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.
Katie is 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.
She 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.
Katie was selected by Lawdragon as one of the 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers in 2020. She 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.
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.
Katie is chair of kNect 365 Asset Recovery America conference and the chair of American Bankruptcy Institute’s Midlevel Professional Conference.
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.
Katie is admitted to practice in New York and Michigan.