George Zimmerman’s practice emphasizes federal court litigation, including securities, corporate and commercial as well as leveraged finance and bankruptcy litigation. Mr. Zimmerman served as lead litigation and trial counsel for NextEra Energy, Inc. in its bankruptcy court trial victory against the Adelphia Communications Recovery Trust, which had sued to recover approximately $300 million for an allegedly fraudulent transfer from Adelphia to two NextEra subsidiaries.
The Skadden trial team led by Mr. Zimmerman prevailed in proving that the plaintiff had failed to carry its burden of establishing that Adelphia was insolvent or would have been unable to raise adequate financing to continue operations at the time of the alleged fraudulent transfer.
This, notwithstanding the undisputed facts that Adelphia had committed $400 million of financial fraud, exceeded the permissible leverage ratios in its loan documents, and had no unencumbered assets. The successful result was sustained by the district court after an extensive de novo review of the trial record, and subsequently affirmed by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The victory was achieved, in part, through a novel argument that combined two concepts courts traditionally analyze independently—namely the question of Adelphia’s access to the capital markets had to be evaluated in light of its $2.5 billion equity cushion, tying together the question of Adelphia’s solvency with its prospective access to capital markets, a unique approach endorsed by both the bankruptcy and district courts.
Mr. Zimmerman served as lead litigation and trial counsel for Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman Sachs Credit Partners L.P., Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in their successful trial arising out of a $2 billion financing facility for Solutia, Inc.
The lenders had invoked a “Market MAC” provision in refusing to fund the facility on the grounds that there had been an adverse change in the markets, which in their reasonable judgment materially impacted the syndication of the exit facility.
Solutia sued to force the lenders to fund the facility. Following trial, Solutia agreed to new loan terms that were substantially more favorable to the lenders, and enabled the lenders to successfully syndicate the financing within 24 hours.
The highly visible trial, which was closely followed by the markets, ultimately confirmed the utility of Market MAC provisions as a means to incentivize borrowers to recognize the need to renegotiate loan terms in the face of declining market conditions in order to obtain necessary funding.
Mr. Zimmerman has served as lead litigation counsel in numerous significant bankruptcy matters. He represented Sterling Chemicals Holdings, Inc. in its successful litigation efforts to obtain a contested priming lien that led to the successful reorganization of the debtor and represented Union Pacific Resources Company as the largest producer creditor in the Columbia Gas Transmission Company bankruptcy proceedings, which resulted in Union Pacific receiving an award of approximately $200 million on its claim.
Mr. Zimmerman also represented Grove Worldwide LLC; Ames Department Stores, Inc.; Wang Laboratories, Inc.; and United Merchants and Manufacturers, Inc. in various significant litigation matters arising from their Chapter 11 reorganizations.
- J.D., New York University, 1979
- B.A., Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, 1975
Admissions : New York
- Former Special Trial Counsel, Departmental Disciplinary Committee, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department
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