Douglas Mannal focuses his practice on financial restructuring, representing a diverse range of clients in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings and other distressed situations. Mr. Mannal’s clients include ad hoc creditor groups, creditors’ committees, major secured and unsecured creditors, as well as debtors, bank agents and financial institutions.

Throughout his career, Mr. Mannal has led numerous representations of creditors in high-profile Chapter 11 cases, most recently acting for the official unsecured creditors’ committees in the Chapter 11 cases of Gulfport Energy Corporation, Frontier Communications, Bristow Helicopters, California Resources, RAIT Funding LLC, Seadrill Ltd., CHC Group Ltd. and Arch Coal Inc.  In addition, recent ad hoc creditor group representations include groups in the Chapter 11 cases of Alpha Media, McClatchy Newspapers, Bristow Helicopters and Nine West.

On behalf of creditors, Mr. Mannal has designed, implemented and negotiated numerous litigation-focused strategies aimed at maximizing creditor recoveries. His practice includes proposing and confirming plans of reorganization; investigating and prosecuting viable estate causes of action; negotiating intercreditor disputes; crafting cash collateral orders, debtor-in-possession/exit financing packages and creditor-sponsored equity rights offerings; challenging confirmation of nonconsensual plans; and terminating exclusivity to propose alternative creditor-sponsored plans, all with the goal of significantly increasing creditors’ returns. He also often advises hedge funds and financial institutions regarding investments in distressed companies with complex corporate and capital structures, including in the purchase and sale of bank and bond debt, trade claims, and derivatives.

On the debtor side, Mr. Mannal counsels distressed businesses in navigating the complex legal, financial and operational issues that arise from filing for Chapter 11 reorganization. His debtor-focused experience includes obtaining debtor-in-possession financing, negotiating forbearance agreements, achieving support from trade vendors, conducting sales of nonessential business lines, and negotiating plans of reorganization with secured lenders, creditors’ committees and other stakeholders.

Described as a “force of nature and a zealous advocate for his client’s position,” Mr. Mannal is a highly- respected, leading bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer in Chambers USA, where he has been consistently ranked for the past 10 years. He is further described as “incredibly intelligent,” “an adept architect of the restructuring process” and able to “navigate dicey situations to positive outcomes.” Among his other recognitions, Turnarounds & Workouts named him among the “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers” for 2020 and 2017 and Lawdragon 500 ranks him among “Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers” and “Leading Global Restructuring and Insolvency Lawyers.” He was previously regarded as a rising star for bankruptcy by some of the most prominent legal and industry publications, including Turnaround and Workouts and Law360.

Key Matters

  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Gulfport Energy Corporation, in connection with its successful Chapter 11 restructuring. 
  • An ad hoc group of lenders, including Intermediate Capital Group, in the successful Chapter 11 restructuring of Alpha Media, an operator of more than 200 radio stations around the United States.
  • Brigade Capital Management LP in a joint bid with Chatham Asset Management LP, in connection with the Chapter 11 restructuring of McClatchy, which publishes 30 newspapers, including the Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star and the Sacramento Bee, valued at US$350 million.
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Frontier Communications Corporation in connection with its successful Chapter 11 restructuring. 
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of California Resources in connection with the successful Chapter 11 restructuring.
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Bristow Group Inc., one of the world's leading industrial aviation service providers, in connection with the company’s successful Chapter 11 restructuring.
  • Brigade Capital Management in connection with their interest in the Chapter 11 cases of footwear and apparel retailer Nine West Holdings Inc. and some if its subsidiaries.
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Seadrill Ltd., one of the world's largest offshore drilling companies. Burdened by more than US$8 billion of financial debt, the company sought Chapter 11 protection in Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on Sept. 12, 2017. 
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of CHC Group Ltd., the largest commercial helicopter service provider primarily servicing the oil and gas industry.

Includes matters handled at Dechert and prior to joining the firm.

