Robert Gebhard is a partner in Sedgwick’s Creditors Rights and Bankruptcy Practice Group and is a member of Sedgwick’s Cybersecurity team. He has over 29 years of core bankruptcy law experience, including prosecuting numerous civil enforcement actions in Silicon Valley bankruptcies during his tenure at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Robert has represented clients in a large variety of commercial bankruptcy cases and insolvency matters throughout the United States, and he has extensive experience providing strategic advice and litigation services to insurance companies, banks and other interested parties in mass and toxic tort-related bankruptcies.
Robert is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and represents clients in data breach and privacy disputes in bankruptcy cases and related litigation and in connection with sales, acquisitions and related transactions in hi-tech and other bankruptcy cases. Earlier in his career, he was a former law clerk to the Honorable Randall J. Newsome, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, and the Honorable Louise DeCarl Adler, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of California.
Robert’s extensive experience includes the representation of:
- A client in a large data security breach by a credit card processor, including successful litigation of objection to plan of reorganization in bankruptcy case and substantial award of attorney’s fees.
- A global settlement and policy buy-back resolving substantial personal injury and product recall claims caused by salmonella outbreak and product recall in bankruptcy case by large producer of organic peanut butter.
- Confirmation of plan of reorganization and policy buy-back in contested asbestos bankruptcy, resulting in channeling injunction, creation of asbestos trust and resolution of thousands of asbestos exposure claims.
- Claim objection resulting in total disallowance of $500 million class action proof of claim based on purported violations of California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act in bankruptcy case filed by debt collection agency.
- Carriers and other parties in interest in bankruptcies, receiverships and other insolvency proceedings involving asbestos claims, clergy sexual abuse claims and environmental damage claims.
- Secured lenders in collection of loans and enforcement of guarantees in bankruptcy cases filed by large commercial real estate developers, fast food restaurant chain franchisor, and vineyard owner.
- Secured lender in DIP financing and contested plan confirmation proceedings in bankruptcy case filed by publicly traded restaurant chain.
- Representation of parties in sales, acquisitions and related transactions in bankruptcy cases or insolvency matters involving intellectual property, customer lists and other property.
- Representation of liquidating trustee in Chapter 11 bankruptcies of international construction companies.
- Chapter 7 trustees in variety of commercial bankruptcies.
- Creditors’ committees in Chapter 11 bankruptcies of a publicly traded software company, international construction company, and national restaurant chain.
- Representation of creditors in all aspects of bankruptcy and insolvency matters, including preference actions, claims determination and relief from stay matters.
Presentations and Publications
- Author, Bloomberg Law: Bankruptcy Treatise, selected chapters (2014).
- Speaker, “Insurance Issues in Bankruptcy,” San Francisco Bar Association, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section (2011).
- Speaker, “Key Bankruptcy Issues and Strategies for Insurers,” Bermuda Insurance Institute (2011).
- Speaker, “What Insurance Companies Need to Know About Bankruptcy,” Association for California Insurance Companies, General Counsel Seminar (2009).
- Co-author, “Part VII Transfers, A Practical Guide,” Run Off & Restructuring (2008).
- Speaker, “Litigating Against a Party That Filed Bankruptcy,” Association of Business Trial Lawyers (2005).
- Guest lecturer on a variety of bankruptcy-related topics, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business (2002-2009).
- Author, “Dot-com Bankruptcies: A Preview From Silicon Valley,” ABI Journal (2000).
- 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal.)
- U.S. District Court (E.D. Cal.)
- U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.)
- U.S. District Court (S.D. Cal.)
- U.S. District Court (S.D. Ohio)
- J.D. (1986) Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington, cum laude
- B.A. (1983) Indiana University, with high distinction
Memberships and Affiliations
- International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) — Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US)
- California Bankruptcy Forum — educational co-chair (2006-2007)
- Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum — past president (2005-2006)
- U.S. Department of Justice, National Advocacy Center — instructor (1997-2000)