Bankruptcy & Reorganization
Our attorneys approach cases with a business-first mindset. We have decades of experience handling a wide range of bankruptcy and creditors' rights issues including:
- Corporate reorganizations and debt restructuring
- Bankruptcy proceedings for debtors and creditors
- Sales and acquisitions of troubled assets, inside and outside of bankruptcy
- Real estate foreclosures
- Commercial and collection litigation in state and federal court
DebtorsOur bankruptcy and reorganization teams help clients restructure while maintaining operating efficiency, preserving liquidity and maximizing value. Debtor clients facing Chapter 11 reorganization or Chapter 7 liquidation rely on us to negotiate the best possible outcome and provide a viable plan for the future.
We have experience negotiating on behalf of companies and providing counsel on:
- Acquiring and selling troubled assets, both in and out of bankruptcy
- Structuring alternate bankruptcy forms and related financing, including debtor-in-possession and prepackaged bankruptcies
CreditorsWe represent creditors in renegotiating and restructuring debt, foreclosure proceedings and litigation. We counsel on creditors' rights issues to help structure the most beneficial transactions and to assist in the recovery of capital. Our team has helped creditor clients recover 100 cents on the dollar, plus interest. In bankruptcy proceedings, we represent trade creditors, individual creditors and official committees.
Our firm’s representative bankruptcy experience includes the following cases:
- Sunwest Consolidated Enterprise — This bankruptcy case is among the largest and most complex ever filed in the state of Oregon. The case included the restructuring and $1.2 billion sale of more than 700 Sunwest entities. Tonkon Torp’s attorneys brought legal expertise in securities, tax, real estate, corporate governance, litigation and mergers and acquisitions. Led by Al Kennedy and Tim Conway, our legal team developed and executed a complex resolution that avoided foreclosure of Sunwest’s property empire and the potential loss of more than $600 million to its investors.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland — On behalf of the Claimants' Committee, Al Kennedy led a team of Tonkon Torp lawyers in the first-ever bankruptcy filing by a Catholic Archdiocese. Our legal team successfully navigated numerous issues of first impression arising from the intersection of real estate, corporate, constitutional, bankruptcy, charitable trust and religious institutions law. All claimants were paid in full with interest.
- Renaissance Custom Homes LLC — Developer Randy Sebastian turned to Tonkon Torp attorneys Al Kennedy and Tim Conway to navigate bankruptcy and rebuild his company following the burst of the 2008 real estate bubble.
- McGrath’s Publick Fish House, Inc. — Leon Simson led a Tonkon Torp team that helped the Salem-based restaurant chain seek protection under Chapter 11. The legal team produced a fast track resolution and a confirmed plan of reorganization. As a result, the reorganized company, consisting of 20 restaurants across multiples states, emerged from bankruptcy.
- Blue Heron Paper Company — Wells Fargo Bank relied on Tim Conway and Mike Fletcher to protect its interest as a secured lender when the Blue Heron Paper Company filed for Chapter 11 protection. The Tonkon Torp team negotiated with Blue Heron regarding the use of Wells Fargo's cash collateral and the treatment of the bank’s secured claim.
- Pope & Talbot, Inc. — The venerable Portland-based forest products company filed its bankruptcy case in Delaware in 2007. Tonkon Torp represented the buyers in two different acquisitions. First, Al Kennedy orchestrated the acquisition of the company’s operations in South Dakota and Wyoming by a strategic buyer. Second, Leon Simson represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of the company's Oregon pulp mill.
- Fountain Village Development — Tonkon Torp attorneys Al Kennedy and Ava Schoen secured a favorable Chapter 11 restructuring of the commercial real estate developer with 20 historic properties in downtown Portland.
- Storables Inc. — Tonkon Torp attorneys Al Kennedy and Mike Fletcher helped this prominent retail company reduce debt and pare down its operations in 2009 by rejecting and restructuring its lease obligations in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As a result, the company emerged from bankruptcy in nine months.
- Columbia Aircraft — Leon Simson and his Tonkon Torp team helped this privately-held light aviation aircraft manufacturing company in Bend, Oregon through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy bidding auction. The company sold for $26.4 million to Textron, the parent company of Cessna.
- The Columbian Publishing Company — Southwest Washington’s largest daily newspaper emerged from bankruptcy just nine months after Tonkon Torp attorneys Al Kennedy and Mike Fletcher helped the company file its Chapter 11 case in 2010.
