Jackson Walker attorneys have considerable experience handling the challenges specifically presented by workouts and bankruptcies in a deregulated energy market. We represent clients in workout and chapter bankruptcy proceedings throughout the energy industry, providing effective strategies designed to maximize the potential for economic recovery. Our clients include lenders, indenture trustees, trade creditors, oil field service providers, swap and forward contract counterparties, contract operators, working interest owners, asset purchasers, committees, debtors, and trustees.
We help energy company creditors deal with a variety of issues that accompany energy bankruptcy proceedings, including the management of commodity contracts (including energy contracts, financial transactions and fuel supply contracts), the termination and liquidation of forward contracts and swap agreements, the defense and settlement of claims, lien disputes, avoidance actions, use of cash collateral, plan treatment and more. We have also defended against the positions taken by bankrupt debtors on issues of industrywide significance, including the right to enforce the provisions of master netting agreements.
In addition to representing clients in workouts and bankruptcies, we develop proactive strategies that incorporate lessons learned in bankruptcy cases to help mitigate future risks through careful structuring and documenting of transactions. We also have experience helping clients reduce their exposure to bankrupt trading counterparties and draft energy contracts that provide maximum protection in the event of a bankruptcy.
- Representation of debtor operating company after the case was filed. Negotiated a settlement resulting in a confirmed plan with a substantial recovery for creditors.
- Representation of Chapter 11 debtor engaged in chartering rig used in offshore drilling with total claims exceeding $10,000,000. A Plan of Reorganization was confirmed and creditors recovered a significant portion of their allowed claims.
Secured Creditor Representation
- Representation of first lien creditor/letter of credit issuing bank in Chapter 11 case involving oil and gas producer. Bank was paid in full.
- Representation of lender with loan of over $23,000,000 secured by oil and gas properties. A Chapter 11 plan of reorganization was confirmed.
- Representation of secured lender with $16,000,000 loan to Chapter 11 oil and gas exploration and production company.
- Representation of bank lender with $21 million plus claim in Chapter 7 case involving oil and gas producer. Obtained relief from the automatic stay to recover and liquidate collateral.
- Representation of indenture trustees in Chapter 11 case involving geophysical company and oil and gas producer.
- Representation of the agent bank in connection with the workout of a non-performing loan with an oil and gas producer, including structuring the termination of an ongoing multiple oil and gas well drilling program undertaken pursuant to a farmout agreement between the borrower and another oil and gas producer.
- Representation of a bank group in connection with the bankruptcy of the bank group’s borrower, a small oil and gas producer, including the negotiation and structuring of settlements of various disputes between the borrower and another oil and gas producer relating to a farmout agreement and related agreements.
Unsecured Creditor Representation
- Representation of several trading and marketing companies in the Enron bankruptcy, including the active management of contracts that were not terminated upon the bankruptcy.
- Representation of a large creditor in the bankruptcy of a large energy company, including the management of energy contracts, financial transactions, and fuel supply contracts during the pendency of the bankruptcy, the termination and liquidation of forward contracts and swap agreements, and the defense and settlement of claims.
- Representation of several energy trading and marketing companies in negotiating post-petition transactions with bankrupt counterparties.
- Representation of contract operator in Chapter 11 case of coalbed methane producer.
- Representation of major joint working interest owner in recovery of interests in oil and gas properties owned by Chapter 11 Debtor.
- Representation of predecessor in interest of working interest owner regarding unpaid operating expenses and plugging and abandonment obligations in Chapter 11 cases.
- Representation of Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee with claims of $10,000,000 in a Chapter 11 case involving an energy trading company, resulting in a Chapter 11 Plan which paid unsecured creditors in full with interest.