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Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights

The practice of Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights law requires experience, expertise and the ability to deftly react to financial urgencies.

At Cairncross & Hempelmann, we have these attributes, as well as the ability to assemble project-specific teams from our other practice groups.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Matters

We represent creditors, financial institutions, commercial debtors, creditors’ committees, and other third-party entities in all types of bankruptcy proceedings. In particular, we are highly effective in representation of any stakeholder in complex Chapter 11 proceedings. While the majority of our work is in the state of Washington, we are able to either provide or coordinate representation in any state or nation.

Commercial Chapter 11 Proceedings

We are particularly skilled in representing clients involved in or affected by Chapter 11 cases. We take pride in our goal focused approach, bringing to the client effective and creative problem solving with an eye toward providing the best solution to the challenges at hand.

Washington State Receiverships

We have represented Receivers, petitioning secured creditors, and voluntary petitioners in statutory receiverships in the Washington state courts. The subjects of our receivership proceedings have included manufacturing plants, assisted living homes, fruit storage facilities, apartments, condominium projects, distribution facilities, retail stores and centers, and construction companies. We have long-standing relationships with a number of highly regarded Receivers who provide excellent value to our clients.

Distressed Mergers & Acquisitions

Together with firm members from other groups, we assist clients with the purchase or sale of assets in bankruptcies, receiverships, reorganizations, restructurings and workouts, counseling clients on the risks and opportunities presented by the purchase and sale of distressed assets. Under the over-arching demand of time or competitive pressures, our teams have experience in structuring and negotiating transactions and provides the expertise imperative to ensure the protection of client interests if an insolvency proceeding is involved. To date, this group has represented financial institutions, debtors, secured creditors, landlords, investors, and other strategic buyers in these distressed transactions.

Real Estate Workouts

In conjunction with our Real Estate group, our Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights team has extensive experience in representing lending institutions in dealing with all phases of distressed commercial real estate loans – from portfolio analysis to disposition of assets. We have represented banks, pension funds, insurance companies and other institutional lenders, and worked on all property types from single-family suburban land development to downtown high-rise office and residential buildings. We are experienced in the specific vehicles associated with distressed real estate loans, including:

  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Consent Foreclosure
  • Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
  • Single Asset Bankruptcy, including “Cram Down” Analysis, Lift Stay and Bad Faith Filing
  • Restructurings
  • UCC Sales
  • Negative Amortization
  • Springing Guarantees
  • Consolidations and Spreaders
  • Lock Boxes
  • Participating Mortgages
  • Debt to Equity Conversions
  • Secured Debt to Mezzanine Conversions
  • Mezzanine Debt Foreclosure
  • Debt Sales
  • Receivership Mortgagee in Possession
  • Non-recourse Carve-out Analysis and Collection
  • Ground Lease Terminations

We have represented numerous institutional creditors in negotiated restructurings, bankruptcies and foreclosures of distressed real estate investments. As to real estate owners, we help to work through the complex issues involved in restructuring debt so our clients can more effectively manage their businesses and meet their financial obligations.

Our Bankruptcy attorneys have also represented numerous institutional mortgagees in enforcing their lien rights in out-of-court restructurings and in Chapter 11 cases.

Collections Litigation

In conjunction with our Litigation group, we can efficiently and aggressively assist clients with collection of secured and unsecured debts, from open accounts, lease defaults and judgment collections to complex contract litigation using negotiations, and collection lawsuits. We provide cost-effective ideas and staff actions in an effort to minimize costs and maximize results.

Attorneys in the Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights group have represented clients in the following transactions:

  • Since 1986, regular representation of significant agricultural lender with legal needs on accounts ranging from $5,000,000 to $160,000,000.
  • Representation of purchaser of distressed debt secured by substantial number of fuel service station/convenience stores, with forbearance and workout resulting in full payment to lender.
  • Representation of developer of Eastern Washington residential real estate project to restructure secured debt, resulting in substantial reduction of total debt in order to restore project economics.
  • Represented receiver in the complex turnaround and sale of operating Oregon aluminum processing facility with challenging real estate, easement, railroad, environmental and water rights issues resulting in 100% return to secured creditors.
  • Assisted major national transportation firm with complex issues associated with insolvency of related party including valuation and claims resolution.
  • Represented senior secured lender with $200,000,000 debt realization on significant urban condominium twin tower project.
  • Regular assistance to buyers of distressed assets from insolvency proceedings, including software development companies, regional luxury motor coach enterprise and several manufacturing companies.
  • Represented 75% equity owner of regional grocer as to all issues arising within grocer’s Chapter 11.
  • Assisted multi-family property management enterprise with out-of-court restructuring of over $200,000,000 of debt secured by 73 apartment buildings.
  • Assisted regional investment advisory firm with services needed to address voluntary bankruptcies of several related funds that had engaged in fraudulent activities affecting client’s investors.
  • Acted as court-appointed examiner for telecommunications cable company, reporting recommendations to court on proposed $250,000,000 Chapter 11 plan proposed settlement.
  • Chapter 11 restructuring of Washington-based residential development company and related case for company’s owner.
  • Representation of Chapter 11 Unsecured Creditors’ Committees in construction, real estate development, biotechnology, agricultural and technology cases.
  • Representation of court-appointed receivers in cases involving retail enterprises, multi-location restaurant franchises, construction, farming enterprises, assisted living, technology, manufacturing and other industries.