Civil Litigation

All businesses must contend with uncertainty, including the possibility that a company’s cash flow may become inadequate to meet its financial obligations. When that occurs or seems likely, reorganization provides a means to achieve the best business result that circumstances allow. Whether through an out-of-court workout or a court-supervised bankruptcy, these matters involve complex interplay between the interests of different constituencies. Practitioners must not only understand a client’s business objectives but also perceive how the objectives of other parties and the constraints imposed by circumstances are likely to affect the resolution of the matter.

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP has robust experience representing different types of parties in every phase of restructuring in a myriad of industries. Our clients have included debtors as well as creditors and trustees, individuals and entities, secured creditors, creditors’ committees, insiders, landlords, vendors, insurance companies, and note holders. We have represented small companies and large chains, and distressed businesses in health care, retail, technology, media, automotive, manufacturing, distribution, hospitality, printing, and professional services fields. In real estate matters, we have worked with home builders, mortgage lending firms, land developers, commercial construction companies, real estate agencies, and others with significant interests. Our experience also includes asbestos and other mass tort issues.

Clients benefit not only from our substantive legal knowledge, understanding of different types of businesses, and ability to quickly grasp the financial factors at work in a given matter, but also our skill at perceiving the motivations of other types of parties and the complex dynamics involved.

Experience Highlights

Zuckerman Spaeder attorneys understand that in some bankruptcies, litigation becomes unavoidable. Our attorneys strive to resolve issues without having to resort to litigation and are adept at developing effective out-of-court reorganization plans and workouts—yet we develop and execute legal strategies cognizant of and prepared for the possibility of litigation. Our lawyers have litigated contested confirmation hearings, creditors' rights (such as commercial collections, mechanics' lien enforcement, enforcement of lien and bond-claim rights of suppliers, and in-kind exchanges in satisfaction of debt obligations), claims disputes, automatic stays, cash collateral, lien priming and avoidance, preference, and fraudulent transfers. Our attorneys pursue bankruptcy-related suits, mindful that litigation is not an end in itself but a means to resolving the underlying disputes in the most favorable way for our clients given the economic and legal constraints involved.


Our attorneys’ expertise spans the variety of means used to address financial difficulties, whether through restructuring obligations (via out-of-court or through court-supervised bankruptcy), sale, or liquidation. Working closely with lenders, we implement out-of-court workouts by settling current debt, acquiring long-term capital, or renegotiating commercial loans or lease agreements. When a company's problems require reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, our attorneys work with lenders and creditor committees to design and obtain confirmation of effective reorganization plans, which may involve staged reduction in business operations, selling assets to raise working capital, or refinancing current and long-term debt.

We are also skilled in advising on going-concern sales of businesses (including matters related to breakup fees, auction and bidding procedures, and how to maximize sales prices) and helping clients locate and negotiate with potential buyers, obtain lender approval, and undertake transactional work to complete a sale. In those instances when it is not feasible to save or sell a failing business, we advise clients about various liquidation alternatives such as proceedings under the Bankruptcy Code, dissolution and windup provisions under state law, or nonjudicial vehicles such as bulk sales and negotiated foreclosure proceedings.