Shelley Abel primarily practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business restructurings, and business wind-downs. She helps businesses facing financial distress, or their owners, determine and execute a plan to return to profitability and maximize the value of the enterprise and its assets. Ms. Abel also represents creditors in the same arena.
Ms. Abel has substantial expertise representing a wide variety of constituencies in all facets of pre- and post-filing matters in the bankruptcy courts of North Carolina, Delaware, and other jurisdictions. Ms. Abel’s experience includes litigation and/or negotiation of plans of reorganization and liquidation, cash collateral motions and orders, debtor-in-possession financing motions and orders, asset sales, lift stay motions, voidable preference and fraudulent conveyance litigation, critical vendor treatment and § 503(b)(9) claims, executory contract and unexpired lease issues, and contract disputes.
Ms. Abel’s representation of debtors in out-of-court business restructurings regularly expands to general corporate matters, including corporate governance, real property transactions and landlord/tenant matters, asset sales, and drafting or litigating commercial contracts.
Ms. Abel’s business litigation practice includes cases involving collection of outstanding indebtedness, breach of contract cases, and construction liens and disputes.
She also provides corporate governance, fiduciary duty, and strategic advice to boards of directors, special committees, and executives.
North Carolina, 2005
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 2005
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, 2005
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, 2005
University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2005
First Amendment Law Review, Symposium Editor, 2004-05, Staff Member, 2003-2004
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 2002
Honors and Awards
North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine “Rising Stars,” 2012 (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights), 2013-2017 (Bankruptcy, Business)
Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite,” 2010 (Bankruptcy and Young Guns), 2011 (Young Guns), 2014-2017 (Bankruptcy)
2014 Next Generation Program participant, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Chicago
Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
“Bankruptcy Basics & More,” Mecklenburg County Bar 2015 Annual Review, Charlotte, NC, February 2015
“Involuntary Bankruptcies From Multiple Perspectives,” Western North Carolina Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, Charlotte, NC, May 2016
“Intersection of Bankruptcy and Landlord/Tenant Law,” webinar for the North Carolina Bar Association, November 2016
“Icing on the Cake or Adding Insult to Injury? – The Secured Lender’s Right to Default Interest and Attorneys’ Fees,” 39th Annual Bankruptcy Institute, North Carolina Bar Association, New Bern, NC, November 2016
Associations and Memberships
Business Law Section, American Bar Association
Bankruptcy Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association, Council Member, 2016-present; Vice-Chair of Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2016-17
Mecklenburg County Bar
American Bankruptcy Institute
Western North Carolina Bankruptcy CLE Planning Committee, 2013-2016; co-chair, 2016
Women Lawyers of Charlotte
Certified Specialist in Business Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, 2014-present
Certified Specialist in Business Bankruptcy Law, American Board of Certification, 2015-present
In re Security National Properties Funding III, LLC, Case No. 11-13277 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware) — Represented equity holder and affiliated DIP lender in Delaware bankruptcy case involving 33 commercial real properties and $165 million in syndicated debt on issues including contested use of cash collateral, interest rates under Till, valuation, and affiliate’s management fee; ultimate settlement resulted in confirmed plan, refinancing of all collateral, and negotiation of a deficiency note.
In re Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, et al., Case No. 10-31607 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina) — Debtors’ counsel in asbestos claims-driven bankruptcy of global gasket and packing manufacturer.
In re Brier Creek Corporate Center Associates, L.P., Case No. 12-01855 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of North Carolina) — Represented debtor affiliates in successful Chapter 11 real estate reorganization and related litigation with senior secured lender.
In re Lane Punch Corporation, Case No. 10-32146 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina) — Counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in bankruptcy of multi-state manufacturing firm, resulting in sale of the business as a going concern.
Defended residential real estate development company as lead counsel in eight concurrent state court actions to perfect subcontractors’ liens, successfully settling over $1 million in claims; subsequently negotiated settlement of $23 million secured claim involving a deed in lieu agreement and resolution of guaranties resulting in a successful out-of-court workout.
Defended creditors in multiple adversary proceedings in WDNC, EDNC, and Delaware seeking recovery of alleged preferences and fraudulent transfers, including drafting of correspondence relating to defenses, answers, discovery responses, and settlement agreements.
Lehman Commercial Paper, Inc. v. Alaska Seaboard Partners, et al., Case No. 12-cv-05037 (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York) — Represented guarantor of a master repurchase agreement backed by mortgages during multiple forbearance periods and ultimate collection action seeking $88 million; documented eventual settlement.
Represented borrowers in negotiations with credit facility providers associated with public finance bonds.
Representation of management’s or equity owners’ interests related to insolvency and bankruptcy, including advice to guarantors in forbearance negotiations, litigation, and foreclosures.
Representation of suppliers to debtors in bankruptcy, including section 503(b)(9) and reclamation claims, negotiation of preferred vendor terms, and claims trading agreements.
Numerous out-of-court workouts, asset sales, liquidations, and orderly dissolutions.
The cases mentioned above are illustrative of the matters handled by the firm. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Not all results are provided, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.