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Overview

Ben is nationally recognized for his knowledge in bankruptcy, restructuring and creditors’ rights.

He regularly represents debtors, creditors, committees, trustees and buyers in bankruptcy actions, and he has substantial bankruptcy experience within the manufacturing industry. He effectively defends many bankruptcy preference and fraudulent transfer actions on behalf of manufacturers, serving as national bankruptcy counsel for Emerson Electric and its subsidiaries since 2000.

In addition, Ben represents clients in a variety of debtor-creditor disputes outside of bankruptcy in federal and state courts, as well as arbitration proceedings. Among his noteworthy cases are:

  • Represented Payless Cashways in the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy ever filed in the federal court for western Missouri. 
  • Represented major creditors in numerous bankruptcies, including Farmland Industries, Havens Steel Products and House of Lloyds.

In the area of litigation, Ben has tried numerous commercial litigation jury trials in federal and state courts. He also has handled multiple-district complex litigation class action claims and other large commercial litigation matters involving interrelated cases in several jurisdictions.


Industries

Services

Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 1995-2018; Kansas City Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2011
  • Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2002, 2004-2014, 2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2005-2017; Top 100, 2005, 2007-2015; Top 50 Kansas City, 2005, 2007-2009, 2011-2016

Education

  • J.D., Columbia Law School
    • Harlan Fisk Stone Scholar
    • Columbia Law Review
  • B.A., University of Kansas
    • summa cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • American College of Bankruptcy, fellow, Class of 2014
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Managing Partners Committee, 2008-2014; Bankruptcy Committee, 2003-2008
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation, Strategic Planning Committee, 2012-present
  • Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute, Advisory Board, 2008-present
  • Western District of Missouri Bankruptcy Court Advisory Board, 2012-2015
Experience
  • Represented Payless Cashways Inc., debtor in the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy ever filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.
  • Represented major creditors in numerous Kansas City, Mo.-area Chapter 11 bankruptcies, including Kroh Brothers Development Co., Food Barn Stores Inc., Farmland Industries Inc., Havens Steel Products Inc., American Trailer & Storage, House of Lloyds and Trilogy Development Co. LLC (West Edge).
  • Represented local debtors in completion of Chapter 11 reorganizations, including ISC Financial Corp., Broadway Industries Inc., Ameritank Inc. and NRL Financial.
  • Advised major creditors in many national bankruptcies, including A123 Systems Inc., Bethlehem Steel Co., Calpine, Chrysler Group LLC, Collins & Aikman Co., Delphi Co., Dura Automotive Systems LLC, Eastman Kodak Co., Enron Co., Erickson Living Retirement Communities, Fedders Co., Fleming Cos. Inc., General Motors Co., Hechinger Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Lyondell Chemical Co., Organized Living, SemCrude, Trans World Airlines, Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and WorldCom Inc.
Community Leadership
  • Jackson County Historical Society, president, 2005-2006, Board of Directors, 1999-present
  • Johnson County Museum, Advisory Council, 2003-2012, chair, 2009-2012
  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Board of Directors, 2015-present
  • Lyric Opera of Kansas City, General Counsel, 2013-present
  • Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City, Mo., Board of Directors, 2014-present