Rafael X. Zahralddin

Partner

Rafael X. Zahralddin-Aravena is a partner in the Wilmington office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Corporate, Bankruptcy, Complex Business & Commercial Litigation, Digital Asset, and Ukraine Conflict Response Practices. He is a skilled business lawyer and litigator with significant experience advising clients in corporate and commercial litigation, insolvency, distressed M&A, compliance, corporate law and entity formation, corporate governance, commercial transactions, cyber law, regulatory actions, and cross-border issues.

Rafael represents clients in all aspects of bankruptcy and restructuring and has extensive experience in international commercial law issues, including cross-border insolvency, federal bankruptcy court matters, assignments for the benefits of creditors, and receiverships. Rafael’s international law experience, particularly in international commercial transactions, brings a unique and nuanced approach to business issues both inside and outside of distressed situations.

He has also worked for two decades with early-stage companies and venture capitalists and private venture funds as both a transactional lawyer and a corporate litigator. He has assisted businesses in starting, selling, or buying a business, and dealing with employees and contracts, among other operational issues. This experience has been critical in the representation of both debtors and creditors committees in chapter 11. Rafael is noted for his problem-solving abilities, especially with varied constituencies on official and ad hoc committees, including trade creditors, bondholders, labor unions, and other key stakeholders in insolvency matters.

He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, which is limited to less than 1% of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction and is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Fellow, the highest level of credentialing for corporate directors and corporate governance professionals. He has been recognized as a Philadelphia Inquirer Influencer of Law by an expert panel of judges who felt he shaped, changed, and transformed the legal industry.  The Philadelphia Business Journal awarded him both “Best of the Bar” and “Top Minority Business Leader” in 2020.

A Six Sigma Green Belt, Rafael is an extensive writer and lecturer and has trained both in-house lawyers and outside law firms in legal project management, lean practices, and Six Sigma application to value-added provision of legal services. He is also the co-editor and author of several chapters in the American Bar Association’s Reorganizing Failing Businesses treatise and has written an extensive number of publications for bar journals, periodicals, law reviews and trade organizations. He has also been active as a lawyer and speaker, in regard to privacy, cybersecurity, and legal issues surrounding digital assets. He successfully completed Cyber Enterprise Risk Management Cyber Security Training in 2015 with Axon Global Services and the Kogod School of Business Center for Cyber Governance.

The Delaware Bar Association’s Multi-cultural section awarded Rafael the Excellence in Community Service Award in 2016.

He has served in various leadership positions in law firms including co-founding a Delaware office, as a Managing Shareholder of an office of a regional firm, as a responsible partner, and as a practice group chair.

His distinguished career also includes serving as general counsel to the Hispanic National Bar Association.  Early in his career, Rafael served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Samuel L. Bufford in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

He was a founding faculty member and Associate Professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Prior to becoming a tenure track professor, Rafael was a senior writing fellow at Georgetown University Law Center.

Pro Bono & Philanthropy

  • True Access Capital, (Director, 2022-present) (a community development financial institution)
  • Read Aloud Delaware (Board Member and Development Committee Member, 2006-2009)
  • New Castle County Historic Review Board (Board Member 2010-present)
  • National Small College Rugby Association (Board Member, 2017-2019)
  • National Collegiate Rugby Organization (President of the Board and Board Member, 2020-present)
  • Road Warriors Lacrosse Inc. Board (Director, 2017-present)
  • Belmont Shore Rugby Football Club, Player Representative to Board (1996-2000)
  • U.S.A. Rugby Super League (Board Member for Los Angeles/Long Beach Franchise (1998-1999), Board Member for Philadelphia Franchise, 1998-2000, 2005-2007, Sponsorship Committee Chair, 2007; Disciplinary Committee, 2006-2008)
  • Philadelphia Rugby Corporation, a Pennsylvania Non-Profit Corp. DBA Philadelphia Whitemarsh Rugby Club (Trustee 2004-2005; President, 2005-2009)
  • Army Navy Rugby Match, (Chair, 2003-2005)

