Stroock’s Financial Restructuring Group Adds Four Lawyers

6/28/17

Restructuring Veteran Brian Kelly

New members also include senior counsel Samantha Martin and two associates with substantial restructuring experience 

Stroock’s market-leading Financial Restructuring Group just grew to 40 lawyers strong with the addition of four new attorneys – all arriving from different law firms but collectively bringing substantial experience in the sector.

Joining Stroock as a partner is Brian Kelly, a transactional lawyer who has served as lead M&A counsel on major restructurings in retail, aviation, shipping, energy and telecom. Coming on board as special counsel is Samantha Martin, and joining as associates are Brian Wells and Marni Isaacson. All four attorneys are based in the firm’s New York office.

Mr. Kelly was previously at Milbank Tweed; Ms. Martin was at Morrison & Foerster; Mr. Wells was at Weil Gotshal; and Ms. Isaacson was at Haynes & Boone. The sustained amount of work in Stroock’s 12-partner Financial Restructuring Group necessitated the addition of all four new lawyers, each of whom brings different experience to the Group’s diverse offering.

The most senior practitioner, Mr. Kelly, focuses on distressed M&A and related restructuring transactions. He has represented investment firms and stakeholders in a wide range of deals involving distressed companies, including domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, debt-for-equity exchanges, joint ventures, and preferred equity and debt investments. He also advises on securities, governance and general corporate matters.

Mr. Kelly has been at the center of teams advising large creditor committees, as well as lenders and equity holders in restructurings involving billions of dollars in assets and liabilities. His industry experience is likewise broad. In retail, he worked closely on the restructurings of American Apparel and Blockbuster. In the energy space, he played a lead role in the restructurings of Quicksilver Resources and Linn Energy, and in representing the largest equity holder in the restructuring of C&J Energy Services. He also was a senior member of teams handling the restructurings of Eagle Bulk Shipping, American Airlines and Genco Shipping & Trading.

Samantha Martin has represented stakeholders in large chapter 11 proceedings and out-of-court restructurings, advising debtors as well as lenders, bondholders and official creditors’ committees, equity holders and other investors and constituents. She has also counseled foreign representatives in chapter 15 recognition proceedings. Like Mr. Kelly, Ms. Martin has worked on matters across a wide range of industry groups, including the chapter 11 filing for the world’s largest renewable energy developer.

At Stroock, Mr. Kelly, Ms. Martin and the others join a practice that has been at the center of some of the largest restructurings, debt workouts and bankruptcies in recent years. Stroock represented bank lenders in the $20 billion chapter 11 proceedings of  Caesars Entertainment.  Also in the past year, the firm has been at the core of the multi-billion dollar restructurings of 21st Century Oncology, Foresight Energy and Avaya Inc. and has advised on numerous private exchanges, workouts and bridge financings.

“Our group has been so busy for so long that we needed to add talented lawyers to allow us to continue to expand our offering and deliver the results that our clients expect across the myriad disciplines demanded in the restructuring space,” said Kristopher Hansen, the long-tenured head of Stroock’s Financial Restructuring Group.

“Thanks to our strong team and track record, Stroock has made a prominent mark in this area and we’re pleased to be able to attract talented and experienced lawyers like Brian Kelly and Samantha Martin, who have played key roles in some of the largest restructurings in recent years. That Brian, Samantha, Brian Wells and Marni all come from different firms also reflects Stroock’s growing stature as a prime destination in this area.”

Mr. Kelly received his J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law where he was managing editor of The Ohio State Law Journal and a member of the Order of the Coif, and his B.S. from Miami University.

Ms. Martin received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Florida. 

Mr. Wells received his J.D. from the University of Virginia and his B.A. from the University of Southern California.  Prior to joining Weil Gotshal, Mr. Wells served as a law clerk for Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Stuart M. Bernstein in the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Isaacson received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and her B.A. from McGill University. 

Stroock provides transactional, regulatory and litigation guidance to leading financial institutions, multinational corporations, investment funds and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad.  With a rich history dating back 140 years, the firm has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Miami. For more, visit www.stroock.com.

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