Gary H. Leibowitz is a member of the Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring and Litigation Departments. He maintains a national practice concentrated in the areas of corporate bankruptcy, creditors' rights, and commercial litigation. He also maintains a sports law practice and is a licensed agent. Clients rely on Gary’s strategic and experienced advice to craft comprehensive and creative solutions to complex financial and legal issues.
Gary has served as debtors’ counsel in the retail, manufacturing, wholesale, real estate, auto and specialty products industries, among others. He has also represented official committees of unsecured creditors in cases across the country in the skiing/golf resort and hospitality, gaming, technology, electronics, healthcare and wholesale industries. In these capacities, Gary has successfully restructured hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and coordinated the orderly disposition of a variety of distressed assets. In addition, he represents professional sports teams, DIP Lenders, asset purchasers, trustees, food suppliers, manufacturers, landlords, finance companies and others as creditors or stakeholders in Chapter 11 cases and complex bankruptcy-related litigation. Outside of the bankruptcy courts, Gary also regularly advises businesses and individuals in workout and restructuring negotiations with lenders.
Gary also has extensive experience in an array of complex business and commercial litigation, including shareholder disputes, fraudulent transfers, lender liability and business contracts. He has obtained successful trial verdicts and appellate decisions and crafted comprehensive settlements, in both state and federal courts nationwide.
Gary’s recent representations include the following:
Bankruptcy Court Representations:
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee in Think Finance, LLC et al. (in TX)
- Co-counsel for creditor’s committee in Ignite Restaurant Group. (in TX)
- Debtor’s counsel for Saturn Corporation (in MD);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Classic Communities Corporation (in PA);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Edge Pennsylvania (in PA);
- Debtors’ Counsel for Western Maryland Transport, Inc., and Western Maryland Lumber, Inc. (in MD) which successfully reorganized under a Chapter 11 new value plan;
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Tri State Trucking Company (in PA);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee in ZLOOP (in DE);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Dominion Paving & Sealing, Inc. (in VA);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Technology Specialists, Inc. (in MD);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Brown Building Corp. (in VA);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Greek Peak Ski Resort (In re Peak Resorts, Inc.) (in NY);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Wisp Ski Resort (In re D.C. Development, LLC ) and the post-confirmation responsible officer (in MD);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for the Epic Poker and Federated Heartland televised poker tours (In re Federated Sports & Gaming, Inc.) and the post-confirmation responsible officer (in MD);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for Game Trading Technologies, which was publicly traded prior to Chapter 11, and the post-confirmation responsible officer (in MD);
- Counsel for the creditor’s committee for The Merit Group and the post-confirmation administrator with respect to prosecution of over 200 preference claims;
- Counsel for professional sports teams and stadiums as executory contract or license parties, and as creditors in numerous Chapter 11 cases;
- Co-counsel for Debtor for the largest camera and imaging retail business in the country, Ritz Camera Centers, which, at the time of the filing of its Chapter 11 case, had 930 retail stores and sales of just under $1 billion, achieving confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan while preserving its core business through a sale to its principal;
- Co-counsel for Debtor for one of the largest independent homebuilders in the Mid-Atlantic, Gemcraft Homes, and its affiliates, which successfully reorganized under Chapter 11 and emerged with ownership intact and shedding over $100 million in secured debt as well as millions in unsecured debt, with exit financing of approximately $65 million;
- Co-counsel for Debtor for the largest paper distributor in the greater Washington, D.C. area, Frank Parsons Inc., obtaining confirmation of a Chapter 11 Plan and an asset sale that was honored with the 2012 M&A Advisor Turnaround Award - Professional Services Deal of the Year;
- Counsel for the DIP Lender in Emivest Aerospace Corporation;
- Defense of hospital and physician practices in a preference action exceeding $20 million;
- Defense of a mortgage origination company regarding contractual repurchase claims by the trustee of a failed REIT that acquired the mortgage;
- Counsel for the first patient care ombudsman in Maryland under BAPCPA (In re Atlantic Health); and
- Counsel for creditors and claimants in bankruptcy cases such as MCI/WorldCom, Ames Department Stores, Bombay, Musicland, KB Toys, Sharper Image, Southeast Waffles, and Dippin’ Dots.
Federal and State Court Litigation and Appeals
- An international food supplier in close to 100 cases in federal and state courts nationwide, recovering in excess of $20 million;
- Former executives of a national subprime mortgage lender against a mortgage investment company involving multimillion-dollar claims in federal court for fraudulent transfers, breach of contract and non-payment of wages;
- An officer and director of a construction company in the successful reversal by an appellate court of a state trial court’s decision on the alleged enforceability of a personal guaranty;
- An international lender in the construction and agriculture industries in various contract claims;
- A national automobile finance company in the defense of contract, statutory violation and consumer protection claims;
- An automobile dealership in defense of a class action in state court for a multimillion-dollar statutory violation and consumer protection claims;
- National automobile rental companies in state court in the defense of multimillion-dollar contract, statutory violation and regulatory claims; and
- A real estate holding company in litigation in state court involving a restrictive stock agreement and shareholder dispute, successfully preventing an injunction and restraining order.