Publications

  • Global Responses To Limit The Economic Impact Of Covid-19 Pandemic, American Bankruptcy Institute, April 2020. Led global response project at globalinsolvency.com with the objective to create a concise, comprehensive resource on the legal and regulatory response to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in multiple countries and contributed to the content.
  • Getting Down to Business with DAOs (Part IV of IV), Mondaq, March 31, 2022
  • COVID 19: A Catalyst of Modernization Across Jurisdictions, ABI Journal, July 2020
  • The Evolution of Mentorship in Legal Professional Development, Business Law Today, March 2020
  • Wildfires, Renewable Resources, and Chapter 11: The Latest in the PG&E Story, Business Law Today, July 29, 2019
  • NBC’s Proposed Revisions to Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code ABI Journal, October 2018
  • Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Audit and SOS VDA Program, Credit Research Foundation (CRF), 2017
  • Reorganizing Failing Businesses, American Bar Association, (Rafael X. Zahralddin and Megan Adeyemo, eds.) (August 2017)
    • Chapter 7 “Creditor and Equity Committees”
    • Chapter 13 “Prepackaged Chapter 11 Case Considerations and Techniques"
    • Chapter 17 “Fiduciary Duties Of Directors Of Financially Troubled Corporations”
    • Chapter 25 “Collective Bargaining Agreements, Employee Benefits, And Executive Compensation”
  • An Insider’s Guide to Delaware, One of the Busiest Bankruptcy Courts in the United States, National Association of Credit Management/Commercial Services, January 2017
  • A Value-Added Look at Corporate Bankruptcy, ACC Docket, 2016
  • Tax Implications in Structuring Employee Settlements in Bankruptcy, ABI Journal, February 2015
  • A Rock and a Hard Place: The Tension between Disclosure and Ethical Restrictions on Disclosure of Privileged Information or Litigation Strategy, ABI Journal, March 2014
  • Shattered: Vitro SAB de CV, Chapter 15 and § 1507, ABI Journal, February 2013
  • Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors & State Law Preferences, The Credit Research Foundation, 2012
  • Chapter 15 Allows Court to Recognize Solution to Tax Return Issue, ABI Journal, February 2011
  • Using NOLs to Stabilize the Economy, ABI Journal, March 2010
  • Unauthorized or Authorized Practice of Law by Transactional Out-of-State Lawyers in Delaware? ABI Journal, May 2008
  • Year in Review, International Legal Education, 35 The Int'l Lawyer 793 (2001)
  • Year in Review, International Legal Education, 34 The Int'l Lawyer 817 (2000)
  • Free Trade Agreements, Chile, and the Entrepreneur, 5 Sw. Il. & Trade Am. 273 (1998) (Symposium)
  • International Business Law and the Minority Law Student, Careers & The Minority Lawyer, (Spring 1999)
  • Chile & Singapore: Individuality and the Collective, A Comparison, 12 Emory Int'l L. Rev.739 (1998)
  • Chilean Accession to NAFTA: US Failure and Chilean Success, 23 N.C. J. Int'l L. & Com. Reg. 53
  • Civility, Responsibility and Professionalism, Orange County Law. 11/96, at 14 (w/ Nancy Schultz).
  • Victims' Rights: Are Prosecutors Inadvertently Setting a Poor Example? Orange County Law, 4/96, at 12
  • The Model for Competitive Regulation: The Chilean Multicarrier System, Latin Amer.Telecom Rep., 11/94, at 1
  • Interview: Jorge Rosenblut, Sub-secretary of Telecom, Republic of Chile, Latin Amer. Telecom Rep., 9/94 at 1
  • Development in South Africa for Venture Capital, The Challenges and Opportunities for the Enterprise Fund for Southern Africa, 15 Berkeley J. Int'l L. 62 (1997)
  • The Difficulty of Enforcing Laws in the Extraterritorial Internet, 1 Nexus 99 (1996) (w/ J. Alec French, Esq.)
  • Venture Capital Opportunities and Mexican Telecommunication After the Passage of the NAFTA and Ley de Inversion Extranjera, 20 Del. J. Corp. L. 899 (1995) (w/ C. Todd Jones, Esq.)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission's 1992 Proxy Amendments: Questions of Accountability, 14 Pace L. Rev. 459 (1994) (w/Evan Calio, Esq.)
  • Note, The Effect of Broad Patent Scope on the Competitiveness of U.S. Industry, 17 Del. J. Corp. L. 949, (1993)

