INSOLVENCY & CREDITORS' RIGHTS.
OPTIMIZING RECOVERIES AND IDENTIFYING OPPORTUNITIES IN DISTRESSED SITUATIONS.
MORRISSEY, WILSON & ZAFIROPOULOS, LLP is a boutique law firm with the experience, resources and expertise in litigation, bankruptcy, real estate and business law to effectively represent individual and institutional clients in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
MWZ prides itself on the quality, responsiveness and judgment of its lawyers. We aggressively pursue our clients interests in both the court room as well as the corporate board room. Each lawyer at MWZ has extensive business experience, as well as legal expertise. We understand and appreciate our clients' balance sheets and business plans and our clients look to us to provide solutions to their business problems, as well as their legal needs.
THE CHALLENGES OF THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT.
On February 10, 2010 the Congressional Oversight Panel warned "a wave of commercial real estate loan failures could threaten America's already weakened financial system." Specifically, the Panel found that "between 2010 and 2014 about $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate loans will reach the end of their terms" and "nearly half of these loans are at present, underwater, that is the borrower owes more that the underlying property is currently worth." As a result, the Panel predicts that "commercial loan losses could jeopardize the stability of many banks, particularly the nation's mid-size and smaller banks and that as damage spreads beyond individual banks that it will contribute to prolonged weakness throughout the economy." A copy of the Panel's on report Commercial Real Estate Losses and the Risk to Financial Stability is available here.
MWZ is well positioned to assist financial institutions and real estate investors meet the challenges-- as well as capitalize on the opportunities-- presented by the anticipated collapse of the commercial real estate bubble. MWZ's bankruptcy and creditors' rights practice is composed of seasoned commercial and bankruptcy litigators, as well as transactional lawyers with deep experience in workouts and insolvency matters. MWZ represents estate fiduciaries and creditors at every level of the capital structure in bankruptcy reorganizations and liquidations throughout New England and the country.
This legal expertise is complemented by our lawyers' extensive business experience as landlords, developers and real estate investors. The combination of these resources allows us to provide our clients with practical, comprehensive advice on the legal and business issues that arise in distressed situations and implement effective legal responses, appropriate to the particular circumstance.
REAL ESTATE WORKOUTS, RESTRUCTURINGS AND BANKRUPTCIES
MWZ's lawyers specialize in the restructuring, repositioning and disposition of distressed real estate. Our collective experience allows us to understand distressed real estate transactions from the perspective of both lenders and owner/developers and handle all facets of distressed real estate transactions, from documenting consensual modifications, forbearance and deed-in-lieu agreements to pursuing the recovery of real estate collateral through foreclosure, receivership or in borrower-initiated bankruptcy cases. We also have extensive experience representing clients in connection with the acquisition and divestiture of troubled real estate assets and debt instruments secured by those assets.
REPRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND OTHER LENDERS
MWZ advises banks, financial institutions and other lenders in all aspects of workouts, restructurings and insolvencies and has extensive experience prosecuting lien enforcement actions in federal bankruptcy cases and state court. This experience includes: obtaining appointment of a receiver to liquidate collateral, litigating contested motions for relief from stay and cash collateral motions, contested and competing contested plan litigation, lien priority and perfection disputes, defense of preference, fraudulent transfer and equitable subordination claims. Members of MWZ also teach bankruptcy and commercial law at Boston University School of Laws' Morrin Center for Banking and Financial Law and New England Law/Boston and serve as a director and chairman of the security committee of a publically- traded financial institution.
DISTRESSED ACQUISITIONS AND DIVESTITURES
Distressed situations often present opportunities for above- market returns for discerning financial and strategic investors. MWZ's lawyers have deep experience in distressed acquisitions and divestitures, whether through Section 363 bankruptcy sales, chapter 11 reorganization plans, foreclosures or receiverships. This skill set encompasses negotiating break-up fees and overbid provisions, as well as assisting both sellers and buyers to take full advantage of the procedural and substantive protections offered by bankruptcy.
MWZ's commercial litigation practice complements its real estate and insolvency practices. The commercial and bankruptcy litigators at MWZ regularly handle commercial lease disputes, zoning matters and litigation concerning the acquisition, disposition and valuation of real estate as well as workout-related litigation. MWZ's litigators also focus on representing banks and other commercial lenders in litigation to resolve nonperforming in federal and state courts. Mindful that settlement is often preferable to protracted, expensive litigation, whenever possible MWZ seeks to resolve business disputes out of court through mediation and arbitration. Members of MWZ also serve as hearing committee members for the Board of Bar Overseers and arbitrators for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Division of Insurance and Massachusetts Bar Association's Legal Fee Arbitration Board as well as trustees for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Clients' Security Fund. They have also been engaged as expert consultants and witnesses in commercial litigation cases.