2024 Annual Seminar of the Financial Lawyers Conference
March 15-17, 2024
Applications must be received by February 9, 2024
Current Topics in Chapter 11 Practice
The Financial Lawyers Conference is pleased to announce that the 2024 Seminar will be led by Professor Anthony Casey, the Donald M. Ephraim Professor of Law and Economics, Faculty Director, The Center on Law and Finance, at the University of Chicago.
Tony Casey is an expert on business law, finance, and corporate bankruptcy. His research—which has been published in the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Supreme Court Review, and the University of Chicago Law Review—examines the intersection of finance and law. He has also written about the role of intellectual property law in the organization and financing of creative projects and about how technological innovation is changing the foundations of our legal system more generally. Before entering academics, he was a partner at Kirkland and Ellis, LLP and an associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
The last four years have seen a flurry of developments in the corporate restructuring world that has brought increasing attention to the practice. For instance, court have faced a docket of high-profile mass tort cases, a flood of crypto asset bankruptcies, and shifts in the choices that debtors make about where to file cases. These developments posed novel problems for courts and led to a series of important cases, which have often raised more questions than they have answered.
This year’s seminar will explore each of these hot topics, diving into the particular challenges they have raised for practitioners and judges.
We will use specific cases and materials to explore the following topics:
Topic 1: Venue, Forum, and Cross Border Insolvency
Bankruptcy venue has been a controversial topic for decades. The issue has heated up once again with the rise of the Southern District of Texas as the leading chapter 11 venue and allegations of “judge shopping.” What is the optimal rule for bankruptcy venue? Is venue shopping a good, bad, or neutral phenomenon? How might a rule harness the advantages of venue shopping while limiting its abuses?
Taking a broader view, how do venue rules in the United States relate to global insolvency trends? Forums like Singapore and Ireland have made concerted efforts to attract international insolvency cases. And some U.S. companies have opted out of Chapter 11 by utilizing U.K. Schemes of Arrangement and then seeking Chapter 15 recognition. Conversely, cases like LATAM Airlines have brought foreign companies into Chapter 11 where the rules of the foreign jurisdiction were viewed as insufficient to produce an adequate resolution. This state of affairs suggests that rules about local venue choice should be considered alongside global forum and recognition rules.
Topic 2: Good Faith Filing, Entities, & the Texas Two-Step
A string of Mass Tort and related cases has raised the question of when a debtor can file for bankruptcy. What does a debtor need to show to justify a good faith filing? Financial distress? Insolvency? Or something else? This problem gets even more complicated when a debtor’s business is divided into multiple legal entities and only some of those entities file. Is the standard to be judge on the entity or enterprise level? And perhaps most interesting is the recent set of cases where the debtor used the “Texas Two-Step” technique to create entity divisions on the eve of filing.
Topic 1: Injunctive Powers
Once a debtor with affiliate entities has filed a bankruptcy, it will request preliminary injunctive relief for its non-debtor affiliates. The scope of this injunctive power is a crucial question for the functioning of chapter 11. Courts have generally been liberal in granting preliminary injunctive relief. But these orders raise questions about whether such relief interferes with governmental regulatory power, what to do when there is a clash among courts about the effect of the relief, and what the burden is on the debtor in proving the need for such relief. Similar questions arise about the scope of the discharge injunctions included in a plan of reorganization.
Topic 2: Third-Party Releases
The hottest topic in chapter 11 today is the legality of “nonconsensual third-party releases.” This topic sits before the Supreme Court in the Purdue bankruptcy, with an opinion likely to come out in the next few months. If the court reverses, this will change the negotiating landscape for most corporate bankruptcies. Can the settlements of other mass tort cases like the Boy Scouts of America survive such a ruling? Will the next battleground be about whether consent can be achieved through opt-out provisions as is often the case in non-tort chapter 11 plans? How will lawyers navigate around such a prohibition? If the court affirms, questions will remain about the scope of allowable releases and the burden on the plan-proponent to show that they are appropriate.
