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A reminder for how property owners and real estate developers can protect themselves – and their projects – from downstream distress. There are six key issues that owners should consider when contracting for their next project.
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A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York highlights directors’ fiduciary duty to evaluate all aspects of multi-stage transactions, including those portions to be effectuated post-closing by successor directors.
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The Expanding Contours of Permissible Non-Debtor Releases in the Ninth Circuit

April 1, 2021 | Blog | By Andrew B. Levin, William Kannel

In a recent decision, In re Astria Health, Case No. 19-01189-WLH11, 2021 Bankr. LEXIS 155 (Bankr. E.D. Wash. January 22, 2021), the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington arguably further expanded the context in which non-debtor releases may be allowed.
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For bankruptcy litigators – or any business which has been frustrated to receive a demand letter after one of its customers filed bankruptcy – one particular amendment stands out in the CARES ACT bill. The Act amended Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code to provide suppliers and landlords with an additional potential challenge to actions brought to “claw back” payments made by a debtor in the 90 days preceding bankruptcy.
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The CARES Act assists debtors by amending Section 365(d)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code to allow, at the bankruptcy court’s discretion, small business debtors experiencing pandemic-related financial hardship an extra 60 days, in addition to the initial 60-day grace period, to make payments under unexpired leases of non-residential real property following the bankruptcy filing date.
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The CARES Act benefits both debtors and creditors by temporarily modifying several sections of the Bankruptcy Code, which may be of particular interest to creditors.
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The Automatic Stay: Supreme Court Finds that Retaining Debtors’ Property, Despite Turnover Demands, is Not a Stay Violation
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On December 1, 2020, certain amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure take effect. The amendments largely modify rules governing bankruptcy appeals, but also impact Rules 2002 and 2004.
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363 Sales as a Health Care M&A Tool, Part 2 – Pros and Cons for Buyers and Sellers

September 11, 2020 | Blog | By Deborah Daccord, William Kannel, Rachel Irving Pitts, Tim McKeon

Over the summer, we wrote about why health care companies may want to consider buying assets out of bankruptcy, taking advantage of the Bankruptcy Code Section 363 sale process (a "363 Sale”). We are back with our second post, to provide more detail to the process and discuss some pros and cons of 363 Sales.

As a refresher, a 363 Sale couples a flexible and fast process with ample liability protection for willing buyers. The primary benefit of a 363 Sale is that a buyer can acquire the debtor’s assets free and clear of virtually all liens, claims, and interests burdening the assets and the debtor. And when Section 363 is coupled with the “assumption and assignment” provisions of Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor is able to assign most contracts or leases that a buyer may wish to purchase, including contracts with ironclad anti-assignment language, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. When a target is experiencing severe financial distress, the benefit of acquiring assets “free and clear” is extraordinarily valuable.
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Third Circuit Upholds Cramdown, Downplays Subordination Agreement

September 4, 2020 | Blog | By Aaron Williams

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently confirmed that bankruptcy plans need not always recognize subordination agreements among creditors.
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363 Sales as a Health Care M&A Tool, Part 1 – Overview

July 28, 2020 | Blog | By Deborah Daccord, William Kannel, Rachel Irving Pitts, Tim McKeon

Although health care may be well positioned to weather an economic downturn as an industry, certain sectors, including ambulatory surgery, vision, dermatology, dental, and other physician practices will bear the brunt of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and patients delaying non-emergency care. While the onset of COVID-19 has delayed or derailed many transactions, strategic buyers should consider all of the different transaction tools available them to help maximize value and successfully get to closing. For knowledgeable investors and strategic buyers, now is the time to position yourself to acquire valuable health care assets at steep discounts.

For those unfamiliar with 363 Sales, a 363 Sale couples a flexible and fast process with ample liability protection for willing buyers. The primary benefit to a 363 Sale is that a buyer can acquire the debtor’s assets free and clear of virtually all liens, claims and encumbrances burdening the assets and the debtor. When a target is experiencing severe financial distress, the benefit of acquiring assets “free and clear of all liens” is extraordinarily valuable.
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Top 10 Questions Human Resources May Have When Their Company is Filing for Chapter 11 Protection

June 2, 2020 | Blog | By Andrew Matzkin, Kaitlin R. Walsh, William Kannel

Businesses in a wide range of industries may now be forced to consider bankruptcy given the unprecedented economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This advisory is designed to provide a high-level view of issues to be considered by human resources when considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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Leveraged loans continue to be a topic of interest in the current environment, particularly when they are pooled and securitized as collateralized loan obligations. A recent decision sheds light on whether and when leveraged loans and similar instruments may be classified as securities and, therefore, be subject to securities laws.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt businesses and markets, and companies begin to look to bankruptcy courts for relief from the resulting liquidity and operational distress, the issue of creditor and shareholder “blocking rights” seems likely to become an important topic as parties attempt to protect their investments.
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With courts and government agencies around the world enacting emergency measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic – ranging from complete shutdowns to delays and limitations – advancing the ball in dispute resolution is more challenging than ever.
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In a recent decision addressing valuation issues, the First Circuit has issued an important reminder – and warning – to creditors seeking to establish a secured claim in settlement proceeds based on a security interest in the settled claim. In short, the key lesson for would-be secured creditors is this – the value of a claim is not equal to the value of damages!
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President Trump signed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (the “SBRA”) into law in August of last year and it became effective on February 20, 2020. The SBRA amended the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and is designed to simplify and shorten the reorganization process for “small businesses” and to make the entire process more cost effective.
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On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (the “CARES Act”), a $2+ trillion stimulus package intended to ease the economic and social disruptions facing the country in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Congress Acts to Mitigate COVID-19 Impact

March 18, 2020 | Blog | By Anthony DeMaio, William Kannel, Leonard Weiser-Varon

Below is an update on legislative efforts by Congress and the White House to address the coronavirus pandemic, prepared by our D.C. colleagues at ML Strategies, who are closely following these fluid and fast-moving developments. Efforts to provide a supply of low cost working capital to the many businesses and entities experiencing operational and/or cash flow disruption may be of particular interest to our bondholder clients.
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