Trust and Trustee Representation

Representative Engagements

  • In re United Homes, Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In this case, we served as counsel to the Chapter 11 trustee of a large national home builder. The first phase of the case required the negotiation of a series of complex agreements with the secured lender, Residential Funding Corp. (“RFC”), providing for the sale of remaining developed and undeveloped real estate in Illinois, Michigan and Arizona, while preserving disputes over the proceeds. The sales ultimately generated $18 million, at which point litigation began over RFC’s assertion that it had a lien on those funds. The Trustee advanced a number of arguments concerning the validity of RFC’s liens and a failure to properly maintain liens on an Arizona subdivision. RFC and its title insurer failed in their motions to dismiss those claims and ultimately settled by paying $1.5 million and waiving deficiency claims in excess of $13 million.
  • In re Automotive Professionals, Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  We currently represent Frances Gecker as Chapter 11 trustee of an $80 million auto warranty company that served 500,000 consumers and automobile dealers across the country. We successfully negotiated and confirmed a plan of reorganization that enabled the majority of consumers to be paid in full, outside of the plan, by either the dealers who sold the warranties or the companies that insured the warranties.
  • In re Coach & Car Equipment Corporation, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. We served as counsel to Ms. Gecker as Chapter 7 trustee for this multi-site manufacturer of transit and other seating for BART, AMTRAK and General Dynamics, among others.  We successfully oversaw the liquidation of the manufacturing facilities including the sale of inventory, equipment, machinery and real estate, as well as the pursuit of hundreds of preference actions and an insurance coverage action.
  • In re Best Built Fabricating Company, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The debtor was a 60-year old metal fabricating business specializing in metal railings and other architectural elements for such projects as the architecturally notable Aqua Tower designed by Studio Gang.  When Frances Gecker was appointed the Chapter 7 trustee, Best Built had numerous unfinished projects.  With the assistance of FrankGecker, Ms. Gecker obtained authorization to continue to operate the business.  We successfully oversaw completion of the projects, and the eventual auction of the machinery and equipment.  We also disposed of other assets, including the liquidation of insurance policies, and resolved mechanics liens, which will ultimately allow for payment in full to creditors and a return to shareholders.
  • Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust, United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In 2006, the Delaware bankruptcy court and the Delaware district court confirmed the reorganization plan of the Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation and its affiliates.  Under the plan, present and future asbestos personal injury claims are channeled to the Kaiser Trust, a qualified settlement fund and Delaware statutory trust.  With over $1 billion in assets under management, the Kaiser Trust is charged with processing and paying hundreds of thousands of asbestos claims.  As general counsel to the trust from its inception, we have assisted in drafting the trust formation documents and certificate of trust, drafting the claim processing documents, negotiating vendor agreements, serving as board secretary, advising the trustees on fiduciary, claim processing and claim allowance issues, and mediating and arbitrating claims.