Overview

John A. Simon is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. He focuses his practice on national corporate restructuring, insolvency, bankruptcy, merger and acquisition and commercial contract matters. John frequently represents buyers and sellers of companies, borrowers, debtors-in-possession, creditors' committees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, landlords, and other constituents in complex high-stakes troubled company situations. He is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations and Transactional & Securities Practices and Automotive and Energy Industry Teams.

Representative Experience

John has helped many clients achieve success in transactional and litigation matters in the restructuring and insolvency arena, as well as in their strategic acquisitions and customer and supplier relationships. His representative engagements include the following matters:

  • Representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 case of a large multinational automotive interiors supplier; pending in Delaware
  • Representing a publicly traded alternative energy automotive manufacturer and supplier in connection with its chapter 11 case and successful sale, preserving value for constituents
  • Representing critical suppliers in several cases, including the Takata and UCI International chapter 11 cases
  • Primary mergers and acquisitions counsel to a $2B publicly traded international fashion company, including in transactions across the United States and cross-border acquisitions in Mexico and Canada, including licensing matters
  • Represented the nation’s largest honey distributor as a chapter 11 debtor, achieving exit from bankruptcy and transition to new private equity owner within 90 days after filing under a pre-negotiated chapter 11 plan 
  • Achieved a successful purchase of a high technology energy grid power management company for a private-equity backed purchaser in a 363 sale in the Western District of Texas
  • Represented a multinational consumer packaging company as stalking horse purchaser in a 363 sale in Delaware
  • Represented the City of Detroit in its Chapter 9 bankruptcy case with respect to disputed claims
  • Represented $1B petroleum distributor as stalking horse purchaser in section 363 acquisition of supply business
  • Represented $4B publicly traded manufacturing company as stalking horse purchaser in section 363 purchase of business line from an automotive supplier
  • Represented several large multi-state manufacturing companies that were debtors in possession in selling their assets pursuant to section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code
  • Representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 case of the world's largest producer of flexible solar panels
  • Representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 case of a publicly-traded bank holding company with a network of banks throughout the country
  • The out-of-court restructuring of a national aftermarket automotive part distributor
  • The chapter 11 restructuring of one of the world’s largest producers of ductile castings to the automotive industry, with approximately $1 billion in annual revenues
  • The out-of-court restructuring of a broadcasting company with operations in several states
  • The chapter 11 sale of a major plastic parts manufacturer with annual revenues of approximately $2 billion
  • The representation of the committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy of one of the country’s largest subprime auto loan servicers, with over $1.8 billion in loans under management
  • The representation of the committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 case of an automotive supplier with over $500 million in annual revenues
  • The defense of a former shareholder, officer and director from a $36 million lawsuit brought by a creditors’ committee in connection with a failed leveraged buyout transaction
  • The representation of a "big four" accounting firm in connection with its engagements in various chapter 11 cases around the country
  • Assisting companies in various industries, including automotive, manufacturing and food sectors, with their supply contracts
  • The representation of creditors in a variety of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters, including the enforcement of rights under the Uniform Commercial Code and the defense of avoidance actions brought by bankruptcy estates in adversary proceedings and the representation of customers and suppliers of troubled companies in critical supply disputes
  • Representation of parties in interest in connection with many of the nation’s largest bankruptcy cases, including: GST Autoleather, Inc., Takata Holdings US, Payless Shoes, The City of Detroit, Revel Casinos, Patriot Coal, Dynegy, Broadview, Delphi Automotive, Tronox, Metaldyne, General Motors, Chrysler, Dana Automotive, Dura Automotive, Rescap, Nortel Networks, Hostess Brands, American Airlines, Kodak, Tropicana Casino, Washington Mutual, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Recognition

John has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 - 2019 in the fields of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights, insolvency and reorganization law, and was selected to DBusiness magazine’s 2016 and 2018 Top Lawyers list. John was named winner of the 2017 M&A Advisor Materials Deal of the Year and 2017 M&A Atlas Special Situation M&A Deal of the Year for his representation of Quantum Fuel Systems, Inc. in its chapter 11 case and sale to Douglas Acquisitions pursuant to section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. He was also named winner of the 2015 M&A Advisor Distressed Energy Deal of the Year for his representation of Younicos Inc. in its strategic acquisition of the assets of Xtreme Power in a creatively structured and quickly executed bankruptcy transaction.

Education

John obtained his law degree from Boston University School of Law in 2000, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in English from Amherst College in 1997.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

John is admitted to the State Bar of Michigan, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the State Bar of New York. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan.

Publications and Presentations

  • “Are Your Suppliers in Trouble? Warning Signs and What to Do,” Industry Week, February 26, 2019
  • “Critical Concepts in Lender Liability,” American Bankruptcy Institute Central States Conference, June 13, 2015
  • “Directors’ and Officers’ Fiduciary Duties in the Context of Insolvency and Bankruptcy,” University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, April 6, 2015
  • “Commonly Negotiated Issues in DIP Financing,” American Bankruptcy Institute Central States Conference, June 12, 2014
  • "Michigan's Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act of 2011," Lawyers Weekly, Vol. 25. No. 40, August 15, 2011
  • "Commentary: Lenders Seek Alternatives to Foreclosures," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, August 13, 2010
  • "Navigating Disinterestedness and Disclosure Issues in Multiple Debtor Representations," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, September 2008
  • "'Gift' Arrangements in Chapter 11: A Viable Tool?" Michigan Bar Journal, July 2008
  • "Potential Limitations On Rights of ‘Loan To Own’ Financiers To Credit Bid In Chapter 11," Stout Risius Ross Journal, Fall 2007
  • "Not Business As Usual: Initial Business Bankruptcy Lessons Under BAPCPA 2005," Michigan Business Law Journal, Fall 2006
  • "In re Morris: Is the Sixth Circuit Inviting Real Estate Constructive Trust Claims in Bankruptcy Cases?" Michigan Real Property Review, Spring 2002

Representative Matters

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Foley was named U.S.A. M&A Deal of the Year award winner for its work representing Steven Madden, Ltd. (NASDAQ: SHOO) in its acquisition of Schwartz & Benjamin, a recognized leader in the manufacture and distribution of footwear and accessories for upmarket brands. This award recognized the top value-creating M&A transaction from $5 million to $50 million in transaction value. Foley served as lead advisor to Steve Madden in this deal. The Foley team included John Simon, Gjina Lucaj, Shang Kong and Chris Boll.According to the Global M&A Network, winning this award equates to achieving the “Gold Standard of Performance,” Global M&A’s seal of endorsement validating excellence and preeminent status in the local, regional and global markets.
Foley was named winner of the 2015 Distressed Energy Deal of the Year for the M&A Advisor 9th Annual Turnaround Awards for its representation of Younicos Inc., a global leader in intelligent grid and storage solutions, in the acquisition of energy storage systems assets and technology from Xtreme Power Inc. The nominations, representing more than 250 participating regional, national and global companies, were judged by an independent jury of industry experts. Winners represent the best of the distressed investing and reorganization industry.
Representing debtors in Chapter 11 cases for a food products manufacturer in the Eastern District of Michigan. The debtors sold $137 million in products. While in bankruptcy, the debtors will continue to operate its business while it reorganizes its operations. At the time of the filing a plan of reorganization was filed. In bankruptcy the companies lawsuits are stayed.