Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditors’ Rights
The Nelson Mullins Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditors’ Rights Practice is composed of over 25 attorneys who represent clients in bankruptcy and other courts around the country. Our attorneys have particular experience representing companies in financial distress, commercial banks, and creditors' committees as well as purchasers of distressed assets.
The Firm's attorneys have been involved in many major regional and national reorganization and liquidation cases, representing real estate owners, energy companies, mass media companies, technology companies, retailers, manufacturers, insurers, franchisors, law firms, and landlords. Additionally, several of our attorneys serve as bankruptcy trustees and receivers.
Our experience is broad and deep. Among our attorneys whose practices are devoted to creditors' rights and bankruptcy law, we have six who are board-certified, among the most of any firm in the nation.
Distressed Company Representation
Nelson Mullins attorneys have represented numerous technology companies, energy industry companies, retailers, government contractors, professional services firms, healthcare providers, broadcasters, manufacturers, aviation companies, and many other industries in workouts, reorganizations, and liquidations. This range of experience in many diverse industries provides our clients with experienced representation they can trust. Nelson Mullins attorneys have familiarity with courts at all levels across the country.
The Firm's experience includes pre-bankruptcy planning and strategy, obtaining and negotiating debtor-in-possession financing and cash collateral agreements, negotiating assets sale agreements, litigating disputes with creditors, and assisting clients with the public relations and internal communications concerns that stem from a distressed situation.
Bank and Secured Creditor Representation
We represent banks and other lending institutions around the country. Our clients retain us in connection with loan workouts, loan restructurings, and most importantly, default enforcement and credit recovery in federal and state courts. When borrowers seek relief in the bankruptcy courts, we are there to help our clients navigate the terrain to minimize the impact.
Our experience on behalf of lenders includes all facets of insolvency and bankruptcy-related representation, including cash collateral and lien perfection issues, debtor-in-possession financing, protection in section 363 scenarios, chapter 11 plan issues, litigation related to relief from the automatic stay, claim objections, and other issues arising in cases under the bankruptcy code.
We also represent a host of financial institutions, including some of the largest in the nation as well as small community banks, in defense of consumer claims and claims against these institutions made by bankruptcy debtors and trustees.
Bankruptcy Trustee, Receivership, and Examiner Practice
Nelson Mullins attorneys have decades of experience serving as court-authorized bankruptcy trustees, receivers, liquidating agents, examiners, and similar parties in connection with complex liquidations of all sizes. In addition, we have represented numerous trustees from around the country in critical and complex litigation.
Two of our attorneys, H. Jason Gold and Joseph Lischwe, serve as chapter 7 trustees on panels maintained and supervised by the United States Department of Justice or a bankruptcy administrator.
Recent bankruptcy liquidations in which Nelson Mullins attorneys have served as or represented the trustee include:
- Chapter 11 trustee and liquidating trustee of a real estate developer and mortgage lender in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the Mid-Atlantic region;
- Counsel for the chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy case of one of the country's largest electrical contractors;
- Liquidating trustee of a large aviation concern that resulted in payments in excess of 100 percent to general unsecured creditors.
Special rules often apply when a tenant seeks protection under the bankruptcy laws. The Nelson Mullins bankruptcy team has decades of experience and broad knowledge of these rules. Handled correctly, a landlord's position in a bankruptcy case can be a powerful and positive influence on the case. We are intimately familiar with the statutes and judge-made law that impact landlords' rights in bankruptcy cases.
Nelson Mullins attorneys have represented major franchise systems and manufacturers for decades. We have successfully helped our clients in the automotive, restaurant, and other industries deal with numerous franchisees that have sought protection under the bankruptcy laws. Protecting the franchise brand is of paramount importance. Proper application of the special provisions of the law that exist to protect franchisors, including their trademarks, trade dress, and other intangible property, is critical.
Lawsuits on Preferences and other Avoidance Actions
Nelson Mullins attorneys have particular experience in bringing and defending "preference" lawsuits and other litigation in bankruptcy cases. We have handled hundreds of these cases over the years, and our experience serving as and representing bankruptcy trustees and other parties bringing these types of cases allows us to be effective in reaching good outcomes in an economical fashion.
Nelson Mullins attorneys have represented numerous creditors committees, both official committees and ad hoc groups of parties with a vested interest in bankruptcy cases large and small. Because we understand the economics of bankruptcy, we are able to efficiently and effectively represent our clients' best interests. Our effort extends to either the drafting of an independent bankruptcy reorganization or liquidation plan or, in the alternative, working with other parties to effectuate a joint plan that avoids the cost of lengthy litigation. In recent years, the use of "pre-packaged" or "pre-negotiated" bankruptcy plans have become common. When this approach is appropriate, we have the experience to bring parties together to reach a result acceptable to all.
Among Nelson Mullins' most prominent committee representations was a case involving 26 golf resorts, $1.5 billion in assets, and $1.1 billion in liabilities in which unsecured creditors received 100 percent payment.
The bankruptcy sale process presents opportunities to acquire assets free and clear of all pre-bankruptcy liens, claims, and encumbrances at attractive prices. Nelson Mullins has substantial experience representing buyers and sellers of distressed assets under § 363 of the Bankruptcy Code and under chapter 11 plans. We are experienced in helping a buyer structure a purchase transaction likely to meet approval of the bankruptcy court. Our attorneys have broad understanding of the use of bid protections, break-up fees, and other sale procedures that are often a mystery to many.
Our long experience serving as and representing bankruptcy trustees provides a particular advantage to our clients due to our specific perspective on the process.
Understanding the important elements of taking appeals in a bankruptcy case is a fundamental part of Nelson Mullins' bankruptcy practice. Typically, bankruptcy judges' decisions are appealed to the United States District Court. However, direct appeals to the United States Courts of Appeal are sometimes possible. Moreover, in bankruptcy cases, it is important to protect the right of appeal from equitable mootness and similar doctrines that can prevent a valid appeal from ever being heard. Nelson Mullins has the knowledge to advise clients on all aspects of bankruptcy appeals, including motions for a stay pending appeal and the requirements for seeking leave to take an interlocutory appeal.