Chapter 11 business reorganization cases are not intended to be proceedings where a debtor acts without creditor input. Ideally, a reorganization is a negotiation between the debtor and its creditors which produces a plan that both are willing to accept. However, creditors are often numerous and fragmented, leaving them unable to easily and effectively assert their rights.
In order to aid in the assertion of creditor rights, the Bankruptcy Code provides for the appointment of a committee of creditors to represent the interests of all unsecured creditors. Such a committee can employ an attorney and other professionals to represent the creditor interests and appear before the court on all matters in the case. The committee’s professionals are paid by the debtor, after approval of the fees by the court.
James Olson has represented creditors’ committees in Chapter 11 cases involving an asphalt manufacturer, a salvage and scrapping operation that was dismantling an aircraft carrier, a paving contractor, and others. In all of these cases, Mr. Olson vigorously asserted creditor interests and sought to maximize the assets available for distribution to creditors. This often involved significant litigation to protect creditor rights.
Additionally, Mr. Olson has represented individual creditors that were appointed to creditors’ committees and desired representation as individual committee members.