Tonkon Torp Leads Oregon Grocery Chain Out of Bankruptcy
In one of the quickest and most successful conclusions of a grocery chain bankruptcy proceeding, Tonkon Torp secured court approval of a reorganization plan for C&K Market, Inc., to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy just seven months after filing. Find details and more featured cases here.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland Bankruptcy
The Archdiocese of Portland made national headlines when it became the first Archdiocese to seek bankruptcy protection, triggered by several hundred claims for damages stemming from allegations of abuse at the hands of clergy. Tonkon Torp is playing a central role.
In re Americold Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Americold Corporation was the nation's largest supplier of refrigerated warehouse services to the frozen food industry. The company also provided transportation management services to frozen food manufacturers. Services were provided through a nationwide network of refrigerated warehouse facilities. Americold's revenues exceeded $200,000,000 annually and its total debt exceeded $470,000,000. Most of the debt was publicly-held. Tonkon represented Americold in its pre-packaged Chapter 11 case. The case was filed on May 8, 1995, and the Plan of Reorganization was confirmed on June 19, 1995.
In re Baldwin-United Corporation
(Bankr. S.D. Ohio) - Baldwin-United Corporation was a publicly-held diversified financial corporation with annual sales in excess of $3.5 billion. At the time its petition was filed, it was the largest bankruptcy in the history of the United States. Tonkon represented the petitioning creditors in that bankruptcy, and William F. Martson, Jr. subsequently served as co-chairman of the official unsecured creditors' committee.
In re Bay Club Partners-472, LLC
Bay Club Partners-472, LLC purchased and renovated a large residential apartment complex in Arizona. After suffering through a difficult real estate market and the inability to refinance, the company was represented by Tonkon Torp in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The company's plan was confirmed over the aggressive opposition of the lender and the continuing opposition of one of its members, resulting in repayment of all of its creditors in full and distribution to all of its members.
In re Beall Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Beall Corporation manufactured truck tanks and trailers at multiple factories and operated sales and service branches across the western United States. Tonkon represented Beall in its Chapter 11 case. The company's divisions were sold as going concerns to four different purchasers and a Plan of Liquidation is scheduled for confirmation in September of 2013.
In re Bonavia Timber Company, LLC, and Nevada First Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Bonavia Timber Company and Nevada First Corporation conduct extensive ranching operations in Oregon and Nevada. They were confronted with a multi-million dollar lawsuit that threatened their ability to continue operations. Tonkon represented the companies in their Chapter 11 case that resulted in a settlement of the lawsuit and confirmation of a Plan of Reorganization within eight months of the filing date.
In re C & K Market, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Headquartered in Brookings, Oregon, C & K Market is an independently owned grocery store chain located primarily in small communities in southern and central Oregon and northern California. Tonkon Torp represented the company in its Chapter 11 case, which recapitalized the company through a debt-for-equity exchange and enabled the company to emerge with a strong balance sheet and solid earnings. During the seven-month reorganization, the company sold its 15 pharmacy operations, sold or closed 20 of its original 60 grocery stores, and refinanced its secured debt. A team comprised of bankruptcy lawyers Al Kennedy, Mike Fletcher and Ava Schoen led extensive negotiations with the grocer’s secured and unsecured creditors to ensure the uninterrupted support of trade creditors, manage PACA liabilities, and confirm and implement the plan.
In re Chef Solutions, LLC, et al
(Bankr. D. Del.) - Tonkon assisted Reser's Fine Foods, Inc. in providing post-petition financing to and acquiring the assets of Chef Solutions through a Delaware bankruptcy case.
In re Christensen Shipyards, Ltd.
Tonkon represented Miles Stover, the court appointed general receiver for Christensen Shipyards, Ltd. CSL is the premier manufacturer of 50 meter composite fiberglass motor yachts in the U.S. The sale price of the yachts is in the range of $34 million. Mr. Stover was appointed and retained Tonkon on March 20, 2015. Virtually all employees at the shipyard had been laid off and all operations had ceased. Three yachts were in process. We assisted the Receiver in negotiating financing facilities with each of the yacht purchasers that enabled the shipyard to bring back approximately 140 employees and restore operations. Subsequently, we assisted the Receiver in the sale of the shipyard to Christensen Shipyards LLC, an entity formed by the yacht purchasers. Thereafter we represented the Receiver in a lawsuit asserting claims against insiders and affiliates and seeking recovery of fraudulent conveyances. Following the sale and the settlement of the lawsuit, the Receiver paid the claims of secured and priority creditors in full and the claims of unsecured creditors in excess of 70%.
