Paul A. Rubin’s practice is focused on bankruptcy and restructuring, distressed acquisitions, and commercial litigation, primarily in the debtor-creditor context.
Bankruptcy and Insolvency Matters
FIKA Espresso Bars: Chapter 11 debtors’ counsel for chain of upscale espresso bars and chocolate factory located in New York City.
Anmuth LLC: Rubin LLC successfully represented involuntary debtor entities, winning dismissal of the involuntary chapter 7 petitions filed against them, and obtaining a judgment after trial awarding $600,000 in punitive damages, over $120,000 for attorneys’ fees and other non-monetary relief. The bankruptcy court found that the petitioning creditors had filed the involuntary bankruptcy cases in bad faith. The court’s extensive decision can be found at In re Anmuth LLC, 2019 WL 1421169 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. Mar. 27, 2019).
Fred Leighton – Jeweler to the Stars: Debtors’ counsel for Fred Leighton LLC, famous “Jeweler to the Stars,” and related companies in their chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Fred Leighton’s collection is widely recognized as the world’s most prestigious collection of rare and historic jewels.
General Growth Properties, Inc.: Successful representation of secured lender in connection with dispute over default rate interest.
Professional Sports Franchise Affiliates – Stadium Financings: Advice to affiliates of Major League Baseball and National Football League franchises regarding financing issues for the construction of new stadiums.
Manhattan Valley Portfolio: Represented mortgagee with claim of over $220 million secured by 33 properties in connection with pre-negotiated plan, confirmed within 75 days of bankruptcy filing, under which properties were transferred to client.
Taylor, Bean & Whitaker: Representation of court-approved DIP lender. (Bankr. M.D.Fla.)
A&P/Pathmark/Waldbaums: Counsel for several landlords in connection with lease assumption, rejection and cure claim disputes.
Morgan Collection: Represented assignee for the benefit of creditors. Recovered intellectual property from insiders, and conducted auction sale of assets.
United Airlines – Important Precedent for Claims Purchasers: Representation of a claims purchaser in Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that established that a buyer of a pre-petition claim is also entitled to assert the seller’s cure claim.
Intelsat Corporation – PSN (USA), Inc.: Argued and won summary judgment dismissing all fraudulent transfer claims brought against debtor’s satellite service provider by liquidating trust established under confirmed chapter 11 plan of reorganization. In re PSN USA, Inc., 2011 WL 4031147, 2011 Bankr. Lexis 3473 (Bankr. S.D.Fla. 2011). This ruling was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 615 Fed. Appx. 925 (11th Cir. 2015).
Madoff Case – Hedge Fund Representation: Representation of several hedge funds that invested tens of millions of dollars with Bernard L. Madoff, pursuing recoveries and defending against clawback and other claims.
Penn Camera Exchange, Inc.: (Bankr. D. Md.) Represented chair of official committee of unsecured creditors, successfully negotiated allowance of 503(b)(9) claims and structured dismissal.
Secured Lender – Conversion/Dismissal of Chapter 11 Case: Representation of a major financial institution in defeating a debtor’s efforts to vitiate absolute assignment of rents and confirm plan via cram down. We demonstrated that case should either be converted or dismissed because of conflicts of interest and breaches of fiduciary duties. (In re Prisco Properties, LLC, 2010 WL 4412095 (Bankr. D.N.J.))
Office Equipment/Camera Manufacturer – Chapter 11 Cases: Representation of an international office equipment and camera manufacturer in various complex chapter 11 cases, including RadioShack, Reader’s Digest, Tribune Co., The Sharper Image, Ultimate Electronics, Ritz Camera and The Wiz.
Automotive Industry: Represented manufacturers, suppliers and other creditors in chapter 11 cases of General Motors, Chrysler, Delphi Automotive Systems, Dana Corporation and Intermet Corp.; provided workout advice to an automotive parts remanufacturer; and negotiated a forbearance agreement for an automotive electronics distributor. Served as mediator in largest adversary proceeding brought in connection with the chapter 11 case of Coda Automotive and Miles Electric Vehicles (Bankr. D.Del.)
