Overview

Lynne B. Xerras is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Boston office and a member of the firm's Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors' Rights Group. She has focused her over 20-year career representing companies in distress in and out of bankruptcy court, having guided numerous management teams through the Chapter 11 process from petition to plan confirmation as debtors-in-possession. She has extensive experience representing trade creditors and creditors' committees in complex Chapter 11 cases and continues to advise clients across a wide range of industries regarding their rights as suppliers, contract-counterparties and purchasers in transactions invoking the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other state law remedies.

Ms. Xerras frequently collaborates with attorneys involved in corporate, lending and intellectual property transactions to ensure the underlying documents build in appropriate protection for the client's rights should a bankruptcy intervene as well as evaluating true-sale factors and avoidance risk. As a corollary, she is skilled at advocating for both plaintiffs and defendants in federal court litigation asserting claims for preference, fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty and other avoidance actions, achieving favorable results for her clients as efficiently as practicable.

Ms. Xerras represents local nonprofit organizations in connection with dissolution and financial distress on a pro bono basis. She lecturers for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (CLE), the Boston Bar Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), on bankruptcy law and procedure and creditors' rights issues, and has authored several articles for those organizations.
 
Some of Ms. Xerras' current and recent matters include:

  • represented  U.S. subsidiary of company headquartered in China in analysis of debt restructuring options to adapt to decline in market
  • advised management of global maritime company in assessment of debt restructuring available through U.S. Chapter 11 filing
  • advising clients regarding their ability to terminate existing contractual relationships based on events of breach and insolvency
  • counsel to Chapter 7 trustees in suits seeking damages for breach of fiduciary duty by officers and directors of a defunct companies, reaching settlement of complex claims to fund creditor distributions through litigation, mediation, and negotiation
  • represented several colleges and universities in defense of trustee claims to avoid and recover tuition payments funded by bankrupt parents of matriculating students as fraudulent transfers
  • representing quasi-state agency in Chapter 11 case and associated litigation initiated by network operator regarding treatment of agency's claim and contract
  • worked with lead litigation counsel to successfully move for dismissal of Chapter 11 cases filed by former manager of debtor without corporate authority and after appointment of examiner for debtor-entities
  • representing insurance company in protecting rights under restrictive covenant in bankruptcy case filed by former employee
  • successfully represented leading cancer treatment hospital and research institution in defense of claims asserted by Chapter 7 trustee of bankrupt donor to recover donations and pledges
  • evaluated whether attributes of sale of portfolio of accounts receivable to special purpose entity (SPE) reflected "true-sale" to purchaser
  • negotiated terms of inbound intellectual property license for global cosmetic brand to protect against licensee's bankruptcy 
  • co-counsel to employee-owned company as creditor in Chapter 11 case of Peabody Energy, asserting client's right to indemnification for $1.2 billion in environmental claims asserted by federal, state and tribal entities against client and negotiating favorable plan treatment with key constituents, including the U.S. Department of Justice
  • represented equipment lessor in state law receivership action filed by lessee 
  • part of team representing an indenture trustee for $100 million in California pollution control bonds in the PG&E Chapter 11 cases
  • represented iconic silver manufacturer in its Chapter 11 reorganization and going-concern sale to Lenox, Inc., resulting in a confirmed plan yielding a substantial dividend to all creditor classes
  • represented the shareholder/principal of defunct compounding center in defense of claims asserted by the bankruptcy trustee and in furtherance of a global settlement process in mass tort Chapter 11 case as well as related federal indictment
  • represented a primary secured creditor in the bankruptcy of eight affiliated health clubs in litigation before the bankruptcy court, involving control over club facilities and their revenue
  • co-counsel to supplier in a defense of state court action brought by a Chapter 7 trustee in a retailer's bankruptcy to recover the asserted value of untaken "chargebacks" and vendor allowances
  • represented a publicly held industrial supply company as creditor in numerous Chapter 11 cases, often facilitating the sale of the client's unsecured and administrative claims and defending preference litigation
  • represented the owner of a lighting product retailer and showroom in the successful acquisition of a competing lighting supply company through a Section 363 sale
  • member of a team representing the former director and officer of affiliated film production companies in defense of claims for breach of fiduciary duties asserted by the creditors' committee and lenders
  • represented the examiner appointed in the bankruptcy of a group of closely held real estate holding companies, overseeing an accounting firm's forensic accounting and diligence regarding the amount of undisclosed distributions made to a majority partner
  • represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in a Chapter 11 case manufacturer in the solar power industry
  • represented a fuel distributor and gas station site owner in connection with the bankruptcy of the master lessee and assertion of the client's rights as creditor and landlord
  • spearheaded negotiations on behalf of a group of banks and mortgage servicers leading to a favorable global settlement of claims asserted by the Attorney General's Office and individuals involved in debtor/borrower's "foreclosure avoidance" transactions

Credentials

Education
  • New England School of Law, J.D.
  • Boston College, B.A., Economics
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Massachusetts
Memberships
  • Boston Bar Association, Finance and Business Debtor Committee of the Bankruptcy Section, Co-Chair
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, Local Rules Committee
  • International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, New England Division, Former Board Member
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Litigation – Bankruptcy Law, 2021
  • YW Boston's  LeadBoston class of professionals, 2020
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2018-2020
  • Rising Star, Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine, 2010, 2011

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News