Media Coverage

  • US Sends Message to Businesses as Part of Fight Against Corruption, Financial Times South (Diario Financiero, Sud), María Gabriela Arteaga, August 9, 2022
  • International Expert in Reorganizations: ”The Support of Creditors Is a Clear Message that They Trust in the Value of LATAM,” Diario Financiero, Maria Gabriela Arteaga, June 1, 2020
  • LATAM Suppliers Prepare to Negotiate plan of Reorganization, Diario Financiero, Maria Gabriela Arteaga, August 17, 2020
  • PES Refinery Sale: Which Objections Could Affect Wednesday’s Court Hearing?, Philadelphia Business Journal, Kennedy Rose, February 11, 2020
  • Creditors Urge the Judge to Reject Philly Refinery Bankruptcy Plan, heap scorn on executive bonuses, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Andrew Maykuth, February 7, 2020
  • Judge OKs A&P Request to Change UFCW Bumping Policies, Bloomberg, September 1, 2015
  • A&P Union Battle Expected In Bankruptcy Court, The Journal News, Hoa Nguyen, August 16, 2015
  • Carriers Seek Dismissal of Suits Filed by Transvantage Bankruptcy Trustee, Transport Topics, Rip Watson, August 3, 2015
  • Judge Sets July 24 Deadline for Motions to Dismiss Suits in TransVantage Case, Transport Topics, Rip Watson, July 6, 2015
  • Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable, Financier Worldwide Magazine July 2014
  • Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable, Financier Worldwide Magazine July 2013
  • Nortel's U.S. Disabled Workers Looking to Cash In on a Claim, Wall Street Journal, Peg Brickley, January 31, 2013
  • AgFeed Judge Must Appoint Ch. 11 Examiner, Trustee Argues, Law360, Jamie Santo, September 30, 2013
  • Nortel's Legal Mess Pits Bondholders Against Retirees. Reuters, Tom Hals, January 11, 2013
  • Court Oks Deal with Disabled Former Staff, Montreal Gazette, Steven Church, Feb. 15. 2013
  • J.P. Morgan & WaMu: Let’s Go Back to the Beginning, Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2009
  • Governor Jack Markell, We Need To Work Together, El Tiempo Hispano, Gabriel Pilonieta White May 26, 2009

