ANALYSIS: Three Skills Bankruptcy Partners Need to Stand Out


Lawyers new to the practice of commercial bankruptcy often focus on obvious areas to develop their expertise: mastering the substantive and procedural rules of Chapter 11 and building their litigation and transactional skills. But new bankruptcy attorneys shouldn’t overlook developing three additional skills early in their careers.

1. Accounting and finance

Chapter 11 associates can still benefit from some basic accounting and financial skills, such as reading balance sheets, identifying valuation issues come into play with various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, and understanding different accounting methodologies. Evaluation. It is also useful to learn about corporate finance structures, from issuing bonds to secured revolving credit facilities. Studying these structures will help you spot problems during the course of the case, develop arguments and evaluate proposed restructuring solutions. Bloomberg’s Law Transactional Intelligence Center has a number of useful resources for understanding fundraising.

2. Project management

Develop skills in project management will enhance your career as a commercial Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. Representing a committee of debtors or creditors under Chapter 11 can be a colossal and overwhelming undertaking, as these cases not only involve the reorganization process, but also the litigation of various problems with many creditors in several contested matters and adversarial proceedings. Project management skills can help make debtor and committee representation more manageable. Incorporating these skills into your practice will help you stay organized and demonstrate that you are ready to take it to the next level.

3. Oral advocacy

Finally, bankruptcy practice requires you to be a strong oral advocate, whether arguing your case in court, negotiating with multiple parties on conference calls over the terms of a Chapter 11 plan, or explaining complex bankruptcy issues to your client. When you may not yet be playing a major role in the courtroom or on conference calls, write down what the most effective speakers do. Look for opportunities to talk and also improve your verbal communication.

In addition to learning the skills above, new associates should explore the new Bankruptcy Fundamentals Toolkit, which offers useful resources to orient new lawyers to the practice of bankruptcy.

Resources for understanding Chapter 11 are available in our Practical advice: Voluntary Chapter 11 sequel as well as Bankruptcy Fundamentals Toolkit.

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