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May 19, 2015

Nortel Allocation Dispute – D.J. Miller is Lead Canadian Restructuring Counsel for U.K. Pensioners in Ground-Breaking Billion Dollar Victory.

We are pleased to report that on May 12, 2015, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) and the United States Bankruptcy Court released decisions requiring that the allocation of US$7.3 billion from the sale of Nortel’s businesses and intellectual property be based on a pro rata approach.  This result will ensure the pensioners will receive a fair share of the proceeds which are to be distributed in Nortel’s worldwide insolvency process. 

Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP (“TGF”) are the Canadian counsel representing the interests of 33,000 Nortel pensioners in the UK.  On behalf of our clients, TGF advocated for the pro rata approach at the trial.  This approach had never been applied before to the distribution of assets in a multi-national insolvency. 

This ground breaking result was obtained after the first ever cross-border trial held between Judge Gross of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court and Justice Newbould of the Supreme Court of Ontario. 

In his ruling, Judge Gross wrote: “Pro rata is, to say the least, an extraordinary result, and the Canadian interest, the US interest and the EMEA Debtors devoted enormous skill, time, money and energy in professionally presenting their cases for revenue and contribution approach, respectively.  Likewise, the Canadian interest forcefully advocated for an ownership allocation, not a pro rata allocation.”  Notwithstanding this powerful opposition, the Courts were persuaded that the pro rata approach advocated by the UK Pensioners produced the most fair and equitable result for all the creditors.

Links to the decisions of the Canadian and US Courts can be found below.  For more information, please contact D.J. Miller at djmiller@tgf.ca or 416-304- 0559 or John Finnigan at jfinnigan@tgf.ca or 416-304-0558.

Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP, Suite 3200, 100 Wellington Street West, P.O. Box 329, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Toronto, ON M5K 1K7 Canada T 416.304.1616 E info@tgf.ca

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