Donald Bernstein

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Mr. Bernstein, chairman of Davis Polk’s Insolvency and Restructuring Group, is globally recognized as among the small group of leading insolvency lawyers in the world. His practice includes representing debtors, creditors, liquidators, receivers and acquirers in major corporate restructurings and insolvency proceedings, as well as advising financial institutions and other clients regarding credit risks involved in derivatives, securities transactions, and other domestic and international financial transactions.

Lisa Schweitzer

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Lisa Schweitzer’s practice focuses on financial restructuring, bankruptcy, insolvency and commercial litigation. She has advised clients in some of the most high-profile bankruptcy matters in North America, and her work repeatedly has been recognized by the business and legal press. Among her many highlights, Lisa is lead US restructuring counsel to Nortel Networks Inc. and affiliates in their US Chapter 11 proceedings.


9.00: Welcome coffee and registration 

9.30: Chairs’ welcome

Donald Bernstein, Davis Polk & Wardwell 
Lisa Schweitzer, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

9.40: Session one: Pre-packs – the international angle

Pre-packaging of a bankruptcy filing has proven a useful tool in the US, widely used by large US law firms to shorten proceeding times, cut costs, and avoid some of the damage usually caused by a bankruptcy. But what are pre-pack structures like in the rest of the world? How are they viewed? And how does one navigate pre-filing place to place?

This panel will look at the following with an international eye:

  • Is it really possible to “pre-package” a binding restructuring in key jurisdictions around the world?
  • How does one organise a pre-pack outside the US, and what are the most significant differences from the US approach? Are there any universal underlying characteristics and principles that apply everywhere?
  • How does the approach to moratorium vary from place to place?
  • What jurisdictions haven’t adopted pre-pack procedures but have different devices in place to aid distressed companies pre-filing?
  • Will the binding effect of a pre-packaged restructuring implemented in one jurisdiction be recognized in other jurisdictions?

The panel are also expected to discuss the following issues practitioners must consider when dealing with pre-packs:

  • Can Restructuring Support Agreements be exclusionary to certain parties or give disproportionate control to particular groups, such as the company's secured creditors, shareholders or directors?
  • Is there something inappropriate or over-reaching about pre-negotiation techniques? What if they result in or are coupled with DIP financings that give those who sign the Restructuring Support Agreement disproportionate treatment or control of the case through the DIP financing order?

10.55: Coffee break

11.25: Fireside chat

Our chairs will interview a significant figure in restructuring and insolvency on their life and times, how they built their career, and what they’ve learned about the practice of restructuring along the way.

11.55: Session two: Hedge funds and distress investors across the globe – how they’re reshaping the dynamics of restructuring

Distressed investors have expanded their horizons significantly beyond the US over the last 10 years, with hedge funds now investing in a greater range of jurisdictions than ever before. This panel will cover the effect this is having on the practice of restructuring in those jurisdictions, and more broadly. What can we learn from creative, boundary-pushing investment deals that are happening?

  • How and where are these investors expanding beyond the US?
  • How does the presence of funds change the dynamics of a restructuring in key jurisdictions?
  • Are US practices being exported to other jurisdictions by investors? For example, debtor-in-possession financing, rights offerings, backstops in the US – how are these techniques perceived abroad, and is US practice being adopted in other jurisdictions?
  • Are distressed investors now a permanent part of the landscape, or are they facing unexpected resistance in local jurisdictions? Are they making the returns they expected, or will we begin to see funders struggle in jurisdictions where attitudes are more hostile to such investors or outcomes are less predictable?
  • How have investors adjusted their approach to accommodate the process differences and risks they are facing in particular jurisdictions?

13:10: Chairs' closing remarks

Donald Bernstein, Davis Polk & Wardwell 
Lisa Schweitzer, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

13.20 Onwards: All delegates are invited to a networking lunch kindly hosted by Cleary Gottlieb


One Liberty Plaza, 1 Liberty Pl, New York, NY 10006, United States

Ticket Prices

Private Practitioner
Type Price Expires
Early $250 31 May 2020
Standard $350 17 Jun 2020


Type Price