Title Insurer/Secured Creditor – Lien Priority Dispute: Representation of a title insurance company which was a secured creditor in a lien priority dispute with another creditor. After the properties securing the debt were sold, the bankruptcy court authorized payment of our client’s claim, dismissing the competing secured creditor’s claim. In re Litas International, Inc., 2004 WL 1488114, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12151 (S.D.N.Y. 2004).
Bankruptcy Claims Traders – Various: Representation of claims buyers in large and complex chapter 11 cases pending across the United States, including Pacific Metro, LLC, Coram Healthcare, Covanta Energy Group, Intermet Corp., Genuity, Inc. and Pegasus Satellite Television, Inc.
Senior Living Facility: Rubin LLC represented the Debtor’s investment banker in the chapter 11 case of UGHS Senior Living (Bankr. S.D.Texas).
Telecommunications Company – Chapter 11 Cases: Representation of one of the world’s largest providers of telecommunications services in various chapter 11 cases pending in New York and New Jersey bankruptcy courts.
Title Underwriters – Island Mortgage Network Chapter 11: Representation of several national title underwriters in connection with the chapter 11 cases of Island Mortgage Network, Inc. and related litigation in various courts.
Braniff International Airways – Directors and Officers: Representation of the directors and officers of a failed airline against claims of bankruptcy trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and waste.
Equity Owner – NewPower Company/Enron-Related Bankruptcy: Representation of a major equity security holder in the chapter 11 cases of The NewPower Company and related debtors, whose largest secured creditor, shareholder and warrant holder was Enron Corp.
Real Estate Purchaser – Appeal in Recharacterization Dispute: Representation of a sale-leaseback purchaser of real estate in a dispute over the bankrupt seller’s attempt to recharacterize the transaction as a disguised financing. The purchaser won at trial, and Paul handled its successful appeals in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In re Uni-Rty, 1998 WL 299941 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
Workout and Restructuring Matters
Conveyor Equipment Manufacturer – Out of Court Wind-Down: Rubin LLC represented a manufacturer of conveyors for the dairy industry in an out-of-court liquidation, including a peaceful possession agreement and equipment auction.
Automotive Electronics Distributor – Workout: Representation of an automotive electronics distributor in the successful negotiation of a forbearance agreement with its secured lender.
Diagnostic Testing Company – Restructuring: Representation of a diagnostic testing company in restructuring its outstanding debentures.
Telecommunications Company – Out of Court Wind-Down: Representation of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with respect to the wind-down of its operations and negotiated settlements with numerous creditors.
Refuse Collection Vehicle Manufacturer: Represented company in connection with restructuring of its secured debt so as to improve its liquidity.
Choxi.com: Represented successful stalking horse bidder for right to mailing list of over 20 million names. Client’s bid was accepted following evidentiary hearing, even after the financial advisor of the debtor and creditors’ committee originally recommended acceptance of a competing bid.
Circuit City: Representation of winning bidder for Debtor’s real property in competitive auction.
Stalking Horse Bidder – Acquisition of Photos from Polaroid Fine Art Collection: Representation of a successful stalking horse bidder in connection with the acquisition, from the bankruptcy estate of the Polaroid Corporation, of an extensive collection of more than 10,000 photographs from the Polaroid Fine Art Collection. Many of the photos are of museum quality and were taken by renowned photographers.
Investment Fund – Distressed Asset Acquisition: Representation of an investment fund in its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Chapter 11 debtor Parmatic Filter Corporation and a related company, which manufacture filters used on U.S. Navy ships and that export filters to the militaries of friendly foreign governments.
Third Toro Family Limited Partnership: Devised and implemented successful strategy for second mortgagee to obtain conversion of chapter 11 case to chapter 7, and to become successful stalking horse bidder for valuable property situated along Manhattan’s West Side Highway.
Mortgage Lenders – Recoveries: Representation of various mortgage lenders in connection with the recovery of major commercial properties under chapter 11 plans of reorganization, including 80 Broad Street, 1500 Broadway, 400 Madison Avenue, 127 John Street, 71 Broadway and 485 Fifth Avenue.
