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Winston, Eric

Eric Winston

Partner

ericwinston@quinnemanuel.com
Direct Tel: +1 213-443-3602, Direct Fax: +1 213-443-3100
Los Angeles
Tel: +1 213 443 3000 Fax: +1 213 443 3100

Mr. Winston's practice includes all areas of corporate insolvency and reorganization and insolvency and valuation related litigation.  He has represented debtors, creditors’ committees, secured and debtor in possession lenders, unsecured bondholders, distressed debt traders, trade creditors, and asset acquirers, across numerous industries, out of court and in connection with chapter 9, chapter 11, chapter 15, and involuntary bankruptcies, post-confirmation litigation, SIPA proceedings, and SEC receivership cases. 

Mr. Winston routinely advises private equity firms, hedge funds and other investors in distressed companies, whether in court or out of court, with respect to indentures, credit agreements, asset sales, fraudulent transfer and fiduciary duty considerations, and other capital structure and corporate governance issues.  He further advises and appears for intellectual property counterparties with respect to the intersection of intellectual property and insolvency law, and has developed expertise representing plaintiffs in class action matters where defendants face insolvency risk. 

Recent representative cases include Core Media (AOG Entertainment), Avianca Brasil, SH130, Oro Negro, Taberna Preferred, Orexigen, SandRidge Exploration, Circuit City, Relativity Media, Gaming & Leisure Properties/Cannery Casino, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities/Fairfield Sentry, Residential Capital, Town of Mammoth Lakes, Avaya, Eastman Kodak, Station Casinos, SemGroup, Fontainebleau Las Vegas, and SK Foods.

Mr. Winston frequently speaks at panels and conferences around the country and has guest lectured at Loyola and University of Southern California law schools.  He has written several law review articles, co-authored a chapter in a leading valuation treatise, been interview by Bloomberg Quint concerning international insolvency, is the LEXIS practice advisor on claims trading, and has been a member of the State Bar of California Insolvency Law Committee and the United States District Court for the Central District of California Attorney Discipline Committee.

  • Integradora Oro Negro/Perforadora Oro Negro
    Counsel to Chapter 15 Foreign Representative

  • Taberna Preferred Funding IV, Ltd.
    Counsel to junior noteholder

  • Avianca Brasil (Oceanair)
    Counsel to Chapter 15 Foreign Representative

  • Core Media (AOG Entertainment)
    Counsel to first/second lien secured creditors and post-confirmation litigation trust

  • SH130 Concession Company
    Counsel to reorganized company pursuing fraudulent transfer and fiduciary duty claims

  • Orexigen Therapeutics
    Counsel to ad hoc group of prepetition secured lenders/DIP lenders

  • Energy Conversion Devices
    Counsel to post-confirmation liquidation trust

  • Breitburn Energy Partners, L.P.
    Conflicts Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

  • Avaya, Inc.
    Counsel to intellectual property litigation claimant

  • Albina Community Bank
    Counsel to TRUPS noteholder and estate representative pursuing fraudulent transfer and fiduciary duty claims

  • Residential Capital, LLC et al.
    Counsel to securities litigation claimant and member of Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

  • Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., et al.
    Conflicts Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

  • Town of Mammoth Lakes
    Counsel to chapter 9 municipality’s largest general unsecured creditor

  • Zais Investment Grade VII, Ltd.
    Counsel to second tranche noteholder

  • SemGroup L.P., et al.
    Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and Litigation Trust

  • Stations Casinos Inc., et al.
    Conflicts Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

  • Fontainebleu Las Vegas, et al.
    Counsel to significant secured term creditor

  • SK Foods
    Counsel to holders of allowed eight-figure class action claim

  • Azabu Buildings Company, Ltd.
    Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and Azabu Liquidating Trust

  • Enron Corporation, et al.
    Counsel to significant holders of unsecured claims

  • Eurofresh, Inc., et al.
    Counsel to holders of majority of senior unsecured notes

  • Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.
    Represented co-plan proponent and reorganized airline

  • O'Sullivan Industries
    Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

  • Prospect Capital v. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners
    Counsel to defendant in fraudulent transfer/fiduciary duty litigation in California state court

  • Gaming & Leisure Properties, Inc. v. Cannery Casino Resorts, LLC, et al.
    Counsel to plaintiff in Material Adverse Effect litigation in New York state court

