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Aug. 24, 2022

Bruce S. Bennett

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LOS ANGELES - Bruce S. Bennett represents creditors in many major bankruptcy matters in California and nationally. Among those is PG&E's bankruptcy, in which he represents holders of 40% of equity in the utility. Last year, he led a Jones Day team that represented the largest creditors of Intelsat. By early this year, the clients owned about 95% of the satellite provider. In re: Intelsat S.A., 3:20-bk- 32299 (E.D. Va., filed May 13, 2020). He is actively representing creditors in litigation from the Chapter 11 of a large oil and gas producer, newly renamed Mesquite Energy. In re: Sanchez Energy Corp., 4:19-bk-34508 (Bankr. S.D. Tex., filed Aug. 11, 2019). And he represents the owner of the land under a Culver City business park with more than a dozen buildings now in Chapter 11. In re: Buckingham Heights Business Park, 2:21-bk-17060 (Bankr. C.D. Cal., filed Sept. 8, 2021). But he used to be thought of primarily as a debtor's attorney. For instance, a decade ago, he represented the L.A. Dodgers and the city of Detroit in their bankruptcies. Creditors began to hire him in the mid-1990s after he represented another debtor, the County of Orange in the second largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. "For the first four to six months, it was really, really litigious... because Chapter 9 had not ever been applied before to a large, general-purpose municipality," he said. After that, creditors started thinking of Bennett as a litigator. "I've been active on the creditor side of the practice -- not to the exclusion of the debtor side -- ever since." The most recent development related to his practice concerns a major victory he won for creditors a half-dozen years ago. When Caesars Palace filed for Chapter 11 in 2015, Bennett represented the second lien noteholders, who were expected to receive about nine cents on the dollar for the $5.5 billion position. After some hard-fought litigation, he arranged a deal for them to receive 66 cents on the dollar, or about $3.5 billion. But his clients did much better because the company did well. "At the time of the distribution of value ending the bankruptcy case, [their interest] was worth 104.5 cents on the dollar," he said. And this month, a book examining the case came out in paperback. "The Caesars Palace Coup" "talks a lot about me," Bennett said. "It's mostly nice. It isn't 100% nice."


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