Gray, Jr.

William Gray, Jr.

Partner
New York

I have been helping clients successfully navigate restructuring and bankruptcy situations for more than forty years. Working both sides of the aisle has added perspective to my experience.

Bill Gray, Jr. has represented financial institutions, debtors and creditors, buyers and sellers of distressed assets, DIP lenders and providers of exit financing, and official and unofficial committees. His experience covers diverse businesses and individuals. He regularly advise officers and directors of companies in distress. Bill believes in proactive counselling to mitigate insolvency risks and maximize asset recoveries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted substantial work for companies dealing with the extraordinary demands of lockdowns, an international health crisis, emergency government financing, and a rapid transformation of the nature of business and work. These efforts have been focused on mid-sized businesses, particularly in the hospitality, construction, manufacturing, and professional services sectors. The key to restructuring advice, as has been true through challenging business cycles always, is to be grounded in the practical realities and concerns of my clients while being flexible and adaptive to changing conditions and circumstances.

Reflecting the nature of today’s business world, Bill’s practice is international. During the 2010s, he represented the US Nortel companies in their cross-border restructuring efforts here, in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has been involved defending various parties in cross-border fraudulent conveyance actions. During the financial crises of 2008 and the succeeding years, Bill advised a number of financial institutions with regard to their lending relationships, brokerage and security agreements, and other transactional arrangements with troubled U.S. financial institutions, including Lehman Brothers, AIG and Bear Stearns.

During the dot.com crisis and the meltdown of the telecommunication industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Bill advised troubled companies, or their investors. He was heavily involved on behalf of major financial institutions in a number of restructuring matters arising out of the collapse of the Russian economy in 1998. In the 1980s and 90s he expended  significant time representing debtors using Chapter 11 to deal with mass tort liabilities, regulatory issues, or plain old financial distress. As different and difficult as many of these representations have been, the “North Star” of his efforts has been a dedication to serving the client’s needs and providing the best legal advice possible.

Education

  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1980
  • Columbia University, B.A., 1977

Bar and Court Admissions

BAR ADMISSIONS
  • New York

COURT ADMISSIONS
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • US Court of Appeals Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals Third Circuit

Experience

  • Nortel U.S. group of companies on numerous insolvency and litigation issues relating to its cross-border restructuring under the CCAA and Chapter 11, the sales of its business and assets in a series of auctions, and the global settlement of the disputes over apportionment of more than $7 billion of assets
  • Compass Partners in its acquisition of the intellectual property and other assets of The Big Apple Circus through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction
  • The New York Power Authority regarding its claims in the Sun Edison Chapter 11 case
  • Multiple Canadian pension funds in defense of allegations of constructive fraudulent conveyance claims in Tribune Company’s Chapter 11 case
  • Cosmetic Essence, the fragrance and packaging company, in its out-of-court debt restructuring and equity recapitalization
  • A private equity fund on the acquisition of a portfolio of distressed investments
  • The U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese shipping and logistics company regarding its distressed trucking business, including advice on substantive consolidation and other issues relating to insulating the company from bankruptcy risk

Honors & Involvement

HONORS
  • Turnaround Management Association’s Merger & Acquisition Award in the individual consumer category for The Big Apple Circus (2018)
  • Global Restructuring Review’s International Restructuring Deal of the Year Award for Nortel Networks Inc. (2017)
  • Super Lawyers Magazine—Leading lawyer in bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights (2006-2019)