Excellence with Cost Effective Results
JONATHAN L. HOWELL
Jonathan L. Howell leads the Bankruptcy, Restructuring, & Creditors' Rights Section at the firm. Mr. Howell actively represents clients throughout the United States in all facets of bankruptcy, out-of-court restructurings, multi-jurisdictional insolvencies, creditors’ rights, and federal bankruptcy-related litigation matters. Mr. Howell has received multiple awards and recognition from his peers for his work in Chapter 11 reorganizations.
Mr. Howell has represented a broad spectrum of clients in Chapter 11 reorganizations, ranging from local startups to Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Howell's clients include financially distressed companies, traditional and non-traditional lenders, mortgage servicers, private equity firms, hedge funds, family offices, institutional investors, REITs, manufacturers, retailers, real estate developers, hospitality groups and hoteliers, oil and gas companies, trade creditors, landlords, official and ad-hoc creditors' committees, trustees, and judgment creditors.
Mr. Howell received his B.A. in Economics from SMU in 2001 and his J.D. in 2007 from SMU's Dedman School of Law, where he was an articles editor for the International Law Review and Dean’s List student. From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Howell served as a federal judicial law clerk for the Honorable D. Michael Lynn, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas. While attending law school, Jonathan also externed for the Honorable Stacey G. C. Jernigan, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas.
Mr. Howell is frequently published and serves as a lecturer on various bankruptcy and creditors' rights topics.
- REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
• Served as lead counsel for the official unsecured creditors' committee in Falcon Steel Company and New Falcon Steel, LLC, which collectively represents the interests of holders of approximately $4.5 million in unsecured debt owed to various creditor constituencies.
• Served as lead counsel for the debtors, the developers and operators of a mixed-use real estate property in Denton County, Texas, in reorganizing over $10 million in debts and formulating a plan that pays unsecured creditors in full, allows principals to retain their equity interest, and resolves over five-years of contentious litigation.
• Served as lead debtors’ counsel in a Chapter 11 reorganization of an East Texas Best Western branded hotel and adjacent restaurant involving the successful confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan that reorganizes over $2 million in debts, pays unsecured creditors in full, plus interest, over the term of three years and allows the principals to retain their equity.
• Served as co-counsel to auction participant that bid on assets, valued at $2.7 billion, in the Erickson Retirement Communities LLC bankruptcy case in an attempt to acquire the debtors' operations.
• Acted as lead counsel for multiple Texas-based landlords in Blockbuster, Inc., Ritz Camera & Image LLC, Idearc, Inc., Circuit City Stores, Inc., and Mr. E's Music Supercenters, Inc., successfully maximizing landlords' recoveries for unpaid lease obligations.
• Represented creditors and natural gas providers in numerous complex Chapter 11 cases and avoidance actions, including but not limited to, Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Charter Communications, Inc., Flying J, Inc., Lear Corp., Linens Holding Co., Masonite Corp., Movie Gallery, Inc. SemCrude, L.P., AMR Corp., and Energy Future Holdings Corp.
• Served as debtors’ counsel to family office and Wyndham franchisees in the Chapter 11 reorganization of twenty-two hotels and over $75 million of debt, ending in the successful confirmation of a consensual Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
• Served as lead counsel in successfully defending a Dallas-based technology firm against Nortel Networks, Inc. for alleged preferential transfers, aggregating more than $3.1 million, and resulting in a complete dismissal of all allegations.
• Acted as debtors’ counsel to four Hyatt franchisees in contested Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and subsequent district court and Fifth Circuit appeals in Texas Grand Prairie Hotel Realty, LLC, leading to the affirmance of the bankruptcy court’s decision to confirm the debtors’ Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
• Represented numerous debtors and trustees in Chapter 11 reorganization and liquidation cases, including but not limited to, Lewis Equipment Co., Denar, LLC, Golden Restaurants, CSD, LLC, Vanderra Resources, LLC, and Domistyle, Inc.
• Served as counsel to creditors' committee in Home Interiors & Gifts, Inc. and Centennial Beverage Group, LLC bankruptcy cases.
Mr. Howell is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in Texas and frequently appears as counsel in federal bankruptcy courts throughout the United States, including in the Southern District of New York and in the District of Delaware. Mr. Howell is currently Chair of the Lunch with the Judges Program for DFW Association of Young Bankruptcy Lawyers, a member of the Dallas Bar Association’s Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, and is a member of the Non-lawyer Outreach Co-liaison for the Young Lawyers Committee of the State Bar of Texas.
Mr. Howell grew up in Lake Highlands community in Dallas, attended St. John's Episcopal School, and graduated from J.J. Pearce High School before attending SMU. Mr. Howell currently serves on St. John's Episcopal School's Board of Directors, Finance Committee.
- FEATURED MEDIA
"Till in Chapter 11 Cases and the Looming "Efficient Market" Debate." ABI Journal. July 2013
"Trade Creditors in Bankruptcy." Dallas Bar Association’s Headnotes. July 2011.
Jonathan L. Howell, et al., Evidence Rules and Trial Tactics in Bankruptcy Court, State Bar of Texas Business Bankruptcy 101 Course, San Antonio, Texas. June 2010. (panel speaker).
"Bankruptcy 101: What Every Bankruptcy Attorney Needs to Know About Cash Collateral and DIP Financing." April 2010.
"Commercial Landlord Issues in Bankruptcy." April 2010. (presentation speaker).
"Chapter 11 Practice — Bankruptcy Nuts & Bolts: The Basics of Cash Collateral and DIP Financing." State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Law Section Newsletter. August 2010.
"Utilizing Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to Combat Fraud." World Compendium on Asset Tracing & Recovery. March 2009.
"A Primer on Commercial Landlord Issues in Bankruptcy." Dallas Bar Association’s Headnotes. June 2009
"Bankruptcy 101: What Every Young Lawyer Should Know About Non-Residential Tenant Bankruptcies." August 2009.
Jonathan L. Howell, et al., "Navigating a Small Business Bankruptcy Case — The Benefits and Perils." September 2009. (panel speaker).
"What Every Landlord Should Know About Non-Residential Tenant Bankruptcies." October 2009.
International Insolvency Law, 42 Int'l Law. 113. SMU Law Textbook. 2008.
Privatization of Pemex, 13 Law & Bus. Rev. Am. 461. SMU Law Textbook. 2007.
Recent Developments in NAFTA Law, 13 Law & Bus. Rev. Am. 253. SMU Law Textbook. 2007.
Dr. Michael Lynn, et al., Chapter 11: The Practice of Corporate Reorganization Law. SMU Law Textbook. 2007.
AVVO: Top Rated Lawyer Jonathan L. Howell
In 2014, Jonathan was named by D Magazine as a Dallas' Best Lawyer for Bankruptcy.
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