Sandford L. Frey (“Sandy”) is a Partner with Leech Tishman and Co-Chair of the Business Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group, where he co-leads the Practice Group, including the Bankruptcy Chapter 11 Debtor and Bankruptcy Chapter 11 Subchapter V Debtor Groups. Based in the Los Angeles office, Sandy has experience with out-of-court workouts, Chapter 11 reorganizations, bankruptcy, insolvency and lending, real estate, general corporate and transactional matters and wine law.
Sandy has over 39 years of experience representing debtors, lenders, purchasers, creditors and borrowers in and out of Chapter 11 matters, as well as in business and lending transactions and loan workouts. He has very diverse experience in business and business reorganizations, not only in the Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of California, but throughout the United States.
During his career, Sandy has represented clients in the automotive, entertainment, food and beverage, hospitality, real estate, retail, and telecommunications industries, as well as religious organizations including the International Society of Krishna Consciousness and Chabad of Westwood. Sandy’s past representations include serving as counsel for the Debtor in numerous retail Chapter 11 cases, including a 21-store mini-department store chain; a 41-store chain retailer and licensor of dynamic trade names; a large tile and brick retailer; a retail mall and banquet facility; various shopping malls, hotels, and entertainment venues; a retail jewelry store chain; and a number of upper-and middle- market cellular telephone retailers.
Sandy has particular emphasis in restructurings and reorganizations for restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs. He recently confirmed a reorganization plan successfully reorganizing 75 Jack in the Box franchises in the 8th Circuit, which accounted for nearly the entire Missouri and Illinois markets. He also negotiated a successful out of court restructuring for a well-know and well-respected Los Angeles high-end restaurant. In the hospitality area, Sandy successfully completed an out of court restructuring for a prominent hotel and resort located -near Lake Placid, New York. He has represented and reorganized a number of hotels throughout Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.
Recently, Sandy also successfully confirmed a plan of reorganization for Hawkeye Entertainment, LLC, after prevailing in a five-day trial regarding the assumption of a commercial lease (over the hard-fought objection of the landlord). The leased premises is home to one of the most popular night club and event venues in the world. In addition to prevailing at trial, Sandy’s client obtained a legal fees award against the landlord of approximately $600,000. The case resulted in a number of reported decisions, including In re Hawkeye Entm’t 625 B.R. 745 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2021), aff’d In re Hawkeye Entm’t 2:20-cv-10656-FLA (U.S.D.C; 2021); and affirmed on appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in In re Hawkeye Entm’t __ F4th ___ (9th Cir. 2022).
Sandy often represents borrowers in negotiating and documenting new financing, DIP loans and takeout financing.
Sandy frequently represents purchasers of assets in Chapter 11. He represented a well-known mortgage lender in its efforts to negotiate and confirm a consensual orderly liquidation plan, which was highly successful and resulted in very significant distribution to unsecured creditors. Sandy also confirmed a plan of reorganization for several car washes filed in both the Central and Eastern Districts of California.
Over the course of his career, Sandy has represented clients in a number of significant real estate-related reorganizations, including reorganization due to real estate insolvencies; the reorganization of a financial services company that owned shopping and retail centers located in the San Fernando Valley and Las Vegas, Nevada; the reorganization of a strip mall in Encino, California; and the reorganization of a historic Beaux Arts building in downtown Los Angeles.
Sandy and his partner were lead Creditors’ Committee counsel in a Chapter 11 case of a private equity and asset management firm based in Los Angeles, California. The matter was related to a real estate investment with $650 million in unsecured debt.
Sandy is proud to have recently been elected to the board of the Pasadena Symphony and POPs and excited to participate in such a world class and worthy organization. In addition, Sandy previously served on the Executive Board of the North American Sommelier Association. Sandy also has a number of wine certifications, including a Certified Sommelier (WSA/NASA); Certified Specialist of Italian Wine (AIS/NASA); Certified Specialist of American Wine (NASA); Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) — Society of Wine Educators; and Master of Sangiovese (NASA). Sandy completed and successfully passed the Wine Education and Management program at UCLA. He was a frequent guest lecturer on a number of wine topics, particularly for Piemonte, Italy.
Prior to joining Leech Tishman, Sandy was a Partner at Robinson Diamant Brill & Klausner, a Los Angeles-based law firm focused on business bankruptcy, business commercial transactions, and litigation, as well as several other prominent firms. Sandy served as Judicial Clerk to the Hon. James R. Dooley, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California.
J.D., University of West Los Angeles School of Law
B.A., California State University at Northridge
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
Los Angeles County Bar Association
State Bar of California
Financial Lawyers Conference (Member, Bankruptcy Forum)
Central District of California (Past Member, Bankruptcy Local Rules Committee, 1988)
North American Sommelier Association (“NASA”) (Counselor/Legal Advisor; Executive Board Member)
Award for Outstanding Legal Journalism (Recipient)
Top Attorneys, Pasadena Magazine (2019-2022)
Lawyers of Distinction (2019)
Super Lawyer, Business Restructuring & Insolvency Law, Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, (2023)
Pasadena Symphony & Pops (Governance Committee)
“Trust Me or Trustee? The Requirements for Appointment of a Trustee or Examiner under 11 U.S.C. §1104,” 17,” California Bankruptcy Journal 34 (author)
“Acquisitions through Chapter 11, The Good 11, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” Los Angeles Lawyer, Los Angeles County Bar Association (Author)
Frequent speaker on wines of Piemonte and Burgundy, UCLA Extension
Certifications & Designations
Certified Sommelier (WSA/NASA)
Certified Specialist of Italian Wine (AIS/NASA)
Certified Specialist of American Wine (NASA)
Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), Society of Wine Educators
Master of Sangiovese (NASA)