Robert L. Eisenbach III is of counsel in the Cooley Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice group. He joined the firm in 1986 and served as partner from 1993 to 2011. He is resident in the San Francisco office.
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America ® for Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, and recognized as one of Northern California's Super Lawyers®, Mr. Eisenbach focuses his practice on restructuring, bankruptcy, distressed M&A and related litigation. He is regularly involved in cases throughout the country, including California, Delaware and New York.
For more than 20 years, Mr. Eisenbach has guided companies and their boards of directors through Chapter 11, out-of-court restructurings and recapitalizations, whether a billion dollar company restructuring publicly-held debt, a middle market company or a technology start-up. He is often asked to bring his distressed M&A expertise to bear in helping private equity and company clients navigate the unique issues involved when buying or selling assets of financially troubled or bankrupt companies.
On the creditor side, he frequently represents unsecured creditors' committees in Chapter 11 cases in a range of industries, including retail, semiconductor and storage technology, biotechnology and healthcare. In addition, he has specific expertise in Chapter 15 cross-border bankruptcy cases involving companies in Europe and Asia. He has also litigated a wide variety of bankruptcy-related disputes, director and officer liability litigation, complex commercial litigation and intellectual property cases.
Mr. Eisenbach's representative engagements include:
- Cylex Inc. (now Immunology Partners Inc.), as lead debtor's counsel, including in the successful Section 363 sale to ViraCor-IBT Laboratories, Inc. of substantially all of its assets at auction, in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware;
- IntraOp Medical Corporation (now MC Liquidation Inc.), as lead debtor's counsel, including in the successful Section 363 sale to an entity formed by Firsthand Technology Value Fund, Inc., of substantially all of its assets, in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Northern District of California;
- Old UGC, Inc., as lead reorganization counsel in its successful restructuring of $1.2 billion in debt through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York;
- Out-of-court restructurings and recapitalizations of numerous companies;
- Levi Strauss & Co. in its acquisition of approximately 70 outlet stores from Anchor Blue Retail Group, Inc. in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in the District of Delaware;
- A private equity buyer of the European subsidiaries of MTI Technology Corporation in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in the Central District of California;
- Althea Technologies, Inc. in its acquisition of the assets of Altus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in its bankruptcy case in the District of Massachusetts;
- Dot Hill Systems Corp. in its acquisition of key intellectual property from Ciprico, Inc. in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in the District of Minnesota;
- The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Shoe Pavilion, Inc., in the Central District of California;
- The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of the Mount Diablo YMCA, in the Northern District of California;
- The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Michael Anthony Management, Inc. (f/d/b/a Sierra Snowboard), in the Northern District of California;
- The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Deltagen, Inc., a public biotech company, in the Northern District of California;
- The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of San Jose Medical Clinic, Inc., Music Semiconductors, Inc., Sanrise, Inc., Any Mountain, Ltd. and Track ‘n Trail, Inc., in the Northern District of California;
- The lead creditor in the Chapter 15 bankruptcy case of SNP Boat Services, S.A., in the Southern District of Florida;
- The debtor in possession lender in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Hawaii Biotech, Inc., in the District of Hawaii;
- Major landlords in the Chapter 11 reorganizations of Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, Western Nonwovens, Inc. and other cases, in the District of Delaware; and
- Monster Cable, Inc., eBay and other clients as creditors in bankruptcy cases throughout the United States.
Mr. Eisenbach publishes In The (Red)®: The Business Bankruptcy Blog, to help CEOs, CFOs, boards of directors, credit professionals, in-house counsel and others stay informed about important business bankruptcy issues and developments. He is also a regular commentator on bankruptcy issues in the press, having been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Venture Capital Journal (Thomson Reuters), Distressed Debt Investor, and the legal newspapers The Recorder and Daily Journal, among others.
He has developed a national reputation for helping clients deal with the intersection of intellectual property and bankruptcy law, representing licensors, licensees and others on these complex issues. He testified before the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 on intellectual property licenses, their treatment in bankruptcy cases, and potential reforms to address several key issues. He has also served as vice-vhair of the Subcommittee on Technology-Oriented Bankruptcies of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association's Business Law Section and is a frequent speaker on the interplay between bankruptcy and intellectual property law, as well as other aspects of bankruptcy law.
Before joining Cooley, Mr. Eisenbach served as a law clerk to the late Judge Albert Tate Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. He received a J.D. in 1985 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, and completed his undergraduate education at Louisiana State University, where he graduated in 1982, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics. Upon graduation from LSU, he was awarded the University Medal for Highest Academic Achievement and received a Phi Kappa Phi National Graduate Fellowship.
- University of Virginia School of Law
JD, 1985, Order of the Coif
- Louisiana State University
BA Political Science and Economics, 1982, summa cum laude
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- American Bar Association
- Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum
- The Bar Association of San Francisco