Business Bankruptcy

The Deal ranks Duane Morris among the most active bankruptcy practices in the United States. (Based on the number of cases with $25M+ in liabilities filed Q1-Q3 2017.)

Duane Morris' bankruptcy lawyers focus primarily on complex commercial chapter 11 cases. Clients from all industries turn to the firm for bankruptcy advice, drawing on experience gained during the firm's involvement in many of the most significant bankruptcy cases of the past three decades, from Penn Central to Braniff, Adelphia and Enron. Business publication The Deal consistently ranks Duane Morris as one of the most active bankruptcy practices in the United States. This experience translates into the ability, from the outset of an engagement, to know which questions to ask, which details matter, and how to efficiently distill facts into a plan to protect our clients' rights.

Representative listing of bankruptcy case representations

Several of our bankruptcy lawyers have either founded or are the current or past leaders of organizations throughout the nation dedicated to the development of the law and the vitality of local bar associations, and they practice before the United States Bankruptcy Courts. Many of our former partners have secured appointments to the federal judiciary, including three as United States Bankruptcy Court judges, and another as a circuit court judge for the United States Court of Appeals.

Debtors' and Trustees' Counsel

As counsel to debtors-in-possession and trustees, our lawyers handle all aspects of commercial bankruptcy cases, from the pre-petition planning, to the initial flurry of first-day filings, the arrangement of debtor-in-possession and exit financing, asset sales and, finally, the development and consummation of a plan of reorganization.

Our clients usually carry on their day-to-day operations while they reorganize. Thus, our lawyers are adept at managing everyday dealings with lenders, trade creditors, lessors, utility companies, employees, the U.S. Trustee and creditors' and equity committees. To help further ensure the continued smooth operation of their businesses, clients often call upon lawyers from Duane Morris' corporate, real estate, tax, insurance, intellectual property, ERISA and environmental practice groups.

Representative listing of Debtor/Trustee representations

Creditors' and Equity Holders' Counsel

Claimants and interest holders of all types, including official committees of unsecured creditors or equity holders, lenders, private investment companies, lessors, licensors and other individual creditors or equity holders rely on the firm to advance their interests. Throughout the bankruptcy process, clients receive a constant flow of information, giving them the knowledge necessary to make decisions. Indeed, Duane Morris lawyers established the much imitated "weekly lending group report" in an early case, giving all participants in the group, regardless of the size of their positions, complete information about the status and developments in the case.

Representative listing of Committee representations

Debtor-in-Possession Financing

Whether representing debtors or lenders, our lawyers are skilled at effectively negotiating, documenting and obtaining court approval of the financing agreements necessary to maintain the debtor's operations during a chapter 11 case or to consummate a plan of reorganization and exit chapter 11.

Section 363 Asset Sales

Investment companies and other operating businesses often seek to acquire the assets of a bankrupt company. The firm regularly advises clients interested in purchasing or investing in distressed and insolvent businesses on the risks and potential rewards involved. In addition to assisting with due diligence, negotiations and the preparation of the transaction documentation, we guide these clients through the bankruptcy court bidding and sale process.

Plans of Reorganization

Duane Morris lawyers have extensive experience in formulating restructuring or liquidation plans through negotiation, related transaction documentation and, if necessary, litigation. In addition, over the years, our lawyers have developed the particularized skills necessary to successfully confirm "pre-packaged" or "fast-track" plans. In fact, in 1986, Duane Morris lawyers achieved one of the first chapter 11 expedited plan confirmations for a publicly held company, taking National Railway Utilization Corporation through chapter 11 in Columbia, South Carolina, in 45 days from petition filing through plan consummation, even though creditors and shareholders had not approved the plan at the time the petition was filed.


Because the restructuring process is inherently contentious, with diverse constituencies competing over limited assets or distributions, clients benefit from the firm's substantial litigation experience before the United States Bankruptcy Courts. Whether prosecuting or defending claims, we advise each client on the risks and likelihood of success with each course of action and then team with each client to determine the best litigation strategy.

