Bankruptcy

  • June 01, 2020

    Surety Firms Lose Bid To Block Fees In Cloud Peak Ch. 11

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Monday approved a request by coal mining company Cloud Peak Energy to pay $26 million in fees to its Chapter 11 professionals over objections by insurers insisting $280 million in surety bond claims should get equal priority.

  • June 01, 2020

    Discount Retailer Fred's Sees Ch. 11 Liquidation Plan OK'd

    A Delaware judge on Monday signed off on discount retailer Fred's Inc. Chapter 11 plan, clearing the way for distributions to be made to creditors using proceeds from asset sales, with unsecured creditors expected to see minimal recovery.

  • June 01, 2020

    Avenatti's Calif. Trial Pushed To December Over COVID-19

    A California federal judge on Monday delayed attorney Michael Avenatti's embezzlement trial by three months, setting a Dec. 8 criminal jury trial while acknowledging the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis makes it difficult to predict with any certainty if that date will stick.

  • June 01, 2020

    Supreme Court Allows $3B Madoff Clawback Ruling To Stand

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a Second Circuit ruling that the trustee for Bernie Madoff's fraudulent investment firm can claw back billions in Ponzi scheme proceeds transferred from foreign Madoff feeder funds to other foreign parties.

  • June 01, 2020

    COVID-19 Sends Glassware Maker Libbey Into Bankruptcy

    Glass tableware maker Libbey Glass Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware on Monday with plans to restructure its roughly $500 million in debt, citing the COVID-19 outbreak's impact on the company's already existing liquidity strain.

  • June 01, 2020

    Lasik Vision Institute Hits Ch. 11 After COVID-19 Cash Crunch

    The Florida-based company that runs The Lasik Vision Institute and TLC Laser Eye Centers filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware, saying the coronavirus pandemic shutdown on nonessential medical services exacerbated an already-existing liquidity crunch and forced the company into bankruptcy.

  • June 01, 2020

    Templar Energy Hits Ch. 11 Over COVID-19 Impact On Oil Price

    Oklahoma-based oil and gas driller Templar Energy filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware Monday with a plan to liquidate its assets after reeling from oil and gas price disruptions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • June 01, 2020

    High Court Upholds Puerto Rico Financial Oversight Board

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that members of Puerto Rico's Financial Oversight and Management Board do not require U.S. Senate approval because the board's handling of the island's $125 billion bankruptcy is limited to Puerto Rico's fiscal issues and it only exercises local, territorial authority.

  • May 29, 2020

    Neiman Marcus Ch. 11 Examiner Bid Dropped After Criticism

    A Neiman Marcus noteholder withdrew its request Friday for a probe of a pre-Chapter 11 transfer of $1 billion to the retailer's private equity owners, after a Texas bankruptcy judge criticized both the motion and the performance of a Neiman director on the stand.

  • May 29, 2020

    Calif. Judge Probes Avenatti Atty Efficacy Over Virus Worries

    A California federal judge questioned whether counsel for Michael Avenatti was able to handle his criminal defense amid the COVID-19 pandemic, zeroing in on the attorney's remarks in a recent status report that his ability to prepare for trial has been "deeply impacted."

  • May 29, 2020

    PG&E Objector Suggests Weil Atty's Son Raises Conflict

    A bench trial over whether to confirm Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s $58 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan entered its third day Friday, with an objector questioning whether a conflict exists because a Weil LLP attorney representing PG&E is the father of a director of the company running its confirmation process.

  • May 29, 2020

    Bankruptcies Pile Up As COVID-19 Pandemic Squeezes Cash

    In the 2½ months since COVID-19 created a national emergency in the United States, dozens of companies have tilted into bankruptcy in the retail, travel and energy sectors, and a former bankruptcy judge predicts the turmoil will spread further through the economy in the coming months.

  • May 29, 2020

    Patriot National Trustee Wants $3M Deal OK'd In Ch. 11 Case

    The litigation trustee for bankrupt insurance services firm Patriot National Inc. is urging the Delaware bankruptcy court to approve a $3 million settlement in his suit against the firm's former directors in Chancery Court.

