Bingham

Bingham

P. Sabin Willett

Partner

Sabin Willett concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and bankruptcy litigation. He is experienced in complex commercial disputes and the representation of lenders and other institutional creditors in lender liability cases and complex Chapter 11 disputes, as well as general commercial litigation. He has tried jury trials and numerous bench or “issues to court” trials.

Experience

Recent Bankruptcy Engagements

  • Co-trial counsel in Tronox v. Anadarko (2012). Developed and handled expert damages issues reducing $19 billion claim to $1 billion claim
  • Prevailed for ING Funds in Second Circuit settlement payment case (June 2011) (see below)
  • State Street Bank and Trust Co. in In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2011)
  • Bank of America in appeal of Lehman Brothers setoff judgment (2010–2011)
  • Mass Mutual in Madoff trustee avoidance litigation (2011)
  • Previti parties defending deepening insolvency claims in Empire Land cases (2010–2011)
  • Creditors’ committee and litigation trustee in BearingPoint (2009–2011)
  • Term lenders in Visteon (2009–2010)
  • Creditors’ committee in In re Sea Containers, Ltd. (Bankr. D. Del. 2008) (litigation concerning U.K. pension claims)
  • Trustee in In re Refco Capital Markets (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) (numerous matters)
  • U.S. Bank as indenture trustee for $1.2 billion in noteholders in successfully resisting recharacterization of a leveraged lease in In re Mirant Corp (Bankr. N.D. Texas)
  • ING in Enron commercial paper litigation
  • Citigroup Global Markets in deepening insolvency litigation in Litigation Trustee v. Citibank N.A. et al. (In re Metromedia Fiber Networks, Inc.) (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.)
  • Fleet Bank in plan litigation in In re Republic Steel (Bankr. S.D. Ohio)
  • Raytheon Company in disputes involving in excess of $1 billion in In re Washington Group (Bankr. D. Nevada)

Federal Jury Trials

  • Jury verdict for plaintiff in Bero v. Illinois Tool Works (D. Mass.)
  • Jury verdict for defendant in Zuker v. General Electric Capital Corp. (D. Mass.)

Appellate Cases

  • Prevailed before New York Court of Appeals in Quadrant v. Athilon (2014)
  • Represented Appellee as lead counsel in Alfa, SAB v. Enron Creditors Recovery Corp., 2011 WL 2536101 (2nd Cir. 2011), establishing settlement payment defense for commercial paper redemptions
  • Obtained summary judgment for a major law firm sued by post-bankruptcy litigation trustee in Gray v. Evercore Restructuring L.L.C., 544 F.3d 320 (1st Cir. 2008), and for CFO in related case
  • Represented Fleet National Bank in obtaining reversal of an adverse bankruptcy judgment in Fleet National Bank v. Gray (In re Bankvest Capital Corp.), 375 F.3d 51 (1st Cir. 2004)
  • Represented Concourse Holding Co., the prevailing party on appeal in In re NTA, LLC, 380 F.3d 523 (1st Cir. 2004)

Other Work

  • Led the Bingham team that won landmark victories in its representation of Guantanamo prisoners; won the first-ever review of a Guantanamo prisoner’s case under the Detainee Treatment Act in the unanimous decision of Parhat v. Gates, 532 F.3d 834 (D.C. Cir. 2008)
  • In the first-ever merits review of Guantanamo habeas cases, obtained the first-ever habeas judgment, ordering prisoners’ immediate release into the United States, Kiyemba v. Bush, 581 F.Supp. 2d 33 (D.D.C. 2008), rev’d sub nom; Kiyemba v. Obama, 555 F.3d 1022 (D.C. Cir.), cert. granted, 559 U.S. __ (2009), vacated and remanded, 559 U.S. __ (2010)
  • Appellate counsel in U.S. v. Mehanna (1st Cir. 2013)

Publications

  • “Clericalism and the Guantanamo Litigation,” Northeastern University Law Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2009)
  • “Gheewalla and the Director’s Dilemma,” The Business Lawyer 1087, Vol. 64 (August 2009)
  • “The Doctrine of Robin Hood: A Note on ‘Substantive Consolidation’,” DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal, Vol. 4 (Fall 2005)
  • “Bankruptcy Trial Tactics,” ABA Judicial Division Bench/Bar Bankruptcy Conference (March 2005)
  • “The Shallows of Deepening Insolvency,” The Business Lawyer, Vol. 60 (February 2005)
  • “The Doctrine of Necessity: A Polemic,” Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Vol. 13, No. 4 (2003)
  • Novels
  • Abide With Me (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
  • Present Value (Random House, 2003)
  • The Betrayal (Villard, 1996)
  • The Deal (Random House, 1996)

Memberships

  • Boston Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights; Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy (2014–2015)
  • Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Massachusetts) (2014)
  • Legal 500, Corporate Restructuring (2012–2014)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star in Commercial Litigation (Massachusetts) (2012–2013)
  • Yale Law School, Silverman Fellow (2011)
  • Best Lawyers, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law (2009–2011); Litigation – Bankruptcy (2012)
  • Super Lawyers, Massachusetts (2009)
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Lawyer of the Year (2008)

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