Bankruptcy Claims and Litigation
Cynthia Leppert has been providing creditor and trustee representation in bankruptcy cases and advising creditors of insolvent debtors for nearly thirty years.
She has served as lead counsel in countless contested cases and adversary proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, and in bankruptcy appeals to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her clients have included Chapter 7 Trustees, vendors holding trade claims, lenders, and co-guarantors and business partners of debtors and their principals.
She has handled over 600 commercial landlord claims, over 400 preference actions, and many other complex and less-complex bankruptcy-related matters. As counsel to Chapter 7 Trustees, she has been instrumental in recovering tens of millions of dollars for bankruptcy estates.
In addition to representing creditors and trustees in claims and adversary proceedings pending in bankruptcy court, she frequently counsels creditors on strategically protecting their receivables against the possibility of a bankruptcy by a vendor, customer, or tenant – as well as how to best proceed once such a bankruptcy has been filed.
Cynthia is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Insolvency and was named on LawDragon’s Inaugural list of 500 Leading Bankruptcy and Restructuring lawyers in 2020. She is a member of the Bankruptcy Bar Association of Maryland and the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation.
Representative Bankruptcy Matters
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in a suit against a corporation’s former law firm based upon allegations that the law firm had an undisclosed personal interest conflict at the time it was representing the corporation. Supervised audit of law firm’s invoices. Case settled for a $1 million reduction in legal fees.
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in a trial of the trustee’s claim against a life insurance company for repayment of an unauthorized post-petition transfer. Obtained judgment in trustee’s favor from the Bankruptcy Court, and obtained appellate decisions from the District Court and Fourth Circuit affirming the Bankruptcy Court’s judgment.
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in an Adversary Proceeding establishing the funds securing a letter of credit which itself secured a golden parachute clause in the debtor’s Chapter 11 President’s employment agreement, and which had been triggered by the conversion to Chapter 7, was part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate thus precluding payment to the former President.
- Managed litigation of 400 preference lawsuits brought on behalf of the trustee of a bankrupt corporation. Coordinated a team of accounting and business valuation experts and, based upon a detailed forensic analysis of the corporation’s financial records and assets, worked with the experts in developing evidence that the corporation was insolvent on pivotal dates. Personally handled mediations resulting in recoveries exceeding $5 million.
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in resolving approximately 1,000 claims by landlords for rejection damages. Developed and utilized a method for evaluating and defending the claims which dramatically reduced the value of these claims at very low cost and risk to the bankruptcy estate. As a result, was invited to present a paper on the methodology for litigating landlord claims at ABA Annual Meeting.
- Represented bankruptcy trustee in litigation that successfully established ownership of estate property, the title to which had been obscured by fraud.
- Represented a bankruptcy trustee in litigation against debtor who had fraudulently transferred assets to a related corporation and obtained favorable settlement.
- Represented numerous defendants in various preference/avoidance lawsuits brought by bankruptcy trustees, obtaining either dismissals, or settlements for small fractions of the claims.