skip to main content
× Close

Ilyse regularly counsels clients in a broad range of complex litigation and transactional matters involving corporate restructurings in a wide variety of industries. Her recent representations include serving as counsel to:

  • The Trustee of the Piper Aircraft Irrevocable Trust. Prior to representing the Trustee of the Trust, Ilyse represented the debtor who as a result of its reorganization, paid creditors 100% of their claims and created the Trust that thrives today.
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW). Prior to its bankruptcy, TBW was the largest independent mortgage originator in the United States. Headquartered in Ocala, Florida, TBW employed approximately 2,500 people across the United States in its main business and employed another 1,500 in various subsidiaries. This case involved an excess of $11 billion in claims.
  • Austin Capital BMP Fund. ACM invested in the Rye Select Broad Market Prime Fund, LP (the “Prime Fund”) which was one of the largest “feeder funds” and claimants in the Bernard L. Madoff fraud cases. The Madoff fraud is one of the largest frauds ever committed in the country. The Prime Fund is a Settlement Class Member, as defined in the Stipulation of Partial Settlement dated February 25, 2011 in In re Tremont Securities Law, State Law and Insurance Litigation, District Court Case No. 08 CIV. 11117 (TPG). ACM suffered a total loss of approximately $154 million in the Prime Fund as a result of investments made over eleven years beginning in 1997. Ilyse was instrumental in mediations and confidential settlement discussions that ultimately resulted in the resolution of ACM’s claims in May of 2016, ACM received a very favorable settlement in this matter.
  • The Espirito Santo Group of Portugal and its affiliates in the Bankest bankruptcy cases in Florida. These cases involved the largest bank fraud in South Florida history.
  • The largest independent minority owned distributor of medical supplies in United States.
  • An ad hoc committee of homeowners in a Chapter 7 debtor case, which resulted in a precedential ruling on the issue of standing from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • The Chapter 7 Trustees including one case where a debtor transferred in excess of $7 million to an offshore asset protection trust.
  • Assignees, assignors and secured creditors in various assignment for the benefit of creditor cases
  • Debtors in aviation related cases.
  • Secured creditors in both state and federal court proceedings.

Throughout her career, Ilyse has been involved in numerous matters that have resulted in courts issuing published opinions. In particular, Ilyse is an expert at leading collaborative teams of lawyers at Berger Singerman LLP who seek to preserve and enhance the rights of the firm's clients, whether in the trial court or on appeal. A sampling of the published opinions in which Ilyse has been involved includes the following:

