Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy

Cooley's Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice group is an experienced team that possesses a deep understanding of bankruptcy principles and law, outstanding litigation and corporate drafting ability and solid business sense.   The team is a recognized leader, playing key roles in some of the most complex and high-profile bankruptcy and restructuring cases throughout the U.S., UK and other countries.

Cooley lawyers are well-known for our extensive experience representing creditors committees, debtors, equity committees, mechanics lienholder committees, shareholder committees, and employee and retiree committees in chapter 11 proceedings, out-of-court restructurings, restructuring and company dissolution, credit finance and distressed mergers & acquisitions.  We represent a range of clients across a wide array of industries.

Cooley has played a significant role in some of the largest bankruptcy and out-of-court restructuring cases, including Metromedia Fiber Network, Enron, Lehman Brothers, Adelphia, Montgomery Ward, Federated Department Stores, Athlete's Foot, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, United Airlines, Blockbuster, CompUSA, Pizzeria Uno, Johns-Manville and Thrifty Drugs.

When appropriate, Cooley's Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy lawyers benefit from a team of nationally-recognized lawyers in a variety of other practice groups, including but not limited to, Mergers & Acquisitions, Intellectual Property, Antitrust, Tax and Finance, to best serve the interests of our clients.

Case in Point

Mervyn's LLC, et al. v. Lubert-Adler Group, IV, LLC, et al.

Cooley represented the official committee of unsecured creditors for Mervyn's and its estate in a highly contentious bankruptcy litigation the committee brought against various private equity firms, financial institutions and others that acquired Mervyn's from Target Corp. in a September 2004 LBO transaction. The acquirers were accused of transferring Mervyn's real estate to entities they controlled which were beyond the reach of creditors. The funds were also accused of raising Mervyn's rent, as well as extracting hundreds of millions of dollars in management fees and dividends. Read more


  • Cooley is consistently ranked Tier 1 nationally for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law by U.S. News' Best Lawyers, most recently in 2014
  • Cooley received the "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year" award, in the deals under $100 million category, for its work on behalf of KIT Digital at the 2014 M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards.  Cooley represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of KIT Digital that resulted in multiple private equity firms agreeing to purchase the company, which now operates under the name Piksel.
  • In 2013, Cooley received an award for the "Distressed M&A Deal of the Year" (deals over $25 million to $100 million) at the 7th Annual M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards for its representation of Entropic Communications, the buyer of a set top box business and diverse, international patent portfolio from Trident Microsystems.
  • Cooley received an award for "Special Situation M&A Deal of the Year" (Middle Markets) at the 2012 Atlas Turnaround Awards for the work representing the Creditors committee in the reorganization and sale of Blockbuster.  In April 2011, the Court approved the $320 million sale of Blockbuster to the Dish Network.
  • Cooley received an award for "Consumer Goods & Services Turnaround of the Year" at the 2011 Atlas Turnaround Awards for its representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors of Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation (d/b/a Pizzeria Uno).  Cooley engineered a global settlement with the debtors and a majority of their note holders, providing for the reorganization of Uno's, the purchase of a percentage of each unsecured claim and an agreement amongst the parties that preference actions will not be pursued.
  • Cooley received an award for the "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year" at the 2010 Atlas Turnaround Awards for its representation of Crabtree & Evelyn in the retailer's successful emergence from bankruptcy. 
  • Cooley was also recognized as the "Restructuring Law Firm of the Year" at the 2010 Turnaround Atlas Awards.
  • Partner Larry Gottlieb was named as one of Law360's 10 Most Admired Bankruptcy Attorneys.
  • Cooley's Bankruptcy & Restructuring lawyers are consistently ranked as The Best Lawyers of America, as well as Super Lawyers.

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Related Practices

Navigating Through Preference Actions

Preference actions are one of the most challenging obstacles for creditors to navigate in bankruptcy law.
View our Q&A.

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