David M. Zensky focuses on commercial litigation, with a concentration in complex bankruptcy matters, mergers and acquisition disputes, partnership/investor disputes, trade secret disputes, insurance matters and general commercial disputes.
Practice & Background
He has served as lead trial counsel in numerous high-stakes, multifaceted bankruptcy proceedings and represents a variety of financial restructuring clients, including official creditors’ committees, ad hoc committees, debtors, and individual creditors including hedge funds and institutional investors.
Among his notable recent successes, he most recently lead a team that won confirmation of a hotly-contested plan following a four-day trial on behalf of an offshore oil drilling company in the District of Delaware Bankruptcy Court. (In re Hercules Offshore, Inc., 2016 BL 366002 (Bankr. D. Del. Nov. 1, 2016)). He also served as lead trial counsel to the principal creditor or creditor groups in the chapter 11 proceedings of Tribune, Lyondell, Rescap, NII, Chemtura and Stone Energy. He is currently serving as lead counsel to the Tribune post-reorg Litigation Trust in pursuing claims totaling several billion dollars.
Mr. Zensky served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gary S. Stein, New Jersey Supreme Court, from 1987 to 1988.
Mr. Zensky’s recent representations also include:
- lead trial counsel to UMB Bank, N.A. Trustee to the Junior Secured Noteholders In re Residential Capital, LLC 518 B.R. 720, (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2014) (rejecting claims of UCC to recover alleged preferences and avoid liens, and to characterize OID arising out of a fair value exchange as unmatured interest)
- lead trial counsel to Aurelius Capital, second largest unsecured creditor, in NII bankruptcy litigation respecting the settlement of threatened estate and individual claims In re NII Holdings, Inc., Case No. 14-12611 (SCC) (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 2016).
- lead trial counsel to largest holder of pre-LBO debt of Tribune Company in competing plan/9019 proceedings (In re Tribune Co., 464 B.R. 126 (Bankr. D. Del. 2011); In re Tribune Co., 464 B.R. 208 (Bankr. D. Del 2011); In re Tribune Co., 472 B.R. 223 (Bankr. D. Del 2012); In re Tribune Co., 476 B.R. 843 (Bankr. D. Del. 2012))
- lead trial counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Chemtura Corporation (In re Chemtura Corp, 439 B.R. 561 (S.D.N.Y. 2010)) (Confirming contested plan)
- lead trial counsel to holder of $2.6 billion of senior secured debt of Lyondell-Basell, Inc. in connection with avoidance litigation commenced by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and subsequent settlement/plan proceedings (In re Lyondell Chemical Co., Case No. 09-10023, Bankr. S.D.N.Y.)
- lead trial counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Calpine Corporation (In re Calpine Corp., 2007 WL 4565223 (Bank. S.D.N.Y. 2007) (confirming plan); In re Calpine Corp, 390 B.R. 508 (S.D.N.Y 2008) (affirming))
- lead trial counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Exide Industries, Inc. (In re Exide, 303 B.R. 48 (Bankr. D. Del. 2003)(rejecting plan))
- counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of TOUSA, Inc.
- lead counsel to defendant a hedge fund in class action litigation alleging commodities manipulation, antitrust and RICO claims in connection with NYMEX futures contracts; obtained precedent-setting order dismissing complaint based on its reference to CFTC consent settlement. (In re Platinum and Palladium Commodities Litig., 828 F. Supp. 2d 588 (S.D.N.Y. 2011))
- lead trial counsel to Indenture Trustees in $3 billion nationwide shareholder clawback litigation arising out of Tribune Leveraged buyout. (In re Tribune Co. Fraudulent Conveyance Litig., Multidistrict Litigation No. 11 MD 2296 (RJS), 2013 WL 5311439 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 23, 2013))
- defense counsel in successful dismissal of a consumer class action brought under and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) seeking damages and penalties of $1 billion against an e-commerce website (Haslam v. Federated Dep’t Stores, Inc., 07-61871 CIV, 2008 WL 5574762 (S.D. Fla. May 8, 2008))
- counsel to major private equity fund in post-closing dispute arising out of sale of two portfolio companies
- counsel to Chinese venture capital fund in dispute arising out of sale of portfolio company; obtained dismissal of all claims of buyer and precedent-setting attachment order ((Visionchina Media Inc. v. Shareholder Representative Servs., LLC, Docket No. 652390/10, 2011 NY Slip Op 33689 (U) (Sup. Ct., N.Y. County, Oct. 12, 2011.))
- counsel to a large Russian telecom company in a Delaware appraisal proceeding arising out a recent merger valued in excess of $4 billion (Global GT, LP v. Golden Telecom, 993 A.2d 497 (Del. Ch. Ct. 2010), Golden Telecom, Inc., v. Global GT LP, 11 A.3d 214 (Del. 2010))
- counsel to a private equity fund and its managing directors in successfully avoiding the assertion of any claims arising out of alleged Medicare fraud violations committed by an underlying portfolio company
- counsel to a leading content-based website in a trade secret and employment dispute against its main competitor following the competitor’s hiring away the senior architect of the company’s website.
- co-counsel to leading excess insurer in coverage litigation arising out of failure of Bank One Corp. obtained summary judgment based on exhaustion clause and insured below-limits settlement with underlying excess carrier (JP Morgan Chase & Co. v. Indian Harbor Ins. Co., 603766/08, 2011 WL 2320087 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. County, . May 26, 2011), aff’d, 947 N.Y.S.2d 17 (N.Y. App. Div. June 12, 2012))
- counsel to a leading Financial Institutions insurer in connection with fidelity claims arising out of a major Ponzi scheme
- counsel to a leading excess insurer in a policy limits claim under a blended policy providing directors and officers, errors and omissions, and fidelity coverage.
Mr. Zensky is involved in community, civic and charitable activities that include being a:
- director of the Giving Circle of Lower Westchester, a group focused on feeding the hungry in our own backyard
- member of the Board of Trustees, Temple Israel of New Rochelle.
Awards & Accolades
- New York Metro Super Lawyer, 2010 and 2013-2017
- Benchmark Litigation - New York Litigation Star (2013 – 2017)
- “How to Win the Failing Case,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s Winter Leadership Conference, December 1, 2018 (moderator)
- “Protecting Privilege in a World of Rapid Communications and Shifting Alliances,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 4th Annual Mid-Level Professional Development Program, November 9, 2012
- “Litigation in Complex Bankruptcies,” 9th Annual AIRA Advanced Restructuring and Plan of Reorganization Conference, November 15, 2010
- “Plan Valuation: Caselaw Update and Emerging Strategy and Tactics,” 7th Annual AIRA Advanced Restructuring and Plan of Reorganization Conference, October 21, 2008 (moderator)
- “New E-Discovery Rules and Bankruptcy Litigation,” 6th Annual AIRA Advanced Restructuring and Plan of Reorganization Conference, Sept. 18, 2007.