Attorney for Bankruptcy
There is more to bankruptcy than a series of hearings before a bankruptcy court. Every business choice has a litigation equivalent and vice versa. It’s a court-managed transactional process.. To be fair, bankruptcy lawyers get to play both sides of the fence, advising clients on the Code’s influence on their business actions all the way through their case. There is a lot of overlap between the transactional and litigation realms.
A bankruptcy lawyer’s most common responsibilities include the following:
No surprise that bankruptcy is a part of the litigation practice in many law firms. There is a bankruptcy judge who oversees each bankruptcy action and approves all-important business decisions made by the debtors and some of the creditors. A bankruptcy attorney spends much of her time in court, arguing for or against debtor and creditor motions and participating in full–scale trials..
Financing for businesses
During the weeks leading up to and following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, “debtor–in–possession”–or DIP–financing is a major priority for the debtor. These loans serve as lifelines for debtors and allow bankrupt firms to keep their doors open despite their inability to pay their debts (or at least close them very slowly and carefully). These DIP financing agreements are negotiated and drafted by bankruptcy attorneys who are well versed in the laws of the Code and the case law that governs these facilities.
Asset sales are common in Chapter 7 and many Chapter 11 cases are handled by mergers and acquisitions attorneys. Many m&a transactions are handled by bankruptcy lawyers, who work closely with m&a attorneys to create auction processes and negotiate and close these sales; in other cases, the bankruptcy attorney handles all of the m&a work including negotiating and drafting the relevant purchase and ancillary agreements as well as overseeing the sale closings. In all bankruptcy cases, the bankruptcy attorneys are the ones who make the court’s approval request (and hopefully get it).
Employment and labor
Businesses are involved in bankruptcies, and businesses employ people. Debtor’s labor force, federal and state regulations and conflicts over employee severance and retention plans are all handled by bankruptcy attorneys, who are on the front lines of these talks and disagreements.
Secured Transactions/Uniform Commercial Code
Bankruptcy attorneys must be familiar with the Uniform Commercial Code and other provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, as well as the Uniform Debt Collection Practices Act and the Uniform Debt Collection Practices Act.
Executive Vice President and COO
One of two things can happen in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases: the court appoints an official to oversee the debtor’s business and/or wind it down. Typically, the trustee hires an attorney to handle all legal matters for him or her.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Tax, real estate, landlord-tenant relations, environmental law, telecommunications, securities regulation, securities fraud, antitrust, white-collar crime, and domestic relations difficulties are all part of the bankruptcy process. The list goes on and on because each bankruptcy is unique and affects every area of the debtor’s financial situation. If a divorced man files for bankruptcy, he’ll have to deal with all kinds of family law concerns; a media conglomerate will have to deal with federal communications laws. Bankruptcy is a unique and interesting profession, promising that there will be no dull moments due to the enormous range of positions.