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Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights

Better Resolutions Happen with bold solutions

Insolvency and financial distress present unfamiliar and challenging issues for even the most seasoned business leader or corporate counsel.  In these circumstances, you want highly experienced counsel with an unwavering commitment to solving your particular problem. Our attorneys have a business-focused, relationship-based approach that utilizes a holistic understanding of the insolvency process to achieve the best outcome for you.

The Right Mix of Experience

With decades of experience, our team has led engagements in nearly in all facets of turnaround, workout and restructuring on behalf of corporate borrowers, senior lenders, bondholders, investors, indenture trustees, secured lenders, vendors, commercial landlords and tenants, and shareholders in hundreds of significant bankruptcies and workouts across the country and in many foreign countries.

This experience includes recovery of property or collateral and negotiation of chapter 11 debtor-in-possession financing and cash collateral orders from both the debtor and secured lender vantage points. We represent secured and unsecured creditors and shareholders in contested confirmation hearings and have filed and confirmed reorganization plans on behalf of secured and unsecured creditors – taking control of the reorganization process to facilitate the best recovery for our client’s claims.

International Recognition

Our team is well-recognized for representing court-appointed trustees and liquidating trustees and plan administrators, where we oversee all pre- and post-confirmation related matters through the wind-down of post-confirmation recovery efforts.

Our experience also extends to international insolvency matters, including representing foreign representatives and financial institutions in proceedings under chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and in out of court, cross-border workouts.

Elysa J. ChewAssociate
Aaron D Werner - a man in a business suit, smiling at the camera
Aaron L. HammerChair | Bankruptcy Group
Jeffrey A. Hechtman - a man in a business suit, smiling at the camera
Jeffrey A. HechtmanPartner | Board of Directors
Ati Khatri - Chicago attorney
Ati P. KhatriOf Counsel
Delaware Bankruptcy Court Confirms Bankruptcy Court Has Authority to Issue Preliminary Injunctions To Freeze AssetsSeptember 2, 2021

In 1998, The U.S. Supreme Court in Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo S.A. v. Alliance Bond Fund, 527 U.S. 308, held that the District Court had no authority to issue a preliminary injunction preventing petitioners from disposing of assets pending adjudication of the respondents’ contract claim for money damages. Subsequently, courts have interpreted Grupo to carve out exceptions for equitable actions…

Inquiry Notice Applies to A Transferee’s Good Faith Defense to a Trustee’s Fraudulent Avoidance ActionSeptember 2, 2021

On August 30, 2021, the Second Circuit decided in Irving Picard, trustee for the Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC v. Citibank N.A., 20-1334, on “appeals of the latest installment in the long-running litigation arising from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme” whether the District Court properly dismissed actions brought against initial and subsequent transferees, to avoid and recover transfers,…

The Rise Of Fraud Schemes From the CARES ActMay 7, 2021

The CARES Act, which sought to provide economic assistance during the global health pandemic, is exalted as an essential federal initiative. One of the most visible pieces of that Act is the PPP, which seeks to provide immediate financial assistance in the form of SBA-guaranteed loans to small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the economic uncertainties of the novel coronavirus. An important yet severe consequence is the rise of fraud in connection with misuse of PPP loan proceeds.

Current Trends to Hide AssetsJanuary 7, 2021

With the economy on troubling grounds, there is a greater desire to protect assets. But, there is a difference between hiding and protecting assets. Hiding assets is a form of protection, but done for illicit purposes to keep away from current creditors.

HMB Welcomes Lauren L. Stricker and Dante Wen to its Bankruptcy, Reorganization & Creditors’ Rights PracticeNovember 29, 2021

HMB is pleased to welcome Lauren L. Stricker and Dante (Dan) Wen to its growing Bankruptcy, Reorganization & Creditors’ Rights practice.

Jeffrey A. Hechtman and Aaron L. Hammer Share Deal Making Insights at the Mid-Market Dealmaker Symposium – 12/15/21November 19, 2021

Jeffrey A. Hechtman and Aaron L. Hammer Discuss Deal Making Insights at the Mid-Market Dealmaker Symposium.

Aaron L. Hammer and Nathan E. Delman Present, “I Don’t Wanna Hear It! – All About the Equitable Mootness Doctrine” at the CBA Bankruptcy and Reorganization Committee Meeting – 11/17/21November 9, 2021

Aaron L. Hammer and Nathan E. Delman Present, “I Don’t Wanna Hear It! – All About the Equitable Mootness Doctrine” at the CBA Bankruptcy and Reorganization Committee Meeting.