Professional Presentations

  • Corporate and Regulatory Compliance Bootcamp, Seven Part Webinar Series (Privacy, Corporate, Securities, FCPA, Executive Compensation, Procurement, and Internal Investigations) Financial Poise and WestEd, Winter/Spring Edition & Summer/Fall Edition 2017-2022
  • Sponsorship: What It Is, How It’s Different from Mentorship, and Why It’s Important in Today’s Law Department, Paramount Global/Viacom/CBS In-house Legal Department, June 2022
  • Fraudulent Conveyances, the Devil You Don't Know, NACM Corporate Services, June 2022
  • The Intersection of Blockchain, Crypto and DeFi with Data Innovation, Privacy and Security, AT Digital Transformation Webinar Series, March 2022
  • Agricultural Liens and the U.C.C., NACM Agricultural Industry Trade Group, March 2022
  • Effective Negotiating: An Interactive Session, Credit Research Foundation, October Forum and Expo, October 26, 2021
  • Cross Border Insolvency, Turnaround Management Association – Santiago Chile Chapter, March 2021
  • Addressing COVID: Local Reactions to a Global Pandemic, American Bankruptcy Institute’s International Insolvency Forum, November 20, 2020 Navigating in Stormy Economic Seas: A Commercial Lawyer’s Primer on Bankruptcy and Protecting and Maximizing Your Rights in Dealing with Financially Troubled Customers and Suppliers and Distressed Mergers & Acquisitions, Hispanic National Bar Association, 2020 Annual Conference, September 2020
  • Blockchain Basics, Financial Poise Webinar, August 2020
  • Recent Trends in The Credit Bidding of Assets and Cross-Border Issues American Bankruptcy Institute, Winter Leadership Conference –Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, December 2019
  • Applications of Blockchain Technology, Credit Research Foundation Forum, Seattle, WA, August 13, 2019
  • Cross Jurisdiction Enforcement: Getting Paid When the Money is Overseas, Delaware State Bar Association International Section and World Trade Center of Delaware Program, Wilmington, DE, November 2018
  • The Cryptocurrency Craze, Blockchain and Cross-Border Insolvency, American Bankruptcy Institute Cross-Border Insolvency Program - Moderator, New York, NY, November 2018
  • The Legal Issues Surrounding Blockchain: How Will They Affect the Transportation Industry? Transportation Revenue Management Group Fall Conference, Tucson, AZ, October 2018
  • The Curious Case of the LLC: Often Used, but Rarely Understood, American Bankruptcy Institute Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, Amelia Island, FL, July 2018
  • Overview of Distressed Mergers and Acquisitions Market in Bankruptcy, Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals Webinar, Wilmington, DE, May 2018
  • The Impact of New International Privacy Laws on Your Discovery Practice, Delaware State Bar Association E-Discovery and Technology Law Section and the International Law Section event - Wilmington, DE, April 2018
  • Contracts, VMI, and Consignment for Credit Managers: With a Special Case Study on Sports Authority, National Association of Credit Management Northwest North American Hardwoods Credit Association Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, November 2017
  • Export Controls and Regulatory Compliance, Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals Education Event, Hunt Valley, MD, November 2017
  • Inter-Court Communications, American Bankruptcy Institute Cross Border Insolvency Program – New York, NY, November 2017
  • Behind Closed Doors –  “What Role Does a Bankruptcy Judge Play?”, Credit Research Foundation Credit & A/R Forum, Fort Lauderdale, FL, October 2017
  • Preparing for Retail Bankruptcy Cases, National Association of Credit Management Northwest National Apparel & Footwear Credit Association, Nashville, TN, September 2017
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Sales, National Association of Credit Management Northwest National Apparel & Footwear Credit Association, Providence, RI, May 2017
  • Contract Law, Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals - FCFP Credit and Accounts Receivable Professional Retreat Day, Lafayette Hill, PA, April 2017
  • What a Credit Professional Should Know About Contracts, Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals, Wilmington, DE, January 2017
  • Caribbean - Resort Insolvencies, American Bankruptcy Institute Cross-Border Insolvency Program, New York, NY, November 2016
  • Protecting Sensitive Information, Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals, FCFP Credit and Accounts Receivable Professional Retreat Day, Montvale, NJ, November 2016
  • Key Issues in Corporate Governance, a Conversation with Former Chief Justice Myron Steele National Association of Corporate Directors, Wilmington, DE, November 2016
  • Canadian Bankruptcy Laws and Cross Border Insolvency, Forius National Association of Credit Management North Central, Baltimore, MD, November 2016
  • Blueprint for Selling and Buying: Creating Professional Success for Outside and In-House Counsel, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference, Washington, D.C., July 2016
  • Preventing and Defending Against Preference Actions in Customer Bankruptcies, Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals, FCFP Professional Retreat Day, Hunt Valley, MD, May 2016
  • Bankruptcy Legal Update and Best Practices to Keep You Ahead of the Curve: Fraudulent Conveyance Bankruptcy Litigation, National Association of Credit Management, Transportation Revenue Management Group, Savannah, GA, April 2016
  • Introduction to Unclaimed Property and Risk Mitigation in Accounts Receivable, National Association of Credit Management, National Apparel & Footwear Credit Association, Scottsdale, AZ, November 2015
  • Non-profit Startups: Guiding a Non-profit from Idea to Reality, Philadelphia Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Philadelphia, PA, June 2015
  • Get Lean, Add Value: Lean Six Sigma Principles for Every Legal Department and How to Do More with Less, American Bar Association Business Law Section Spring Meeting, In-House Counsel Section, San Francisco, CA, April 2015
