Michael D. SirotaMembermsirota@coleschotz.com New York Office
1325 Avenue of the Americas, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10019
New Jersey Office
Court Plaza North, 25 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601
T(NY): 646-563-8942 / T(NJ): 201-525-6262
C: 201-637-4890 / F: 201-678-6262
Legal Practice Assistant: Caroline De Courcey-Côte
T: 201-489-3000 ext. 5020
Michael Sirota is the co-managing shareholder of Cole Schotz and co-chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Department. He has restructured billions of dollars of distressed debt both in and outside of the courtroom, and represents clients in high stakes litigation at the trial and appellate level, in state and federal courts throughout the country. Michael is respected by client and adversary alike for his meticulous preparation, litigation prowess, and diplomatic style. In a recent complex commercial litigation matter, culminating in a 20-day evidentiary hearing, Michael’s abilities were described as follows:
“I’ve known Mike since early in my career and it has been apparent since day one that he is an intelligent, thought-provoking individual with a rare ability to command a room. His candor, thoroughness and unrivaled talent makes him a highly effective trial attorney. I’m pretty much a control freak, but when it comes to high-stakes litigation, I put it all in Mike’s hands. There is no one better.”
-Andrew J. Russell, Founder and Chief Executive of Stairway Capital
In the restructuring context, Michael represents publicly and privately held debtors, trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, equity holders, indenture trustees, venture capitalists, private equity/hedge funds and parties with strategic interests in distressed situations and insolvency proceedings throughout the country. He is sought out by his clients for counsel on a range of issues as a trusted friend and advisor and by the media as a knowledgeable source, having appeared on CNN Moneyline and Fox Business.
Described as "one of the best" and "enormously quick on his feet" in Chambers USA, Michael has the unique distinction of being admitted as a Fellow in both the American College of Bankruptcy and Litigation Counsel of America.
No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. See Award Methodology.
Representative Restructuring Matters
- Chapter 11 counsel to Tarragon Corporation, a publicly traded residential real estate developer. Tarragon and its approximately one hundred subsidiaries had consolidated assets of approximately $840 million and consolidated liabilities of $1 billion. Tarragon secured several rounds of debtor-in-possession financing, accomplished settlements with numerous secured lenders, and confirmed a plan of reorganization with the support of all stakeholders.
- Counsel to purchaser Rudin Development, one of the most prominent real estate developers in New York City, in the $260 million acquisition of the hospital campus of chapter 11 debtor St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers located in Manhattan.
- Chapter 11 counsel to Tropicana Casino and Resort-Atlantic City, the third largest casino in Atlantic City, with $1.3 billion in debt and accomplished a Section 363 sale to an entity controlled by Icahn Holdings.
- Chapter 11 counsel to Zayat Stables, LLC preeminent thoroughbred stable and owner of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
- Chapter 11 counsel to five senior living facilities obtaining interim relief from, and ultimately rejecting, collective bargaining agreements and, thereafter, confirmation of a Chapter 11 cram-down plan.
- Counsel to publicly traded Advance Auto Parts Inc ($5b market cap) in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Chapter 11 debtor R&S Strauss.
- Chapter 11 counsel to Crumbs, Bake Shop, Inc. involving the sale of substantially all assets under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
- Chapter 11 counsel to Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, formerly the Atlantic City Hilton, in the execution of its chapter 11 strategy including the design and implementation of a competitive sale process under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
- Counsel to the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee of Atlantic City Casino Revel AC, Inc.
- Chapter 11 counsel to Marcal Paper Mills, Inc. one of the country’s largest and most respected manufacturers and suppliers of paper, tissue and waxed products. Assisted the company in the procurement of $84 million in debtor-in-possession financing and in negotiating the sale of substantially all its assets on a going concern basis.
- Counsel to New York Waterway in the out of court resolution of its complex operating and debt structure.
- Counsel to several hospital and healthcare distressed entities including St. Joseph's Health and Medical Center in the successful restructuring of $100 million New Jersey Health Care Authority Bonds. St. Joseph's is a not-for-profit medical facility consisting, system-wide, of 1,000 beds, 5,000 employees, 1,000 physicians and a 135-year history of providing quality health care to the disadvantaged.
- Appellate Counsel to Yorkville Advisors - (U.S.D.C. NJ) obtaining a reversal of bankruptcy court decision avoiding, among other things, $100 million lien claim.
In addition, Michael has been lead counsel in countless restructurings including the following companies: Manchester Mall, Inc., EnCap Golf Holdings, LLC, Princeton Ski Shops, Best Manufacturing Group, LLC, Burke Industries, Inc., Topps Appliance City, Inc., Knights Lodging, Inc., Economy Lodging Systems, Inc., Carretta Trucking, Inc., Horowitz/Rae Book Manufacturers, Inc., Hit or Miss, Inc., Integral Nuclear Management, Workbench Furniture, Inc., Jazz Photo Corp., Linens 'N Things, and has represented substantial parties in the bankruptcy proceedings of K-Mart, Bethlehem Steel, New Valley Corporation, Bayonne Medical Center, Kara Homes, Rickel Home Centers, Inc., Neuman Distributors, Inc., Keystone Camera Corporation, MacGregor Sporting Goods, Inc., Mutual Benefit Overseas, Inc., Grand Court Lifestyles, Inc., Bradlees Stores, Inc., and Agway, Inc
Representative Complex Litigation Matters
- Litigation counsel to Trump AC Casino Marks LLC, Donald J. Trump and Ivanka Trump in the prosecution of a state court action to terminate a trademark and licensing agreement to Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. and related casino entities (Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal). After the entities filed chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, we moved for emergent relief from the automatic stay, conducted expedited discovery and successfully obtained stay relief allowing the state court action to proceed.
- Stairway Capital - counsel to secured creditor in enforcement of loan obligation and obtained dismissal of lender liability counterclaims in New York Supreme Court and subsequent twenty day AAA hearing.
- Special litigation counsel in the Chapter 11 proceedings (SDNY) of Parmalat USA Corp., to investigate and pursue avoidance actions against GE and Citigroup relating to, among other things, recharacterization, accounts receivable securitization and challenge to a $100 million off balance sheet “synthetic lease”. Working under an extraordinarily limited time frame, the Cole Schotz team immediately served extensive discovery on the debtors, GE and Citigroup, conducted extensive depositions, thoroughly analyzed complex case law and, ultimately, issued a comprehensive report and recommendation to the Committee. As a result of Cole Schotz’s efforts, and together with the Committee, Cole Schotz engaged in extensive and vigorous discussions with all interested parties culminating in a consensual filed a plan of reorganization providing a substantial recovery to the unsecured creditors.
- Sagamore Partners - (Sagamore Hotel) appellate counsel to reorganized debtor in appeals regarding plan confirmation (U.S.D.C. – S.D. Fla).
- Ampal-American Israel Corporation- counsel to board of directors of publicly traded corporation in the defense of various claims (SDNY).
- Major Privately Held NYC Real Estate Entity - counsel to privately held real estate company and principals in 17 day arbitration proceeding resulting in successful defense of state law based claims including breach of contract and fraud.
- Rock-Tenn Converting – counsel to multi-billion dollar company in federal court fraudulent transfer action and state court preference action.
- New Jersey Affordable Home - counsel to Retired United States District Court Judge and Trustee in multiple party litigation in federal court against twenty lenders.
- Litigation counsel to defendant in simultaneous proceedings before the United States District Courts in the Southern District of New York and New Jersey and successfully vacated an ex parte receivership and seizure order. Thereafter obtained an order from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey vacating the $30 million dollar judgment upon which the ex parte orders were issued.
He co-authored West Publishing’s New Jersey Practice Series Sirota and Meisel, Debtor-Creditor Law Practice (2017), the New Jersey Bankruptcy Manual and has written numerous articles.
A frequent lecturer and author on bankruptcy topics for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Michael has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® (since 2000) and has been included in the Top 10 and Top 100 New Jersey Super Lawyers® list since 2005. He has also received the highest ranking by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for the past seven years. Michael has served as a member of the Lawyers Advisory Committee for the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of New Jersey. He served on the 2006, 2007, 2009 – 2012 United States Magistrate Judges Judicial Selection Committee for the United States District Court and the 2006, 2013 and 2014 Merit Selection Committee for United States Bankruptcy Judges in New Jersey.
Michael is actively involved professionally as a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, as former Master, in the Bankruptcy Inn of Court, and as a member of the Board of Advisors for the New York State Bar Association’s Managing Partners Conference.
Michael earned his J.D., cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law.
EducationSyracuse University College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1986
Bar & Court AdmissionsNew Jersey, 1986U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1986New York, 1987U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1987U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1987U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1987U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1987U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1987U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2007
August 15, 2018
May 3, 2018
March 19, 2018
As published in: Law360 October 18, 2017
As published in: New Jersey Law Journal October 18, 2017
As published in: Law360 October 4, 2017
September 20, 2017
As published in: Law360 August 22, 2017
August 15, 2017
Michael Sirota was quoted in an article titled, "Retailers Tap Consultants to Wiggle Out of Mall Leases"
As published in: The Wall Street Journal July 11, 2017
May 30, 2017
Michael Sirota, Arianna Christopher, Alan Rubin, Christopher Kula and Roger Iorio are representing Boca Raton, Florida-based AMI on its purchase of Us Weekly
As published in: The American Lawyer March 22, 2017
Our representation of American Media was included in the article, “AMI Buys Us Weekly from Wenner Media”
As published in: Women's Wear Daily March 15, 2017
Michael Sirota comments on a case that could upend the practice of recovering money when a company files for bankruptcy
As published in: TheStreet December 7, 2016
Michael Sirota and Felice Yudkin discuss the Second Circuit ruling in the General Motors bankruptcy case
As published in: New York Law Journal September 19, 2016
August 15, 2016
As published in: Law360 June 17, 2016
May 27, 2016
As published in: 2016 New Jersey Super Lawyers April 2016
Michael Sirota, Ilana Volkov, and Edward Kiel are speaking at the 19th Annual William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench Bar ConferenceAttorneys Speaking: Michael D. Sirota, Ilana Volkov and Edward Sun KielMarch 10, 2017
Asset Sales/Real Estate Don’t Restrict My Sale: The Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants and Easements in Assets Sales in BankruptcyAttorney Speaking: Michael D. SirotaApril 17, 2015
Great Debate at American Bankruptcy Institute 2011 Winter Leadership Conference:Attorney Speaking: Michael D. SirotaDecember 2, 2011
New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education Panelist:Attorney Speaking: Michael D. SirotaJune 20, 2011
NJ Bench-Bar Conference Panelist:Attorney Speaking: Michael D. SirotaMay 13, 2011
Third Circuit Judicial Conference Panelist:Attorney Speaking: Michael D. SirotaMay 6, 2011
Bankruptcy Preparation: Beyond the BasicsAttorney Speaking: Michael D. SirotaMay 1, 2010
New York Law Journal September 25, 2017Rebecca Hollander and Michael D. Sirota
COMMERCE Magazine November 6, 2015Michael D. Sirota
ABI Labor and Employment Committee Newsletter December 4, 2014Michael D. Sirota and Ryan T. Jareck
Law360 February 3, 2014David M. Bass, Michael D. Sirota and Ryan T. Jareck
New Jersey Practice Series - Sirota and Meisel, Debtor-Creditor Law Practice
West Publishing Group 2013Michael D. Sirota and Michael S. Meisel
New Jersey Law Journal These efforts, however, often spur contentious litigation with landlords trying to protect their tenant mix with restrictive-use provisions February 2, 2003Michael D. Sirota and Warren A. Usatine