On Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Bloomberg Law reported that Alfredo R. Perez, a recently retired partner from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, has been selected to fill a vacant judgeship seat on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Perez, who spent 14 years as managing partner of Weil’s Houston office and was a leading restructuring lawyer, is expected to take over the position left open when Judge David R. Jones resigned last year. Jones stepped down after acknowledging a years-long romantic relationship with an attorney who periodically practiced in his court, which raised ethical issues.

The appointment of Perez is pending a standard background check conducted by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees the Houston bankruptcy court. However, several anonymous sources familiar with the matter indicated to Bloomberg Law that Perez is the selected candidate.

If confirmed, the position would be a key one as the Southern District of Texas handles many large, complex corporate bankruptcy filings. As a restructuring partner at Weil with experience advising companies like Lehman Brothers, Worldcom, and American Airlines through Chapter 11, Perez would be well-suited to take on large, complicated cases from day one.

The appointment also comes at a time when the Houston bankruptcy court seeks to restore its reputation following the controversies surrounding Judge Jones’ resignation. As one of the busiest bankruptcy jurisdictions in the country, it is important the district maintains its ability to attract major filings. Industry experts believe Perez’s credentials will help achieve that.

Now formally retired from Weil, Perez is poised to join the exclusive two-judge division charged with handling all large, complex bankruptcies in the Southern District of Texas. If appointed, he would be the second member of that panel to previously work at Weil, providing continuity. However, the Fifth Circuit will still need to hold a final confirmation vote after vetting is complete.



Source: Bloomberg Law