With impressive analytical skills, Jeff has a unique ability to simplify and resolve complex situations.
He brings this talent to commercial debt restructuring matters, representing the key players in Chapter 11 reorganizations. Recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in his field, Jeff advises lenders and borrowers in working out problem loans, and navigates confidently through business bankruptcy cases and receiverships.
Whether negotiating or preparing agreements for a restructured multimillion dollar problem, representing a bank or insurance company seeking to maximize its recovery in a customer's volatile bankruptcy, or advising a client that wants to purchase assets from a debtor in Chapter 11, Jeff develops practical and creative solutions.
focused on debt restructurings + insolvency matters
Jeff handles debt restructuring and insolvency matters in the manufacturing, retail, real estate development, health care, hospitality and transportation industries, to name a few. His wide-ranging experience includes representing:
•Unsecured Trade Creditors
He writes and lectures on a wide array of business bankruptcy and secured transactions issues, commercial loan workouts, and other important debtor-creditor topics.
When Skill Matters
•In the involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy of a national law firm, successfully recovered full payment for bank group on their multimillion dollar secured claims, and defended a lien avoidance lawsuit by the bankruptcy trustee, enabling the banks to keep all funds received before and during the bankruptcy.
•In a receivership of four mobile home parks (several of which had environmental problems), assisted our receiver client to obtain state court approval to sell the parks to several buyers free and clear of liens and claims, thereby maximizing the recovery to the parks' mortgage lender.
•When an impasse occurred with lender, navigated the corporate client through a hotly-contested bankruptcy reorganization, convincing the court to approve our client's use of the lender's cash collateral, and ultimately confirming a Chapter 11 plan under which our client's business was sold as a going concern, maximizing recoveries for creditors, preserving all of its employees' jobs, and enabling the business to continue.
•Enabled national bank and its participant lender to recover a debt from a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), devising a strategy for a state court receiver to operate the CCRC and then obtained court approval of a procedure for the receiver to sell the CCRC “free and clear of liens” as a going concern, eliminating all subordinate liens and recovering over $20 million.
•Negotiated a resolution for defaulted airplane loan allowing guarantors to purchase the loan for $13.5 million in cash, thereby paying our bank client the entire principal balance plus accrued interest.
•After replacing a national law firm, obtained summary judgment in favor of a regional bank and its mezzanine lender affiliate against a debtor/customer seeking $4.5 million in damages for alleged fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, and lender liability claims, and then successfully defended that ruling on appeal, totally vindicating both lender clients.
•In mammoth California bankruptcy of a defunct leasing company involving dozens of lender banks and surety companies owed over $500 million, on behalf of a multinational bank, spearheaded negotiation and preparation of a global settlement agreement resolving substantially all conflicting claims among the affected parties in the bankruptcy, and maximized lenders' recoveries from the bankruptcy estate.
•April 5, 2016
Judge Won't Order East Cleveland City Council to Begin Merger Talks with Cleveland
Distinctions + Awards
•Best Lawyers in America - Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
•Best Lawyers in America - Bankruptcy Litigation
•Top Attorneys in Ohio
•Top Rated Lawyer
•Ohio Super Lawyer - Business Bankruptcy
•Ohio Super Lawyer - Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights
articles + presentations
•Pre-Filing Advice for Individual Chapter 11 Debtors: Practical Tips and Pitfalls (Author, ABA Business Law Today, April 2015)
•Law Firm Bankruptcies: Partners May Run, but They Can't Hide (Author, American Bankruptcy Institute, April 2015)
•Law Firm Dissolutions...Is The Unfinished Business Doctrine Finished? (Co-Author, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, September 2014)
•Working with Financially Troubled Companies (Presenter, Ohio State Bar Association, September, 2014)
•When Receiverships and Bankruptcy Collide: How Can You Use the Pre-Petition Appointment of a Receiver to Your Advantage? (Co-Presenter, The Commercial Law League of America Annual Convention, April 2014)
•Credit Bidding at Bankruptcy Sales: A Powerful Tool, But Not Absolute (Co-Author, ABF Journal, May/June 2014)
•Expanding Role of State Court Receivers in Rebirth of Distressed Commercial Properties (Author, Properties Magazine, January 2014)
•What Happens in a Workout? - Forbearance, Restructuring and Other Alternatives to Work Out Defaulted Commercial Loans (Presenter, Ohio State Bar Association Webinar, August 2013)
•This Land Isn't Your Land (Co-Author, Commercial Law World, January/February 2012)
•UCC Article 9: More Than Ten Years Later Traps for the Unwary Still Linger (Author, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, January 2012)
•What Do You Mean the Lessee Sold My Equipment? It's Mine! (Co-Author, Lease Enforcement Attorney Network, July 2011)
•Financial Stress and Distress - What Are Your Options? (Co-Presenter, Ohio CPA Not-for-Profit Leadership Symposium, October 2011)
•September 23, 2015
Advising the Company's Board of Directors: Fiduciary Duties in Good Times and Bad