In re Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation designed and manufactured single-engine, composite airplanes that were rated as the world's fastest production model piston aircraft. Tonkon represented Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case that resulted in the sale of the company to Cessna Aircraft and subsequent confirmation of the company's Plan of Reorganization.
In re Don J. Simplot
(Bankr. D. Id.) - Don J. Simplot is the oldest son of the legendary J. R. Simplot of Idaho. The principal assets in Mr. Simplot's case were his partnership interests in DJS Properties, L.P., a limited partnership he formed with his children and grandchildren. Tonkon successfully represented DJS Properties L.P. in defending against the efforts of the bankruptcy estate representative to force a dissolution and liquidation of the partnership and its assets.
In re Ernst Home Center, Inc.
(Bankr. W.D. Wa.) - Ernst Home Center was a hardware and garden supply retailer with 86 stores located in nine states. It filed its Chapter 11 case in 1996. Tonkon represented Congress Financial Corporation, which had a claim in excess of $50,000,000 and was the company's major secured creditor. Congress was paid in full, including all interest, costs, and an early termination fee.
In re Fountain Village Development
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Tonkon represented Fountain Village in its Chapter 11 case that resulted in a successful confirmed Plan of Reorganization. Al Kennedy and Ava Schoen secured a favorable Chapter 11 restructuring for this commercial real estate enterprise with a portfolio of 20 historic properties in downtown Portland.
In re General Auto Building, LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) - General Auto Building renovated a former industrial building located in Portland's Pearl District into a five-story commercial office building. The renovation was completed in late 2009, at the nadir of the Portland office market and General Auto Building was forced to file a Chapter 11 case in early 2012. Tonkon represented the company in its bankruptcy case. The company's Plan of Reorganization was confirmed over the aggressive and well-financed opposition of a national law firm that represented the fund that purchased the secured debt.
In re Granada Lakes LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Granada Lakes owned an apartment house in Phoenix, Arizona. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case that resulted in the apartment house being deeded to the secured lender. All creditors were paid and all guarantors released.
In re Grange Mutual Insurance Company
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Tonkon represented Grange Mutual Insurance Company ("GMIC") in its Chapter 11 liquidation. We believe the GMIC case is one of only two cases involving the wind-down of an insurance company through Chapter 11 since the Bankruptcy Code was adopted. The case was filed in July 2002 and the Plan of Liquidation was confirmed in December 2002. GMIC had over 35,000 policy holders and hundreds of outstanding claims. All policies were rejected and a claims bar date was set. By the end of 2003 all claims were liquidated and paid.
In re Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Graphic Arts Publishing published books, calendars and other printed material on the subject area of regional history, gardening, photo essay, nature, travel, cooking and children's books under four names: Graphic Arts Books, Westwind Press, Alaska Northwest Books and Alaska Geographic. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case that resulted in confirmation of a Plan of Reorganization and recapitalization of the company within nine months of the petition date.
In re Great Western Chemical Co.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Great Western Chemical Co. was one of Oregon's largest privately-held companies. It was a distributor of chemical products, with warehouses throughout the western United States. Tonkon represented the owners of the company who were also creditors and landlords for most of the warehouse facilities. Tonkon assisted the owners in orchestrating an orderly liquidation of their company, which resulted in the sale of the company and assumption of virtually all the leases, together with distributions to creditors, including the insiders, of approximately $.60 on the dollar.
In re HemCon Medical Technologies, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - HemCon Medical Technologies, Inc. develops, manufactures, and sells a line of wound care products throughout the world. When faced with a disastrous patent infringement judgment, HemCon turned to Tonkon to represent it in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Through its bankruptcy case, HemCon was able to sell certain non-core product lines, attract new equity investment, restructure its secured and unsecured debt, including the judgment debt, and emerge from bankruptcy as a viable, operating recapitalized business.
In re Lumber Products, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Lumber Products was a manufacturer and distributor of building products. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case. The company was sold through a 363 sale and a plan was confirmed within six months of the petition date.
In re Melridge, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Melridge, Inc. was a publicly-held corporation engaged in growing and marketing flower bulbs and cut flowers through various American and European divisions and subsidiaries. Its sales in 1987 exceeded $40,000,000. Tonkon represented Melridge in its Chapter 11 case, which was filed on December 14, 1987. The Melridge case is generally acknowledged to be the most complex Chapter 11 case ever filed in Oregon up to that time. Melridge's Plan of Reorganization was confirmed in January of 1989.