  • May 29, 2020

    Sidley Can Continue As Boy Scouts' Ch. 11 Counsel

    A Delaware judge on Friday ruled that Sidley Austin LLP can continue as counsel in the Boy Scouts of America's Chapter 11 despite a challenge from an insurer who asserted the firm was conflicted due to its previous representation of the insurer in other matters.

  • May 29, 2020

    Advantage Rent A Car Seeks 'Last-Ditch' Ch. 11 Sale Process

    The parent of Florida-based Advantage Rent A Car told a bankruptcy judge Friday that it hopes for a "last-ditch sale effort" on a tight timeline that would see a Chapter 11 transaction approved by June 26 after its business crumbled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • May 29, 2020

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    The past week in London has seen German financier Lars Windhorst dragged into court by a hospitality company, an Emirati lender sue former executives of a scandal-hit health company, and a bank representing the estate of musical artist Prince file IP claims against a unit of a major record label.

  • May 29, 2020

    Abu Dhabi's NMC Health Seeks Ch. 15 To Shield US Assets

    Already facing international probes of some $4.5 billion in undisclosed debt, "aggressive" global creditor litigation and insolvency action in the United Kingdom, Abu Dhabi-based private health care provider NMC Health PLC sought protection for its U.S. affiliates in Delaware's bankruptcy court late Thursday.

  • May 29, 2020

    Former Lehman Bros Administrators Cleared of Liability

    A judge formally declared on Friday that the administrators for the European subsidiary of Lehman Brothers are not liable for their work in securing assets on behalf of creditors of the defunct investment bank after the committee failed to clear the PricewaterhouseCoopers employees before disbanding.

  • May 28, 2020

    Borden Told It Must Tweak Ch. 11 Bonus Pay Plans

    A Delaware judge on Thursday said Borden Dairy Co. needs to show more evidence and adjust performance targets before he will approve up to roughly $4 million in bonuses for 52 employees as part of the milk and dairy supplier's Chapter 11.

  • May 28, 2020

    Feds Say Virus No Basis For Ex-Bumble Bee CEO To Skip Jail

    Prosecutors who secured the price-fixing conviction of former Bumble Bee CEO Chris Lischewski have panned the 59-year-old's assertion that jail time presents a threat to his life during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing he's not in a high-risk category and deserves no special treatment. 

  • May 28, 2020

    CPUC Approves PG&E's $58B Ch. 11 Plan Despite Criticism

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday voted unanimously in favor of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s $58 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan after hearing more than 100 public comments from customers against it and three comments in support of it.

  • May 28, 2020

    Alsup Slams 'Criminal' PG&E's 'C-R-A-P-P-Y' Fire Mitigation

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup slammed wildfire mitigation efforts by "recalcitrant criminal" Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Thursday, saying the bankrupt utility is violating probation by failing to trim enough trees and that, "if ever there was a corporation that deserved to go to prison, it's PG&E."

  • May 28, 2020

    Hertz Wants Currency, Wage Suits Stayed For Bankruptcy

    Hertz Corp. has asked federal courts to press pause on proposed class action suits by customers claiming they were hit by hidden currency conversion fees and by workers claiming they were cheated out of overtime as the company begins Chapter 11 proceedings.

  • May 28, 2020

    Virtual Auction Leads To $53M Ch. 11 Sale For Southland

    Oil and gas driller Southland Royalty Co. LLC received bankruptcy court approval Thursday for a $53 million sale of its assets in the San Juan Basin of Colorado and New Mexico to stalking horse bidder Morningstar Operating LLC following a virtual auction.

  • May 28, 2020

    Le Pain Quotidien Says It Just Barely Avoided Liquidation

    An attorney for bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Thursday that the business was effectively down to its last crust, hours from a total liquidation, when a buyer emerged to salvage dozens of its 98 sites in a Chapter 11 private sale.

Expert Analysis

  • How Lawyers Can Network Better, Virtually And In Person

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    The current decrease in formality and increase in common ground due to the work-from-home environment can make it easier to have a networking conversation, says Megan Burke Roudebush at Keepwith.

