Robert A. Klyman is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Co-Chair of Gibson Dunn's Business Restructuring and Reorganization Practice Group. Mr. Klyman represents debtors, acquirers, lenders and boards of directors. His experience includes advising debtors in connection with traditional, prepackaged and "pre-negotiated" bankruptcies; representing lenders and other creditors in complex workouts; counseling strategic and financial players who acquire debt or provide financing as a path to take control of companies in bankruptcy; structuring and implementing numerous asset sales through Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code; and litigating complex bankruptcy and commercial matters arising in chapter 11 cases, both at trial and on appeal.
Mr. Klyman has been widely and regularly recognized for his debtor and lender work as a leading bankruptcy and restructuring attorney by Chambers USA; named as one of the world's leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers by Euromoney; listed in the K&A Restructuring Register, a leading peer review listing, as one of the top 100 restructuring professionals in the United States; named as a "Top Bankruptcy M&A Lawyer" by The Deal's Bankruptcy Insider; named as one of the 12 outstanding bankruptcy lawyers in the nation under the age of 40 (in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004) by Turnarounds & Workouts; and one of "20 lawyers under 40" to watch in California by the Daily Journal. Mr. Klyman was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights.
Mr. Klyman developed, and for the past 17 years co-taught, a case study for the Harvard Business School on prepackaged bankruptcies and bankruptcy valuation issues. He has also taught classes on dealmaking in the bankruptcy courts at the University of Michigan Business School and UCLA Law School. Mr. Klyman is also a member of the ABA Subcommittee responsible for drafting a Model Bankruptcy Asset Purchase Agreement.
Mr. Klyman received both his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1989 and his B.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1986.
Mr. Klyman is admitted to the California Bar. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Klyman was a partner at the firm of Latham & Watkins for more than 17 years.
Mr. Klyman's representative transactions include:*
- The Sports Authority (a leading sport goods retailer with 425 leases and more than $1 billion in debt) as debtor in its bankruptcy case (currently pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware).
- Freedom Communications (the owner of more than 70 newspapers and television stations) as debtor in its bankruptcy case (restructured approximately US$1.1 billion in debt).
- Leap Wireless Communications, Inc. as debtor in its bankruptcy case (restructured approximately US$2.6 billion in debt).
- A major Atlantic City hotel and casino company as debtor in its bankruptcy case (restructured approximately US$1.5 billion in debt).
- An international lender in its US$3 billion rescue financing loan to the CIT Group, Inc.
- A major Indian bank in the restructure of its loan to a US manufacturing facility through a US bankruptcy proceeding.
- US Airways, in its acquisition of American Airlines through a plan of reorganization.
- Natrol (an international vitamin manufacturer and distributor) in the sale of its assets to Aurobindo Pharma for US$132.5 million plus assumed liabilities.
- Frontline Ltd., the largest shipping company in the world, in the acquisition of one of its biggest competitors through a plan of reorganization.
- Greystar Real Estate Partners in its acquisition of a 222-unit condominium complex through a chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
- Foster Farms, in its acquisition of a chicken rendering plant from Pilgrims' Pride through a 363 asset sale.
- Other acquisitions through plans of reorganization and 363 asset sales, including Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, a grocery store chain with more than US$2 billion of debt, the Fresh & Easy Grocery Store Company, Allied Holdings, Inc., the largest car and truck hauler in North America, and OCZ Technology Group, a leading flash drive manufacturer.
Mr. Klyman also has extensive litigation experience at trial and on appeal, including:
- Successfully serving as lead trial attorney in contested confirmation hearings and other contested matters;
- Successfully representing boards of directors in a wide range of industries against claims for breach of fiduciary duties; and
- Obtaining a total defense verdict in the precedent setting trial – and successfully handling the Third Circuit Court of Appeal argument – involving subordination and recharacterization of loans and damages for breach of fiduciary duty(In re Submicron Corporation, 432 F.3d 448 (3d Cir. 2006)).
* Includes matters handled prior to joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP