Pierce Atwood's Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights team is multidisciplinary, drawing upon our banking, litigation, business, mergers and acquisitions and real estate experience to address the broad range of issues often involved in dealing with financially distressed entities effectively and efficiently. Our team represents secured creditors, trade and other unsecured creditors, bankruptcy and indenture trustees, government agencies, lessors, licensors, licensees, financially distressed entities, and acquirers of distressed assets and entities in and out of bankruptcy. Members of our team provide business and legal counsel on bankruptcy and creditors' matters pending throughout the country, particularly throughout New England and in the bankruptcy centers of the Southern District of New York and the District of Delaware. Because your business extends beyond the borders of a single state, ours does too.

Areas of Expertise

Combining the expertise of our bankruptcy, banking, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate professionals, our bankruptcy and creditors' rights practice offers potential acquirers of distressed assets and entities tremendous depth and resources to navigate the maze of hurdles often raised in distressed entity and asset acquisitions.

Representative Experience

Represented New England Mountain Ventures, a Massachusetts private equity firm, in the acquisition out of bankruptcy of the Joe Jones Ski & Sport chain of seven retail stores for $5 million (Bankr. D. Me.).

$5 Million Acquisition of Chain of Ski and Snowboard Shops

Represented Tasman Industries, a family-owned leather producing and processing company headquartered in Louisville, KY, in the acquisition out of bankruptcy of leather tanning facilities and business in Hartland, Maine from Prime Tanning for $6.2 million (Bankr. D. Me.).

$6.2 Million Acquisition of Leather Tanning Co.

Represented Brascan Corporation/Great Lakes Hydro America (publicly traded real estate and power generation company headquartered in Toronto) in the acquisition out of bankruptcy of paper mills in Maine from Great Northern Paper Company. $140 Million Acquisition of Paper Mills (Bankruptcy District of Maine)

Acquisition of Bankrupt Paper Mills

The treatment given to leases, licenses and other executory contracts in bankruptcy can create multiple and sometimes novel issues for our clients, who include software licensors and licensees, landlords, tenants, manufacturers, sellers and other executory contract counter-parties.  Our team regularly advises clients on the full range of executory contract issues arising under Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, including cure claim issues, issues relating to the treatment of intellectual property, executory contract assumption and rejection disputes and the rights of landlords, including shopping center owners and tenants.

Representative Experience

Representing Central Maine Power Company and Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. with respect to claims arising under various executory contracts, including pole ownership, maintenance and rental agreements. Successfully resolved plan confirmation objections in favor of our clients, resulting in preservation of ongoing, post-bankruptcy indemnification obligations of the debtors under their executory contracts with CMP and Unitil. FairPoint Communications, Inc. Chapter 11 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.)

CMP and Unitil Executory Contracts

Red Shield Environmental Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Me.). Represented Fort James Operating Company in settling disputes concerning the ongoing vitality of deeded use restrictions following the sale of assets and assignment of leases.

Disputes Concerning Ongoing Vitality of Deeded Use Restrictions Following Sale

Successfully represented California Department of Water Resources and California Electricity Oversight Board in opposing Calpine's proposed rejection of multi-billion dollar wholesale power purchase agreement. Calpine Corporation Chapter 11 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.). See 337 B.R. 27 (S.D.N.Y. 2006).

Successfully Opposed Rejection of Wholesale Power Purchase Agreement

Distributed Energy Systems Corp. and Northern Power Systems, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.). Successfully preserved contested intellectual property rights of The Timberland Company under section 365(n).

Successfully Preserved Contested Intellectual Property Rights

Our team regularly represents national commercial banks and local community banks, including KeyBank, N.A., The First, N.A., Bank of America, Bangor Savings Bank, Machias Savings Bank and Northeast Bank, and other secured parties in all manner of commercial and consumer collection actions (including replevin actions and state court receiverships), workout and foreclosure matters (including civil action and statutory power of sale foreclosures and UCC secured party sales), Chapter 11 reorganizations, Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 13 wage earner cases.

We are experienced in negotiating, documenting and obtaining bankruptcy court approval of debtor-in-possession loans and bankruptcy "exit" financings, preparing and implementing agreements to use cash collateral and provide adequate protection of interests in collateral, reaffirmation agreements, litigating contested cash collateral, relief from stay and adequate protection motions, and contesting plan confirmations. In addition, we are often called on to develop and implement "exit strategies" for commercial lenders and other secured parties, including creditor plans of liquidation. We routinely negotiate settlements of claims and litigate objections to allowance of claims.

