Michael Nicolella

Career Associate

Wheeling, W.V. (GOIC)


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Michael Nicolella is a Career Associate at Orrick's Global Operations & Innovation Center in Wheeling, West Virginia. As a member of the Restructuring Group, he is adept at solving commercial legal problems.

Michael advises investment banks, broker-dealers, hedge funds, and secured lenders on purchases and sales of domestic and international bankruptcy trade claims, distressed syndicated debt, post-restructuring equity, notes, bonds, and alternative investments. He has extensive experience with negotiating and drafting bespoke transaction documentation for numerous types of assets, and works closely with clients and counterparties to settle complex transactions.  

Michael also assists creditors in foreclosures, secured transactions, and bankruptcy proceedings nationwide to improve their recoveries of value owed to them.  

During law school Michael completed an internship with the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Posts by: Michael Nicolella

Supreme Court Rules the Federal Government Must Pay Health Insurers’ Multi-Billion Dollar Risk Corridor Claims

 

Insurance markets have been watching the Supreme Court’s docket for its ruling on whether the Federal Government must compensate some of health insurers’ losses. Today the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Government must satisfy these obligations. Insurers and holders of their claims are expected to seek billions of dollars of compensation.

Section 1342 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act attempted to mitigate risk for insurers who sold health insurance on federal insurance exchanges through a “risk corridor payment system” – during the first three years of the insurance exchanges’ operation, 2014 through 2016, insurers who profited from selling insurance on the exchanges transferred a share of their profits to the Federal Government, which was required to compensate other insurers whose costs exceeded the premiums they collected on the exchanges. However, in 2014 the Congress passed an appropriations bill that purported to limit these compensation payments, and a federal appeals court ruled that this and subsequent appropriation bills repealed or suspended the Federal Government’s obligation to make transfer payments to loss-making insurers. Some insurers’ losses reached billions of dollars.

Today the Supreme Court held that § 1342 imposed a direct legal obligation on the Federal Government to make risk corridor payments to loss-making insurers who had participated in the insurance exchanges, notwithstanding the Federal Government’s argument that § 1342 provided insufficient details for how the Federal Government should satisfy these obligations. The Court held that § 1342 does not require risk corridor payments to be budget-neutral, nor to permit partial satisfaction of the Federal Government’s obligations to insurers, and rejected arguments that an appropriations bill could implicitly repeal another statute’s express statutory language.

Investors who are interested in trading in insurers’ risk corridor claims should note that while the Supreme Court’s ruling appears to shelter risk corridor payments from any offsets or deductions by the Federal Government, there are further nuances they should understand concerning how the risk corridor payment program calculates claim amounts – and in how claim transfer agreements structure transferees’ rights.

Investors who want to capitalize on these developments should contact Raniero D’Aversa and Allison Citron of Orrick’s Restructuring group.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Becomes Law – With Major Enhancements

 

By voice vote on March 27, the House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “Act”), a version of which the Senate passed on a 96-0 vote two days earlier. President Trump promptly signed the Act into law. The Act includes significant amendments to the Senate bill resulting from legislative negotiations that took place since we last analyzed it here. The final version of the Act increases funding for loans to small and large businesses, increases oversight on the Department of the Treasury’s loans and grants to businesses, and adds funding for struggling state, tribal and local governments, individuals and healthcare providers. We summarize key changes here.

CARES Act Inches Closer, but Terms for Economic Relief Still Uncertain

 

When we last wrote, we advised that the CARES Act’s provisions granting extraordinary power to the Secretary of the Treasury to determine those businesses’ eligible for financial relief without legislative oversight was likely to be a significant point of contention during legislative negotiations over approval of the Senate Bill. Our prediction proved correct, with passage of the Bill being delayed for several days through procedural measures. Recent reports have indicated that Secretary Mnuchin has agreed to strict legislative oversight over his authority to designate eligible businesses entitled to receive funding, which has increased in the aggregate from $150 billion to $500 billion in aid for corporations and municipalities. The agreement purportedly also includes hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for hospitals – a significant increase from the Bill’s initial allocation. Read our key takeaways here.

What You Need to Know About the Proposed Senate Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

 

The goal of the trillion-dollar Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) introduced yesterday in the Senate is the quick distribution of cash to individuals, small businesses and critical economic sectors such as the airline industry, providing financial assistance to students, expediting coronavirus testing and easing shortages of medical supplies and personnel. While the bill as drafted has met with resistance from Democratic leaders, we expect a version of this bill to be enacted soon. The CARES Act is 247 pages long and seeks to address many critical problems. We summarize below some key provisions here.