Bankruptcy & Creditors Rights


Bowditch & Dewey’s well known and highly respected Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights Practice has a long history of substantial engagements in the region’s largest bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings. The Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights Practice is supported by a full service firm of approximately 70 lawyers with expertise in key areas of law involved in major disputes arising in Chapter 11 cases, including labor and employment, pension law, environmental law, tax, real estate, mergers and acquisitions and complex litigation.

Our Approach

We offer our clients cost-effective, practical business solutions to the complex issues that arise in Chapter 11 and other insolvency cases. We bring added value to clients with our interdisciplinary approach and understanding of how complex transactions and the underlying structure and documents can be attacked or defended or restructured to the benefit of our clients.

Our Clients

We have represented a wide range of clients in diverse industries such as manufacturing, technology, utilities, telecommunications, healthcare and real estate developers in complex Chapter 11 and other insolvency cases. Our engagements have included serving as counsel to:

  • Debtors
  • Creditors' committees
  • Secured and unsecured lenders and DIP lenders
  • Bank syndicates
  • Boards of Directors and director committees
  • Equity holder committees
  • Liquidating trusts
  • Trustees and other fiduciaries

Our Services

We provide advice and litigate issues relating to the following:

  • Corporate restructuring
  • Insolvency proceedings
  • Sale or acquisition of troubled companies/divisions
  • Asset sales
  • Valuation disputes
  • Subordination actions
  • Preference actions
  • Fraudulent conveyance actions
  • Tort and environmental actions
  • Corporate governance issues
  • ERISA and employment issues involving pension plans and retention plans

Representative Experience

Creditors’ Committees and Equity Security Holder Committees

  • Co-Counsel to the Official Committee of Equity Holders in the Chapter 11 case of High Voltage Engineering Corp. et al, an affiliated group of industrial and technology based manufacturing and service businesses. Successfully litigated plan confirmation issues resulting in substantial dividend to equity holders.
  • Co-Counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 Case of Syratech, Inc., et al, a table top and giftware company (Wallace Silversmiths, Towle Silversmiths) United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, in which a pre-packaged Chapter 11 Plan converting bondholder indebtedness to equity was confirmed within three (3) months of filing of the Chapter 11 case.
  • Co-counsel to Creditors' Committee in Chapter 11 case of Casual Male, Inc., an Eastern seaboard retailer of big and tall men’s clothing, acquired while in Chapter 11 by J. Baker, Inc.
  • Counsel to Creditors' Committee in Chapter 11 cases of A.J. Lane & Co., Inc. and related entities, one of the largest real estate bankruptcies in the northeast with more than $100 million of debt, dozens of entities and real estate developments in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and California. Committee members included Perini Corporation and Massachusetts Electric Companies (now National Grid).
  • Counsel to Creditors' Committee in Chapter 11 case of Axton Cross Company, Inc., a northeastern chemical distributor, in which the committee successfully negotiated and confirmed a Chapter 11 plan. Committee members included DuPont and Monsanto.

Chapter 11 Debtors’ Counsel

  • Counsel to Century Electronics Manufacturing, Inc., et al., Chapter 11 Debtors. Debtors provided contract electronics manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers in telecom industry (Motorola, Nortel, and others) with domestic operations in Massachusetts, California and Florida and overseas operations in the United Kingdom and Thailand. Aggregate debt of $110 million and aggregate annual sales of $160 million at commencement of Chapter 11 case.
  • Counsel to Summerfield Nursing Home, co-debtors in Chapter 11 cases involving four operating nursing homes, with aggregate debt totaling $15 million. Successfully structured a sale of the nursing homes to a national nursing home operator and confirmed a liquidating Chapter 11 plan.

Counsel to Financial Institutions and Secured Creditors

  • Counsel to First Fidelity Bank, holder of $41 million of senior mortgage debt on convenience stores and processing plans in New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York, in Chapter 11 case of Cumberland Farms, Inc. Successfully negotiated restructuring of secured claim in midst of “cram down” litigation.
  • Co-Counsel to senior-secured lender, H.I.G. Capital, in the Chapter 11 cases of Brookfield Group, L.L.C., et al. Orchestrated 363 sale of debtor’s assets and client’s successful credit bid.
  • Co-Counsel to JPMorgan Chase & Co., as agent of a syndicate of lenders holding approximately $150 million of senior secured debt in the Chapter 11 cases of ACT Manufacturing, Inc. et al.
  • Co-counsel to Chemical Bank, agent for a consortium of banks holding senior-secured debt in excess of $95 million, in Chapter 11 case of Healthco International, Inc., among the largest dental products suppliers in North America.
  • Successfully opposed imposition of a “priming” lien at commencement of the Chapter 11 case.
  • Counsel to creditor, Ken-Weld, Inc., successful co-proponent of third party plan of reorganization in the Chapter 11 case of Bruno Machinery Corp. (New York).
  • Counsel to Trade Creditors and Critical Vendors
  • Counsel to Osram Sylvania, holder of claims exceeding $5 million in Hechinger Investment Company (HQ) Chapter 11 case in Delaware.
  • Counsel to President and Fellows of Harvard College in the Kmart Corporation Chapter 11 proceedings (Illinois).
  • Litigated successfully various lease termination and lease assumption issues.
  • Counsel to “critical vendor”/professional in American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., Chapter 11 case (Delaware), obtaining payment in full of all pre-petition and post-petition fees and expenses of client.
  • Counsel to President and Fellows of Harvard College in the Arthur D. Little, Inc. (n/k/a Dehon, Inc.) bankruptcy, successfully litigating $25 million lease rejection claim and large administrative expense claim. Served as Harvard’s representative on both the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Liquidating Plan Committee.
  • Counsel to senior secured bank creditor in Capitol Enterprises, Inc. Chapter 11 case, a discount retailer with stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and $1.6 million of mortgage debt due from related entities.
  • Representation of large reclamation claimant in bankruptcy litigation in Chapter 11 case of National Gypsum Company in Dallas, Texas.
  • Counsel to Injectronics, Inc. in the Chapter 11 case of Blue Water Automotive Systems, Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan. Currently litigating guaranty mitigation and other issues relating to client’s sale of assets to the debtor.
  • Counsel to equipment lessor, CNH Capital, LLC, in the Chapter 11 case of Tools 4 Hire, Inc. Obtained relief from stay over objection of debtor and creditors committee and oversaw secured party sale of assets.
  • Counsel to Verizon Communications, Inc., in Chapter 11 proceedings of two competitive local exchange carriers, Prospeed, Inc, and Bramacom, Inc.