Leonetti

Kenneth S. Leonetti

Partner
Co-Chair, Bankruptcy & Restructuring Practice
Boston

I help clients navigate the complex world of bankruptcy and corporate restructuring, and am a zealous advocate for companies in high stakes litigation.

Kenneth Leonetti is a litigator and restructuring lawyer who focuses on bankruptcy and corporate reorganization; complex financial litigation; and trade secret, life sciences, licensing, and tech-related disputes in federal and state courts and arbitrations throughout the United States. He has been regularly recognized in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America and Massachusetts Super Lawyers for his expertise in bankruptcy and bankruptcy litigation.

Ken’s bankruptcy practice spans all phases of corporate restructuring and bankruptcy-related litigation. He has represented debtors, creditors’ committees, secured creditors and third parties in restructurings, workouts, liquidations and adversary proceedings, and works with clients both within and outside of formal bankruptcy proceedings. His public cases are primarily in the life sciences, healthcare and high technology industries, and include representing the debtors in Church Street Health Management, Radianse, Organogenesis and Charles River Hospital; creditors’ committees in Malden Mills Industries, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Palm Harbor One Development, New Seabury Properties and RJ Development; and strategic investors and/or major creditors in Liberty Healthcare, K-V Pharmaceuticals, GT Advanced Technologies, Scott Cable and Benchmark Electronics. Ken also counsels clients and private investors in distressed situations, and advises high tech, pharmaceutical and biotech clients on bankruptcy-related issues in intellectual property licenses and in acquiring technology-related assets from insolvent entities.

Ken’s litigation experience includes over 50 trials and arbitrations, and focuses on litigating complex financial matters, mergers and acquisition-related disputes, software implementation projects, disputes involving strategic alliances and licensing transactions, claims for trade secret misappropriation, and other high stakes litigation. His clients include public and private companies in the life sciences, high tech, software development, financial services, and manufacturing industries, as well as private equity, hedge funds, venture capital firms and other investment funds. Ken also has defended numerous public entities in land use and land valuation disputes, including the Massachusetts Port Authority, Mystic Valley Development Commission, City of Malden, Worcester Redevelopment Authority, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the City of Chelsea. He also has an active public and pro bono practice in his areas of emphasis, including representation of indigent individuals, victims of mortgage fraud and public interest organizations in bankruptcy-related matters.

From 2016-22, Ken was the firm’s Co-Managing Partner and was a member of the firm's Executive Committee for a decade. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Partnership, a Boston-based organization that works with corporations and other enterprises to attract, develop, and retain talented multicultural professionals at all levels of leadership, and on that organization’s Executive Committee.

Ken served as a Special Assistant District Attorney for Norfolk County, Massachusetts in 1999 and was the lead prosecutor in more than two dozen trials. Before joining Foley Hoag he was law clerk to the Honorable Charles P. Sifton, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. From 1988 to 1990, Ken was a management consultant with Strategic Planning Associates (now Mercer Management Consulting) in Washington, D.C., advising corporations on strategic, organizational and restructuring issues and specializing in the health care and telecommunications industries.

Education

  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, 1993
  • Dartmouth College, A.B., magna cum laude, with honors in History, 1988

Bar and Court Admissions

BAR ADMISSIONS
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
COURT ADMISSIONS
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Experience

