Kevin H. Morse

Partner

Kevin H. Morse

Office

120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60606

P: 312.876.7122

F: 312.876.0288

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About

Kevin H. Morse is a partner in the Chicago office of Arnstein & Lehr LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Mr. Morse represents businesses, financial institutions, trustees and individuals in a range of insolvency-related matters, including out-of-court restructurings, distressed sales, in-court Chapter 7 and 11 bankruptcy cases and litigation. 

Prior to joining Arnstein & Lehr, Mr. Morse served as the judicial law clerk for the Hon. Thomas B. Donovan in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles). 

Notable Cases

  • The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Over the past year, Mr. Morse has successfully defended the University of Illinois at Chicago against the discharge of unpaid tuition and room and board owed by former law students. In three lawsuits filed in Atlanta, Chicago, and Benton, Illinois, Mr. Morse procured favorable results for his client through settlement or dismissal by demonstrating to the bankruptcy courts that although no funds were actually transferred between the parties that the outstanding debts were “qualified education loan” or “received as an education benefit.” The expanded exceptions to dischargeability allowed Mr. Morse to argue that the classroom and dormitory benefits the students received in advance of tuition fit within Congress’ intent to exception governmental student loans from the bankruptcy discharge.
  • In re Leafs Hockey Club, Inc.  Leafs Hockey Club is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation that, as of the Fall 2015, consisted of 22 youth hockey teams, with a total of 326 youth hockey players ranging from ages 6 to 18.  In 2007, Leafs Hockey Club guaranteed more than $20 million in bond financing for the construction of a state-of-the-art three sheet hockey facility in West Dundee, Illinois.  The borrower defaulted leading to foreclosure proceedings against the hockey facility owner and guaranty litigation against Leafs Hockey Club.  Mr. Morse led the restructuring and negotiating efforts on behalf of Leafs Hockey Club, which culminated in a global settlement between the bond trustee, arena owner, and Leafs Hockey Club.  Leafs Hockey Club obtained a release of all liability under the guaranty and new 5-year lease with a 5-year option and extensive property rights to continue skating at the West Dundee facility.
  • In re Veluchamy.  Mr. Morse represents the Chapter 7 Trustee in the bankruptcy filing of the former owners and executives of Mutual Bank, the Chicago area’s costliest bank failure among the dozens regulators closed since 2009. Its demise is projected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s insurance fund more than $825 million.  Mr. Morse has taken various lead roles in the liquidation of the Veluchamys’ numerous assets and, to date, assisted in the recovery of more than $20 million on behalf of estate creditors.  Mr. Morse also headed the litigation that eventually brought about the waiver of the Veluchamys’ discharge and disallowance of numerous asset exemptions the debtors sought to keep from their creditors.
  • In re Equipment Acquisition Resources, Inc. Equipment Acquisition Resources, Inc. (EAR) was an equipment leasing Ponzi-scheme that, at the time of its discovery, had defrauded more than $250 million from its creditors. Mr. Morse assisted in the confirmation of a plan of liquidation for EAR and appointment of William A. Brandt, Jr. as Plan Administrator of EAR. Mr. Morse filed more than sixty adversary proceedings on behalf of the plan administrator to recover fraudulent transfer of EAR assets from recipients across the country, including casinos, private jet operators, and luxury home builders in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Mr. Morse also led the successful litigation against EAR’s former president and vice-president in their individual bankruptcy cases to prevent their individual discharge of EAR’s $250 million in debts. Mr. Morse further spearheaded the civil investigation into the location of EAR’s former founder, Sheldon Player, who disappeared after EAR’s demise and was living under an alias in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
  • In re Edscha North America, Inc. Edscha was a manufacturer and supplier of body hardware, such as hinges, checklinks, closures, and driver controls, such as hand and foot brakes, for the American automotive industry. The insolvency proceeding of Edscha’s ultimate parent company in Germany left Edscha without the previously available and critical financing. Mr. Morse assisted in the controlled final liquidation of Edscha’s remaining assets by way of structured sales and financing from Edscha’s remaining customers, Ford and General Motors, that assured Edscha’s continuing production through its wind-down of business operations.
  • In re WattsHealth Foundation, Inc. d/b/a UHP Healthcare.  As judicial law clerk for the Hon. Thomas B. Donovan in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles), Mr. Morse reviewed and advised the judge on the final stages of the Chapter 11 proceeding for UHP Healthcare, a nonprofit health plan that covered about 80,000 elderly and low-income Southern California residents.  The bankruptcy proceeding allowed for the debtor to sell and transfer its HMO to a for-profit managed healthcare company and allow the 80,000 members to keep their coverage with little change. 

Achievements

  • Member of the 2015 Next Generation Class for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (October 2015)
  • Emerging Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Leading Lawyers Division (2015-2016)
  • Appointed to Bankruptcy Court Liaison Committee, which is composed of attorneys, court staff, and judges to promote communication and assist the court with a more efficient environment (July 2015)

Publications and Speaking Engagements

Education

Pepperdine University School of Law (J.D., 2007)
University of Colorado at Boulder (B.A., cum laude, 2003)

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois
State of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Central District of California