Jones Day has appointed Detroit’s former emergency manager to a leadership role in Washington.
The firm has acknowledged the remarkable success of Kevyn Orr in guiding Detroit out of bankruptcy, welcoming him back as a partner in its restructuring practice and as partner-in-charge of its Washington office. Orr replaces Gregory Shumaker, partner-in-charge of the office since 2011 and a nearly 30-year veteran of Jones Day.
Orr is a highly experienced bankruptcy and restructuring specialist. He practiced law as a Jones Day partner in Washington starting in 2001, taking on high-profile bankruptcies involving names such as Chrysler and Anthracite. In March 2013, with Detroit floundering in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in US history, Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder appointed Orr to the position of Emergency Manager. In that role, Orr oversaw a process in which Jones Day partner David Heiman played an instrumental role.
Detroit’s plan of adjustment, announced in November 2014, has been hailed as a success for alleviating Detroit’s $18 billion of debt by about $7 billion and avoiding the sale of any of the irreplaceable artworks in the Detroit Institute of Art Museum. To some observers, the outcome was remarkable for the fact that all the major creditors involved came around to accepting a reduction in their final recovery.
“At the outset, every single creditor constituency was adamant that they’re entitled to 100 cents on the dollar, but the only ones who did get that were the secured creditors,” Heiman told IFLR1000 at the time of the historic settlement. “In any proceeding, as long as they have collateral, the secured creditors are legally entitled to get 100 cents on the dollar. Here, all the unsecured creditors took a reduction. So first and foremost, as a template for other municipal bankruptcies, nobody can say any more that it can’t be done or it hasn’t been done.”
Orr holds a JD and a BA from the University of Michigan.