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Stay 6 Feet Apart: Restructurings in Hotel, Hospitality and Leisure

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 74 minutes
Recorded Date: July 30, 2021
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  • Overview
  • Hotel Francihse Agreements
  • Receiverships
  • Dealing with Franchisor in Bankruptcy
  • Liquidity
  • Budgeting
  • Bankruptcy issues you might face
  • Final Thoughts
Runtime: 1 hour, 14 minutes
Recorded: July 30, 2021

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys only (non-transitional)


Arguably no other industry has been impacted by the pandemic as much as the hospitality and leisure space. Hotels and conference centers face historic vacancy rates while AirBNB’s IPO raises $86 Billion. This panel discusses the unique challenges facing hotel and hospitality owners, operators, investors and brands seeking to ride out the current storm.

This program was recorded as part of ABI's 2021 Southeastern Bankruptcy Workshop on July 30th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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Michael H. Weaver

Rogers Townsend, LLC

Michael H. Weaver is a partner in Rogers Townsend, LLC’s Columbia, S.C., office and handles commercial finance as well as workouts, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters.

His experience in the hospitality industry includes engagements representing franchisors, franchisees and secured lenders. He also has experience advising chapter 11 debtors, trustees, creditors and unsecured creditor committees with a variety of bankruptcy matters, including debtor-in-possession financing, use of cash collateral, preferential and fraudulent transfer litigation, dischargeability and automatic stay issues, bankruptcy sales and acquisitions, lease assumption or rejection, claim objections, plan confirmation issues and other aspects of bankruptcy and restructuring efforts.

Mr. Weaver is a past president of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association and has been a member of ABI since 2004. He received his B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina.

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Joe A. Joseph

Burr & Forman, LLP

Joe A. Joseph is a partner in the Birmingham, Ala., office of Burr & Forman, LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Group. His practice is concentrated on the representation of creditors in complex commercial matters in bankruptcy courts, as well as state and federal trial and appellate courts.

Mr. Joseph has experience in chapter 11 reorganizations and commercial loan restructurings. His primary clients include commercial lenders (bank and nonbank), retail shopping center owners, equipment lessors, health care companies, insurance companies, general contractors and manufacturers. Mr. Joseph has represented lenders in distressed hotel loans in chapter 11 cases, as well as federal and state court receivership actions. Additionally, he has represented shopping center landlords in many of the large retail cases that have been filed in recent years.

Mr. Joseph is a member of ABI and serves on the advisory board of the Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, and he is a director of the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute. He also is a past director for Alabama Appleseed, Inc., a nonprofit organization that seeks to ensure equal access to justice. Mr. Joseph has lectured on such topics as distressed condominiums, selected topics in bankruptcy law, commercial loan workouts, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights categories, and since 2011, he has been named as “Leader in their Field” in Bankruptcy & Restructuring by Chambers USA.

Mr. Joseph is admitted to practice in all federal and state courts in Alabama, as well as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has also been admitted to practice pro hac vice in bankruptcy courts in California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Mr. Joseph received his B.S. in finance in 1980 from the University of Alabama and his J.D. in 1987 from Samford University Cumberland School of Law.

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John Pharr

Strand Hospitality Services

John Pharr is president of Strand Hospitality Services in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He previously was general manager of the Holiday Inn Downtown on the oceanfront in Myrtle Beach and has been at the helm of Strand since 1984, which has managed more than 350 different hotels since its inception.

Mr. Pharr was named Hotelier of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association, which represents hundreds of hotels and more than 75,000 rooms along the grand strand. He is a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, during which time he worked with the Air Force on lodging and hospitality projects worldwide. He also served as an Air Force Academy Admissions Counselor.

Mr. Pharr is member of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club and served on the board of National Golf Course Management, one of the largest golf course management companies in the U.S. He has served on the board of Myrtle Beach National Companies for more than 35 years and serves on the appointed board for the Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business and the advisory committee for the Real Estate Investment Management Program. He was formerly on the board of directors of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and is a former member of the Wingate Inns Presidents Advisory Council. Mr. Pharr and Strand have been involved in almost 60 receiverships or bankowned properties over the past 10 years. A licensed real estate broker in North Carolina and South Carolina, he received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his M.B.A. from Webster University.

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Sarah R. Borders

King & Spalding LLP

Sarah Borders is a nationally recognized restructuring and finance lawyer. Her practice focuses on developing, structuring, documenting and closing financing transactions, representing borrowers and lenders in debt restructurings, workouts and forbearance arrangements; and representing debtors, lenders purchasers and unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 reorganization cases. Sarah's practice spans a number of industries including infrastructure, real estate, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, restaurant, hospitality and transportation.

Sarah represents lenders and borrowers in a variety of complex financing transactions that include term loans, revolving credit facilities, bridge loans, cmbs financing, securitizations, mezzanine financing, subordinated debt, preferred equity transactions, unitranche financings, and credit lease transactions. Clients call on her not only to negotiate and document financing transactions but also to develop and structure financial products. Sarah has particular expertise in structuring financing transactions for financially challenged borrowers.

Sarah is a native of Louisiana, graduated from Louisiana State University and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Law School Foundation. She is a former law clerk for the late Judge Henry A. Politz of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sarah is the Chair of the Firm's Lateral Partner Committee, has served multiple terms on the Firm's policy committee and had led both the Financial Restructuring and Real Estate practice groups. Advised MSN Healthcare on the sale of its distressed medical staffing business with locations in more than 30 states. The sale was completed out of court on a basis that preserved thousands of jobs, maximized value for the stakeholders and minimized transaction costs and risk to the owners and managers.

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Hon. Gregory R. Schaaf

Chief Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Kentucky

Gregory R. Schaaf is a judge on the United States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of Kentucky. He was appointed on October 1, 2012, succeeding Judge Joseph M. Scott, Jr. His current term will expire on September 30, 2026.

Prior to becoming a judge, Schaaf worked in England as a solicitor where he handled various corporate and transactional matters for clients domestically and abroad. Upon returning home to the U.S., Schaaf practiced law with Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, where he routinely worked on bankruptcy matters as counsel for both debtors and creditors.

Schaaf earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky.

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