Sam J. Alberts is a partner in Dentons' Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Group. Ranked by Chambers USA, Sam has extensive experience in both in- and out-of-court restructurings, in the United States and abroad. Named in Best Lawyers in America (2016) for the sixth consecutive year, Sam has represented creditors, debtors, committees, governmental and nongovernmental entities and other parties in many large and complex insolvency matters. Recommended by The Legal 500 US (2015), Sam has extensive investigation and first-chair litigation experience, and has performed significant work with respect to matters involving distressed healthcare entities and financial institutions. In 2015, Sam was recognized in The Deal Pipeline’s “Top Bankruptcy Lawyers” league table and as a "Local Litigation Star" in the District of Columbia by Benchmark Litigation.
- The City of Detroit, Michigan, Chapter 9 (E.D. Michigan). Represented the Official Committee of Retirees in the largest municipal bankruptcy case in US history. The committee represented approximately 23,500 retirees and 9,000 dependents, who held more than US$9 billion in claims for pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB), including health care. The representation resulted in the protection of almost all pension benefits and continued health care benefits under first-of-kind municipal retiree voluntary employment benefit association (VEBA) trusts. This representation was honored by The M&A Advisor with the 2014 Restructuring of the Year Award.
- Greater Southeast Community Healthcare Corporation. et al. and The DCHC Liquidating Trust, Chapter 11 (Washington, DC). Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors during bankruptcy and, post-confirmation, served as the plan trustee in one of the largest restructuring matters ever filed in the District of Columbia. The cases involved five failed hospitals and a management company and led to multimillion dollar recoveries from the sale of assets and claims for director, officer and third-party malfeasance, as well as fraudulent conveyance and other avoid actions. The representation resulted in the reduction of billions of dollars in claims against the estates and the distribution of more than US$50 million to plan beneficiaries, including an almost 40 percent recovery to creditors originally considered to be "out of the money."
- Washington Mutual Bank (WAMU) (Delaware), K Bank (Maryland), First Regional Bank (California), Corus Bank (Illinois) and Capital Bancorp (Michigan), on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. These in- and out-of-court matters have included investigations into potential claims of director and officer liability, liquidation of bank assets, multimillion dollar tax claim recovery litigation and other litigation with trustees representing failed bank holding companies.
- International Finance Corporation (IFC) (Costa Rica). Represented IFC on the out-of-court restructuring and sale of the Juan Santamaria Airport, Costa Rica. The restructuring resulted in IFC's Award for Best Recovery for Fiscal Year 2010.
- Kodak, Chapter 11 (S.D. New York). Represented the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) individually and on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. The PBGC held a claim of more than US$1 billion, which was preserved and protected.
- Mirant, Chapter 11 (N.D. Texas). Represented Mirant and its affiliates in one of the largest energy bankruptcy cases filed in the United States.
- Arcapita, Chapter 11 (S.D. New York). Represented two non-US financial institutions in this first-of-its-kind bankruptcy of a Middle Eastern bank on issues involving Shari'ah financing.
- European Investment Bank (EIB) (Europe). Advised EIB on a US$1 billion financial transaction with Ford (Europe) at a time when the automobile industry was in significant financial distress.
- The Clare at Water Tower, Chapter 11 (N.D. Illinois). Represented the Official Committee Unsecured Creditors (and residents), which resulted in the successful sale of one of the most valuable continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) in the United States and the protection of residents' interests.
- Middlebrook Pharmaceuticals, Chapter 11 (Delaware). Represented the Official Committee of Creditors, which resulted in the sale of assets and more than 100 percent recovery to unsecured creditors.
- Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation (AHERF), Chapter 11 (W.D. Pennsylvania). Represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in one of the largest bankruptcy cases of a distressed health care system in US history.
- Lehman Brothers. Represented various creditors against Lehman Brothers entities in the United States, England and the Netherlands.
- Refco, Chapter 11 (S.D. New York). Represented creditors holding approximately US$100 million in claims, which resulted in a recovery of more than 98 percent.
- Response Oncology, Inc., Chapter 11 (W.D. Tennessee). Represented the debtor, a nationwide group of oncology practices, in its restructuring and ultimate sale of assets.
- Computer Learning Centers. Represented SLM Corp. (Sallie Mae) in one of the largest educational bankruptcy case filings in the United States. Assisted SLM on recovery of millions of dollars in claims and on other issues related to the bankruptcy.
