Bankruptcy and Reorganization

Client and Industry Challenges

Bankruptcies, insolvencies and reorganizations are complex, highly regulated and financially demanding processes that often require the assistance of experienced counsel who can offer practical solutions and achieve tangible, timely and cost-effective results.

Snell & Wilmer's bankruptcy and reorganization team is one of the largest and most dynamic in the United States. Our clients benefit from the team's extensive depth and experience in representing commercial creditors, debtors, debtors-in-possession, trustees, committees and third parties in all aspects of the bankruptcy and debt collection process. Collectively, the team has well over 100 years of experience in these matters. We work closely with each of our clients to understand their business, their legal issues and their financial challenges, and assist them in developing and implementing an effective strategy to accomplish their objectives.

Snell & Wilmer’s team of trial and appellate attorneys litigate all issues that can arise in the context of a complex corporate restructuring. Our experienced lawyers regularly represent debtors, Chapter 11 trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, committees, and officers and directors in Chapter 11 proceedings. They litigate contested plans, director and officer litigation, adversary proceedings, stay relief trials, claim objections, and preference actions. Snell & Wilmer’s team is well-equipped to represent their clients in all aspects of insolvency law.

Areas of Service

State Law Services

  • Pre-bankruptcy loan restructuring, workouts and recoveries
  • State law foreclosures
  • Receiverships
  • Pre-judgment attachments, garnishments and replevins
  • Judgment enforcement and collections
  • Asset sales and liquidations
  • State law avoidance actions
  • Attachments, injunctions, restraining orders and provisional remedies

Bankruptcy Services

  • Secured and unsecured creditor, individual and corporate debtor and debtor-in-possession, trustee and committee representation in all aspects of Chapter 11 proceedings
  • Prosecuting and defending bankruptcy-related causes of action, such as preferences, fraudulent transfers, lien avoidance actions and non-dischargeability claims
  • Prosecuting and defending relief from stay motions, cash collateral motions and adequate protection proceedings
  • Providing and obtaining debtor-in-possession financing
  • Negotiating, objecting to and prosecuting plans of reorganization
  • Prosecuting and defending claim objections
  • Seeking appointments of trustees and examiners

Clients We Serve

Our bankruptcy and reorganization team has represented clients in various industries, including preparation and distribution of food and packaged consumer products; banking, equipment finance and leasing; brokerage; utilities, transportation and telecommunications; farming, ranching and dairy; franchising; pharmaceuticals; heavy machinery and equipment manufacturing; medicine and health care; mining; real estate development, entitlement and construction; asset-based lending; gaming; software development and utilization; insurance; governmental entities, agencies and political subdivisions; and labor unions.

Why Clients Select Us

Recognized and Involved: Several of our bankruptcy and reorganization partners have been recognized by their peers in the Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc. of South Carolina); additionally, many of our partners are AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Members of the team are frequently asked to speak at legal seminars and industry conferences, and have authored articles in legal and business publications on various bankruptcy and insolvency topics. Our attorneys are actively involved with various local and national insolvency associations; several also hold leadership positions in these organizations.

Interdisciplinary Approach: As part of a full-service business law firm, our bankruptcy and reorganization team is able to offer clients the benefit of an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving. As necessary, we draw upon the talents of lawyers who are knowledgeable in related areas such as tax, real estate, corporate law, securities and environmental regulation. This is particularly important because non-bankruptcy issues often become the focus of significant disputes in a Chapter 11 proceeding. Depending upon the client's needs, the team is capable of pursuing an aggressive litigation approach through the use of commercial litigators, as well as pursuing a consensual or negotiated compromise involving transactional attorneys with experience in sophisticated deal documentation. Working in tandem with attorneys in other practice disciplines allows the bankruptcy and reorganization team to provide efficient, cost-effective representation in complex proceedings.


