St. Louis-based Solutia was born in 1997 when a pharmaceutical company subsidiary spun off most of its chemicals businesses to shareholders as an independent entity. But that spinoff left Solutia with “hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly liabilities for environmental cleanup, litigation and employees’ healthcare,” according to The Deal magazine. Six years later, Solutia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, leaving its shareholders with the lowest priority claims in a company with a negative $370 million net value. Representing the Official Committee of Equity Holders, Pillsbury objected to arrangements that appeared to benefit Solutia’s pre-spinoff parents at the expense of Solutia itself. Pillsbury’s tough line paid off. The shareholders Pillsbury represented received a proportionate piece of 1 percent of new Solutia stock, with another 17 percent of the company’s shares to be made available to equity holders at a steeply discounted rate to plan value.