2020 Legal Elite — Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights Profile
Alexander M. Laughlin, Odin, Feldman & Pittleman PC, Reston
Other legal specialties: Representing applicants for industrial security clearances before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals
Education: Bachelor’s degree, James Madison University; law degree, Gonzaga University School of Law
Spouse: Karen L. Laughlin
First job as a lawyer: Law clerk to Special Trial Judge Daniel J. Dinan, U.S. Tax Court
Fan of: Turner Classic Movies, U.S. Virgin Islands and Jimmy Buffett
Hobbies or pastimes: Scuba diving and swimming
How does your caseload now compare with what it was before the pandemic?
I’m seeing an increase in individuals looking to understand the bankruptcy landscape, both from a creditor and debtor perspective … and a number of new Subchapter V cases under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The volume of Chapter 7 cases and my trustee representation remains steady but is on the increase, especially for Section 363 sales of residential properties.
What new challenges are you facing in representing clients who are facing unexpected bankruptcies due to COVID-19?
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has aided many business clients and given them the ability to endure the pandemic. My practice also involves business counseling against the pandemic and addressing internal ownership interests in the distressed enterprises.
How has the pandemic affected creditors’ rights?
In addition to the new Subchapter V, many creditors seem to be tolerating the current status of their troubled credits or leases given the uncertainties of the pandemic. A commercial landlord may not want to evict a defaulting tenant if there is no viable market for a replacement tenant. The pandemic is compounding the disruption of the retail markets and further exacerbating a major disruption as to the need for thousands of square feet of office space for their employees.
See more from our 2020 Legal Elite package:
- 2020 Legal Elite: Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights list
- The 21st edition of the Virginia Business Legal Elite