All items from WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

What factors can make restructuring a difficult field in which to balance work and family obligations, and what should professional firms be doing to help employees? 
Discussions on the difficulty of “balancing” (or more accurately, juggling) work and personal obligations often assume that the problem is the professional’s dilemma. If it is, it’s certainly not a predicament an individual should have to solve alone. Perhaps the right question is how restructuring firms should adapt so that the firm and its employees can thrive.



Posted 3 weeks 5 days ago

What factors can make restructuring a difficult field in which to balance work and family obligations, and what should professional firms be doing to help employees? 
Any client service or advisory business is primarily driven by the client’s expectations about transaction pace, responsiveness and ultimate outcome. Service providers are subject to those expectations regardless of their own competing time obligations—personal or professional. In restructuring land, the often unforeseen but urgent deadlines exacerbate the challenge of balancing “work-life” demands. Can professional firms help employees manage those competing demands? As it relates to the primary cause—averting a looming operational or financial crisis—probably no. The uncertainty of crisis is why the professional firms have been hired in the first place.



Posted 3 weeks 5 days ago

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. was hit by another investor lawsuit Wednesday, this time by bondholders that say the casino giant recently worked out a “backroom” deal to aid one group of creditors and hurt others. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here.
(Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)
Creditors in Detroit’s bankruptcy case on Wednesday argued in court that the city’s debt-cutting plan isn’t feasible, The Wall Street Journal reports.
WSJ has an opinion piece about bondholders’ case against Detroit for unfair treatment in bankruptcy.
Oil and gas company Matagorda Island Gas Operations LLC, which was sanctioned by the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 protection, Bloomberg reports.



Posted 3 weeks 5 days ago

What factors can make restructuring a difficult field in which to balance work and family obligations, and what should professional firms be doing to help employees? 
In a client-service profession that involves long hours, travel and high accessibility with the added twist of constant crisis, there’s going to be a fair amount of competing interests for one’s time. This pressure is exacerbated for those who have families, especially those with young children, elderly parents or other family members who need support. The restructuring business brings with it many sacrifices, especially the reduction in the quality and quantity of family time. Our profession often permeates daily life. Even when you’re at home, you often participate in conference calls, perform analyses and provide critical advice. So, there are times when you may be with your family—physically at least—but not quite fully present.



Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

What factors can make restructuring a difficult field in which to balance work and family obligations, and what should professional firms be doing to help employees? 

Answering this question is not easy and has generated much debate both within my firm and elsewhere among many of my colleagues. Some have even suggested that there is no work-life balance in the restructuring profession, which is why it is male-dominated. Personally, I think some semblance of a balance can be achieved, but it is extremely difficult to accomplish, especially early in one’s career.



Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

What factors can make restructuring a difficult field in which to balance work and family obligations, and what should professional firms be doing to help employees? 
The statistics that measure the gender gap in the legal profession are well-known: While women comprise nearly 50% of law school enrollment and 44% of the seventh-year law firm associate class, they constitute only 15% of firm equity partners. The numbers within investment banking are worse; outside the United States, the statistics for professionals are still bleaker. If there was ever a doubt that this pervasive gender gap also exists within the restructuring practice, one need look no further than the courtrooms and boardrooms where corporate restructurings occur.



Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

After more than a year in bankruptcy court, the city asked a federal judge Tuesday for the final blessing of its plan to slash $7 billion in debt and get on the road to solvency, The Wall Street Journal reports.
General Motors is trying to fend off a bid by California officials for state-court review of their case over the massive recall tied to faulty ignition switches. Read the Daily Bankruptcy Review story in The Journal.
(Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)
A federal agency on Tuesday certified the union that represents American Airlines’ flight attendants as the bargaining agent for the US Airways attendants as well, WSJ reports.



Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

Jacobsen Rugs in downtown Syracuse, N.Y., which has been selling oriental rugs since before the Depression, filed for bankruptcy and plans sell off the more than 2,000 rugs it has left before shutting down for good.
And this time, they mean it.
In 2011, the store got a wrist-slap from then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for holding a going-out-of-business sale that lasted too long.
State officials often regulate how long retailers can advertise those kinds of sales so that customers who go in expecting rock-bottom prices aren’t deceived by store owners who know that there’s really no rush to empty the shelves.
Prior to Jacobsen Rugs’ earlier sale, the store’s owner got a permit (and an extension) to hold a going-out-of-business sale for 60 days, but another company in the liquidation industry continued that sale even after that time period was up, according to the attorney general office’s website. The incident triggered a $65,000 fine.
“This should serve as a warning to businesses out there who attempt to deceive and manipulate the public,” said Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement released on April 8, 2011.



Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes in March 2012
John Meiu/Associated Press

With Detroit’s historic bankruptcy trial underway, one man holds the city’s fate in his hands: U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven W.



Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

As summer comes to a close and kids head back to school, we thought we’d ask our Examiners to look at an issue close to home: the challenge of juggling family and career.
Those who work to save troubled companies face crises that can arise at any time, long hours and frequent travel. Such demands can make it difficult for restructuring professionals to care for children or parents as well as to maintain relationships with friends and loved ones.
To be sure, it’s an issue that affects both men and women. However, the pressure to strive for work-life balance (an imperfect term, we know) seems greater for women, given the ongoing gender disparity in many law, consulting and other professional firms’ restructuring practices. The gender gap only widens the higher up the ranks one climbs. (Last year, for instance, Bankruptcy Beat counted only about a dozen female leaders of law firm restructuring practices at the nation’s 100 biggest law firms.)



Posted 4 weeks 2 hours ago