In a special video, members of Hughes Hubbard’s Lehman team reveal the challenges they faced and overcame after Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years earlier in what remains the largest bankruptcy in history. The team serves as counsel to James W. Giddens, the trustee overseeing the $123 billion liquidation of Lehman Brothers Inc., the largest single estate in the entire Lehman failure.


On April 16, Hughes Hubbard’s Corporate Reorganization & Bankruptcy Group held a Bankruptcy Roundtable entitled, “Too Big to Fail: Perspectives on Systemic Risk & The Evolving Regulatory Landscape.”

Thomas A. Russo, Executive Vice President & General Counsel for AIG and Chief Legal Officer of Lehman Brothers at the time of its bankruptcy in 2008, gave the keynote address. Other speakers included Thomas C. Baxter, General Counsel and Executive Vice president of the legal group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Stephen P. Harbeck, President and CEO of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation; retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James M. Peck; and John C. Coffee, Director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia University Law School.  Hughes Hubbard partner James W. Giddens moderated the program and partner Christopher K. Kiplok delivered the closing remarks.

The roundtable was attended by numerous participants from some of the nation’s most prestigious financial institutions, hedge funds, accounting firms and restructuring advisory firms.

We are pleased to share with our readers Hughes Hubbard’s  2013 Bankruptcy Review.  The review recaps the group’s accomplishments in major restructurings that spanned the financial services, energy, shipping, consumer goods and telecom industries.  We thank our clients for entrusting us with their most important insolvency matters and look forward to continuing to protect their interests  in 2014.

James W. Giddens, Chairman of the Corporate Reorganization and Bankruptcy Group, authored an Op-Ed analysis:  How to Avoid the Next MF Global Surprise  (subscription required), in The Wall Street Journal regarding cross-border insolvency and his recommendations to ensure the protection of customer funds in future broker-dealer liquidations.

Drawing on his experience as Trustee of Lehman Brothers Inc. and MF Global Inc. – the largest and eighth largest, respectively, bankruptcies in U.S. history – Giddens noted that “U.S. laws and regulations should be modified to require that customer funds held outside the U.S. are subject to the strict segregation requirements in the U.S.”  Further, he added that “regulators here and abroad need to coordinate their efforts to make sure that account segregation requirements are met and properly signed off by company officers.”

We are pleased to report that The American Lawyer awarded our group the “Global Finance Deal of the Year:  Private Restructuring” in connection with our representation of Hughes Hubbard partner James W. Giddens, the Trustee of MF Global Inc.  The American Lawyer notes that the Global Legal Awards “aim to capture the full gamut of global legal work, regardless of the forum or mode of lawyering.”  The Hughes Hubbard team was led by partners James B. Kobak, Jr., Christopher K. Kiplok, and Sarah L. Cave.  We also congratulate our co-counsel in the MF Global restructuring, Slaughter & May, as well as fellow honorees Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Morrison & Foerster, and Pepper Hamilton.