Representative Experience

Obtained for BBC Worldwide Ltd. relief from the automatic stay to permit prosecution of proceedings in High Court in England to aid in defense of litigation commenced in Maine Superior Court and removed to Bankruptcy Court. Beeload Limited Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Me.).

BBC Worldwide Ltd. Granted Relief from Automatic Stay

The Hammer Corporation Chapter 11 (Bankr. D.N.H.). Obtained relief from the automatic stay, enabling Park National Bank, as a secured creditor with claims in excess of $1.4 million, to foreclose its mortgage on commercial property located in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Enabled Secured Creditor to Foreclose Mortgage

Represented KeyBank, N.A. in the restructuring of $23 million commercial financing for a large Rhode Island retail center.

KeyBank Restructuring of $23 Million Commercial Financing

We assisted a client in providing post-bankruptcy financing of approximately $70 million through mortgage and sale/leaseback arrangements on facilities in 10 states, and was heavily involved in the plan confirmation proceeding. Alterra Healthcare Corp. (Bankr. D. Del.).

Post-Bankruptcy Financing via Mortgage and Sale/Leaseback Arrangements

Foreside Company Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Me.). Represented Chittenden Bank as secured creditor and DIP lender with claims in excess of $7.5 million.

Secured Creditor Claims in Foreside Company Chapter 11

Our practice is focused on protecting the rights and interests of creditors. Our experience includes commercial collections, claims allowance, claims estimation proceedings, defense of preference and fraudulent transfer actions, assertion of reclamation and 503(b)(9) claims, Chapter 7 liquidations, and the full range of issues associated with the structure and approval of Chapter 11 reorganization and Chapter 13 "wage earner" plans.

Representative Experience

Represented the California Department of Water Resources in its efforts to recover overcharges resulting from the 2000-2001 western energy crisis, including in bankruptcy settlements with Chapter 11 debtors Mirant Corporation (N.D. Tex.), Enron Corporation (S.D.N.Y.) and NEGT (D. Md.), resulting in allowed secured and unsecured claims totaling in excess of $2.4 billion.Bankruptcy District of Maryland, Northern District of Texas and Southern District of New York

California Department of Water Resources Recovery of Overcharges

Delphi Corporation and Lear Corporation (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.). Lead counsel for a multi-national Tier 2 auto parts supplier in making contested reclamation, section 503(b)(9), unsecured and administrative claims against Chapter 11 Tier 1 auto parts suppliers Delphi Corporation and Lear Corporation, successfully negotiating a consensual resolution of all claims, including a trade agreement with Lear Corporation that resulted in payment in full of all pre and post-petition claims of client.

Claims Against Chapter 11 Auto Parts Suppliers Delphi Corp. and Lear Corp.

In re Quebecor World (USA), Inc. (S.D.N.Y.), successfully represented a defendant alleged to have received in excess of $7 million in preferential payments by the Litigation Trustee. Currently representing another defendant in the same case alleged to have received in excess of $10 million in preferential payments.

Defense of Preferential Payment Allegations

Strada Funding, LLC (ME and NH). Successfully represented a private lender seeking to recover in excess of $2.7 million from eight guarantors of loans made to former Chapter 11 debtor, Strada 315, LLC, the developer of a $35 million mixed-use condominium project located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Recovery from Loan Guarantors to Chapter 11 Debtor

Our Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights practice focuses on creditor-side representation. We regularly represent secured and unsecured lenders in all manner of commercial and consumer collection, workout and foreclosure matters (including civil action and statutory power of sale foreclosures and UCC secured party sales), Chapter 11 reorganizations, Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 13 wage earner cases. We are experienced in negotiating, preparing and implementing agreements to use cash collateral and provide adequate protection of interests in collateral, and litigating contested cash collateral, relief from stay and adequate protection motions and contested plan confirmations. We are often called on to develop and implement "exit strategies" for commercial lenders and to negotiate, structure and prepare plans of liquidation. We routinely negotiate settlements of claims and litigate objections to allowance of claims.

Representative Experience

Represented New England Mountain Ventures, a Massachusetts private equity firm, in the acquisition out of bankruptcy of the Joe Jones Ski & Sport chain of seven retail stores for $5 million (Bankr. D. Me.).

$5 Million Acquisition of Chain of Ski and Snowboard Shops

Represented Tasman Industries, a family-owned leather producing and processing company headquartered in Louisville, KY, in the acquisition out of bankruptcy of leather tanning facilities and business in Hartland, Maine from Prime Tanning for $6.2 million (Bankr. D. Me.).

