Oscar Garza, a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Orange County and Los Angeles offices, joined the firm in 1990. He is a member of the Business Restructuring and Reorganization Practice Group (and was a former co-chair of the restructuring group), Transnational Litigation and Latin America Practice Groups.
Mr. Garza’s restructuring practice involves representing debtors, creditors’ committees, and secured creditors in chapter 11 cases, advising buyers and sellers of the assets of financially distressed companies, and representing Bankruptcy Trustees in complex cases.
Mr. Garza’s transnational litigation practice is currently focused on leading and coordinating the defense against recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments with significant emphasis in defending actions in Latin America. He is also advising on litigation strategy for multinational corporations involved in litigation within Latin America.
Mr. Garza has played a key role in some significant restructuring cases, including the following representations:
- He is currently main counsel to the Chandler Trusts in various litigation arising out of the Tribune Company chapter 11 cases pending in the Southern District of New York;
- He was debtor’s counsel to the “PropCo Debtors” (FCP PropCo, LLC, FCP MezzCo Borrowers I – V, LLC), in the Station Casinos, Inc. chapter 11 cases filed in Reno, Nevada;
- He was main counsel to the Chapter 7 Trustee in the cases of Commercial Money Center, Inc., and Commercial Servicing Company pending in San Diego, CA, which included (i) resolving a multitude of issues via a forty (40) party settlement that resulted in full payment of trade creditors; and (ii) for purposes of avoidance, recharacterizing a $47 million sale of receivables as a loan and arguing to properly identify collateral under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code before the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel in NetBank, FSB v. Kipperman (In re Commercial Money Center, Inc.);
- He was main counsel to Crown EMAK, LLC, the holder of preferred stock and co-proponent of a plan of reorganization that was confirmed (June 2011) in the case of EMAK Worldwide, Inc. and EMAK Service Corp;
- He was main counsel to the purchaser of the senior secured creditors (owed in excess of $330 million) of the Japanese owner of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa, Azabu Buildings Company, LTD., in its chapter 11 case pending in Honolulu, HI and related insolvency proceeding in Tokyo, Japan.Defending the senior secured creditors in an equitable subordination (§ 510(c)) adversary complaint and, eventually, obtaining a full recovery by the senior secured creditor;
- He was prepetition and debtor’s counsel to ResMAE Mortgage Corporation in its sale through a plan of reorganization in ResMAE’s chapter 11 case pending in Delaware;
- He was counsel to the independent members of the board of directors of New Century Financial Corp. in the chapter 11 cases filed with its various affiliated entities pending in Delaware;
- He was counsel to Wells Fargo Bank, as the senior secured creditor collateralized by the Santa Anita Raceway, in the Magna Entertainment Corp, Inc. chapter 11 cases pending in Delaware;
- He was counsel to Ameristar Casinos in its purchase of the Mountain High Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado from Windsor Woodmont Black Hawk Resort Corp, a chapter 11 debtor, through a plan of reorganization and was counsel to Convergent Communications, Inc. in its acquisition of substantially all the assets of TIE/Communications, Inc. and Paramount Petroleum Oil as the stalking horse bidder for substantially all the assets of Golden Bear Oil Specialties Inc.;
- He was debtors’ counsel to House2Home, Inc. and E-M-Solutions, Inc. (each with debts in excess of $400 million), MicroAge, Inc., and CollegeClub.com in their chapter 11 cases in Santa Ana, CA, Oakland, CA, Phoenix, AZ and San Diego, CA respectively; and
- He was counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Lyons Restaurants, Inc. chapter 11 case in San Francisco.
Mr. Garza co-authored articles on break-up fees for asset purchasers in chapter 11 cases in The Daily Deal and the California Bankruptcy Journal as well as an article in the Los Angeles Daily Journal on how the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 may change the sale of lease “designation rights.” He has been (i) named as one of California’s leading lawyers in business and restructuring by Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers (2007 – 2015); (ii) recognized by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law from 2006 – 2019 (including being named Orange County Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015 and Orange County Litigation – Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year in 2014 and 2016 – 2019); (iii) named as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights (2007 – 2015); and (iv) in 2000 he was named by Global Insolvency & Restructuring Review as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” international restructuring professionals.
Mr. Garza obtained his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law, where he was a member of the Arizona Law Review, and he currently serves on the board of visitors for the law school. He is and has been a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy law and practice.