White & Case number one as bankruptcy cases soar

White & Case number one as bankruptcy cases soar” />
The contenders for the title of ‘leading US bankruptcy practice’ were revealed this month in a new list showing the number of pending cases at year-end 2007.

White & Case secured the top spot for advisory roles on bankruptcies during 2007 with 691 matters, according to research from US trade paper The Deal.

The firm was involved in almost three times as many bankruptcies as its closest rival Duane Morris, which had roles on 261. The remaining top five places were taken byLatham & Watkins, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Winston & Strawn respectively.

White & Case also underlined its prominence in its international coverage. All of Duane Morris’s bankruptcies took place in the US, while 91 per cent of White & Case’s were outside its home market.

Its closest competitor in this respect was Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle, but just 11 per cent of its 11 bankruptcies were outside the US.

For the overwhelming majority of US firms, 100 per cent of the cases were domestic.

Two of the biggest cases for White & Case were its two-year representation of Appaloosa Management and Harbinger Capital Partners on the bankruptcy of automotive equipment supplier ;Delphi, ;and its representation of the Arahova ;noteholders committee on the Chapter 11 ;cases ;of ;Adelphia Communications.

Bankruptcy lawyers at Duane Morris said 2007 had been an outstanding year and that 2008 looked set to continue that trend.

“We’re extremely busy,” said Lawrence Kotler, a partner in Duane Morris’s Philadelphia office. “Given the amount of recently reported writedowns, I believe the number is in ;excess ;of ;$200m [£99.37m], and coupled with the tightening of the credit market, I think 2008 is going to be a very busy year for bankruptcy and restructuring attorneys nationwide.”

The firm represented Signature Bank on the bankruptcy of Creative Group, its related affiliates and subsidiaries. It also acted for the creditors’ committee on the SonicBlue bankruptcy case.