  • Future Shock: What Will Law Departments and Practice Areas Look like by 2025, HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 2015
  • Creditor Boot Camp: Bankruptcy of a Customer/Client/Tenant, Financial Poise Webinar and Commercial Law League of America, Wilmington, DE, February 2015
  • Resolving Tax Issues in Bankruptcy Court, American Bankruptcy Institute's 26th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, La Quinta, California, December 2014
  • Directors’, Officers’ and Advisors’ Liability, Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s 20th Annual Bankruptcy Institute, Philadelphia, PA, November 2014
  • Trends in Commercial Bankruptcy, Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s 19th Annual Bankruptcy Institute, Philadelphia, PA, October 2014
  • Is There Room in the Chapter 11 Ark for Trustees, Examiners, Receivers, and CROs? National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), Chicago, IL, October 2014
  • Trade Credit in Brazil and Mexico, Navigating Creditor's Rights and Insolvency, International Food Manufacturers Credit Group (IFM), Chicago, IL, September 2014
  • The New Frontier: U.S. Distressed Investing in China, Panelist, Turnaround Management Association Mid-America Regional Conference, Minneapolis, MN, September 2014
  • Employment and Benefits in Chapter 11, American Bankruptcy Institute 19th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Conference - Amelia Island, FL, July 2014
  • Professional Responsibility in Bankruptcy Cases, Financial Poise Webinar and Commercial Law League of America, Wilmington, DE, June 2014
  • Anatomy of a Preference Litigation, Financial Poise Webinar and Commercial Law League of America,” Wilmington, DE, June 2014
  • Being Diverse in the Legal Profession, Delaware Law School Latin American Law Students Association & Black Law Students Association - Wilmington, DE, April 2014
  • Unclaimed Property Policies and Procedures: Risk Mitigation in Accounts Receivables, CRF Credit & Accounts Receivable Open Forum, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, October 2013
  • Making the Connection – Wisdom Gained and Suit Has Been Filed – Result: “E WIN Settlement!! Reality – Now, How Do We Get Your Judgment?” Transportation Revenue Management Group 2013 Fall Conference, Kansas City, Kansas, October 2013
  • Is it Good to be King: The Ethical Challenges of Being In Charge, Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado, September 2013
  • Lunch and Learn Series: NDAs and Letters of Intent, Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership, April 2013
  • Advising Distressed Businesses and Business Bankruptcy, Hispanic National Bar Association Corporate Counsel Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2013
  • CLE: International Insolvency: What to do When the Unexpected Happens, Gateway to America HNBA 3rd Annual Midyear Corporate Counsel Conference. Jersey City, New Jersey, March 2012
  • Down for the Count: Sports teams, Franchises and Bankruptcy, ABI’s 8th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop, Cambridge, Maryland, August 2012
  • "And Your Shoe Size, Please" Additional Fee Disclosures in Bankruptcy: What's Next?,  ABI’s 17th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, Amelia Island, Florida, July 2012
  • International Growth Strategy, Delaware Manufacturers Extension Program’s Delaware ExporTech, September 2011
  • Corporate Compliance and Business Ethics Panel, 36th Annual Hispanic National Bar Association Convention , Dallas, Texas, September 2011
  • Is the Grass Greener? Bank Holding Company Insolvencies, ABA Business Bankruptcy’s Committee Chapter 11 Luncheon, April 2011
  • "Anything but Bankruptcy!" Redux, ABI’s 6th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop, Cambridge, Maryland, August 2010
  • Bankruptcy Litigation/International: Litigation Issues in Cross‐Border Cases, 22nd Annual ABI Winter Leadership Conference October 2010
  • Diligencing and Structuring Transactions with Creditor-Challenged Parties,  ABA Section of Business Law Winter Meeting, November 2010
  • Practicing What You Plead: Pleading Practicalities in the Post Twombly, Iqbal, and Caremerica World,  ABA Business Law Section Bankruptcy Committee Fall Meeting, October 2010
  • Government Oversight Under the Obama Administration, HNBA 2010 Inaugural Corporate Counsel Conference, April 2010
  • “Are Genes Patentable?” American Bar Association IP Roundtable Wilmington, DE, January 2010
  • Inside the Minds of MCN Alumni and Chief Legal Diversity Officers, 10th Anniversary of DuPont Minority Counsel, July 2008
  • Planning Committee and CLE Privacy Panel- Security Breaches and E-mail Monitoring, DuPont Minority Counsel Conference, June 2007
  • A Review of Objections by the United States Trustee to Professional Retention Since the Passage of the New Bankruptcy Act, Delaware Bankruptcy Inns of Court, Spring 2007
  • Questions and Answers on Committee Appointment and Disclosure issues under the new Bankruptcy Act, Delaware Bankruptcy Inns of Court, Spring 2006
  • Supreme Court Mock Argument Program on Intervention and Derivative Standing to Pursue Avoidance Actions,  Delaware Bankruptcy Inns of Court, Spring 2005
  • Mock Argument Prepetition Solicitation and Pre-negotiated Bankruptcies, Delaware Bankruptcy Inns of Court, Spring 2004
  • Dynamics in Bankruptcy Court amongst Different Constituencies, Delaware Bankruptcy Inns of Court, Spring 2003
  • The Intersection between Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law - Recent Trends, Delaware Bar Association Real Estate Section Annual Meeting, April 2001
  • Law & Entrepreneurship Research Conference Symposium (Paper Presenter), Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, October 2000
  • International Law and the Internet, Orange County Bar Assoc., International Law Section, Dec. 7, 1998
  • Free Trade and Latin America, Orange County Bar Assoc., International Law Section, February 17, 1997

