Bankruptcy & Restructuring

What is (a) bankruptcy lawyer(?)

A bankruptcy attorney or lawyer is a legal practitioner that assists businesses and organizations in Vietnam (and also individuals in other jurisdictions) to clear or restructure their debts in order to continue operations to reach their future business goals.  Le & Tran has distinguished itself as being one of very few law firms in Vietnam specializing in bankruptcy and restructuring under Vietnamese law. Over the years, Le &Tran bankruptcy lawyers have represented several multinational corporations in settling the debts with their creditors and subsidiaries in Vietnam in addition to providing advice and support in negotiations with creditors and potential investors to restructure these corporations.

In the business community, Le & Tran is a recognized authority in the field of bankruptcy and restructuring.  As such, the firm closely monitors the legal developments as they occur.  As requested by several corporations of AmCham Vietnam, Le &Tran recently hosted a seminar “Bankruptcy – Why not?” to assist the business community to have a better understanding of bankruptcy proceedings in Vietnam.

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Attorney?

The term ‘bankruptcy’ itself is a term that refers to when financially distressed companies, unable to restructure debts and obligations on their own, file to undergo a court-supervised restructuring.  In order to file a bankruptcy petition, the petitioner must establish that the enterprise has fallen ‘into a state of insolvency’, i.e. that the enterprise has failed to pay its debts (due and payable sums) over the previous three months.  In bankruptcy proceedings, Le &Tran bankruptcy attorneys are skilled at identifying the rights and obligations concerning the creditors of the business, the company requesting bankruptcy, and the managerial positions of the company.  We have full knowledge and extensive experience of the timeline and methods for taking steps to secure the assets of a company, acceptable payment methods, evaluation of a company’s assets, and solutions for protecting the managerial positions from potential criminal liability following the court’s decision to commence bankruptcy proceedings.

In general, most companies do not plan for (and certainly do not wish for) a court-ordered bankruptcy. The main duty of bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers is actually to avoid a client’s bankruptcy. However, depending on the factual circumstances of the business and the applicability of various restructuring strategies, bankruptcy or restructuring may be a potential solution to resolve business difficulties and successfully recover from a financial crisis.

Signs That You Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer

There is not a set definition or signpost that indicates your business requires a bankruptcy attorney.  Each sector and individual business is unique and there are a number of variables to consider.  Some of the factors suggesting that a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney is advisable include the profitability of the company, the amount and nature of liabilities, existing disputes or lawsuits, government investigation or charges, and current and future trends in the market.

The extensive experience of Le & Tran’s bankruptcy attorneys encompasses all areas of the bankruptcy and restructuring process from both the debtor and creditor perspectives. For companies with growing operations and obligations, we provide critical advice and peace of mind to their board of directors, management and owners. In many cases, in our position as corporate or litigation counsel, we have been able to identify a potential bankruptcy or restructuring situation early and will be able to flag the issue and offer advice to avoid issues long before any court filing is required.  These solutions may involve the recapitalization or restructuring of a company’s operations, or even the retirement of debt.  Should bankruptcy or restructuring ultimately become necessary, Le & Tran provides guidance on the reorganization, refinancing, liquidations, sales, acquisitions and strategy to counter the actions of creditors.

With the worldwide pandemic, a number of industries have been negatively impacted, both in the short term and the long term.  Le & Tran bankruptcy lawyers understand the challenges faced by clients in the modern business climate.  Our team possesses an unmatched and up-to-date experience in a wide range of economic sectors currently most impacted by bankruptcy and restructuring issues.  These industries include hospitality, aviation, construction, oil and gas, retail, technology, agribusiness, commercial real estate, media and entertainment, and health care among others. Le & Tran’s team of restructuring professionals provide solid representation and advice relating to any entity that has been affected by the impact of Covid-19 or other economic circumstances, including real estate and leasing, labor and employment, financing for a debtor-in-possession, enterprise and asset valuations, and contested court hearings.  Le & Tran’s experience across multiple industries is wide-ranging and covers all the critical areas of finance and restructuring, including exchange offers, debt for equity swaps, prearranged and conventional reorganization cases, and bankruptcies that have an international impact.  Our goal as premier international bankruptcy lawyers are to assist your business to recover, adapt, and ultimately succeed in achieving its goals.

Le & Tran bankruptcy lawyers are also skilled at representing creditors both prior to and during bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings.  We have represented a wide range of clients including secured and unsecured creditors, lessors of real and personal property, and investors. Our Firm specializes in negotiating, restructuring, enforcing, collecting and liquidating loans and claims. Should litigation involving creditor preference arise, we carefully examine the claim’s weight and legality, negotiate the best possible settlement with debtors or trustees, or file litigation if necessary.

As a top level bankruptcy law firm, Le & Tran crafts their advice and solutions to suit each client’s needs and requirements.  Short-term and long term strategies are devised only after a thorough investigation of the operations and circumstances of each individual client and the industry as a whole.  Further, with a number of specialized areas of practice, including tax disputes, securities, health care, insurance, banking and finance, government and regulatory, intellectual property and mergers & acquisitions, the Firm is uniquely positioned to assist clients through the complex issues of bankruptcy and restructuring utilizing the most efficient, strategic and comprehensive methods possible.  In short, our multi-disciplinary approach is the key to providing you with the most successful, flexible and cost-effective solution and ensuring that all of your interests are protected.

