AREA OF PRACTICE

Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring

Biography

Robert Stark is the Practice Group Leader of the Firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Practice Group in the United States. Robert focuses his practice on complex corporate restructuring, including in-court Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court workouts. He has extensive experience representing debtors/borrowers, secured and unsecured creditors, official creditor/equity committees, and other significant parties-in-interest in large corporate insolvency matters.

Robert led the Firm’s representation in the following significant case matters (among many others):

  • Debtors/Borrowers: Allied Systems Holdings (special committee of the Board); Centrix Financial (primary stockholder, Chairman and CEO); GIC Portfolio (out-of-court workout); Keys Resort (Chapter 11 debtor); Sable Permian Resources (equity sponsor); SunEdison (special litigation counsel); Wells Dairy/Blue Bunny Ice Cream (out-of-court workout).
  • Secured Lenders/Bondholders: Atlantis Resort and Casino; American Safety Razor; EPV Solar; Evergreen International Aviation; Flying J/Big West Oil; Geokinetics; Hawkeye Renewables; JCPenney; J.Crew; Le-Nature’s; Millennium Labs; Minnesota Star Tribune; Newark Group; New Vision Broadcasting; Pier 1 Imports; Rockdale Marcellus; ServiceMaster; Spansion; Sports Authority; Synagro Technologies; TOUSA; Vanguard Natural Resources.
  • Unsecured Bondholders/Creditors: Advanced Lighting; C-BASS; CEDC; Ceruzzi Properties; Collins & Aikman; Colt Defense; Delphi Corporation; Delta Petroleum; Endeavour International; Energy Conversion Devices; Falcon Products; Forest Oil/Sabine Oil & Gas; InSight Health Services; Intelsat; LightSquared; McDermott International; Orexigen; Patriot Coal; SIRVA/North American Van Lines; TerraVia; TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals; Tribune Company.
  • Official Creditor/Equity Committees: Alta Mesa Resources; Aralez Pharmaceuticals; Basic Energy Services; Briggs & Stratton; Chesapeake Energy; Dolan Company; EdgeMarc Energy; EXCO Resources; Fedders; Green Field Energy Services; Green Valley Ranch Hotel and Casino; Legacy Reserves; Libbey Glass; Lionel Trains (special counsel); Motor Coach Industries; Oakwood Homes Corporation; Oneida; Performance Sports Group; Philadelphia Energy Solutions; Ravn Air Group; Rex Energy; Riverstone Networks; School Specialty; Ultra Petroleum; Visteon Corporation; Washington Prime Group.
  • Preferred Stockholders: Spanish Broadcasting; Washington Mutual.
  • Examiner: Cred Inc.
  • Post-Confirmation Litigation/Liquidation Trusts: Bethlehem Steel; Bricolage Capital; Geneva Steel; Green Field Energy Services; Hayes Lemmerz International; Le-Nature’s; Millennium Labs; Oakwood Homes Corporation; Performance Sports Group; and WCI Communities.

Robert is cited in Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation, Chambers Global (international ranking), Chambers USA (New York and national ranking), Global M&A Network: Top 100 Restructuring Professionals, IFLR1000 (“Highly Regarded”), Lawdragon 500 (“Leading Global Lawyer”), The Legal 500 US (“Leading Lawyer”), Litigation Counsel of America (“Senior Fellow”), Super Lawyers, PLC Which Lawyer, and Who’s Who Legal (“Recommended”). He is described in the 2021 edition of Chambers Global as “a fantastic tactician, very creative and well regarded by other lawyers.” The 2021 edition of Chambers USA describes Robert as “a very good negotiator,” also noting that “if you are going to be on the other side of Stark, you better roll up your sleeves for a tough fight. He is a good strategist.” He was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “high-minded street fighter” (2018). He received numerous “Deal of the Year” citations (domestic and international) in connection with his case work, including awards presented by the IFLR (two times) and Turnaround Management Association. In 2011, he was profiled in a National Law Journal article entitled, “Winning: Successful Litigators. Powerful Strategies.” In 2010, he was also the subject of a lengthy profile published by Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, wherein he was described by opposing counsel as a litigation "serial killer" but also “bottom-line and commercial oriented.” In 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2011, he was one of 12 attorneys named to the annual list of “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers” published by Turnarounds & Workouts and, in five prior years, he was one of 12 attorneys named to that publication’s annual list of “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers.” In 2011, Robert was named “Restructuring Lawyer of the Year” at the Turnaround Atlas Awards.

