2013 Business Law Conference: Financial Restructuring and Distressed Opportunities Panel

Financial Restructuring PanelThe Financial Restructuring and Distressed Opportunities Panel featured Peter Antonszyk, Mitch Appelbaum, Chris Updike, and  Roy Messing from Proskauer Rose, Wilmerhale, Cadwalder and FTI Consulting, respectively. The Panel was moderated by Frederick Tung, Professor at the Boston University School of Law.

Unlike most transactions, where all parties profit to varying degrees, bankruptcy differentiates itself in that all parties will suffer some loss from settlement. Thus, Messing described a bankruptcy as one part corporate consulting, and one part bar fight. One had to have a thorough understanding of financial statements, and of financial engineering techniques. But, one also had to realize that all parties were engaged in a game of bluffing and maneuvering, and that while no party wished to avoid settlement, all parties wished to gain leverage to achieve the best settlement.

Indeed, all panelists agreed that negotiation skills were paramount, given the high acrimony and emotion in a Bankruptcy proceeding; Antonszyk mentioned Fisher’s “Getting to Yes” as a principle text.  Applebaum iterated that interpersonal skills were also necessary in dealing with the firm that hired you. In many situations a bankruptcy attorney must convince key individuals of the harsh reality of the financial situation. As a bankruptcy attorney represents the estate, rather than the company or individual which hired him, he must also toe the line between the interests of his pay master and of the estate, especially when considering risk.

Finally, the panelists emphasized that Bankruptcy has changed a great deal over the last two decades. Whereas previously the borrowers in a bankruptcy proceeding were almost exclusively banks, the increased availability of non-bank sources of credit, coupled with regulation intended to expedite proceedings, has drastically modified current bankruptcy regimes.


Written by Andrew Kostrzewa

Looking Back at the 2013 Business Law Conference

The BU Law Business Law Society ran its flagship event on February 15, the 2013 Business Law Conference. The Conference featured four panels with a total of fourteen attorneys who practice with a variety of organizations including large law, venture capital, mobile technology, pharmaceutical, and business advisory. The panels covered emerging issues and career opportunities in Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Restructuring & Distressed Opportunities, In-House Counsel, and Capital Markets.

Panelists and audience members alike enjoyed the discussions. First year students had the opportunity to network and learn from attorneys in a variety of practice areas. Students also gleaned several tips from younger attorneys who offered tips for early career success.

The Society extends its thanks to all supporters of the 2013 Conference including co-sponsors WilmerHale and Bloomberg Law, each of the panelists, Professor Kent Coit, Professor Kevin Outterson, and Professor Frederick Tung. And thanks to everyone who joined us on a holiday Friday afternoon. Looking forward to next year, the Society plans to run another conference and make this an annual opportunity.

Please forward any questions or comments to DJ or Nathan.

2013 Business Law Conference — February 15, 2013!

The BU Business Law Society presents the 2013 Business Law Conference!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013
3:30pm — 7:00pm
765 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

The Conference brings practitioners to the School of Law, introduces students to emerging issues and career opportunities, and hosts a networking reception. The four feature panels are Mergers & Acquisitions, In-House Counsel, Financial Restructuring & Distressed Opportunities, and Capital Markets & Securities. The Conference is co-sponsored by Bloomberg Law and WilmerHale.

Boston University School of Law has a storied reputation for banking, financial, and tax education. During the 2011-2012 academic year, the School of Law launched a new Transactional Law Program, which equips students with both doctrinal and practice skills necessary for executing business transactions. Kent Coit, a nearly thirty year veteran of Skadden, Arps’ mergers & acquisitions department, directs the Transactional Law Program.

Also in 2012, a group of JD students launched the Business Law Society to complement the mission of the Transactional Law Program. The Society has planned the 2013 Business Law Conference as a multi-panel event to bring practitioners to the School of Law, introduce students to emerging issues and career opportunities in several fields, and host a networking reception. On behalf of the Society, the Transactional Law Program, and the School of Law, thank you for joining us at the inaugural Business Law Conference.

For additional information, please contact Nathan Hertzog (hertzog@bu.edu), President of the Business Law Society.

You can RSVP at the following links:

Welcome back & New 1L Representatives

The Business Law Society extends a welcome as we commence on our 2012-2013 academic school year. We look forward to the opportunity this year holds and seek to exceed our past achievements. Our first general meeting, held on September 20, enjoyed very strong and enthusiastic interest, especially from the 1L class.

Our 1L Representatives, whom 1Ls can and should approach, will be responsible for promoting the BLS, receiving input from classmates, and exercising leadership along with the Executive Board. The 1L Reps were confirmed in our first e-board meeting held on  This year our 1L Representatives are the following:

  • Phil Chang
  • Alyce Chen
  • Adriana Henquen
  • Julie Krosnicki
  • Lisa Ann Landry
  • Robert Murphy
  • Yelena Nam
  • Chloe Pletner
  • Michael Vandenberg
  • Sarah Won

Our main event of the year is scheduled for February 15, 2013. Mark your calendars for the inaugural Business Law Conference. The Conference will feature four panels of BU Law alumni. The panelists will discuss career opportunities and emerging issues in the fields of M&A, Financial Restructuring and Distressed Opportunities, Capital Markets & Securities, and In-House Counsel. The Conference will conclude with a networking reception.

Please feel free to reach out to DJ or Nathan with any questions.

BLS Event: Law & Startups

LawStartupsOn April 19th, the Business Law Society successfully held our inaugural event, Law and Startups, with special invitations to the Law School and School of Management while remaining open to the general public. The panel discussion was well-attended and concluded with positive reviews. Our panel consisted of four BU Law alumni including Tedd Lustig (’94), a partner Seyfarth Shaw; and Mick Bain (’93), Wendell Taylor (’95), and Mike LaCascia (’90), partners at WilmerHale. Our panelists discussed wearing multiple hats as legal counselors and business advisers to a full range of startup, emerging, and public company clients. The panelists shared their thoughts on clean tech, Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, the future of shared space, the importance of IP, awareness of “what do you own and who owns you,” the future and relevance of Crowd Funding with the JOBS Act, and other changes in the startup ecosystem. Thank you for all those who supported our event by attending and spreading the word. Please feel free to reach out to Nathan or DJ with any comments, questions, or suggestions.