A former federal prosecutor who joined Anderson Kill in 1974 and retired in 2010, Mr. Olick was one of the nation's foremost bankruptcy attorneys, a pioneer in the formation of asbestos bankruptcy trusts and in the orderly dissolution of major law firms.
In connection with the bankruptcy reorganization of Johns Manville, Mr. Olick was an architect of the Manville Reorganization Trust, the first asbestos bankruptcy trust of its kind, and also served as trial counsel for many asbestos producers in the personal injury litigation. With the creation of the Asbestos Claims Facility, Mr. Olick was designated trial counsel in New York State. When the Center for Claims Resolution was formed, he became New York State counsel for the producers in that entity as well.
Mr. Olick was also a major factor in the reorganizations and dissolutions of numerous professional partnerships and law firms such as Finley Kumble; Laventhal & Horwath; Lord Day & Lord; Barrett Smith; Gaston & Snow; Bower & Gardner; Shea & Gould; Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon; and Dreyer & Traub.
In his work with distressed law firms, Mr. Olick was known as a conciliatory presence who could bring all parties to the table to work out an orderly dissolution or restructuring. "Arthur made the simple point of saying, ‘Get rid of the anger, get rid of the emotion and look at what makes sense,'" one former partner of a dissolved firm told The Wall Street Journal in a 1995 profile. Of his work successfully restructuring firms that escaped bankruptcy, Mr. Olick told The New York Law Journal, "sometimes it's the personal relationships that need restructuring."
Mr. Olick also represented Zsa Zsa Gabor, Peter Max, Don McLean, Meatloaf, and Gloria Swanson on various commercial matters. More recently, Mr. Olick concentrated his practice in insurance recovery, securing major recoveries for corporate policyholders while helping to make coverage law.
Prior to joining Anderson Kill, Mr. Olick was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Chief of the Civil Division. He was active in civic affairs in Westchester County, where he lived with his family for many decades, serving as attorney for several local townships. In addition, he served as president of the Greenburgh Central Seven School District Board of Education, leading the implementation of a controversial busing program in the 1970s. He and his wife Selma Olick (née Kaufman) were also founding members of Bet Am Shalom, a Reconstructionist temple in White Plains.
Mr. Olick served as a lecturer at Yale University and the University of Georgia and was on the staff of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Military Government School, Fort Gordon, Georgia. He earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, a B.A. Magna cum Laude from Yale College, and was a member, Phi Beta Kappa.
Mark D. Silverschotz, current co-chair of Anderson Kill's Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group, commented, "Those of us who were mentored, trained, and pushed out of the nest by Arthur know how lucky we were. Arthur’s formative experience was working for Robert Morgenthau in the U. S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. As a result, he treated his junior colleagues as autonomous, capable, and hard-working -- but also always had our backs when we needed him most. We are all grateful to Arthur for his leadership, and to his family for sharing him with us."
Robert M. Horkovich, Anderson Kill's managing shareholder, said, "We grieve because of Arthur's passing. He mentored scores of distinguished attorneys and helped establish Anderson Kill as a pathbreaking litigation firm. His example is embedded in our firm's culture, and he will be sorely missed."
About Anderson Kill
Anderson Kill practices law in the areas of Insurance Recovery, Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law, Estates, Trusts and Tax Services, Corporate and Securities, Antitrust, Banking and Lending, Bankruptcy and Restructuring, Real Estate and Construction, Foreign Investment Recovery, Public Law, Government Affairs, Employment and Labor Law, Captive Insurance, Intellectual Property, Corporate Tax, Hospitality, and Health Reform. Recognized nationwide by Chambers USA for Client Service and Commercial Awareness, and best-known for its work in insurance recovery, the firm represents policyholders only in insurance coverage disputes - with no ties to insurance companies and has no conflicts of interest. Clients include Fortune 1000 companies, small and medium-sized businesses, governmental entities, and nonprofits as well as personal estates. Based in New York City, the firm also has offices in Ventura, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Stamford, CT, Washington, DC, and Newark, NJ.
For more information, please contact:
Carol A. Ueckerman
Bankruptcy Pioneer Arthur Olick Dies at 85, The Wall Street Journal (July 7, 2016)
Prominent Bankruptcy Attorney, Former Anderson Kill Name Partner, Dies at 85, New York Law Journal (July 7, 2016)
Legal Pioneer Arthur Olick Dies At 85, Business Insurance (July 7, 2016)
Veteran Law Firm Bankruptcy Advisor Dies at 85, Bloomberg Law (July 7, 2016)
Arthur Olick, Ex-Anderson Kill Bankruptcy Chair, Dead At 85, Law360 (July 7, 2016)