We wouldn't go so far as to call it a Christmas gift, but Peter Benvenutti may have offered a glimmer of hope for Heller staff and attorneys who are still counting on getting paid for severance and vacation pay.
When asked about lawsuits filed by employees alleging state and federal WARN Act violations, the head of Heller's dissolution team offered this:
“No comment on those other matters at this time other than to refer to the principle I mentioned a few moments ago: Any deal with the landlord must be on terms that permit Heller Ehrman to deal fairly with the other creditors.”
Bankruptcy attorneys that are not involved in cases against Heller say the firm was dealt a big blow last week when San Francisco Superior Court granted Heller’s San Francisco landlord a writ of attachment for $48 million. (Cal Law has the story here.)
The move makes the landlord a secured creditor, freezes a portion of Heller’s assets for the landlord, and leaves other unsecured creditors at a disadvantage, essentially waiting in line behind the landlord for dibs on leftover assets.
If those creditors feel threatened enough, they could force a bankruptcy, or Heller could file voluntarily for bankruptcy if negotiations fail.
— Amanda Royal