Wade Cooper: Been There, Can Do That

May 12, 2015 | Spotlight

Bankruptcy isn’t the most tranquil area of the law.

By definition, clients of bankruptcy attorneys are experiencing difficult times. Or, at the very least, they’re dealing with customers and vendors that are having trouble meeting their obligations.

It can get messy. It requires good judgment, experience, and a variety of skills to navigate successfully. Fittingly, those are all qualities that could be used to describe Wade Cooper.

Wade, Managing Partner of Jackson Walker, typically represents creditors in litigation or bankruptcy proceedings. He also occasionally represents distressed parties, and he often advises those who are dealing with distressed or potentially distressed companies in contractual situations. So he knows all about the complex circumstances that can arise with bankruptcy cases.

“Over the years we have seen virtually every kind of problem involving every kind of company in every kind of industry,” Wade says. “And there are a lot of dimensions to what we do. Some days, it’s fast-paced litigation; some days it’s re-drawing a company’s balance sheet; and some days it’s helping management figure out how to lead their people in challenging times.”

That means being able to switch gears rapidly and effectively as different needs arise, but that’s part of what makes the practice interesting for Wade. It’s also a skill he’s honed over time – and during times of economic trouble.

For example, in the late 1980s, Wade was heavily involved in the aftermath of the Texas banking meltdown, dealing with a number of significant workouts and lawsuits involving FirstRepublic Bank – then the largest bank in Dallas – which was eventually closed by the FDIC. He was also involved in many of the significant savings and loan receivership cases in the state during that era.

“Over the years we have seen virtually every kind of problem involving every kind of company in every kind of industry.”
— Wade Cooper

In the 1990s, trouble came again, this time with the failure of a number of LBOs and national trucking companies. And then in the early 2000s, Wade represented a secured lender in a number of high-profile dot-com workouts and insolvencies and represented a major communications company in several significant telecom bankruptcies.

No one takes the current economic situation lightly, but it does look familiar to those, like Wade and other bankruptcy attorneys at JW, who’ve been in the bankruptcy law trenches before.

That kind of significant experience leads to seasoned judgment and highly developed skills, exactly what’s required of an effective bankruptcy attorney.

As Wade says: “You’ve got to be capable in a lot of different areas.”

That sums it up exactly.