Gordon Novod heads Grant & Eisenhofer’s bankruptcy and distressed litigation practice. He has 20 years of experience representing ad hoc and official committees, distressed investors, lenders, litigation trustees, indenture trustees, trade creditors, and other parties in some of the most complex landmark restructurings and in litigation matters.
Mr. Novod’s practice focuses on representing litigation trustees as well as institutional investors in litigation matters involving, among other things, bankruptcy avoidance, as well as non-bankruptcy fraudulent transfer, fiduciary duty, unlawful dividend, and corporate governance. He has extensive experience litigating issues related to corporate debt securities in default and distressed situations, including exchange transactions, redemptions, and the Trust Indenture Act. In the bankruptcy context, he has litigated all aspects of Chapter 11 plans of reorganization, valuation, and plan confirmation proceedings, contested debtor-in-possession financing and cash collateral use, the pursuit of fraudulent transfer actions, and other matters involving bankruptcy-related litigation.
Mr. Novod prides himself on providing high quality advocacy to clients, keeping their business objectives in mind. He is able to grasp complex legal and business issues in order to craft and implement innovative yet practical solutions to maximize value for clients.
Mr. Novod has been acknowledged for his work as a restructuring attorney on numerous occasions. In 2011, he was named on Law360’s list of “Rising Stars” in restructuring, recognizing him as “one of the five bankruptcy attorneys under 40 to watch.” He was also named a finalist in the M&A Advisor’s “40 under 40.” The following year, he was recognized as a winner of the 2012 40 Under 40 East M&A Advisor Recognition Awards and selected for inclusion to the New York Super Lawyers list of “Rising Stars” for Bankruptcy. From 2013 to 2021, he was selected to New York Metro Super Lawyers’ list for Bankruptcy. In addition, he has served on the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization.
Mr. Novod’s “first chair” trial and appellate work have resulted in opinions of high precedential value, including (among numerous others):
- Halperin v. Richards, et al., 7 F.4th 534, Case No. 20-2793, 2021 WL 3184305 (7th Cir. July 28, 2021). Mr. Novod represented Halperin and Gene Davis, as the Co-Trustees of the Appvion Liquidating Trust, securing reversal of the District Court’s dismissal of the liquidating trustee’s claims against the Appvion debtors’ former directors and officers. Significantly, the Seventh Circuit held that ERISA does not preempt claims asserted by a liquidating trustee against a debtor’s former directors and officers for damages for harm to the debtor’s corporate enterprise and its creditors.
- AMCO Insurance Company, et al. v. CoBank, ACB, No. 16-cv-4422-LTS-SLC, 2021 WL 4340540 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 2021). Mr. Novod secured a win on summary judgement as to liability in a breach of contract action brought by G&E’s thirty-seven (37) institutional investor clients regarding their $304 million principal amount (constituting 75%) of 7.875% Subordinated Notes issued by CoBank following CoBank’s redemption of those notes prior to maturity. This victory is significant insofar as it permitted institutional investors to recover damages from a bond issuer that breached the contractual terms upon which the bonds were issued. Mr. Novod subsequently achieved a confidential resolution of the dispute on behalf of G&E’s clients.
- Diverse Partners, LP and Troy Bank & Trust Company v. AgriBank, FCB, No. 16-CV-9526, 2017 WL 4119649 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 14, 2017). Mr. Novod secured the denial of AgriBank’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract action brought by the proposed class plaintiff arising from AgriBank’s redemption of $500 million principal amount of 9.125% Subordinated Notes issued by AgriBank following AgriBank’s redemption of those notes prior to maturity. Mr. Novod ultimately achieved a confidential resolution of the dispute on behalf of the Plaintiffs as well as an ad hoc group collectively holding $329 million (constituting 66%) of the 9.125% Notes. This decision is significant insofar as the Court refused to dismiss the action because Plaintiffs were the beneficial owner of 9.125% Notes and not the holder of the Global Note.
Mr. Novod’s bankruptcy and distressed litigation highlights include:
- In re Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, et al.; Danner v. Caesars Entertainment Corporation, et al., Mr. Novod represented the lead plaintiff in a proposed class action against Caesars Entertainment Corp., et al., relating to a series of transactions that attempted to eliminate a parent guarantee. Mr. Novod was deeply involved in the bankruptcy proceedings and related litigation in furtherance of the interests of its client and the class of noteholders. Mr. Novod ultimately achieved a settlement that provided improved bankruptcy plan treatment for the lead plaintiff and absent class members totaling between $14.7 million and $33 million.
- Mr. Novod also represented the litigation trustee of Refco Group Ltd. in litigation against Cantor Fitzgerald, LP, et al. That litigation involved allegations that Cantor Fitzgerald deprived Refco of assets under a partnership interest. G&E ultimately achieved a confidential settlement of the action.
- In In re Exco Resources, Inc., et al., Mr. Novod represented Highbridge Capital Management; MSF International Ltd. and 1992 Tactical Credit Master Fund, L.P. as 1.75 Lien Lenders and 2nd Lien Lenders in the Exco Resources bankruptcy cases. Mr. Novod represented Highbridge in the bankruptcy court in connection with plan of reorganization- related matters and at plan-related mediation. Highbridge ultimately supported Exco’s plan of reorganization, resolving the dispute for Highbridge.
