Thomas B. Walper, a senior bankruptcy lawyer and restructuring professional, has rejoined Munger, Tolles & Olson as a partner. For the past two years, Mr. Walper has been head of corporate restructuring for investment firm Plainfield Asset Management in Greenwich, Conn. Prior to that, Mr. Walper had been a partner at Munger Tolles for 16 years.
“Tom’s business experience and his years of bankruptcy practice make him an invaluable addition to our bankruptcy and reorganization practice,” said Sandra Seville-Jones, co-managing partner of Munger Tolles. “We are fortunate to welcome back a Munger Tolles veteran in a critical practice area given the difficult economy.”
While at Munger Tolles, Mr. Walper played a significant role in many of the country’s largest chapter 11 cases and restructurings, including Refco, Calpine, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Kmart, United Airlines, Southern Pacific Funding, California Power Exchange and Coho Energy. He was the lead bankruptcy counsel for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for several years representing them in connection with the Enron, FINOVA Group, Fruit of the Loom, Oakwood Homes, and USG Corporation bankruptcy cases. At Munger Tolles, Mr. Walper’s practice will include the representation of debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, unsecured creditors, and boards of directors, as well as the representation of acquirers and sellers of financially troubled companies, both in and outside of bankruptcy.
“I am invigorated to come back to the practice of law with the significant experiences I have gleaned from my role as a buy-side principal,” Mr. Walper said. “The current economic conditions have led to some of the most sophisticated and challenging bankruptcy work the industry has seen, and I am looking forward to helping our clients in these complex times.”
At Plainfield, Mr. Walper contributed to the analysis and underwriting of investments in distressed securities and private transactions and developed and implemented both consensual and litigated exit strategies for distressed private and public investments. In this role, he acted as a principal representative on numerous formal and informal creditors committees. He first joined Munger Tolles in 1991, after serving as a partner in Stroock & Stroock & Lavan’s bankruptcy group.
Mr. Walper has twice (2002 and 1999) been recognized by Turnarounds and Workouts magazine as one of the country’s top 12 bankruptcy lawyers. The author of numerous articles and a treatise on the representation of creditor’s committees, he is a frequent speaker on complex bankruptcy topics. Mr. Walper was one of the founders of the Debtor Assistance Program of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which provides insolvency services to indigent consumers with more than 150 attorney volunteers within the Central District of California.