Honigman earns “Turnaround Atlas Award” for its role in representing the DIA in Detroit’s Plan of Reorganization

Press Release

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP recently received a Turnaround Atlas Award for its role in the City of Detroit’s Chapter 9 Plan of Reorganization. The Plan of Reorganization was named the “Turnaround of the Year.” The annual Turnaround Atlas Awards honor landmark deals, industry leaders, influential professionals and outstanding firms of the year from the restructuring and turnaround communities worldwide. Global M&A Network, a diversified information and digital media company, presents the awards. Accepting the award on behalf of Honigman at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, were firm partners Judy B. Calton and Scott B. Kitei.

Honigman served as lead counsel for The Detroit Institute of Arts throughout the City's Chapter 9 bankruptcy case. The firm advanced the DIA’s position that the museum art collection could not be used to satisfy municipal debts because the art collection was held in charitable trust and public trust and because donors had placed transfer and sale restrictions on artwork that were enforceable under Chapter 9.

Honigman also represented the DIA in the negotiation and consummation of the Grand Bargain, which was approved by the court. The Grand Bargain involved: (1) the contributions of $366 million by local and national foundations, $100 million by the DIA (through the support of foundations, corporations and individual donors), and $350 million by the State of Michigan; (2) the conveyance by the City of Detroit to the DIA of all of the City’s interests in all museum assets, including the DIA’s encyclopedic art collection and building; and (3) the commitment by the DIA to hold the museum assets in trust for the benefit of the residents of the City of Detroit, counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne, and the State of Michigan in perpetuity. 

More than 35 Honigman attorneys and staff helped guide the DIA through the City’s bankruptcy, including representatives of the following disciplines: 1) bankruptcy; 2) corporate; 3) government relations; 4) litigation; 5) mergers and acquisitions; 6) non-profit; 7) real estate; 8) tax; and 9) trusts and estates.

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