Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy

Firm: Davis Polk & Wardwell

Issue Area: Pharma and Tobacco

Case summary

Davis Polk's website boasts of securing a settlement that released members of the Sackler family from liability in bankruptcy proceedings. The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma.

"The company retained Davis Polk in March 2018, about 18 months before its Chapter 11 case began in New York court, and Huebner said Purdue's leadership was comfortable with the firm's experience."

"'I think that sometimes an assignment comes along where the complexity itself is the primary attribute that clients need to be comfortable that you have the capacity to absorb,' he said. 'There is simply no situation too large or complicated for Davis Polk to get its arms around. That had a lot to do with us getting hired by Purdue.'"

"In that case, the debtor was able to confirm a Chapter 11 plan in September 2021 that addressed Purdue's liability in connection with the national opioid crisis involving its sale and marketing of painkillers including OxyContin. Critical to the plan was a $4.275 billion settlement with the members of the Sackler family that own Purdue, in which the owners contributed that amount into a claims trust for opioid claimants and gave up their ownership in exchange for a release from any potential liability."

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