Admissions

  • State Bar Admissions
    • Delaware
    • New York
    • Pennsylvania
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the District of Delaware
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Associations

  • Federal Bar Association (Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee 2021-present, Bankruptcy Law Section, Bankruptcy Circuit Updates (Second Circuit Reporter) (2021 – present)
  • American Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) (Governance Fellow)
  • Philadelphia Bar Association Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention (2018-2020)
  • American Bar Association (Business Law Section, Business Law Fellow, Diversity Committee, Business Bankruptcy Committee, Trustee and Examiners Subcommittee Co-chair, 2011-2014, Task Force on Professional Fees Co-chair, 2012- 2014, Ambassadors, Fellows and Diplomats Committee, 2008-2022; International Law Section, International Insolvency Committee, 2002-2007; Inter-American Committee Vice Chair, 2001- 2002, Law Student & New Lawyer Committee Vice Chair, 2000-2001, International Legal Education Committee, Vice Chair 1999 – 2001)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute (International Committee Co-Chair, 2016–2020; International Committee Co-Education Director, 2014-2015; International Committee Newsletter Editor, 2012-2013; International Committee Task Force Leader, 2010-2011)
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (Fellow, 2015, Alumni Executive Council, 2016-2017)
  • Delaware State Bar Association (International Committee Co-Chair, 2017-present, Vice Chair 2016-2017; Nominating Committee, 2011-2013; Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section, Chair, 2008-2009, Vice Chair, 2007-2008)
  • Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania (Advisory Board, 2015-present)
  • Delaware Bankruptcy Inns of Court (January 2008-present)
  • Richard S. Rodney American Inn of Court (June 2014-present)
  • Turnaround Management Association (January 2013-present)
  • Delaware Hispanic Bar Association (Advisory Board 2019-present, Treasurer, April 2012-2019, President and Founder, 2008-2009)
  • National Association of Credit Managers (NACM) (January 2012-present)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (Executive Committee, General Counsel, 2014-2015, Vice President of External Affairs, Executive Committee, 2013-2014, Deputy General Counsel, 2011-2012, Representative to Board of Governors for the Delaware Hispanic Bar Association, 2008-2013, Regional President for Region IV (Delaware and Pennsylvania), 2007-2010)
  • Credit Research Foundation (January 2008-present)
  • University of Virginia Club of Delaware (President, 2003-2009)
  • DuPont Minority Counsel Network (Conference Planning Committee, Networking and Marketing Committee Chair, CLE Moderator, 2007-2008, Networking and Marketing Committee, 2006-2007, Privacy Panel: Security Breaches and E-mail Monitoring)
  • DuPont Preferred Law Firm Network (Commercial Litigation Co-chair, 2007-2008)
  • United States Secretary of State Advisory Committee on International Insolvency (2000-2003)
  • AALS (Minority Law Professor Section,1996-2000)
  • Inter-American Bar Association (1996-2000)
  • Chapman University School of Law (Founding tenure track faculty member and associate professor, 1995-2000)
  • Widener University School of Law (Adjunct Professor, Chapter 11 Course, 2003-2010)

