Geoffrey S. Goodman

Partner

Overview

Geoffrey S. Goodman is a partner and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Geoffrey’s practice covers broad areas of bankruptcy and insolvency law and has focused on commodities and securities bankruptcies, as well as health care and energy bankruptcies. He is co-chair of the firm's Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice and a member of the Appellate Practice.

Geoffrey has represented chapter 11 debtors, official creditors' committees, ad hoc committees, trustees, secured lenders, purchasers of assets and unsecured creditors in chapter 11 cases, including some of the largest chapter 11 cases in the country. In addition, Geoffrey counsels clients in liquidations, workouts, assignments for the benefit of creditors and transactions and handles bankruptcy and creditors' rights litigation in both federal and state court.

Geoffrey has extensive experience in the area of commodities and securities bankruptcies, having represented a consortium of customers holding over $100 million in claims in the MF Global bankruptcy case and serving as special commodities counsel to the chapter 7 trustee in the Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. bankruptcy. Geoffrey also served as counsel to one of the largest creditors in the multi-billion dollar chapter 11 case of In re Refco, Inc. in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and as counsel to an Ad Hoc Committee of Customers in the billion dollar case of In re Sentinel Management Group, Inc. in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Geoffrey has counseled large mutual funds, hedge funds, futures commission merchants, exchanges and other entities in this area.

Geoffrey's practice also covers the areas of healthcare and energy bankruptcies, having served as counsel to the debtor and large secured and unsecured creditors in significant healthcare cases and counsel to the creditors' committee in the large chapter 11 cases of coal companies Horizon Natural Resources Company, Trinity Coal Corp., and Black Diamond Mining Company, LLC.

Education

Geoffrey received his J.D. degree, summa cum laude, in 1999 from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was notes editor of the Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his bachelor's degree in political science (B.A., with honors, 1996) from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Prior to joining Foley, Geoffrey clerked for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Recognition

Geoffrey was recognized by The Legal 500 for his work in finance – corporate restructuring, including bankruptcy (2014 and 2015). He also was selected for inclusion in the 2014 - 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers® lists and the 2009 Illinois Super Lawyers–Rising Stars® Edition.*

Admissions

Geoffrey is admitted to practice in Maryland and Illinois.

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.

Representative Matters

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Foley represented a leading pharmacy benefits manager in obtaining the payment of LOC proceeds securing the reimbursement obligations of an insolvent Puerto Rican health plan and in successfully resisting the state liquidator's efforts to recover said proceeds, and also in filing and pursuing additional claims against the insolvent estate.
This case arises from the collapse and bankruptcy of Sentinel Management Group, a multi-billion dollar investment advisory firm. In this case, I represent ABN AMRO Clearing, LLC, Rand Financial LLC, FCStone LLC, Crossland LLC, Velocity Futures LLC and Cadent Futures LLC in consolidated federal court litigation. Foley acted as senior trial counsel for our client group of 6 futures commission merchants, and served as the lead counsel for a joint defense group of 12 futures commission merchants. Due to the significant federal statutory issues at stake, these cases were withdrawn from the Bankruptcy Court several years ago, and have been pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. All of these firms have been sued by Fred Grede, the bankruptcy trustee of Sentinel Management Group, who seeks a claw back of more than $300 Million in the aggregate ($200 Million from our clients alone) which represents the assets distributed to these firms by Sentinel at the time of bankruptcy, or shortly before. Our clients have defended the case on the grounds that the distributed funds are customer segregated assets which are held in trust by Sentinel and which are not the property of the bankrupt estate. The Trustee claims that Sentinel's wrongdoing vitiates the trust. The case involves conflicting statutory provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, the Commodity Exchange Act and the Investment Advisor's Act of 1940, and raises significant and unprecedented issues pertaining to the treatment of customer segregated assets in insolvency scenarios. The case has been the focus of attention by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Futures Association and the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of whom have filed amicus briefs. The FCStone matter is currently on appeal to the Seventh Circuit, while the other matters move forward at the district court level. The cases are being briefed on appeal and in the lower court.
Counseled a higher education finance client who was party to certain swap and cap agreements with Lehman Brothers Special Financing, Inc. (LBSFI) related to student loan asset-backed securities issued by the client. Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., the Lehman parent entity, guaranteed LBSFI's obligations under the swap and cap agreements.