Katherine R. Catanese

Partner

Overview

Katie R. Catanese is a partner and bankruptcy and restructuring attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. She focuses her practice on representation of creditors committees, post-confirmation trusts and trustees, especially in fraud based litigation. She also focuses her practice on cross-border fraud and representation of investors and managers in hedge funds both onshore and offshore in bankruptcy ligation including involuntary bankruptcies and Chapter 15 bankruptcies. In this regard, she assisted in filing an involuntary petition for a group of hedge fund creditors and then assisted in procuring a settlement in that bankruptcy that resolved over a dozen lawsuits in the U.S. and offshore and is liquidating the remaining hedge fund assets. See In re Stillwater Asset Backed Offshore Fund, Ltd., 485 B.R. 498 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2013) (where the court granted the involuntary petition against an offshore fund whose creditors were offered ineffective DIKs).

Katie also has experience in bankruptcy appeals and successfully persuaded a federal appeals court to affirm the dismissal of a “rogue” bankruptcy petition by the ousted former board of directors of a scandal-plagued Chinese clean energy company.

Katie also focuses on for profit schools and higher education restructuring, generally, with an emphasis on fraud investigation and intervention. She is building a practice focusing on representing higher education institutions, lenders, and private equity funds in all forms of litigation related to their business and financial restructuring of these schools.

She is also developing her practice in representation of landlords in various insolvency scenarios including representations in Sears and Vitamin World.

She also focuses her practice on representation of court appointed receivers in Chinese reverse merger cases where the U.S. entity has “gone dark” and returned to China leaving their U.S. investors without recourse. These cases often involve Cayman and BVI litigation and negotiations as the subsidiaries of these companies are often located there.

Katie represents secured creditors, unsecured creditors, purchasers, plan trustees and former employees in connection with Chapter 11 proceedings, including, most recently, creditors in the Chapter 11 proceedings of Stearns Holdings LLC, PG&E Corporation, Ditech Holding Corporation.

She also represents banks and trustees of bank holding companies, including litigation related to procurement of tax refunds and disputes with the FDIC over refund ownership.

She further emphasizes her practice on indenture trustee representation, including representation of U.S. Bank and Wilmington Trust as the indenture trustee for certain bonds in the American Airlines, Samson Resources (oil and gas) and Peabody Energy (coal) bankruptcies.

Katie has extensive experience in the representation of trustees regarding resolution and objection to bankruptcy claims, pursuit of fraudulent transfer and preference actions as well as litigation related to bad faith bankruptcy filings, Ponzi schemes, and 363 sales.

She also has particular knowledge of individual and business Chapter 7’s and individual Chapter 11’s. Finally, she is experienced with e-discovery in bankruptcy cases.

Katie is a member of the Bankruptcy and Health Care Restructuring sub team at Foley. She is also the women’s retention coordinator for Foley’s Women’s Network in the New York office.

Prior to joining Foley, Katie was an associate at Allard & Fish, P.C., where she represented a chapter 7 trustee and corporate debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, and trustees in all aspects of bankruptcy litigation.

Recognition

Katie was named one of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s “40 Under 40” emerging leaders in insolvency practice in 2018, as well as selected for inclusion in the 2014 New York Super Lawyers – Rising Stars® list.

Publications

  • “Globalization as an Advantage in Resolving Cross-Border Fraud Litigation,” The Review of Banking and Financial Services, July 2018, co-author
  • “Labor Considerations in Higher Education Restructurings,” American Bankruptcy Institute, October 2017, co-author
  • “Arbitration and Bankruptcy: A Tug of War,” The Review of Banking & Financial Services, July 2017, co-author
  • "The For Profit School: a Bankruptcy Trend Worth Watching,” Law360, June 18, 2015
  • “Nonrecourse Claimants Have a Claim in Bankruptcy,” Law 360, Dec. 11, 2013, co-authored with Derek Wright
  • "When is an Executory Contract a Financial Accommodation Agreement?" American Bankruptcy Institute, ABI 18th Annual Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, July 21-24, 2011, co-author 
  • “Radlax—‘An Easy Case’,” Law 360, July 10, 2012, co-authored with Douglas E. Spelfogel
  • “Absolute Assignment of Rents: Maybe Yes, Maybe No,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, June 13, 2011, co-authored with Victor Vilaplana and Ann Marie Uetz
  • “Implications Of In Re Rahim,” Law 360, Feb. 7, 2011, co-authored with Ann Marie Uetz 
  • “Philadelphia Newspapers: Consideration of Fairness?,” Law 360, May 20, 2010, co-authored with Douglas E. Spelfogel 
  • “Philly Papers Ruling to Reshape Lending?,” The Bulletin, May 21, 2010, co-authored with Douglas E. Spelfogel 
  • “The Future of SPEs In Light of General Growth,” Law 360, Feb. 9, 2010, co-authored with Keith Owens 
  • "Working Paper: Best Practices for Debtors’ Attorneys," Task Force on Attorney Discipline (Best Practices Working Group, Ad Hoc Committee on Bankruptcy Court Structure and Insolvency Processes, American Bar Association, Business Law Section) Business Lawyer, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2008, co-authored with David W. Allard and others
  • "The Means Test Part III: Keeping Up With Dismissals Under BAPCPA," ABI Journal, Vol. XXVI, No. 3, 2007, co-authored with David W. Allard
  • "The Means Test Part II: Deductions: More Ambiguity in the Era of Means Testing," ABI Journal, Vol. XXVI, No. 2, 2007, co-authored with David W. Allard
  • Quoted in: In re Zaporski, 366 B.R. 758, 765 (Bankr. E.D. Mich., 2007)
  • "The Means Test: Seeing Clearly the CMI," ABI Journal, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, 2007, co-authored with David W. Allard

