Image: Frank Merola

Frank Merola

Partner, Corporate Department

Overview

Frank Merola is a partner in the Financial Restructuring group at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. After nearly 30 years in practice, Mr. Merola’s legal and business acumen and creative execution strategies have earned him a reputation as a bold and tireless advocate in business reorganization, who achieves his clients’ objectives both in and out of court.

Mr. Merola has demonstrated his capacity to find creative solutions time and again. Recently, as debtor’s counsel to Haggen Food and Pharmacy, for example, he guided the grocery chain in decisively terminating unprofitable operations and methodically liquidating those related assets, while preserving the going concern value of Haggen’s profitable core business. Haggen confirmed a liquidating plan and made substantial distributions to stakeholders.

Mr. Merola advises debtors, creditors, official and ad hoc committees, acquirers and equity holders both in chapter 11 and out-of-court restructurings. He services a broad spectrum of industries, ranging from real estate gaming and leisure, oil and gas, retail, healthcare and communications and media.

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring (2022)
  • Chambers California
  • Best Lawyers
  • Chambers USA
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Legal 500 United States
  • Turnaround Management Association (USA Capital First Trust Deed Fund), Large Company Transaction of the Year Award
  • IFLR1000, "Deal of the Year: Banking and Finance" for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 2021
  • The M&A Advisor, Energy Deal of the Year (over $1B) for EP Energy, 2021

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1988; Order of the Coif; Order of the Barrister; Moot Court Honors Program – Board of Judges, 1988; Distinguished Advocate, 1987
  • B.S., cum laude, Georgetown University, 1985

Representations

  • 21st Century Oncology (ad hoc group of creditors)
  • Aladdin Hotel & Casino (official creditors’ committee)
  • Arizona Charlie’s (debtor)
  • ATP Oil & Gas (debtor)
  • BPZ Resources, Inc. (debtor)
  • Caesars Entertainment Group (ad hoc group of creditors)
  • Crusader Energy (debtor)
  • Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust (trustee)
  • EP Energy (official creditors’ committee)
  • Extraction Oil & Gas (official creditors’ committee)
  • Fontainebleau Las Vegas (ad hoc committee of noteholders)
  • Gateway Casinos (ad hoc committee of noteholders)
  • Global Brands Group (official creditors' committee)
  • Haggen Holdings LLC (debtors)
  • Herbst Gaming (official creditors’ committee)
  • Innkeepers USA Trust (official creditors’ committee)
  • Insight Health (debtor)
  • JAKKS Pacific Inc. (ad hoc group of unsecured convertible noteholders)
  • LSC Communications (official creditors’ committee)
  • LightSquared (secured creditor)
  • M*Modal (official creditors’ committee)
  • The McClatchy Company (official creditors' committee)
  • MSR Resorts Golf Course LLC (official creditors’ committee)
  • Naartjie Custom Kids, Inc. (debtors)
  • OnCure Holdings, Inc. (ad hoc group of noteholders)
  • PG&E Corporation (DIP lender)
  • Resort at Summerlin (debtor)
  • Tronox, Inc. (official creditors’ committee)
  • Tropicana Hotel & Casino (noteholder)
  • Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts (equity committee)
  • Village of Tuxedo, NY (party to Hosting Agreement)

    Engagement & Publications

    • Speaker, AIRA – 13th Annual Advanced Restructuring Conference, New York, NY, November 11, 2014
    • Speaker, "Overview of Chapter 11," Macquarie Capital, October 21, 2014
    • Panelist, "Restructuring Process," The Defense Industry in a Time of Change, New York, NY, March 27, 2014
    • Speaker, "Evidentiary Privileges," ABI’s 25th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, December 5-8, 2013
    • Speaker, ABI’s 21st Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, Incline Village, NV, August 22-24, 2013
    • Moderator, "Fundamentals of Valuation Analysis, Part III: Testing the Models in Case Decisions and Other Scenarios," VALCON 2013 Conference, Las Vegas, NV, February 20, 2013
    • Panelist, "NCBJ/ABI Roundtable," 86th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, San Diego, CA, October 24-27, 2012
    • Speaker, "Fiduciary Duty Issues," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, San Diego, CA, October 26, 2012
    • Speaker, "Bad Boy Guarantees," American Bankruptcy Institute – Southwest, Las Vegas, NV, September 14, 2012
    • Speaker, "How to Achieve a Successful Restructuring in Today’s Changing Legal and Business Environment," Turnaround Management Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA, October 26, 2011
    • Speaker, "Surviving a Distressed Credit Scenario," Native American Finance Officers Association Annual Conference, Jersey City, NJ, September 15, 2011
    • Speaker, "Distressed Credit and Debt Management," Native American Finance Officers Association Spring Finance Conference, Pala, CA, March 22, 2011
    • Speaker, "The Chips Are Down: Dealing with Casino Bankruptcy Cases," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, New Orleans, LA, October 14, 2010
    • Speaker, "Industry Trends – Who Will Benefit From and Who Will Labor Under the Economic Recovery," Turnaround Management Association Distressed Debt Conference, Las Vegas, NV, January 27- 29, 2010
    • Speaker, "Snake Eyes – Casino Bankruptcies," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Las Vegas, NV, October 18-21, 2009
    • Speaker, "Understanding Capital Markets," American Bankruptcy Institute – Southwest, Lake Tahoe, NV, September 10-12, 2009
    • Speaker, "Financial Institutions and Hot Topics," California Bankruptcy Forum Annual Conference, Carmel, CA, May 17, 2009
    • Speaker, "Rights Offerings, Kellogg Business School Conference," Chicago, IL, May 6, 2009 Milken Institute, "Taking Control of Restructurings to Drive Successful Turnarounds," Beverly Hills, CA, April 28, 2009
    • Speaker, "Rights Offerings," Turnaround Management Association Distressed Investing Conference, Las Vegas, NV, January 27, 2009
    • Speaker, "Chaos in the Boardroom: A Day in the Life of a Director in a Distressed Company," Turnaround Management Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, October 29, 2008
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    Involvement

    • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Member, Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum
    • Member, The State Bar of California
    • Member, Turnaround Management Association

    Practice Areas

    Financial Restructuring

    Languages

    English

    Admissions

    District of Columbia Bar
    New York Bar
    California Bar

    Education

    UCLA School of Law, J.D. 1988
    Georgetown University, B.S.B.A. 1985

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