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Skadden bankruptcy guru Butler moves to liquidation shop

By Nick Brown

NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Jack Butler, a prominent bankruptcy attorney who played a key role in American Airlines' merger with U.S. Airways Group, is leaving law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to join liquidation firm Hilco Global.

Butler will join Hilco as an executive vice president beginning on May 1, Hilco said in an internal memo it released on Wednesday.

Butler, a veteran bankruptcy attorney who helped build Skadden's restructuring process when he joined the firm in 1990, represented the official creditors' committee of American Airlines when the carrier went bankrupt in 2011.

Along with Skadden partner Jay Goffman, Butler was instrumental in setting the agenda in the case, in which American resolved years of bitter labor disputes with unionized workers and then agreed to merge with U.S. Airways to create the world's biggest airline.

Butler also guided auto parts supplier Delphi through a restructuring. Delphi, which went bankrupt amid struggles to diversify its business after being spun off by General Motors, set a template for automotive industry restructurings that some bankruptcy experts credit with the relative smoothness of subsequent cases like those of GM and Chrysler.

Butler also played key roles in the restructurings of US Airways, Xerox Corp and Kmart Corp.

Hilco specializes in buying and liquidating the assets of distressed and bankrupt companies, though it also appraises healthy firms.