The judge in Heller Ehrman’s bankruptcy has ordered (.pdf) mediation between the firm’s creditors and its former shareholders, the first sign that shareholders might come to the table to iron out an ending to the nine-month-old bankruptcy.
The talks are slated to take place on Oct. 30 and Nov. 16. Also, Judge Dennis Montali ordered each side to file settlement conference statements confidentially with the moderator, Judge Randall Newsome, by later this month.
It’s not clear how many shareholders the creditors intend to target by arguing the firm was insolvent as early as 2007, bringing into question payments made to partners since then.
A majority appear to be participating in settlement talks: Six attorneys are representing 183 of the former shareholders, some of whom left or retired before the firm dissolved, according to the order’s proof of service.
Who they are and who they represent (after the jump):
1. Michael Cooper at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean is representing Douglas Schwab and Paul Sugarman, described as “former shareholders who retired in early 2008 and received their capital, who then remained at the firm until dissolution as salaried employees of Heller Ehrman LLP.”
2. Cecily Dumas at Friedman Dumas & Springwater is representing about 50 “lower-compensated former shareholders who remained until after the firm voted to dissolve, including junior and fixed-income shareholders.”
3. John Jerome at Saul Ewing is representing about 18 “more highly compensated former shareholders who withdrew prior to the dissolution vote.”
4. Tobias Keller is representing 18 former shareholders now working at Jones Day.
5. David Stern at Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern is representing about 90 of the “more highly compensated former shareholders, who remained until after the firm voted to dissolve.”
6. Victor Vilapana at Foley & Lardner is representing five former shareholders now working at Foley & Lardner.
— Amanda Royal
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