  • SuperGuide v. Gemstar Development
    Counsel to defendant in federal district court action
  • On November 8, 2018, Eric led Quinn Emanuel’s team to achieve an unprecedented victory in seeking dismissal of an involuntary bankruptcy case filed against Taberna Preferred Funding IV (“Taberna”), a structured-financing vehicle known as a Collateralized Debt Obligation (or “CDO”).  The three petitioning creditors – holders of the senior most class of secured notes – sought to force Taberna into bankruptcy on June 12, 2017.  Quinn Emanuel opposed those efforts on behalf of two junior noteholders.  Following five days of trial, Quinn Emanuel (joined by other junior noteholders and Taberna’s collateral manager) moved for judgment as a matter of law.  The Court found for the junior noteholders and dismissed Taberna’s involuntary case, establishing that nonrecourse creditors are not eligible to file involuntary bankruptcy petitions under the plain terms of section 303(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, and making it effectively impossible for an involuntary bankruptcy case to be commenced against a CDO (or other similarly structured finance vehicle), because putting a CDO into bankruptcy “serves no legitimate bankruptcy purpose.”  The case is reported at 594 B.R. 576.
  • Eric was lead counsel for two chapter 15 cases, Avianca Brasil (Oceanair) and Oro Negro, representing the foreign representative to successfully obtain recognition of foreign main proceedings over objections.  In Oro Negro, Eric’s team was able to obtain critical pre-litigation discovery using 11 U.S.C. § 1521(a)(4) and obtained a preliminary injunction against the company’s bondholders from using Mexican criminal proceedings to obtain restitution against the company’s primary assets.
  • In the Town of Mammoth Lakes chapter 9 case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California, represented the municipality’s single largest general unsecured creditor, Eric successfully negotiated a settlement and dismissal of the chapter 9 case that increased the client’s payment stream from less than $5 million to in excess of $46 million.
  • Eric led Quinn Emanuel’s team in successfully blocking confirmation of a plan of reorganization proposed by senior noteholders and negotiated a settlement via a consensual plan of reorganization that resulted in a multi-million dollar recovery to second tranche noteholders in the Zais Investment chapter 11 case, the first time a CDO was the subject of a United States bankruptcy proceeding.
  • In the Azabu Building chapter 11 case, which involved nearly $8 billion in asserted unsecured claims and parallel bankruptcy proceedings in the United States and Japan, Eric was one of the lead attorneys representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Azabu Liquidating Trust.  Eric worked closely with the debtor’s counsel in persuading the Bankruptcy Court to confirm over multiple objections a joint plan of reorganization that resulted in a tax efficient transaction in excess of $410 million.  In addition, Eric led the prosecution of several ground-breaking adversary proceedings, all of which were settled favorably before trial.  One concerned the assertion against a Japanese bank of claims of equitable subordination and avoidance of fraudulent transfers concerning hundreds of millions of dollars.  The defendants agreed to release liens on property valued in excess of $20 million, waiving nearly $200 million in claims, and paying the estate over $10 million cash.  Another concerned the estate’s efforts to equitably subordination over $1 billion in claims held by alleged insiders of the debtor; this matter was settled with the defendants agreeing to the disallowance of over 90% of their claims.
  • Eric represented several hedge funds holding billions of dollars in claims in the Enron bankruptcy; he drafted numerous briefs, including objections to plan confirmation and objections to the settlement with one of the “mega claim” defendants.  He appeared in court numerous times, deposed several witnesses in connection with plan confirmation, and led the “Schedule S” intercreditor litigation; Eric’s clients obtained substantial returns as the result of a favorable ruling that eliminated hundreds of millions of dollars in claims that had been incorrectly scheduled as benefiting from contractual subordination.  In re Enron Corp., 370 B.R. 64 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2007).
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
    (J.D., 1998)
    • UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy:
      • Managing Editor, 1997-1998
    • Extern to the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
  • University of California, Berkeley
    (B.A., Political Science, high honors, 1995)
The State Bar of California; United States Court of Appeals: Second Circuit, Third Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Tenth Circuit; United States District Court: Central District of California, Eastern District of California, Northern District of California, Southern District of California
  • Stutman Treister & Glatt:
    • Shareholder, 2004-2009
    • Associate, 1999-2004
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. William J. Holloway, Jr.:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1998-1999
  • Listed as a Best Lawyer for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Best Lawyers in America, 2020-2021
  • Selected as a LawDragon 500 Leading Global Restructuring & Insolvency Lawyer for 2020
  • Ranked in California Bankruptcy/Restructuring Litigation, Chambers USA 2013-2020
  • Recognized by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers as a “Super Lawyer for Bankruptcy” in 2014-2020
  • Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500, 2013
  • Twice named by Turnarounds & Workouts as among the “Outstanding Young Restructuring
  • Lawyers” (nationally, from all bankruptcy practitioners under the age of 40, in 2005 and 2012)
  • Recognized as a “Rising Star” by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers from 2004-2013
  • Firm Memorandum: Comity Extended to Foreign Law that Could Modify English Law Governed Debt in Contravention of “Antiquated Rule”  (October 2018).
  • “Junior Noteholders Successfully Petition for Dismissal of Involuntary Filing,” The Bankruptcy Strategist (February 1, 2019)
  • Appeared on BloombergQuint’s The Fine Print television show to discuss international insolvency (March 15, 2018)
  • Panelist, “Shark Tark” Panel
    American Bankruptcy Institute Bankruptcy Battleground West (October 2017)
  • Panelist, “D&O Liability” Panel
    American Bar Association Business Law Section Conference (April 2017)
  • Panelist, “Litigation Funding-Risks, Opportunities, and Shifting Leverage in Bankruptcy” Panel
    Financial Lawyers Conference (November 2015)
  • “A Close Look At Special Cases Of Bankruptcy Claims Trade ,” Law360 (January 29, 2014)
  • “Disclosure And Proof-Of-Claim Issues For Claim Buyers,” Law360 (January 22, 2014)
  • “Pointers In Bankruptcy Claims Trading,” Law360 (January 15, 2014)
  • “Understanding The Reasons Traders Buy Bankruptcy Claims,” Law360 (January 8, 2014)
  • Co-author, Chapter 16 “Value-Oriented Discovery,” Contested Valuation in Corporate Bankruptcy (2011)
  • Co-author, "Sizing Up The 'Cap' - Commercial Lease Rejection Claims In Bankruptcy,"
    27 Cal. Bankr. J. 209 (2004)
  • Co-author, "State Defiance of Bankruptcy Law,"
    52 Vand. L. Rev. 1527 (2000)
  • C-author, “The Effect of Bankruptcy on Intellectual Property Rights”
    2000 American Law Institute / American Bankruptcy Association Conference
  • Guest Lecturer, Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization,
    Loyola Law School
  • Guest Lecturer, Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization,
    University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
  • Panelist, numerous corporate and insolvency organizations