Corporate Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights


Ulmer & Berne has a versatile Corporate Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group marked by significant experience representing creditors, debtors, lenders and trustees. Our diverse and comprehensive practice allows us to consider and evaluate matters from the perspectives of all major bankruptcy constituencies. This unique approach strengthens and improves our ability to represent clients creatively, efficiently and successfully. Our versatility and experience enable Ulmer & Berne to bring added value to the representation of our clients.

Each member of the Corporate Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group is an accomplished bankruptcy practitioner. Members of the group are well known and highly-regarded in their field. Our attorneys are invited speakers at leading bankruptcy seminars and publish articles on current trends and developments in bankruptcy and insolvency matters. Two of our partners are board certified in business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification.

The members of the Corporate Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group represent creditors’ committees, creditors, debtors, trustees and lenders in a variety of bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related matters. In addition, Ulmer & Berne handles bankruptcy and insolvency-related litigation as well as distressed sales and acquisitions. Attorneys in the group have appeared in every bankruptcy court in Ohio as well as bankruptcy courts in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Primary group members have also handled appeals of bankruptcy matters in appellate and federal district courts throughout the country.

Although the group’s members are well-seasoned bankruptcy lawyers, we recognize that bankruptcy matters can give rise to many complicated issues that impact our clients’ strategies and decisions. In matters that fall outside of the group’s main area of expertise, the firm provides a full range of services in all areas of law.

Cleveland-based counsel Jennifer Monty Rieker was quoted in Law360’s recent coverage of Henson et al. v. Santander Consumer USA Inc. In Santander, the U.S. Supreme Court held that federal debt collection laws do not apply to banks that collect on debt that they buy. High Court Leaves Door Open For More Debt Collection Cases...

Ulmer Client Alert Topics: Consumer & Commercial Litigation; Corporate Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights By: Jennifer Monty Rieker & Reuel D. Ash Debt collectors scored a win on Monday when the United States Supreme Court ruled that pursuing stale debt is not a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Manju Gupta to the firm’s Cleveland office. Gupta joins Ulmer as counsel from McDonald Hopkins. “Manju has substantial experience helping clients resolve a variety of federal contracting issues,” said Jeffrey Dunlap, Co-Chair of Ulmer’s Business Litigation Practice Group. “Manju’s...

“Michael S. Tucker | Ulmer & Berne: Solving Problems Has Become His Business” Cleveland Jewish News January 15, 2016 Michael S. Tucker takes pride in his work as a business lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Read full article »

Ulmer & Berne is ranked in 39 categories in the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers highest rankings in 21 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 16 categories. Firms included in the 2016 “Best Law...

Ulmer & Berne is pleased to announce partner Michael S. Tucker has been appointed to the Council of Delegates of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) While the Council of Delegates has many responsibilities, it is at the Council of Delegate meetings where consideration of legislative proposals from OSBA committees...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is ranked in 40 categories in the 2015 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ highest ranking in 23 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 17 categories. Ulmer & Berne achieved a “Metropolitan Tier...

“State Bar Association Names Nine Clevelanders to Committees” Cleveland Jewish News January 24, 2014

March 2013 – The Ohio Legacy Trust Act is part of Ohio House Bill 479, commonly known as the Ohio Asset Management Modernization Act (the “Act”), which was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012 and which will take effect on March 27, 2013. With the passage...