Robert’s “first chair” trial and appellate work have resulted in opinions of high precedential value, including (among many others): In re Visteon Corp., 612 F.3d 210 (3rd Cir. 2010) (described by a leading legal commentator as “the most important [Section] 1114 case ever rendered"); In re Oakwood Homes Corp., 449 F.3d 588 (3rd Cir. 2006); In re TSAWD Holdings, Inc., 565 B.R. 292 (Bankr. D. Del. 2017); In re Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC, 2016 WL 7048599 (Bankr. D. Del. 2016); In re Green Field Energy Services, Inc., 2015 WL 5146161 (Bankr. D. Del. 2015); In re School Specialty, Inc., 2013 WL 1838513 (Bankr. D. Del. 2013); In re Patriot Coal Corp., 482 B.R. 718 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2012); In re Eastman Kodak Co., 2012 WL 2501071 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2012); In re Tribune Company, 2011 Bankr. Lexis 4128 (Bankr. D. Del. 2011); In re Washington Mutual, Inc., 442 B.R. 314 (Bankr. D. Del. 2011); In re Spansion, Inc., 421 B.R. 151 (Bankr. D. Del. 2009); In re Oakwood Homes Corp., 394 B.R. 352 (Bankr. D. Del. 2008); In re Oneida Ltd., 351 B.R. 79 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2006); and OHC Liquidation Trust v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., 2006 WL 2578907 (Bankr. D. Del. 2006).

Robert has published extensively on bankruptcy and restructuring topics. He is a contributing editor of the nation’s leading treatise on restructuring law, Collier on Bankruptcy (LexisNexis 2020). He was the lead editor of the 400-page legal treatise Contested Valuation in Corporate Bankruptcy (LexisNexis 2011), part of the Collier on Bankruptcy monograph series, and the 200-page legal treatise Admitting Expert Valuation Evidence Before the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts (Bernstein, S., et al., Amer. Bankr. Inst. 2017). He contributed chapters to the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide (LexisNexis 2020) and Bankruptcy Business Acquisitions (Amer. Bankr. Inst. 2006), and co-authored a chapter in the forthcoming treatise, Fiduciary Obligations in Business (Cambridge University). He wrote or co-wrote articles appearing in, among other academic periodicals, the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, Business Lawyer, California Law Review, and Journal of Corporation Law, which have been quoted/cited in trial and appellate court decisions and in the published writings of leading legal scholars. His most recent law review article, “Bankruptcy Hardball” (co-written with UC Hastings Law Professor Jared Ellias), was selected by law school faculty around the country as among the “Top 10 Corporate and Securities Articles of 2020” (announced in the Corporate Practice Commentator). Robert is frequently invited to speak on complex restructuring topics and guest lecture at graduate schools across the country, including programs sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute, American Law Institute (Young Scholars Medal Conference), Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, Boston University Law School, Columbia Business School, Dallas Bar Association, Georgia State University Law School, New York City Bar Association, NYU Stern School of Business, University of California at Hastings Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, University of Texas School of Law, University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce, and Vanderbilt Law School.

*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. See the selection methodologies for Best Lawyers, Chambers, The Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation, IFLR, Lawdragon, Who's Who LegalSuper Lawyers, Turnaround & Workouts, Turnaround Atlas, PLC Which Lawyer, Litigation Counsel of America, Turnaround Management Association.

Awards

Education

Vanderbilt University Law School – J.D., 1995
Lafayette College – B.A., 1992

Bar Admissions

New York
New Jersey
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Awards and Honors
The Legal 500 US, Leading Lawyer, Finance – Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Corporate, 2020-2021
The Legal 500 US, Finance – Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Corporate, 2018-2021
Chambers Global, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, USA, 2019-2021
Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, USA – Nationwide, 2012-2021
Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, New York, 2009-2021
Who's Who Legal, Restructuring & Insolvency, 2021
IFLR1000, Restructuring Deal of the Year (presented for his role in the restructuring of McDermott International), 2021
The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2012-2022
Super Lawyers,Top Rated Creditor Debtor Rights Attorney in New York, NY, 2007-2021
Law360, Bankruptcy Practice Group of the Year, 2020 (part of the team that received the award)
Turnarounds & Workouts, Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer, 2011, 2018-2020
IFLR1000, Restructuring and Insolvency, United States, New York, 2019-2020
Lawdragon, Leading Global Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyer, 2020
Benchmark Litigation, Future Star, 2018
IFLR1000, Restructuring Deal of the Year (presented for his role in the restructuring of Central European Distribution Corporation), 2014
Turnaround Atlas Awards, Restructuring Lawyer of the Year, 2011
PLC Which Lawyer?, Restructuring and Insolvency, 2011
Turnarounds & Workouts, Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer, 2006-2010
Firm Activities
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Council Member