  • Practical Tips For Presenting Your Case To Litigation Funders

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    One mistake that attorneys commonly make when presenting a case to a third-party funder is focusing almost exclusively on liability and giving short shrift to the damages analysis — resulting in an aspirational damages estimate that falls apart under scrutiny, say Cindy Ahn and Justin Maleson at Longford Capital and Casey Grabenstein at Saul Ewing.

  • Ohio Tax Talk: Unemployment Ruling May Offer M&A Savings

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    The Ohio Supreme Court's recent decision in Delphi Automotive v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services sets an acquirer-friendly precedent for unemployment tax rates in mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations, which could be especially important in the wake of pandemic-related layoffs, say Jeremy Hayden and Christopher Tassone of Frost Brown.

  • Avoiding Inadvertent Privilege Waivers In E-Communications

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    Attorneys at WilmerHale highlight recent developments in privilege law, the significant challenges raised by nontraditional working arrangements popularized during the pandemic, and ways to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege when using electronic communications.

  • How Energy Co. Buyers Can Limit Environmental Liability Risk

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    As potential buyers look to purchase assets of energy companies driven into bankruptcy by the coronavirus pandemic, there are a number of precautionary steps they should take to reduce the risk of liability for the seller's environmental obligations, say Jacob Hollinger and Darren Azman of McDermott.

  • Opinion

    Don't Cancel Your Summer Associate Programs

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    While pulling off an effective summer associate program this year will be no easy feat, law firms' investments in their future attorneys should be considered necessary even during this difficult time, says Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • A Bankruptcy Probe Primer For White Collar Attorneys

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    As white collar attorneys are increasingly asked to assist with bankruptcy-related investigations by unsecured creditors due to the current economic environment, they should follow best practices concerning discovery, appointment of independent board members, and malpractice claims, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • 5 Ways To Reduce Post-Pandemic Legal Malpractice Exposure

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    History suggests that legal malpractice claims will rise following the current economic downturn, and while a certain percentage of the claims will be unavoidable, there are prophylactic steps that law firms can take, says John Johnson at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Steps Borrowers In Commercial Real Estate Must Take Now

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    Many lenders accommodated commercial real estate investors and borrowers with short, multimonth payment deferrals amid the COVID-19 crisis, but these grace periods will end well before the fallout of the pandemic will, and the bank will come knocking, says Katherine Amador at Berger Singerman.

  • Leaving The Tort System Behind Via Corporate Risk Transfer

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    With an increasingly litigious tort environment for corporate defendants, companies holding legacy liabilities would do well to investigate a capital markets solution for transferring their risks, say Mark Hemmann at FARA LLC and Peter Kelso at Roux Associates.

  • Top 10 Employment And Benefit Issues In Bankruptcy Cases

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    Companies seeking bankruptcy relief in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic should be aware of crucial aspects of the employee and debtor-employer relationship that are critical to a smooth transition into Chapter 11 and a chance at successful reorganization, say attorneys at Squire Patton.

  • Del. Order Offers Derivative Claim Solution In LLC Bankruptcy

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    The recent debtor-in-possession order in the Rudy's Barbershop case pending in Delaware Bankruptcy Court eliminated defenses to creditor challenge rights and amended the limited liability company agreements, providing one novel solution to the issue of early derivative claims in alternative entity bankruptcies, says Robert Weber of Chipman Brown.

  • COVID-19, Contango And Energy's New Economic Reality

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
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    During the current pandemic, counsel for energy companies must be prepared for the market condition known as contango — where short-term and long-term energy prices operate differently — and with pressure from banks providing reserve-based lending facilities, says Cameron Kinvig at Lexis Practice Advisor.

  • Opinion

    Credibility Concerns About Virtual Arbitration Are Unfounded

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    Concerns that videoconferenced arbitration hearings compromise an arbitrator's ability to reliably resolve credibility contests are based on mistaken perceptions of how many cases actually turn on credibility, what credibility means in the legal world, and how arbitrators make credibility determinations, says Wayne Brazil at JAMS.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Client Service Continuity Planning

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    Ensuring uninterrupted client service and compliance with ethical obligations in a time when attorneys are more likely to fall ill means taking six basic — yet often ignored — steps to build some redundancy and internal communication into legal practice, say attorneys at Axinn.

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