Our attorneys advise and represent clients in workout negotiations, default and foreclosure and actions in state courts and in contested matters and adversary proceedings arising under Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Typical clients include secured creditors, trade vendors and other unsecured creditors, landlords, insurance companies, equipment lessors, creditors' committees, indenture trustees, liquidating trustees, and preference and fraudulent conveyance defendants. Members of the Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy Service Group regularly partner with members of other Stites & Harbison practice groups like Environmental and Natural Resources, Intellectual Property, Construction, Real Estate and Banking, and Health Care, to negotiate and litigate complex issues in United States Bankruptcy Courts from coast to coast.
Our Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy Service Group attorneys regularly:
- Negotiate complex Chapter 11 reorganization plans
- Participate in stay litigation
- Negotiate and litigate secured creditor priority disputes
- Assist clients in filing involuntary cases
- Defend preference and fraudulent conveyance claims
- Prosecute bankruptcy appeals
- Negotiate and document the purchase of assets from debtors' estates
- Represent landlords and intellectual property owners in connection with motions for assumption or rejection of leases and license agreements
- Defend lender liability claims
Our practical experience in workout negotiations and bankruptcy proceedings in a broad range of industries gives us the background to prepare both pleadings and transaction documents that may best survive the "acid test" of hostile bankruptcy filings. We regularly advise both companies and lenders as to the creative possibilities of, and the dangers inherent in, bankruptcy filings and reorganizations.
Recent and Current Engagements:
- Represented a senior secured creditor in workout and subsequent Chapter 11 of ice-cream manufacturer Dippin' Dots, Inc., resulting in a successful 363 sale.
- Represented the D-I-P lender and secured creditor in a regional clothing retailer's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, resulting in a successful auction of the retailer's inventory and full recovery by the client.
- Represent suppliers in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric Co. in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
- Represented a secured lender in a large not-for-profit bankruptcy.
- Represent suppliers in General Motors, Chrysler bankruptcies, as well as numerous other automotive bankruptcies.
- Represent a major secured creditor in a restaurant-chain Chapter 11.
- Represent a hedge fund in the individual Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the guarantor.
- Represented an Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors In re Jockey's Guild, Inc.
- Represented lenders and loan servicers in the foreclosure of apartment complexes, office buildings, hotels, and warehouses across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
- Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors looking for hidden assets in the bankruptcy of Kentucky's former Governor, Wallace Wilkinson.
- Represented a major secured creditor in connection with the insolvencies of several nursing homes and assisted living centers.
- Obtained stay relief in a bankruptcy case to pursue trademark infringement litigation in U.S. District Court.
- Protected regional airport authorities' interest in several major airline bankruptcies, including Skybus, TWA, ANC, and Budget in Delaware; US Airways in Virginia; and United Airlines in Illinois.
- Helped surety companies negotiate reorganization agreements and plans in coal company bankruptcies with debtors, creditors and regulatory authorities, providing for both continuing mine reclamation and reduction of the sureties' potential multi-million-dollar reclamation-bond liability.
- Used post-petition financing to acquire state-of-the-art operating assets for a start-up production and broadcast client.
- Defended and prosecuted fraudulent conveyance and voidable preference claims brought by bankruptcy trustees and debtors.
- Represented multiple shopping center landlords during the reorganizations or liquidations of several national discount retailers,
- Represented a consortium of secured creditors during the reorganization of a HUD- and HHS-financed non-profit public housing corporation.
- Negotiated a secured creditor-driven liquidation of a convenience store chain.
- Represented the agent bank in connection with a $100 million+ credit facility in a major agricultural (hog production) bankruptcy.
Attorneys in the Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy Service Group are active members of:
- The American Bankruptcy Institute
- The Commercial Law League of America
- The Business Bankruptcy Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association
- The Bankruptcy Law Sections of the Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama Bar Associations and the Louisville, Nashville, Fayette County, Atlanta Bar Associations
- The International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWRC)
- Two members of our group are designated as specialists in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification, and several are listed in The Best Lawyers in America®. Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy Service Group attorneys practice regionally in the courts of Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, and regularly appear and represent regional clients' interests in bankruptcy courts from New York to California.
Two recent bills were signed into law following the 2020 Regular Session of the Kentucky Assembly which impact creditors. House Bill 155 and House Bill 411.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Mid-South Commercial Law Institute (MSCLI) recently elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Erika Barnes as a director of its 25-member Board of Directors.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC recently elected three members to the firm’s six-member Management Committee, replacing three attorneys who completed their terms of service. The new committee members are attorneys Erika Barnes, Carol Dan Browning and Richard Wehrle.
On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 creating a new Subchapter V for small-business debtors (less than $2,725,625 in debt) becomes effective. The purpose of this act is to eliminate some of the costly elements of a business bankruptcy reorganization and streamline the procedures.
On January 14, 2020, in a 9-0 ruling, the United States Supreme Court held that a creditor’s failure to appeal a stay relief denial within 14 days of the order’s entry renders the appeal untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 158(c)(2) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8002(a).