bankruptcy, creditors' rights and business reorganizations


In an uncertain economic environment, some businesses are in distress while simultaneously others are searching for the next great opportunity.


Practice Group Leader: Kirk L. Brett


Overview

Bankruptcy and insolvency creates both a risk and an opportunity; however, in either case, this area of the law is subtle and in some ways more of an art than a science.  Successful practitioners need to have related industry experience and at the same time possess the business judgment needed to successfully guide clients through these exceedingly complex situations – from whatever side of the table that they are sitting.  Attorneys in our Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights and Business Reorganizations Practice Group possess these expertise and skill sets.      

Our Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights and Business Reorganizations Practice Group can, with equal fluency, put together a “deal” in the context of a bankruptcy or aggressively litigate to protect our clients’ rights.

Our attorneys have broad and deep experience representing all of the parties to bankruptcies and restructurings, both in-court and out-of-court, including:

  • Debtors
  • Investors and purchasers of assets, debt instruments or equity of troubled companies
  • Secured and unsecured creditors and DIP lenders
  • Boards of directors and board committees
  • Trustees, receivers, examiners, indenture trustees and other fiduciaries
  • Official and ad hoc committees, including committees of unsecured creditors, equity security holders and retirees

Our bankruptcy team offers clients a comprehensive approach, bringing together the knowledge and capabilities of our team with those of attorneys in the Firm's strong complementary practices including Corporate, Litigation and Arbitration, Real Estate, and Distressed Real Estate. Together, we help clients navigate challenging times and address the full range of issues that can arise when reorganizing their core businesses, shedding excess assets or divisions, reformulating long-term objectives or dealing with distressed companies. 

The Practice Group is led by Kirk Brett, who is a 20+ year veteran in the area of bankruptcy, creditors’ right and business reorganizations.  His expertise includes the acquisition of distressed businesses, bankruptcy litigation, creditor representation (for secured and unsecured creditors), representation of equity holders, directors and officers of distressed businesses, representation of official committees, and DIP Lending). 

The attorneys in this practice group have extensive experience in representing clients in both real estate and non-real estate matters.  

Real Estate Matters

The bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and business reorganization practice has a particular advantage in representing clients in the real estate area for the simple reason that our bankruptcy and related practitioners can draw upon the enormous expertise and experience of the Firm’s leading Real Estate Practice Group.  Indeed, this practice area is a critical component of the Firm’s Pure Play in Real Estate Law.  

Although our real estate bankruptcy practice has various components, the real estate components of the practice are loosely categorized in the following areas:

  • Distressed Real Estate
  • Workouts and restructuring of debt and equity
  • Real estate bankruptcy – lender and acquirer representation
  • Section 363 asset sales
  • Mezzanine loan foreclosure
  • Commercial mortgage foreclosure
  • Tranche Warfare 
  • Special Servicer Representation
  • Distressed leases (landlord or tenant)
  • Bankruptcy aspects of structured finance
Beyond Real Estate 

Our attorneys have addressed the difficulties affecting numerous industries, including telecommunications, energy, financial services, retail, aviation, technology and manufacturing. We regularly advise clients in many areas of bankruptcy practice, including:

  • Acquisitions of assets from distressed entities or bankruptcy estates
  • Alternatives to bankruptcy, including workouts, restructurings, acquisitions and financings
  • Complex bankruptcy litigation
  • Debtor-in-possession financing
  • Involuntary bankruptcies
  • Lender liability litigation
  • Foreclosures, including under the Uniform Commercial Code
  • Reorganization and liquidation plans
  • State law remedies, including enforcement of judgments
  • Structuring financings, real estate transactions and commercial transactions to address or anticipate bankruptcy and insolvency issues
Representative Deals

An excellent example of a representative transaction in which our bankruptcy lawyers joined forces with our real estate lawyers to achieve a big success for our clients is regarding the Shops at Georgetown Park.  Our client, Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P., acquired the Shops at Georgetown Park in 2010.  In that transaction, we guided our client through the process of purchasing a bankrupt lender’s position in the non-performing senior debt encumbering a major Washington, D.C. shopping center.  Purchasing the loan required our client to be victorious at the contested Section 363 Asset Sale, and then to assemble the agreement of the various borrower constituencies and litigants to a settlement involving a consensual foreclosure simultaneously with structuring a joint venture with a major US mall owner/operator.

 

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