Brian Rosen, a longtime bankruptcy and restructuring partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, is heading to Proskauer Rose to join forces with his former colleague Martin Bienenstock.
In late 2007, Bienenstock left Weil in a high-profile lateral move to join Dewey & LeBoeuf. The bankruptcy baron subsequently fled now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf in May 2012 for Proskauer, which brought on Bienenstock and several other lawyers fleeing the collapsing firm. A decade after his departure from Weil, Bienenstock and Rosen will now reunite at Proskauer.
“After 33 years at Weil, it took a lot for me to make a move,” Rosen said in an emailed statement to The American Lawyer. Rosen, who was unavailable Wednesday for a phone interview, will join work out of Proskauer’s business solutions, governance, restructuring and bankruptcy group.
Rosen’s practice focuses on Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court debt restructurings, as well as sovereign indebtedness and acquisitions of distressed companies and assets. He first joined Weil in 1984 following a clerkship with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Since then he has taken the lead on several high-profile engagements for the firm, including Washington Mutual Inc.’s Chapter 11 case in 2008, which over the next few years brought at least $70 million into Weil’s coffers, as well as the two-year bankruptcy of the New York Racing Association Inc., operator of the Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga race tracks in New York. Rosen has also represented holders of sovereign debt in Argentina, Panama and Peru.
Proskauer’s bankruptcy group, which lost partner Philip Abelson in June to White & Case, is currently representing The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico in its effort to restructure nearly $73 billion in debt. The opportunity to work on that case, Rosen said, helped attract him to the firm. Thanks in part to his connection with Bienenstock, Rosen said he did not use a legal recruiter to broker his move to Proskauer.
Bienenstock started his career at Weil in 1977 and spent the next three decades at the firm, where he served as co-head of its business, finance and restructuring department. At Weil, Bienenstock worked alongside Rosen in advising Houston-based energy giant Enron Corp., which collapsed and filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
“I am thrilled to have [Rosen] join us and be my partner once again,” Bienenstock said in a statement. “[Rosen] will be instrumental in the continued growth and excellence of Proskauer’s restructuring and governance group.”
Bienenstock’s departure from Weil 10 years ago—for a reported $6 million annual guarantee granted to him by Dewey & LeBoeuf, where he served as a member of the firm’s executive committee—marked a moment of crisis for the firm’s bankruptcy practice. But it didn’t last long. Later that year Weil took the lead role on the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., a case that would pump millions in legal fees into the firm over the next few years.
Since Bienenstock moved to Proskauer five years ago, he has landed key roles on a variety of matters, including leading a 37-lawyer team advising Colombia’s Pacific Exploration & Production Corp. on its massive debt restructuring.