Kevin Barrett concentrates his practice in business reorganizations and bankruptcies. Kevin has nearly 20 years of experience in representing debtors, creditors, stockholders, and virtually every other type of interested party in some of the country’s largest and most complex business reorganizations and bankruptcies. His practice involves complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation, corporate and banking transactions, and corporate governance, as well as general advice and planning in debtor-creditor relations, business reorganizations, and bankruptcy cases.
Prior to joining Bailey & Glasser, Kevin practiced law in New York at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the leading bankruptcy firm in the country, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. At those firms, Kevin represented debtors in a wide variety of industries, including Texaco, Eastern Airlines, MCorp, R.H. Macy’s, Best Products, and Primary Health Systems. He also represented large bank and secured creditors in the business reorganizations and bankruptcy cases of, among others, Federated Department Stores, NVR/Ryan Homes, Pandick Press, and Van Dusen Airport Services, as well as unsecured creditors. He has also represented stockholders and corporate acquirers in the bankruptcy cases of Enron, Revco, and others.
Since joining the firm in 2012, Kevin has brought that depth and breadth of experience to bear on an equally wide range of matters. He represented Royal Automotive Company and F&N Construction in successfully concluding their chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. He has also represented banks and other financial institutions in initiating new loans, negotiating work-outs on existing credits, and navigating chapter 11 bankruptcies. He has represented various corporate acquirers both in and out of bankruptcy cases. And he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in fraudulent transfer and other litigation arising out of bankruptcy cases and workouts.
Of particular note, Kevin has overseen the firm’s representation of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and various other State agencies in the Chapter 11 cases of, among others, Alpha Natural Resources, Patriot Coal, WP Steel, Mission Coal, Freedom Industries, Appalachian Fuels, and Trinity Coal. He has also represented the Trustee of the Yellowstone Club Liquidating Trust in connection with its litigation seeking to collect more than $520 million in judgments against former billionaire and founder of the Yellowstone Club, Tim Blixseth.
The New York Times featured Kevin’s work on behalf of the DEP in a front-page article on June 7, 2016. His work on behalf of the Yellowstone Trust has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Forbes, among many other publications.
Trinity Coal Corporation
Served as Special Assistant Attorneys General for the State of West Virginia in connection with Trinity Coal’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, representing the Department of Environmental Protection.
Appalachian Fuels LLC Bankruptcy
The firm represented the West Virginia Department of Environment Protection (DEP) in prosecuting its claims against Appalachian Fuels LLC for the costs of providing ongoing reclamation and water treatment at a former Appalachian Fuel mining site and for penalties. After a three-day bankruptcy trial in a Kentucky bankruptcy court, we received a judgment awarding the DEP more than $700,000 in penalties and nearly $2.0 million to address reclamation of an abandoned coal mine in the State. The decision gives regulators a strong hand in enforcing environmental laws against bankrupt coal companies. Team Members: Kevin W. Barrett Michael B. Hissam
Blixeth v. Yellowstone Club Liquidating Trust
Blixseth v. Yellowstone Club Liquidating Trust—Bailey & Glasser obtained affirmance in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of a contempt order and a $13.8 million default judgment relating to the sale of property in violation of a court order.
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
Continuing our longstanding representation of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, our lawyers served as Special Assistant Attorneys General in the Alpha Natural Resources bankruptcy cases in the Eastern District of Virginia. The Alpha cases represented the State’s most significant effort to protect its interests in the bankruptcy proceedings of large coal companies. For DEP, our lawyers helped secure settlements that provided more than $325 million for reclamation and water treatment in the State. The firm’s team included Kevin Barrett and Michael Hissam.
Freedom Industries, Inc.
The firm represented the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in connection with the Freedom Industries case, which involved a chemical spill that affected the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians. The firm helped to secure a settlement with Freedom and one of its principal that provided for the cleanup of the site of the chemical spill.
Patriot Coal Corp. Bankruptcy
Our lawyers served as Special Assistant Attorneys General in both Patriot Coal bankruptcy cases, the first in the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of Missouri and the second in the Eastern District of Virginia. They represented the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection as well as the West Virginia State Tax Department and Offices of the Insurance Commissioner. For the DEP, our lawyers helped secure a settlement valued at $50 million for the State to help ensure funding of reclamation and water treatment. On behalf of the Tax Department, our lawyers obtained dismissal of the Patriot trustee’s $5-plus million suit to recover alleged tax refunds due.
WP Steel, LLC
On behalf of the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner, firm lawyers served as Special Assistant Attorneys General for the State of West Virginia in connection with the Chapter 11 case of RG Steel, LLC. After RG Steel defaulted on its workers’ compensation obligations, firm attorneys obtained relief from the automatic stay to allow the Insurance Commissioner to obtain $7 million in funds to pay workers’ compensation claims.
New York, 1988
West Virginia, 2019
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Law Clerk Intern, Senior Judge Roy G. Harper, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, 1985
Memberships and Affiliations
Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
Business and Government Affairs Associate, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Teacher, Rye City School District, Rye, New York
Teacher, New York City Board of Education, New York, New York
Q: Let’s start out with a general overview of your practice. How do you describe to recruits or family what it is you do?
A: Corporate bankruptcy lawyer, having represented debtors, creditors, and government agencies in a variety of large corporate restructurings and reorganizations.
Q: What do you like about your practice? What is professionally satisfying?
A: It is varied, from industry to industry, and from case to case, and depending upon which “side” I represent. It also involves a high degree of business sense and understanding, both in terms of how each business and industry works as well as reading and understanding financial statements and information.
Q: What cases are keeping you busy these days?
A: Big coal company bankruptcies, particularly representing the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Q: What is the impact on clients or the industry from this case?
A: The treatment of environmental claims in bankruptcy is still very much up in the air and the resolution of each of these cases carries with it the possibility of creating entirely new law that may affect companies’ abilities to reorganize and government’s ability to deal with the adverse effects of coal mining.
Q: What deals are keeping you busy these days?
A: Lately, the deals I have worked on have been bank loans and corporate acquisitions (completely unrelated to bankruptcy).
Q: How did you come to represent/take on that matter?
A: These matters came to me through other partners of the firm who represent banks and acquirers.
Q: Do you have advice now for current law school students?
A: Work hard and long on anything and everything. There is no substitute for experience.
Q: Is there anything in particular early in your career that you consider key to arriving at your current level of excellence?
A: Without a doubt the key to my career was working an ungodly number of hours at a big New York firm that is the leading bankruptcy firm in the country. I got my 10,000 hours in the first 3.5 years.
Q: How has your practice changed since the early part of your career?
A: Early on, I took everything I could get my hands on and worked incessantly. I have now scaled it back and found a better balance between work and life.
Q: Is there a case/deal/client in your career that stands out as a “favorite” or one that is particularly memorable?
A: The Texaco bankruptcy launched everything for me. It gave me the opportunity to work with and get to know personally some of the best in the business on a going-forward basis. It made my choice of practice one of intense interest. And it generated innumerable war stories that still make me laugh 25 years later.