Services & Industries
J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1976
A.B., Economics, Brown University, 1973
Bar & Court Admissions
Oregon State Bar, Debtor-Creditor Section
State Bar of Michigan
Washington State Bar Association
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
Al Kennedy passed away in December 2022. Through his four decades at Tonkon Torp, his positive impact on the firm and his clients was profound. Al was an exceptional lawyer, partner, mentor, and friend.
Read more about Al’s career and impact at Tonkon Torp here.
Al’s practice focused on complex corporate reorganizations and restructuring. He had expertise in all areas of commercial, bankruptcy, and creditors’ rights law. He represented creditors (including a variety of financial institutions) and debtors in bankruptcy proceedings, commercial litigation, and real estate foreclosures before both federal and state courts. He also had extensive experience in the negotiation and documentation of out-of-court workouts and commercial loan transactions.
Al joined Tonkon Torp in 1984, becoming a partner in 1986.
In re C & K Market, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.)—Headquartered in Brookings, Oregon, C & K Market is an independently-owned grocery store chain located primarily in small communities in southern and central Oregon and northern California. Tonkon Torp represented the company in its Chapter 11 case, which recapitalized the company through a debt-for-equity exchange and enabled the company to emerge with a strong balance sheet and solid earnings. During the seven-month reorganization, the company sold its 15 pharmacy operations, sold or closed 20 of its original 60 grocery stores, and refinanced its secured debt. A team comprised of bankruptcy lawyers Al Kennedy, Mike Fletcher, and Ava Schoen led extensive negotiations with the grocer’s secured and unsecured creditors to ensure the uninterrupted support of trade creditors, manage PACA liabilities, and confirm and implement the plan.
In re Stayton SW Assisted Living, L.L.C. (the Consolidated Sunwest Related Entities)
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented debtor, Stayton SW Assisted Living, L.L.C., and over 700 substantially consolidated affiliates, in a Chapter 11 proceeding that resulted in a confirmed Plan of Reorganization. The biggest and most complex bankruptcy case ever filed in Oregon, the consolidation, restructuring and $1.2 billion sale involving over 700 of Sunwest entities demanded legal expertise in bankruptcy, securities, tax, real estate, corporate governance, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulated industries and commercial transactions. Al Kennedy and Tim Conway worked with a team of Tonkon lawyers and paralegals who developed and executed a complex resolution that restructured obligations owing to over 90 secured lenders, sold 146 senior living facilities (including approximately 1,200 tenant-in-common interests held by investors), and resulted in distributions to creditors and investors exceeding 100% of their claims.
In re Williams, Love, O'Leary & Powers, P.C.
(Bankr. D. Or.) — Williams, Love, O'Leary & Powers, P.C. ("WLOP") is a nationally recognized plaintiffs' medical products liability firm that represents clients who suffer injuries caused by dangerous or defective medical products. Tonkon represented WLOP in its Chapter 11 case, which resulted in a confirmed Plan of Reorganization through which all creditors were paid in full and the firm emerged viable and recapitalized. We believe this is the only law firm Chapter 11 in the United States in which the firm emerged intact as an operating firm continuing to serve its clients.
In re Total Mechanical, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) — Total Mechanical, Inc. is a design-build mechanical contractor. When a large judgment was entered against it, Total Mechanical turned to Tonkon to file a Chapter 11 case on its behalf. Within 10 weeks of the filing of its bankruptcy case, the judgment was settled, Total Mechanical was recapitalized, and the bankruptcy case was dismissed.
In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland
(Bankr. D. Or.) – On behalf of the Tort Claimants' Committee, Al Kennedy led a team of Tonkon lawyers in the first-ever bankruptcy filing by a Catholic Archdiocese. Tonkon successfully navigated numerous issues of first impression arising from the intersection of real estate, corporate, constitutional, bankruptcy, charitable trust and religious institutions law. All claimants were paid in full, with interest, after each claim was individually mediated.
In re Beall Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) — Beall Corporation manufactured truck tanks and trailers at multiple factories, and operated sales and service branches across the western United States. Tonkon represented Beall in its Chapter 11 case. The company's divisions were sold as going concerns to four different purchasers and a Plan of Liquidation is scheduled for confirmation in September of 2013.
