On June 28, 2001, Laidlaw Inc. and Laidlaw Investments Ltd. filed for court protection in Toronto under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Laidlaw Inc. and five of its related holding companies, Laidlaw Investments Ltd., Laidlaw International Finance Corp., Laidlaw One Inc., Laidlaw Transportation, Inc. and Laidlaw USA Inc., filed in Buffalo under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in efforts to restructure approximately US$4 billion in debt. Laidlaw Inc., based in Burlington, Ontario, is a holding company for North America’s largest providers of school and intercity bus transportation, municipal transit, patient transportation and emergency department management services.
Goodmans LLP is Canadian counsel to Laidlaw Inc., and its restructuring team is led by Jay Carfagnini, with assistance from Geoff Morawetz, Candy Schaffel, Brian Empey, Joe Latham, Michele Altaras and Melaney Wagner. Stephen Halperin leads the Goodmans LLP group on the corporate and securities side with a team that includes Celia Rhea, Allan Goodman, Matt Angus and Sheila Forbes. Maureen Berry and Carrie Smit deal with tax matters, Benjamin Zarnett handles litigation aspects, Joel Monson handles banking matters and John Brookes deals with employment matters. Ivan Cairns, Senior Vice-President and Laidlaw’s General Counsel, co-ordinates legal matters for the company.
Laidlaw’s US restructuring counsel is Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, with a team led by Richard Cieri, Paul Harner, Jamie Wareham and Garry Graber of Hodgson Russ LLP. Laidlaw’s board of directors is being advised by C. Clifford Lax of Lax O’Sullivan Cronk LLP in Canada and by Robert Heller of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in the US.
Laidlaw’s bank syndicate (US$1.2 billion) is advised by Stikeman Elliott, Toronto, where the team is led by David Byers and Sharon Polan in Canada with assistance from Ashley Taylor and Michael Klinck on insolvency issues, Jennifer Legge and Craig Mitchell on banking issues and Tom Vowinckel on tax issues. Margot Schonholtz of Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells leads the team in the US.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto, is counsel to Laidlaw’s public noteholders (US$2.1 billion). The McCarthy Tétrault LLP restructuring team is led by S. Richard Orzy with Kevin Zych, and includes Michael Barrack and Geoff Hall (litigation), Eric Gertner, Jim Morand (tax), David Armstrong (securities) and Lori Bieler (restructuring). Debevoise & Plimpton, New York, is American co-counsel to the public noteholders, with a team led by Peter Borowitz and Richard Hahn.
General Electric Capital Corporation and General Electric Capital Canada Inc., Laidlaw’s “debtor-in-possession” lenders under a US$200 million DIP financing facility, are advised by a McMillan Binch team led by Scott Horner (corporate financial services) and Jeff Gollob (corporate restructuring), with assistance from Don Waters (corporate financial services), Richard Koo (corporate financial services), Paula Bokser (corporate financial services), John Kalm (corporate restructuring) and Dan MacDonald (litigation) in Canada and by Paul, Hastings, Janofosky & Walker LLP (a team led by Leslie Plaskon and Jesse Austin III) in the US. Jill Zellmer, Managing Director and Counsel, GE Capital Commercial Finance, Inc., co-ordinates legal matters for GE Capital.
Ernst & Young LLP’s Murray McDonald is the court-appointed monitor and financial advisor, and Derrick Tay of Meighen Demers LLP acts for Ernst & Young LLP.