New York, NY (Vocus) March 24, 2009
With the rapid rise in bankruptcy filings, firms and professionals with bankruptcy and turnaround management expertise are in greater demand. There were 3,799 U.S. and non-U.S. bankruptcy filings last year, up almost 23% from 2007 and 72% higher than in 2006, according to The Deal Pipeline. Bankruptcy filers are becoming bigger and more complicated as well. There were 60 debtors in 2008 with assets of more than $1 billion, compared with just seven in 2007. In last year's fourth quarter alone there were 18, making bankruptcy practices in law firms, banks and consultancies highly profitable.
Highlighting the firms and professionals with the most active bankruptcy cases and assignments, The Deal Pipeline unveils its quarterly league tables of the top bankruptcy law firms, top bankruptcy lawyers, top investment banks, top investment bankers, top crisis management firms, top crisis management professionals, top non-investment banks and top non-investment bank professionals.
Topping the list of bankruptcy law firms in the fourth quarter of 2008 are: No. 1) White & Case LLP, No. 2) Greenberg Traurig LLP and No. 3) Latham & Watkins LLP. Top bankruptcy lawyers include: No. 1) Thomas Leanse of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, No. 2) David Pollack of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP and No. 3) Biner Bahr of White & Case LLP.
The top investment banks include: No. 1) Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin Inc., No. 2) Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. and No. 3) Chanin Capital Partners LLC. The investment banker with the most number of active assignments is Edward Casas of Navigant Capital Advisors LLC. Tied for No. 2 are: James Feltman of Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. and Neil Luria of Navigant Capital Advisors LLC. In third is Larry Lattig of Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc.
The top crisis management firms are: No. 1) FTI Consulting Inc., No. 2) GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC and No. 3) Alvarez & Marsal LLC. The top crisis managers are: No. 1) Ronald Glass of GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC, No. 2) Chad Shandler of Traxi LLC and No. 3) Anthony Schnelling of Bridge Associates LLC.
Top non-investment banks include: No. 1) Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, No. 3) BDO Seidman LLP, No. 3) Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC. Rounding out the top spot as the non-investment bank professionals with the most number of active assignments are Eric Kurtzman and Jonathan Carson, both of Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC. In second place is Daniel McElhinny of Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC and in third is Peter Salter of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
According to "In the Curl of a Tsunami," the story written by associate statistics editor Chelsey Franks that accompanies The Deal Pipeline's bankruptcy league tables, compelling facts regarding today's corporate and financial landscape are:
- Some observers have been quick to blame changes to the federal Bankruptcy Code in 2005 for the increase in Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 11 sales and auctions. Reduced time frames for deciding what to do with leases, and other changes, can be discouraging reorganizations.
- Because more debtor corporations aren't entertaining reorganizations anymore, professionals are working on more liquidations than ever.
- Burgeoning Chapter 7 filings is only one reason why professionals are in the beginning of the up cycle of bankruptcy work. Many predict significant increases in defaults and dislocations among bankrupt and financially distressed companies this year.
Since 2003, The Deal has been the definitive source ranking the most active firms and professionals in bankruptcy.
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The Deal LLC, (http://www.thedeal.com ), is a diversified media company that is the authoritative voice of the deal economy. We serve the global deal community-corporate and financial dealmakers, advisers and institutional investors-by providing business and financial news and information that offers fresh insights on the deal economy, a set of interrelated activities, focused on dealmaking of all kinds, whose purpose is to generate corporate growth in a continually changing global market. We offer a comprehensive line of print and electronic products - The Deal Pipeline, The Deal, The Daily Deal and TheDeal.com - and live annual events including Private Capital Symposium, Distressed Investing Forum, Corporate Dealmaker Forum and M&A Outlook. The Deal LLC, a privately held company, is owned by private investment funds, including U.S. Equity Partners LP, sponsored by Wasserstein & Co. LP.