Forbes Names Ashby & Geddes One of America’s Top Trusted Corporate Law Firms

In its inaugural list published on October 3, Forbes magazine named Ashby & Geddes one of the top corporate law firms in the United States. Of approximately 400,000 law firms in the U.S., only 243 were selected. Ashby & Geddes is one of only two Delaware-based firms to make the list, and is the smallest firm from the Philadelphia-Delaware region. In addition to recognizing Ashby & Geddes as a whole, Forbes specifically noted the strength of the firm’s bankruptcy practice. Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to develop its rankings, and utilized survey responses from 2,500 attorneys nationwide.

Ashby & Geddes Attorneys Selected For Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 Edition

Ashby & Geddes is pleased to announce that its attorneys were again selected by their peers for inclusion in the 26th edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. The attorneys and their respective fields of practice recognized include:  Steven J. Balick (Litigation – Patent), Stephen E. Jenkins (Commercial Litigation and Corporate Law), and William P. Bowden (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law).

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation.  Almost 87,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world) and almost 10 million evaluations were received on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.  Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Karen B. Owens Appointed District of Delaware Bankruptcy Judge by United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Ashby & Geddes, P.A. is pleased to announce that the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has appointed Karen B. Owens, a member of the firm since 2014, as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Delaware.

“Karen is among the most talented attorneys I have ever had the pleasure of working with over the course of my career. Karen embodies intellect, integrity, dedication to craft and professionalism, and she will strengthen a deep and respected bench,“ said Bill Bowden, managing partner of Ashby & Geddes. “We will greatly miss her legal acumen and professionalism, but we will miss her more as a friend and trusted colleague. We congratulate her on this tremendous accomplishment, and we have no doubt that she will be an outstanding bankruptcy judge.”

For the entirety of her career, Ms. Owens has focused her practice in the area of bankruptcy and restructuring, where she regularly represented debtors and creditors in numerous large and complex chapter 11 cases. Among others, Ms. Owens represented lenders, bondholders, indenture trustees, and various estate professionals, including creditor and equity committees, examiners and future claims representatives, both in Delaware and other jurisdictions.

Ms. Owens is a graduate of Penn State University and American University, Washington College of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, and served as the Associate Managing Editor of the American University Law Review.

Ms. Owens officially will assume her duties on June 17, 2019 in a private ceremony. Once sworn, Ms. Owens will serve a fourteen year term.

Nine Ashby & Geddes Lawyers Are Identified as Leading Individuals in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2019)

The 2019 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized nine Ashby & Geddes attorneys as “Leading Individuals” in their respective areas of practice: Steven J. Balick (Intellectual Property), William P. Bowden (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), John G. Day (Intellectual Property), Catherine A. Gaul (Chancery), Stephen E. Jenkins (Chancery), Andrew C. Mayo (Intellectual Property), Ricardo Palacio (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), Karen B. Skomorucha Owens (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), and Philip Trainer, Jr. (Chancery).  In addition, the firm was ranked for excellence in three of its practice areas: Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Chancery, and Intellectual Property.

Ashby & Geddes’ Bankruptcy/Restructuring practice is “highly regarded for its sophisticated counsel on complex reorganization matters,” and “walking into court with them gives you extra credibility.”  Head of the group, Bill Bowden, is regarded by peers as a “shining star” with a wealth of experience handling Chapter 11 cases, while Rick Palacio was described as a “very smart lawyer” who is “excellent at addressing urgent issues quickly, efficiently and intelligently.”  Karen Owens was praised as being “very knowledgeable about the Bankruptcy Code,” and as having “great relationships with other professionals and judges.” 

The firm’s Chancery practitioners are a “respected team with a strong track record in the Court of Chancery.”  Sources commented that they were “extremely comfortable with their knowledge of Delaware law, expertise and credibility.”  Steve Jenkins is praised for his “responsiveness, collaborative approach, knowledge and professionalism.”  Lee Trainer is “highly knowledgeable, very responsive and good at navigating contentious matters in cases.”  Catherine Gaul was described as “very responsive” and “incredibly smart and very knowledgeable about local practice in the Court of Chancery.”