HMB Retained as Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Something Sweet Acquisition, Inc.October 1, 2021

On July 26, 2021, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Something Sweet Acquisition, Inc. selected HMB Legal Counsel (“HMB”) as its counsel, with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approving HMB’s retention on September 23, 2021. Something Sweet Acquisition, Inc. and Something Sweet, Inc. (together “Something Sweet”) are industry leaders in the production and sale of…

HMB Prevails For Equity Holders In 8th Circuit Decision Nearly Abolishing Chapter 11 “Equitable Mootness” DoctrineAugust 13, 2021

HMB’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights Team including Aaron Hammer, Nathan Delman and the late John Guzzardo, representing FishDish, LLP, preferred shareholders holders of the bankrupt VeroBlue Farms USA, Inc. at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, successfully argued that the District Court prematurely dismissed FishDish’s appeal by improperly invoking the judicial doctrine known commonly known as “Equitable Mootness.”

In Remembrance of John W. GuzzardoJune 11, 2021

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleague, John Guzzardo. John passed away on Friday, June 4th at the age of 49 due to a car crash while on vacation with his family in California. John was a Partner at HMB, the Chair of the firm’s Litigation Group, a mentor to many and a friend to all.

Corporate Bankruptcies in 2021 and BeyondApril 12, 2021

CHAPTER 11 FILINGS IN 2020 AND BEYOND Unless your January 2020 payroll included Nostradamus, the forthcoming global pandemic and resulting mass quarantines were largely unforeseeable. Last year’s unpredictability did, however, lead to the rather predictable material increase in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. Epiq Companies recently reported to the American Bankruptcy Institute that commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 29% in 2020.…

Aaron L. Hammer Featured in the March 2021 TMA Quarterly NewsletterMarch 29, 2021

Aaron L. Hammer was featured on the cover of Turnaround Management Association Chicago's Newsletter of Corporate Renewal celebrating its 30 year anniversary. The newsletter celebrates the TMA's focus on growing networks, identifying business opportunities, adding to its members' knowledge base, providing leadership and having fun with great people. As Aaron said, "TMA is -- and always will be -- family.…

Nathan E. Delman Presents a Webinar, "Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit Caselaw Update" for the Chicago Bar Association - 3/17/21March 9, 2021

3/17/21 Chicago, IL The lively duo of Nathan E. Delman and Michael Miller from the Semrad Law Firm will get you caught up on the latest and greatest in both commercial and consumer bankruptcy law developments from the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court. Register for the event here.     …

Aaron L. Hammer Discusses the Impact of COVID-19 on the Restaurant Industry and Successfully Navigating Restaurant Workouts with American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) February 2021 JournalFebruary 5, 2021

In this ABI Journal article, Aaron L. Hammer discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry and managing Red South Beach through the crisis. Download the full article here. The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created unprecedented distress in many industries. Arguably, the hardest hit to date is the restaurant industry. Getting through a workout during COVID-19 has…

Aaron L. Hammer Discusses Gencanna's $1.2M Lawsuit Against Pillsbury Winthrop with Law360February 4, 2021

In this article by Law360, Aaron L. Hammer discusses GenCanna filing an adversary proceeding seeking $1.2 million back that the company paid to law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP ("Pillsbury"). Read the full article by Law360 here (paid subscription required). GenCanna, now known as OGGUSA Inc. after the company sold its assets as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, paid…

HMB Legal Counsel Retained as Counsel for Wind-Down Trustee In re OGGUSA, Inc. f/k/a GenCanna Global USADecember 29, 2020

Aaron L. Hammer, John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman of HMB Legal Counsel have been retained as counsel for the wind-down trustee in In re OGGUSA, Inc. (f/k/a GenCanna Global USA, Inc.). Earlier this year, CBD giant GenCanna made national headlines when its creditors forced the company into a Kentucky bankruptcy court After a high stakes court battle which…

John W. Guzzardo Appointed to the Panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the Northern District of IllinoisDecember 11, 2020

HMB is proud to announce that John W. Guzzardo has been appointed by the United State Trustee of Region 11 to the Panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. John is Chair of HMB’s Litigation Group and a partner in HMB’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights practice. "Over the past eleven years of my…

Aaron L. Hammer Presents a Webinar, "What's on the Menu? Restaurant Groups Respond to COVID-19" for the TMA Town Hall - 11/11/20November 3, 2020

11/11/20 1:15PM CT Be sure to join the next TMA Town Hall where a robust discussion, featuring former TMA Chicago/Midwest President and restaurant owner Aaron L. Hammer (TMA Chicago/Midwest), along with other industry heavyweights, will leave you with plenty of food for thought as they look ahead toward 2021. Whet your appetite for this session by reading Global Pandemic Is…