Awards & Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Rating
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers®, Creditor Debtor Rights (2019-2022)
  • Influencer of Law, Philadelphia Inquirer (2019)
  • Philadelphia Business Journal, Top Minority Business Leader (2020)
  • Philadelphia Business Journal, Best of the Bar (2020)
  • Top 50 Latino Lawyer, Latino Leaders Magazine (2016-2021)
  • MCCA Rainmakers Award, Minority Corporate Counsel Association (2014)
  • Excellence in Community Service Award, Delaware State Bar Association Multicultural Judges and Lawyers (2016)
  • Healthcare/Life Sciences Deal of the Year (Under $500MM) - for the sale of Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., M&A Advisor (2019)
  • Restructuring Deal of the Year ($25MM-$50MM) - for the New England Motor Freight bankruptcy, M&A Advisor (2019)
  • Information Technology Deal of the Year (Under $250MM) - for the sale of Violin Memory, Inc., M&A Advisor (March 2018)
  • Large Company Transaction of the Year - for the sale of AgFeed USA to TriOak Foods and Smithfield/Murphy Brown, Turnaround Management Association (2014)
  • M&A Deal of the Year (Over $50mm to $75mm and Agriculture Deal of the Year - for successful sale of AgFeed Industries, Inc. to Ningbo Tech Bank China, The 6th Annual International M&A Advisor (2014)
  • Sec. 363 Sale of the Year (Over $50mm to $100mm) - for the firm’s services during the successful sale of AgFeed USA to TriOak Foods and Smithfield/Murphy Brown, 8th Annual M&A Advisor Turnaround Award (2014)
  • Consumer Deal of the Year (Under $50MM) - for sale of AgFeed USA to TriOak Foods and Smithfield/Murphy Brown, ACG and M&A Advisor Champions Award (2014)
  • Turnaround Atlas Awards - AgFeed Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization and sale of assets to Ningbo Tech Bank, TriOak Foods, and Smithfield/Murphy (2014)
  • Six Sigma Green Belt, State of Delaware (Delaware Economic Development Office) and Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Education

Georgetown University Law Center

LL.M., International and Comparative Law, 1995

  • Senior Writing Fellow

Delaware Law School, Widener University

Juris Doctor, 1993

  • Delaware Journal of Corporate Law (Articles Editor)
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Dean’s Scholarship
  • Rugby Team

University of Virginia

Bachelor of Science, Architecture, 1989

  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Judiciary Judge
  • Architecture School Class President

