Jonathan Young is a partner in the Restructuring and Insolvency Group of Edwards Wildman. A skilled and creative restructuring attorney, Jonathan is equally adept in the litigation, transactional, and counseling aspects of his practice. He regularly appears on behalf of his clients in federal, state, and bankruptcy courts throughout the country. He is experienced in the interplay between the Bankruptcy Code and complex programs of insurance law, and regularly advises insurers in connection with restructuring and insolvency driven disputes. He has also developed an expertise in advising fiduciaries, and currently serves as lead counsel to the Litigation Trustee appointed in the Comdisco bankruptcy cases. He also represents the Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 128 Receiver for Olsen's Mill, Inc. in connection with the Receiver's claims in the Renew Energy bankruptcy case. He has also developed substantial appellate experience, and has handled engagements in the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Third, Seventh and Eighth Circuits, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panels for the Sixth and Ninth Circuits, as well as the Illinois Appellate Court and the Supreme Court of Alabama. In addition, he has represented public and private companies in a variety of restructuring and workout contexts, including advice and representation in connection with the restructuring of numerous complex credit facilities. As a counselor to his clients, Jonathan focuses on developing timely, workable strategies that pay equal attention to both the legal and business issues involved. Jonathan is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
· Currently representing and defending six former directors and officers of Tribune Company and its subsidiaries in connection with lawsuits brought on behalf of Tribune's bankruptcy estates in connection with the 2007 leveraged buyout of the company. Claims asserted include breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent transfer and avoidance of preferential transfers. In re Tribune Company et al. (Bankr. D. Del.)(multi-district litigation pending in the Southern District of New York).
· Currently representing and defending an equity holder of Chapter 11 Debtor Greenwich Sentry, L.P. in connection with a lawsuit to recover redemption payments made pursuant to the limited partnership agreement. Claims asserted include unjust enrichment, mistaken payment and constructive trust. Greenwich Sentry, L.P. v. Greer (D. Del.)
· Currently serves as lead counsel to the Litigation Trustee appointed in the Chapter 11 cases of Comdisco, Inc. and its affiliates, representing the Trustee in 65 cases filed in the federal and state courts of Illinois against Comdisco's former senior management. These engagements involve the Trustee's enforcement of more than $74 million in promissory notes executed by senior management. The defendants seek to attack the enforceability of these notes and have raised numerous substantive and procedural defenses to the claims, many of which are novel. The dispute is being heard in multiple jurisdictions, with three appeals already filed and more likely. In re Comdisco, Inc., Costello v. Haller et al., Costello v. Vallone et al.
· Successfully represented Threshold Entertainment, the producer of the blockbuster Mortal Kombat movie series, in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Midway Games, Inc. We objected to the sale of Midway's assets, and brought an adversary proceeding to adjudicate the scope and extent of Threshold's interest in the intellectual property rights to be sold. We raised a number of novel theories, including the argument that our client's substantial development of the Mortal Kombat characters gave Threshold ownership rights to the characters.
· Successfully represented a major purchaser of consumer bankruptcy debt in a sua sponte proceeding (and related appeals) evaluating the sufficiency of the client's claim servicing procedures.
· Recently represented a prominent global communications leader in a highly sensitive matter involving a distressed supplier whose economic health and viability was threatened by an unsustainable debt structure and inability to secure new financing. As a single-source supplier of important product components, the pending insolvency of this vendor threatened an annual revenue stream for the client in excess of $100 million. We advised the client on strategy, and negotiated a deal where the client purchased the outstanding debt and became a secured creditor of the vendor, which allowed for uninterrupted operations, continuity of the supply chain and successfully avoided substantial losses for the client. Edwards Wildman currently serves as one of the client's primary outside law firms.
· Successfully represented Continental Casualty Company, one of the CNA Insurance Companies, in its pursuit to draw a clean, irrevocable letter of credit issued for its benefit by SouthTrust. The bank had denied the draw on the theory that the address on the draw documentation did not match the address on the letter of credit. Successfully appealed the trial court's ruling against CNA on the premise that CNA had strictly complied with the terms of the letter of credit and that the bank's argument to the contrary jeopardized the reliability and usefulness of these instruments under Alabama law. The Supreme Court of Alabama reversed the judgment against CNA, and the trial court ultimately ordered summary judgment in CNA's favor. Continental Casualty Company v. SouthTrust Bank, N.A.
· Defended a substantial servicer of bankruptcy claims in a putative class action filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The case addressed the level of due diligence required in the secondary bankruptcy claims market prior to filing or accepting an assignment of a proof of claim. The case was ultimately settled on terms acceptable to all parties, with no class certified. Knievel N. Porter et al. v. Resurgent Capital Services, LLC.
· Successfully defended a secured creditor in a motion to subordinate a substantial judgment taken against the Debtor shortly before the filing of the Chapter 11 case. At issue was that the judgment, which was based on alleged oppression of a non-controlling shareholder, was no different from a claim for securities fraud or any other claims based upon an equity interest in the Debtor. Achieved favorable result from the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which subordinated the claim, and then successfully defended this position in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which affirmed the subordination order. These rulings made new law as to the interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code's subordination provision. In re Pre-Press Graphics, Inc.
