Workouts & Restructurings


Whether we are representing creditors, special servicers, debtors, or trustees, dealing with financially troubled businesses and loans requires a practical approach. The attorneys in our multidisciplinary Workouts & Restructurings Practice Group understand that the first step is to identify cost-effective business solutions to achieve a client's goals - only then can we develop appropriate legal strategies to implement those solutions.

Our workouts and restructurings attorneys also work in our Financial Transactions, Real Estate, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Tax, and Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights Practice Groups. Some have served as in-house counsel at major banks and financial institutions prior to joining our firm. All have extensive financial industry experience and are accustomed to dealing with the upswings and downturns in the financial and real estate markets. Our clients benefit from the collective experience of our team.

This combination of technical skill and practical experience enables us to explore the full range of options for resolving a problem, taking into account a client's specific goals and circumstances. We aggressively protect our clients' interests while balancing the risks associated with litigation and bankruptcy against the need for a swift resolution. We develop an appropriate "dual track" negotiation and litigation strategy to maximize recovery and fit the unique circumstances of each matter.

Our attorneys are experienced in all phases of commercial debt recovery litigation and mortgage foreclosure matters in various states, including scenarios involving properties in multiple jurisdictions. We assist clients in the election of remedies to maximize recovery, and in the effective use of receiverships. Members of this Practice Group aggressively prosecute actions to enforce guarantees and foreclose mortgages in federal and state courts, as well as to protect clients' rights in bankruptcy and appellate courts. We also counsel clients in the nonjudicial foreclosure of security interests pursuant to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

We work with investment banks, commercial banks, foreign banks, community banks, special servicers, public finance agencies, public corporations, closely held entities, court-appointed fiduciaries, and other investor and lender clients -- including private equity and real estate opportunistic funds, as well as mortgage REITs -- to explore and implement a broad range of strategies for default resolution. These include debt restructurings, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, forbearance and workout agreements, consensual foreclosure actions, debtor-in-possession financing, negotiation of additional collateral and/or guarantors, and private and public sales of distressed assets.

We also assist financial institutions and other investors in acquiring distressed loans from other institutions, and provide advice in connection with bidding at auction and, upon acquisition of an asset, reaching beneficial arrangements with debtors through voluntary workouts or consensual litigation.

Attorneys in our Workouts & Restructurings Group collaborate with attorneys in our other Practice Groups, enabling us to resolve any issue that may arise. In the event of a bankruptcy filing, our Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights Practice Group guides clients effectively through the process so that its rights are protected and its goals attained, through obtaining relief from stay, prevailing in contested bankruptcy litigation and effectuating transactions within the context of a bankruptcy plan. In multi-tranche and mezzanine financing, our Financial Transactions Practice Group negotiates, drafts, modifies and amends inter-creditor, participation and other co-lender agreements. Our Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group enforces our clients' rights in relation to other creditors and borrowers, including enforcing provisions of loan purchase agreements and loan servicing agreements, and enforcing all aspects of loan documents, including non-financial covenant defaults and carve-out triggers in non-recourse guarantees.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a national financial institution, obtaining payment-in-full to our client of a multi-million dollar loan in default, including all sums due for unpaid principal, contract rate interest, default rate interest, prepayment premium and enforcement costs.
  • Represented a national financial institution in the negotiation and closing of a $43 million loan restructuring, a loan that was secured by a mortgage on property improved by a Manhattan high-rise containing 290 apartments, commercial, and retail space and was on the cusp of a default due to the maturity of the indebtedness.
  • Represented a national financial institution in obtaining complete monetary recovery on an $8.9 million defaulted loan secured by a mortgage which covered property improved by a high-rise apartment building in the New York metropolitan area containing over two hundred residential units, including subsidized housing.
  • Represented an international business company as lender's counsel in connection with the closing of an extension and modification to an existing $168 million loan that provided financing for the acquisition and assemblage of 11 mid-town Manhattan fee parcels, the air rights appurtenant to 14 additional parcels and the pre-construction planning and development for the International Gem Tower.
  • Represented a large European bank in the $178 million restructuring of a multi-state portfolio of commercial mortgage real estate loans, simultaneously with a restructuring of other distressed commercial real estate assets in Europe.
  • Represented a large European bank in the refinancing of an existing $126 million mortgage loan on a Class A, architecturally noted office building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.
  • Advised institutional lenders, both domestic and foreign, and trustees of Industrial Development Agency (IDA) bond issues in the foreclosure of mortgages on properties improved by multifamily residential rental apartment buildings, cooperative buildings, health care facilities, commercial office and retail buildings, and industrial facilities.
  • Counseled a large corporate manufacturer in a number of complex litigation matters arising out of and pertaining to its bankruptcy filing and eventual Section 363 sale, including a $1 billion claim in connection with a massive federal Superfund site.
  • Advised a leading bank in the refinancing of a large portfolio of sponsor-owned luxury condominium units. The transaction involved a number of complex issues, including conveyance of unsold units to various sponsor affiliates, analysis of the sponsor's confirmed bankruptcy plan, discharge of mechanic's liens of record and coordination with other lenders and the title company.
  • Represented the bankruptcy trustee in the negotiation of a forbearance and reconveyance agreement resulting in a substantial financial recovery involving a day cruise ship berthed in Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Counseled a major New York real estate developer in a series of foreclosure actions, including the negotiation of a favorable settlement leading to the restructuring of a number of securitized commercial loans.
  • Advised one of the five largest U.S. banks, as the senior lender and agent for a five-bank syndicate, in a high-profile loan restructuring and foreclosure action.
  • Represented a financial institution in connection with politically sensitive and media-intensive contested foreclosure actions that resulted in note sales of a $30 million loan portfolio secured by mortgages covering nineteen apartment buildings in New York City.
  • Counseled an investment group in connection with foreclosure litigation, title, and municipal issues regarding its decision to bid on a $47 million loan secured by a mortgage on a condominium building in New York City.
  • Counseled to an investment group that held mezzanine debt of an entity that owned a New York City hotel, helping the client pursue its rights under an inter-creditor agreement, foreclose a security interest in the corporate borrower pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code, and recover money judgments against guarantors pursuant to payment guarantees and carve-out guarantees.
  • Advised a financial institution holding a multi-million dollar debt secured by a mortgage on a New York City apartment building complex, in the negotiation and enforcement of a Loan Purchase Agreement, including obtaining an order of the Bankruptcy Court directing the loan purchaser to swiftly close pursuant to the Agreement, after the loan purchaser filed a bankruptcy petition seeking to avoid its obligation to close, resulting in the entire loan indebtedness being paid.
  • Represented several investment groups in conjunction with the acquisition of multi-billion dollar distressed loan portfolios secured by commercial real estate and all asset pledges.
  • Counseled New York bank lenders concerning distressed construction loan portfolios, including completion of projects, recovery on payment and performance bonds, and resolutions of contractor and supplier liens.

Attorneys in the Workouts & Restructurings Group work closely with colleagues in the Firm's other Practice Groups, including Financial Transactions, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights; Real Estate; Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution; and Tax, providing clients with comprehensive representation.

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Partner and CPA, Rob Malatak, spoke with Crain's NY Business on the practical and strategic steps that lenders and borrowers should consider when dealing with loan defaults. Read more