amp ellis

Big Law Firms Accused of Hiding Bankruptcy Judge’s Romance (1)

A lawsuit alleging a former Texas bankruptcy judge improperly shielded a romantic relationship has been expanded to target his girlfriend, as well as law firms Kirkland & Ellis and Jackson Walker.

The amended complaint filed Thursday is part of the ongoing fallout of David R. Jones’ relationship with a former attorney at Jackson Walker, a Texas firm that regularly represented clients in Jones’ courtroom before he resigned in October.

Kirkland & Ellis, a behemoth in the restructuring community, and Jackson Walker filed “numerous misleading and dishonest federal court papers without disclosing the Jones-Freeman relationship,” plaintiff Michael Van Deelen alleged in an amended complaint filed Thursday in US District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Jackson Walker, which employed Freeman until December 2022, often served as local counsel to Kirkland & Ellis in large Chapter 11 cases.

The failure to disclose the relationship amounts to bankruptcy fraud, honest services fraud, mail and wire fraud, and obstruction of justice under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Van Deelen said in the complaint.

“Debtors received favorable treatment and attorneys got rich in a bankruptcy system akin to shipping lettuce by rabbits,” the amended complaint said.

Van Deelen was a shareholder and

Read the rest

Top Texas Firm Entangled in Bankruptcy Judge’s Ethics Trouble

A Texas law firm tied to a prominent bankruptcy judge’s alleged ethical misconduct is seeking to keep its status as a go-to firm in one of the country’s busiest bankruptcy courts.

The Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog has accused Jackson Walker of failing to disclose potential conflicts of interest after a onetime partner at the firm, Elizabeth Freeman, was alleged to be in a romantic relationship with bankruptcy Judge David R. Jones, who regularly oversaw the firm’s cases. The allegations have put Jackson Walker in an unusual position for a firm that’s known in bankruptcy circles for its role as the right hand of corporate restructuring powerhouse Kirkland & Ellis for its Houston-based cases.

The US Trustee late last week challenged at least $13 million in fees the firm earned while representing clients before Jones in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Jones presided in at least 26 cases where Jackson Walker was awarded compensation and expenses while Freeman worked at the firm and lived with Jones in an intimate relationship, the US Trustee said in court filings. The firm has said it made sure that Freeman wouldn’t work on or bill for any cases Jones was

Read the rest