Representative Experience

Select Chapter 11 Engagements

     Debtor Representation

  • Representation of a retail family clothing company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware.
  • Representation of a specialty consumer electronics retailer in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware.
  • Representation of a foundry company in Chapter 11 proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Representation of a franchisee of several local stores of national restaurant chain. Guided company through Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Representation of a manufacturer of private-label hair and beauty products. Administered company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and Section 363 sale.
  • Representation of a multi-store retailer. Guided company through Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Representation of a steel bar manufacturer with more than $1 billion of annual revenue. Guided companies through Section 363 sale of operating assets and wind-down of their bankruptcy estates.
  • Representation of a real estate company. Guided company through Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Representation of an outpatient imaging centers in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida in Chapter 11 reorganization in the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Representation of a Tier 1 automotive parts manufacturer. Guided Company through Chapter 11 proceedings and confirmation of its plan of liquidation.
  • Representation of an accounts receivable management services companies with annual revenue of approximately $175 million. Guided companies through Section 363 sale of their assets, administration of their Chapter 11 bankruptcies and confirmation of their plan of liquidation.
  • Representation of an insurance holding company with six subsidiaries in Chapter 11 proceedings in the Southern District of New York.
  • Representation of a sporting goods franchise. Guided company through Chapter 11 proceedings and Section 363 sale.
  • Representation of a family owned ceramic tile manufacturer. Guided Company through Chapter 11 and confirmation of its plan of reorganization.

Creditors’ Committee Representation

  • Representation of a Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 case of a leading designer, importer, and distributor of outdoor living garden decor, decorative flags and collegiate products.
  • Representation of a co-chair of Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 proceedings of online retail companies.
  • Representation of a Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 proceedings of a material handling equipment and forklift truck refurbishing company.
  • Representation of a Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 proceedings of an automotive maintenance and repair company.
  • Representation of a Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 proceedings of a minor league baseball club.
  • Representation of a Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 proceedings of a retail debtor.
  • Representation of a Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 proceedings of a steel manufacturing business.

     Other Bankruptcy Engagements

  • Representation of a major trucking industry financing company on an ongoing basis in replevin actions, deficiency actions and Bankruptcy Court.
  • Representation of a Chapter 11 Trustee of a real estate management and development company. Assisted with the administration Chapter 11 proceedings and asset dispositions.
  • Representation of a Tier 1 automotive parts manufacturer in various bankruptcy litigation matters.
  • Representation of an agent bank in automotive parts supplier’s Chapter 11 proceedings in the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Representation of a co-proponent of a plan of reorganization in conjunction with its acquisition of several nursing homes.
  • Advised an equity participant in the bankruptcy of a specialty chemical company in Chapter 11 proceedings in the Northern District of New Jersey.
  • Representation as special counsel to a liquidating Trustee in various bankruptcy litigation matters.
  • Representation of a purchaser of assets of an automotive wheel manufacturer in Chapter 11 proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Appointment as an Examiner in Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Representation of a bond trustee in a retail hardware chain’s Chapter 11 proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Representation of a local municipality in connection with a thermal energy provider’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Representation of a Secured Creditor in a real estate company’s bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Representation of physicians in a successful effort to block sale of hospital in Chapter 11 proceedings in Delaware.
  • Representation of landlord in a commercial tenant’s bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Representation as Special Counsel to a Chapter 11 Trustee. Assisted with the disposition of business assets of a mid-Ohio company.
  • Representation of a distributor of videotapes in Chapter 11 proceedings in Nevada.
  • Representation as real estate counsel to a regional automotive service company. Assisted with the sale of 80 stores in a Section 363 sale.

   Receivership Engagements

  • Representation of a court-appointed Receiver of an Ohio-based manufacturing and welding company. Represented Receiver with respect to on-going business maintenance, asset sale, and other organizational and legal matters.
  • Representation of a court-appointed Receiver of an Ohio-based company specializing in the production and repair of railroad track and machinery. Represented Receiver with respect to operation of business and administration of assets for the benefit of creditors.
  • Representation of a court-appointed Receiver of an Ohio-based aluminum manufacturing and processing company. Represented Receiver with respect to administration of assets, business maintenance, asset sale, and other operational and legal matters.
  • Representation of a court-appointed Receiver of a local recreational club. Represented Receiver with respect to asset sales and administration of assets for the benefit of creditors.
  • Representation of a court-appointed Receiver of a retail catalogue company. Represented Receiver with respect to operation of business and administration of assets for the benefit of creditors.