In re HemCon Medical Technologies, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – HemCon Medical Technologies, Inc. develops, manufactures, and sells a line of wound care products throughout the world. When faced with a disastrous patent infringement judgment, HemCon turned to Tonkon to represent it in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Through its bankruptcy case, HemCon was able to sell certain non-core product lines, attract new equity investment, restructure its secured and unsecured debt, including the judgment debt, and emerge from bankruptcy as a viable, operating recapitalized business.
In re Western Communications, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Western Communications, Inc. owns eight newspapers, including the Bend Bulletin, La Grande Observer, Baker City Herald, Redwood Spokesman, Curry Coastal Pilot, Central Oregon Nickel Ads, Daily Triplicate, and Sonora Union Democrat. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case, through which the company restructured its debts and emerged within nine months.
In re Don J. Simplot
(Bankr. D. Id.) – Don J. Simplot is the oldest son of the legendary J. R. Simplot of Idaho. The principal assets in Mr. Simplot's case were his partnership interests in DJS Properties, L.P., a limited partnership he formed with his children and grandchildren. Tonkon successfully represented DJS Properties L.P. in defending against the efforts of the bankruptcy estate representative to force a dissolution and liquidation of the partnership and its assets.
In re Society of Jesus, Oregon Province
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented Seattle University in defending against efforts by the Claimants' Committee to consolidate the assets of the University into the bankruptcy estate. All claims against Seattle University were waived and released without payment or contribution by the University.
In re Bay Club Partners-472, LLC
Bay Club Partners-472, LLC purchased and renovated a large residential apartment complex in Arizona. After suffering through a difficult real estate market and the inability to refinance, the company was represented by Tonkon Torp in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The company's plan was confirmed over the aggressive opposition of the lender and the continuing opposition of one of its members, resulting in repayment of all of its creditors in full and distribution to all of its members.
In re Fountain Village Development
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented Fountain Village in its Chapter 11 case that resulted in a successful confirmed Plan of Reorganization. Al Kennedy and Ava Schoen secured a favorable Chapter 11 restructuring for this commercial real estate enterprise with a portfolio of 20 historic properties in downtown Portland.
In re Granada Lakes LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Granada Lakes owned an apartment house in Phoenix, Arizona. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case that resulted in the apartment house being deeded to the secured lender. All creditors were paid and all guarantors released.
In re General Auto Building, LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) – General Auto Building renovated a former industrial building located in Portland's Pearl District into a five-story commercial office building. The renovation was completed in late 2009, at the nadir of the Portland office market and General Auto Building was forced to file a Chapter 11 case in early 2012. Tonkon represented the company in its bankruptcy case. The company's Plan of Reorganization was confirmed over the aggressive and well-financed opposition of a national law firm that represented the fund that purchased the secured debt.
In re Renaissance Custom Homes LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) – With the bursting of the real estate bubble in 2008/09, developer Randy Sebastian and Renaissance Homes turned to Al Kennedy and Tim Conway to find a path through bankruptcy. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case which resulted in the recapitalization of the company and its continuation as Oregon's premier home builder.
In re Christensen Shipyards, Ltd.
Tonkon represented Miles Stover, the court appointed general receiver for Christensen Shipyards, Ltd. CSL is the premier manufacturer of 50 meter composite fiberglass motor yachts in the U.S. The sale price of the yachts is in the range of $34 million. Mr. Stover was appointed and retained Tonkon on March 20, 2015. Virtually all employees at the shipyard had been laid off and all operations had ceased. Three yachts were in process. We assisted the Receiver in negotiating financing facilities with each of the yacht purchasers that enabled the shipyard to bring back approximately 140 employees and restore operations. Subsequently, we assisted the Receiver in the sale of the shipyard to Christensen Shipyards LLC, an entity formed by the yacht purchasers. Thereafter we represented the Receiver in a lawsuit asserting claims against insiders and affiliates and seeking recovery of fraudulent conveyances. Following the sale and the settlement of the lawsuit, the Receiver paid the claims of secured and priority creditors in full and the claims of unsecured creditors in excess of 70%.
In re Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation designed and manufactured single-engine, composite airplanes that were rated as the world's fastest production model piston aircraft. Tonkon represented Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case that resulted in the sale of the company to Cessna Aircraft and subsequent confirmation of the company's Plan of Reorganization.
