Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly ()

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan is bringing on a four-person restructuring team. Brian Kelly, who was special counsel at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, is joining Stroock as a partner Monday, while Samantha Martin, who was an associate at Morrison & Foerster, has come on board as special counsel.

The new hires also include associates Brian Wells and Marni Isaacson, who were associates at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Haynes and Boone, respectively.

Kelly, who focuses on distressed M&A and related restructuring transactions, has worked on the restructuring of American Apparel and Blockbuster and was the lead M&A attorney in the restructuring of Quicksilver Resources, Genco, Linn Energy, C&J Energy Services and Bosque Power.

While Stroock’s corporate group has seen several partner departures this year, including the co-head of its corporate practice last week, Stroock said its financial restructuring group is seeing high demand. The restructuring group represents individual and groups of creditors, investors, purchasers and debtors in bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court restructurings.

The restructuring group has doubled to about 40 attorneys in the last decade, with repeat clients in the hedge fund and private equity space, said Kristopher Hansen, head of Stroock’s financial restructuring practice. The group’s clients include Beach Point Capital Management, Oaktree Capital, Avenue Capital Group, Franklin Mutual Advisers and GSO Capital.

Lately, the firm has handled more restructuring work in retail, health care and telecommunications industries and is often representing companies after acquisition, Hansen said.

Stroock represented bank lenders in the $20 billion Chapter 11 proceedings of Caesars Entertainment and was involved in the restructurings of 21st Century Oncology, Foresight Energy and Avaya Inc.

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