Hurt by a run of mild winters and the falling price of natural gas, St. Louis–based Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy in Manhattan on Monday, listing $3.5 billion in assets against more than $3 billion in liabilities. The company also blamed “ challenging environmental regulations” that adversely affected the price of coal as another reason for its Chapter 11 filing.
 
Lawyers from Davis Polk & Wardwell and Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle are advising Patriot Coal, one of the largest companies in the United States to initiate bankruptcy proceedings so far this year.
 
Marshall Huebner, the cohead of Davis Polk’s insolvency and financial restructuring group, is leading a team from the firm advising Patriot Coal that also includes partners Brian Resnick and Damian Schaible. Davis Polk, which has handled corporate work for Patriot Coal in the past, has not yet filed billing statements with the bankruptcy court.
 
Steven Reisman, cochair of the restructuring and insolvency group at Curtis, is serving as conflicts counsel to Patriot Coal. The firm has also not yet filed billing statements with the bankruptcy court for its work on behalf of the coal producer.
 
Joseph Bean serves as general counsel and senior vice president of administration for Patriot Coal. Janiece Longoria, a name partner at Houston’s Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, is a member of Patriot Coal’s board of directors.
 
Patriot Coal has secured $802 million in debtor-in-possession financing from Barclays, Citigroup, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch to continue operating while the Chapter 11 process unfolds. The debtor, which was spun off from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy in 2007, is one of the largest coal miners east of the Mississippi River with mining facilities throughout Appalachia and the Illinois Basin.
 
With Monday’s Chapter 11 filing, Patriot Coal joins a 2012 list of large corporate bankruptcies that already includes Ally Financial’s Residential Capital (advised by Morrison & Foerster), Eastman Kodak ( Sullivan & Cromwell), Hawker Beechcraft ( Kirkland & Ellis), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ( Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison), and Pinnacle Airlines.
 
Davis Polk’s Huebner and Schaible are also heading up a team from the firm representing Pinnacle, which recently halted labor negotiations to refocus its business plan on operating larger planes. Court records show that Davis Polk has billed the regional air carrier for almost $3 million in fees and expenses since the start of its bankruptcy case on April 1.