The Hirschler bankruptcy team is well known in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia for its debtor representations. In the past decade, the team has represented dozens of chapter 11 debtors, including real estate developers, technology companies, healthcare related businesses, continuing care retirement communities, multi-family housing owners, manufacturers, government contractors, petroleum wholesalers and retailers, a national operator of medical testing facilities, high net worth individuals, farm operators, physicians, and an array of goods and service providers, with asset values ranging from $2,000,000 to over $100,000,000. Our team achieved successful resolutions for our clients in the great majority of these cases, whether in the form of a confirmed plan of reorganization or liquidation, an asset sale, or a structured dismissal.
Our representation of debtors begins with a comprehensive review of the client’s business situation. We analyze the source of the financial distress and provide strategic alternatives for alleviating financial pressure points. We recognize that while the Bankruptcy Code offers valuable tools for distressed businesses, all options must be weighed and a comprehensive strategy must be developed to address all of the underlying problems.
The team also represents chapter 7 debtors and trustees in cases, both business and consumer, where the appointment of a chapter 7 trustee and prompt liquidation of assets is warranted by the circumstances. Our chapter 7 debtor and trustee clients have included government contractors, construction companies, individuals, real estate developers, property managers, and goods and service providers.
Hellbender Brewery LLC
Hirschler attorneys represented Hellbender Brewing Company LLC (“HBC”) in its chapter 11 reorganization. HBC is a small independent craft brewery located in Washington, D.C. HBC faced cash flow problems and fell behind on its payments to its landlord and secured lender. It was also subject to a highly unfavorable distribution agreement for its beer products within the District of Columbia. Hirschler attorneys were able to successfully negotiate forbearance agreements with HBC’s landlord and its secured lender prior to the bankruptcy filing, but HBC’s distributor would not agree to an acceptable termination of the distribution agreement. In the course of the bankruptcy proceedings, Hirschler attorneys successfully litigated the rejection of the distribution agreement and a significant reduction in the amount of the distributor’s claim for damages. HBC confirmed a plan of reorganization in July 2017 and emerged from bankruptcy the following month.
Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc.
Hirschler served as special conflicts counsel to Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. and two of its affiliates (sophisticated blood testing labs) in their chapter 11 reorganizations, handling all issues raised and contested by BB&T, including approval of a $12 million debtor in possession priming credit facility that enabled HDL to complete and close its strategic sale process. The net result was a confirmed plan of liquidation and appointment of a liquidating trustee.
Richard Arrowsmith as the Liquidating Trustee of the HDL Liquidating Trust
Subsequent to serving as special conflicts counsel to Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. in its chapter 11 reorganization, Hirschler serves as counsel to Richard Arrowsmith in his capacity as the Liquidating Trustee of the HDL Liquidating Trust, assisting Mr. Arrowsmith in the pursuit of claims and recoveries for the beneficiaries/creditors of the Trust.
Trustee – Estates of David and Jane Fairweather
In September 2016, Larry Katz was appointed as the chapter 11 trustee to administer the individual chapter 11 bankruptcy estates of David and Jane Fairweather, and Hirschler attorneys represent Larry in his capacity as chapter 11 Trustee. Mr. and Mrs. Fairweather owned a real estate agency, along with numerous rental and investment properties. They both filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2014. Upon his appointment as Trustee, Larry effectively stepped into the Fairweathers’ shoes with respect to their business interests and successfully negotiated a plan of reorganization between the Fairweathers and their many secured and unsecured creditors. After the plan was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court, Larry continued to serve as the Liquidating Trustee, marketing and selling properties and investigating and litigating creditor claims.
Kevin R. McCarthy as Chapter 7 Trustee for D.C. Diamond Corporation
Hirschler serves as special litigation counsel to Kevin R. McCarthy, the chapter 7 trustee in the chapter 7 bankruptcy case of D.C. Diamond Corporation. D.C. Diamond owned several retail centers and office buildings in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Initially filed as a chapter 11 case in 2012, the case was converted to chapter 7 in 2015. Thereafter, Mr. McCarthy retained Hirschler to represent him in connection with the pursuit of avoidance action claims, claims objections, and objections to real estate sales.
Sanford Capital LLC
Sanford Capital LLC (“SC”) owns or controls numerous entities that own multi-family apartment buildings in the District of Columbia. SC engaged Hirschler to file chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions for several of these entities, with the goal of selling the real property and recovering the equity in the property. Thus far Hirschler attorneys have filed four bankruptcy cases for SC entities: In re Martin’s View Apartments LLC; In re 315 Franklin LLC; In re Mayfair-Corcoran LLC; and In re Mayfair-Hawaii LLC. All of these cases are or were pending before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia.
William E. Callahan as chapter 7 Trustee for Parham Construction Company
Hirschler served as counsel to the chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy case of Parham Construction Company in the Western District of Virginia. The case involved a site development operator, and Hirschler, initially as counsel to the creditors committee, successfully moved for the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee to operate the business and liquidate its assets. In consultation with the chapter 11 trustee, the case was converted to chapter 7, and Hirschler then represented the chapter 7 trustee in liquidating and administering assets for the benefit of creditors, including the sale of insurance policies and the resolution of avoidable transfer claims and claims objections.
Tuskeena Wytheville Center, LLC
Hirschler served as counsel to Tuskeena Wytheville Center, LLC, a chapter 11 reorganization in the Western District of Virginia. Hirschler succeeded in obtaining debtor-in-possession financing and, later, confirmation of a chapter 11 plan of reorganization, which made it possible for the company to make necessary improvements to its shopping center and emerge from bankruptcy with a more manageable debt structure.