Our bankruptcy, restructuring, and insolvency lawyers provide strategic, creative solutions to address issues arising from troubled investments and loans worldwide. We are a full-service bankruptcy and restructuring practice with teams dedicated to traditional restructurings, documentation throughout transactions, and, when necessary, insolvency litigation. With lawyers in offices across the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, we have handled bankruptcy, restructuring, and insolvency matters for clients in more than 90 countries.
Our elite services for clients cover a broad array of industries, including financial services, insurance, energy, retail, travel, automotive, telecommunications, infrastructure, technology, healthcare, aviation, real estate, shipping, manufacturing, sovereign debt, municipal finance, and tribal gaming.
Spanning a wide range of assignments and client constituencies, our experience includes advising ad hoc noteholder groups, institutional investors, debtors, creditors’ committees, acquirers, high-yield and distressed debt investors, insurance companies, banks, trustees, administrators, liquidators, boards of directors, shareholders, senior and junior debt holders, governments, and international agencies.
We help creditors and debtors throughout the capital structure to optimize outcomes in out-of-court restructurings, international insolvencies, and US bankruptcy proceedings. We regularly counsel clients on matters involving the following:
Workouts & Restructuring
Our team has an extensive background in complex workouts and restructurings worldwide, and our reputation with financial institutions enhances our ability to assist lenders and distressed borrowers in both the workout and bankruptcy context.
Supported by our multidisciplinary depth and intimate involvement in a wide range of industries, our team has represented a diverse variety of debtors, including financial service, retail, travel, airline, telecommunications, shipping, energy, and mortgage trust companies. We are thought leaders in the area of DIP lending and frequently represent key creditors and asset purchasers in bankruptcy cases.
Our work for clients includes the following:
In bankruptcy proceedings, our capabilities include the following:
Bankruptcy & Insolvency Litigation
Our deep bench of trial and appellate lawyers focuses on insolvency litigation, bankruptcies, and creditors’ rights. In a position uncommon among law firms, our elite insolvency litigators are also highly skilled bankruptcy and insolvency law practitioners, possessing a command of the issues arising from workouts, restructurings, contentious insolvencies, and the litigation adjacent to insolvency proceedings.
Our bankruptcy litigators help clients address and overcome issues that typically arise when enforcing and defending creditors’ rights inside and outside of bankruptcy. We regularly assist clients with claim litigation and enforcement, prosecution of claims against directors and officers, fraudulent transfer and make-whole defenses, rejection or modification of collective bargaining agreements and retiree benefits under Sections 1113 and 1114 of the US Bankruptcy Code, and issues relating to lender liability. Our experience includes the following:
A world leader in advising the energy industry, Morgan Lewis has guided clients through every up cycle and down cycle. Collaborating closely with our global energy team that handles the acquisition, divestiture, structuring, development, and financing of upstream, midstream, and downstream energy assets, our restructuring team has deep energy industry knowledge, particularly in oil and gas restructurings.
Our energy industry restructuring clients include lenders, creditors, and debtors at every level of the capital structure. Our work on behalf of clients spans virtually every facet of the energy industry spectrum, including matters involving rejection of power purchase agreements, enforcement of arbitration procedures, plan and claims reserve negotiations, and litigation and settlement of rejection damages claims.
Our US Chapter 11 bankruptcy experience includes representing international power producers, major US coal companies, and lenders to offshore drilling companies. We have advised noteholder groups in numerous successful in-court and out-of-court restructurings for energy industry companies, lenders (as prepetition secured lenders and DIP lenders) in numerous restructuring cases around the globe, and second lien lenders in US Chapter 11 restructurings.
Our lawyers represent insurance regulators, policyholders, and creditor groups in insurance company restructurings, receiverships, and liquidations globally. We represent clients across the entire industry, including property casualty companies, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, life insurers, financial guarantors, and mortgage insurers. Our experience includes both in-court and out-of-court restructurings as well as litigation of contested receivership matters. We also have experience with insurance products in insolvency proceedings such as appearing in mass tort bankruptcies—including the first prepackaged mass tort bankruptcy—and representing clients in major disputes over surety bonds and related indemnity obligations in US Chapter 11 cases. Additionally, our depth in loss-sensitive insurance programs is utilized by most major insureds.
