Scott F. Gautier


Scott F. Gautier


Chair, Restructuring and Business Bankruptcy Group


Scott Gautier represents corporate debtors, creditors, committees, equity holders and acquirers in distressed financial situations. He has had significant roles in bankruptcy cases of national prominence. He also represents and reorganizes mid-market companies, including recent Chapter 11 representations for Wagstaff, Inc. (KFC franchise); Sexy Hair, LLC; Ritz Interactive, Inc.; The Halcyon Group (“The Terminator” film franchise); Skyguard (a JD Powers company); Industrial Parts Depot, Inc.; and Applause, LLC.

His most recent engagements have been in the health care, real estate, entertainment, hazardous waste, and restaurant franchise industries. Regardless of the industry, Mr. Gautier’s most rewarding cases are those in which he can help entrepreneurs realize value from their life’s work when faced with financial crisis. Among other major cases, in 2011-2013, he counseled the owner of 77 KFC restaurants in its Chapter 11 proceedings, which included a major challenge to the rights of franchisees to assume beneficial contracts and reject problematic ones in bankruptcy. Mr. Gautier also led Closet World LLC and affiliates through its reorganization and emergence from bankruptcy protection.

In addition to traditional bankruptcy roles, Mr. Gautier has served in various roles in a number of out-of-court financial restructuring matters and advises clients on debtor-creditor issues in non-bankruptcy matters. His recent out-of-court restructuring assignments have included, among others, several significant real estate concerns, one of the nation’s largest produce-processing and packaging concerns, and a specialty manufacturer of art sculpture for one of the world’s top-selling contemporary artists.

Mr. Gautier is a director of the American Bankruptcy Institute and a former director for the Southern California Turnaround Managers Association. He regularly writes and speaks on financial restructuring and insolvency issues for local and national conferences.

Super Lawyers 2020
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America (2013-2020)
  • Recognized as a “Leading Corporate Bankruptcy Attorney” by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-2019)
  • Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers (2006-Present)
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • 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 Southern California, Director (2008-2011, 2015-Present)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Director (2009-2015)
  • 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)
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