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Stephanie Wickouski counsels clients on all aspects of bankruptcy, insolvency and commercial transactions, including bond defaults, trust indentures, business acquisitions, real estate, health care and financial fraud. With more than 30 years of experience handling complex reorganization cases throughout the country, she has served as lead bankruptcy counsel in multiple high-profile cases.

Ms. Wickouski is the author of two books: Indenture Trustee Bankruptcy Powers & Duties, an essential guide to the legal role of bond trustee, and Bankruptcy Crimes, an authoritative resource on bankruptcy fraud. She also writes the Corporate Restructuring blog (http://blogs.bankrupt.com). She has a national reputation and is an industry leader in corporate insolvency, and is a frequent lecturer, author and commentator on bankruptcy subjects.

Before joining the firm, Ms. Wickouski was vice chair of the corporate restructuring group and regional partner in charge of the New York office at another firm. Prior to entering private practice, she was a trial attorney with the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she received awards for her handling of litigation in airline bankruptcies. She is a panel mediator for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Wickouski taught creditors' rights at the Catholic University School of Law and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Roger M. Whelan, former U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Columbia.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Board of Trustees, American Bankruptcy Institute, Views from the Bench, 2000
    • Mediator, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
    • Trustee, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 1986-1996
    • Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, 1981-1985
    • Law Clerk to the Honorable Roger M. Whelan, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., 1979-1981
    • Named one of the 12 Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers in U.S. by Turnarounds & Workouts, 2006
    • Best Lawyers in America, 2006-present
    • U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards, 1983, 1985
    • Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, 1981-1985
    • Law Clerk to the Honorable Roger M. Whelan, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., 1979-1981
    • Named one of the 12 Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers in U.S. by Turnarounds & Workouts, 2006
    • Best Lawyers in America, 2006-present
    • U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards, 1983, 1985
    • Best Lawyers in America, 2006-present
    • U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards, 1983, 1985
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Representative Experience

  • Counsel to indenture trustee in the Chapter 11 case of Energy Future Holdings (Bankr. D. Del.)
  • Counsel to indenture trustee in Chapter 11 case of Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. (Bankr. D. Del. and Bankr. N.D. Ill.)
  • Counsel to indenture trustee in Chapter 11 case of Black Elk Energy (Bankr. S.D. Tex.)
  • Counsel to indenture trustee in Chapter 11 cases of Bally Total Fitness, Inc,  Northwest Airlines Corp., Anthracite Capital, and Magellan Health Services, Inc. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.); United Airlines, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); USGen New England (Bankr. D. Md.); and out of court resolution in HealthSouth
  • Counsel to indenture trustee in Chapter 11 cases of Dex Media, Inc.;  LSP Energy; Friendly's Restaurants; and R.H. Donnelly Inc. (Bankr. D. Del); Escada USA; General Maritime Corp.; American Roads; and Chemtura Corp. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y); and Lower Bucks Hospital (Bankr. E.D. Pa.)
  • Counsel to indenture trustee in Chapter 11 cases of Hawaiian Telecom, Inc., Aventine Renewable Energy, Primus Corp., and HRP Myrtle Beach Holdings LLC (Bankr. D. Del.)
  • Counsel to indenture trustee in Chapter 11 cases of LifeCare, Inc. and Hayes Lemmerz (Bankr. D. Del.)
  • Counsel to financial institution in Chapter 11 cases of General Motors Inc; and ION Media (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) and Smurfit-Stone Containers (Bankr. D. Del.)
  • Counsel to several hedge funds in Chapter 11 case of Bayou Group (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.)
  • Counsel to magazine creditors in Anderson News (Bankr. D .Del.)
  • Counsel to patient care ombudsman in KidsPeace (E.D. Pa.) and Nightingale Home Healthcare, Inc. (Bankr. S.D. Ind.)

Publications

  • Indenture Trustee Bankruptcy Powers & Duties, Beard Books, November 2015
  • Bankruptcy Crimes, Beard Books 2000; Third Edition 2007
  • Blog – “Corporate Restructuring,” http://blogs.bankrupt.com
  • “Health Care Financing and Securitization After National Century,” ABI Journal, Vol. XX11, No. 4, May 2003
  • “Analysis & Perspective: Effect of Bankruptcy Reform Legislation on Health Care,” BNA’s Bankruptcy Law Reporter, Vol. 13, No. 12, March 12, 2001

Speaking Engagements

  • Views From the Bench (October 2016)
  • "The Future of Corporate Trust Default Administration: What do industry trends, fee recovery after Lehman, and other challenges mean for you?," Bryan Cave Corporate Trust/Distressed Investing Roundtable, May 2016
  • “Emergent Topics Facing Indenture Trustees and Bondholders,” 22nd Annual Distressed Investing Conference, New York, NY, November 2015
  • “Reconsidering Safe Harbors For Repurchase Agreements,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 33rd Annual Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, April 2015
  • “When the 546(e) Safe Harbor Isn't Safe,” Distressed Investing Conference, New York, NY, December 2014
  • #LegalEthics: "Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: What Every Lawyer Should Know," 34th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute, Kansas City, MO, October 2014
  • Creditors' Committees: "Formation, Intra-Committee Conflicts, and the Unique Role of the Indenture Trustee," National Harbor, MD, April 2013
  • “Do Not Pass ‘Go’: Bankruptcy Crimes/Ethics,” ABI’s Fifth Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop, Hershey, PA, August 2009
  • “CLE Ethics Hour: Dealing with Ad Hoc Committees,” Distressed Investing 2008, New York, NY, November 2008
  • “Inter-debtor and Inter-creditor Issues: Inter-company claims; substantive consolidation; conflicts; settlement and dispute resolution techniques; and role of ad hoc committees,” The Georgetown University Law Center for Bankruptcy 2007
  • “CLE Ethics Hour: Maintaining Integrity and Transparency: What Ad Hoc Groups Will Have to Disclose: The Northwest Airlines Case,” Tenth Annual Conference on Corporate Reorganizations, Chicago, IL, June 2007
  • “Spreading the Gospel Internally: Building Your Reputation Among Your Colleagues,” New Partner Forum, June 2006
  • “The CLE Ethics Hour: Is Justice Blind in the Bankruptcy Court, or, is Venue Shopping and Venue Vending Corrupting the Process?” Twelfth Annual Conference on Distressed Investing, November 2005