BANKRUPTCY AND RESTRUCTURING PRACTICE
  • Represented the debtor in the following Chapter 11 cases:
    • In re Church Street Health Management. Served as special litigation counsel to the debtor, a national dental practice management company, in resolving mass tort and related-insurance coverage claims, in connection with Chapter 11 plan litigation. Case confirmed with dividend to several unsecured creditors and creation of litigation trust to channel tort claims.
    • In re Organogenesis, Inc. Represented the debtor, a biotechnology company, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Case confirmed with creditors receiving either stock equal to 100% of the reorganized debtor or a 35% cash dividend.
    • In re Radianse. Represented the debtor, a high tech company, in its Chapter 11 case. Successfully sold assets following creatively structured auction, which resulted in sufficient proceeds to pay 100% dividend to unsecured trade creditors. Settled related litigation against alleged secured creditor for zero dollars and no claim by creditor.
    • In re Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Co-counsel to debtor in its pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.
    • In re Charles River Hospital. Lead counsel to the debtor, a private psychiatric hospital. Managed sale of assets and wind-down of business.
  • Court-appointed Chapter 11 examiner in In re InfoMotion Sports Technologies
  • Represented the creditors committee in the following confirmed Chapter 11 cases:
    • In re Malden Mills Industries: Creditors received a combination of cash and stock equal to 20 - 25% of their claim.
    • In re Engage, Inc.: Creditors received a cash dividend equal to ~ 60% of their claim.
    • In re RJ Development: Creditors received a cash dividend in excess of 40% of their claim.
    • In re Palm Harbor One LLC: Successfully sold assets of failed real estate venture. Distribution and liquidation pending.
    • In re Trend-Lines: Creditors received 100% of the stock of the reorganized debtor.
    • In re East Boston Neighborhood Health Center: Creditors received a cash dividend of ~ 40% of their claim.
    • In re New Seabury Properties: Creditors received a cash dividend equal to 100% of their claim, plus interest.
  • Represented significant parties-in-interest in the following Chapter 11 cases:
    • Representing Anglo Irish Bank Corporation, the second largest bank in Ireland, in highly publicized bankruptcy proceedings involving its former CEO.
    • In re GT Advanced Technologies. Representing Dow Corning Corporation in patent and trade secret dispute with Chapter 11 debtor and reorganized debtor.
    • In re Liberty Healthcare. Obtained favorable court ruling on behalf of Arriva Medical, in preventing rejection of pre-petition option agreement and in compelling debtor’s conveyance of diabetes business to Arriva.
    • Fort Hill Partners. Represented the primary equity holders in the Chapter 11 case of One and Two International Place, the largest office buildings in downtown Boston, which resulted in the equity holders maintaining a substantial share of the reorganized debtors.
    • In re ACT Manufacturing, Inc. Represented Benchmark Electronics, Inc. in its $70 million acquisition and cross-border transaction of the majority of the assets of the debtor.
    • In re Henry Bushkin. Defending Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company in copyright litigation brought by Chapter 7 Trustee.
    • In re Scott Cable. Defended Media/Communications, LP, a technology-oriented private equity fund, in an adversary proceeding brought by the United States Government seeking recharacterization and equitable subordination of over $50 million in secured notes.
    • In re Madoff Securities. Currently defending numerous investors in defense of clawback actions brought by the Madoff Trustee.
  • Advised boards of directors and management of over 50 high technology, biotechnology and other venture-backed companies in insolvency and restructuring matters, including fiduciary duty issues, wind-downs, asset sales, secured party foreclosures and recapitalizations.
  • Regularly represent Boston-area venture capital and private equity funds in individual transactions acquiring assets of venture investments out of bankruptcy.
LIFE SCIENCES, TECHNOLOGY, LICENSING AND TRADE SECRET LITIGATION
  • Amyndas Pharmaceuticals v. Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Zealand Pharma, (D. Mass). Defending public life sciences company in litigation alleging theft of trade secrets and breach of contract regarding development of treatment for the complement system.
  • Jet2.com v. Sutra, Inc. (Mass. Super. Ct.: Bus. Litigation Session). Won summary judgment for a British airline in defense of a theft of trade secret counterclaim brought by the software developer of the client’s on-line airline reservation and booking system.
  • Consulting Engineering Corp. v. Geometric Software Solutions, Inc. (ED Va.). Defended India-based software developer in litigation brought by prospective business partner for breach of contract, theft of trade secrets and tortious interference with business relations. Won motion to dismiss and subsequent affirmance on appeal by Fourth Circuit.
