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Howard Seife

Global Head of Bankruptcy, Financial Restructuring and Insolvency

Howard  Seife

New York

T:+1 212 408 5361

Howard Seife is Norton Rose Fulbright's Global Head of Bankruptcy, Financial Restructuring and Insolvency and the US Co-Head of Bankruptcy, Financial Restructuring and Insolvency. He has represented clients in reorganizations, both domestically and internationally, of retail, technology, energy, insurance, real estate, leasing, textiles, manufacturing, telecommunications and media companies.  He is a member of the Firm's Executive Committee.

Mr. Seife is widely recognized as a leader in the area of cross-border insolvencies and is regularly cited in Chambers USA and Chambers Global for his work in bankruptcy/restructuring matters.

Mr. Seife has played a key role in many high-profile cases including Energy Future Holdings, Hellas Telecommunications, OAS Finance Limited, Residential Capital and Tribune Company.

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  • Education

    1983 - LL.M., The London School of Economics and Political Science
    1978 - J.D., cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center
    1973 - B.A., cum laude, Union College

  • Representative experience
    • Counsel for former Chief US Bankruptcy Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez (S.D.N.Y) in his capacity as the court-appointed examiner in the ResCap Chapter 11 case.
    • Represents NextEra Energy as a potential purchaser of Oncor Electric from Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp.
    • Represents The Bank of New York Mellon as indenture trustee in the restructuring of Brazilian energy giant Petrobras
    • Represents the BVI provisional liquidators of OAS Finance Limited, a BVI corporation that raised financing for a Brazilian group of construction companies, in its Chapter 15 case in the US Bankruptcy Court.
    • Represented the liquidators of Octaviar Administration Pty Ltd. in obtaining recognition under Chapter 15 to the Australian liquidation proceedings of this Australian conglomerate that consisted of more than 400 companies in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. 
    • Counsel to the Chapter 11 creditors' committee in Tribune; Spiegel, Inc./Eddie Bauer Inc.; Parmalat USA Corp.; Metromedia Fiber Network; New York Daily News (Maxwell Newspapers, Inc.); New York Post; and Pocket Communications.
    • Counsel for Citigroup, as agent for the lender group, in the successful restructuring of Xerium Technologies (through a pre-packaged Chapter 11).
    • Represented NextEra Energy (i) as Chapter 11 DIP lender to Solar Trust of America and as purchaser of solar power project pursuant to section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code and (ii) in connection with the sale of its equity interests in White Pine Hydro Investments, LLC, a distressed hydro project in Maine and New Hampshire.
    • Counsel for the UK liquidators of Hellas Telecommunications in their Chapter 15 and billion dollar lawsuit against TPG and Apax.
    • Counsel for The Royal Bank of Scotland, as agent for the lender group, in the successful Chapter 11 reorganization of PRC, LLC.
    • Represented the receiver appointed in the Russian bankruptcy proceedings of Yukos Oil Company in the first major test of Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code.
    • Represented the ad hoc committee of swap counterparties in the restructuring of the monoline insurance company, ACA Financial Guaranty.
    • Represented a number of the largest creditor banks and insurance companies in Enron Corporation's Chapter 11 and some of the largest creditors and account holders in the Lehman Brothers and Refco Chapter 11s.
    • Advised the European bank group in the cross-border insolvency case of Lernout & Hauspie/Dictaphone.
    • Represented A.B.C. Learning Centres Limited in obtaining recognition under Chapter 15, where the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the recognition of the Australian liquidation.
    • Represents Grant Thornton as the BVI and English liquidators of Pioneer Freight Futures Company in their Chapter 15 case in the US Bankruptcy Court.
