‘Two Dollar Steve’ Reisman Joins Katten Muchin

Bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer Steven J. Reisman, who is sometimes called “Two Dollar Steve” because of his penchant for giving away $2 bills to strangers and celebrities, has joined Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP to head its bankruptcy and restructuring practice.

Reisman, a nearly three-decade veteran of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, may be equally as well known as a friend of the singer-rapper Drake, and for carrying a wad of $2 bills that he showers on audiences at music performances and concerts. According to a story last year in “Vice,” Reisman appears in social media posts with Drake. He is not Drake’s lawyer, Reisman said, but is a devoted fan.

“I’m trying to put a smile on people’s faces, and encourage them to be nice to the next person,” Reisman said of his money give-away. “I give them out for good luck since I’ve had that in my life. I’ve been doing it for about a decade now.”

Over the years, Reisman has given $2 bills not only to Drake but also to a number of other notable names. They include Bill Clinton, who, according to Reisman, has kept the good luck token.

In his day job, Reisman has represented clients such as independent directors of Toys “R” Us, which filed for bankruptcy protection and is closing down stores, and for Lazard Ltd., which was the investment banker on strategic alternatives for restructuring the debt obligations of Pacific Exploration & Production Corp. The $1 billion plus restructuring involved three jurisdictions.

Reisman, in a phone interview, said that his reason for joining Katten was to broaden the client base for his restructuring practice, especially domestically. Katten, with about 600 lawyers, is about twice as large as his previous firm, he said.

“The economy is cyclical and as it softens a bit, a number of leveraged companies will need to be restructured using the Chapter 11 bankruptcy code,” Reisman said. “And our team will be ready.”

Along with Reisman, four other lawyers are leaving Curtis to join Katten as partners. They are Theresa A. Foudy, Shaya Rochester and Cindi M. Giglio. Evan S. Borenstein also joined Katten as a partner in its New York corporate practice group.

Curtis did not respond to a request for comment on the departures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson at egolson1@gmail.com.

To contact the editor on this story: Casey Sullivan at csullivan@bloomberglaw.com.