Presentations

  • Speaker, “National Association of Credit Managers on Bankruptcy Do’s and Don’ts for Creditors,” webinar, July 31, 2019
  • Speaker, "Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Do's and Don'ts for Creditors: Recent Cases, Creditor Issues, Rights and Remedies and Best Practices," Webinar, NACM Commercial Services (July 2019)
  • Speaker, “2019 ABI Southeast Conference”, July 19, 2019, Amelia Island, Florida
  • American Bankruptcy Institute (“ABI”) Caribbean Insolvency Symposium 2019, “Strategic use of Independent Directors in Cross Border Insolvencies”, January 9, 2019, Cayman Islands
  • Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, “Restructuring Companies Dependent on the Federal Government (For Profit Schools and Student Lending),” June 15, 2018, Nashville, Tennessee
  • KNect 365, “Asset Recovery: Fraud Litigation and Contentious Insolvency,” February 28, 2018, Dublin, Ireland
  • American Bankruptcy Institute (“ABI”) Caribbean Insolvency Symposium 2016, “Arbitration and Cross Border Bankruptcy,” February 5, 2017, Cayman Islands
  • Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (“APSCU”), “Call to Arms: Department of Defense Suspensions and Related Actions,” March 23, 2016, Webinar
  • ABI Caribbean Insolvency Symposium 2016, “The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Cutting-Edge Issues in Commercial Fraud Cases” (presenting on receivers in Chinese revere merger cases), February 5, 2016, Cayman Islands 
  • National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (“NCBJ”), “Is There Room In The Chapter 11 Ark for Trustees, Examiners, Receivers, and CROs?”(presented on topic of representation of receivers in entities that have “gone dark” in the U.S.), October 10, 2014, Chicago, Illinois 
  • Commercial Law League of America, Teleseminar, "Don’t Close that File," February 19, 2008
  • American Bar Association, "Bankruptcy Boot Camp Part 1: A Practitioner’s Guide to Mastering the Means Test," December 4, 2008
  • American Bar Association, "Bankruptcy Boot Camp Part 2: A Practitioner’s Guide to Mastering the Means Test," January 15, 2009

Hosted Events

  • Co-Host, “An Evening Celebrating Women from Head to Toe,” Foley & Lardner, June 21, 2016
  • Host, “Michigan State College of Law Alumni Networking Watch Party,” Blondies Sports Bar, March 7, 2015
  • Co-Host, “An Evening Supporting and Celebrating Women in Business,” MM LaFleur, January 29, 2015
  • Host, “Michigan State College of Law Alumni Outreach Reception,” Foley & Lardner, November 6, 2014

Community Engagement

Katie is also particularly devoted to pro bono legal work. She represented a church and restructured its debt through a sale of its real property to avoid a bankruptcy filing.

Additionally, she represents various innocence projects across the country and is very proud of the results achieved from her work on an amicus brief for the Innocence Project in New York City which led to the release of a woman imprisoned for almost a decade because of junk science related to fiber evidence. She also represents the New York Law School legal services and its innocence project work.

Finally, Katie also represents low income individuals in adoption matters in New York and has recently started representing women in custody and child support disputes through Her Justice.

Affiliations and Professional Memberships

Katie was formerly a visiting professor teaching research and writing at Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She is a member of the International Women’s Restructuring and Insolvency Confederation (IWIRC), the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA), the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), and formerly the ABA Task Force on Attorney Discipline. She is also a lifetime member of the Michigan State University alumni association and a member of the MSU Law Alumni Board.

Education

Katie earned her J.D. (cum laude, 2004) and her B.A. in psychology (summa cum laude, 2001) from Michigan State University. During law school, she was a clerk for Honorable David L. Jordon.

Admissions

Katie is admitted to practice in New York and Michigan.

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