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Howard J. Steinberg

Howard J. Steinberg focuses his practice on representing debtors, creditors’ committees, trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, and purchasers of assets in major cases involving public and private companies throughout the United States. Howard has broad experience in out-of-court workouts, and is often retained to litigate "bet-the-company" cases. He has also served as lead counsel in numerous bankruptcy court trials. Howard has devised creative litigation claims, whether asserted or threatened, to achieve outstanding results for his clients. He and his team have received a number of awards for results achieved in their cases.

Howard is the author of a three-volume treatise published by Thomson-West entitled, "Bankruptcy Litigation."

Concentrations

  • Bankruptcy, corporate debt restructuring, and creditors’ rights
  • Litigation

Capabilities

Experience

  • In re Spansion, Inc., et al. (Bankr. Ct., D. Del.), published in 426 B.R. 114 (Bankr. D. Del. 2010). In this case, the client, Tessera, Inc., ("Tessera") asserted pre and post-petition patent infringement claims which the debtor claimed were valueless. As a result of prevailing at contested evidentiary hearings, Tessera’s unsecured claim was estimated at $120 million and its administrative claim in excess of $4 million. The debtors proposed a plan which did not adequately reserve for Tessera’s claim and the court sustained our plan objection.°
  • In re Nortel Networks, Inc. (Bankr. Ct., D. Del.). Represented Research in Motion Limited as part of a consortium of five other leading technology companies who purchased a portfolio of patents for $4.5 billion, one of the largest ever public sales of intellectual property assets.°
  • In re ‘Sa’ NYU Wa. (Bankr. Ct., D. Ariz.). Represented largest creditor in contested plan confirmation matter and claim litigation against tribally charted corporation, and litigated novel sovereign immunity issues.
  • In re Wet Seal, LLC (Bankr. Ct., D. Del. ). Represented private equity firm in its acquisition of assets of debtor retail chain.
  • In re Agent Provocateur, Inc. (Bankr. Ct., S.D.N.Y.). Represented strategic buyer in its acquisition of assets of debtor retail chain.
  • In re Empire Land, LLC, et al. (Bankr. Ct., C.D. Cal.). Represented a former director of the debtor and its affiliates in a lawsuit by a lender seeking more than $100 million in damages. The court granted our motion for dismissal without leave to amend.°
  • In re Med Diversified, Inc., et al. (Bankr. Ct., E.D.N.Y.). Represented Private Investment Bank Limited ("Bank"), who had made a $70 million loan to the debtor. A prepetition lawsuit resulted in a settlement with the Bank being granted a security interest in substantial, additional collateral. After the debtor filed bankruptcy, the Bank was a party to several lawsuits which culminated in settlements implemented through a plan whereby a senior secured lender had its claim of nearly $100 million disallowed, and the unsecured creditors of the debtor and several of its largest subsidiaries received dividends ranging from approximately 20 to 40 cents. The Bank received cash and ownership of the debtor’s subsidiaries, which had a value of in excess of $80 million.° 
  • Chartwell Litigation Trust v. Addus Healthcare, Inc. (Bankr. Ct., E.D.N.Y.), published in 334 B.R. 89 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. 2005). Litigation claims were assigned to the client, the trust, as part of a plan. In a prepetition transaction, the debtor paid $7.5 million, which had been characterized as an option payment in connection with a $100 million plus purchase price of a business, but failed to close on the purchase. The defendant retained the option payment and both sides sued each other prior to the bankruptcy filing asserting, among other things, breach of contract claims. Rather than pursue those theories, the trust filed a fraudulent transfer lawsuit to recover the deposit. Following trial, the court announced a tentative ruling in favor of the client and a settlement was reached for $4.1 million.°
  • In re The Walking Company (Bankr. Ct., C.D. Cal.). Represented secured lender/equity holder in Chapter 11 reorganization of a retail chain with more than 200 store locations. To facilitate the reorganization, lender provided exit financing and a capital investment.° 
  • In re GB Holdings, Inc. (Bankr. Ct., D. N.J.). Represented Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. in its $250 million acquisition of the Atlantic City Sands Hotel & Casino. Ownership of the hotel and casino had been transferred from the debtor to an entity in which the debtor had an equity interest. The transfer was the subject of claims of fraudulent transfer. Pinnacle acquired the hotel and casino without becoming embroiled in the litigation and did not have to engage in a bidding procedure in connection with the acquisition.° 
  • In re Focus Media, Inc. (Bankr. Ct., C.D. Cal.), published in 378 F.3d 916 (9th Cir. 2004), cert. denied, 544 U.S. 968 (2005). Filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition on behalf of the creditor clients NBC, ABC, and Paxson Communications. Following trial, an order for relief was entered against the debtor, which was upheld on appeal by the United States District Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.° 
  • John Pringle, Trustee v. Thomas Edward Rubin, et al. (Bankr. Ct., C.D. Cal.). Acted as special litigation counsel for the trustee in bankruptcy and obtained a judgment in excess of $35 million against insiders of the debtor based upon fraudulent transfer and other claims.° 
  • In re Midland Group, Inc. (Bankr. Ct., C.D. Cal.), published in 347 B.R. 708 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2006). Represented Swiss Finance Corporation ("SFC"), a foreign currency trader in London that was engaged in currency trades with the debtor. The debtor engineered a $100 million plus Ponzi scheme in the United States, and the trustee in bankruptcy filed a fraudulent transfer complaint seeking a return of all monies that had been transferred to SFC. In a case of first impression, SFC argued that fraudulent transfer laws do not have extraterritorial application and cannot be used to set aside transactions centered in foreign countries.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Steinberg prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Author or contributing author of five books and treatises
  • Author of numerous articles published nationally and internationally
  • Lectured extensively on bankruptcy and litigation topics nationally and internationally

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2020 
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2007-2019
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004, 2009, 2014-2019
  • Member, Winning Team, Global M&A Network’s Turnaround Atlas Awards, "Private Equity Turnaround of the Year – Middle Markets," for the acquisition of The Wet Seal by Versa Capital Management, 2016
  • Member, Winning Team, M&A Advisor’s Turnaround Awards, "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Under $500MM)” for the Chapter 11 of The Wet Seal, Inc., 2016
  • Member, Winning Team, M&A Advisor Awards, "Retail Manufacturing and Distribution Deal of the Year" for acquisition and restructuring of The Wet Seal, Inc. and its debtor affiliates by Mador Lending, LLC, an affiliate of Versa Capital Management, LLC, 2015
  • Member, Winning Team, M&A Advisor’s Turnaround Awards, "Sec. 363 Sale of the Year (Under $100mm)" for the sale of Hot Dog on a Stick, 2015
  • Member, Winning Team,S. News - Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year" in Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency & Reorganization Law and Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2013
  • Recipient, "Deal of the Year Award," International Financial Law Review, 2012
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section
    • Bankruptcy Committee 
  • Member, Board of the Western Center on Law and Poverty
  • Member, Century City Bar Association
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers Los Angeles

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 1979
    • Editor, Uniform Commercial Code Reporter Digest
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Massachusetts, 1976
Admissions
  • California