Bankruptcy and Bankruptcy Litigation

Greenfield has decades of experience in bankruptcy litigation and insolvency matters. Over the years we have successfully advised and represented:

  • trustees and bankruptcy estates
  • distressed companies seeking bankruptcy protection
  • creditors’ committees
  • private and public debt and equity holders
  • trade creditors
  • landlords
  • lenders
  • financial institutions, and
  • purchasers of assets from troubled companies

In complex bankruptcies, we pursue multi-million dollar litigation that often is the only chance for unsecured creditors to recover any assets. For cases arising from a bankruptcy or involving bankruptcy issues, we can prosecute or defend claims in bankruptcy court as well as other state and federal courts. Because bankruptcy cases raise unique and challenging issues, our firm is frequently called upon when general bankruptcy counsel faces trial cases or potential litigation.  We also represent distressed companies, debtors, creditors, and committee in full-range of bankruptcy and pre-bankruptcy contexts.

Representative Clients

The Estate of Heller Ehrman • Trustees Michael Burkart, David Flemmer, and Randy Sugarman • The Estate of SK Foods • Creditors Committee of Jasmine Networks, Inc. • Majority Shareholder of Garden City Casino

Cases of Note

In re Heller

  • Representing one of the largest and oldest law firms on the West Coast, Greenfield filed nearly 100 adversary lawsuits on behalf of the Heller Estate
  • Total recoveries to date in excess of $40 million
  • Settled a preferential transfer case and brought in more than $20 million for the Estate and creditors in a case against Bank of America and CitiBank, who were represented by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Peitzman Weg, LLP
  • Settled for $7.5 million a case against Covington & Burling LLP and a former client of Heller Ehrman, Ronald A. Katz Licensing Group
  • Settled legal malpractice case against Greenberg Traurig LLP for $4.9 million
  • Won summary judgment on all liability issues against Jones Day, Orrick Herrington, Foley & Lardner, and Davis Wright Tremaine in a published decision holding that the “Jewel Waiver” (attempting to waive the law firm’s rights to profits made from the firm’s unfinished business taken by Heller shareholders to other firms) signed by Heller shareholders was an unlawful fraudulent transfer
  • Brought in more than $3.5 million from a number of law firms in Jewel v. Boxer actions

In re Estate of Cook

  • Represented trustee in litigation seeking to avoid claimed security interest in 7.06% limited partnership interest in Sacramento Kings basketball team so team interest could be solf for benefit of unsecured creditors
  • Settled contested litigation on eve of trial in a mediation less than six months after Greenfield engaged
  • Brought in during bankruptcy sale process of 7.06% limited partnership interest to prevent general partner with majority ownership interest from excluding estate’s minority interest from proposed sale of Kings team to buyer groups from Seattle and Sacramento
  • Secured a recover of $15.1 million for the estate

In re Sonic Blue

  • Investigated background of confidential settlement and uncovered undisclosed conflicts among estate professionals
  • Moved for appointment of a trustee, along with co-counsel Stutman Treister, that led to the disqualification of debtor’s counsel, Pillsbury Winthrop; the firing of counsel for a number of hedge funds that held $75 million in bonds, including, Hennigan Bennet; and reconstitution of the creditors committee, which new committee then replaced Levene Neal as committee counsel
  • Exposed estate claims for affirmative recovery against Pillsbury Winthrop, and Levene Neal that were ultimately settled for $10 million and $4.5 million respectively
  • Efforts led to confirmation of a plan of liquidation providing for $25 million more to general unsecured creditors and a $12.5 million recovery by its client on a claim the client originally purchased for $4 million
  • Greenfield (then called McGrane Greenfield) Client received an additional $1 million for substantial contribution to the SONICBlue, Inc. estate, the basis for which substantial contribution award was described by Bankruptcy Judge Marilyn Morgan in her December 29, 2009 opinion in In re: SONICBlue, Inc., 2009 Bankr. LEXIS 4190 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. December 29, 2009) on the basis that, as stated in the opinion, “McGrane Greenfield LLP, brought its considerable experience and energy as a civil litigation firm to bear in trial preparation and [the] trial [against O’Melveny & Myers, special counsel to the debtor]. The firm was hawkish and exacting in the development of both the legal theories and the evidence … .”

SK Foods

Recovered several million dollars against B&G Foods for pre-petition and post-petition product deliveries, while successfully defending claims for anti-trust and RICO violations based upon pre-petition criminal conduct by officers of corporate debtor