In re Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Graphic Arts Publishing published books, calendars and other printed material on the subject area of regional history, gardening, photo essay, nature, travel, cooking and children's books under four names: Graphic Arts Books, Westwind Press, Alaska Northwest Books and Alaska Geographic. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case that resulted in confirmation of a Plan of Reorganization and recapitalization of the company within nine months of the petition date.
In re Ernst Home Center, Inc.
(Bankr. W.D. Wa.) – Ernst Home Center was a hardware and garden supply retailer with 86 stores located in nine states. It filed its Chapter 11 case in 1996. Tonkon represented Congress Financial Corporation, which had a claim in excess of $50,000,000 and was the company's major secured creditor. Congress was paid in full, including all interest, costs, and an early termination fee.
In re Great Western Chemical Co.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Great Western Chemical Co. was one of Oregon's largest privately-held companies. It was a distributor of chemical products, with warehouses throughout the western United States. Tonkon represented the owners of the company who were also creditors and landlords for most of the warehouse facilities. Tonkon assisted the owners in orchestrating an orderly liquidation of their company, which resulted in the sale of the company and assumption of virtually all the leases, together with distributions to creditors, including the insiders, of approximately $.60 on the dollar.
In re Melridge, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Melridge, Inc. was a publicly-held corporation engaged in growing and marketing flower bulbs and cut flowers through various American and European divisions and subsidiaries. Its sales in 1987 exceeded $40,000,000. Tonkon represented Melridge in its Chapter 11 case, which was filed on December 14, 1987. The Melridge case is generally acknowledged to be the most complex Chapter 11 case ever filed in Oregon up to that time. Melridge's Plan of Reorganization was confirmed in January of 1989.
In re Miralink Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Miralink Corporation was a start-up technology company that ceased operations in 2009. Two years later, Tonkon assisted the company in selling its intellectual property, including patent rights, through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. After the sale was closed, a plan distributing the proceeds among the creditor groups was confirmed.
In re Plaid Pantries, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Plaid Pantries operates a chain of convenience stores in Oregon and Washington. Tonkon represented the founding family and landlord for virtually all stores in the company's Chapter 11 case. Plaid Pantry successfully reorganized and assumed its lease obligations.
In re Sprouse-Reitz Stores Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented Sprouse-Reitz in its Chapter 11 case filed on November 27, 1991. Sprouse-Reitz was a publicly-held company that operated approximately 164 variety stores in 10 states, employed over 2,000 people, and had sales in 1991 in excess of $174,000,000. The Sprouse-Reitz Plan of Reorganization was confirmed on June 2, 1992. The rights and interests of stockholders were not altered or impaired by the Plan.
In late 1993, it became clear that Sprouse-Reitz would not be able to achieve the performance it had projected at the time of its 1991 bankruptcy case and that its ability to perform under its Plan of Reorganization was uncertain. Tonkon represented Sprouse-Reitz in its second Chapter 11 case where the firm negotiated and obtained confirmation of the first pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan in Oregon. The Chapter 11 case was filed on November 8, 1993, and the Plan was confirmed on December 22, 1993. The Plan provided for the orderly liquidation of the assets of Sprouse-Reitz and distribution of the proceeds of such liquidation to creditors and stockholders. Stockholders received a total of $4 million ($2.79 per share), while unsecured creditors were paid approximately 63% of their unsecured claims.
In re Wildhorse Meadows, LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Wildhorse Meadows, LLC is the owner of the Aspen Lakes Golf Course outside Sisters, Oregon. The golf course is leased to the operator. Tonkon represented Wildhorse Meadows in a Chapter 11 proceeding. The company filed in late fall and was reorganized in time for the golf season.
In re Americold Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Americold Corporation was the nation's largest supplier of refrigerated warehouse services to the frozen food industry, and the second biggest cold storage company in the world. The company also provided transportation management services to frozen food manufacturers. Services were provided through a nationwide network of refrigerated warehouse facilities. Americold's revenues exceeded $200,000,000 annually and its total debt exceeded $470,000,000. Most of the debt was publicly-held. Tonkon represented Americold in its pre-packaged Chapter 11 case. The case was filed on May 8, 1995, and the Plan of Reorganization was confirmed on June 19, 1995.
