Scott F. Gautier


Scott F. Gautier


Chair, Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group


Scott Gautier is the chair of the Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group at Robins Kaplan LLP where he heads a national corporate restructuring practice representing corporate debtors, creditors, committees, equity holders, and acquirers in distressed financial situations with the goal of creating and structuring transactions that maximize value for his clients. Mr. Gautier counsels clients on all facets of corporate insolvency and handles corporate assignments, bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructuring matters, distressed mergers, acquisitions, and debtor-creditor issues in non-bankruptcy matters.

Mr. Gautier has represented all constituents in corporate restructuring, but his current practice focuses primarily on counseling owners and fiduciaries for small and mid-size business concerns and serving as lead committee counsel in corporate chapter 11 cases. He is highly sought after as a speaker and commentator with respect to corporate insolvency, restructuring, and bankruptcy issues for professional and industry organizations. He currently serves as President of the Southern California Turnaround Management Association and Vice-President of the Financial Lawyers Conference and previously served two distinguished terms as a national Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Debtor-Side out of Court Restructuring: Represent a national brick-and-mortar retail and manufacturing business in a major restructuring of its business. Our work has included planning and executing: lease terminations for 36 locations, secured refinancing and forbearance, trade vendor debt reduction and payment plans, and employee downsizing plans; investigation of investment banking options; and significant litigation with secured lender, landlords, and employees with respect to the prior business operations.

Debtor-Side Chapter 11: Debtors’ counsel to international retailer, Nasty Gal, in a chapter 11 restructuring/sale transaction. Investigated equity and debt-restructuring options, worked with interim management to downsize operations pre-chapter 11, evaluated restructuring and sale options, prepared chapter 11 filing, managed chapter 11 process, negotiated 363 sale, administered assets and litigation for distribution to creditors.

Chapter 11 Committee: Counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 case for Relativity Media and affiliates and counsel to the resulting liquidating trust. Negotiated the sale transaction and carve-outs for an unsecured creditor pool in excess of $1 billion.

Debtor-Side Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Solution: Represented a major hotel owner/operator, Gemini, in the sale of three New York city hotels (transaction value of approximately $250 million) utilizing the chapter 11 process to address corporate ownership dispute that was blocking sale process. By utilizing chapter 11, the client avoided over $7 million in transfer taxes and realized an increased sale price through the bankruptcy auction process.

Lender-Side Representation in Chapter 11: Represented private-equity lenders in chapter 11 restructuring for national retailer Sheik Shoes. Negotiating and documenting debtor in possession financing; evaluating and leveraging adequate protection issues; negotiating relative plan treatment with debtor, insiders and unsecured creditors committee; investigating and defending validity and priority of collateral security interest, negotiating and documenting exit financing.

Avoidance Action Litigation: Represented defendant in $100 million+ alleged avoidance action related to prior LBO-transaction for chapter 11 debtor. Negotiated very favorable settlement.

Corporate Dissolution: Represent small business enterprises and assignees in state ABC proceedings, handling ABC administration, creditor disputes, legacy litigation matters, and corporate asset sales.

Super Lawyers 2020
  • Named one of "500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers," Lawdragon (2020)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2021 editions)
  • Recognized as a “Leading Corporate Bankruptcy Attorney” by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-2020)
  • Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers (2006-Present)
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., with honors, Order of the Coif (1997)
  • The Ohio State University, B.S. (1993)
Professional Associations
  • Turnaround Management Association, Executive Board (2021)
  • Turnaround Management Association Southern California, Director, President (2008-2011, 2015-2020)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Director (2009-2015), Member (2000-present)
  • Financial Lawyers Conference, Member, Board Member, Vice-President (2002-present)
  • Expansion of the Small Business Reorganization Act, COVID-19 Resource Center (Robins Kaplan LLP, April 2020)
  • Contested Issues in DIP Financing in the Uncertain World of Our New World
    Turnaround Management Association Annual Conference – IMPACT 2020 (September 29, 2020)
  • COVID-19 Impact Series: Lending and SBA Options
    Turnaround Management Association, Southern California Chapter, Webinar (April 7, 2020)
  • Lending and SBA Options
    Turnaround Management Association, Southern California Chapter, Webinar (April 7, 2020)
  • Important Restructuring and Reorganization Issues in the Retail Industry
    California Retailers Association, Sacramento, California (May 31, 2017)
  • Harnessing the Power of Official Committees
    Turnaround Management Association, Southern California Chapter, Beverly Hills, California (September 14, 2016)
  • Roundtable Discussion Recent Issues in Bankruptcy Law
    Host, American Bankruptcy Institute, Las Vegas, Nevada (September 11, 2015)
  • Playing for Profit The Bondholders Playbook
    Panelist and Moderator, American Bankruptcy Institute, Las Vegas, Nevada (September 11, 2015)
  • Understanding Procedural and Practical Efforts of a Bankruptcy Judge's
    22nd Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada (September 29, 2014)
  • Recharacterization After Fitness Holdings
    Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum (October 1, 2013)
  • Tee Up the Lawsuits! What’s Left for Unsecured Creditors after the Sale?
    ABI Annual Spring Meeting (April 1, 2012)
  • The Mummy Range: Lender Liability Claims Rising Again
    ABI Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference (February 1, 2012)
  • NCBJ Roundtable: Current Issues in Lender Liability
    National College of Bankruptcy Judges (October 1, 2011)
  • Lender Liability and Equitable Subordination
    ABI Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 1, 2010)
  • Debate-Resolved: BAPCPA Provisions Requiring Contribution of Post-Petition Earnings Unconstitutionally Mandate Involuntary Servitude
    ABI Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 1, 2009)
  • Executory Contract Issues in Commercial Cases
    ABI Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 1, 2007)
  • Early Issues in Small Business Chapter 11 Cases
    ABI Southwest Bankruptcy Conference and Investment Banking Program (September 1, 2005)
  • The Balance of Powers in Chapter 11: Negotiating Cash Collateral and DIP Financing Agreements
    Financial Lawyers Conference (February 1, 2005)
  • Ethical Issues: Advertising and Solicitation of Official Creditor Committees
    Financial Lawyers Conference (March 1, 2004)
April 7, 2020
WEBINAR | Lending and SBA Options
Scott Gautier - Turnaround Management Association Southern California Chapter
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