    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy cases of Arch Coal, Inc. and its direct and indirect debtor subsidiaries, the second-largest holder of coal reserves in the United States.
    • An ad hoc group of institutions holding more than US$4 billion in first lien bonds issued by Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (owner and operator of Caesars Palace and 30 other casinos and resorts under the Bally’s, Harrah’s and Horseshoe brands, among others) in connection with a potential restructuring of the company and related litigation.
    • American Capital Ltd., as agent and lender, in connection with an out-of-court restructuring of approximately US$34 million in first lien loans and approximately US$111 million in second lien loans to Neways, a Utah-based international multilevel marketer of beauty and nutritional products.
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, managing a multifaceted representation of creditors with divergent interests and claims against the company and its parent, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC). Doug helped create a strategy and framework for the global resolution of US$10 billion in claims, including representation and warranty, breach of contract, securities fraud and other general unsecured claims against the company. Mr. Mannal coordinated an extensive investigation of the relationship between the company and Ally Financial, which resulted in a settlement pursuant to which Ally Financial paid US$2.1 billion to the company for the benefit of its creditors. Following Residential Capital’s emergence from bankruptcy, he led the representation of the liquidating trust in connection with pursuit of certain affirmative litigation, general corporate matters and resolution of remaining claims.
    • General Maritime Corp., one of the largest shipping companies to ever file for bankruptcy, in structuring a US$75 million DIP facility and negotiating a restructuring support agreement with secured creditors that contemplated a US$175 million new capital infusion. General Maritime, the secured creditors, the creditors’ committee and certain large noteholders ultimately reached an agreement on the terms of a fully consensual plan of reorganization, and the company emerged from bankruptcy as a going concern, having eliminated approximately US$600 million of financial debt and US$42 million in annual interest expense.
    • American Capital Ltd., the largest creditor and bank agent, in connection with a US$140 million debtor-in-possession financing and successful restructuring of one of the nation’s largest catalog retailers.
    • The first lien lender, Plainfield Asset Management, as the largest secured creditor in the bankruptcy case of Wolverine Tube, a global manufacturer of copper and copper alloy tube and metal joining products. Also assisted Plainfield leadership in the plan process, which led to a successful restructuring of the company’s more than US$300 million of indebtedness. 
    • The Official Creditors Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, the second-largest manufacturer of paperboard and paper-based packaging products in North America (approximately US$7.450 billion in assets and US$5.582 billion in liabilities at the time the company filed Chapter 11). Also assisted in the negotiation of a very successful plan that allocated 95.5 percent of Smurfit-Stone’s equity to unsecured creditors, essentially paying the unsecured claims in full.
    • An ad hoc group of bondholders and lenders of US$206 million in DIP financing to AbitibiBowater Inc., the world’s largest producer of newsprint by capacity and one of the largest publicly traded pulp and paper manufacturers in the world, in connection with their successful Chapter 11 restructuring.
    • An ad hoc group of secured lenders in a contested “credit” bid by the first lien agent, in connection with the 363 sale of White Birch, the second-largest producer of newsprint in North America.
    • The first lien agent in connection with an out-of-court restructuring for leading magazine and media company, Alpha Media, which involved the conversion of first lien debt into new debt and equity of the reorganized company.
    • BNP Paribas as first lien agent in connection with restructuring of first and second lien facilities for Legacy Cabinets.
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy of Dura Automotive Systems, Inc., a leading independent designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating control systems, glass systems, engineered assemblies, structural door modules and exterior trim systems for the global automotive and recreations and specialty vehicle industries. At the time it sought the protection of the bankruptcy court in October 2006, it had annual sales in excess of US$2.3 billion and approximately US$1 billion of outstanding unsecured debt obligations.
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Dana Corp. in the reorganization of a leading supplier of automotive parts to every major vehicle producer in the world, which involved numerous issues impacting creditor recovery and the ability of Dana to successfully reorganize, including the large-scale divestitures of unprofitable business segments, pension and other post-retirement medical benefits, intercompany claims, the appropriateness of restrictions on trading securities to preserve Dana’s NOL, potential asbestos liabilities, negotiations with customers and suppliers, and other issues common to automotive suppliers.
    • The Official Equity Committee in the bankruptcy of W.R. Grace, a leading specialty chemicals and materials company, in which key issues included the valuation and treatment of present and future asbestos claims, assisting in the negotiation of a reorganization and defending it on appeal to the district court and the 3rd Circuit, which paved the way for a substantial distribution to equity holders.

    Includes matters handled at Dechert and prior to joining the firm.

    • Successfully represented 2178 Atlantic Avenue HDFC pro bono in its Chapter 11 case, ensuring occupants of the building could remain. The matter was recognized by Turnarounds & Workouts Magazine as “Pro Bono Deal of the Year” in 2021.
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring – New YorkChambers USA (2013 – 2022)
    • Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring LawyersLawdragon 500 (2021 – 2022)
    • Leading Global Restructuring and Insolvency LawyersLawdragon 500 (2020)
    • Outstanding Restructuring LawyersTurnarounds & Workouts (2020, 2017)
    • Update on Liability Management Transactions 2023 Dechert Distressed Investing Forum, Dechert LLP – New York, NY (November 1, 2023)
    • Advanced DIP Topics — New York City Bankruptcy Conference, American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) – New York, NY (May 24, 2023)
    • Creditor or Prey: A Discussion of Intercreditor Treatment in Restructuring Transactions — 2022 Dechert Distressed Investing Forum, Dechert LLP – New York, NY (October 27, 2022)
    • From Liability Management to Lender-on-Lender Violence — 2022 Distressed Investing Conference, New York, NY (November 28, 2022)
    • United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York, Honorable Conrad B. Duberstein