Mr. Novod’s prominent engagements include:
- The Appvion Liquidating Trust (in litigation against the debtors’ former directors, officers and others)
- The GCX Limited Liquidating Trust (in litigation against the debtors’ former directors and officers)
- The High Ridge Brands Liquidating Trust (in litigation against the debtors’ former directors, sponsor, and sponsor-affiliated lender)
- The GBG USA Litigation Trust
- The Refco Litigation Trust
- The Synergy Pharmaceuticals Litigation Trust
- Diverse Partners LP, et al. v. AgriBank, FCB (plaintiffs and ad hoc noteholder committee)
- AMCO Ins. Co., et al v. CoBank, ACB (plaintiffs and ad hoc noteholder committee)
- Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc. (unsecured noteholder and proposed class representative)
- Erin Energy Corp. (state court litigant and special counsel to a Chapter 7 trustee)
- Exco Resources, Inc. (secured lender)
- ShengdaTech, Inc. (ad hoc noteholder committee)
- Chesapeake Energy Corp. (unsecured noteholders and proposed class representatives)
- Cliffs Natural Resources (unsecured noteholders and proposed class representatives)
- Vanguard Natural Resources (unsecured noteholders and proposed class representatives)
- Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (state court litigant)
- CJ Holding, Co. (state court litigant)
- SunEdison, Inc. (state court litigant)
- Tribune Company** (indenture trustee and member of the creditors’ committee)
- Central European Distribution Corporation** (ad hoc committee of convertible noteholders)
- Lyondell Chemical Company** (creditors’ committee)
- Herbst Gaming, Inc.** (creditors’ committee)
- Lehman Brothers** (ad hoc consortium of claimholders of Lehman Brothers Special Financing, Inc.)
- Green Valley Ranch Gaming, LLC** (ad hoc committee of second lien lenders)
- Palm Harbor Homes, Inc.** (indenture trustee and member of the creditors’ committee)
- Equisearch Services, Inc.** (trade creditor)
- General Motors Corporation** (n/k/a Motors Liquidation Company) (creditors’ committee)
- Charter Communications, Inc.** (ad hoc first lien lenders)
- Bridgeport Holdings, Inc.** (f/k/a Micro Warehouse, Inc.) (debtors)
- Midway Games, Inc.** (secured lender)
- Bethlehem Steel Corp.** (creditors’ committee)
- WCI Steel, Inc.** (ad hoc noteholders’ committee and indenture trustee)
- Delphi Corp.** (trade creditor and member of the creditors’ committee)
- Grace Industries, Inc.** (creditors’ committee)
- Wave Wireless Corp.** (secured lender)
- Diomed, Inc.** (licensor and chairman of the creditors’ committee)
- TransCare Corp.** (creditors’ committee)
- Buffets Holdings, Inc.** (ad hoc noteholders’ committee)
- ASARCO LLC** (majority noteholders)
- WestPoint Stevens, Inc.** (second lien agent)
** denotes Mr. Novod’s representations prior to joining G&E
Mr. Novod has been a featured panelist and/or moderator on topics involving distressed situations, indenture litigation, indenture analysis, and fraudulent conveyance litigation, including:
- Presenter, “Decoding the Texas Two-Step from a Plaintiff’s Perspective,” Grant & Eisenhofer Webinar (May 3, 2022)
- Presenter, “Business Interruption Insurance Claims in Bankruptcy; An Unappreciated Asset Class for Debtors and Creditors,” Grant & Eisenhofer Webinar (March 9, 2021)
- Presenter, “Current Issues in Fraudulent Transfer Law,” Grant & Eisenhofer Webinar (October 14, 2020)
- Discussion Leader, “In Pari Delicto under U.S. Law,” Institutional Investor Educational Foundation – Grand Cayman Roundtable (February 12, 2020)
- Discussion Leader, “Minority Rights: Strategies for Protecting your rights with respect to Loans, Bonds and Common Shares,” Institutional Investor Educational Foundation – Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable (October 25, 2019)
- Discussion Leader, “In Pari Delicto,” Institutional Investor Educational Foundation – Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable (October 25, 2019)
- Discussion Leader, “Director Duties in Restructurings,” Institutional Investor Educational Foundation – Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable (November 30, 2018)
- Moderator, “Current Issues in Bankruptcy & Antitrust,” Institutional Investor Educational Foundation – 17us Global Shareholder Activism Conference (November 30 - December 1, 2017)
- Speaker, “Out-of-Court Restructuring and the Trust Indenture Act,” Institutional Investor Legal Forum Fall 2016 Roundtable (October 28, 2016)
- Discussion Leader, “E&P Restructurings - A Landscape Unlike Traditional Restructurings,” Institutional Investor Educational Foundation - Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable (October 6, 2016)
- Discussion Leader, “Fraudulent Conveyance Actions, the Trust Indenture Act and No Action Clauses - New Rights for Bondholders?” Institutional Investor Educational Foundation - Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable (October 21, 2015)
Mr. Novod’s select publications include:
Prior to joining G&E, Mr. Novod was a partner in the bankruptcy & corporate restructuring group at Brown Rudnick in New York. He also formerly practiced in the corporate restructuring and bankruptcy group at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.
Mr. Novod received his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, and his B.A. from Emory University.