Representative Matters

  • ​​​​​​Special Litigation Counsel in Largest Bank Insolvency in U.S. History: Served as special litigation counsel in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of the bank holding company of Washington Mutual. This was the largest bank insolvency in U.S. history, which resulted in a $7 billion settlement with the FDIC and J.P. Morgan.
  • $50 Million Settlement for Multinational Telecom Company’s Former Employees with Disabilities in Light of Bankruptcy: Served as lead counsel for the Official Committee of Long -Term Disability Participants in the bankruptcies of a multinational telecom company, Nortel, in which he secured a settlement of more than $50 million for the company’s former employees with permanent disabilities.
  • Coordinated and Negotiated Settlement Plan, Saving Clients Over $2.6 Million: Served as lead counsel for the Voluntary Employee Benefit Association of Former Disabled Employees for a multinational telecom company, where he was able to coordinate and negotiate a settlement plan and favorable Internal Revenue Service private letter ruling that saved his clients $2.6 million.
  • Counsel to Governing Body of the Sovereign Nation of Nevis: Served as counsel in Delaware Chancery and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the governing body of a small Caribbean Island in a dispute between the hospitality industry on the island and lenders who had withheld insurance funds needed after a natural disaster  which threatened to destabilize the Caribbean dollar.
  • Cross-Border Bankruptcies and Chapter 15 Matters: Served as counsel to various parties in cross-border bankruptcies, including foreign representatives in chapter 15 matters.
  • Counsel in Various Significant Retail Bankruptcies Over the Past 20 Years: Served as counsel to various entities in some of the largest retail bankruptcies in the last 20 years including debtors, landlords, private equity funds and one of the largest fast-food retailers in the world.
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for Public Agribusiness Company Following Chinese Reverse Merger: Served as lead counsel for the equity committee in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of a publicly traded agribusiness company, AgFeed, which was the result of Chinese reverse merger that resulted in the successful sale of U.S.-based assets, assets in China, and a global settlement with the company, secured creditors, SEC, class action plaintiffs and unsecured creditors. This resulted in a successful distribution to shareholders in an insolvent company that had little hope of recovery due to massive securities fraud in the U.S. and China.
  • 100% Recovery for Unsecured Creditors: Served as co-counsel to the Unsecured Creditors Committee in several bankruptcies, which resulted in 100% recovery for unsecured creditors.
  • Protection of IP Rights and Strategic Partnerships in Fortune 500 Tech, Science Bankruptcies: Counsel to various Fortune 500 technology- and science-based companies with issues in bankruptcy involving protection of intellectual property rights and key strategic partnerships.
  • Counsel to 40+ National Trucking, Transportation and Logistics Companies in Bankruptcy: Served as counsel to various transportation and logistics companies in bankruptcy; and as defense counsel in bankruptcy litigation, including more than 40 national trucking and transportation companies which were sued for fraudulent transfers in the bankruptcy, in which he attained nuisance settlements or dismissals for all clients in the litigation.
  • Investigation and Cross-Border Recovery of Assets in Transportation Bankruptcy: Served as lead counsel to the Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors in transportation bankruptcy involving a fraudulent logistics company scheme with losses in excess of $100 million and which required investigation and recovery of assets domestically and cross border.
  • Lead Counsel in Bankruptcy, Largest Rolling Stock Auction in the Past 30 Years: Served as lead counsel to the Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors in the New England Motor Freight chapter 11 involving the largest rolling stock auction in the last 30 years and the going concern sales of two premium service regional truckload carriers.
  • Litigation Counsel, Bankruptcy Counsel, and Committee Counsel Experienced in Labor and Employment Issues: Worked with both management and labor unions to resolve labor and employment issues in multiple national and cross border bankruptcies in retail, manufacturing, high technology, and energy industry sectors.  Represented local unions and pension trustees in bankruptcy matters, including one of the largest retail grocery store chains resulting in a pay increase and preservation of jobs through management of and guidance through the bankruptcy sales process.  Represented special committees of ERISA benefits claimants and retirees in large multinational’s bankruptcy.  Defended against, assisted as committee counsel, and successfully negotiated with WARN Act class action plaintiffs.  Represented some of the most vulnerable employees, including retirees and disabled employees in bankruptcies, including successfully petitioning the Court to appoint special official committees, litigating to successful outcomes, and negotiating favorable settlements.
  • National Bankruptcy Counsel to One of the Largest Global Roof and Building Materials Companies: Served as counsel to various companies in the building trades, including national bankruptcy counsel to one of the largest roof,  and building materials companies in the world.
  • Counsel to Oil and Gas Companies in Bankruptcy, Shipping and Maritime Matters: Counsel to various oil and gas industry companies, including one of the largest worldwide petroleum companies, in issues involving both upstream and downstream sectors, in bankruptcy matters, and matters involving shipping and maritime law.
  • Energy Company Bankruptcy Involving National Security, Labor, Environmental and Operational Issues: Served as co-counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ bankruptcy and worked to keep the largest oil and diesel refinery in the eastern United States open with special attention to issues of national security, labor issues, community relations, organized labor, environmental issues,  and related operations. Also involved in the eventual auction, sale, and settlement related to proceeds of the sale of the refinery property and operations.
  • Counsel to Officers and Directors in Governance and Stakeholder Disputes: Served as counsel to various officers and directors in disputes over governance issues and disputes representing private equity firm directors, the C-suite and founders.  Have also represented post confirmation trusts and trustees in pursuit of recoveries for bankruptcy estates from directors and officers on behalf of estate fiduciaries and creditor constituencies consisting of small to medium sized businesses to large publicly held corporations.
  • Counsel to Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds Across Industries: Counsel to venture capital funds and private equity funds, notably in the blockchain and distributed ledger technology, health care, transportation/logistics, energy, telecommunications, manufacturing, consumer products, and building products industries.
  • Outside General Counsel to Nonprofits Across a Wide Range of Legal Needs: Counsel to various nonprofits, including service as a general counsel to a national nonprofit trade group, in all aspects of operations, including employment (volunteer and employee handbook), governance, and leading the wind- down under state law of two large nonprofits after a crisis resulted in insolvency.
  • Regulatory and Compliance Counsel Across Industries, Including with the FDA, DOJ, SEC and FTC: Provided regulatory and compliance counsel to clients in various industries, including matters involving the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice, various agencies that govern import and export controls, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Representation of Multinationals in Various Cross-Border, Transactional Issues: Represented multinationals in various cross-border issues, including complex commercial transactions in sales contracts, bailments, consignments, and various secured transactions in both supply chain issues and distribution contracts.
  • Privacy and Data Security Counsel to Businesses In and Outside of Bankruptcy: Representation of clients both inside and outside of bankruptcy regarding privacy laws and cybersecurity, including defense of class actions and related collateral attacks in business courts such as the Delaware Chancery Court against officers and directors.
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