In re Miralink Corporation
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Miralink Corporation was a start-up technology company that ceased operations in 2009. Two years later, Tonkon assisted the company in selling its intellectual property, including patent rights, through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. After the sale was closed, a plan distributing the proceeds among the creditor groups was confirmed.
In re Northwest Pipe Company
(Bankr. D. Id.) - Tonkon represented the principal secured lender in the Chapter 11 case of a company now known as Northwest Pipe Company. With the support and financial backing of West One Bank Idaho, Northwest Pipe Company used its Chapter 11 case to recapitalize and emerge as one of Oregon's strongest publicly-held companies.
In re Oregon Contractors Workers' Compensation Trust
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Oregon Contractors Workers' Compensation Trust is a self-insurance non-profit corporation organized by an employer group under the Oregon Workers' Compensation statutes. Tonkon represented the Trust in a unique and creative use of the bankruptcy process to facilitate the wind-down of an insurance company.
In re Plaid Pantries, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Plaid Pantries operates a chain of convenience stores in Oregon and Washington. Tonkon represented the founding family and landlord for virtually all stores in the company's Chapter 11 case. Plaid Pantry successfully reorganized and assumed its lease obligations.
In re Pope & Talbot, Inc.
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) - After this venerable Portland-based forest products company filed its bankruptcy case in the Southern District of New York in late 2007, Tonkon represented the buyers in two different acquisitions. Al Kennedy orchestrated the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's operations in South Dakota and Wyoming by a strategic buyer. Leon Simson represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's Oregon pulp mill.
In re Rajneesh Neal-Sannyas International Commune
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Tonkon represented the petitioning creditors in the involuntary bankruptcy petition against the commune in one of the most notorious cases in Oregon history. Subsequently, the firm represented the court-appointed trustee.
In re Renaissance Custom Homes LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) - With the bursting of the real estate bubble in 2008/09, developer Randy Sebastian and Renaissance Homes turned to Al Kennedy and Tim Conway to find a path through bankruptcy. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case which resulted in the recapitalization of the company and its continuation as Oregon's premier home builder.
In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland
(Bankr. D. Or.) - On behalf of the Tort Claimants' Committee, Al Kennedy led a team of Tonkon lawyers in the first-ever bankruptcy filing by a Catholic Archdiocese. Tonkon successfully navigated numerous issues of first impression arising from the intersection of real estate, corporate, constitutional, bankruptcy, charitable trust and religious institutions law. All claimants were paid in full, with interest, after each claim was individually mediated.
In re Society of Jesus, Oregon Province
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Tonkon represented Seattle University in defending against efforts by the Claimants' Committee to consolidate the assets of the University into the bankruptcy estate. All claims against Seattle University were waived and released without payment or contribution by the University.
In re Sprouse-Reitz Stores Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Tonkon represented Sprouse-Reitz in its Chapter 11 case filed on November 27, 1991. Sprouse-Reitz was a publicly-held company that operated approximately 164 variety stores in 10 states, employed over 2,000 people, and had sales in 1991 in excess of $174,000,000. The Sprouse-Reitz Plan of Reorganization was confirmed on June 2, 1992. The rights and interests of stockholders were not altered or impaired by the Plan.
In late 1993, it became clear that Sprouse-Reitz would not be able to achieve the performance it had projected at the time of its 1991 bankruptcy case and that its ability to perform under its Plan of Reorganization was uncertain. Tonkon represented Sprouse-Reitz in its second Chapter 11 case where the firm negotiated and obtained confirmation of the first pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan in Oregon. The Chapter 11 case was filed on November 8, 1993, and the Plan was confirmed on December 22, 1993. The Plan provided for the orderly liquidation of the assets of Sprouse-Reitz and distribution of the proceeds of such liquidation to creditors and stockholders. Stockholders received a total of $4 million ($2.79 per share), while unsecured creditors were paid approximately 63% of their unsecured claims.