HMB Welcomes Loan K. Tran and Elysa J. ChewNovember 2, 2020

11/2/20 Chicago, IL HMB Legal Counsel, a preeminent provider of legal services in business and finance, litigation, trusts and estates, real estate, state and local taxes and corporate reorganization, bankruptcy and creditor's rights, announced that Loan K. Tran joins the firm as an associate in the Business and Finance group and Elysa J. Chew joins the firm as an associate…

HMB Congratulates Client RED South Beach for Turnaround Management Association Small Business Turnaround AwardOctober 28, 2020

RED South Beach and its turnaround professionals have been awarded the Small Business Turnaround of the Year Award from the TMA’s Chicago/Midwest Chapter. HMB attorneys Aaron L. Hammer, John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman served as legal counsel to RED South Beach in its turnaround. Although this year’s celebration will be virtual, the Chapter’s Awards Committee and Board will…

HMB Legal Counsel’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors' Rights Practice Reaches New HeightsOctober 14, 2020

Over the past twelve months, HMB Legal Counsel (“HMB”) helped navigate a smooth landing for distressed aircraft manufacturer Thrush Aircraft, Inc. (“Debtor”), culminating in a successful sale of substantially all its assets and the subsequent confirmation of a joint plan of liquidation in August 2020. In September 2019, HMB was appointed as counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors…

Procedures of the Circuit Court of Cook County During the CoronavirusJuly 1, 2020

***This article has been updated from the version posted on May 29th, 2020*** Actions Taken by the Circuit Court of Cook County In General Effective July 6, 2020, the Circuit Court of Cook County will begin hearing all matters in all Districts and Divisions with the exception of jury trials.  Unless otherwise ordered, all attorneys and self-represented litigants shall be…

Force Majeure? It’s Unorthodox, But I’ll Allow It: Bankruptcy Court Excuses § 365(d)(3) Performance Due to CoronavirusJune 10, 2020

In an opinion for our troubled times, Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy Judge Donald Cassling granted debtor Hitz Restaurant Group (“Hitz”) some reprieve from § 365(d)(3)’s strict requirements due to a combination of COVID-19 shutdown orders and a favorably-worded force majeure clause. Hitz’s landlord, Kass Management Services, Inc. (“Kass”) moved to lift the automatic stay after Hitz stop making its…

John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman Published in Journal of Corporate Renewal - "Global Pandemic Is Surprise Addition to Restaurant’s Turnaround Menu"June 1, 2020

View the PDF from Turnaround Management Association's Journal of Corporate Renewal here. John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman, with John B. Pidcock of Oxford Restructuring Advisors LLP, discuss how Red South Beach responded to the COVID-19 crisis by quickly taking a number of actions designed not only to survive but to emerge financially stronger once the crisis is over.…

Procedures of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois During the Coronavirus CrisisMay 30, 2020

Actions Taken by the Bankruptcy Court The COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois remains open for business, although not business as usual. Recognizing the need to maintain social distancing, the Court has made several significant changes to its daily operations. After two months of hearing routine motions telephonically, the Court has implemented…

Bankruptcy in the Time of CoronavirusApril 6, 2020

The Coronavirus crisis has arrived. This global pandemic has placed a hard stop on economic activity across the board, sending markets into freefall and skyrocketing unemployment claims to unprecedented heights. Chapter 11 filings are anticipated to surge, forcing bankruptcy courts to clean up large swaths of the crisis’ aftermath. But for now, it is anyone’s guess when the uptick in…

Zone of Insolvency and Fiduciary Duties – a Brief Summary of What Directors and Officers Need to KnowMarch 23, 2020

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide. As commercial operations continue to be shuttered and revenues cut off, principals of companies will likely find themselves questioning where their obligations and responsibilities lie when the entity’s solvency is questionable.  When a corporation is solvent, the fiduciary duties of the corporation's board of directors run to…

Indicate Precisely What You Mean to Say: The Importance of Accuracy on UCC-1 Financing StatementsMarch 18, 2020

UCC-1 Financing Statements are an integral tool in a secured creditor’s toolbox. They perfect a lender’s interest and broadcast notice of this perfected lien to all present or future creditors, putting out the warning that a security interest against the debtor’s collateral exists. An effective financing statement has three requirements: (1) the debtor’s name; (2) the creditor’s name; and (3)…

Four Attorneys from the Litigation Group Named to 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars ListsFebruary 3, 2020

One attorney from HMB's Litigation Group has been named as a 2020 Illinois Super Lawyer. Additionally, three attorneys were named to the 2020 Illinois Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding attorneys from over seventy practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The following HMB attorney was selected for…

HMB Elevates Grant Hendricks, David Machemer and Tim Rybicki to PartnerJanuary 8, 2020