Commercial Litigation Matters
Reversal on Appeal of Dismissal of Lawsuit by Claims Trader: Representing a nationally-known bankruptcy claims trader, Rubin LLC won reversal of the New York trial court’s decision to dismiss the client’s complaint seeking to enforce a repurchase obligation, even though the impairment triggering the payment obligation was short-lived. The First Department’s ruling reinstated the client’s claim for return of the purchase price, plus interest and attorney’s fees.
Dismissal of Lawsuit Brought by Minority Investor: Rubin LLC won a pre-answer motion to dismiss a complaint asserting various claims, including claims of breach of a buyout agreement, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with business relations, brought by a minority investor in an aborted hotel acquisition. The New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division, granted the motion and denied the plaintiff’s cross-motion for leave to amend its complaint and for discovery.
Mechanics Lien Foreclosure Action: Rubin LLC represented the plaintiffs, several engineers and architects, and negotiated an agreement requiring defendant to pay all amounts owed to the design professionals plus interest, in a Queens County Supreme Court action.
Arbitration Award Vacated Representation of client in successfully petitioning the Kings County Supreme Court to vacate a rabbinical court’s arbitration award regarding competing claims to real properties in Brooklyn and other assets. The arbitration agreement provided that the parties could proceed only with counsel acceptable to the arbitrators. Describing its ruling as one of first impression under New York law, the court agreed that the arbitrators had denied client the right to counsel of his choice, and overturned the award. This case was featured in the November 24th 2009 edition of the New York Law Journal. (26 Misc.3d 615, 889 N.Y.S.2d 839 (2009))
Asset Purchaser – Preliminary Injunction Hearing: Successfully opposed efforts of seller’s creditors to enjoin sale of assets to our client and to require sale to competing bidder; obtained ruling following evidentiary hearing that sale to our client without formal auction process was in the best interests of all parties. Wada Marketing Group v. Ven-Co Produce, Inc., 2011 U.S.Dist. Lexis 120660, 2011 WL 5545963 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).
Commercial Bank – Cross-Border Mortgage Dispute: Representation of a commercial bank in connection with a claim by a French entity that it held a commercial mortgage that was senior to our client’s $23 million mortgage on a Manhattan hotel. The trial court entered a $242 million judgment of foreclosure in favor of the French entity which, if executed, would have extinguished the client’s mortgage lien. On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s decision and vacated the foreclosure judgment. Paul subsequently helped resolve the dispute with the client receiving payment in full.
Secured Lender – Priority Dispute: Representation of a secured lender in its claim to the proceeds of the sale of a borrower’s principal asset. The court granted our motion for summary judgment, ruling that our client’s claim had priority over competing claims asserted by produce sellers under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. D.M. Rothman Co., Inc. v. Cohen Marketing Int’l, Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 14449, 2005 WL 1690524 (S.D.N.Y. 2005).
Religious Corporation – Control Dispute: Representation of the interests of an heir to the leadership of a major religious corporation in fending off a challenge from a rival faction for control of the community’s institutions and organizations. In the Matter of Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar Inc., 31 A.D.3d 541 (2d Dep’t 2006), aff’d, 9 N.Y.3d 282 (2007) and Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar of Kiryas Joel, Inc. v. Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar Inc., 31 A.D.3d 480 (2d Dep’t 2006).
Real Estate Developer/Investor – Won Dismissal of Suit: Successful defense of a real estate developer/investor. Certain bankruptcy companies owned 38 properties secured by over $200 million, and our client entered into an agreement with the debtors to finance their plan of reorganization. But when the bankruptcy court confirmed a different plan, the debtor sued our client claiming that its “failure” to fund the plan caused its demise. We prevailed on behalf of our client on a motion to dismiss, which was upheld on appeal. Ginsberg v. Schron, 288 A.D.2d 146, 732 N.Y.S.2d 858 (1st Dep’t 2001).
Real Estate Owner – New York City Board of Standards and Appeals Case: Representation of a Brooklyn real estate owner before the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals in connection with a successful effort to prevent adverse parties from obtaining building permits.
Lender and Loan Servicer – Liability Action Defense: Representation of a lender and loan servicer in winning dismissal of lender liability actions. John Street Leasehold, LLC v. Capital Management Resources, 142 F.Supp.2d 527 (S.D.N.Y. 2001); John Street Leasehold LLC v. FDIC, 196 F.3d 379 (2d Cir. 1999).