Milbank to lead creditors in Pacific Gas bankruptcy case

New York firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has scooped work advising a creditors’ committee on one of the US’s most complicated bankruptcies – that of California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company.`The firm saw off competition from rivals understood to have included Sidley & Austin, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton and Chadbourne & Parke.`It will represent a committee of creditors which includes the Bank of America and the Bank of New York, investment bank Merrill Lynch, power companies Enron and Dynegy, cogeneration plants GWF Power Systems and PE Berkeley, the state of Tennessee and the city of Palo Alto.`Pacific Gas and Electric is being represented by San Francisco firm Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin. Parent company PG&E Corporation is represented by New York firm Weil Gotshal & Manges.`The head of Milbank Tweed’s Los Angeles office Edwin Feo, who is one of six partners who will work on the project full time, said that the deal will be one of the most complex ever.`Feo said: “It’s not the biggest by dollar terms, it’s maybe third, but in complexity terms there’s nothing close. It’s the combination of bankruptcy plus the federal and state energy regimes that are involved and the heavy political content to it that makes it so interesting.”`The other five partners who will work on the deal are joint head of the financial restructuring practice Paul Aronzon, financial restructuring partner Robert Moore, project finance partner Allan Marks and litigation partners Michael Diamond and Linda Dakin-Grimm.`Milbank Tweed is one of only two New York firms seen to have a strong Los Angeles office, which is where all six of the partners are based. The other is Skadden Arps.`The firm has also just opened a second West Coast office in Silicon Valley to focus on high-tech work, but that practice could now become heavily involved in this case.`The bankruptcy involves claims which, according to Feo, are in the region of $9-10bn (£6.4-7.1bn), and there are around 30,000 creditors.