Neal’s diverse insolvency and bankruptcy practice has involved the representation of secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees, debtors, trustees, liquidating trusts, lessors, and purchasers of stock or assets of insolvent entities.  He has also served as both a liquidating trustee for a corporation with assets valued in excess of $100 million and, on several occasions, as an assignee for the benefit of creditors.

Neal’s notable debt restructuring and business bankruptcy representations include the following:

Debtors: Neal has represented a number of debtors in significant Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings. The debtors for which he has served as lead bankruptcy or workout counsel have included HA-LO Industries, Inc., an industry-leading promotional products company; Midwest Processing Company in one of the seminal reported cases involving the issue of a bad faith filing of an involuntary Chapter 11 case; and VMS Realty in its huge out-of-court real estate workout. He currently serves as lead restructuring counsel to one of the world’s largest, privately held developers and owners of shopping centers, hotel properties, other commercial properties, and residential developments.

VMS was owned by, among other persons and entities, Xerox Financial and Robert Van Kampen. VMS and its more than 100 directly or indirectly controlled affiliates (including limited partnerships, corporations, real estate investment trusts, and joint ventures) had over $9.4 billion in real estate assets and approximately $9 billion in secured liabilities owed largely to banks and insurance companies. The VMS assets included shopping centers, apartment buildings, office buildings, hotels, resorts, casinos, and a large number of developments projects, subdivisions, and projects under construction. As lead workout/bankruptcy counsel, Neal negotiated both an initial creditor standstill agreement and a later “Creditor Repayment Agreement” (signed by all but a few of the secured creditors) which enabled the VMS entities to achieve an orderly out-of-court workout and settlement of multiple pending lawsuits, including a large class action lawsuit. While it was necessary to file individual bankruptcy cases on behalf of a few of the VMS-controlled entities (perhaps five out of 100), in the case of all of the controlling VMS entities (the parent companies) and the vast majority of the controlled entities, bankruptcy was averted.

In an era in which many (if not most) chapter 11 filings result in sales and liquidations, Neal can proudly point to a long track record of highly successful “stand-alone” chapter 11 reorganizations in which the Company’s debt was restructured without a sale or liquidation, without a loss of jobs, and with Company ownership remaining intact.  Within the past few years, Neal represented the Allerton Hotel, an iconic landmark on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Boca Fashion Village, a high-end shopping center on Las Vegas’ northwest side, and entities owning 23 acres of land on the Las Vegas “Strip” in highly successful chapter 11 reorganizations of this nature.

Banks, Insurance Companies, and Commercial Finance Companies: Among the secured creditors Neal has represented throughout his career are Principal Life, Lincoln National, Delaware Investments, CIGNA, The CIT Group, Citicorp North America, Citibank, Bank of America, Bankers Trust Company, NBD Bank, The First National Bank of Chicago, Firstar Bank, Heller Financial, LaSalle Bank, National Westminster Bank, Société General, Fleet Capital Corporation, The Private Bank, Bank One, Sanwa Business Credit, Societe General, Banco Popular, Wells Fargo, Coast Business Credit, FINOVA Capital, and GE Capital.

Committees of Unsecured Creditors: Neal has served as counsel to the official unsecured creditors committees in the Stone & Webster Chapter 11 case, which involved the liquidation of a major construction and engineering firm with several billion dollars of creditor claims; the UNR Industries, Inc. Chapter 11 case, one of the earliest of the asbestos liability-driven Chapter 11 cases; and the Federated Department Stores Chapter 11 case. In addition, he was counsel to over 2,000 “Dalkon Shield” victims in the A. H. Robins Chapter 11 case. He has served as counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of The Fairchild Corporation and its affiliates, and as “conflicts counsel” for the official committees of unsecured creditors of both Bally Total Fitness and Hartmarx Corporation.  He recently served as lead counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Fairview Ministries, Inc. and its affiliates, and of Clare Oaks, which operate continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

Railroad Reorganizations: Neal has substantial expertise in the railroad reorganization area, having successfully represented the debtor, an operating railroad, in the Chicago, Central & Pacific case, and Citicorp and Heller Financial, the secured lenders, in hotly contested priming lien litigation in the Chicago, Missouri & Western Railway and the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad Chapter 11 cases.