Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights

Now more than ever, corporations are faced with financial restructuring issues and need swift and experienced counsel to help resolve complicated matters. Phelps Dunbar boasts extensive experience in all areas of bankruptcy and creditors' rights.

Our bankruptcy and creditors' rights practice attorneys have extensive experience in bankruptcy, commercial transactions, creditors' rights, collections and state foreclosure and liquidation law, as well as the interplay of those areas with litigation, business, property and environmental law. Our practice group represents clients before bankruptcy courts nationally, including the handling of matters before bankruptcy courts in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

In bankruptcy, we have acted as debtor's counsel and committee counsel and have represented numerous secured and unsecured creditors. Most recently, we have acted as debtor's counsel in the Chapter 11 filing of a regional grocery chain, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. From the creditor's side, we provide counseling and representation to financial institutions and other parties doing business with financially distressed companies, as well as with bankruptcy trustees and debtors-in-possession. Our representation of creditors has included representing numerous corporate and individual clients in the largest fraudulent conveyance action ever filed in the State of Louisiana, consisting of claims in excess of $100 million. We also represent non-creditors whose rights have been affected by an associated bankruptcy filing, including insurance companies and reinsurers.

A significant portion of our practice also includes the enforcement of creditors' rights in the non-bankruptcy context for both regional and national clients, including the drafting of leases, commercial contracts and related documents, the enforcement of debt instruments, the enforcement of statutory and contractual lien rights and security interests, actions on guaranty contracts, foreclosure actions and problem loan/debt workouts.


Representative Matters

  • Representation of corporate and individual defendants in federal bankruptcy court in $100 million lawsuit arising from the sale of oil and gas properties in south Louisiana.
  • Debtor's counsel in various matters, including Chapter 11 filing of a regional grocery chain (one of the largest privately-held companies in the United States) and, most recently, the successful reorganization of a regional franchisee.
  • Representation of computer software company in negotiating and documenting sale of business and assets to New York-based national competitor.
  • Representation of telecommunication company in negotiating and documenting sale of business and assets to expanding local competitor.
  • Representation of large insurance company in negotiating and documenting investments in major telecommunication venture and in new power generating plant.
  • Representation of a chemical company in successful acquisition of significant industrial plant assets sold in bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Representation of terminal operator in assertion of reclamation rights in bankruptcy context.
  • Successful defense of servitudes and related rights of third party in connection with sale of chemical facility in bankruptcy court.
  • Representation of general contractor in enforcement of lien rights and credit bidding on sale of industrial facility in bankruptcy court.
  • Representation of landlords in large chapter 11 bankruptcy cases for payment of past due rent and amending of lease agreements.
  • Representation of oil and gas service providers in connection with critical vendor status and payment of trade claims.
  • Bankruptcy advises to numerous clients in connection with the drafting of commercial contracts, leases and related documents.
  • Representation of a national lender in connection with pre-petition secured loans of $20 million plus and post-petition DIP financing concerning public-company tire manufacturer, resulting in the lender recovering all of the credit it extended.
  • Representation of another national lender with large loans to Chapter 11 trucking company debtor (secured by fleet of trucks) in negotiating and in enforcing agreements and orders for adequate protection payments.
  • Representation of a third national lender with pre-petition loans of $30 million and post-petition DIP financing concerning a publicly-held, national truckstop debtor, with result that client received essentially all of the assets of the estate through a complex Chapter 11 plan of liquidation (which included liquidating trust provisions and avoiding extensive environmental exposures).
  • Representation of a large insurance company with secured claims in separate operating cases by major hotel debtor and shopping center debtor, with result of early relief from stay and foreclosure of the hotel and a consensual Chapter 11 Plan for the shopping center.
  • Representation of a publicly-held casino in successful defense of numerous claims by Chapter 11 casino debtor and ultimate negotiation and documentation of the client’s purchase of casino barge from bankruptcy estate.
  • Representation of a variety of creditors in successfully defending preferential transfer and other avoidance actions by bankruptcy estates in numerous cases.
  • Representation of unsecured creditors committee in consolidated Chapter 11 case of four furniture manufacturing company debtors, resulting in confirmation of a consensual reorganization plan.
  • Representation of an attorney in successfully defending a legal malpractice claim asserted by a bankruptcy estate.
  • Representation of state banks in numerous loan workout situations and foreclosure actions.
  • Representation of a holder of a promissory note in successfully suing FDIC/RTC in federal court under the note issued by the failed S&L.
  • Representation of small businesses in connection with Small Business Reorganization Act and chapter 7 cases, as necessary.