Steve, Brutzkus Gubner’s Managing Partner, represents financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies (and their financing divisions), closely held businesses and high net worth individuals in complex bankruptcy and insolvency matters. He is known in the insolvency arena as the “involuntary bankruptcy go-to lawyer” because of his management of the sensitive issues surrounding involuntary bankruptcy filings, and general business advice he applies to navigate potential pitfalls and solve problems before they occur. In addition, he is adept in complex bankruptcy insolvency matters.
Steve applies his experience as a business lawyer, and business owner, to each matter in order to effectively achieve the business and legal objectives of his clients. He truly believes that “your counsel matters,” and listens carefully to client desires and concerns before charting the most effective course.
Steve is particularly skilled in commercial collections for banks and financial institutions, and has successfully litigated heavily contested, multimillion-dollar real/personal property and equity line financing cramdown cases. He also assists in pre-bankruptcy, pre-workout and wealth management advice and planning.
In addition, he has handled numerous cases before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court.
Steve has earned the highest rating (“AV”) for legal ability and ethics by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He was named one of “The Top 25 Lawyers of the Valley” and a 2015 “Trusted Advisor” by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, and has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters every year since 2007.
- McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 1991)
- University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., 1988)
- State Bars of California and Nevada
- U.S. District Court
- U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Counsel of Record in Stephen Law v. Alfred H. Siegel, Chapter 7 Trustee, a landmark case argued in front of the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) concerning a bankruptcy court’s power to protect the bankruptcy process from abuse.
- Representation of the liquidating trust in the recent, large chapter 11 Circuit City filing, obtaining significant, multi-million dollar recoveries from insurance companies, and prosecuting numerous class action claims on behalf of the trust.
- Representation of Chapter 7 Trustee Howard Grobstein; successful in reopening bankruptcy case and vacating dismissal in order to allow the Trustee to administer assets for the benefit of all creditors.
- Representation of Chapter 7 Trustee Howard Ehrenberg in multi-million dollar ponzi scheme, successfully recovering numerous payments illegally doled out by Beverly Hills hedge fund manager Bradley L. Ruderman.
- Closed a significant multi-million dollar transaction for a client involving both debt acquisition and an equity investment. As a result, the target company, a significant company in the souvenir apparel industry, was able to avoid a bankruptcy filing and over 100 employees were able to keep their jobs.
- Filed the largest involuntary bankruptcy in a proceeding against Pan Pacific Fisheries. He obtained payment for three trade suppliers from the largest fish cannery on the West Coast.
- Filed the involuntary bankruptcy against Mossimo companies, and successfully negotiated over $1 million in claims resulting in 100% payment (100 cents on the dollar) to our petitioning creditor clients.
- Represented the City of Long Beach in the Queen Mary bankruptcy resulting in a complete recovery for the city.
- Enforcement of all commercial collections for the financial division of a multinational corporation operating automotive and watercraft dealerships across the United States.
- Collected the principal balance owed to a film production company after the judgment for business debt languished unpaid for years. He obtained payment within weeks of taking the case.
- Recovered a substantial portion of a $30 million debt owed to a major, well-established bank operating in the Western United States.
- Collection of a portfolio of receivables from multiple failed businesses resulting in substantial financial return to the former lenders of the company.
- Los Angeles and Orange County Bar Associations, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Committee
- Bankruptcy Forum, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and Orange Counties
- American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)
- Judicial Extern to the Honorable David E. Russell, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of California
- Board of Directors, United Cerebral Palsy
- Board of Directors, Abbyson Living Corporation
- L.A. Times B2B Publishing Business of Law Magazine “Visionary” (2021)
- “Best Lawyers in America” (2016-Present)
- Thomson Reuters Southern California “Super Lawyers” (2007-Present)
- Speaker, “Rainmakers Q&A” series, Law360 (Aug. 2016)
- Co-author, “The Sweet Sound of a 363,” Law360 (Feb. 2016)
- Quote, “Court approves $125M stalking horse bid for Relativity’s TV assets,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (Oct. 2015)
- Quote, “Relativity Media, said to be nearing bankruptcy, is cutting 50 jobs,” Los Angeles Times (July 2015)
- Presenter, “Representing Bankruptcy Post-Confirmation Liquidation and Litigation Trusts: Structuring the Entity Agreement, Managing the Trust, and Representing the Trust as General or Special Litigation Counsel,” Strafford Publications (Aug. 2015)
- Quote, “U.S. Supreme Court decision could transform bankruptcy litigation,” Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal (March 2014)
- Co-author, “Justices consider bankruptcy tale of ‘Lili Lin of China,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (Feb. 2014)
- Quote, “Madoff Trustee’s Supreme Court Case Puts DOJ In Bind,” Law360 (Jan. 14, 2014)
- Associate Managing Editor, Transnational Lawyer (1991)
- Author, “The European Economic Community and Effects Doctrine Jurisdiction: The Community’s New Weapon,” Transnational Lawyer 3;759 (1990)
- Regular speaker, numerous professional industry groups, including California Mortgage Bankers Association