Arnold & Porter expanded its bankruptcy and restructuring practice, adding former Proskauer Rose partner Maja Zerjal Fink in New York.
Fink, who has been involved in Puerto Rico’s debt overhaul, expects corporate and municipal restructurings in harder-hit sectors to rise amid a tough economy due to the coronavirus fallout.
“There were corporations in trouble, like JC Penney or oil and gas companies, but Covid pushed them into bankruptcy,” she told Bloomberg Law.
“The next two quarters are likely to see restructuring in areas like hospitality and health care whose businesses have been hit hard,” she said.
She said she also anticipates more U.S. municipal restructurings as urban areas face falling tax collections and will have to reorganize to deal with the financial repercussions.
Law firms have been actively recruiting lateral lawyers with bankruptcy and restructuring experience as the economy has gotten rockier this year due to the Covid fallout.
Michael Messersmith, chair of Arnold & Porter’s bankruptcy and restructuring group, noted that Fink has “significant experience in some of the most complex bankruptcy cases and restructuring matters.”
He said her “expertise, energy and business-focused mindset will complement our existing strengths and help our clients navigate the challenging restructuring landscape during this unprecedented time.”
Fink, who also was an associate at Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2011-12, has represented a broad variety of clients, including private equity sponsors, foreign debtors, bondholders, investors and creditors.
In addition to the Puerto Rico restructuring, her cases also included Caesars Entertainment’s debt of more than $18 billion.
Arnold & Porter, a 1,000-lawyer firm, last month added Ben Fackler, a lawyer with an investment banking background, as a corporate and finance partner in San Francisco.
His addition followed the hire of Carol Anne Huff, a capital markets lawyer from Kirkland & Ellis, in Chicago.