Dean Foods GC Kristy Waterman and CFO Gary Rahlfs have tapped New York lawyers with Davis Polk and Norton Rose Fulbright partner William Greendyke as its lead outside counsel in the upcoming restructuring, which was filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Texas. The Texas Lawbook has details on the full legal and financial advisory teams.
Highland Capital Management L.P., a unit within Highland Capital Management’s alternative investment platform, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday in Delaware. The firm said in a statement that HCMLP’s filing stems from a potential judgment being sought against it that could exceed the entity’s liquid assets.
With the global economy slowing and debt obligations in the energy sector coming due, many experts foresee a wave of bankruptcies hitting Texas very soon. Law firms looking to bulk up their bankruptcy practices can turn to litigation finance to help them grow and compete in Texas’ busy restructuring market.
In a unanimous verdict, the jury ordered the principal of a large Texas-owned car dealership to pay Ford’s financial services arm $53.7 million. The case is part of one of the nation’s largest auto-dealer frauds.
After two years of fewer bankruptcies, the oil and gas exploration and production sector is seeing an uptick in filings at a time when the industry expects a decrease in available credit.
The approved plan gives Weatherford access to $600 million in credit and the ability to issue $1.6 billion of notes that will be used to pay down debt. Sergio Chapa of the Houston Chronicle has the story.
The Houston oil producer filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday amid collapsing finances and an SEC investigation into possible fraud. Latham & Watkins and Porter Hedges are serving as the debtors’ co-counsel.
Nine corporate law firms in Texas have added lawyers to their bankruptcy practices and 20 other firms are aggressively recruiting experienced restructuring partners. Legal and financial advisors believe a surge of business bankruptcies is heading toward Texas and there is big money to be made representing clients in deep economic distress.
Bankruptcies have hit North American oil and gas explorers and producers harder than oilfield service and midstream operators over the last four-and-a-half years, with an uptick so far this year, according to Haynes and Boone.
Business bankruptcy filings in Texas plummeted during the first six months of 2019, but experts predict a financial storm is brewing that could force hundreds and hundreds of Texas businesses into insolvency. “We are beginning to see some bad signs,” says Sidley’s Duston McFaul. “Another wave is on the way,” says Jackson Walker’s Elizabeth Freeman. Adds Lou Strubeck: “We are on the cusp of something big happening.” The Texas Lawbook has new data and complete details in Part One of a series.