Mayer Brown served as lead restructuring counsel for GWG Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates (GWG), a publicly-traded life settlements and alternative investments company, in GWG’s plan confirmation and successful emergence from Chapter 11, resolving more than $2.1 billion in debt.
After a contentious near 16-month long process, which included the resignation of GWG’s pre-petition senior management and legacy board members, GWG obtained court approval of the Chapter 11 plan at an uncontested hearing on June 15th, with the plan officially going effective on August 1, 2023. The plan provides for the creation of two trusts to monetize GWG’s assets and ultimately provide recoveries for the company’s 26,000 bondholders.
GWG filed for bankruptcy in April 2022 in the Southern District of Texas with over $2 billion in debt, including $1.6 billion of bonds held by individuals and trusts. In the ensuing 16 months, Mayer Brown worked to obtain stakeholder consensus and support for GWG’s Chapter 11 plan, advised GWG on its entry into three different financing facilities secured by GWG’s life insurance policy portfolio and engaged in several rounds of mediation in front of US Bankruptcy Judge David R. Jones.
GWG confirmed its Chapter 11 plan with overwhelming support—achieving over 99% of acceptance by voting parties. In addition, the company resolved all formal and informal objections to the plan, making it fully consensual. Judge Marvin Isgur congratulated Mayer Brown partner Tom Kiriakos on the result calling it “remarkable” and noting that “I never dreamed we would get to this hearing and there would be no opposition…. I very much thank the approach that you’ve taken to the case throughout – you and your whole team… It’s been very impressive to watch.”
“It was no small feat to get to a consensual plan with over 99% support from bondholders,” said Tom. “We could not have gotten here without the hard work of our restructuring, corporate, finance, litigation and tax teams, who worked seamlessly across our US offices. We are thrilled at this outcome, especially for bondholders who will now have the infrastructure in place to maximize their recoveries.”
The Mayer Brown team included partners Tom Kiriakos, Louis Chiappetta, Lucy Kweskin, Jamie Netznik, Adam Wolk, Charles Kelley, Remmelt Reigersman, John Ablan, Ryan Ferris, David Bakst, Jennie Kratochvil and Tristan Propst, counsel Craig Reimer, Brett Moskowitz, Michael Sherman, David Goett and Leslie Cruz and associates Lisa Holl Chang, Josh Gross, Ashley Anglade, Jade Edwards, David Mills, Adam Kulewicz, Laura Saini, Colleen Dunn, Katie Conterio, Laura Billiter, Ana Tobar, Chelsea Zheng, Alexander Kingsley, H. Anthony Park, Andrew Elkhoury, Susan Alkadri, Carolina Herrera, Anna Durham and Danielle Charron from the firm’s New York, Chicago, Houston and Northern California offices.