Peter Friedman is a nationally acclaimed bankruptcy and restructuring litigator. He has successfully represented troubled borrowers and public entities and their stakeholders, including lenders, bondholders, investors, and officers and directors, in bankruptcy courts, district courts and courts of appeals across the country.
Peter is listed as a leading bankruptcy lawyer in Chambers USA (2010-18). Chambers has described Peter as “known in the market for his expertise in contentious bankruptcy cases,” a “great oral advocate,” and “top-notch bankruptcy litigator,” who is “effective in the courtroom,” but is also “focused on trying to keep the fight out of court and getting to a creative resolution.” Peter is also a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.
Peter strategically and effectively represents his clients in contentious and high-profile matters. He serves his clients’ business interests by aggressively litigating their positions or seeking consensus, whichever route is called for in order to get favorable results on their behalf.
Before joining O’Melveny, Peter was a partner at another major New York law firm.
- Serves as lead litigation counsel to the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority in Puerto Rico’s historic Title III restructuring proceedings.
- Represented Verso Paper Corp. in its bankruptcy as lead litigation counsel. Among other things, Peter led a team of O’Melveny lawyers in bringing together several groups of secured lenders to reach a complex intra-company protocol to address a key contractual matter at the beginning of Verso’s case.
- Successfully argued a motion to dismiss an adversary proceeding filed by Marathon Asset Management seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from three major private equity funds regarding the interpretation of an intercreditor agreement in the EFH Bankruptcy. Decision affirmed on appeal in the United States District Court for Delaware.
- Lead bankruptcy litigation counsel to the iconic American company Colt Defense Industries in its Chapter 11 cases. Colt’s case, which was highly contentious at the outset, resulted in a fully-consensual plan that provided meaningful recoveries to all parties.
- Co-led O’Melveny’s representation of Suntech Power Holdings, Inc., which, in November 2014, received recognition of its Chapter 15 petition in the Southern District of New York over the objection of a major creditor, and defeated challenges to Suntech’s eligibility to be a United States Debtor as well as a motion to transfer venue of the case to California.
- Successfully defended Sound Point Capital Management and its managing partner, Stephen Ketchum, and obtained dismissal of a $2 billion lawsuit brought against them by Harbinger Capital in the LightSquared chapter 11 cases.
- Represented the United States Treasury and the Presidential Task Force on the Automobile Industry as lender and acquirer in the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcies.
- Advised LyondellBasell Industries as a debtor in every aspect of its bankruptcy restructuring of more than US$25 billion in debt. He counseled Lyondell and litigated on its behalf in its precedent-setting settlement of fraudulent transfer litigation and in connection with unwinding a complex web of intercreditor relationships.
- Represented US Bank, NA as Indenture Trustee for leveraged lease bonds in the Dynegy Holdings bankruptcy, where he successfully argued for the appointment of an examiner over the objection of many other parties in interest and led litigation efforts related to the treatment of US Bank’s claims under Bankruptcy Code section 502(b)(6). US Bank ultimately reached an extremely favorable settlement on its claims.
- Peter was lead bankruptcy litigation counsel to the Renco Group as a secured lender and equity sponsor in the RG Steel bankruptcy, and assisted Renco in obtaining a structured dismissal of the case on very favorable terms (including a full release).
- Representative ongoing or completed creditor representations include:
- Blockbuster (Icahn Associates)
- Owens Corning (Credit Suisse as Agent for US$1 billion credit facility)
- Lehman Brothers (Morgan Stanley as plan proponent and derivatives counterparty)
- AMF Bowling (Cerberus & a leading financial institution)
- BLB/Twin River Casino (Wells Fargo, Sankaty Capital)
- Peter has won numerous arguments and trials, including:
- Prevailing on a motion to dismiss an adversary proceeding filed against three private equity funds in the Energy Futures Holding bankruptcy (Marathon Asset Mgmt. v. Wilmington Trust, et al.);
- After a three day trial, obtaining approval of the largest privately funded debtor-in-possession financing in history in LyondellBasell Industries, Inc.;
- In Dynegy Holdings, obtained appointment of a bankruptcy examiner over the objection of the debtor, its corporate parent and outside investors and bondholders;
- After a one day trial, recognition of Suntech Power Holding’s Chapter 15 petition in the Southern District of New York and defeat of a motion to transfer venue;
- In LightSquared, Inc., obtaining dismissal of $2 billion adversary proceeding brought by equity sponsor Harbinger Capital (Harbinger v. Ergen, et al.);
- Dismissal of an adversary proceeding for equitable subordination brought against Icahn Associates, as well as defeating a motion to pursue other causes of action against Icahn in Blockbuster;
- District of Columbia
- US Supreme Court
- US Court of Appeals, Third and Seventh Circuits
- US District Court, District of Columbia
- Northwestern University, J.D., 1998, Order of the Coif, cum laude; Editor, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
- Trinity College, B.A., 1994, with Honors
- Honorable Joel M. Flaum, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
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