, that the holding in Jevic did not apply to the facts presented in the Constellation case and thus should not have been relied upon as a basis for the decision. In particular, the Committee argued that there is no priority scheme within the Bankruptcy Code that governs the distribution of non-estate assets. In addition, unlike the Constellation case, Jevic had nothing to do with a third-party purchaser’s rights to contribute its own property or funds to other creditors.

The Committee further argued that the Bankruptcy Court had failed to apply the ruling in In re ICL Holding, a Third Circuit precedent that permitted a third-party to contribute non-estate property in connection with a settlement, even if the distributions to be made were not in strict accordance with the absolute priority rule.

Unfortunately, when the Constellation chapter 11 cases was converted to chapter 7, the Committee’s appeal was dismissed and certain noteholder parties to the settlement agreement, who were to have contributed substantial cash and other consideration to a trust to be established for the benefit of unsecured creditors, instead received a multi-million-dollar windfall, with unsecured creditors receiving no distribution.