Norman Kinel is a New York-based attorney at Squire Patton Boggs, LLP, who serves as head of its Creditors’ Committee practice and as partner in the Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group. As reported by Law360 in January, 2019, Norman Kinel represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in a case in which a Delaware U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a disclosure statement in connection with a proposed plan proposed by Debtor LBI Media, Inc.
The disclosure statement was approved after objections by junior noteholders, who requested that more details be provided before its approval. Their specific concerns centered on undisclosed details regarding LBI’s plans to sell the company, top officer compensation provisions, and inadequate review time. The noteholders alleged that with the additional information it sought the chances of having a “contested hearing on the disclosure statement itself” would be minimized.
Mr. Kinel noted that this did not affect the committee’s ongoing investigation of whether any valid claims against California-based LBI or others existed. The committee he represented had yet to decide on whether it would support the Chapter 11 plan presented by LBI.
A bankruptcy and restructuring attorney, Norman Kinel is a partner at the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs. Over the course of more than 30 years, he has handled complex bankruptcy cases as a partner in several prominent law firms based in New York City and earned industry accolades that include several Turnaround Atlas Awards and multiple recognitions as a “Super Lawyer.” A graduate of the American University Washington College of Law, Norman Kinel frequently writes articles for industry publications about developments in the bankruptcy field.
Writing on eSquire Global Crossings, Mr. Kinel analyzed the findings of a recent Fitch Ratings report that suggests the average duration of Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases has grown significantly shorter over the last few years. According to Mr. Kinel, who has been involved in many dozens of these cases throughout his career, these findings are not entirely surprising, as an increased reliance on prepackaged reorganization plans in Chapter 11 cases has made for a simpler confirmation process.
However, not all Chapter 11 cases have followed this trend. For example, while the average Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in 2017 lasted only four months, and the average of all cases from 2003 to 2018 was seven months, the Energy Future Holdings bankruptcy case lasted a full four years. Other notable cases that took much longer than average include the Interstate Bakeries Corp. proceedings, which lasted 51 months, and the two-year Calpine Corporation case.
When analyzing these lengthier cases, several commonalities emerge. Among other factors, these longer cases often involve legacy liabilities such as underfunded pension plans or complex transactions such as leveraged buyouts. In other cases, longer proceedings can simply be attributed to bad timing, with the specific economic environment of the companies’ respective industries slowing the process.
Experienced bankruptcy practitioner and litigator Norman Kinel has represented debtors, creditors, equity holders and official committees in numerous complex Chapter 11 cases involving multiple parties. Norman Kinel, a registered mediator for the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern District of New York and the District of Delaware, has considerable expertise in the use of debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing in bankruptcy proceedings.
DIP financing is one option available to companies undergoing Chapter 11 proceedings. DIP financing is a court-approved finance plan that can fund the operations of a financially distressed company as it goes through the Chapter 11 process. DIP financing usually takes the form of fully funded term loans.
If DIP financing is approved, customers and vendors can continue to extend credit to the company with a high degree of confidence that they will be paid for their products or services during the bankruptcy proceedings.
Many financially distressed companies have obtained approval for DIP financing. In May 2018, iconic guitar maker Gibson secured $135 million in DIP financing to continue its operations. The DIP loan will keep the company in business, potentially until 2019, as its Chapter 11 filing proceeds.