Chambers describes Ashby & Geddes’ Intellectual Property attorneys as “adept at handling a range of work on both the plaintiff and defense side of IP litigation,” and as having “a diverse client base including companies from the biotechnology, computer software and telecommunications industries.”  Steve Balick was described as “a very wise and senior local counsel who has very good insight into judges and very good instincts about what arguments are good.” John Day was noted for his “wealth of knowledge of Delaware courts,” and for being “highly responsive” with “excellent judgment.”  Andrew Mayo was noted for his expertise in patent infringement lawsuits, including Hatch-Waxman litigation, and breach of contract actions relating to intellectual property license agreements, and described as being “knowledgeable about local practice and Delaware judges.”

Chambers and Partners assesses business lawyers across the country using independent researchers to conduct in-depth interviews with clients and lawyers.  Individual lawyers and firm practice areas are ranked on the basis of legal knowledge, experience, ability, effectiveness, and client-service.  For more information about Chambers and Partners, visit here.

Ashby & Geddes Named to U.S. News and Best Lawyers® 2019 “Best Law Firms” List

Ashby & Geddes is pleased to announce that it has once again been named to U.S. News and Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” List (2019 ed.) in six practice areas.  Notably, Ashby & Geddes’s “Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions” practice has been recognized on a national level with a National Tier 3 ranking.  In addition, its rankings for Metropolitan Tier 1 include three practice areas:  “Commercial Litigation,” “Corporate Law,” and “Litigation – Securities.”  Metropolitan Tier 2 includes two practice areas – “Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law” and “Litigation – Patent.”

Firms included in the 2019 Edition of “Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.  Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.  The 2019 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client votes received on record.  To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer recognized first in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top five percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S.  Over 16,000 lawyers provided more than 1,125,000 law firm assessments, and almost 12,000 clients provided more than 107,000 evaluations.  Ranked firms, presented in three tiers, are listed on a national and regional-based scale.  Firms that received a tier designation reflect the high level of respect a firm can earn among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and practice areas.  Awards were given in 75 national practice areas and 122 metropolitan practice areas.  The 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings can be seen in their entirety by visiting  www.bestlawfirms.usnews.com.

Randall Teti Selected As The 2018 Winner of the Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition

Ashby & Geddes is pleased to congratulate Randall J. Teti, who has been selected as the 2018 winner of the Bruce M. Stargatt Legal Ethics Writing Competition. This annual writing competition is sponsored by the Delaware Bar Foundation and is open to Delaware attorneys who have been admitted to practice for five years or less. Mr. Teti’s article will be published in an upcoming edition of “Delaware Lawyer” magazine, a quarterly publication distributed by the Delaware Bar Foundation.

Ashby & Geddes Attorneys Selected For Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 Edition

Ashby & Geddes is pleased to announce that its attorneys were again selected by their peers for inclusion in the 24th edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. The attorneys and their respective fields of practice recognized include:  Steven J. Balick (Litigation – Patent), Stephen E. Jenkins (Commercial Litigation and Corporate Law), and William P. Bowden (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law).

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation.  Almost 87,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world) and almost 10 million evaluations were received on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world.  For the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 60,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition.  Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.  Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Nine Ashby & Geddes Lawyers Are Identified as Leading Individuals in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2018)

The 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized nine Ashby & Geddes attorneys as “Leading Individuals” in their respective areas of practice: Steven J. Balick (Intellectual Property), William P. Bowden (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), John G. Day (Intellectual Property), Catherine A. Gaul (Chancery), Stephen E. Jenkins (Chancery), Andrew C. Mayo (Intellectual Property), Ricardo Palacio (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), Karen B. Skomorucha Owens (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), and Philip Trainer, Jr. (Chancery).  In addition, the firm was ranked for excellence in three of its practice areas: Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Chancery, and Intellectual Property.

Ashby & Geddes’ Bankruptcy/Restructuring practice is “highly regarded for its sophisticated counsel on complex reorganization matters.”  Head of the group, Bill Bowden, is noted for his “experience in bankruptcy law, and familiarity and working relationships with the Delaware bankruptcy Bench,” while Rick Palacio was described as a “very clear thinker, articulates issues well and has a very good presence in court.”  Karen Owens was praised as “outstanding” and “smart, responsive and always on top of things.”

The firm’s Chancery practitioners are a “highly recommended team with a strong track record in the Court of Chancery.”  Sources commented that “the level of responsiveness and quality of the service are first-rate.”  Steve Jenkins is “a highly regarded practitioner” known to be an “extraordinarily effective” attorney who “understands the Delaware courts very well,” while Lee Trainer is “incredibly responsive, highly knowledgeable and very practical.”  Catherine Gaul was praised for her “sound judgment” and someone who has a “great sense of the best way to accomplish things.”

