Ellen Arvin Kennedy


Chapter 11 Liquidating Trustee and Receiver representation and appointments

Ellen has a wealth of experience handling Chapter 11 cases as counsel for debtors, unsecured creditor committees, and lessors. She has also, specifically represented both operating and liquidating trustees in Chapter 11 cases, and has served as a court-appointed Chapter 11 liquidating trustee. Ellen was appointed Chapter 11 Liquidating Trustee for Cambrian Coal Company and Trinity Coal Company, and served as counsel for operating and liquidating trustees in other Chapter 11 cases which has provided her with a thorough understanding of the claims investigation and litigation process from the liquidating trustee position. Ellen has investigated and filed hundreds of preference actions, complex fraudulent conveyance actions and suits alleging breach of fiduciary duty against former principals of a debtor. In addition to prosecution of and administration of claims, Ellen has supervised the liquidation of real property, all manner of equipment and large machinery, thoroughbred horses, accounts receivable and general personal property. This experience ensures that she is adept at managing the liquidation and distribution process and coordinating the efforts and resources needed to ensure creditors’ interests are protected and the intended resolution is reached.

Counsel for Elizabeth Z. Woodward, Receiver, In re Zayat Stables, LLC

Client: Elizabeth Z. Woodward

Ellen represented Elizabeth Z. Woodward in her role as court appointed receiver in the case MGG Investment Company v. Zayat Stables LLC et al, and successfully defended a challenge to the continued receivership when Zayat Stables, LLC filed for bankruptcy protection. Zayat Stables, LLC was the owner of the 2015 Triple Crown and Breeders Cup Classic winner American Pharoah, and more than 70 thoroughbreds when the receiver action was filed. The receiver was tasked with locating and physically securing the Zayat Stables horses, which were being boarded and trained all over the country and selling them through a combination of auctions at Keeneland Association, Inc., Fasig-Tipton Co. and private sales. Through the sales process, Ellen assisted the receiver in evaluating asserted lien claims and making the appropriate distributions out of sale proceeds. The receiver was also tasked with racing decisions, which required placing horses in appropriate races along with the administrative work of securing insurance and care for horses as may be necessary, determining ownership of breeding rights which had been assigned to others by Zayat Stables, collecting unclaimed purses at race courses across the country, settling unresolved claims against Zayat Stables filed before racing authorities in several states and filing her accounting with the presiding courts.


Ellen has served as counsel for a community hospital which filed Chapter 11 and ultimately sold to a nearby metro hospital system, a Chapter 11 Trustee appointed to liquidate an operating hospital, counsel for an unsecured creditors committee in a Chapter 11 case in which the debtor was an operating hospital which emerged from the bankruptcy process pursuant to a plan of reorganization, and the principal owners of a small regional hospital which was ultimately sold. Through this work, Ellen is well-versed in the unique challenges of operating a healthcare business in and out of the bankruptcy context. She has experience dealing with administrative agencies such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services and similar state agencies for the purpose of collecting Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements and navigating the setoff process for the benefit of her clients. As a participant in the sales of hospitals and clinics, Ellen is aware of the challenges in selling health care assets, and knows how to transfer operational permits and patient data in compliance with applicable state and federal law.

Natural Resources

Ellen represented clients in several capacities in Chapter 11 Cases involving coal, gas and oil companies. She has represented debtors, trustees, unsecured creditor committees, lenders, lessors, critical vendors, and general unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 cases of debtors operating in the national resource industry. Representing clients in such as variety of roles has given Ellen unique insights into the coal and natural gas business in terms of financing, budgeting, operations, liquidation, negotiation of coal supply contracts, lease assumption analysis and negotiation, as well as addressing transportation and labor issues in compliance with state and federal law. Over the course of her career, Ellen has assisted both debtors and bidders in the sales of dozens of properties and understands the complex permit transfer process that accompanies such sales.

Unsecured Creditor Committees

Ellen has served as counsel for unsecured creditor committees in chapter 11 cases which cover a wide array of industries, including coal, agriculture, and retail. She has also served as counsel for many more creditors appointed to serve on committees, assisting with the work of the committee group as well as protecting her client’s individual interests as necessary.

Corporate Reorganization and Membership Unit Sale

This transaction involved a corporate reorganization of several limited liability companies which collectively owned or controlled certain coal producing and related assets followed by the sale of all of the membership units for approximately $20,000,000 to a publicly traded company. Our firm’s experience in mergers and acquisitions, natural resources and tax matters enabled the client to maximize membership unit value and complete this transaction in an efficient and timely manner.