  • Represented India-based global provider of IT and software based implementation solutions in defense of multi-million dollar arbitration brought by customer in dispute involving a complex CRM re-implementation project. Successfully defeated arbitration claim and won multi-million dollar counterclaim.
  • Represented and currently representing Massachusetts and California-based life sciences and biotechnology companies ranging from start-ups to public companies and multi-national corporations in disputes with strategic partners and competitors.
  • R.G. Barry v. Olivet Corp. (SD Ohio). Represented R.G. Barry, an Ohio-based manufacturer, in litigation alleging breach of exclusive trademark licensing agreement. After defeating the defendant’s summary judgment motion, the case settled.
  • Kuntz Manufacturing Co. v. Biosite Incorporated (CD Cal). Defended device manufacturer in litigation for theft of trade secrets, copyright infringement and breach of contract involving custom-designed manufacturing machine and software. Case settled before trial.
  • State of Florida v. 3BTV (Fla. Circuit Court), NFL v. PrimeTime 24 (SDNY) Represented a telecommunications company involved in an international copyright dispute with the NFL in federal court and the Second Circuit, and won a jury trial for an affiliated satellite provider in civil enforcement action brought by the Florida attorney general.
  • Neogen Corp. v. Ionian Technologies (W.D. Mich.). Defended California-based biotech company in breach of contract case seeking to compel defendant to grant an intellectual property license to the plaintiff. Case was settled shortly after motion to dismiss filed.
  • Trinity Biotech v. Wampole Labs (Mass. Super. Ct.). Represented device manufacturer in litigation for breach of exclusive supply and distribution agreement. Case settled after discovery.
  • Represented Cambridge-based software developer in arbitration brought by customer alleging failed software implementation project. Case settled.
COMPLEX FINANCIAL AND M&A LITIGATION
  • Triumph Capital v. Ascent Pediatrics (Mass. Super. Ct.:  Bus. Litigation Session). Won summary judgment for Ascent Pediatrics, a subsidiary of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, in litigation brought by a lender and investor alleging a $20+ million breach of a securities purchase agreement. Decision subsequently affirmed on appeal.
  • Highfields Capital v. SCOR, SA. (Mass. Super. Ct., Bus. Litigation Session). Obtained significant settlement for Highfields Capital, an investment fund, in Massachusetts state court litigation against SCOR, a French reinsurance company, alleging fraud, misrepresentation and unfair business practices in connection with an investment in an Irish reinsurer.
  • Represented Massachusetts-based medical device manufacturer in M&A litigation brought by competitor to enjoin acquisition on grounds of breach of right of first refusal. Successfully defeated preliminary injunction motion in federal district court and won arbitration trial.
  • Encite LLC v. Soni, et al. (Del. Chancery Ct.).  Defended Massachusetts based venture capital firm in defense of fiduciary duty litigation arising out of failed start-up, and in third party litigation brought against founder. Case dismissed against client after discovery concluded.
  • Cuming v. York Capital Management (D. Mass.). Represented New York-based investment fund and related entities in post-acquisition indemnification dispute. Won partial motion to dismiss. Case settled soon thereafter.
  • Successfully defended privately held specialty manufacturer in multi-million dollar post-acquisition working capital dispute with buyers.
  • Currently representing stockholder representatives in three post-closing working capital and indemnity disputes with buyers, and representing buyer in arbitration dispute over indemnities and milestones.
  • Representing national drug testing clinic in $20+ million post-acquisition dispute with sellers.
OTHER SIGNIFICANT LITIGATION MATTERS
  • Revere w. Mass. Gaming Commission (Mass. Super. Ct.). Represented Mohegan Sun Massachusetts in suit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission challenging award of Region A gaming license.
  • CTC Communications Group, Inc. v. Fabbricatore, et al. (D. Mass, D. Del). Successfully defended a start-up telecommunications company against lawsuits in Delaware and Massachusetts federal courts brought by a competitor alleging unfair competition, tortious interference with business relations, breach of contract and theft of trade secrets. Successfully defeated preliminary injunction motion, which was affirmed on appeal. Case was ultimately dismissed by the plaintiff.
  • Alere, Inc. and Arriva Medical v. Wallace (Mass. Super. Ct.). Represented plaintiffs medical device manufacturer and medical supply fulfillment company in claim for breach of non-compete provisions by selling stockholders.

