Trustee-Related Actions

SKV has successfully brought actions on behalf of and defended against actions by bankruptcy trustees.


SKV represented the Black Elk Litigation Trustee in an action against a prominent New York hedge fund, securing a Temporary Restraining Order freezing $120,000,000 in the fund’s bank accounts within two hours of filing the request for TRO. 

SKV successfully defended a former Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force in an action brought against him by a bankruptcy trustee for his service on the board of a bankrupt energy company. 

When representing the trustee, SKV is dogged in pursuit of the maximum recovery for the trust estate.  When representing the trustee’s target, SKV is equally determined to secure dismissal, in some cases even before the trustee files suit.  While SKV lawyers are always ready to go to trial and relish the opportunity to do so, our track record of success and reputation as a formidable opponent in the courtroom means that we are often able to negotiate successful outcomes for our clients long before trial is necessary.

SKV’s boutique size and entrepreneurial spirit give clients numerous advantages.  First, because we are a trial firm, nearly all of our team, from senior partners to paralegals and secretaries, has significant experience in trials and arbitrations.  Second, we staff matters leanly, which means that as a client, you will receive a dedicated and appropriately-sized team that learns your case thoroughly and is available to address your needs. 

Third, we play nicely with others, and have a reputation for working well with co-counsel in complex, largescale matters. And finally, we have never been wedded to the billable hour and are always willing to discuss alternative fee arrangements with clients.

At SKV, we use a straightforward approach to evaluating your case and your needs, making sure we never lose sight of your goals.

Representative Matters

  • In re Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC: On behalf of the Litigation Trustee for now-defunct oil and gas company Black Elk, a team led by Craig Smyser and Jeff Potts secured a temporary restraining order against a prominent hedge fund, freezing $120 million.  Since that time, SKV has brought numerous actions on behalf of the Black Elk estate, ultimately recovering millions of dollars to date on behalf of the trustee.
  • In re MTE Holdings: On behalf of the Trustee of the MDC Litigation Trust, Land Murphy and Dane Ball have brought numerous successful actions to recover fraudulently conveyed funds for the bankruptcy estate.
  • In re Mansfield Boat and RV Storage, LLC: On behalf of the Chapter 7 trustee, Land Murphy brought a successful adversary proceeding to recover fraudulent/preferential transfers made by the debtor.