Case Against Geoffrey Richards Dismissed

In the fall of 2012, Allan Ash initiated yet another lawsuit, this one against his grandson, Geoffrey Richards. Less than a year later, the District Court Judge presiding over the lawsuit dismissed the case. In its 10 page ruling in favor of Mr. Richards, the Court expressed skepticism regarding the allegations made by the nonagenarian (see for the opinion). On appeal, the Second Circuit remanded the case to the District Court for further evidentiary findings. The case subsequently was dismissed with prejudice.

See the original article here.

Geoffrey Richards Joins the Zaretsky Roundtable Series

The Zaretsky Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Fellowship offers a special path of study for a Brooklyn Law School student in honor of Professor Zaretsky. He was a beloved mentor, distinguished scholar of bankruptcy and commercial law and a dedicated teacher.

The Zaretsky Roundtable series celebrates his life and achievements by bringing together distinguished practitioners, judges and academics to discuss cutting edge commercial and bankruptcy law topics.

I was invited to discuss why I chose to practice bankruptcy law and focus my career on corporate restructurings.

Here is a video of the discussion:

Large Company Transaction of the Year

In my capacity as a member of the William Blair team tasked with the responsibility of maximizing value on behalf of National Envelope Corporation throughout its chapter 11 process, I was able to actively participate in maintaining the viability of a large privately owned company that employed thousands of people throughout the United States.

To summarize the background of the transaction: National Envelope was founded in 1952, was headquartered in Uniondale, New York, and was a family-owned enterprise from its inception. It grew to be the largest manufacturer of envelopes in the United States, having about 3,400 employees in 14 production plants, and creating about 37 billion envelopes annually.

The company expanded through 11 acquisitions over the years, and was generating $675 million in revenue by 2009. The 1990s wreaked havoc on the demand for envelopes, mostly due to the onslaught of email and other electronic forms of communication. By the 2008 recession, National Envelope was confronting a difficult time.

The team assembled by William Blair & Company to act as financial advisor to National Envelope, of which I was a participant, sought out an exhaustive list of alternatives to bankruptcy. These included the possibility of utilizing multiple debt, equity, and other solutions and later exploring the possibility of divesting certain of National Envelope’s assets.

The team and I strove to avoid bankruptcy by exploring all feasible out-of-court solutions. Unfortunately, six months later, in June, the company ran out of liquidity and needed to file for chapter 11 relief.

The Los Angeles based private equity firm, Gores Group, was chosen to be the ‘stalking horse’ bidder, while we at William Blair obtained a $130 million debtor-in-possession loan so that National Envelope could maintain its operations throughout the bankruptcy process.

Due to the hard work and continuous efforts of the team at William Blair, we were able to secure three qualified bids before the deadline. The bidders, including Gores, engaged in a 15 hour auction on August 20,2010.

The result of our efforts to come up with innovative and creative ways to proceed with the auction resulted in a substantial increase in the amount of those bids. Gores ended up with the winning bid, but at $214 million, the final bid was close to 40 percent higher than their stalking horse bid of $155 million.

My team and I worked hard to achieve these results on behalf of National Envelope, and we were honored to have been recognized for this achievement.


For a full list of awards that I have received, please visit the Awards page.