Some of the team’s recent engagements include:

Debtor and Debtor-in-Possession Representations in Bankruptcy

  • Reorganizing a national commercial bakery through Chapter 11
  • Representing a Chapter 11 debtor that owned a 550-lot residential real estate development
  • Reorganizing a national government contractor with over $150 million in annual sales
  • Serving as general bankruptcy counsel to a leading medical software company providing web-based claims and records processing for physicians, helping it to liquidate its business as a going concern within 60 days after filing the case, and then confirming a plan of reorganization to distribute the proceeds of the sale

Trustee and Committee Representations in Bankruptcy

  • Representing the liquidating agent in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of a national roadway transportation company
  • Serving as counsel to the Chapter 11 trustee of a large dairy farm
  • Representing a trustee in connection with claims asserted by more than 1,200 investors in various viatical insurance policies with an aggregate face value exceeding $55 million
  • Representing the Committee of General Unsecured Creditors in a large dairy case

Secured Creditor Representations in Bankruptcy

  • Representing creditors in seeking full payment or return of collateral in Chapter 12 farm reorganizations
  • Assisting the largest secured creditor of a large Chapter 11 regional franchisee in Northern District of Texas
  • Defending against the subordination of a national bank's claim so it could seek to obtain a 100% payment on its claim in the bankruptcy of a medical facility
  • Assisting with a secured loan, plus a substantial prepayment premium, on behalf of a large financial institution in connection with the sale of commercial property in a Chapter 11 case
  • Conducting forensic due diligence that uncovered the unauthorized transferee of a client's income-producing collateral
  • Uncovering eastern European ghost-loans allegedly secured by a client’s income-producing collateral
  • Representing a secured creditor group with claims exceeding $60 million in a large mining bankruptcy

Unsecured Creditor Representations in Bankruptcy

  • Prosecuting reclamation claims of a large chemical manufacturer
  • Representing commercial landlords in matter related to evictions of non-paying tenants in bankruptcy
  • Prosecuting reclamation claims of large Arizona manufacturers in cases pending in Delaware and Florida and defending preference claims in those bankruptcies
  • Assisting a large laminate supplier with a $1.7 million claim in a New York bankruptcy proceeding and in structuring a future business relationship with the debtor
  • Representing insurers in the reorganization of a non-profit religious organization facing sexual harassment suits
  • Negotiating and documenting the purchase of intellectual property rights from the trustee in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy of a financial services company
  • Representing and advising numerous franchisors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases filed by franchisees and/or their guarantors
  • Serving as counsel for a consortium of municipalities in a large Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding
  • Prosecuting claims on behalf of a group of customers who invested in funds

Miscellaneous Bankruptcy- and Insolvency-Related Matters

  • Assisting a national equipment finance company in defending alleged claims for violations of the automatic stay in which the debtor sought several hundred thousand dollars in damages
  • Representing large paper supplier in an adversary proceeding seeking damages for alleged nonpayment of an open account
  • Assisting a large transportation company with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case
  • Representing a national distributor of vitamins and nutritional supplements in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of a drug manufacturer and in a related products liability lawsuit
  • Representing a large national bank in conjunction with a Chapter 7 liquidation and fraud investigation
  • Defending a large supplier of electronic equipment and parts in a $1.5 million preference claim by a bankruptcy trustee
  • Counseling a national bank in a combined Arizona Corporation Commission state court receivership and in a multi-debtor bankruptcy ponzi scheme investigation
  • Assisting investors in a privately held company with the takeover and acquisition of a data hosting center

Creditor Representations Outside of Bankruptcy

  • Representing a large financial institution in a wrongful levy action against the United States
  • Representing secured lenders in workouts and note purchases secured by commercial real property
  • Identifying and seizing hidden assets, and assisting with an accounts-freeze order over the assets of a foreign government maintained by a foreign bank with branches located in California
  • Representing a large equipment supplier and creditor in connection with a $2.3 million claim
  • Defending a large national commercial lender in multi-million dollar lender liability litigation
  • Regularly counseling several lenders and financial institutions in recovered and disposed of real estate collateral