November 30, 2018

Cardozo Board of Overseers Chair Ira Dizengoff '92, partner at Akin Gump, was named to the list of Law360's 2018 Bankruptcy MVPs due to his instrumental work on several restructuring deals this year.

Dizengoff was responsible for putting together a restructuring deal that led bankrupt Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern utility provider FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. to a victory over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this summer. Five months into the bankruptcy proceedings, Dizengoff helped secure a $1.5 billion settlement between FirstEnergy Solutions and its parent company, FirstEnergy Corp., eliminating the threat of years of protracted litigation.

In May, Judge Alan M. Koschik concluded that certain FERC proceedings are subject to bankruptcy’s automatic stay. The judge asserted jurisdiction over nine power-purchase agreements and one cost-sharing arrangement that all otherwise could have been enforced at FERC, relieving Dizengoff’s client from those obligations in a ruling that the Sixth Circuit has agreed to review. The case could be a model for other struggling coal companies.

“We have achieved, in that restructuring, several milestones,” Dizengoff said.
Dizengoff also represented unsecured bondholders that shaped the restructuring of offshore drilling contractor Seadrill Ltd., is leading unsecured creditors to an increased return in iHeartMedia Inc.’s restructuring and represented 75 first-lien institutions in a deal with telecommunications company Avaya Inc. that included a settlement with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. 
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