   Loan Transactions, Work-Outs & Restructurings

Borrower Representation

  • Representation of a Midwest-based manufacturer in an $11.4 million refinancing with lender, including an $8.2 million debt refinancing, a $3.2 million letter of credit, and bond refunding and $2.5 million in equipment financing.
  • Representation of an Ohio-based regional owner and operator of retail centers in connection with the refinancing of four strip shopping center and commercial building complexes in Stark County, Ohio.
  • Representation of a borrower in a $21 million secured loan transaction in which the collateral securing the loan included an aircraft.
  • Representation of an Ohio-based auto and marine supplier in the negotiation and consummation of a loan agreement for $3 million from a Cincinnati-based bank.
  • Representation of local developer in a $7.5 million construction financing to rehabilitate and convert industrial space into office space.
  • Representation of a local real estate development company with respect to various commercial matters.
  • Representation of a Borrower in a work-out of several parcels of real estate involving national lenders.
  • Representation of a major lifestyle center developer in retail tenant work-out issues.

     Lender Representation

  • Representation of a lender in the refinancing of a $40 million credit facility to an Ohio-based construction company and supplier of construction materials.
  • Representation in the $21 million refinancing of an apartment project with HUD under Section 223(a)(7).
  • Representation of a lender in a $24.5 million loan to refinance a hotel facility in Ohio.
  • Representation of an agent bank in an automotive parts supplier’s Chapter 11 proceedings in the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Representation of a lender in an $11 million loan in a multi-traunch transaction to refinance the existing phase of an Ohio office park and the construction of a second phase of the office park.
  • Representation of a lender in an $11 million loan to refinance an office park in Kentucky.
  • Representation of a lender in a $6.5 million loan to refinance an office building in Kentucky.
  • Representation of a Michigan-based mezzanine lender in a loan work-out involving a seller of motorcycle parts and accessories. The unique borrower only sold goods via the Internet and through catalogs. In a secured-party sale, the mezzanine lender recovered almost twice the estimated liquidation value of the collateral.
  • Representation as Special Counsel to a union pension fund in the completion and potential restructuring of a $31 million mini-perm construction loan.
  • Representation of a senior lender, a national bank and its syndicates, in the negotiation and drafting of a forbearance agreement on a residential condominium conversion loan in the amount $54 million.
  • Representation as counsel to a national bank in the successful work-out of a $25 million condominium conversion loan, including creation of a forbearance arrangement with borrower and ultimate third party sale of the property.
  • Representation of a large Cleveland-based financial institution in the restructuring and extension of two real estate loans and a related swap transaction in the aggregate amount of $1.5 million.
  • Representation as real estate counsel to a bank in a loan work-out involving several retail centers pledged as collateral by borrower.

   Distressed M&A

  • Representation as Special Counsel to a Chapter 11 Trustee. Assisted with the disposition of business assets of a mid-Ohio company through Section 363 sales.
  • Representation of a seller in the sale of client’s surgical instrument division to a Philadelphia-based publicly traded surgical instrument manufacturer and distributor.
  • Representation of a buyer in the acquisition of a Cleveland-based printing company.
  • Representation of a seller in Section 363 sale of approximately 700 properties of a convenience store chain.
  • Representation of a seller in Section 363 sale of 80 stores of an automotive service company.
  • Representation of a Receiver as seller of the assets of an Ohio-based aluminum manufacturing and processing company.
  • Representation of a publicly traded (Nasdaq) telecommunications company in various acquisitions of wireless and wireline telecommunications companies, including a $2.3 billion acquisition of a cellular telephone company.
  • Representation of a Receiver as seller of the assets of an Ohio-based manufacturing and welding company.
  • Representation of a seller in Section 363 sale of assets of a Tier 1 automotive parts manufacturer.
  • Representation of one of Ohio’s fastest growing waste disposal companies in several strategic acquisitions as well as a new senior bank credit facility and the private placements of new equity interests.
  • Representation of a seller in Section 363 sale of assets of a private-label hair and beauty products manufacturer.
  • Representation of a secured lender in the divestiture of four or more foundries located in Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana and New York.
  • Representation of a seller in Section 363 sale of assets of an accounts receivable management services companies.
  • Representation of a Receiver as seller of an Ohio-based company specializing in the production and repair of railroad track and machinery.
  • Representation of a Debtor in a bankruptcy case involving the liquidation of a home health company.