Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights

Our bankruptcy and creditors’ rights team, together with assistance from our corporate, commercial litigation, finance, regulatory, tax, and other specialties, provides clients with creative solutions to complex issues affecting distressed businesses or funds throughout the United States and abroad. The team’s wide experience, industry knowledge, and multiple skill sets are used effectively and efficiently to achieve our clients’ goals. Whether the representation is of a debtor, secured lender or lender group, an official committee of unsecured creditors or shareholders, a buyer of assets, or a plan sponsor, in bankruptcy or out of court, the Venable team provides excellent ideas, solutions, and results to our clients.

Venable attorneys lead troubled companies, debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, official and ad hoc committees of creditors and equity holders, and asset purchasers through the maze of substantive, procedural, interpersonal, and practical issues that arise during a restructuring or reorganization. Having been involved in numerous complex reorganizations throughout the United States and abroad, we consistently bring a results-driven, practical approach to every matter (large or small) that combines responsiveness, efficiency, and thorough knowledge of shifting laws and regulations in virtually every industry – this has become the standard for succeeding in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and high-stakes creditors’ rights litigation.

Complementing our vast experience in restructuring and reorganization, we are assisted by our attorneys in other practice areas, including commercial litigation, tax, ERISA, securities law, intellectual property, real estate, environmental, labor and employment, and regulatory, to assist our clients in achieving their business objectives. Our team delivers the kind of personalized, focused attention normally associated with boutique firms while demonstrating the deep knowledge, relationships, and capabilities of a large organization.

Client Focus

  • Chapter 11 debtors in possession
  • Official creditor committees
  • Ad hoc committees
  • Lenders and other secured creditors
  • Unsecured creditors
  • Indenture trustees
  • Chapter 11 trustees
  • Liquidating, litigation, and post-confirmation trustees
  • Asset purchasers
  • Landlords
  • Intellectual property licensors and licensees
  • Franchisors and franchisees
  • Investors
  • Stockholders
  • Advisors
  • Officers and directors
  • Governmental units
  • Actors, writers, producers, and other talent

Experience
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­ Venable is one of the nation’s preeminent firms specializing in the representation of commercial real estate lenders and special servicers of commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) trusts in bankruptcy cases, state and federal insolvency proceedings, and litigation matters throughout the United States. Venable has served as lead counsel for the largest workouts in U.S. history for each type of commercial real estate asset – multifamily, office, hospitality, and retail. Venable’s work includes:

  • Overseeing asset realization strategies and loan modifications for tens of billions of dollars in assets located across the U.S.
  • Serving as coordinating counsel for all secured debt in the General Growth Properties bankruptcy case, restructuring $14 billion of secured debt
  • Serving as lead trust counsel in connection with all aspects of the litigation, workout, and sale of the $5.8 billion Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village loan
  • Representing $780 million secured by first priority liens and security interests in 26 hotel properties in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of John Q Hammons Fall 2006, LLC, et al.

Venable attorneys are among the nation's leading counselors on corporate issues affecting real estate investment trusts (REITs). We served as debtors’ counsel in the only successful bankruptcy filing by a REIT. Our clients view us as a "go-to firm" for the evaluation of restructuring options when REITs face insolvency or contemplate bankruptcy.

Our bankruptcy team is a leader on the interpretation of repurchase agreements, forward-swap instruments, and commodity contracts for institutions across the nation. We have successfully litigated lawsuits and led negotiations with major financial institutions involving over-the-counter derivatives and other complex transactions. We have also litigated some of the leading cases on the applicability of Sections 555 and 559 of the Bankruptcy Code to repurchase agreements.

We have developed particular experience in bankruptcy proceedings involving companies in the healthcare industry, including:

  • Representing stalking horse bidders and asset purchaser of a health maintenance organization in California and a senior-living facility in Massachusetts, a Chapter 7 trustee in the sale of a hospital
  • Representing Chapter 11 debtors in the reorganization of hospitals and nursing homes

Beyond areas of industry specialization, Venable attorneys have actively worked on behalf of all constituent parties in bankruptcy. Representative actions include:

  • Representing the lead DIP lender in the documentation and implementation of the largest DIP loan in United States history in the Energy Future Holdings Chapter 11 cases
  • Supervising the only successful reorganization of a financial services company in the United States, restructuring $2 billion of debt and returning 100% of equity value to the company's shareholders. We frequently advise financial institutions, hedge funds, and private-equity investors on restructuring options and distressed debt investments
  • Representing a servicer in a $1.5 billion state liquidation of an insurance company
  • Arguing cases in the United States Supreme Court and preparing briefs and amicus briefs in numerous bankruptcy cases, including U.S. Bank v. Village at Lakeridge, Lamie v. United States Trustee, and Archer v. Warner among others
  • Co-leading the restructuring of more than $1 billion in debt in one of the largest bankruptcy filings by a telecommunications and satellite company. We have also assisted in negotiating the transfer and assignment of numerous, complicated telecom-related agreements under Sections 363 and 365 of the Bankruptcy Code. Our team has also negotiated contracts and assisted with financing for companies in the telecommunications sector
  • Handling all aspects, including the plan and post-plan liquidating trust, in the nearly $2 billion Chapter 11 proceedings for public company U.S. Office Products
  • Representing a major creditor and member of the Official Committee in the Breitburn Energy Chapter 11 cases
  • Representing an acquirer in the BearingPoint Chapter 11 cases

Representative Clients
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As Debtor's Counsel:

  • CRIIMI MAE Inc. (Co-Debtor and Special Litigation Counsel)
  • In re Greater Southeast Community Hospital Corp.
  • Iridium
  • Mail Boxes, Etc.
  • Smitty’s Building Supply
  • Thornburg Mortgage
  • U.S. Office Products

As Creditor's Counsel:

  • Capital Royalty Group
  • Howard Delivery Systems (Creditor’s Committee Counsel)
  • SunCal Century City, LLC
  • CWCapital Asset Management, LLC
  • C-III Asset Management, LLC
  • Midland Loan Services, Inc.
  • LNR Partners, LLC
  • Credit Union Ad Hoc Committee in U.S. Mortgage Corp.
  • Creditors Committee in RCR Plumbing
  •  Creditors Committee in School Specialty Services
  • Creditors Committee in Tactical Intermediate

Other Retentions:

  • Official Unitholders Committee in Woodbridge Group of Companies Chapter 11
  • Special litigation counsel in Enron Chapter 11
  • Counsel to the State of Maryland in Magna Entertainment
  • TIC Committee counsel in Nashville Senior Living
  • Creation and organization of the WAMU Committee of Equity Holders
  • Coordinating counsel for all secured creditors in General Growth Properties case

Recognition
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  • Ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” 2011 - 2019
    • Tier 1 Litigation – Bankruptcy (National, Baltimore, DC)
    • Tier 1 Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (National, Baltimore, DC)
  • Highly ranked in Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Maryland, 2018
  • One bankruptcy attorney received Band 1 ranking from Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Maryland, 2018
  • Three bankruptcy attorneys received a ranking from Chambers USA in 2018
  • Law360 named practice chair Greg Cross to its annual list of MVP award winners in the Banking category
  • Group chair Greg Cross is an American Lawyer 2010 “Dealmaker of the Year”
  • Named by The M&A Advisor as a Deal Team Member of the Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Lower Middle Market)
  • Previously recognized by Law360 as having one of the top five bankruptcy practices in the United States
  • Five attorneys previously recognized in Best Lawyers in America – Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law

Creditor Committees: RCR Plumbing and Mechanical