Debtor Representations

Debtor Representations

The firm has an unique debtors practice which focuses on both public companies and especially middle market cases where management is driving the decision to file for bankruptcy protection as opposed to secured lenders.  As skilled litigators, the firm has a reputation for being sought after by the C-suite in various matters ranging from complex commercial litigation to antitrust. The firm is annually acknowledged as a “Go To” Counsel for the Fortune 200 in the areas of Business Litigation and Employment Law by Corporate Counsel Magazine.  The same has been true of the lead debtor representations of the firm in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Elliott Greenleaf has been involved in almost every significant bankruptcy filing in some of the busiest jurisdictions across the United States for close to two decades. The firm represents business entities in large cases across the country, including many in its national bankruptcy practice.  The firm has an active practice in the Southern District of New York and in Delaware, two of the busiest business bankruptcy jurisdictions in the country.  The firm has current and recent open matters in the Southern District of New York, the District of Utah, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Central District of California, the District of South Carolina, the Western District of Texas, the District of Arizona, and the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida.

The firm is ably suited to handle all manner of local counsel debtor representation in Delaware because of its breadth of knowledge and experience in Delaware and across the country.  The firm’s practice group is comprised of several lawyers who have worked for prominent bankruptcy practice groups and boutiques handling debtor representations of some of the largest cases filed in the United States.  In cases where the firm has assisted as local counsel, both the debtor and the parties providing the debtor in possession financing have noted the firm’s efficiency and value.

The firm also has an expertise in lead debtor representations to assist management in pursuing chapter 11 to protect, reorganize, and challenge secured creditors or regulatory authorities that have pushed corporations into a decision to seek bankruptcy protection.  The firm is conflict free from traditional lender representations and able to provide the defensive strategy and services to use bankruptcy to assist the C-Suite.

The firm is well versed in alternatives to bankruptcy such as state law receiverships, federal receiverships, assignments for the benefits of creditors and wind downs under state corporate law and the law governing alternative entities.  The practice groups also have experience in business divorce cases and the management of the separation and departure of key employees, both for key executives as well as for the business itself.

Our lawyers have served as Debtors’ counsel in several significant bankruptcies, including the reorganization of one of the largest theater companies in the United States, the bankruptcy sale of the largest floral distributor in the United States, the sale or reorganizations of several telecommunications companies, a wide span of retail bankruptcies (including electronics, appliances, food, and apparel), equipment leasing, pharmaceuticals, franchise holding companies, healthcare (including hospitals and medical practices for doctors and dentists), and the largest environmental, remediation and engineering company in the U.S.

The firm’s practice group also utilizes value added lean practices to ensure that the resources of its clients are maximized at a time when cash flow is critical being certified in lean practices and Six Sigma.

A representative list of Debtor engagements follows:

In re Everything But Water, (Bankr. D. Del.).  Elliott Greenleaf served as Delaware and local counsel in a retail chapter 11 case of a company of high end swim and resort wear sold at over seventy locations.  The Florida-based company, which opened in 1984, was bought in April 2006 by Bear Growth Capital Partners, part of Bear Stearns Merchant Banking. D.B. Zwirn, the company’s primary secured lender, set the opening bid in a planned sales process and the debtor-in-possession financing from D.B. Zwirn was approved for $5 million on an interim basis and $11 million on a final basis.  The company was sold during the bankruptcy as a going concern and still continues to operate.

In re Orleans Homebuilders, Inc., (Bankr. D. Del.).  Elliott Greenleaf served as local counsel in the Orleans Homebuilders chapter 11 which was a publicly held homebuilder, one of the larger U.S. homebuilders, that was successfully reorganized.  Orleans’ reorganization produced a vastly different outcome from what was planned when it filed for bankruptcy protection. Initially, the plan was to sell the company to the highest bidder, a process that was underway when a decision was made by the company that it should be reorganized rather than liquidated.  Jeffrey P. Orleans, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, had been very concerned over the impact of the filing on the companies suppliers and the impact of a sale.  The reorganization meant that there would be a company going forward to lessen that impact.  Reorganization came at a time when homebuilding was undergoing tremendous economic pressure and sales of residential real estate were struggling.

In re Cherokee Simeon Venture LLC., (Bankr. D. Del.).  The firm served as lead counsel in a filing to allow the remediation and sale of a contaminated property in Northern California.  Cherokee involved a debtor whose primary asset was an 89 acre parcel of contaminated property that was subject to complex environmental remediation.  The debtor filed for bankruptcy protection in October, 2012, and beginning in January 2013, Zeneca, the prior owner of the property, became the debtor’s sole financing source, having provided the debtor with funding after EFG-Campus Bay, LLC, the debtor’s primary secured creditor, refused to allow the debtor to use cash collateral.  The case filing resulted in an eventual dismissal and out of court settlement to allow the remediation to continue and the property to be developed.

In re Xanadoo, LLC (Pegasus Rural Broadband). The firm served as lead counsel in a filing to allow the wind down of certain telecommunications operations providing broadband internet service to remote and rural areas and to allow the development and commercialization of certain spectrum licenses held by the Debtors.  The firm successfully defended the Debtors from litigation pursued by the senior secured creditor of the Debtors which lead to an eventual settlement and purchase of the assets of the Debtors by the secured lender.  The Debtors confirmed a plan of reorganization following the sale of its assets to its secured lender.