Sports Law Matters
- Licensed NFLPA and CFLPA agent
- Review and revision of concessionaire agreements, PSL and luxury suite agreements, advertising agreements and vendor/supplier agreements for MLB teams;
- MLB and NFL teams and stadiums as executory contract or license parties, and as creditors in numerous Chapter 11 cases nationwide,including those involving American Airlines, Arena Media, Dippin' Dots, Mattress Discounters, and Coach USA;
- MLB teams and stadiums in state court insolvency proceedings, including the Spanish Beisbol Network case;
- The wife of a minority shareholder of a MLB team in litigation with respect to a real estate financing deal;
- The official committees of unsecured creditors for Wisp Ski Resort (In re D.C. Development, LLC) which included the successful sale of all assets to EPT Ski Properties; Greek Peak Ski Resort (In re Peak Resorts, Inc.); and the Epic Poker and Federated Heartland televised poker tours (In re Federated Sports & Gaming, Inc.) which included the successful sale of all assets to Pinnacle Entertainment; and
- The New York Racing Association in the Rosecroft Raceway case (In re Cloverleaf).
Gary's noteworthy decisions include:
- Bryce v. Maxim Crane Works, LP, Md. Ct. Spec. App., Sept. Term 2011 (decided March 28, 2013);
- In re Skeen, Goldman LLP, 2007 WL 4556683 (Bankr. D. Md., Dec. 20, 2007); and
- In re Shippers’ Choice of Virginia, Inc., 2006 WL 4667129 (Bankr. D. Md., July 21, 2006).
Consistently awarded high marks for the quality of his legal work and practical advice, Gary was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in its 2011 through 2019 editions in the areas of (i) Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and (ii) Litigation – Bankruptcy. He received Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine's Power Player of the Year Award (Attorney) for 2014. U.S. News & World Reports recognized him and his partners in Baltimore as being among the best law firms and best lawyers, earning a first-tier ranking in bankruptcy and reorganization law and bankruptcy litigation. He was also selected for inclusion in The Daily Record's "VIP List" in 2010, the list of top bankruptcy lawyers by The Deal in 2006 and 2007,and Baltimore Business Journal‘s "40 Under 40" in 2005. See Award Methodology.
Gary is a past president of the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the District of Maryland. He also served on the Bankruptcy Bar Association’s Judicial Nomination Committee, Debtor Assistance Project Committee and Joint Committee on Changes to the Local Bankruptcy Rules. The Joint Committee assisted the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland in revising the Local Bankruptcy Rules to reflect the changes contained in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. The Bankruptcy Bar Association was awarded the 2011 Maryland Pro Bono Service Herbert S. Garten Special Project Award while Gary was president for its work on establishing the Debtor Assistance Project.
Gary frequently speaks to corporate credit departments and lectures at conventions and conferences on creditors' rights and bankruptcy issues.
Gary has been a panelist for:
- “Bankruptcy Ethics” Bankruptcy Bar Assoc. of Maryland's 23rd Annual Spring Break Weekend, 2019;
- “Credit Yoga: Methods and Disciplines to Stabilize a Credit Risk and Create a Recovery,” WestLegalEd Live CLE Program, 2017;
- “Structured Dismissal and Gifting," MSBA Advanced Bankruptcy Institute, 2016;
- “Hot Topics on Plan Confirmation” MSBA Advanced Bankruptcy Institute, 2015;
- "Avoidance Actions - Preferences, Fraudulent Transfers and Jurisdictional Issues" WestLegalEd Webinar, 2014;
- "Involuntary Bankruptcies" Bankruptcy Bar Assoc. of Maryland's 18th Annual Spring Break Weekend, 2014;
- "Hot Topics on Plan Confirmation" MSBA Advanced Bankruptcy Institute, 2014;
- "Using Social Media for the Job Search and Beyond" University of Baltimore School of Law, 2012;
- "Credit Bidding and 363 Sales" ABI Mid-Atlantic Conference, 2012;
- "Ethical Minefield of Creditors’ Committee Representation and Membership" Bankruptcy Bar Assoc. of Maryland's 15th Annual Spring Break Weekend, 2011;
- "Bankruptcy Forum:, What Judges and Trustees Want You to Know" National Business Institute, 2010;
- "Second Lien Financing Issues" Bankruptcy Bar Assoc. of Maryland's 13th Annual Spring Break Weekend, 2009;
- "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" Chesapeake Chapter of the Risk Management Association and the National Association of Credit Management, 2005;
- "Successfully Managing Claims Before and During Bankruptcy" U.S. Foods' Northeast/Southeast/Chain Regional Credit Conference, 2004.
Gary has authored many articles, including:
- “Prepare for Takeoff: Creative DIP Financing,” which appeared in Law360 - Bankruptcy Law Newsletter on May 13, 2011;
- “Eleventh Circuit Adopts Xonics Approach to Discount Contingent Liabilities for Insolvency Determination in Fraudulent Transfer Litigation,” published in the Commercial Fraud Task Force Committee Newsletter, American Bankruptcy Institute; and
- “Fourth Circuit Upholds Bankruptcy Court’s Authority to Avoid a Fraudulent Transfer of Foreign Real Property,” Commercial Fraud Task Force Committee Newsletter, American Bankruptcy Institute.
Gary earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 1996 and his B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1993. He is admitted to practice in Maryland and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, Maryland State Bar Association, Sports Lawyers Association and the Beth Tfiloh Community School's board of trustees.