    • Represented Chartis Excess Limited (AIG) in obtaining recognition under Chapter 15 of its Irish scheme of arrangement.
    • Represented Ernst & Young as the Australian and Bermudian liquidators in the insurance insolvency of New Cap Reinsurance Corporation Ltd.
    • Represents PricewaterhouseCoopers as provisional liquidators for Independent Insurance Company, Folksam International Insurance Company Ltd., and Black Sea & Baltic General Insurance Company Ltd.
    • Represented KPMG as provisional liquidator for Manhattan Investment Fund and Belvedere Insurance.
    • Represented the reinsurer Hopewell International in its groundbreaking ancillary bankruptcy where, after an eight-day trial, a US court for the first time recognized and enforced the terms of a scheme of arrangement for a solvent company.
  • Admissions
    • New York State Bar License
  • Rankings and recognitions
  • Publications
    • "Giving Effect to Debt Compromise Arrangements - Binding the Minority or Out of the Money Classes of Creditors," (Co-author), Oxford University Press - The Law and Practice of Restructuring in the UK and US (Second Edition), 2017
    • “Review of Cross-Border Cases in 2015: Eligibility for Relief Examined,” International Restructuring NewsWire, Winter 2016
    • Co-author, “Brazilian Companies' Cross-Border Experience in the United States and the Benefits of the Model Law,” Editora Quatier Latin do Brasil - Ten Years of the Brazilian Bankruptcy Law, 2015
    • “Indenture Trustees in Out-of-Court Restructuring Transactions: Proceed with Caution,” Client Alert, March 16, 2015
    • “The Octaviar Saga: The Chapter 15 Door Opens, Closes, and then Reopens on the Foreign Representatives,” Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, October 2014
    • “Q&A: Foreign Companies See Protection of U.S. Chapter 11,” The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2013
    • “Insurers Accorded Standing To Challenge Asbestos Bankruptcy Plan That Potentially Limits Insurers’ Reinsurance Recoveries,” Insurance and Reinsurance NewsWire, May 2012
    • “Vitro: Defining 'Manifestly Contrary' To US Policy,” Law360, May 8, 2012
    • “Litigating Valuation Disputes: A Primer on Preparing Expert Witnesses for Contested Valuations,” ABI - Second Annual Mid-Level Professional Development Program, October 2010
    • “Negotiating with Lenders: Forbearance, Waivers, Lender Approval and the Collective Action Conundrum,” The Directors' and Officers' Guide to Restructuring, July 2010
    • “U.S. Courts Should Continue to Grant Recognition to Schemes of Arrangement of Solvent Insurance Companies,” Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, August 2008
    • “Trustee’s Fraud Claims May Be Barred by 'In Pari Delicto' Doctrine,” Banking Law Journal, November/December 2006
    • “Creditors' Committees Sharing Information: How Much is Enough?,” Banking Law Journal, April 2006
    • “The ‘Deepening Insolvency’ Debate,” Banking Law Journal, July 2005
    • “New Chapter 15 to Replace Section 304,” Pratt's Guide to The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, June 2005
    • “U.S. Bankruptcy Code Amendments Affect Ancillary Proceedings: Chapter 15 to Replace Section 304,” Client Alert, May 9, 2005
    • “Employee Entitlements in the United States,” INSOL International, March 2005
    • “Solvent Debtors May be Unable to Enter Bankruptcy in Absence of ‘Financial Distress',” Banking Law Journal, January 2005
    • “Silent Second Liens,” Banking Law Journal, October 2004
    • “As Latin American Cross-Border Insolvencies Increase, So Do the Questions of Law,” The Americas Restructuring and Insolvency Guide, July 2004
    • “Valuing a Chapter 11 Debtor for Plan Confirmation,” Banking Law Journal, June 2004
    • “A Foreign Debtor in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Will the Case Be Dismissed?,” Banking Law Journal, April 2004
    • “Courts Divided on Debtors' Payments to 'Critical Vendors' on Entering Chapter 11,” The Banking Law Journal, July 2003
    • “Discovery in the United States: What Devices are Available to Assist Foreign Insolvency Proceedings?,” Insolvency Intelligence, June 2003
