Restructuring Exit Options

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Restructuring Exit Options

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:00 pm

I'm a 3L who will be starting in the bankruptcy/restructuring group at a V100 firm in a large market this fall. After perusing some other threads, I've found there's a general consensus among posters that bankruptcy doesn't offer the best exit options.

I'm curious whether doing a certain type of restructuring work would help to maximize my options down the road. Obviously, "restructuring" encompasses a lot of different aspects of legal practice. There is quite some difference between, say, litigating preferences/avoidance actions and doing distressed investing, for example. As a new associate, are there particular types of work I should seek out that would help my chances if I later wanted to transition? Conversely, are there areas that I should try to avoid being pigeonholed in?

Now, I personally know two former restructuring attorneys who now have very cushy in-house positions (one is actually GC for a well-known company). These attorneys seem to fit the same profile: they were both "big picture" (for lack of a better term) debtors' attorneys. Both worked in an advisory capacity for insolvent corporations, much akin to turnaround management specialists. It seems like doing this type of work for companies across a variety of industries would provide a very broad business knowledge that could be marketable later. Insight from anyone with experience in this field would be appreciated.

ox1778

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Re: Restructuring Exit Options

Postby ox1778 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:38 pm

Third-year BK associate in major non-NYC market here. I'm interested in this as well.

As far as in-house gigs go, creditor work --> bank/financial institution is probably the most natural transition. While I'm sure it's possible to go in-house as a debtor's attorney, you would not be doing the same work for obvious reasons.

By far the most common BK exit option is to another firm. There are plenty of high-end restructuring boutiques if you want to get out of big law. But if you hate billable hours, for example, bankruptcy is probably not a great fit.

One of the best parts of bankruptcy practice is that we get to be generalists. Embrace that and try to get as much experience with different things as possible. You will naturally develop an expertise/preference for certain things over others, but let it happen organically.

kau11

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Re: Restructuring Exit Options

Postby kau11 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:35 am

ox1778 wrote:Third-year BK associate in major non-NYC market here. I'm interested in this as well.

As far as in-house gigs go, creditor work --> bank/financial institution is probably the most natural transition. While I'm sure it's possible to go in-house as a debtor's attorney, you would not be doing the same work for obvious reasons.

By far the most common BK exit option is to another firm. There are plenty of high-end restructuring boutiques if you want to get out of big law. But if you hate billable hours, for example, bankruptcy is probably not a great fit.

One of the best parts of bankruptcy practice is that we get to be generalists. Embrace that and try to get as much experience with different things as possible. You will naturally develop an expertise/preference for certain things over others, but let it happen organically.

Outside of Debtor/Creditor exit options, do you have any idea where associates at firms doing work for committees or hedge funds end up? I believe firms like Brown Rudnick and Kramer do a lot of committee work, and I know Schulte Roth does a lot of hedge fund representation in bankruptcy. Any first-hand knowledge of where associates end up going from firms like that?

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Re: Restructuring Exit Options

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:21 pm

former BK associate here. Most either (I) go to other firms or (ii) other practice groups when the BK work dries up (some form of finance or litigation). I know of one or two who moved to a more business type role at a fund/bank but this move is rarer than most think

ox1778

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Re: Restructuring Exit Options

Postby ox1778 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:32 pm

kau11 wrote:
ox1778 wrote:Third-year BK associate in major non-NYC market here. I'm interested in this as well.

As far as in-house gigs go, creditor work --> bank/financial institution is probably the most natural transition. While I'm sure it's possible to go in-house as a debtor's attorney, you would not be doing the same work for obvious reasons.

By far the most common BK exit option is to another firm. There are plenty of high-end restructuring boutiques if you want to get out of big law. But if you hate billable hours, for example, bankruptcy is probably not a great fit.

One of the best parts of bankruptcy practice is that we get to be generalists. Embrace that and try to get as much experience with different things as possible. You will naturally develop an expertise/preference for certain things over others, but let it happen organically.

Outside of Debtor/Creditor exit options, do you have any idea where associates at firms doing work for committees or hedge funds end up? I believe firms like Brown Rudnick and Kramer do a lot of committee work, and I know Schulte Roth does a lot of hedge fund representation in bankruptcy. Any first-hand knowledge of where associates end up going from firms like that?


My firm doesn't do too much commitee work or hedge fund work, so I'm not too familiar with the possible exit options. Committee work is essentially just negotiation with and/or litigation against the Debtor and secured creditors. I guess you could go in-house with a frequent unsecured creditor (i.e. supplier with large trade balances). But outside counsel would likely be doing the heavy lifting and you could just be signing proofs of claim. So another firm is again the most likely destination.

As for hedge funds, who knows? If you can develop solid relationships with hedge fund clients, anything is possible I guess. I just have no idea.



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