Hofstra University School of Law (J.D., 1991), Member, Hofstra Law Review and the recipient of the Deborah Sloyer Trial Advocacy Award
Trinity College (B.S., 1988)
Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights and Business Reorganizations (chair)
Distressed Real Estate (co-chair)
Kirk L. Brett
Mr. Brett is Chair of the Bankruptcy, Creditors' Rights and Business Reorganizations Practice Group, and the Litigation Practice Group. For over 28 years, Mr. Brett has guided clients in dealing with difficult or complicated situations – including through litigation in courts around the Country, negotiation of favorable settlements, and strategizing to anticipate or avoid disputes in the first place.
Mr. Brett's skills and background have been in particular demand in connection with distressed real estate. His expertise encompasses:
- Litigation, including the enforcement of, and defense against, mortgage and mezzanine lenders' rights (such as through mortgage or UCC foreclosures), CMBS issues, landlord-tenant proceedings, and disputes between venture partners, lenders and participants (or co-lenders) and other transaction parties. Throughout his career, Mr. Brett has investigated and litigated, through trial and appeal, issues of lender liability, fraud and a host of other distress or insolvency-related issues, as well as commercial breach of contract, fiduciary duty, intellectual property, licensing, professional liability, and corporate governance disputes.
- Workouts and Restructurings, including developing creative and effective strategies to address the highly complex issues that arise in connection with financial distress of real estate and operating businesses. Mr. Brett's work has resulted in out-of-court settlements, restructurings, workouts, acquisitions, and sales. He also advises clients on protections against the risks of insolvent counterparties.
- Bankruptcy Matters, including advising clients in commercial bankruptcy and insolvency situations, including secured and other creditors, DIP lenders, landlords, and contract counterparties. Mr. Brett has also advised prospective purchasers of distressed businesses, leases, debt and other assets in bankruptcy. Further, Mr. Brett has represented chapter 11 debtors and creditors' committees in large and complex bankruptcy cases.
On a more personal basis, Mr. Brett's approach and demeanor have also made him the ideal choice for special matters requiring a multi-faceted counsel. These include, for example, commercial disputes among parties with ancillary or close relationships (such as family members), disputes which raise or involve sensitive business issues, and other particularly thorny situations.
Finally, Mr. Brett's creativity and aggressiveness have earned him the nickname "The Wolf" (from the movie, Pulp Fiction).
Prior to joining the Firm in 2001, Mr. Brett practiced at Schulte Roth & Zabel, Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine, and Rosenman & Colin (now known as Katten Muchin Rosenman).
Mr. Brett is admitted to practice only in New York. He has also appeared, pro hac vice, in a variety of Federal and State courts around the Country.
New York State Bar Association
American Bar Association
American Bankruptcy Institute
Super Lawyers: New York Metro: 2009-2021