  • Regions Bank v. Herendeen, No. 8:14-cv-01631-SDM (M.D. Fla. Feb. 25, 2015), aff'd, 632 Fed. Appx. 602 (11th Cir. 2016): 
    • Affirming order of bankruptcy court approving a settlement entered into by the chapter 7 trustees in related cases over the objection of lender which proposed to continue litigation being compromised.
  • Luria v. Thunderflower, LLC (In re Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp.), Adv. Pro. No, 3:11-ap-693-JAF (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Sept. 28, 2018):
    • Granting plaintiff partial summary judgment on state and federal fraudulent transfer claims
  • In re Scantling, 754 F.3d 1323 (11th Cir. 2014)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit resolved a dispute among the Circuits and holds that a so-called "Chapter 20" debtor ineligible for a discharge in her chapter 13 case may nevertheless strip off valueless liens on her principal residence. A Chapter 20 debtor is a person who previously obtained a discharge of debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and then filed a Chapter 13 case to restructure certain debt not satisfied in the Chapter 7 case, like home mortgage debt. This ruling has significant implications for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of individuals whose mortgage debt, including second-lien debt in the form of home equity lines of credit, exceeds the value of their homes.
  • Leslie S. Osbourne v. Denise J. Dumoulin, 55 So. 3d 577 (Fla. 2011)
    • Supreme Court of Florida holds that, for the purpose of the statutory personal property exemption available under Fla. Stat. section 222.25(4), a debtor in a federal bankruptcy case does not receive the benefits of Florida's constitutional homestead exemption where the debtor owns homestead property but does not claim the exemption in bankruptcy and the trustee's administration of the property is not otherwise impeded by the existence of the exemption.
  • Lawrence v. Goldberg, 573 F.3d 1265 (11th Cir. 2009)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit holds, in part, that the Barton doctrine (provides that, in cases outside of bankruptcy where a receiver is appointed, the appointing court must approve any suit against the receiver to ensure a consistent and equitable administration of the receivership property, because a judgment against a receiver would be satisfied out of the receivership property) applied to suit by debtor against the chapter 7 trustee and trustee's professionals where the crux of the suit involved efforts to collect and reduce to money an offshore asset protection trust (an offshore asset protection trust is a "self-settled trust" where the settlor and the beneficiary are one and the same, and the trustee is nominated by the settlor and the trustee is either an individual who is not a U.S. Citizen or a trust company with no U.S. office or affiliation) found to constitute property of the bankruptcy estate.
  • In re Piccadilly Cafeterias, Inc., 2007 WL 1138867 (11th Cir. 2007)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit holds that Bankruptcy Code section 1146(a)'s stamp tax exemption applies to pre-plan transactions deemed necessary to consummation of a confirmed chapter 11 plan. This ruling was later reversed by the United States Supreme Court which sided with circuit courts of appeal located in the Third and Fourth Circuits which have held that the exemption contemplated by section 1146(a) only applies to transfers under a chapter 11 plan.
  • Chames v. De Mayo, 972 So. 2d 850 (Fla. 2007)
    • Supreme Court of Florida holds that there can be no waiver of the homestead protection provided for in Florida's constitution in respect of an unsecured claim as distinguished from a secured (mortgage) claim.
  • In re Westwood Community Two Ass'n, Inc., 2006 WL 940647 (11th Cir. Apr. 12, 2006)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirms order of the District Court denying fees and ordering fees received by trustee's counsel be disgorged because counsel had no right to be paid from funds derived from an improper assessment against non-debtor homeowners where such funds were not estate property and because counsel ran the risk of non-payment and disgorgement if the estate turned out to be insolvent.
  • Lawrence v. Goldberg, 2006 WL 2269802 (11th Cir. Sept. 19, 2005)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirms district court's denial of debtor/appellant's writ of prohibition and mandamus based on his to meet the strict requirements for such extraordinary relief in connection with his incarceration for civil contempt for failure to comply with turnover order concerning the res of an offshore asset protection trust.
  • Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, P.C. v. Kaplan, 2005 WL 610162 (Fla. Mar. 17, 2005)
    • Supreme Court of Florida holds that parties may assign claims for legal malpractice committed in preparing private placement memoranda, thereby receding from dicta in prior case law purporting to prohibit the assignment of all legal malpractice claims.
  • In re Piper Aircraft Corp., 362 F.3d 736 (11th Cir. 2004)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirms denial of post-confirmation motion by a claimant who had a contingent financial interest in the Piper Aircraft Irrevocable Trust to compel the trustee for the Trust to furnish certain records that the trustee supplied to actuaries in connection with a recomputation process directed by the Trust where the claimant had received all documents required by the Trust and movant failed to negotiate a provision requiring the trustee to provide further documentation.
    • Affirming denial of post-confirmation motion to compel the trustee for the Piper Aircraft Irrevocable Trust to furnish certain records that the trustee supplied to actuaries in connection with a re-computation process directed by the Trust where movant had received all documents required by the Trust and it failed to negotiate a provision requiring the trustee to provide further documentation.
  • In re World Wide Web Systems, Inc., 328 F.3d 1291 (11th Cir. 2003)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirms denial by the District Court of defendants/appellants' motion to vacate default judgment in avoidance action where defendants/appellants' failed to establish "excusable neglect," that is, a meritorious defense that might have affected the outcome; granting the motion would not result in prejudice to the non-defaulting party, and a good reason existed for failing to reply to the complaint.
  • In re Westwood, 293 F.3d 1332 (11th Cir. 2002)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reverses district court and holding that unofficial committee of homeowners had standing as an aggrieved party to appeal from bankruptcy court orders which denied reconsideration of allowed claims against debtor-homeowner association for punitive damages and fees.
  • In re Lawrence, 279 F.3d 1294 (11th Cir. 2002)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirms order [of what court] directing debtor to turn over to the chapter 7 trustee the res of an offshore asset protection trust and holding the debtor in contempt and ordering him incarcerated until he purged the contempt by complying with turnover order.
  • In re Lawrence, 235 B.R. 498 (S.D. Fla. 1999)
    • United States District Court holds that the debtor's pension plan was not "ERISA-qualified" under the Supreme Court's decision in Patterson v. Shumate , and therefore, the debtor's interest in such pension plan could not be excluded from the "property of the estate" of the debtor, and further, the debtor could not avail him/herself of a  special state law exemption.
  • In re Piper, 58 F.3d 1573 (11th Cir. 1995)
    • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirms district court opinion which applied the "prepetition relationship" test, rather than the "conduct" test in determining whether future claimants had pre-confirmation product liability claims against the debtor and adopting modified prepetition relationship test termed "Piper test". Under Piper test, debtor's prepetition conduct gives rise to claim to be administered in case only if there is a relationship established before confirmation of the debtor's plan between identifiable claimant or group of claimants and that prepetition conduct.

