Bankruptcy, Distressed Debt, and Restructuring

The Culhane Bankruptcy Practice services clients who encounter business issues that relate to financially distressed situations. Whether the financial problems relate to a customer, a competitor, a related company or the client itself, members of this practice group are ready to provide counseling, workout and litigation services. Our Bankruptcy Practice Group includes experienced commercial and bankruptcy litigators, as well as attorneys with corporate, lending and accounting backgrounds with experience in workouts and restructurings.

Our attorneys have industry qualifications in many of the sectors which are currently experiencing challenges and activity, e.g., construction, oil & gas, securities, hospitality (hotels), medical facilities acquisition, acquisition/divestitures, real estate, aerospace/aviation, pharmaceutical technology, intellectual property, international business, joint ventures/strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions. The Bankruptcy Practice Group has provided client services, nationally, in the following general areas:

  • Avoiding business bankruptcy.
  • Representing financially troubled businesses in reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Representing secured creditors in Chapter 11 cases, obtaining release of collateral or repayment of debt in connection with negotiated plans of reorganization.
  • Representing committees of unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 cases, including providing litigation services in prosecuting preference and fraudulent conveyance claims of the bankruptcy estate.
  • Acting as counsel to lenders where the borrower is encountering financial problems requiring debt restructuring, debt consolidation or alternative financing arrangements.
  • Providing advice to lenders regarding documentation of the relationship with their customers, limiting the risks involved should a serious deterioration in financial condition occur.
  • Acting as counsel to indenture trustees in financing transactions where bonds are not repaid according to their original terms.
  • Assisting clients in the acquisition of assets from insolvent enterprises or bankruptcy trustees.
  • Representing lenders in state court collection actions, suits on promissory notes, foreclosure actions, garnishments and other creditor remedy proceedings.

Core Bankruptcy Services

A main focus of the Bankruptcy Practice Group involves the representation of debtors, creditors and other parties in bankruptcy cases pending in the federal courts. Members of the Group have the knowledge and skills which are required to advise and successfully represent clients before a bankruptcy court.

Creditors’ Committees

In major Chapter 11 cases, Creditors’ Committees play an important role.  The bankruptcy attorneys at Culhane are fortunate to have been selected as counsel to numerous court-appointed committees of unsecured creditors. Additionally, members of the Bankruptcy Practice Group have served as counsel to committee members, including the chairs of those committees.  As such, Culhane’s attorneys understand the fiduciary obligations which may be imposed on committees, the different perspectives which committee members may bring to deliberations, and the need for thorough and prompt communications with committee members.

Business Workouts

In the current business climate, members of the Bankruptcy Practice Group are frequently asked to advise institutional clients and smaller businesses on strategies – before and after bankruptcy – to avoid litigation costs and resolve financial issues.

Collections & Routine Matters

In addition to representing creditors in the bankruptcy forum, the Bankruptcy Practice Group also represents creditors in their efforts to collect on their claims outside of the bankruptcy arena. The Bankruptcy Practice Group frequently represents large commercial businesses in complicated bankruptcy-related litigation. They also, however, have represented clients with annual sales of less than $1 million, secured claims of less than $500,000 and equity interests that were potentially worthless. Such representations have run the spectrum from contested stay relief litigation to merely filing a proof of claim. For smaller clients in financial distress, they may negotiate a workout with the creditors or arrange for an orderly liquidation without the delay and expense of bankruptcy. Finally, whether the client be large or small, they sometimes merely monitor a bankruptcy case and provide advice either upon request of the client or according to criteria established by the client and the responsible attorney.

Other Business Counseling

The Bankruptcy Practice Group interacts with many other practice groups within Culhane to provide a full and complete package of advice to clients. Frequently, the Bankruptcy Practice Group is called upon by members of the corporate and lending groups to provide advice on such issues as avoiding fraudulent conveyance or preference liability in connection with pending transactions, perfecting security interests so as to be effective against a bankruptcy trustee, or advising with respect to asset transfers. They have worked with the Firm’s tax counsel to provide sound bankruptcy advice and insure that the tax consequences are acceptable as well. Bankruptcy attorneys are often included in the negotiations of real estate transactions to enable clients to anticipate the consequences of financial problems with developers, owners, tenants, or borrowers and provide solutions or options in the documents.

Geographic Area

Although the business bankruptcy attorneys at Culhane have represented business bankruptcy clients in multiple jurisdictions across United States, the firm is finely tuned to advise clients in Dallas, Delaware and New York.