In re Northwest Pipe Company
(Bankr. D. Id.) – Tonkon represented the principal secured lender in the Chapter 11 case of a company now known as Northwest Pipe Company. With the support and financial backing of West One Bank Idaho, Northwest Pipe Company used its Chapter 11 case to recapitalize and emerge as one of Oregon's strongest publicly-held companies.
In re Pope & Talbot, Inc.
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) – After this venerable Portland-based forest products company filed its bankruptcy case in the Southern District of New York in late 2007, Tonkon represented the buyers in two different acquisitions. Al Kennedy orchestrated the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's operations in South Dakota and Wyoming by a strategic buyer. Leon Simson represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's Oregon pulp mill.
In re Baldwin-United Corporation
(Bankr. S.D. Ohio) – Baldwin-United Corporation was a publicly-held diversified financial corporation with annual sales in excess of $3.5 billion. At the time its petition was filed, it was the largest bankruptcy in the history of the United States. Tonkon represented the petitioning creditors in that bankruptcy, and William F. Martson, Jr. subsequently served as co-chairman of the official unsecured creditors' committee.
In re Rajneesh Neal-Sannyas International Commune
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented the petitioning creditors in the involuntary bankruptcy petition against the commune in one of the most notorious cases in Oregon history. Subsequently, the firm represented the court-appointed trustee.
In re Oregon Contractors Workers' Compensation Trust
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Oregon Contractors Workers’ Compensation Trust is a self-insurance nonprofit corporation organized by an employer group under the Oregon Workers’ Compensation statutes. Tonkon represented the Trust in a unique and creative use of the bankruptcy process to facilitate the wind-down of an insurance company.
In re Storables Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – In 2009, Al Kennedy and Mike Fletcher helped this prominent retail homeware company shed debt and pare down its operations by rejecting and restructuring its lease obligations in a Chapter 11. The company emerged from bankruptcy in nine months.
In re Chef Solutions, LLC, et al
(Bankr. D. Del.) – Tonkon assisted Reser's Fine Foods, Inc. in providing post-petition financing to and acquiring the assets of Chef Solutions through a Delaware bankruptcy case.
In re Bonavia Timber Company, LLC, and Nevada First Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Bonavia Timber Company and Nevada First Corporation conduct extensive ranching operations in Oregon and Nevada. They were confronted with a multi-million dollar lawsuit that threatened their ability to continue operations. Tonkon represented the companies in their Chapter 11 case that resulted in a settlement of the lawsuit and confirmation of a Plan of Reorganization within eight months of the filing date.
In re Grange Mutual Insurance Company
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented Grange Mutual Insurance Company ("GMIC") in its Chapter 11 liquidation. We believe the GMIC case is one of only two cases involving the wind-down of an insurance company through Chapter 11 since the Bankruptcy Code was adopted. The case was filed in July 2002 and the Plan of Liquidation was confirmed in December 2002. GMIC had over 35,000 policy holders and hundreds of outstanding claims. All policies were rejected and a claims bar date was set. By the end of 2003 all claims were liquidated and paid.
In re The Columbian Publishing Company
(Bankr. W.D. Wa.) – Nine months after Tonkon filed the Columbian Publishing Company's Chapter 11 case, Southwest Washington’s largest daily newspaper emerged from bankruptcy in early 2010 thanks to the work of Al Kennedy and Mike Fletcher.
In re Lumber Products, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Lumber Products was a manufacturer and distributor of building products. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case. The company was sold through a 363 sale and a plan was confirmed within six months of the petition date.
The Tonkon Torp-led sale of NORPAC Foods, Inc. has been named an M&A Deal of the Year ($100MM-$250MM) in the 19th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, which selects the finest deals and professionals within the global M&A and Turnaround industry annually.
In one of the quickest and most successful conclusions of a grocery chain bankruptcy proceeding, Tonkon Torp secured court approval of a reorganization plan for C&K Market, Inc., to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy just seven months after filing. Find details and more featured cases here.
Tonkon Torp is featured in an article in the April 2011 issue of the ABA Journal. The firm’s work on the Sunwest bankruptcy case is the topic of the story, which discusses our representation of Clyde Hamstreet, the Chief Restructuring Officer for the case. The Sunwest bankruptcy concluded with a $1.2 billion deal, which was the culmination of one of the biggest and most complex bankruptcy cases of its kind ever filed in Oregon.
