Bruce J. Ruzinsky
Bruce has extensive experience representing financial institutions, corporations, and other business entities in workout/restructure efforts, chapter bankruptcy proceedings, and litigation. He approaches his cases strategically, proactively and cost-effectively.
For over 30 years, Bruce has represented creditors, creditors’ committees, trustees, debtors, landlords, and asset purchasers in various industries and business environments, including energy, real estate, healthcare, shipping, manufacturing, transportation, retail, entertainment, wholesale produce, and personal services.
A representative sampling of his past and current cases includes:
- Large creditors in the Sabine Oil & Gas, Samson Resources, Swift Energy, Buckingham Oil, Magnum Hunter Resources, Cal Dive, Hercules Offshore, Miller Energy, Enron, RR Marine, Tekoil, Seahawk Drilling, Victory Healthcare and Handy Hardware cases;
- The contract operator in the McKenzie Methane case;
- The Official Unsecured Creditors Committee in the first Continental Airlines case;
- The Indenture Trustee in the Seven Seas Petroleum and Eagle Geophysical cases;
- Agent banks in the Global Marine, Southern Mineral and North American Petroleum cases;
- Seismic licensors in the Global Geophysical, Dune Energy and Milagro Oil & Gas cases;
- The debtor’s president in the Davis Petroleum case;
- The Debtor in the HRD, Cooper Manufacturing and NR Offshore cases;
- A major litigant in the Houston Regional Sports Network case;
- The Trustee in the CNC Payroll and Trinity Energy cases;
- An asset purchaser in the Torqued-Up Energy Services case;
- The letter of credit issuing bank in the Osyka case;
- The Chairman of the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Panaco case;
- Multiple mid-stream companies in connection with the treatment of their contracts in producer bankruptcy cases; and
- Lenders in workouts of various producers and service companies.
Bruce has litigated a wide variety of issues in Chapter 11 cases, including involuntary petition, cash collateral, DIP lending, automatic stay, sale/sale procedures, avoidance action, turnover, discharge/dischargeability, exemption, dismissal/conversion, abstention, executory contract/lease, Trustee/Examiner/CRO, proof of claim, Safe Harbor Provisions and plan confirmation issues. He has also handled workouts in a wide variety of industries.
B.A., magna cum laude, Duke University
J.D., Duke University School of Law
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
- Represented Bank Group in North American Petroleum Chapter 11 Case in Delaware. Following extensive litigation, Banks recovered all $100 million of principal plus a portion of their interest.
- Represented Senior Secured Creditor in workout of a series of waterparks, resulting in a full pay takeout of the senior secured debt by the subordinated lender.
- Represented Chapter 11 Trustee and the Liquidating Plan Trustee in Houston liquidation of international energy company that produced payment of all allowed claims and certain shareholder interests.
- Represented president of family-owned petroleum company in pre-packaged Chapter 11 case in the Southern District of Texas confirmed in less than a week, and in subsequent multi-year litigation.
- Represented Unsecured Creditors Committee in first Continental Airlines case in Houston. A plan was confirmed providing for payment of 100% of allowed unsecured claim.
- AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2012-2019
- Ranked for Bankruptcy/ Restructuring – Texas
- Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2003-2019
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.)
- Lawyer of the Year – Houston, Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2020
- Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2007-2020
- Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2007-2020
- Trailblazer Outside Council of the Year, Texas Minority Counsel Program, 2015
- “Dealing with Counterparty/Bankruptcy Risk in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry”
- “Considerations and Consequences of a Bankruptcy Filing in the Oil and Gas Industry”
- “Commodity Repo Agreements for Crude Oil Inventory”
- “Recent Case on Safe Harbor Provisions in Swap Agreements”
- “Bankruptcy Court Grants TRO in Favor of Non-Bankrupt Guarantor”
- “Courts Continue to Question Meaning of “Forward Contract Merchants”
- “Bankruptcy Code’s Safe Harbor Provisions for Forward Contracts — Are you Protected?”
- “Bankruptcy Overview” – Selected Topics
- UNCF South Texas Leadership Council
- UNCF’s Houston Gala, Honorary Co-Chair, 2014
- Houston area Duke University Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee, Past Chair, Co-Chair
- Board of Directors of the Duke University Alumni Association, Past Member
- Houston Diversity Council
- Houston Bar Association
- Bankruptcy Section, Past President
- Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Committee, Past Co-Chair
- Houston Bankruptcy Inn of Court, Past President
- Chapter 11 Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Texas, Past Member
- State Bar of Texas
- American Bankruptcy Institute
Practices before courts in Texas, Delaware, New York, and other states.
- “Why so many upstream energy cos. are having trouble — and why more might file for bankruptcy,” Houston Business Journal (July 1, 2019)
- “Payless Hires Firm to Offer Retail Spots in US, Canada, Potentially at a Discount,” CoStar (February 27, 2019)
- “Texas Business Bankruptcies Skyrocketed in 2017, Debt Hits ‘Height of Debt Lunacy’,” The Texas Lawbook (February 26, 2018)
- “Ch. 11 bankruptcies skyrocket around Houston area, study finds,” Houston Business Journal (July 17, 2017)
- “Even in bankruptcy, oil bosses are promised riches,” Houston Chronicle (April 23, 2017)
- “Texas Business Bankruptcies Spiked, then Tapered Off in 2016,” The Texas Lawbook (January 2, 2017)