Retail & Ecommerce
In today’s challenging retail environment, our diverse knowledge and command of the legal issues that lenders, creditors, and borrowers face enable us to navigate complex financings and provide truly meaningful value to our clients. Our team represents leading financial institutions and other creditors around the world in both the administrative agent and lender capacities in a broad range of retail industry financings, including private equity acquisition loan transactions, refinancings, workouts, and distressed (DIP and exit financing) situations.
Our clients’ borrowers and debtors operate across the full range of retail goods and services and include national and regional companies and ecommerce businesses in the department store, apparel, jewelry, grocery, pharmacy, furniture, electronics, and specialty spaces. Clients benefit from our talented debt finance and restructuring professionals who bolster our comprehensive representation throughout the entire retail finance transaction lifecycle—from initial loan documentation through payoff, including out-of-court restructurings, bankruptcy filings, going-out-of-business and other asset sales, receiverships, and litigation.
Our bankruptcy team handles the largest, most complex bankruptcy matters across the United States. We regularly represent a wide variety of constituencies in navigating Chapter 11, including secured and unsecured creditors, equity sponsors, asset purchasers, executory contract counterparties, and creditors’ committees. Our Chapter 11 experience spans a wide variety of industries, and we are well known in the busiest bankruptcy courts, including Delaware, the Southern District of New York, and the Southern District of Texas.
Our bankruptcy and restructuring acumen—bolstered by our ability to leverage the talents of colleagues across our firm and around the world who specialize in virtually every area of law—mean that we are superbly positioned to maximize outcomes for distressed companies. We represent boards and companies in the “zone of insolvency” in out-of-court restructurings, sales, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Our representation of distressed companies covers both public and privately held entities in many industries.
We advise DIP lenders on priority, exposure, collateral, cash monitoring, and asset valuation. Our background encompasses flexible loan arrangements secured by a wide variety of assets. Our work for clients involves assisting DIP lenders in navigating all aspects of the Chapter 11 process as well as insolvency proceedings in other countries. We take a comprehensive approach to understanding our clients’ industry-based needs and have particular experience representing asset-based lenders in the retail industry and reserve-based lenders in the oil and gas industry.
Morgan Lewis has represented numerous official and unofficial unsecured creditors’ committees in large, complex Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings across various industries, including retail, media and entertainment, packaging, manufacturing, energy, and transportation. Our lawyers have represented Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors in Chapter 11 cases involving the following companies:
We regularly represent trustees in defaulted and stressed bond issuances worldwide. These representations have included significant matters in the oil and gas, power, and aviation industries as well as representation of trustees acting in residential mortgage-backed securities structures.
In advising private equity clients on distressed portfolio companies around the world, our work includes representing sponsors in the structuring of investments; equity in out-of-court workouts; and both sponsors and the portfolio companies themselves in Chapter 11 proceedings, including fraudulent transfer defense.
Since private equity clients often find opportunity in financial distress, we advise on the best ways to acquire assets from troubled businesses through schemes of arrangements, private placements, and other out-of-court transactions. We routinely represent dealers and buyers in bankruptcy claims trades and other transactions concerning distressed companies around the world.
Our lawyers have handled some of the most sophisticated restructuring and insolvency proceedings in England, France, Russia, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, China, and Singapore, among others. Our team advises the entire gamut of creditor interests in court proceedings for secured, unsecured, and subordinated creditors; equity sponsors; executory contract counterparties; and official creditors’ committees.
Our London restructuring team is one of the leading legal advisers in sovereign debt matters, with experience representing investors in Argentine bonds and nationalized businesses in Venezuela, creditor groups in Puerto Rico and Iceland, and sovereigns such as Kazakhstan, Suriname, and Laos, among others.
Morgan Lewis also represents major stakeholders in legal proceedings and restructurings regarding failed investment funds, including related global investigations and proceedings in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and other jurisdictions.