Godfrey & Kahn's Business Finance, Bankruptcy & Restructuring Practice Group represents clients in matters ranging from informal workouts to sophisticated corporate reorganizations.
Over the last several years, we have served as debtor's counsel in some of the largest corporate reorganizations in Wisconsin. However, our practice is not limited to bankruptcy. We assist secured and unsecured creditors in maximizing their recovery in connection with problem credits, help clients locate and select the right source of financing to meet their needs and facilitate accommodations from trade creditors. In addition, we represent buyers and sellers of troubled businesses and help plan for the effect that financial distress of others may have on our clients.
Our attorneys have years of experience in all aspects of commercial and creditors' rights law, including the refinancing and reorganization of insolvent companies. Financial reorganization often touches every aspect of a business. To ensure that our clients underlying problems are addressed using the most appropriate legal solutions, we work with attorneys from many of the firm's practice areas who have developed particular knowledge with reorganization issues in their areas.
The Business Finance, Bankruptcy & Restructuring Practice Group's experience and skill makes us one of the premier business debtors' reorganization firms in Wisconsin. In recent years, we have assisted clients in successful reorganizations in businesses such as food processing, equipment manufacturing, professional services, wholesaling, retailing, publishing, franchising, wholesale distribution and real estate development. We are especially proud to have assisted in restructuring numerous businesses that have become profitable for their owners, remained good employers and brought maximum recovery to creditors.
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The following are some examples of services the Business Finance, Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group has provided to our clients:
A large meat-packing client came to us with labor problems and a history of losses. We used Chapter 11 to give the client the time and cost-cutting tools to become strictly a meat processing company, settle its labor dispute and emerge as a profitable, growing employer.
A landlord client already had poor cash flow from a warehouse property when his tenant missed several payments and then filed a bankruptcy petition. We assisted the client to resolve the bankruptcy issues. This allowed him to sell the property and recover sufficient cash from the tenant's bankruptcy estate. In addition to covering all of his actual damages, he also recovered a portion of what would have been his future rents from the property had he not sold it.
A telemarketing company being forced into liquidation retained us in an attempt to reorganize. It was the rare case where it made sense to fight (and win) the battle with the client's commercial bank. We negotiated a payment plan with other creditors, raised cash by selling off unprofitable lines of business, and helped to settle the claims of a venture investment group. The company became profitable, the bank was paid in full and several years later the client's owners sold the business for a healthy return.
A manufacturing client was sued by the East Coast bankruptcy trustee of a former customer to recover a large "preference." The complaint was accompanied by burdensome "interrogatories" and requests for the client's documents. Reviewing the account history with the client, we quickly discovered the trustee had ignored crucial information in computing the alleged preference. We negotiated dismissal of the complaint without having to retain local counsel or prepare elaborate pleadings.