Cross-Border and Chapter 15 Cases

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 added a new chapter (chapter 15) to the United States Bankruptcy Code specifically dealing with cross-border insolvency cases. Chapter 15 incorporates UNCITRAL's Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and is designed to address cases where an insolvent debtor has assets or creditors in more than one country. Our lawyers currently represent a number of parties-in-interest with respect to ancillary or cross-border cases filed under chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy Case Representations

Bankruptcy Case Matters (Non-Debtor/Trustee/Committee)

A.S.K. Plastics Inc. Front Line Capital Grp. Inc. North Amer. Refractories Co.
Adelphia Comm. Corp. Fruit of the Loom, Inc. Oakwood Living Centers
Allied Holdings, Inc. GT Brands Holdings, LLC Palomar Mtn. Spr. Water Co.
Allserve Systems Corp. Harry & David Holdings Inc. Pocono Springs Motor Lodge
American Home Mortgage Hatteras Reinsurance Ltd. Protarga, Inc.
American Safety Razor Heilig-Meyers Co. Railwords Corp.
Ames Department Stores Integrated Disability Res., Inc. Randall's Island Family Golf Centers
Appleseed's Intermed. Holdings LLC Integrated Systems and Power, Inc. Refco, Inc., et al.
AstroPower Interstate Bakeries Corp. Reliance Grp. Holdings Inc.
Auto Tech Leasing LLC JRA 222 Inc. Rockefeller Center Properties
Birmingham Steel Corp. Kuecker Equipment Co., Ltd. ROL Manufacturing
Carmike Cinemas, Inc. Loewen Grp Intl, Inc. Solutia Inc.
Centaur, LLC Los Angeles Dodgers LLC Souders Mini Mrkt, Inc.
Chevy's, Inc. Lotz Designers St. Vincents Cath. Med. Cntr.
Converse, Inc. Medex Regional Lab., LLC Steele, Jamila H.
Delaco Company Merchant Land Fund I LLC Stone & Webster, Inc.
Dallas Stars, L.P. Mondo Inc. THCR/LP Corp.
Delphi Corp. MRY Corp. Transworld Airlines, Inc.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. MUMA Services Inc. Tribune Company
EBW Laser, Inc. Napster, Inc. Troll Comm., LLC
Enron Corp. Nellson Nutraceutical, Inc. US Airways
EOS Airlines, Inc. Neodyme Technologies Corp. Vincent J. Smith, et al.
Federal-Mogul Global, Inc. Newpage Corp. Washington Mutual, Inc.
Field Hotel Assoc., L.P. New Better Food Distrib., Inc. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc.
Foamex Intl., Inc. New Weathervane Ret. Corp. Winstar Comm., Inc.
Freedom Communications Holdings Nobex Corp. Zale Jewelers
Friendly Ice Cream Corp. North Amer. Bushman, Inc.  

Debtor/Trustee Representations

Atlantic Gulf Comm., Inc. Home Life Medical, Inc. Sleep Innovations, Inc.
Archway Cookies Kiwi Intl Airlines Spansion Inc.
Borden Chemicals Kuala Healthcare, Inc. The Langston Corp.
Bricolage Capital, LLC Lids Corp. Tower Air, Ltd.
CareMatrix Corp. Martha's Vineyard Hosp. United Petroleum Grp, Inc.
Caribbean Petroleum LP Med Diversified, Inc. Universal Access
Chemtura Corp. Oakwood Living Cntrs Video Update, Inc.
Digital Broadband Comm, Inc. Olympus Healthcare Grp, Inc. Vitts Networks, Inc.
Durango Georgia Paper Co. Rehrig International Inc. Wash Depot Holdings, Inc.
Fitness Innov. & Tech., Inc. Rockaway Bedding Inc. Zeta Consumer Prod, Inc.
Highlands Ins. Grp., Inc. Sarah Neuman Nursing Home  

Committee Representations

Aviation Compos. Svcs, Inc. Grand Court Lifestyles Solomon Dwek
Budget Grp., Inc. Harvard Industries, Inc. Sudbury, Inc.
Cedar Funding, Inc. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. The Oxford Finance Co., Inc.
Custom Food Products Jersey City Medical Cntr. Trico Steel Company, LLC
Deliland Foods Corp. McCabe United Companies Fin. Corp.
Edwards Paper Co. Neuromedical Systems, Inc. United Merchants & Manufactrs.
Enamelon, Inc. Orleans Home Builders, Inc. USG Corp.
Flooring America Phoenix Steel Corp. VF Brands, Inc.
Fluid Routing Intermed. Hold., Inc. Pittsburgh Penguins W.R. Grace & Co.
GEO Specialty Chem., Inc. Sonic Blue, inc.  

For More Information

For more information, please contact Rudolph J. Di Massa, Jr. or any of the practice members referenced in the Attorney Listing.

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