$6.2 Million Acquisition of Leather Tanning Co.

Represented Brascan Corporation/Great Lakes Hydro America (publicly traded real estate and power generation company headquartered in Toronto) in the acquisition out of bankruptcy of paper mills in Maine from Great Northern Paper Company. $140 Million Acquisition of Paper Mills (Bankruptcy District of Maine)

Acquisition of Bankrupt Paper Mills

Obtained for BBC Worldwide Ltd. relief from the automatic stay to permit prosecution of proceedings in High Court in England to aid in defense of litigation commenced in Maine Superior Court and removed to Bankruptcy Court. Beeload Limited Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Me.).

BBC Worldwide Ltd. Granted Relief from Automatic Stay

Represented the California Department of Water Resources in its efforts to recover overcharges resulting from the 2000-2001 western energy crisis, including in bankruptcy settlements with Chapter 11 debtors Mirant Corporation (N.D. Tex.), Enron Corporation (S.D.N.Y.) and NEGT (D. Md.), resulting in allowed secured and unsecured claims totaling in excess of $2.4 billion.Bankruptcy District of Maryland, Northern District of Texas and Southern District of New York

California Department of Water Resources Recovery of Overcharges

Delphi Corporation and Lear Corporation (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.). Lead counsel for a multi-national Tier 2 auto parts supplier in making contested reclamation, section 503(b)(9), unsecured and administrative claims against Chapter 11 Tier 1 auto parts suppliers Delphi Corporation and Lear Corporation, successfully negotiating a consensual resolution of all claims, including a trade agreement with Lear Corporation that resulted in payment in full of all pre and post-petition claims of client.

Claims Against Chapter 11 Auto Parts Suppliers Delphi Corp. and Lear Corp.

Representing Central Maine Power Company and Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. with respect to claims arising under various executory contracts, including pole ownership, maintenance and rental agreements. Successfully resolved plan confirmation objections in favor of our clients, resulting in preservation of ongoing, post-bankruptcy indemnification obligations of the debtors under their executory contracts with CMP and Unitil. FairPoint Communications, Inc. Chapter 11 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.)

CMP and Unitil Executory Contracts

In re Quebecor World (USA), Inc. (S.D.N.Y.), successfully represented a defendant alleged to have received in excess of $7 million in preferential payments by the Litigation Trustee. Currently representing another defendant in the same case alleged to have received in excess of $10 million in preferential payments.

Defense of Preferential Payment Allegations

Red Shield Environmental Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Me.). Represented Fort James Operating Company in settling disputes concerning the ongoing vitality of deeded use restrictions following the sale of assets and assignment of leases.

Disputes Concerning Ongoing Vitality of Deeded Use Restrictions Following Sale

The Hammer Corporation Chapter 11 (Bankr. D.N.H.). Obtained relief from the automatic stay, enabling Park National Bank, as a secured creditor with claims in excess of $1.4 million, to foreclose its mortgage on commercial property located in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Enabled Secured Creditor to Foreclose Mortgage

Represented KeyBank, N.A. in the restructuring of $23 million commercial financing for a large Rhode Island retail center.

KeyBank Restructuring of $23 Million Commercial Financing

We assisted a client in providing post-bankruptcy financing of approximately $70 million through mortgage and sale/leaseback arrangements on facilities in 10 states, and was heavily involved in the plan confirmation proceeding. Alterra Healthcare Corp. (Bankr. D. Del.).

Post-Bankruptcy Financing via Mortgage and Sale/Leaseback Arrangements

Strada Funding, LLC (ME and NH). Successfully represented a private lender seeking to recover in excess of $2.7 million from eight guarantors of loans made to former Chapter 11 debtor, Strada 315, LLC, the developer of a $35 million mixed-use condominium project located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Recovery from Loan Guarantors to Chapter 11 Debtor

Foreside Company Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Me.). Represented Chittenden Bank as secured creditor and DIP lender with claims in excess of $7.5 million.

Secured Creditor Claims in Foreside Company Chapter 11

Successfully represented California Department of Water Resources and California Electricity Oversight Board in opposing Calpine's proposed rejection of multi-billion dollar wholesale power purchase agreement. Calpine Corporation Chapter 11 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.). See 337 B.R. 27 (S.D.N.Y. 2006).

Successfully Opposed Rejection of Wholesale Power Purchase Agreement

Distributed Energy Systems Corp. and Northern Power Systems, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.). Successfully preserved contested intellectual property rights of The Timberland Company under section 365(n).

Successfully Preserved Contested Intellectual Property Rights