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Global Restructuring & Insolvency Developments

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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Maximizing the Value of Mediation During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Perhaps the most obvious shift in day-to-day legal practice in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is the “new normal” of virtual meetings and court proceedings.  While these can present some degree of challenge, video conferencing mediation instead of face-to-face mediation is perhaps one of the most challenging

This post sets forth fundamental tips to navigate a virtual mediation – and importantly – provides a reminder that many of the aspects of a successful mediation remain constant even during a time when so much of daily life feels variable.

Preparation:  Several elements should be considered and discussed when preparing for a mediation session in order to achieve the most successful result.

  • Goals: Consider and understand your goals.  Clients and their counsel often discuss economic goals and alternatives, but should also identify non-economic sources of value.   Sources of non-economic value may open up ways of satisfying opposing parties’ goals.  For

Redefining Extraordinary Circumstances in the Wake of COVID-19: Finding Consistency in Difficult Times

Editor’s Note:  This was originally published in CFO.com on April 21, 2020.

Humanity has largely embraced the “we are in this together” mentality from a health crisis perspective. Yet, even as world leaders scramble to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, we have yet to fully grasp the follow-on impact from the pandemic and particularly, how it will affect world economies. For this “second phase” of the world’s response to the pandemic, the ultimate question is whether business and financial counter-parties will equally share the risk of loss. Bankruptcy judges have jurisdiction to fashion remedies for parties in their courtroom, but Congress and COVID-19 have left them no choice but to rule on issues immediately in front of them without the ability to limit the impact of their decisions on other market players. With a goal of tempering the COVID-19 related damage, recent difficult decisions in U.S. Bankruptcy

Taggart v. Lorenzen, The State Of Bankruptcy Contempt Power Eight Months Later

So you (allegedly) violated a bankruptcy court order. Whether the debtor alleges you violated the terms of a confirmed plan, failed to provide certain notices required by the bankruptcy rules, violated the discharge injunction, or any other court order, you may be wondering what potential redress the debtor may seek. Although many violations of bankruptcy court orders and rules do not provide for a private right of action, many debtors seek to have their rights vindicated (in the form of the greatest vindicator, cash) through an action for contempt. These civil and criminal contempt actions allow debtors to collect their damages caused by a violation of a court order, provide courts the means to coerce compliance with their orders, and allow courts to punish violators

Five Tips for Avoiding a Catastrophic Loss From a Customer’s Bankruptcy

Editor’s note:  Our New York partner Stephanie Wickouski originally posted this fundamental yet insightful list of reminders for suppliers, wholesalers, and other vendors which continue to deal with retail distress on BCLP’s Retail Law Blog, one of the leading cross-disciplinary blogs on all legal issues affecting the retail and consumer products world.   If you live in retail, subscribe over there, too – you won’t regret it!

 

One day, you get a notice in the mail that an important customer has filed chapter 11. Your customer recently paid $250,000 on invoices that were delinquent for several months and still owes you $500,000. The customer, a brick-and-mortar store, sent form letters to its vendors expressing optimism that the chapter 11 process will allow the store to continue to operate while it locates a buyer which will continue to operate the store.

A few weeks

SCOTUS Clarifies What Happens When a Trademark Licensor Files Bankruptcy

Trademark licensors and licensees, as well as their stakeholders (including lenders), should heed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC n/k/a Old Cold, LLC, No. 17-1657.  The Justices resolved a long-standing question arising from the intersection of bankruptcy and trademark law: whether a debtor/licensor’s rejection of a trademark license terminates the licensee’s right to use a trademark after rejection.  In an 8-1 decision, the Justices answered: “no,” rejection simply creates a breach, but not rescission.  If the license or applicable law grant continuing rights to the licensee upon a breach by the licensor, rejection under the Bankruptcy Code does not alter or terminate such continuing rights.

Section 365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. § 365) is the starting point of the analysis (but critically, not the ending point as discussed below).  Section 365(a) permits debtors in bankruptcy to “assume

U.S. Trustee Fees – one spreadsheet to rule them all…

Editor’s Note – This is a great and useful post.  Most importantly, these formulae work perfectly – your editor actually tried them out in his own spreadsheet.  For your next Debtor case, use this for your budgeting and there should be no surprises for US Trustee fees.  And if you have any trouble with this, call Jacob directly – he is a data-driven lawyer and also very interested in lending a hand to fellow restructuring professionals.

Recently I had to project quarterly U.S. Trustee fees in several jointly administered chapter 11 bankruptcy cases under the U.S. Trustee’s current fee guidelines (posted to effectuate 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(6)).  Fees are calculated based on each debtor’s “disbursements” in a given quarter.[1]  The calculation of multiple U.S. Trustee fees for multiple debtors can be challenging, particularly since the U.S. Trustee fees are calculated based on eight different brackets. 

A step forward – the FirstEnergy Solutions court comes to the commonsense conclusion that steel forges aren’t “forward contract merchants.”

Thomas Paine would be proud of this Court’s commonsense approach to the Bankruptcy Code

 

In the In re FirstEnergy Solutions Corporation bankruptcy cases,[1] the court recently issued an opinion narrowing the number of situations in which a fixed-price supply agreement (used to hedge against rising input costs and constituting a “forward contract” in bankruptcy parlance) will be treated as an exception to the general rules governing “executory contracts”[2] in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.

The “automatic stay” under section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code usually prevents a contract counterparty from terminating an executory contract without first getting court approval (i.e., relief from the automatic stay); this is true even if the contract provides it may be terminated upon the filing of

The Stalking Horse Bid Protections: The Auction Credit Conundrum, and How to Avoid It

The Scenario

You’re an investor kicking the tires on a company in bankruptcy. If you agree to be the “stalking horse” bidder, you’ll expend significant time and money vetting the opportunity (including attorneys’ fees, quality of earnings analysis, valuation and appraisal work, and site visits), only to possibly end up in a bidding war with others wanting a free ride on your due diligence.

To lure you in, the debtor offers you $250,000 in “Bid Protections” (total breakup fee and expense reimbursement) if you don’t win at auction. Not only that, you’ll get a credit toward your cash bid at the auction in the amount of the Bid Protections.  This makes sense, you think, because the economic value of a competing bid is deflated by the $250,000 in Bid Protections that must be paid to you if the competitor is ultimately successful.  So to compare the economic value of

My Company Went Through Bankruptcy And All I Got Was This Lousy Release – How to Get a Non-Consensual Release of Third Parties in a Chapter 11 Plan

October 29, 2018

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Officers and directors work hard to shepherd their company through bankruptcy. But, even after all that hard work, creditors can still turn around and sue them individually for alleged acts prior to the bankruptcy.  What kind of thanks is that?  A debtor wishing to protect these hard-working officers and directors may seek to include a third party release in the plan.  However, if all parties do not agree, third party releases over objecting classes are closely analyzed because they are considered a “dramatic measure to be used cautiously, and [] only appropriate in unusual circumstances.”  In re Dow Corning Corp., 280 F.3d 648, 658 (6th Cir. 2002).  Fortunately, this post will discuss the steps officers and directors may take with the debtor to increase the likelihood of plan approval, with third party releases intact, over the objections of some parties.

Initially, the debtor must look to where it

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