Chicago, IL December 12, 2019 HMB Legal Counsel, a preeminent provider of legal services in Business and Finance, State and Local Tax, Trusts and Estates, Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors' Rights, Real Estate and Litigation announced that three associate attorneys were elevated to partner. Grant R. Hendricks Grant is a member of the firm's Private Client, Trusts and Estates Group. He…

Watch Aaron Hammer and Rick Rein Present "Hot Topics in Cross Border Restructurings" On DemandOctober 14, 2019

On 9/17/19 Aaron Hammer and Rick Rein presented "Hot Topics in Cross Border Restructurings" at the Offices of Gowling WLG LLOP in Toronto, Canada. Aaron and Rick discussed the role of chief restructuring officers and other turnaround professionals in Canadian restructuring, flash points in today's cross border insolvencies, and the cannabis space. This program was intended for lenders, turnaround professionals…

HMB Retained as Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Thrush Aircraft, Inc.October 9, 2019

On September 24, 2019, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Thrush Aircraft, Inc. selected HMB Legal Counsel (“HMB”) as its counsel, with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia approving HMB’s retention on October 2, 2019. Thrush Aircraft ( “Thrush”) is a leading designer and manufacturer and of single-engine light aircraft, primarily used in agriculture operations. Thrush…

The Small Business Reorganization Act Arrives in February 2020 - Here's What you Need to KnowSeptember 6, 2019

With President Trump’s signature August 23rd, the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (“SBRA”) will officially take effect in February 2020. The SBRA is designed to fill a gap in the current bankruptcy laws by providing a framework for small businesses to successfully reorganize in bankruptcy court.  As noted by the senate bill’s sponsor, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, “Chapter 11…

Nathan E. Delman presents "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Coverage Counsel at § 341 Meetings"-Seventh Circuit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference-10/14/19August 29, 2019

10/14/19 Chicago, IL The Seventh Circuit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference will present an overview of savings in chapter 13, coverage counsel at § 341 meetings and navigating bankruptcy appeals. There will also be a Seventh Circuit case law update as well as a look at recommendations made in the Final Report of the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. Nathan is a…

Aaron Hammer and Rick Rein present "Hot Topics in Cross Border Restructurings" - 9/17/19August 16, 2019

9/17/19 Offices of Gowling WLG LLP Toronto, Canada Aaron Hammer and Rick Rein present "Hot Topics in Cross Border Restructurings" at the Offices of Gowling WLG LLP on September 17th. The discussion will include: The Role of Chief Restructuring Officers and Other Turnaround Professionals in Canadian Restructuring • Would Canadian restructurings benefit from an increased use of CROs, similar to…

Nathan E. Delman Joins HMB Legal Counsel Expanding Bankruptcy PracticeAugust 6, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - HMB Legal Counsel, a preeminent provider of legal services in business and finance, litigation, trusts and estates, real estate, state and local taxes and bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors' rights announced that attorney Nathan E. Delman joined the firm as an associate in its growing bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors' rights practice. Nate has over ten years’ experience as a…

John Guzzardo and Rick Rein Published in NABT American Bankruptcy Trustee JournalJanuary 15, 2019

John Guzzardo and Rick Rein wrote an article for NABT American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal regarding the use of Consent Directives to locate offshore assets. A consent directive is a "rare bird" investigatory tool that litigants in the US may use to discover assets and information from debtors or third parties located anywhere in the world. Recently, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy…

HMB Welcomes John W. Guzzardo And Continues To Expand Its Bankruptcy, Reorganization & Creditors' Rights PracticeApril 5, 2018

CHICAGO, IL (April 5, 2018) - Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered ("HMB"), a preeminent provider of legal services in business and finance, litigation, trusts and estates, real estate, state and local taxes and bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors' rights announced that attorney John W. Guzzardo joined the firm as a partner in it's growing bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors' rights practice. John represents…

Horwood Marcus & Berk Announced As Winner Of The 12th Annual Turnaround AwardsMarch 19, 2018

CHICAGO, IL (March 16, 2018) - The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the 12th Annual Turnaround Awards on Thursday, December 21st.  Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered ("HMB") was named a winner of the Section 363 Transaction of the Year ($10MM - $25MM) for Aaron L. Hammer's representation of Central Iowa Healthcare ("CIH") in its successful chapter 11 sale before…

HMB Welcomes Aaron L. Hammer and Expands its Bankruptcy, Reorganization & Creditors' Rights PracticeMarch 6, 2018

PRESS RELEASE Contact: Jason Klika Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered 312.281.1102 CHICAGO, IL (March 6, 2018) - Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered ("HMB"), a preeminent provider of legal services in business and finance, litigation, trusts and estates, real estate and state and local taxes, announced that accomplished corporate reorganization, bankruptcy and creditor's rights attorney Aaron L. Hammer joined the firm…

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