In addition to reported case law, Ilyse has led efforts, and drafted legal briefs, submitted in the following appellate cases:

  • Brief Amicus Curiae of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar in Support of Neither Party in the Wellness International Network, Ltd., et al. v. Richard Sharif, Supreme Court Case No. 13-935 (September 16, 2014) – The United States Supreme Court ruled that Article III permits the exercise of the judicial power of the United States by bankruptcy courts on the basis of litigant consent, and that implied consent based on a litigant's conduct is sufficient to satisfy Article III.
  • Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees in Support of Appellants and Reversal of the District Court in Irving H. Picard, Trustee for the Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC v. IDA Fishman Revocable Trust, et al., United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Case No. 12-2557(L) (Feb. 14, 2014) – The Second Circuit ruled that the "stockbroker defense" in Code § 546(e) does not bar avoidance actions brought by a bankruptcy trustee seeking to recover transfers made pursuant to a Ponzi scheme. The bankruptcy trustee sought review by the Supreme Court of the Second Circuit’s decision, but the United States Supreme Court denied the trustee’s petition for certiorari.
  • Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees in Support of Petition in the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Quebecor World (USA) Inc. v. American United Life Insurance Company, et al., Supreme Court Case No. 13-455 (November 12, 2013)  -- The United States Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari on February 24, 2014.  The NABT had an interest the Court's granting of the petition to resolve the circuit split, provide uniformity in application of the Bankruptcy Code and correct the Second Circuit's interpretation of § 546(e) which severely restricts a trustee's ability to effectively administer an estate through use of the trustee's avoidance powers.
  • Brief Amicus Curiae of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar in Support of Neither Party in the Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Peter H. Arkison, Supreme Court Case No. 12-1200 (September 16, 2013) – The United States Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the lower court. The amicus brief filed on behalf of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar addressed the issue of whether (1) a fraudulent transfer action filed by a bankruptcy trustee may be finally adjudicated by a bankruptcy court, and (2) bankruptcy courts can issue final judgment in non-core matters "related to" bankruptcy cases when the parties consent.
  • Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees in Support of Respondents in the Chadbourne & Park LLP et al. v. Samuel Troice, et al., Supreme Court Case Nos. 12-79, 12-86 and 12-88 (July 25, 2013) – The United States Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the lower court. The NABT had an interest in the case because an overly restrictive application of SLUSA would limit the ability of bankruptcy trustees to exercise their fiduciary duties, particularly in cases where NABT members are serving as liquidating trustees.
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ rated
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2018-2019
  • Chambers & Partners USA, America's Leading Business Lawyers, Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Florida), 2017-2018

Ilyse is a member of multiple not-for profit organizations which support the practice of law and the corporate and consumer restructurings, including:

  • Bankruptcy Bar Association of Florida
  • Business Law Section of The Florida Bar
  • The American Bar Association
  • Stroock & Stroock & Lavan