In re Stayton SW Assisted Living, L.L.C. (the Consolidated Sunwest Related Entities)
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Tonkon represented debtor, Stayton SW Assisted Living, L.L.C., and over 700 substantially consolidated affiliates, in a Chapter 11 proceeding that resulted in a confirmed Plan of Reorganization. The biggest and most complex bankruptcy case ever filed in Oregon, the consolidation, restructuring and $1.2 billion sale involving over 700 of Sunwest entities demanded legal expertise in bankruptcy, securities, tax, real estate, corporate governance, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulated industries and commercial transactions. Al Kennedy and Tim Conway worked with a team of Tonkon lawyers and paralegals who developed and executed a complex resolution that restructured obligations owing to over 90 secured lenders, sold 146 seniors housing facilities (including approximately 1,200 tenant-in-common interests held by investors), and resulted in distributions to creditors and investors exceeding 100% of their claims.
In re Storables Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - In 2009, Al Kennedy and Mike Fletcher helped this prominent retail homeware company shed debt and pare down its operations by rejecting and restructuring its lease obligations in a Chapter 11. The company emerged from bankruptcy in nine months.
In re The Columbian Publishing Company
(Bankr. W.D. Wa.) - Nine months after Tonkon filed the Columbian Publishing Company's Chapter 11 case, Southwest Washington’s largest daily newspaper emerged from bankruptcy in early 2010 thanks to the work of Al Kennedy and Mike Fletcher.
In re Total Mechanical, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Total Mechanical, Inc. is a design-build mechanical contractor. When a large judgment was entered against it, Total Mechanical turned to Tonkon to file a Chapter 11 case on its behalf. Within 10 weeks of the filing of its bankruptcy case, the judgment was settled, Total Mechanical was recapitalized, and the bankruptcy case was dismissed.
In re Town & Country Center, LLC
Represented the owner of a shopping center in south-central Oregon, which led to the successful confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization over the secured lender's objections. The secured debt, which had fully matured 2 1/2 years prior, was restructured over an addition 5 year period with favorable amortization and interest rates.
In re Western Communications, Inc.
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Western Communications, Inc. owns eight newspapers, including the Bend Bulletin, La Grande Observer, Baker City Herald, Redwood Spokesman, Curry Coastal Pilot, Central Oregon Nickel Ads, Daily Triplicate, and Sonora Union Democrat. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case, through which the company restructured its debts and emerged within nine months.
In re Wildhorse Meadows, LLC
(Bankr. D. Or.) – Wildhorse Meadows, LLC is the owner of the Aspen Lakes Golf Course outside Sisters, Oregon. The golf course is leased to the operator. Tonkon represented Wildhorse Meadows in a Chapter 11 proceeding. The company filed in late fall and was reorganized in time for the golf season.
In re Williams, Love, O'Leary & Powers, P.C.
(Bankr. D. Or.) - Williams, Love, O'Leary & Powers, P.C. ("WLOP") is a nationally recognized plaintiffs' medical products liability firm that represents clients who suffer injuries caused by dangerous or defective medical products. Tonkon represented WLOP in its Chapter 11 case which resulted in a confirmed Plan of Reorganization through which all creditors were paid in full and the firm emerged viable and recapitalized. We believe this is the only law firm Chapter 11 in the United States in which the firm emerged intact as an operating firm continuing to serve its clients.
Padrick v. Dean, et al
Brought adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court on behalf of liquidating trustee to recover profits and damages from the misappropriation of funds that the debtor corporation was supposed to hold for clients. Obtained settlement of $800,000.
Representation of Accountant
Represented a northwest accountant in a personal Chapter 11 reorganization. The accountant held interests in various business entities and had litigation pending against him for numerous claims including investment fraud. The firm assisted in resolving the litigation claims, retaining his accountancy license, and confirming a Chapter 11 plan restructuring his debts while retaining all of his interests in the business entities, even over the objection of other LLC members. The Plan was one of the first individual Chapter 11 plans confirmed in the state of Washington following the Bankruptcy Code amendments significantly changing the rules for individual bankruptcy cases.
Representation of Restaurant Owner
Represented a company that owned a chain of restaurants in a Chapter 11 proceeding which resulted in a successful confirmed plan of reorganization. On behalf of this company, Leon Simson led a Tonkon Torp team to seek protection under Chapter 11 and to produce a fast track resolution that resulted in a confirmed plan of reorganization allowing the reorganized company to emerge from bankruptcy.
Representation of Shopping Center Developer
Represented a shopping center developer and owner in a Chapter 11 proceeding which resulted in a successful confirmed plan of reorganization.
Representation of Trustee in Bankruptcy Matter
Represented trustee in a successful re-opening of a closed bankruptcy case to deal with newly discovered estate funds.