Arthur S. Olick
Arthur S. Olick ()

Arthur Olick, former name partner of Anderson Kill and a prominent bankruptcy lawyer who advised parties in several law firm dissolutions, died Saturday from multiple sclerosis. He was 85.

Olick, a longtime chair of Anderson Kill’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice, worked on several large reorganizations, including Johns Manville, a manufacturer of asbestos-containing products. The firm describes Olick as an architect of the Manville Reorganization Trust, the first asbestos bankruptcy trust of its kind. He also served as trial counsel for many asbestos producers in personal injury litigation.

Olick also focused on insurance recovery for corporate policyholders and represented actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, artist Peter Max and singer Don McLean, among other famous clients, on commercial matters.

Olick was involved in major law firm liquidations. He represented Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon, Lord Day & Lord, and Barrett Smith, and counseled groups of partners from Bower & Gardner and Gaston & Snow, according to a New York Law Journal report in 1995.

Getting hired by some former partners he knew from Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey in 1988 was his introduction to the practice, the Law Journal reported at the time.

Olick also represented 10 to 15 professional firms that solved their problems, “escaping the clutches of death,” after negotiating with their creditors and advising them on restructuring the firm’s governance model, the Law Journal reported.

His practice went beyond the purely legal issues, at times extending to how warring partners can get along with one another. “Sometimes it’s the personal relationships that need restructuring,” Olick told the Law Journal.

Olick told a bankruptcy newsletter in a 2010 Q&A that he originally came to work with companies in distress in large part by representing them in insurance coverage disputes.

“What we looked for was a way to bring the antagonists together in a forum to gain a little or not lose a lot. That skill set translated well in bankruptcy,” he said. “I became known among attorneys for being able to bring parties to agreement, and some of them turned to me when their own firms became distressed.”

In the same Q&A in 2010, the year of his retirement from Anderson Kill, Olick was asked about any low points in his successful career. He said multiple sclerosis made it difficult to get in front of a judge and argue cases. “The low-point came when a judge told me, ‘Mr. Olick, you can sit down.’ That’s when I knew it was time.”

Olick earned his bachelor’s and his law degree from Yale. Following his Army service, Olick entered private practice for several years before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York under Robert Morgenthau, before Morgenthau became Manhattan District Attorney. Olick worked at the office for six years, including the last three as chief of the Civil Division.

Olick joined Anderson Kill in 1974, joining Gene Anderson, his former colleague at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, andthe firm soon became Anderson Russell Kill & Olick. In later years, the firm name changed to Anderson Kill & Olick, and the name was shortened to Anderson Kill in 2013.

Mark Silverschotz, co-chair of Anderson Kill’s bankruptcy & restructuring group, said, “Arthur was a lawyer’s lawyer and that may sound like a cliche but in his case, it was the truth because so many of our cases were brought to us by former colleagues of his in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who knew his reputation for relentless and superlative representation.”

The firm said Olick was active in civic affairs in Westchester County, where he lived with his family for decades, serving as attorney for several local townships.

Olick also served as a lecturer at Yale University and the University of Georgia and was on the staff of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Military Government School, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Olick is survived by his children, Robert and Karen, and her husband John Gibson; five grandchildren; and his brothers, Phillip and David. His wife, Selma, preceded him in death earlier this year.

Arthur Olick, former name partner of Anderson Kill and a prominent bankruptcy lawyer who advised parties in several law firm dissolutions, died Saturday from multiple sclerosis. He was 85.

Olick, a longtime chair of Anderson Kill ‘s bankruptcy and restructuring practice, worked on several large reorganizations, including Johns Manville , a manufacturer of asbestos-containing products. The firm describes Olick as an architect of the Manville Reorganization Trust, the first asbestos bankruptcy trust of its kind. He also served as trial counsel for many asbestos producers in personal injury litigation.

Olick also focused on insurance recovery for corporate policyholders and represented actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, artist Peter Max and singer Don McLean, among other famous clients, on commercial matters.

Olick was involved in major law firm liquidations. He represented Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon , Lord Day & Lord, and Barrett Smith, and counseled groups of partners from Bower & Gardner and Gaston & Snow, according to a New York Law Journal report in 1995.

Getting hired by some former partners he knew from Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey in 1988 was his introduction to the practice, the Law Journal reported at the time.

Olick also represented 10 to 15 professional firms that solved their problems, “escaping the clutches of death,” after negotiating with their creditors and advising them on restructuring the firm’s governance model, the Law Journal reported.

His practice went beyond the purely legal issues, at times extending to how warring partners can get along with one another. “Sometimes it’s the personal relationships that need restructuring,” Olick told the Law Journal.

Olick told a bankruptcy newsletter in a 2010 Q&A that he originally came to work with companies in distress in large part by representing them in insurance coverage disputes.

“What we looked for was a way to bring the antagonists together in a forum to gain a little or not lose a lot. That skill set translated well in bankruptcy,” he said. “I became known among attorneys for being able to bring parties to agreement, and some of them turned to me when their own firms became distressed.”

In the same Q&A in 2010, the year of his retirement from Anderson Kill , Olick was asked about any low points in his successful career. He said multiple sclerosis made it difficult to get in front of a judge and argue cases. “The low-point came when a judge told me, ‘Mr. Olick, you can sit down.’ That’s when I knew it was time.”

Olick earned his bachelor’s and his law degree from Yale. Following his Army service, Olick entered private practice for several years before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York under Robert Morgenthau, before Morgenthau became Manhattan District Attorney. Olick worked at the office for six years, including the last three as chief of the Civil Division.

Olick joined Anderson Kill in 1974, joining Gene Anderson, his former colleague at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, andthe firm soon became Anderson Russell Kill & Olick. In later years, the firm name changed to Anderson Kill & Olick , and the name was shortened to Anderson Kill in 2013.

Mark Silverschotz, co-chair of Anderson Kill ‘s bankruptcy & restructuring group, said, “Arthur was a lawyer’s lawyer and that may sound like a cliche but in his case, it was the truth because so many of our cases were brought to us by former colleagues of his in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who knew his reputation for relentless and superlative representation.”

The firm said Olick was active in civic affairs in Westchester County, where he lived with his family for decades, serving as attorney for several local townships.

Olick also served as a lecturer at Yale University and the University of Georgia and was on the staff of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Military Government School, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Olick is survived by his children, Robert and Karen, and her husband John Gibson; five grandchildren; and his brothers, Phillip and David. His wife, Selma, preceded him in death earlier this year.