Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights

Increasing economic pressures, a changing regulatory environment and the rapid revamping of business models combine to create enormous challenges for those doing business in the United States and beyond. Many companies and creditors today are faced with critical, complex problems that cannot be solved quickly or easily by formulaic approaches or traditional thinking. Successfully navigating bankruptcy, reorganization and related litigation problems requires experience, resolve and a willingness to examine issues from a variety of fresh perspectives.

Attorneys in Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi’s Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group represent both creditors and debtors in a myriad of business ventures. With decades of experience in this arena, we have an understanding of the financial issues that extends far beyond the current economic environment. Our representation of clients during the savings and loan crisis of the mid-1980s and the rapid rise and fall of high-tech companies during the course of the last 10 years taught us the importance of applying rigorous, analytical thinking and “out of the box” creative solutions.

The Group and its members are regularly recognized as leading bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practices and practitioners in New Jersey, including in the "Best Law Firms" rankings published by U.S. News, Best Lawyers, Chambers USA (America’s leading Lawyers for Business), and New Jersey Super Lawyers, among others.

Our attorneys regularly represent clients throughout the United States, with a focus on activity occurring in the New York Metropolitan area, including New Jersey, Delaware and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

In the present economic climate, entities in bankruptcy must anticipate hurdles to obtaining financing; and reorganizations are being driven at warp speed, often by secured creditors. Prepackaged bankruptcies are resulting in confirmation of Plans in months, if not weeks, rather than over traditionally, protracted timeframes. Creditor groups, such as unsecured creditors, junior note and bondholders, equity holders and public and private investors, must react swiftly or find themselves "out of the money".

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi attorneys deliver rapid responses to fast moving bankruptcy challenges that help its clients secure a seat at the table and, hopefully, increase their recoveries. We avoid unnecessary litigation, but when litigation is required, we focus on achieving the best outcome possible for our clients at the most cost-effective rates. To this end, we collectively bring to bear more than 75 years of experience and the determination to see business issues through resolution.

Our bankruptcy and creditors’ rights attorneys also work closely with other Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi attorneys, to counsel clients on business, environmental, tax, intellectual property, labor and real estate matters pertinent to reorganization. This cross-disciplinary approach positions us to address the broad range of legal issues every bankruptcy presents.

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi represents clients in all aspects of creditor-debtor relations, including:

  • Counseling creditors, including major commercial banking and financial institutions, by preparing proposals and, if appropriate, instituting litigation to maximize their return and to recover collateral
  • Representing lenders in extensions of debtor-in-possession financing and related documentation
  • Enforcing security interests, liens and guarantees in federal and state courts
  • Representing financially distressed companies in developing legal strategies, negotiating with creditors and creditor groups, and formulating reorganization plans through out-of-court or chapter 11 proceedings
  • Representing creditors' committees and committee members, as well as trustees appointed under chapters 7 and 11
  • Advising on acquisitions of stock and/or assets of corporations in reorganization
  • Handling matters related to state court actions to recover goods, complex commercial foreclosures and pre-judgment writs of attachment
  • Enforcing the rights and remedies of sureties and insurers in reorganization proceedings
  • Handling the prosecution and defense of bankruptcy-related litigation, including valuation and cash collateral hearings, motions to vacate the automatic stay and contested matters such as adequate protection, transfer avoidance and asset recovery issues

Our clients represent a diverse cross-section of industries, including real estate, retail, manufacturing, telecom, health care, energy, automotive, franchising, construction and banking. Some of our more recent representations include:

  • HSBC Bank in bankruptcy and restructuring matters related to commercial borrowers
  • A multi-national general contractor, in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of a casino that was filed during performance of a $250 million construction contract
  • A major insurance company, as national bankruptcy counsel, to enforce rights and remedies as issuer of workers compensation policies to chapter 11 debtors
  • Landlords or contractors in high-profile cases such as Trump Resorts in Atlantic City, Sirva, Delta Airlines and Refco
  • MWHF Palisades Park LLC, an affiliate of Phoenix Realty Group, as the "stalking horse" bidder in connection with a real estate acquisition in the bankruptcy of Tarragon Corporation, a New York City-based mixed-use developer
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Velocita Corp. (formerly PF.Net) chapter 11 reorganization in New Jersey
  • The Bank of New York, a secured lender, in the O'Brien Environmental chapter 11 reorganization in New Jersey
  • Cardinal Health, a $100 billion public company, in bankruptcy cases across the country
  • National surety clients in the Chapter 11 reorganizations of:
    • Exide Technologies (DE)
    • Unitek Global Services, Inc. (DE)
    • Xtreme Power Inc., Xtreme Power Systems, LLC, and Xtreme Power Grove, LLC
    • USEC Inc.
    • Allens, Inc. and All Veg, LLC
    • Enron (S.D.N.Y.)
    • Adesta Communications, Inc. (Colorado)
    • Lyondell Chemical Company (S.D.N.Y.)
    • Tronox Incorporated (S.D.N.Y.)
    • Grace Industries (E.D.N.Y.)
    • SemCrude, L.P. (Delaware)
    • Exodus Communications, Inc. (now EXDS, Inc.) (Delaware)
    • The Grand Union Company (New Jersey)
    • American Tissue, Inc. (Delaware)
    • The Warnaco Group (S.D.N.Y.)
    • Polaroid Corporation (Delaware)
    • Venture Link Holdings (Texas)
    • RBX Corporation (Virginia)
  • Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc. in the Acme Auto Leasing Chapter 11 reorganization in Connecticut
  • Public Service Electric & Gas, Inc., a regional power utility, in the Thermal Systems, Inc., chapter 11 reorganization in Delaware
  • A major national retailer and real property owner in chapter 11 cases filed by their vendors and/or tenants in Delaware, California, Puerto Rico, New York, Virginia, Texas and New Jersey