Robert Honeywell is of counsel in the restructuring and insolvency group of K&L Gates’ New York City office. He has over 25 years of experience in both structured finance and bankruptcy litigation: “bankruptcy-proofing” lending and M&A deals against possible later bankruptcy attack - with a special emphasis on the U.S. Bankruptcy Code’s safe harbors and bankruptcy clawback and recharacterization risks - and litigating those attacks when they happen, at both the bankruptcy court and appellate levels. He also provides bankruptcy closing opinions (true sale and non-consolidation) and works closely with K&L Gates’ securitization, real estate, energy and supply chain teams to design special purpose entity (SPE) structures for maximum protection for contracts and collateral and, where appropriate, “true sale” accounting treatment. Where deals involve cross-border aspects (for example, a mix of U.S. and non-U.S. entities in holding company structures, or foreign counterparties working with distressed entities in the U.S.), he advises on U.S. bankruptcy litigation risks and, where needed, litigates to defend foreign projects from the reach of U.S. bankruptcy courts. He has also advised on asset purchases out of bankruptcies, and on broker-dealer collateral custody issues under the SIPC statute and UCC Article 8, including in litigation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Notable defense work in bankruptcy clawback litigation includes adversary proceedings in the Chapter 11 cases of Tribune and Lyondell (representing investment managers and funds against fraudulent transfer claims for LBO payments); Arcapita Bank (representing Islamic banks protecting their setoff rights in shari’a-compliant financial contracts); and Adelphia (representing bank defendants against fraudulent transfer claims). Notable Chapter 11 restructuring work includes participation in the successful reorganizations of UniCapital, a leasing and aircraft finance company (for the debtor); Avianca Airlines, the Colombian national airline (for the creditors’ committee); and Global Crossing (as conflicts counsel for the creditors committee, and for a creditors’ sub-committee investigating intercompany clawback claims).
Prior to joining K&L Gates, Robert served as of counsel in the commercial, securitization and bankruptcy departments in large firms in New York and Houston.
- "A FERC in the Road to Recovery?: The Clash Between Bankruptcy and Regulated Power Contracts,” with William M. Keyser (K&L Gates). Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (Seattle)
- “How Safe Are the ‘Safe Harbors’?: A Look at the Development of Section 546(e) and New Questions After the Supreme Court’s Decision in Merit Management,” with Hon. Michelle M. Harner (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Maryland), Eric R. Goodman (Baker Hostetler), and Brian D. Koosed (K&L Gates). National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges webinar
- “How Safe are the ‘Safe Harbors’?: How to Protect Your Investment Funds and Trades From Bankruptcy Clawback After the Supreme Court’s Recent Merit Management Ruling,” with Brian D. Koosed, Ryan M. Tosi, and David A. Mawhinney. K&L Gates webinar (D.C., New York, Boston)
- “Managing Credit Risk in a Post-Lehman World: Protecting Investment & Finance Transactions Against Potential Bankruptcy Fallout,” K&L Gates webinar and live presentation (D.C., New York, Boston)
- “Best Practices for Achieving a Successful Workout,” 2nd Annual LatinFinance Conference on Corporate Restructuring, Turnaround Management & Distressed Investing in Latin America (New York)
- “Look Before You Leap: Tips from a New York Bankruptcy Lawyer Before Jumping into the U.S. Market,” IBEF SP Seminário: Nova Lei de Falências (São Paulo)