Halliburton Completes Historic $5.33 Billion Restructuring
Halliburton and its subsidiaries completed one of the largest mass-tort restructurings in history on January 20, 2005 , with the creation and funding of two settlement trusts that will be responsible for the companies’ asbestos and silica on a going-forward basis.
The restructuring also was one of the fastest major asbestos cases in history, being completed ahead of all but one of the other approximately 20 major asbestos-related bankruptcy cases that were pending when the affected subsidiaries sought bankruptcy protection in December 2003.
Under the plan that became effective on January 20, Halliburton and its subsidiaries have funded the two trusts with $2.775 billion in cash for current settled claimants and contributed stock, notes and cash with a value of over $2.5 billion to the trusts for use in paying future and unsettled claimants. Under the plan, Halliburton and its subsidiaries are protected from future asbestos and silica claims by a permanent channeling injunction issued by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The firm began representing Halliburton in connection with the plan in July 2002, working closely with Halliburton general counsel, Bert Cornelison. Solicitation of votes on the proposed prepackaged plan of reorganization began in September 2003 and the affected companies filed for bankruptcy in December 2003 to implement the proposed plan after receiving affirmative votes from over 98 percent of current asbestos claimants and 99 percent of current silica claimants.
The Baker Botts team was Andy Baker, Jack Kinzie, Michael Li, and Eric Söderlund, all of Dallas; and Tony Davis, Bill Hart, Jr., Richard Husseni, James Leader, Greg Nelson, Darrell Taylor, Jason Beauvais, Geoff Schultz, and Denmon Sigler, all of Houston , represented Halliburton.
Halliburton was represented internally by Executive Vice President and General Counsel Albert O. Cornelison, Jr. and by Thomas J. Cooney, Assistant General Counsel. The Baker Botts lawyers who provided bankruptcy, general corporate and finance counsel to Halliburton included Jack Kinzie, Andrew Baker, Michael Li, and Eric Söderlund of the firm’s Dallas office, and Darrell Taylor, Jim Leader, Tony Davis and Bill Hart, Jr., of the firm’s Houston office. Jeffrey Rich and Michael Zanic of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, Pittsburgh , served as bankruptcy and insurance counsel for the filing subsidiaries .
The informal asbestos claimants committee was represented by Elihu Inselbuch and Peter Lockwood of Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd. of New York and Washington D.C. Peter Angelos of the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, Baltimore; Steven T. Baron of Silber Pearlman, Dallas; Matthew P. Bergman of Bergman, Senn, Pageler & Frocki, Vashon, Washington; John D. Cooney of Cooney & Conway, Chicago; Joseph Rice of Motley Rice LLC, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; Christopher E. Fitzgerald of Pritchard Law Firm, PLLC, Pascagoula, Mississippi; Steven Kazan of Kazan, McClain, Edises, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons & Farrise, Oakland, California; Steven J. Kherkher of Williams • Bailey Law Firm L.L.P., Houston; Sanders McNew of Weitz & Luxenberg, New York; Mark C. Meyer of Goldberg, Persky, Jennings & White, P.C., Pittsburgh; and Thomas Wilson of Kelley & Ferraro, Cleveland were members of the asbestos committee.
James Patton of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, Wilmington , Delaware , represented Eric Green, as legal representative for future claimants.
Baker Botts L.L.P., founded in 1840, is a leading international law firm with offices in Austin , Baku , Dallas , Houston , London , Moscow , New York , Riyadh and Washington . With more than 700 lawyers, Baker Botts provides a full spectrum of legal services to regional, national and international clients. For more information, please visit www.bakerbotts.com.