Publications

  • Kenneth Leonetti and Euripides Dalmanieras, Procedural Issues in Bankruptcy Appeals (American Bankruptcy Institute Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, July 2008)
  • Kenneth Leonetti, The Bear Stearns Crisis: Who is Next?, THE BUYOUT OF BEAR STEARNS: AN IMMEDIATE LOOK AT THE LEGAL, GOVERNMENTAL, AND ECONOMIC RAMIFICATIONS OF BEAR STEARNS' BANKRUPTCY (Thomson/Aspatore, 2008)
  • Kenneth Leonetti, Successor Liability Following Asset Sales in Bankruptcy (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 2006)
  • Kenneth Leonetti and Joshua McGuire, Now You See It; Now You Don’t: Recharacterization and Equitable Subordination (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 2004)
  • Kenneth Leonetti and Jessica Silbey, Dischargeability and Claims for Contribution and Indemnification (Boston Bar Association Environmental Issues in Bankruptcy Conference, June 2003)
  • Kenneth Leonetti and Adam Weisberger, Current Issues in Director and Officer Liability (Boston Bar Association, Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference, May 2002)
  • Andrew Schwartz and Kenneth Leonetti, Recent Developments in Valuation (ABI Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, July 2000)

Honors & Involvement

HONORS
  • Listed in MASSACHUSETTS SUPER LAWYERS
  • Ranked by CHAMBERS USA: AMERICA'S LEADING LAWYERS FOR BUSINESS as one of Massachusetts' leading bankruptcy lawyers (2010-2022)
  • Named BEST LAWYERS’ Boston Litigation - Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year (2015)
  • Listed in THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA
INVOLVEMENT
  • The Partnership, Board of Directors
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Chair, Practice and Procedure Committee, Section on Bankruptcy Law
  • Bankruptcy Law Section Diversity Task Force
  • Annual Meeting Steering Committee
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Member
  • Turnaround Management Association, Member
  • Youth Advocacy Center, Board of Advisors

Speaking Engagements

  • Dealing with Financial Distress for Cannabis Companies," Foley Hoag Webinar (June 2020)
  • Panelist, Distressed M&A in 2020, New England M&A Forum, February 2020 
  • Massachusetts Cities in Court Over Wynn Casino License, NECN Business, September 2015, view interview here.
  • Panelist, (with Judges Joan Feeney and Frank Bailey), Evidence Workshop, American Bankruptcy Institute, Northeast Conference, July 2009
  • Panelist (with Judges Thomas Hardiman and Jim Haines), Institute, Northeast Conference, July 2008
  • Panelist, Business Case Update: Decisions Under BAPCPA Affecting Businesses and Chapter 11 Cases, American Bankruptcy Institute, Northeast Conference, July 2006
  • Speaker, Current Developments in Bankruptcy, Massachusetts Bankers Association, April 2009
  • Panelist, Recent Developments in Chapter 11 Cases, 2004 Bankruptcy Law Conference, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, October 2004
  • Panelist, Creditors Committee Formation Issues, American Bankruptcy Institute, Northeast Conference, July 2004
  • Speaker, Environmental Issues in Bankruptcy, Boston Bar Association Conference, June 2003
  • Speaker (with Judge Joel Rosenthal), Current Issues in Director and Officer Liability, Boston Bar Association, Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference, May 2002
  • Panelist, Bankruptcy and Intellectual Property: Article 9 Issues in Intellectual Property Licenses, Boston Bar Association Conference, April 2001