Chambers describes Ashby & Geddes’ Intellectual Property attorneys as “adept at handling a range of work on both the plaintiff and defense side of IP litigation,” with market commentators reporting that “[t]hey are a really good shop and have some really good attorneys,” who “are always easy to work with and well prepared” and who “provide thoughtful commentary on strategy in Delaware.”  Steve Balick was described as “very conscientious, thoughtful and responsive,” while John Day was noted for being “a great attorney who is responsive, knowledgeable, and technical.”  Andrew Mayo was described as “hard-working and smart” and as having “great credibility with the judges.”

Chambers and Partners assesses business lawyers across the country using independent researchers to conduct in-depth interviews with clients and lawyers.  Individual lawyers and firm practice areas are ranked on the basis of legal knowledge, experience, ability, effectiveness, and client-service.  For more information about Chambers and Partners, visit here.

 

Ashby & Geddes Advises Future Claimants’ Representative in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases of Takata Corporation’s North American Affiliates, TK Holdings Inc. and Its Affiliated Debtors

Following the recall of millions of vehicles equipped with malfunctioning Takata air bag inflators (the so-called “PSAN Inflators”), TK Holdings, Inc. and certain of its affiliates (the “Debtors”) filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2017 to effectuate the sale of substantially all of their non-PSAN Inflator assets to Joyson KSS Auto Safety, S.A. and certain of its subsidiaries or affiliates as part of a global sale of the non-PSAN Inflator assets of the Debtors’ ultimate parent, Takata Corporation.  The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, the Court overseeing the Debtors’ bankruptcy proceedings, appointed Roger Frankel as the legal representative for Future Claimants – i.e. those individuals who sustain personal injuries after the filing of the bankruptcy arising from or related to PSAN Inflators or their component parts manufactured by the Debtors or their affiliates prior to the effective date of a chapter 11 plan of reorganization in the Debtors’ bankruptcy cases.  Mr. Frankel selected, among others, Ashby & Geddes to represent him as the Future Claimants’ Representative in the proceedings.

Following expedited and contested complex restructuring proceedings, a global settlement was reached in February 2018 among all key stakeholders, including the Future Claimants’ Representative, and embodied in the Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization of TK Holdings Inc. and Its Affiliated Debtors (the “Plan”), which was confirmed by the Court on February 21, 2018.  The Plan contemplates the creation and funding of a trust – the “PSAN PI/WD Trust” – that will assume responsibility for present and future “PSAN PI/WD Claims” asserted against the Debtors and certain third-parties, and is expected to be funded with approximately $130 million of contributions, subject to possible additional contributions from various sources.  The Plan is expected to go effective in early April.

Ashby & Geddes Bankruptcy and Insolvency attorneys William P. Bowden, Karen B. Skomorucha Owens, and Katharina Earle and Corporate and Commercial Litigation and Counseling attorneys Philip Trainer, Jr. and Catherine A. Gaul represent Mr. Frankel in the Debtors’ bankruptcy proceedings.

Ashby & Geddes Defeats Expedited Motion to Disqualify Delaware Law Firm

Ashby & Geddes helped a major Delaware law firm defeat a motion to disqualify it during expedited litigation.  Working with the law firm’s general counsel, an A&G team helped to brief, and argued, the expedited motion in front of Delaware Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard.

Defendants in the case claimed that the law firm was conflicted because of work previously done for their financial consultant, and on September 29, 2017 they and the consultant filed a motion to disqualify the firm. A&G was asked to represent the law firm and together with the firm’s general counsel, working under an extremely expedited schedule, drafted and submitted a brief that vigorously disputed defendants’ claims.  Oral argument was held on October 11, 2017, just twelve days after the motion was filed.

On November 21, the Chancellor issued an opinion holding that (1) there was no implied attorney-client relationship between the law firm and the defendants; and (2) that defendants had failed to establish that the firm’s representation of the plaintiffs would prejudice the fairness of the proceedings, and accordingly denied the motion in its entirety. Dollar Tree, Inc. et al. v. Dollar Express LLC, et al. C.A. No 2017-0411-AGB, (Del. Ch. Nov. 21, 2017).