Weil leads as MF Global reaches transatlantic settlement

Weil Gotshal & Manges has successfully negotiated a settlement between the estates of bankrupt broker MF Global in the US and UK that could lead to the start of payouts for creditors of the company.

Adam Plainer
Adam Plainer

At the end of December James Giddens, trustee for the liquidation of MF Global Inc in the US, filed a motion with the US Bankruptcy Court to enter an order approving a global settlement agreement worth $1.4bn. The agreement resolves all the claims between the US estate and the UK estate of the company, including bringing an end to High Court litigation in the UK.

If approved by the court, the settlement will speed up payouts to creditors and will enable administrators at KPMG in the UK to begin distributing money that has been tied up in litigation. The court hearing is set for 31 January.

KPMG partner Richard Heis, one of the adminstrators, said in a statement: “Clearing these hurdles will allow us to move quickly to get money in agreed claimants’ pockets at the earliest opportunity.”

Weil Gotshal London restructuring head Adam Plainer was instructed for the company on its collapse in late 2011 (1 November 2011). The settlement negotiations saw Plainer, alongside a London team of partners Paul Bromfield and Jamie Maples, counsel Linton Bloomberg and associates Mark Lawford, Tom McKay, Kirsten Erichsen, Matthew Akers, Catherine Gurney, Emily Wapples and William Needham, work closely with New York partner Marcia Goldstein and Debra Dandeneau and associates Amanjit Arora, David Griffiths, John Ramirez and Yvanna Custodio.

In December last year it emerged that Weil had billed £15m on the administration (11 December 2012).

Other firms involved in the administration included Proskauer Rose, with a team led by former Dewey & LeBoeuf partners Martin Bienenstock in New York and Mark Fennessy and Hazel Miller in London acting for the creditors’ committee. Kirkland & Ellis London partners Graham Lane and Lisa Cawley are representing clients and creditors of MF Global UK.

US firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed is US counsel to MF Global Inc, alongside Slaughter and May in London.

Morrison & Foerster partner Brett Miller is leading a team acting for MF Global Holdings, another of the collapsed company’s US entities. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner Ken Ziman was also instructed for MF Global Holdings when the bankruptcy was originally announced.