Seth Van Aalten, Partner

Seth Van Aalten is a partner in the New York office, where he practices in the areas of corporate restructuring and creditors' rights, with an emphasis on the representation of official committees of unsecured creditors and other parties in complex commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in industries including retail, manufacturing, metals and mining, media, technology, health care, food and beverage, airlines, and hotels. Seth has significant experience litigating issues involving solvency, valuation, financing and cash collateral contests, section 363 asset sales, recharacterization, equitable subordination, substantive consolidation, and similar disputes.

Seth also specializes in the prosecution of fraudulent transfer, D&O litigation and other bankruptcy estate causes of action on behalf of debtors and creditors, including his representation of the creditors' committee in the Mervyn's Chapter 11 case where he led the prosecution and successful resolution of a $1.2 billion litigation against certain significant companies, private equity firms and financial institutions.

Seth has extensive experience representing official committees of unsecured creditors in such prominent Chapter 11 cases as RadioShack, Blockbuster, Magnetation, Mervyn's, Sharper Image, Sbarro, Midway Gold, Baha Mar, Eddie Bauer, Vertis Holdings, SkyMall, Allens Vegetables, KB Toys, Frederick's of Hollywood, Alco Stores, Elephant Bar Restaurants, ConnectEdu, Scooter Stores, Norstan Apparel, and Today's Man.

Seth's other noteworthy representations include:

  • Counsel to the Official Employment-Related Issues Committee of Enron Corp. in the prosecution of over 40 actions against former executives of Enron to recover $30+ million of deferred compensation payments made on the eve of Enron's bankruptcy filing;
  • Counsel to the Bayonne Medical Center, which overcame several financial and legal hurdles in its Chapter 11 case to successfully consummate a going concern sale to a consortium of operators for approximately $41 million;
  • Counsel to the Official Committee of Tort Claimants in the initial Chapter 11 cases of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York and counsel to the MedMal Trust Monitor in Saint Vincent's successor Chapter 11 cases in the Southern District of New York;
  • Counsel to Abovenet, Inc. f/k/a Metromedia Fiber Networks and its 14 affiliated debtors in their successful Chapter 11 cases;
  • Counsel to the Ad Hoc Creditors' Committee in the out-of-court liquidation of CompUSA;
  • Counsel to Pacific Ethanol Holding Co. LLC and its four ethanol plant subsidiaries in their successful Chapter 11 case in the District of Delaware; and
  • Counsel to Southern Airlines in the prosecution of a substantial breach of contract action in Delaware bankruptcy court.

Seth has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by New York Super Lawyers Magazine and was previously named as one of the Top 40 Bankruptcy Lawyers Under the Age of 40 in New York by the American Society of Legal Advocates.

Seth is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the American Bar Association.

Education

  • Boston University School of Law
    JD, 2003
  • Binghamton University
    BA, 2000, cum laude

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Association
New York
The Grace Building
1114 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036-7798

Phone: +1 212 479 6104
Fax: +1 212 479 6275
svanaalten@cooley.com
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