Topic 1: Developments in Crypto Bankruptcies
Starting in the summer of 2022, courts around the world were hit with a wave of insolvency proceeding in the crypto-asset market. These include BlockFi, Celsius, Core Scientific, Genesis, FTX, Three Arrows, and Voyager Digital. These cases have raised complicated questions including those about 1) case coordination as dueling estates have sought to resolve of a web of interlocking claims; 2) the redaction of public information about claimants as debtors and claimants have sought to keep this information private and as reports of attempts to defraud claimants have been brought before the courts; 3) the ownership of and property rights in digital assets; and 4) the monetization and valuation of digital assets that are highly volatility and which courts and regulators are just beginning to understand.
A few weeks before the seminar, FLC will email attendees written course materials, including discussion questions and problems that will form the basis for the seminar discussions, as well as assigning each attendee to a specific issue. Because the seminar materials will be distributed via email, please be sure to provide your email address on your seminar application.
The weekend will include approximately eleven hours of roundtable discussion, which has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California.
We are delighted that the seminar will be held at the
100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Nestled on 102 private acres of California's secluded Palos Verdes Peninsula, Terranea Resort offers scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Given the wealth of activities available at Terranea Resort, participants and their guests will have plenty of stimulating options when not discussing recent developments in bankruptcy law.
FLC is making comprehensive arrangements for fine dining and entertainment throughout the seminar weekend. Friday evening will feature a cocktail reception and dinner buffet, followed by conversation, socializing, poker and games in the hospitality suite. Both a buffet breakfast and lunch will be served on Saturday. On Saturday evening, FLC will host a cocktail reception, followed by FLC’s traditional awards dinner and, after that, more conversation, socializing, poker and games.
Attendees and guests will have free time Saturday afternoon. Win trophies on the links by participating in FLC’s annual golf tournament1, indulge at the full service spa, or simply lounge at the pool or stroll the property.
FLC’s policy on attendance by children is described in the rules established by the Board of Governors (the “Rules”). Child care and babysitting arrangements can be made directly through the hotel concierge.
The preliminary schedule for the seminar weekend is as follows:
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
9:00 pm – Midnight
Hosted Cocktail Party Dinner Buffet
Conversation, Socializing, Poker and Games
7:00 am – 9:00 am
8:00 am – 12:00 noon
12:00 noon – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
9:00 pm - Midnight
Free Time (Annual FLC Golf Tournament, Pool and Other Activities)
Hosted Cocktail Party
Dinner Award Presentations
Conversation, Socializing, Poker and Games
8:00 am – 10 am
9:00 am – 12:00 noon
 Check-in time on Friday is 4:00 pm, although some rooms may be available earlier. Luggage storage will be provided in the lobby if your room is not available when you arrive for the seminar.
 We have reserved a block of tee times for the golf tournament. Greens fees will be approximately $96 per person for 18 holes. Skill and aptitude is optional.
 Attendees should make reservations with the spa directly.
 Check-out time on Sunday is 12:00 pm. Based on availability, late check-out may be requested on the day of departure.
The standard registration fee for the seminar is $3375 for an individual or $4125 for a couple. The registration fee for optional early arrival on Thursday, March 14, 2024, is $3995 for an individual or $4740 for a couple. The registration fee covers all of the following: educational program and materials; room and tax; in-room coffee/tea; hosted cocktail receptions on Friday and Saturday evenings; buffet dinner on Friday and plated dinner on Saturday; buffet breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday; buffet lunch on Saturday (or box lunch for golfers); three seminar breaks with snacks and beverages; nightly hospitality suites on Friday and Saturday; and all of the amenities available at Terranea.
There will be a $200.00 registration fee for each child aged three and up who will be attending one or more of the meals that are open to children (Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch and Sunday breakfast).
Incidental charges (e.g., bellman services, room service, mini bar charges, hotel restaurants and bars, gift shop purchases, greens fees for Saturday’s golf tournament, extracurricular activities and spa fees) will be charged to the attendees
If the seminar is oversubscribed, attendance will be determined by the Rules.
Please note that once an application is submitted, it may not be withdrawn. Refunds will be subject to paragraph 7 of the Rules.
Please register for the seminar online, at www.financiallawyers.org. If you prefer to submit a registration form by mail or email, please contact our administrator, Leslie Medina, at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a form.
Applications close February 9, 2024
We look forward to seeing you at the seminar. This is sure to be an educational, fulfilling and enjoyable weekend!
Very truly yours,
Vice President and Seminar Chair
Click HERE for Annual Seminar Rules