Richard J. Bernard is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice concentrates on corporate and financial restructuring, business solutions, bankruptcy litigation, secured transactions, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and debtors’ and creditors’ rights. Mr. Bernard represents debtors, creditors, buyers, financial institutions, contract counterparties, trustees and official and ad hoc committees in large-asset bankruptcies, out-of-court workouts and adversary proceedings. Mr. Bernard’s experience spans numerous industries, including energy, aviation, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, heavy industry, real estate and hospitality. He is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice and Energy Industry Team.
Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Bernard was a partner at Baker Hostetler. Upon receiving his J.D., he clerked for the Honorable Robert A. Mark, United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida.
Mr. Bernard received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law and his B.A. in economics from Columbia College, Columbia University.
Mr. Bernard has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. He also serves on the board of directors for the New York chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA).
Mr. Bernard is admitted to practice in New York; Connecticut; Florida; and before the U. S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Michigan; Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York; the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits.
Chapter 11 Debtor Representations
• NEON Communications, Inc., complex debt for equity restructuring of publicly held telecom company with $350 million in debt
• Planet Hollywood International, Inc., reorganization of publicly held restaurant chain
• Sunterra Corporation, reorganization of one of the largest U.S. time share companies with $1 billion of assets and $800 million in debt
• Frontier Insurance Group, Inc., reorganization of insurance holding company with $200 million in debt
• Lynx Associates, L.P., an affiliate of Merrill Lynch, reorganization of real estate holding company formed to take advantage of certain tax loopholes available in the 1980s
• Atlas Environmental, Inc., reorganization of publicly held construction and demolition recycling and soil remediation company
Secured Creditor Representations
• Cordell funds, non-institutional secured creditors of entities related to The 1031 Tax Group debtors
• NTFC Capital Corporation, an affiliate of General Electric Capital Corporation, as an asset-based lender of $125 million in the chapter 11 case of PSINet Inc., a telecom services provider
• General Electric Capital Corp., an asset-based lender of nearly $100 million, and other General Electric subsidiaries, in various capacities, in the chapter 11 case of Enron Corp.
• Strategica Capital Corporation, an asset-based lender and successful plan proponent to acquire Telecom America, Inc.
• Condor One, Inc., an affiliate of General Electric Capital Corp., as mortgagee in the single asset chapter 11 case of Oakland Lakes, Ltd.
• Wells Fargo, lead secured creditor under prepetition term loan and operating facility in the chapter 11 case of FAO Schwartz
• Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, an asset-based lender in out-of-court work-outs and as a defendant in avoidance action
• Associates Housing Finance, L.L.C., an asset-based lender in excess of $100 million in the chapter 11 case of American Homestar Corporation, a mobile home manufacturer
• The Official Creditors’ Committee of Raser Technologies, Inc., et al.
• The Official Creditors’ Committees of LWD, Inc.
• The Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee of Matco Electronics
• The Unofficial Bondholders’ Committee of Jumbo Sports
• The Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee of American Way Service Corp.
• SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC
• Southern Pacific Funding Corporation Liquidating Trust, liquidating sub prime home mortgage portfolio and servicing platform
• Creditor Trustee of Frontier Insurance Group, administering litigation assets of an insurance holding company for distribution to unsecured creditors
Indenture Trustee Representations
• U.S. Bank in American Airlines chapter 11 case
• Wilmington Trust in General Growth Properties chapter 11 case
• Wilmington Trust in Perkins & Marie Callender's chapter 11 case
• Wilmington Trust in Calpine chapter 11 case
• Wilmington Trust in Guaranty Financial Group chapter 11 case
• Wilmington Trust in Winn-Dixie chapter 11 case
• Best Buy as acquirer of the equity of Partsearch Technologies, Inc. through chapter 11 plan
• Conseco Private Capital Group as acquirer of the subprime auto loan portfolios of NAL Financial Group through chapter 11 plan
• Lenzing Plastics GmbH as purchaser of monofilament manufacturing assets and business of Glassmaster Company through section 363 sale
• SLG Media as purchaser of Air America, a radio content company, through section 363 sale
• General Electric as acquirer of the assets of Enron Wind through section 363 sale
• Toy Biz as acquirer of Marvel Entertainment through chapter 11 plan
Published and unpublished cases include:
• In re Stillwater Asset Backed Offshore Fund Ltd., Case No. 12-14140, 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 226 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Jan. 17, 2013)
• In re R.G. Pharmacy, Inc., 374 B.R. 484 (Bankr. D. Conn. 2007)
• In re LWD, Inc., 342 B.R. 514 (Bankr. W.D. Ky. 2006)
• Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee v. K&B Capital, LLC (In re LWD, Inc.), 332 B.R. 543 (Bankr. W.D. Ky. 2005)
• In re PSINet Inc., 268 B.R. 358 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2001)
Speaking engagements and publications include:
• Panelist, “Session 3: Bankruptcy and Buying Distressed Assets,” Foley & Lardner LLP Energy Bootcamp Series (July 2013)
• Panelist, “Restructuring a Company in Financial Distress,” TMA New York Academic Outreach Program (April 2013)
• Panelist, “Current Legal Issues and Bankruptcy Developments Confronting Bank Agents and Indenture Trustees,” 8th Annual NYIC I AIRA Joint Bankruptcy and Restructuring Event (January 2013)
• Panelist, "Solvency, Restructuring and Bankruptcy," Practicing Law Institute, Pocket MBA (Fall 2012)
• Panelist, “Achieving Prompt and Efficient Confirmations: Pre-Negotiated Plans, Pre-Packaged Plans and Plan Support Agreements,” 7th Annual NYIC/AIRA Joint Bankruptcy and Restructuring Event (January 2012)
• Panelist, “Use of Valuations in Fraudulent Conveyance Actions,” AIRA 10th Annual Advanced Restructuring & Plan of Reorganization Conference (November 2011)
• Panelist and co-author, "When is an Executory Contract a Financial Accommodation Agreement?," ABI 18th Annual Northeast Bankruptcy Conference (July 2011)
• Speaker, "Litigation Tactics Boot Camp: Beyond the Fundamentals," New York City ACC Presentation (April 2011)
• Panelist, "Anatomy of a Workout," 2010 Northeast Regional TMA Conference (September 2010)
• Panelist, "Unlocking Value for Creditors in Chapter 11 Cases," New York State Society of CPAs (September 2009)
• Panelist, "The Bankruptcy Cycle: New Terrain Ahead," Christiana Bank & Trust Company Roundtable (Summer 2009)
• Presenter, "Bankruptcy 101," Client presentation for Sulzer (February 2009)
• Author, "Borrower Beware—Real Estate Loan Forbearance Agreements and Stay Waivers," Ohio TMA News (January 2009)
• Co-Author, “Fraud,” American Bankruptcy Institute Northeast Conference Fraud Panel (2009)