March 26, 2006

Court issues momentous ruling in Adelphia bankruptcy case, which is highly complimentary of Willkie’s three-and-a-half-year representation of the company.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York recently issued a momentous ruling in the high- profile Adelphia bankruptcy case, which was not only highly complimentary of Willkie’s three-and-a-half-year representation of Adelphia in one of the country’s largest and most complex bankruptcy proceedings, but also constitutes a major victory for Adelphia.

The Willkie team, led by partners Myron Trepper, Marc Abrams, Shelley Chapman, Roger Netzer and Brian O’Connor, litigated over the course of three days a series of motions brought by a disgruntled creditor faction.  The motions variously sought the appointment of a trustee, the termination of the Debtors' exclusivity periods, and a broad disqualification of the firm.   In his 113 page decision, Judge Robert Gerber denied all of the  motions  except to the extent that the Court adopted a previously self-imposed limitation that Willkie had placed on its role in certain intercreditor disputes.  In this connection, the firm voluntarily undertook to remain neutral (in effect withdrawing as an advocate from certain limited aspects of the case) in favor of a facilitator role.  The Court's decision essentially formalized that which Willkie had agreed to previously.

Willkie has represented Adelphia in its bankruptcy proceedings since their inception in 2002.  Adelphia comprises approximately 230 legal entities, each of which is a debtor in the jointly administered proceedings.  In this recent decision, the Court wrote that Willkie has “acquired an extraordinary expertise in Adelphia affairs,”  and has “performed their duties in an exemplary manner.”

Willkie’s role in this matter was featured in an article in the January 26 edition of the New York Law Journal.