A specific example would be the hospitality and aviation industries, which have been particularly hard-hit in the last two years of the pandemic.  Le & Tran bankruptcy attorneys have provided advice for these clients in creating new health and safety procedures, addressed requirements for physical distancing, and aided in the re-examination of the overall business model. In addition, we have assisted these entities in navigating the difficult external financial environment including advice on negotiating with third parties, lenders, risk mitigation, and workforce issues.

What is the role of a bankruptcy attorney?

Le & Tran utilizes a range of methods to support your business even before a bankruptcy and reorganization is necessary, which may include:

  • Surveying the overall capital structure of the client and assessing the ability to continue operations while undergoing a restructuring
  • Analyzing current debt service structure of the client for potential defaults to determine impacts as well as required actions
  • Calculating upcoming due dates for debt payments and assessing the client’s ability to meet its obligations
  • Creating strategies to limit the impact of negative economic events such as contract forbearance, extensions or amendments, and negotiating extensions of payment terms
  • Opening and maintaining avenues of communication with lenders and interested parties
  • Assessing the client’s web of obligees and customers to determine their ability to make timely payments
  • Detecting possible issues with the supply chain and potentially adjusting terms to ensure a predictable cash flow
  • Appraising the client’s existing contracts for possible cascading default or force majeure issues
  • Examining the client’s insurance policies to assess the potential for claims and the protection of the entity in moving forward
  • Assessing current disputes and litigation with external parties in order to explore more cost-effective resolutions, such as out-of-court settlements
  • Evaluating the client’s potential to purchase the assets or business of distressed entities
  • Prosecuting and defending fraudulent transfer and preference litigation

Globalization in the modern business world has presented new opportunities as well as new challenges for businesses and the character of companies that require reorganizations has changed.  This has resulted in the emergence of several cases of cross-border restructuring, which has added to the complexity of the process. Le & Tran is on the cutting edge of this development and has deep knowledge of the international legal landscape and the impact of restructuring on multifaceted areas such as the assets of the company, workforce issues and the intellectual property of the organization.

Further, for over a decade, Le & Tran has been a bankruptcy law firm that has assisted in matters involving Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) of distressed entities in Vietnam and overseas. By designing innovative, workable, and flexible solutions, Le & Tran ensures that clients make the correct decisions regarding the numerous issues associated with M&A transactions as well as takeover of a distressed entity.  Le & Tran attorneys strongly work together with clients to create an all-encompassing plan that takes into account regulatory issues, financing, securities and tax law requisites, as well as the rights and duties of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.  Le & Tran’s significant background in the field has involved representing purchasers of the assets of financially disadvantaged companies in out-of-court M&A deals, as well as bidders in sales performed under the bankruptcy laws, including dealing with the special obligations, problems, and dangers concerning these matters (e.g., successor liability; bidding strategies, protections, and tax implications).

What should I ask a bankruptcy lawyer?

Of course the first question most clients ask a bankruptcy attorney, is whether a bankruptcy is necessary for their business or organization.  The answer to this most important question will require a detailed analysis of your business’ finances and operations.  However, it should be noted that in many cases the situation is often not as irretrievable as it appears and a good bankruptcy lawyer will often find new avenues and opportunities that you may have overlooked.  There may be several alternatives to bankruptcy such as informal negotiated restructuring of debts and liabilities that your lawyer can assist you with.

With extensive experience and a client-centered approach, Le & Tran Bankruptcy Lawyers will answer all of your questions in a straightforward manner and immediately begin working for you and your business to meet all of your challenges head on.

How Much Do Bankruptcy Lawyers Charge?

Le & Tran bankruptcy lawyers understand that bankruptcy and restructuring can become an expensive and time-consuming experience for all parties involved.  There are numerous required costs at the outset of the process as well as hidden or unexpected expenses that arise depending on the size and complexity of the matter.  As one of Vietnam’s most experienced and competent bankruptcy law firms, clients are often surprised at the both the level of service and the up-front costs and expenses that may be expected.  We work collaboratively with our clients to establish a realistic package that is reasonable and attainable, whether it is a corporation, board of directors, bank, or private equity fund.  As such, Le & Tran has established itself as the unsurpassed and premier affordable bankruptcy attorney in Vietnam and internationally.

Where can I find a bankruptcy lawyer in my area?

As bankruptcy in Vietnam is nationally structured, an attorney in any part of the country is able to handle a bankruptcy.  In addition, as much of the work is done remotely (especially due to the current pandemic), the actual location of the attorney is becoming increasingly less relevant.  However, for the sake of convenience and to save future costs (such as travel, etc.) it is advisable to obtain a bankruptcy and restructuring attorney near the location of operations of the business.  In Vietnam, this is often the economic and administrative hubs of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.  Le & Tran, being based in Ho Chi Minh City is at the heart of the largest city in Vietnam and within easy reach of any court in the country (via air travel).

Contact information

To learn more about our Restructuring & Bankruptcy capabilities, please feel free to reach out to our experienced lawyers at Le & Tran at info@letranlaw.com to arrange a free consultation.