Gibbons has long maintained a premier insolvency practice from its headquarters in the District of New Jersey and is highly regarded by both the bench and the bar in this practice area. Our Financial Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights (FRCR) Department boasts a well respected, growing national practice while also leveraging the firm’s significant foothold in the Mid-Atlantic region, particularly in the Southern District of New York and the District of Delaware – the two preeminent corporate bankruptcy venues in the country. Our FRCR Department’s core group of attorneys has broad and exceptional experience in this complex and sophisticated practice area, which includes debtor, creditor, and fiduciary representations in federal bankruptcy cases; pre-bankruptcy “workout”/insolvency counseling; and related state court litigation involving receiverships, attachments, replevins, and commercial foreclosure actions. We have the versatility of having represented all major constituencies in chapter 11 cases, and our robust business bankruptcy practice is supported by firm-wide resources and skilled multidisciplinary teams in numerous related practice areas.
Practice Distinctions: The Gibbons FRCR Department has the distinction of having represented one of the principal parties in some of the cutting-edge decisions in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. For example, we represented the debtor in Bittner v. Borne Chemical, the seminal case on claims’ estimation procedures under the Bankruptcy Code; the lender in the Swedeland case, establishing the standard for adequate protection to secured creditors; the debtor in the Route 37 case, clarifying chapter 11 plan classification rules; and the trustee in the Marvel Entertainment case, the leading case on the “disinterestedness” requirement for counsel to a fiduciary in a chapter 11 case.
Recognized Leaders in the Industry: The Financial Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights Department at Gibbons regularly earns accolades from the most respected and prestigious peer-review publications in the industry. The FRCR Department has been listed at the top of the regional Best Lawyers® rankings for the past four years, with several of our Directors and Counsel listed individually. Similarly, the most recent edition of the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business highlighted the Department as well as a number of Department members, and Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars also singled out Gibbons FRCR attorneys.
Areas of Focus
Gibbons provides pre-bankruptcy counseling and representation of debtors in business reorganizations of various sizes, providing the full range of legal services for the reorganization of businesses. Our financial restructuring representation typically encompasses a broad range of business-related services, including asset sales; financing transactions; contract negotiations; land use, environmental, or other regulatory advice; and employment law, healthcare law, and tax counseling, in addition to the general corporate advice needed for the successful confirmation of chapter 11 plans for both publicly held and privately owned entities.
We also regularly represent the interests of parties seeking to acquire assets from companies in distress, both within and outside of judicial proceedings.
Creditors’ Rights Representation
Gibbons represents a variety of creditor interests, including formal and informal creditor committees, in efforts to restructure debt and equity through either non-judicial workout negotiations or formal legal proceedings pending in state or federal courts across the country. A significant portion of our practice involves representing unsecured and secured creditors in chapter 11 cases, including advice regarding plans of reorganization, defense of preference and fraudulent transfer actions, recovery of property, preservation of contract rights, and prosecution of injunction proceedings to protect intellectual property and other intangible interests. Representative clients include trade creditors, major banks and other institutional lenders, equipment lessors, commercial landlords, and a variety of publicly and privately held corporate creditors.
Our creditor representations also address the full range of institutional lenders’ litigation issues, including prosecution of the traditional lender remedies and defense of lender liability claims.
The firm’s established insolvency practice includes a substantial number of diverse fiduciary representations. Recent representative matters involve fiduciary clients appointed in state or federal court matters in addition to regulatory or administrative proceedings, including chapter 11 trustees, federal and state court receivers, investigative corporate monitors, regulatory compliance trustees, litigation trustees, and liquidation trustees. Through the talents of Gibbons attorneys, acting either as the fiduciary or the fiduciary’s counsel, the firm enjoys a robust practice in this area. Critical to the successful representation of these fiduciaries is the proficiency of the experienced members of the FRCR Department, complemented by the firm’s wide range of other disciplinary practices, including business and commercial litigation, corporate, tax, real estate, environmental, and employment law.
Related Business, Commercial, and Insolvency Litigation
The FRCR Department’s dedicated litigation team has extensive experience in all aspects of bankruptcy litigation, in addition to business, commercial, and chancery court litigation. This litigation practice includes:
- Representation of corporate Directors and Officers who are sued, typically following the bankruptcy of the corporation, for breach of duty, negligence, and related claims brought by lenders, trustees, and committees seeking to recover losses arising from the insolvency proceeding.
- Prosecution and defense of complex Fraudulent Transfer and Preference claims, including the management of portfolios of hundreds of avoidance claims for chapter 11 or litigation trustees and debtors-in-possession.
- Ponzi scheme litigation, in which the proof of a Ponzi scheme serves as the basis for proving debtors’ actual fraud, thereby expediting the proofs in fraudulent transfer and securities fraud claims.
- Contested chapter 11 plan confirmations, including all aspects of expedited discovery and expert proofs necessary to prove the requisites for confirmation of chapter 11 reorganization plans.
- Complex commercial mortgage foreclosures.