Martin G. Bunin has extensive experience in the representation of unsecured creditors’ committees in Chapter 11 cases filed by hospitals and health care institutions, resorts, manufacturers, service businesses and real estate owners. In 2014, The M&A Advisor named his representation of the unsecured creditors’ committee in a sale of a hospital’s assets as the “Restructuring Deal of the Year (Between $10MM and $100MM).” Marty’s background includes working on behalf of equity and retiree committees, as well as secured and unsecured creditors, parties in interest, and contract counterparties. Marty is a mediator in bankruptcy disputes in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, including the mediation of disputed claims of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. against mortgage originators and brokers. He has spoken and written on a variety of bankruptcy matters.
What typical challenges or key issues do you help clients manage?
When representing unsecured creditors’ committees, the main challenge is always to find the path to obtain the highest possible recovery. Obtaining substantial recoveries in Chapter 11 cases is harder than ever for unsecured creditors. It is very important to be creative and aggressive to find the path and use available leverage to achieve the maximum recovery. When representing parties in interest or contract counterparties of a Chapter 11 debtor, the challenge is to learn quickly—and understand thoroughly—what the client wants to accomplish and figure out the best way to achieve it.
“To me, success comes from a skillful and creative bankruptcy team that can quickly and thoroughly understand what the client wants to accomplish and determine the best way, with bankruptcy tools, to achieve it.”
What motivates you as an attorney?
As a bankruptcy lawyer, I am motivated by solving the puzzle presented by the Chapter 11 debtor’s failed business, its capital structure and the opportunities and restrictions of applicable bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy laws. In creditors’ committee work, whenever a Chapter 11 reorganization or a going concern asset sale is possible, I strive to couple the best possible recovery for creditors with what I can do to preserve the debtor’s business and the jobs of the debtor’s workforce.
Why did you choose to join Farrell Fritz?
As a Long Island native, I grew up four miles from Farrell Fritz’s main office. Joining Farrell Fritz is a return to my roots. I joined the firm after years of working with, and competing for work against, the firm’s bankruptcy partners. They are a very skillful and creative team, and I believe pooling our experience materially enhances our ability to achieve great results representing clients.
What does pro bono work mean to you?
For lawyers in private practice who often spend most of their careers focused on advancement and financial success, it is important to help those less fortunate get a fresh start and achieve success in their lives. My pro bono service has included client intake interviews and research and advisory assignments for the Consumer Bankruptcy Project of the City Bar Justice Center. This project helps low-income individuals decide whether to file Chapter 7 bankruptcies, prepares all of their bankruptcy paperwork for filing in the Manhattan and Brooklyn bankruptcy courts and counsels them about what to expect when they meet with their bankruptcy trustees.