· Represented Equity Residential in five Chapter 11 cases filed by a major East Coast developer in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland as well as five companion adversary proceedings filed in the same court. Both the bankruptcy cases and the adversaries sought to resolve whether Equity Residential and the developer reached an oral agreement to contribute five of the developer's properties to Equity Residential's real estate investment trust. Following extensive litigation, the cases were settled on mutually acceptable terms, and the parties confirmed consensual Chapter 11 plans in each case. In re Paradise Ridge et al.
· Represented the petitioning creditors in an involuntary Chapter 11 case filed against a single asset real estate Debtor in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The Debtor consented to an order for relief under Chapter 11 and waived its exclusive right to file and confirm a plan of reorganization. Thereafter, three competing plans were filed, including a plan by one of the client-creditors, and the plan proponents were ultimately able to harmonize their competing proposals into a single plan, which was confirmed on a consensual basis. In re 201 N. Wells Investors, Inc.
· Represented Paribas and two other secured lenders in an adversary proceeding filed in connection with the Chapter 11 case of an energy company in the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The adversary proceeding addressed whether the Debtor had allegedly reached an oral joint venture agreement with an Illinois energy operator. Had the joint venture been found to exist, the value of the Bank Group's collateral would have been cut by a third to a half. Following extensive briefing and litigation, the case was settled on terms acceptable to all parties. In re: Alma Energy Corp.
Notable Insurance-Related Restructuring and Insolvency Experience
· Advise and counsel property and casualty insurers on a weekly basis regarding a full range of restructuring and insolvency issues affecting the business of those insurers. Topics regularly considered and discussed include: (i) effect of bankruptcy filing on pending claim and coverage issues, (ii) legal and strategic issues associated with proposed collateral draws and offsets, (iii) permissible bases for cancellation and non-renewal, and related procedural approaches, (iv) evaluation of sale motions, plans of reorganization and other bankruptcy pleadings and filings, (v) investigation, negotiation and documentation of closeouts for loss sensitive programs of insurance, (vi) evaluation, prosecution and defense of a wide range of federal, state and bankruptcy court litigations involving the interplay between insurance and insolvency issues, (vii) issues raised by financial distress of insurance agencies, (viii) instructions for claim adjusters and third party claims administrators following bankruptcy filing and (ix) issues of broker agency and authority following bankruptcy filing.
· Represented property and casualty insurers in prosecuting objections to plan confirmation, and negotiating and documenting appropriate "insurance neutrality" language to resolve objections. In re Mark IV Industries (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.); In re W.R. Grace & Co., Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.)
· Currently representing property and casualty insurer in bankruptcy of insurance agency "franchiser," and defense of preference and fraudulent transfer claims brought by franchiser's Chapter 7 Trustee. In re Brooke Corporation (Bankr. D. Kan., Kansas City Division)
· Currently representing property and casualty insurer in litigation with insured and insured's successor entity regarding disputed collateral draws, as well as successor's liability for insured's deductible reimbursement obligations. Allegheny Technologies v. Zodiac Marine and Continental Casualty Company (Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, PA)
· Defense of turnover lawsuit seeking estimation of amounts owing under complex, loss sensitive program of insurance, and substantial refund of collateral. After motion practice and discovery, we negotiated a successful closeout of the program, which resolved and liquidated multiple layers of exposure and collateral. In re Encompass Group (Bankr. S.D. Tex., Houston Division)
· Pursued objections to Chapter 11 Debtors' proposed alternative dispute resolution procedures on behalf of property and casualty insurer, and participated in drafting refinements to procedures to address claim handling issues and concerns. In re The Loewen Group, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.)
· Continental Casualty Company v. SouthTrust Bank, N.A., 933 So.2d 337, Ala. 2006
· In re Pre-Press Graphics Co., Inc., 307 B.R. 65, N.D. Ill. 2004
· Costello v. Haller, 2006 WL 1762131, N.D. Ill. 2006 (available on Westlaw)
· In re MEI Diversified, 106 F.3d 829, 8th Cir. 1997
· People v. Goldsberry, 259 Ill. App. 3d 11, Ill. App. Ct. 1994
Recent Speaking Engagements and Publications
· Co-Author, "Chapter 8: Fraud and Abuse," American Bankruptcy Institute Health Care Insolvency Manual, Third Edition, August 2012.
· Co-Author, "Redemption Song," The Deal, July 2010.
· Author, "Restructuring Strategies and Alternatives in a Time of National Economic Crisis," Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Law 2009, Aspatore Books, 2008.
· Co-Author, "The Risk Of Equitable Subordination, Post-Enron," Bankruptcy Law360, December 2008.
News & Publications
January 8, 2013, Edwards Wildman's Jonathan Young Persuades Court to Move Dispute from Pennsylvania to Tennessee, Reports the Legal Intelligencer
July 2, 2010, Redemption Song
· American Bankruptcy Institute
· Treasurer, Member, Board of Directors, Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms