Litigation & Arbitration


May Orenstein has extensive experience in a broad range of complex financial, bankruptcy-related and securities litigation. She focuses her practice in counseling hedge funds and other institutional creditors with respect to their investments in distressed companies and their participation in bankruptcy-related litigation and insolvency proceedings. She also practices in the areas of securities fraud, malpractice defense, and internal investigations.


Litigation counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Litigation Trustee in the LyondellBasell Chapter 11 cases (Southern District of New York). On behalf of creditors, pursued fraudulent transfer and other claims resulting from a failed leveraged buyout.

As counsel to Independent Committee of the Board of a major Fortune 500 computer hardware company, conducted complex, multi-faceted, securities-litigation driven internal investigations.

Ongoing litigation and claim analysis for private equity and hedge fund clients focused on litigation-impacted debt and equity securities including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, TOUSA, and British Petroleum; engaged in analysis of risks associated with debt obligations of the Republic of Venezuela and related entities.

As Special US counsel to the liquidators of offshore funds that invested with Bernard Madoff, prevailed on appeal to the Second Circuit in vindicating liquidators’ right to review of sale of key asset of foreign estate.

As counsel to Ad Hoc Committee of Subordinated Noteholders and Indenture Trustee of Tropicana Entertainment, achieved a victory in Delaware Chancery Court when the Court ruled that Tropicana was in default on the bondholders’ indenture.

Counsel to The Bank of New York Mellon, as Indenture Trustee, and High River Limited Partnership (a Carl Icahn investment vehicle), against Realogy, a global company that owns brands such as Coldwell Banker and Century 21, in litigation concerning a proposed exchange offer.

As counsel to The Bank of New York Mellon, acted on behalf of bondholders holding $2 billion of bonds, settled a Delaware Chancery Court action seeking a determination regarding bondholders’ rights as a result of a triggering transaction.

Counseling equity and hedge fund clients on creditors’ and shareholders’ rights issues.

On behalf of litigation financing fund, evaluated investments in ongoing litigation involving mutual funds.

Obtained substantial settlement recoveries in mass litigation against consigning vendors to a Chapter 11 debtor.

As counsel to a public company, achieved dismissal on the pleadings of derivative action complaint.

Settled dispute among holders of different classes of CDO holders, achieving substantial recovery for holders of junior securities.


New York University Law, School – J.D., 1983
Barnard College, NY – A.B., cum laude, 1978

Bar Admissions

New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Professional Affiliations
Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
Media Coverage
Featured, "J.Crew Ordered to Disclose Certain Communications Between Third Party Advisors and Weil," ReorgAmericas (December 3, 2018)