    • “Delaware Bankruptcy Court's Rulings Threaten Use of 'Lockup Agreements' in Prenegotiated and Prepackaged Plans,” The Banking Law Journal, May 2003
    • “Insurance Proceeds in Bankruptcy,” Banking Law Journal, September 2002
    • “Bondholders, Now Active in U.S. Corporate Restructurings, May Take More Significant Role in the U.K.,” The European Restructuring and Insolvency Guide, April 2002
    • Co-author and editor, “Cross-Frontier Insolvency of Insurance Companies,” Sweet & Maxwell, January 2001
  • Speaking engagements
    • Panel Chair, “Tales From the Coal Face,” INSOL International One Day Seminar, British Virgin Islands, November 17, 2016
    • “Tips for Trustees: Out of Court Restructuring and the Trust Indenture Act,” New York, NY, March 9, 2016
    • Educational Co-Chair, INSOL International: Latin America One Day Seminar, Mexico City, Mexico, March 1, 2016
    • “Cross-Border Brazilian Insolvencies,” TMA Brazil 7th Annual Conference, São Paulo, Brazil, October 22, 2015
    • “Recent Challenges Faced by Foreign Representatives Seeking Relief Under Chapter 15,” ABI - Association of the Bar of the City of New York – Cross Border Insolvency Program, New York, NY, June 18, 2015
    • Panel Chair, “Business Case Law Updates,” ABI 33rd Annual Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, April 18, 2015
    • Panel Chair, “Hot Topics in the Realm of Corporate Reorganization,” INSOL International, Annual Regional Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 22-24, 2015
    • “The Future of Municipal Restructurings After Detroit and Jefferson County: A Panel Discussion,” New York, NY, February 24, 2015
    • Co-Chair, “Cross-Border Insolvency,” INSOL International Seminar, Santiago, Chile, November 20, 2014
    • “Case Study: Residential Capital,” NYU School of Law and ABI 40th Annual Lawrence P. King and Charles Seligson Workshop on Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization, New York, NY, September 17-18, 2014
    • “Chapter 15: How Fairfield Sentry, Barnet, Vitro and Other Recent Cases have Affected Chapter 15 Availability and Cross-Border Landscape,” ABI - Association of the Bar of the City of New York – Cross Border Insolvency Program, New York, NY, June 20, 2014
    • “ResCap and the Use of Examiners in Chapter 11 Cases,” ABI Valcon 2014 Conference, Las Vegas, NV, February 26-28, 2014
    • “A Case Study: The Residential Capital LLC Bankruptcy - The Examiner's Investigation,” AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services Conference, Las Vegas, NV, November 10-12, 2013
    • “Emerging Roles for Examiners in Contested Chapter 11 Mega-Cases and Similar Trends in Other Jurisdictions,” New York, NY, October 22, 2013
    • Co-Chair, INSOL International One Day Seminar: Cross-Border Restructuring and Insolvency, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 13, 2013
    • Panel Chair, “What Now for the Monolines and Financial Guaranty Business,” INSOL International, Ninth World Congress, The Hague, May 19-22, 2013
    • “Harmonization of Insolvency Laws,” INSOL International, Ninth World Congress, The Hague, May 19-22, 2013
    • Panel Chair, “Expert Testimony: How to Prepare Your Expert and How to be an Expert,” American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Mid-Level Conference, New York, NY, October 9, 2012
    • Panel Chair, “Latin American Companies Seeking Protection in the US Under Chapter 11 and Chapter 15,” INSOL International: One Day-Seminar, Cartagena, Colombia, October 4, 2012
    • Panel Chair, “Government Regulations and Their Impact on Preventing or Increasing the Chance of Insolvency,” INSOL International: Annual Regional Conference, Miami, May 21, 2012
    • “Rhode Island's Break Through Solvent Scheme and its Effect in the U.S. Receivership Market,” HB Litigation Conferences: 2012 Solvent Scheme Conference, New York, NY, January 24, 2012
    • Co-Chair, INSOL International: Cross-Border Insolvency and Restructuring Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina November 10, 2011
    • “New Perils in Chapter 11: Distressed Investing After Washington Mutual,” New York, NY, October 20, 2011
    • “Corporate Debt Restructuring,” INSOL International One Day Seminar, New Delhi, India,, December 3, 2010
