Patrick M. Birney

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Patrick Birney is a member of the firm's Finance and Business Litigation Groups, leading the firm's creditors' rights practice. Since 1998, Mr. Birney has focused his practice on complex transactional, litigation, and advisory work related to the debtor/creditor relationship, including restructurings, chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, workouts and "prepackaged" chapter 11 matters, and commercial finance. He has extensive experience representing secured and unsecured creditors, trustees, debtors, official and ad hoc creditors' committees, and other parties in chapter 11 restructurings, adversary proceedings, state court receiverships, and out-of-court workouts.

    Mr. Birney also has broad range of experience handling commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts, routinely representing businesses involved in contract disputes, fraudulent transfer, fraud, civil theft, and intercompany claims. He has represented businesses in the insurance, manufacturing, health care, distribution, logistics, shipping, energy, retail, and construction industries.

    Mr. Birney is a frequent lecturer and participant on educational panels related to bankruptcy, insolvency, commercial law, and creditors' rights. In addition, he is a frequent author and contributor to several national bankruptcy publications. To date, his articles have been cited by several judicial opinions, including In re Reichgott, 2013 WL 5492532 (Bankr. N.D.Ohio, 2013), and In re Kebe, 444 B.R. 871, 880 (Bankr. S.D.Ohio, 2011). He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law in 2017 and 2018.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Co-counsel to debtors in O.W. Bunker Holding North America (District of Connecticut).

      • Special counsel to debtors in Mortgage Lenders Network USA, Inc. (District of Delaware).
      • Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Sigg Switzerland (USA), Inc. (District of Connecticut).

      • Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Label Systems, Inc. (District of Connecticut).

      • Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in N.V.E., Inc. (District of New Jersey) and counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Fleet Trucking, Inc. (Southern District of New York). *
      • Counsel to a member of the Creditors' Committee in IdleAire Corporation (District of Delaware). *
      • Counsel to a member of the Creditors' Committee in Bayonne Medical Center (District of New Jersey). *
      • Counsel to Integrated Control Systems, Inc. (District of Connecticut). *
      • Special counsel to the chapter 7 trustee in Murdoch Claims Management (District of Connecticut), a third-party insurance claims administrator.
      • Restructuring counsel for a subsidiary of one of the nation's largest Spanish-speaking newspapers.
      • Represented American subsidiary of international packaging machinery manufacturer in claims under Delaware's fraudulent transfer and unlawful dividend statutes.
      • Represented major insurance company in adversary proceeding involving claims of fraud, unfair trade practices, and successor liability against debtor in possession.
      • Represented insurance carriers in filing and prosecuting involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against insolvent third-party claims administrators.
      • Represented trustee in an adversary proceeding in a dispute with debtor over ownership interest in publicly traded securities.
      • National bankruptcy counsel for market trend and merchandising consultant to the retail and fashion industry.
      • Represented designer and manufacturer of firearm component parts in licensing and royalty dispute with international firearm manufacturer.
      • Counsel to national construction services provider in Circuit City (Eastern District of New Jersey), a national consumer electronics retailer.
      • Representation of managed care insurer, which issued a group health plan to an employer that subsequently entered into bankruptcy. On behalf of managed care insurer, Robinson & Cole handled all aspects of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, including negotiation of the inclusion of managed care insurer in the court's critical vendor payment order to allow premiums to continue to be paid from the debtor's assets, payment of all accounts receivable due to the insurer, and timely assumption of the group health plan insurance contract by the bankruptcy trustee.
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      * Atty. Birney was counsel in these representative transactions before joining Robinson+Cole.
    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bankruptcy Institute

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section
      Litigation Section

      Turnaround Management Association
      Director, Vice President Public Relations

      Connecticut Bar Foundation
      Fellow

      Hartford County Bar Association
      Board of Directors (2013 - 2017)

      American Bankruptcy Institute Journal
      Coordinating Editor

      Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice
      Editorial Advisory Board

      Defense Research Institute
      Commercial Litigation Committee
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      St. John's University, CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Complex Bankruptcy Litigation

      Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "First 100," 2013

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Creditor Debtor Rights for 2015 and in Bankruptcy for 2013, 2014, and 2016 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law since 2017

