Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy

Municipal Insolvency

Municipal restructuring is more than bankruptcy – it involves a host of issues that are political in nature and often have unforeseen consequences. With this in mind, Fox Rothschild’s municipal insolvency practice employs a comprehensive approach to addressing these complexities surrounding Chapter 9 bankruptcy filings.

Our sensitivity to the political issues and degree of savvy gained from our colleagues in the firm’s government relations practice affords us a distinctive approach and an “on-the-ground” team able to work collaboratively with the political parties involved. This team includes a former member of Congress, individuals who served in or worked with local governments, and bankruptcy and bond partners with various levels of political involvement.

Through our efforts, Fox attorneys have successfully negotiated Chapter 9-styled resolutions of municipal financial problems without the need for a bankruptcy filing – a political “win” for all involved.

For nearly 100 years, Chapter 9 has been used as a means for the reorganization of a municipality's financial affairs. As more local governments find themselves unable to meet the increasing costs, particularly related to pensions and retiree health benefits, municipalities have begun to more seriously consider debt restructuring under the bankruptcy code as an option for right-sizing their budgets.

Drawing from our knowledge of debt restructuring, bankruptcy, public finance, municipal law and governance, labor law, employee benefits, tax, litigation, government contracts and more, our attorneys are adept at positioning municipalities for long-term success. Too often, local governments apply a bandage to problems that require more far-reaching solutions — including those involving pensions, bonds and labor issues, among others. Our attorneys aim to prevent this cycle before it begins.

As a testament to their experience, our attorneys are frequently tapped by the media for their insight on current and potential Chapter 9 proceedings, such as those happening in Detroit, Stockton, San Bernardino and others. They have appeared in national and local outlets, both print and broadcast, including NPR, CNBC, U.S. News & World Report, Fox News, Debtwire, CNN Money, The New York Times, Bloomberg Law Reports, Reuters, The Courier Post, The Daily Bankruptcy News, Stockton California Record, Philadelphia Business Journal and Mayors & Cities Magazine.