    • “Valuation Issues in Chapter 11 Cases,” American Bankruptcy Institute's 2nd Annual Mid-Level Professional Development Program, New York, NY, October 28, 2010
    • Cross-Border Restructurings U.S. and European Perspectives, New York, NY, October 27, 2010
    • Panel Chair, “Mexican Bankruptcy - Legislation, Practices, Trends and Cross-Border Issues,” EMTA, New York, NY, June 1, 2010
    • Educational Co-Chair, INSOL International: Cross-Border Insolvency and Restructuring One-Day Seminar, Mexico City, April 22, 2010
    • “Storms of the Recent Past and Managing Future Challenges,” INSOL International Annual Regional Conference, Dubai, UAE, February 23, 2010
    • Co-Chair, “Latest Developments in the U.K. & U.S.,” HB Litigation: Solvent Schemes of Arrangement Conference, New York, NY, January 26, 2010
    • Chair, INSOL International: Eighth World International Quadrennial Congress: Insurance Insolvency Ancillary Conference, Vancouver, Canada, June 21, 2009
    • “When Hedge Funds Go Bust,” (Panel Chair), INSOL International: Eighth World International Quadrennial Congress, Vancouver, Canada, June 22-24, 2009
    • “Biofuel Survival Strategies for a Challenging Market,” New York, NY, March 2, 2009
    • Panel Chair, “Implications for the Insurance Related Companies,” The American Lawyer, New York, NY, February 18, 2009
    • “Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructurings in Mexico: Recent Experiences and the Road Ahead,” New York, NY, February 2009
    • “The Global Financial Crisis: Legal And Business Implications,” Mexico, December 3, 2008
    • “Legal Issues Arising from the Financial Crisis of 2008,” Webinar, October 30, 2008
    • “Judicial Co-Operation in Multi Jurisdictional Insolvencies,” National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Scottsdale, AZ, September 27, 2008
    • “Impact of Credit Derivatives on Corporate Restructurings,” Shanghai, People's Republic of China, September 16, 2008
    • Panel Chair, “Chapter 15, the Model Law and the Statutory Instrument,” American Bankruptcy Institute: International Insolvency Symposium, London, September 8, 2006
    • “Exploring the US Exit Strategies Landscape,” C-5 Insurance Exit Strategies, London, June 26-27, 2008
    • “The Future of Solvent Schemes and Part VII Transfers,” Mealey’s Solvent Schemes Conference, Arlington, VA, January 28-29, 2008
    • “The Coming Wave . . . What the Turmoil in the Credit Markets Means — and What to Expect in 2008,” New York, NY, October 24, 2007
    • “Plastic Surgery – Consumer Debt and Consumer Proposals,” INSOL International Insurance Insolvency Ancillary Meeting, Cape Town, S. Africa, March 18-21, 2007
    • “Enforcement in the US Under Chapter 15,” Mealey’s Exit Strategies for the Insurance Marketplace Conference, London, October 31 – November 1, 2006
    • “Chapter 15 and the Bankruptcy Code,” KPMG: Solvent Schemes of Arrangement in the UK, New York, NY, October 19, 2006
    • “One Year On: Key Issues and Developments in the First Year of the 2005 Bankruptcy Code Amendments,” New York, NY, October 17, 2006
    • “Chapter 15, the Model Law and the Statutory Instrument,” ABI: International Insolvency Symposium, London, September 8, 2006
    • “Cross-Border Insolvency - Cooperation or Conflict?” (Program Chair), INSOL Annual Americas Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, May 21-24, 2006
    • “Overview of Sanction Hearing and Chapter 15 USBC Processes and Procedures,” Mealey’s Solvent Schemes of Arrangement Conference, New York, NY, February 2-3, 2006
  • Memberships and activities
    • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
    • Member, International Insolvency Institute
    • Co–chair, INSOL International, Group of Thirty–Six, 2013 – present
    • Chair, INSOL International Latin America Committee, 2013 – present
    • Member of the Board of Directors, INSOL International, 2007 – 2013
    • Chair, INSOL International, Technical Research Committee, 2003 – 2005
    • Mediator for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, 1996 – present
    • Arbitrator for the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1985 – present