Richard Cooper and Sean O’Neal Named ‘Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers’ by Turnarounds and Workouts

December 18, 2018

Cleary Gottlieb partners Richard Cooper and Sean O’Neal have been named “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers” for 2018 by Turnarounds and Workouts.

Rich and Sean are among only 15 lawyers nationwide who have been honored with the award, and this is the third year in a row that Rich has been recognized.

Turnarounds and Workouts lauded Rich’s roles in:

  • Leading the prior Puerto Rican administration in trying to restructure $70 billion of Puerto Rican debt and in getting PROMESA enacted in 2016.
  • Assisting the P3A in structuring, negotiating, and documenting various transactions, including the concession of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) transmission and distribution system and the sale or concession of PREPA’s generation assets, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico.
  • Acting as lead counsel to an ad hoc group of bondholders issued by project companies controlled by Odebrecht Oil & Gas (OOG) in connection with the restructuring of OOG and its project companies, representing over $4.8 billion in consolidated debt.
  • Advising the ad hoc group of project finance lenders in the negotiation of restructuring alternatives with QGOG Constellation S.A., a market-leading provider of oil and gas drilling and FPSO services in Brazil, as well as with other QGOG creditors such as the 2019 and 2024 bondholders and Banco Bradesco S.A.

The newsletter highlighted Sean’s roles in:

  • Acting as counsel to Punjab National Bank in the Firestar Diamond Jewelry and Samuels Jewelry bankruptcies relating to a $2 billion fraud in which PNB was the primary victim.
  • Advising Lion Point Capital in the Suniva Inc. bankruptcy proceedings as DIP lender and defendant in contentious litigation with another DIP lender.
  • Advising ESL Investments on liability management and related matters with respect to Sears Holdings in which ESL is the largest creditor and shareholder.
  • Advising PREPA in connection with the potential restructuring of over $9.5 billion of municipal bond and bank indebtedness, leading the negotiations over a restructuring support agreement with more than 70 percent of the outstanding debt, and the passage of a local law (the PREPA Revitalization Act) to implement a complex, unprecedented securitization transaction resulting in substantial debt savings for Puerto Rico.
  • Advising Puerto Rico’s Public Private Partnership office in efforts to obtain private investment in Puerto Rico’s infrastructure system.
  • Successfully defending J. Aron & Company, the holder of a nearly billion-dollar swap claim, in Delaware Trust Company v. Wilmington Trust, N.A., an adversary proceeding related to the Energy Future Holdings Corp. Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.