Committee Representation

‘What does the committee think?‘ is often a question asked by a bankruptcy judge at hearings in Chapter 11 cases. Yet the divergent goals of a committee’s constituents pose a unique challenge for committee counsel that requires a unique understanding of the law. At Robins Kaplan LLP, our committee representation lawyers focus on fostering creditor relationships and providing an organizational structure that promotes the unsecured creditor body’s common goals and interests. We help the committee set, harmonize, prioritize, and meet concrete goals that fit the common needs of the entire unsecured creditor body and the individual needs of separate unsecured creditor constituencies. We’ve represented ad hoc and official committees in workouts and Chapter 11 cases ranging from small and mid-size corporations to complex cases of national importance.

The firm’s active practice in all aspects of corporate insolvency and distressed situations and world-class litigation experience informs our unique perspective on the Chapter 11 strategies employed by secured creditors, debtors, and other parties active in bankruptcy matters. We recognize the uniqueness of each corporate bankruptcy case and remain focused on maximizing unsecured creditor recoveries and employing the strategy dictated by the situation – either a cooperative or an adversarial interaction with the debtor-- as necessary, to achieve that goal. Having experienced trial lawyers available as a backdrop to all negotiations brings strategic and practical advantages and results.

Our committee representation attorneys have experience in:

  • Investigation of the debtor’s past business transactions and practices, preferences and fraudulent conveyances, director and officer liability, and the validity of secured claims and transactions
  • Preservation of unencumbered assets in new financing arrangements
  • Review of equitable distribution issues
  • Negotiation of a plan of reorganization or liquidation that maximizes return to unsecured creditors.

We have also separately handled litigation against secured creditors and insiders for the benefit of the unsecured creditor body.

Selected Case Results*

  • Reference Clothing: In the Chapter 11 case of a national retailer of clothing for young women, we represented the Official Creditors Committee. The representation included helping to engineer a seven figure settlement involving the assets of the debtor’s principal.

  • Marine Center, Inc.: Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 case of international retailers of pleasure craft.  Our representation included helping to establish a creditors’ trust with proceeds from a settlement with the debtors’ secured creditor.

  • Steel Horse Automotive Accessories: In the Chapter 11 cases of several affiliated debtors that manufactured automobile accessories, our firm represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. This representation included litigation with the debtors’ secured creditor regarding the scope and operation of its security documents.

  • Window Rock Enterprises: Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of a health food products company.  Client representation included helping to structure a plan pursuant to which a creditors’ trust was established.

  • Easyriders, Inc.: Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 case of a magazine publisher. The representation included major preference and fraudulent transfer litigation on behalf of the estate.

  • Illuminations.com: Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 case of a national retailer of candles and related accessories included litigation against the debtor’s secured lender and its board of directors.

 

* Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.

 

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