Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell clients rely on our lawyers’ experience to navigate the complex world of bankruptcy courts for creditors, with a particular focus on public-sector creditors. While our team has experience representing debtors in bankruptcy proceedings, most of our work focuses on preparing public agencies for the potential bankruptcy of tenants, users and contractors and then helping our clients protect their interests through the bankruptcy process.
Kaplan Kirsch lawyers have been deeply involved in all significant airline bankruptcy cases in recent decades, handling billions of dollars in claims and successfully negotiating a multitude of agreements with airlines on behalf of airport operators nationwide. We also have represented airport sponsors in a wide range of bankruptcy matters involving other airport users, among them rental car companies, concessionaires and hotel developers, including several in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When airlines or other airport tenants file for bankruptcy, our deep experience and thorough knowledge of airport finances and operations strongly equips us to assist clients in navigating the bankruptcy process. We ensure an uninterrupted flow of Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs), negotiate work-outs with bankrupt airlines and others to permit continued operation of critical facilities such as terminals and fuel farms, obtain payment for past or current airport use and negotiate with the airline to help ensure continued air service for the airport and the communities it serves. Our team also protects clients from debtor trustees’ efforts to claw back payments through preference claims. We form consortia of affected airports to leverage economies of scale and lower the cost of responding to an airline or large-tenant bankruptcy, and we also work with individual airports to address specific issues presented by a tenant’s bankruptcy filing.
Because of our comprehensive understanding of both the issues inherent in government proprietary functions and bankruptcy, we can anticipate bankruptcy challenges and counsel clients how to best plan for those issues. We have represented government entities in bankruptcy-court hearings involving use-and-lease agreement assumptions, multimillion-dollar rejection claims and proceedings regarding the means and methods of payments of PFCs to airports.