Honors and Awards
- Recommended by The Legal 500 US, 2015
- Ranked in Chambers USA, 2005–present
- Co-led team recognized by The M&A Advisor’s 2014 Restructuring of the Year Award (City of Detroit Chapter 9)
- Ranked by The Deal Pipeline’s “Top Bankruptcy Lawyers” league table, 2015
- Rated by Martindale Hubbell A/V, 2003–present
- Recognized by Best Lawyers in America, 2010–present
- Listed by Benchmark Litigation as a "Local Litigation Star" in the District of Columbia, 2015
- Voted a Washington, DC, Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers magazine, 2013
- Voted Top Lawyer, Bankruptcy, by The Washington Business Journal, 2006 and 2007 (finalist 2008)
- Recognized by The Washingtonian magazine's Best Lawyers list, 2011–present
In the Media
- “Detroit Pension Proposal Gets an Angry Reception,” The New York Times, May 21, 2014
- “Detroit Union Group Agrees to Add Cash to Grand Bargain Bankruptcy Deal,” Detroit Free Press, May 20, 2014
- “Detroit Gets Closer to Bankruptcy’s End With Retiree Deal,” Bloomberg News, April 26, 2014
- “Detroit Retiree Committee Reaches Deal on Pensions, Healthcare,” Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2014
- “Detroit Retiree Panel Reaches Deal With City to Cap Pension Losses,” Detroit Free Press, April 26, 2014
- “Detroit's Retired Workers Reach Pension Agreement With Bankrupt City,” Thomson Reuters, April 26, 2014
- “Retirees' Committee Will Back Detroit Pension Cuts,” Associated Press, April 26, 2014
- “Detroit Retiree Committee Reaches Deal on Pensions, Healthcare,” Reuters, April 26, 2014
- “Retiree Committee Reaches Agreement to Support Detroit Debt-Cutting Plan,” Detroit News, April 25, 2014
- “Detroit Lawyers Support Bankruptcy Judge's Call for Experts,” Dow Jones Institutional News, March 31, 2014
- “Retiree Committee Seeks $600K From Detroit for Insurance Protection Against Lawsuits,” Detroit News, March 5, 2014
- “Retiree Committee Wants Detroit to Buy $600K Insurance Policy to Cover Possible Lawsuits,” Detroit Free Press, March 5, 2014
- “Judge Allows Legal Challenge to Detroit's Plans to Cut Retiree Health Benefits,” Detroit News, November 4, 2013
- Guest, Deadline, Atlantic Television Network, February 2, 2012
- “Stenholm Lobbying Records Erased After Open Range Filing,” The Washington Times, December 13, 2011
- “Unfinished Business,” The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2011
- “Trustees of Defunct Law Firms Chase Former Partners' Profits,” Daily Bankruptcy Review, October 19, 2011
- “CAREER TRACKER: Lawyers on the Move,” Thomson Reuters, October 5, 2011
- “The Churn: Lateral Moves and Promotions,” American Lawyer, October 5, 2011
- “Movers & Shakers,” The Deal Pipeline, October 5, 2011
- “SNR Denton Welcomes Bankruptcy Partner From Dickstein,” Law360, October 5, 2011
- Guest, “Should States be Allowed to Declare Bankruptcy?” Fox News segment, January 31, 2011
- Guest, "Government Regulation of Executive Compensation," Atlantic Television Network segment, August 2009
- Guest, "Economy," Atlantic Television Network segment, September 2008
- Guest, "The State of the US Economy, Atlantic Television Network segment, July 2008
- Co-author, "When Your Oil And Gas Operator Goes Bankrupt," Law360, June 4, 2012
- Co-author, "Case Study: Jefferson County," Law360, January 23, 2012
- Co-author, "Restructuring Municipalities: A Primer for the Potentially Approaching Storm," The National Law Journal, February 21, 2011
- Co-author, "Healthcare Cases–Get Thee to a Specialist, Stat," The Bankruptcy Strategist, November/December 2008
- Author, "After Takeover Comes the Hard Part," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 2008
- Co-author, "Enhancing Value Without US Tax Consequences Through Restructuring," White & Case Global Tax Report, September 2008
- Co-author, "Foreign Debtors Beware! Globopar Recognizes That You May Be Hauled into a US Bankruptcy Case Involuntarily," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, March 2005
- Co-editor, Health Care Insolvency Manual, 2nd Edition, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2005
- Contributing author, Mid-Atlantic Institute on Bankruptcy and Reorganization Practice, 1996 – 2001
Activities and Affiliations
- Speaker, "Distressed Municipalities: Lessons and Opportunities from the Front Line," CLE Seminar for In-house Counsel, Washington, DC, October 10, 2014.
- Presenter, "The Insolvency of Government Bodies," International Association of Insolvency Regulators - The World Bank, Washington, DC, September 10, 2014.
- Speaker, "10th Annual CLE Seminar for In-House Counsel", St. Louis, MO, June 22, 2012.
- Moderator, "Evolving Labor Issues in Chapter 11," ABI webinar, May 23, 2012.
- Speaker, "Intercreditor Issues in Complex Bankruptcies," ABI 30th Annual Spring Meeting, National Harbor, MD, April 21,2012.
- Moderator, "PLI's Global Financial Issues 2010: Preparing for the Future Program," New York, NY, August 2010.
- Speaker, "American Dream," Press TV, one-hour roundtable discussion of the status of the recently proposed US mortgage bailout and automobile industry, Washington, DC, February 2009.
- Panelist, "Deepening Insolvency," Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association's 11th Annual Spring Break Weekend, Annapolis, MD, May 2007.
- Co-host, "The Distressed Energy Market Roundtable: Uncertainties, Risks, Opportunities," White & Case client seminar, New York, February 2006.