In August 2010, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors closed a $1.2 billion deal to acquire 134 senior living properties from bankrupt Oregon-based Sunwest Management, formerly the country’s fourth largest (and largest privately-held) senior living operator. Tonkon Torp represented the Chief Restructuring Officer of Sunwest in this deal, which was the culmination of one of the biggest and most complex bankruptcy cases of its kind ever filed in Oregon.
Community Involvement & Activities
High Desert Museum
Board of Trustees
American College of Bankruptcy
Multnomah Bar Association
Turnaround Management Association
American College of Bankruptcy
The Best Lawyers in America
1989-2023, Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights Law/Insolvency & Reorganization Law
2014-2023, Bet-the-Company Litigation
2012-2023, Litigation: Bankruptcy
2012, Lawyer of the Year – Litigation: Bankruptcy, Portland
2011, Lawyer of the Year – Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights Law/Insolvency & Reorganization Law, Portland
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers
2016, Top 10 Oregon Super Lawyers
2012-2021, Top 50 Oregon Super Lawyers
2006-2022, Oregon Super Lawyer – Business Bankruptcy
Turnaround Management Association
2011, Large Company Turnaround Transaction of the Year
Attorneys from the Tonkon Torp Bankruptcy & Reorganization Practice Group were invited to author three guides for Thomson Reuters Practical Law, published as part of their State Q&A series for Bankruptcy and Restructuring. Each guide provides in-depth detail on a specific aspect of Bankruptcy and Restructuring in Oregon.
Fifty-three Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 37 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023. Nearly all the attorneys have been previously named to the peer-review list, and most have been listed for more than 10 years.
Thirty-one Tonkon Torp attorneys in 11 practice areas have been included in the 2022 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars
Chambers USA has recognized 28 Tonkon Torp attorneys in eight practice areas in its Chambers USA 2022 Guide.
Tonkon Torp partner Al Kennedy has been admitted as a Fellow in the 33rd Class of the American College of Bankruptcy.
Publications & Presentations
Al is a frequent speaker on bankruptcy and is the author of numerous articles on bankruptcy-related topics. He is the author of Chapter 16, Development, Confirmation, and Consummation of Chapter 11 Plans, 2 Oregon Law (Oregon CLE: 1999) and the 2007 Supplement.
“Receiverships: Oregon,” Thompson Reuters Practical Law, October 2022
“UCC Article 9 Sales: Oregon,” Thompson Reuters Practical Law, March 2022
“Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors: Oregon,” Thompson Reuters Practical Law, January 2022
“Insurance in Bankruptcy: Asset, Liability or Both?” 30th Annual Northwest Bankruptcy Institute, 2017
“Bankruptcy in the Cathedral,” Federal Bar Association – Oregon, 2014
“Challenges in Retail Restructurings: Landlords, Liquidations, Lender Concerns and other Issues,” TMA’s Thirteenth Annual Northwest Cross-Border Conference, 2012
“Forum Shopping and the Venue Market Failure in Bankruptcy,” Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section CLE and Annual Meeting, 2012
“The State of Corporate Reorganization,” Lewis & Clark Law School Business Law Roundtable, 2012
“Strategies for Valuation in Bankruptcy,” 2011 Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section CLE and Annual Meeting
“Bankruptcy Trusts: One Size Does Not Fit All,” Turnaround Management Association, 2011
“Reorganization v. Liquidation in Chapter 11 Cases,” 24th Annual Northwest Bankruptcy Institute, 2011
“Bankruptcy and the Secured Creditor,” Lorman Education Services, 2008
“Dates, Deadlines and Avoiding Pitfalls in Business Bankruptcies,” 21st Annual Northwest Bankruptcy Institute, 2008
“Fiduciary Obligations in the Vicinity of Insolvency,” The Seminar Group, The Best of CLE, 2008
“Loan Workout and Collateral Liquidation,” Lorman Education Services, 2008
“The Wheel of Misfortune,” 19th Annual Northwest Bankruptcy Institute, 2006
“Commercial and Real Estate Loan Documents in Oregon,” Lorman Education Services, 2004
“Real World Evidence,” 17th Annual Northwest Bankruptcy Institute, 2004
“Receiverships v. Bankruptcies,” Turnaround Management Association, 2004
“Contested Chapter 11 Plan Hearings,” Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section CLE, 2004