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Town of Wallingford
      Public Utilities Commission, Secretary (2015 - Present)
      Planning and Zoning Commission, Vice Chairman (2003 - 2015)

      Connecticut Lottery Corporation
      Board of Directors, Vice Chair (2015 - Present)
      Board of Directors, Chairman of Finance Committee

      G.R.O.W.E.R.S., Inc.
      Board of Directors; the corporation, a 501(c)(3), provides employment and educational opportunities for intellectually disabled clients

      The N.E.W. 34th Charitable Corp.
      President; the corporation, a 501(c)(3), provides funding for civic and charitable causes within New Haven County
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Unharnessing the Governmental-Unit Stay Exception: SEC v. Miller," co-authored with Andrew A. DePeau (May 2016)
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      "Toward Understanding Make-Whole Premiums in Bankruptcy," published in Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice (August 2015)
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      "Perfecting Security Interests in a Debtor's Insurance Policy," published in American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (April 2015)

      "Revisiting Presumption Against Extraterritoriality in Avoidance Actions," published in American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (September 2014)

      "Section 363 Sale Orders: May Sales Be Made Free and Clear of Successor Liability Claims?" published in Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice (July 2013)

      "State Insurance Law Trumps Code: 'Reverse Preemption'," published in American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (May 2013)

      "Should SIPA Trustee Have Greater Power Than Chapter 7 Trustee to Pursue Third-Party Claims?" published in American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, co-authored with Travis R. Searles (May 2012)

      "May a Bankruptcy Court Exercise Supplemental Jurisdiction Predicated on Its Referred 'Related To' Jurisdiction?" published in Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, co-authored with Michael R. Enright (January 2010)

      "Resource Conservation and Recovery Act vs. Chapter 11: When Is a 'Discharge' Not Discharged," published in American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, coauthor (November 2009)

      "Bankruptcy Rule 9024: Paper Tiger or Powerful Procedural Tool When Stacked Against the Bankruptcy Code," published in Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice (June 2009)

      "Reawakening Section 1334: A New Framework for Analyzing the Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements in Bankruptcy," published in American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review (Winter 2008)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Insolvency and Cross Border Insolvency in the Jurisdiction of the United States of America," at ADVOC International Business Law Conference, published materials (9/19/2013)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • June 9, 2016

        Hartford Lawyers Publish Article in ABI Journal

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      • January 21, 2016

        Patrick Birney Writes Article on Make-Whole Premiums for Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice

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      • April 13, 2015

        Patrick Birney Writes Article for ABI Journal

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      • November 18, 2014

        Join Robinson+Cole at the 4th Annual Economic Forum

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      • October 30, 2014

        Patrick Birney Authors Article for ABI Journal

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      • January 23, 2013

        Connecticut Law Tribune quotes Robinson & Cole's Pro Bono Work

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      • December 17, 2010

        Attorneys Reelected to Connecticut Chapter Board

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      • June 30, 2010

        Patrick Birney Leads Off Bankruptcy Law360 coverage of Schwab v. Reilly

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      • February 2, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Elected to Board of Directors of Turnaround Management Association’s Connecticut Chapter

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      • November 14, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Gains Over 30 Former Thelen Attorneys in Hartford, Connecticut and New York City

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • July 25, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Involved in Award Winning International M&A Deal

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      • November 29, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Recognized for Work on “Deals of the Year”

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      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • April 8, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyer Patrick Birney Elected Vice Chair of Connecticut Lottery Corporation's Board

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • November 21, 2013

        Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Names Six Robinson & Cole Lawyers Among its “First 100”

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      • November 7, 2013

        Connecticut Legal Services Honors Robinson & Cole for Pro Bono Domestic Violence Restraining Order Program

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      • August 30, 2013

        Patrick Birney Elected to Hartford County Bar Association’s Board of Directors

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      • January 11, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Elects New Partners

    • Newsletters

      Newsletters

      Bankruptcy Sale Order Won't Protect New GM from Ignition Switch Claims Due to Deficient Notice, co-authored with Michael R. Enright and Steven J. Boyajian