“Study the past if you would define the future.” Confucius’ quote is a favourite of Michael Rotsztain, who has been practising insolvency and restructuring law for over 40 years. Beginning his career at the legendary insolvency firm of Harries Houser, where he had the good fortune of being mentored by a bankruptcy law dream team, Michael spent the major part of his career at a leading Bay Street firm and since 2014 has been the chair of GSNH’s five-lawyer Restructuring and Insolvency Group. Michael recounts how insolvencies and restructurings have evolved over his career and shares what he thinks are the next steps in the evolution.
Uncovering the stories and thoughts of some of the most interesting and influential people in the Canadian restructuring industry.
In a restructuring, time is more valuable than money. This is the key advice of Jonathan Solursh, who, with his team at R.e.l. group inc., has acted as Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) in many complex restructurings. Here, he gives us an inside look at the role of a CRO and the key part it can play when a company is in a distressed situation.
To the general public who see him on TV business news, Doug Hoyes is the serious guy in a suit that is always warning Canadians to get their spending under control. But helping consumers manage their debt has become Doug's passion -- a passion that has translated into a very successful personal bankruptcy practice. Doug sits down with us and shares how he built his practice and what he does to succeed in the ultra-competitive personal bankruptcy space.
For the past five years, Philip Gennis has quietly been working to untangle the multi-million dollar, "Banners Broker" scheme, employing many of the tools in an insolvency practitioner's toolkit. Philip sits down with us to discuss this "once-in-a-career" file.
Serving as an ambassador of the Canadian insolvency system on the international stage was probably not on Bill Skelly's mind when he was a student at the University of Manitoba (the Harvard of the Prairies), but he's covered a lot of kilometers since then, both figuratively and literally. Holding the distinction of being the first Canadian to serve as Chairman of the Turnaround Management Association, Bill shares with us how the global insolvency scene has evolved over the years and how Canada's insolvency system is viewed by practitioners abroad.
There's no questioning that the real estate market across Canada has been on a tear for the last several years. Like any industry though, it is not immune to problems. Just ask Bobby Kofman, who has handled several insolvencies in the space. Recently, Bobby and his team led the restructuring of Toronto-based developer Urbancorp. Bobby shares with us KSV's approach to dealing with a real estate restructuring, the lessons home buyers can learn from Urbancorp, and more.
Cash is a rare commodity in most insolvencies, and it unfortunately often means insolvency practitioners have to walk away from litigation that could put big dollars in the pockets of creditors. Naomi Loewith and the team at Bentham IMF are aiming to change that with the introduction of litigation funding for the Canadian market. Naomi sits down with us to explain the concept and discuss how it is being received in the market.
Smart as a whip (he earned the gold medal on the 2013 National Insolvency Exam) and keenly aware of the changing nature of restructuring work, Mike McTaggart has carved out a unique and very successful approach to his insolvency practice. Mike sits down with us to explain how he predicts companies that will get into trouble and why he thinks CCAA filings will bounce back to higher levels.
Marcus Wide was told that he filed the very first proposal under the BIA when it transitioned from the Bankruptcy Act back in the 1970s and enjoyed a successful career on the Canadian insolvency scene before leaving Canada for warmer climes; he now spends his time unraveling sophisticated frauds and chasing criminals and their assets across the Caribbean and beyond. Grab your morning coffee and prepare to be entertained as Marcus tells us what it is like to do insolvency work down in the islands.
They're a hardy bunch, those Canadians in Atlantic Canada, and Halifax insolvency lawyer Ben Durnford is no exception. Born and raised in the area, Ben sits down with us to discuss, among other things, the challenges that come with living and doing business in an area of Canada that has traditionally been so dependent upon natural resources.