Lillian Stenfeldt is the chair of Sedgwick’s Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Practice Group and represents clients throughout the country in all aspects of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings and strategy. Lillian represents secured creditors, hedge funds, creditors’ committees, trustees and receivers.
Lillian also represents companies that purchase intellectual property from bankruptcy estates and assists companies in efficiently structuring business transactions and licenses to prevent losses and protect assets due to potential future insolvencies of others.
Lillian has extensive experience in international commercial loan workouts, non-bankruptcy workouts and other out-of-court restructuring of debt. In addition, she structures settlement agreements with financially troubled companies to optimize clients recovery of monies due. Lillian represents bankruptcy trustees, assignees for the benefit of creditors and state court real estate receivers and various creditors in those types of proceedings. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups.
Lillian has acted as outside general counsel to several technology and manufacturing organizations, attending board meetings and providing strategic advice to the board. Currently she serves as counsel to insurers and reinsurers in major bankruptcy cases involving potential asbestos and other mass tort liability around the country. Such engagements include issues involving plan confirmation, class action claims, preferences, policy buybacks, scope and terms of trusts and jurisdictional matters.
Lillian is a long-time advocate for the advancement of professional women in the law and in business. She served as chair of Sedgwick’s Women’s Forum from 2005 to 2013. She is a member of the board of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) and served as co-director of WILEF West for two years.
- Represented regional bank with $10 million in debt, secured by mixed collateral in bankruptcy case.
- Obtained insurance policy buybacks in mass tort, asbestos and food poisoning bankruptcy cases.
- Represented conglomerate of business enterprises in the U.S., Europe and Australia in a non-bankruptcy, cross-border workout with $600 million of debt, achieving full payment to all creditors.
- Represented major music entertainment company ($1 billion annual revenue) in non-bankruptcy restructuring of debt, publicly traded bond debt and leasehold interests in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
- Defended Fortune 100 company in $8 million dollar preference litigation.
- Represented food company in analysis and resolution of disputed lien priority with large agricultural enterprise.
- Assisted technology clients in acquisition of intellectual property and patent portfolios from bankruptcy estates and financially challenged companies in the United Kingdom, Germany, Boston, West Virginia and Northern California ($2 million to $10 million valuations).
- Provided strategic advice in structuring key license agreements to Silicon Valley clients.
- Represented financial institution in recovering full repayment of $11 million debt from real estate collateral and guarantees of major real estate developer.
- Represented foreign entities in cross-border transactions and bankruptcy litigation.
- Assisted hedge fund in due diligence for strategic acquisition of assets from large winery bankruptcy estate ($90 million purchase price).
- Represented creditors committee in bankruptcy cases in construction, retail and technology industries.
- Represented healthcare companies in structuring transactions with preferred providers and financings of medical facilities.
- Represented Belgian receiver in the recovery of assets throughout California.
- Provided strategic advice to Silicon Valley corporation on use of bankruptcy to resolve landlord debt.
- Represented receivers of partially completed shopping center and condominium complex through completion and sale of real estate.
- Represented well-known commercial artist in recovering debt and original consigned art from distributors and brokers.
Presentations and Publications
- “Cutting Edge Retail Bankruptcy Exit Strategies: Are YOU Prepared for the Rapid Increase in Retail Bankruptcies?” The Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum, San Francisco, CA (2017).
- “A Comprehensive Training in Commercial Arbitration,” American Bar Association’s Annual two-day Arbitration Training Institute, Washington, D.C. (2014) and Philadelphia (2012).
- “From the Litigator’s Side: Selection of Arbitrators and Mediators,” American Arbitration Association, San Francisco, CA (2014).
- “Real Estate Receiverships,” Continuing Education of the Bar (2012).
- “She’s the Boss: Women Leading Men and Women Leading Women,” WILEF (2011).
- “Key Bankruptcy Issues & Strategies for Insurers,” Bermuda Insurance Institute, Hamilton, Bermuda (2011).
- “Insolvency Issues for Licensing Attorneys,” Practicing Law Institute (2005-2014).
- “What Every CEO and CFO Should Know About Insolvency,” Stanford Graduate School of Business (2001-2010).
- “Bankruptcy Issues for Insurers or Everyone Needs to Know a Bankruptcy Expert These Days,” Association of California Insurance Companies, General Counsel Seminar, Las Vegas, NV (2009).
- “Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance and Key Bankruptcy Issues,” New York City (2009).
- “Bankruptcy Issues Affecting the Healthcare Industry,” Sedgwick’s Annual West Coast Healthcare Seminars and Hartford Healthcare Seminars (2009).
- “Insolvency and the Insurance Industry,” Defense Research Institute Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (2009).
- “When the Deal Goes Sideways, Bankruptcy Tools for Real Estate Practitioners,” Real Property Section Annual Real Property Retreat, Napa, CA (2009).
- “Like Dorothy in Oz: Insurers in Bankruptcy Court,” Defense Research Institute’s Annual Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Defense Research Institute Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (2008).
- Traveled on team throughout Romania as part of a USAID/World Bank program educating the Romanian bench and bar on their new bankruptcy law.
- “Winning Legal Strategies for Bankruptcy and Restructuring,” Aspatore Books (2011).
- “Like Dorothy in Oz: Insurers in Bankruptcy Court,” Insurance Litigation Reporter, Vol. 26, No. 17 (2008).
- 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.)
- J.D. (1980) University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, magna cum laude
- M.A. (1977) Stanford University (Organizational Behavior)
- B.A. (1976) Stanford University (Economics)
- Designated among the Top Women Attorneys in Northern California (2016)
- Listed in Best Lawyers for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Bankruptcy Litigation (2012-2018)
- Top Attorneys in Northern California (2014)
- Top Women Attorneys in California (2014)
- Women Leaders in the Law, recognized statewide, The Recorder (2012)
- Selected to Super Lawyers (2005-2007 and 2014-2017)
- California Real Estate Broker, licensed (#00882228) since 1985
Memberships and Affiliations
- Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum — director
- Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) — Board member and past co-director
- International Association of Insolvency Practitioners (INSOL)
- American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)
- International Woman’s Insolvency Association (IWIRC)
- International Turnaround Management Association (TMA) — past director
- American Arbitration Association — arbitrator in complex commercial cases (2005-present)
- International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) — arbitrator in complex commercial cases (2009-present); Executive Advisory Committee member; serves CPR’s Banking, Accounting and Financial Institution, Real Estate, Hedge Fund, Trademark and Municipality Arbitration panels
- Business Capital, Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Awards Committee — past chair
- Business Capital, NorCal TMA — past president
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California, Early Neutral Evaluation and Mediation panels member
- Sedgwick Women’s Forum — chair (2005-2013)
- Guide Dogs for the Blind — raising guide dogs