Archive for July, 2016

Houston Partner Mark Sherrill Quoted on Texas Bankruptcy Spike

Posted on: July 21st, 2016

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP bankruptcy Partner Mark Sherrill was quoted in the Houston Chronicle in an article headlined “Bankruptcy filings on rise in Houston,” which zeroed in on the oil price collapse and its impact. The story reported that the world’s Energy Capital saw 210 companies file for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Southern District of Texas during the first six months this year. That compares to just 98 filings for the same period in 2015.

The bankruptcy spike didn’t surprise Houston economic observers. And Mr. Sherrill noted that as the downturn dragged on and lenders cut off credit, the financial outlook only darkened for many companies.

The numbers cited in the article may actually under-represent the true picture. The data did not include Houston-based companies that filed for Chapter 11 in other states, such as Delaware. Mr. Sherrill told the Chronicle that in the past, large companies favored Delaware and New York for their experience and efficiency. However, he said, Houston’s federal court has changed some administrative rules to match Delaware’s speed, and that has perhaps encouraged more companies to file in Houston.

Mr. Sherrill joined the Houston office from Sutherland’s Washington office earlier this year to focus on complex energy bankruptcy matters. In recent months, he has been widely quoted in Texas and energy media on the potential industry impact of bankruptcy court rulings that allowed certain distressed producers to break gas-gathering contracts.