Practice Areas under Creditor & Lender Rights
A record number of business failures and high unemployment continue to plague the economy. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reported a record number of individual and business bankruptcy filings in 2009 and 2010; this was the highest number of filings for any period since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act went into effect in 2005.
In this climate, many creditors assume they have no recourse when they receive a bankruptcy notice about one of their debtors. At Christian & Small, our lawyers strive to provide options to maximize a recovery ranging from the analysis of good faith filings, aggressive argument of first day motions, dealing with cash collateral issues, pursuing guarantors, challenging a debtor’s discharge where appropriate and maximizing value through court authorized asset sales.
The bankruptcy, creditor and lender rights attorneys of Christian & Small regularly represent the rights of creditors, lenders, financial institutions, corporations, small businesses and individuals under applicable state and federal debtor/creditor laws. Our lawyers routinely appear before all ten bankruptcy judges in Alabama and have made special appearances in other states such as Delaware, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. We assist clients with commercial collections, loan workouts, lender liability, insolvency matters, lien disputes and foreclosures. We routinely represent clients in litigation involving stay relief, preferences, lien avoidance, secured transactions, fraudulent transfers, setoff, breach of contract or warranty, foreclosure, accounts receivable, inventory financing and real estate matters, as well as trade secrets cases and disputes between businesses.
Business and Commercial Litigation
Commercial litigation, encompassing all business conflicts, is a vast arena. Business differences arise on a daily basis for individuals, privately-held and publicly-traded companies. When you’re looking for the most favorable result in a business dispute, having an attorney with diverse commercial litigation experience is a game changer.
High-quality business litigation attorneys will understand your business, its objectives and the consequences of certain actions throughout the case. That means they understand how to devise and execute strategies designed to not only achieve a favorable result, but to minimize disruption and manage costs.
Christian & Small’s business and commercial litigation practice thrives as a result of the investment we make to understand our clients’ day-to-day business issues and long-term strategies and goals. We pride ourselves on building collaborative relationships with our clients, working together to devise and execute strategies designed not only to achieve a favorable result, but to minimize disruption and manage costs. Our attorneys have tried, arbitrated, mediated and handled appeals of virtually every type of commercial dispute including contracts, business torts, securities, shareholder disputes, antitrust, intellectual property, and trade secret litigation. Our dedication to excellence and practicality has gained notice among the bench and bar, and our trial experience is unparalleled.
- Defended a software company against claims for theft of trade secrets and for inducing a competitor’s chief information officer to breach a covenant not to compete. When the jury returned an adverse verdict following a three-week trial, Christian & Small obtained a reversal of the verdict (and ultimately a complete dismissal for its client) when the Alabama Supreme Court agreed that no evidence of a trade secret had been presented.
- Christian & Small served as lead counsel for the largest unsecured creditor of a nearly 100 year ship yard in the commencement of a contested involuntary bankruptcy. Through a complex chain of efforts, the firm was able to force a sale of corporate assets, obtain an allowed claim in excess of $40 million and negotiate favorable concessions in a hard fought fight that resulted in the confirmation of a consensual plan.
- The firm served as part of the litigation team that represented the bankruptcy trustee of Just for Feet. At the time of its Chapter 11 filing, Just For Feet was one of the largest athletic shoe retailers in the country. Through the aggressive pursuit of accounting malpractice and corporate governance claims, Christian & Small was a principal part of the team that successfully resolved the case on terms reported nationally in the Wall Street Journal.
Restructuring & Distressed Investing
Many investors are finding money-making opportunities in insolvency and corporate decline. Experts have authored books and newsletters about bankruptcy investing. Hopeful investors comb 10Ks for signs of a company’s financial distress and precursors to default. Fund representatives seek prospective properties in bankruptcy filings. Bankruptcy rules require debtors and trustees to give notice of the sale of any assets, including distressed properties and real estate foreclosures, debt or equity securities. But who is looking out for the rights of the creditors and lenders involved in these complex deals?
The bankruptcy restructuring and distressed investing attorneys of Christian & Small represent secured lenders, banks, and providers of commercial credit in distressed debt transactions. We have represented distressed debt investors and third-party purchasers of loans in workout situations. Our lawyers understand the ins and outs of these sophisticated transactions, including deals with forbearance agreements and repayment plans involving multiple parties and forms of collateral.