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OVERVIEW

David M. Powlen
Partner

Delaware

1000 N. West Street
Suite 1500
Wilmington, DE 19801-1054

P 302-300-3435

F 302-300-3456

OVERVIEW

David M. Powlen
Partner

Delaware

1000 N. West Street
Suite 1500
Wilmington, DE 19801-1054

P 302-300-3435

F 302-300-3456

David Powlen is the managing partner of the Delaware office, and his practice ranges from negotiating and documenting transactions to addressing actual or potential litigation. David is devoted to serving as a trusted adviser in all client assignments.

OVERVIEW

David M. Powlen Partner

Delaware

1000 N. West Street
Suite 1500
Wilmington, DE 19801-1054

P : 302-300-3435

David Powlen is the managing partner of the Delaware office, and his practice ranges from negotiating and documenting transactions to addressing actual or potential litigation. David is devoted to serving as a trusted adviser in all client assignments.

Experienced in business bankruptcy, insolvency and special situations, David is regularly involved in Chapter 11 cases before the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware and the Southern District of New York and in many other jurisdictions. He represents secured and unsecured creditors; investors; purchasers of assets; parties to leases, licenses and other agreements; defendants in actions to recover alleged preferences or other transfers; and a variety of other clients. Also, David is involved in merger, acquisition, financing and restructuring transactions and delivering opinions associated with them, and he appears in cases before the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, the Delaware Court of Chancery and the Delaware Superior Court.

David is frequently called to consult with and assist other professionals, both outside and inside the firm, in analyzing issues and executing upon a broad array of assignments. He enjoys the variety and often fast-paced nature of his work and in dealing with the challenges presented. He looks for opportunities to be an innovator and developer of desirable outcomes, in addition to being an advocate and problem solver, for clients.

David has completed multiple terms as chair of the firm’s Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring Department, has been a member of the Management Committee and the Non-Legal Affiliates Committee, and at various times has served in other administrative roles for the firm. Reflecting the scope of his practice, he is also a member of the Corporate Department, the Litigation Department and several practice groups. While residing in Indianapolis earlier in his career with the firm, David was the first attorney there who concentrated on and developed a practice in creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law. Also, he helped start the firm’s Delaware office in 2009 and has been based there since.

From 2001 through 2008, David worked full-time as a senior investment banker and financial advisor on merger and acquisition, recapitalization, reorganization, valuation and other assignments. During that time, he achieved and to the present has maintained the designation of a Certified Insolvency & Restructuring Advisor (Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors). From his roles and experiences in those years, David brings an interdisciplinary approach to and keen aptitude for the business aspects of assignments.

David has been a speaker at programs for and author in publications by the American Bar Association, American Bankers Association, American Bankruptcy Institute, Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, Commercial Law League, National Business Institute, National Association of Credit Managers, Turnaround Management Association, and other professional and industry associations.

Professional and Community Involvement

Member, American Bankruptcy Institute

Board of advisors, American Bankruptcy Institute Mid-Atlantic States Conference

Former board of advisors member, American Bankruptcy Institute Central States Conference

Former co-chair, American Bankruptcy Institute, Financial Advisors & Investment Banking Committee

Board of directors, Downtown Visions, a non-profit organization focused on improving the central business district of Wilmington, Delaware

Member and governance fellow, National Association of Corporate Directors, Philadelphia Chapter

Master of the Bench, Delaware Bankruptcy Inn of Court

College Applicant Interview Committee, Harvard Club of Philadelphia

Honors

The Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2019

Delaware Super Lawyers, 2018

Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent

EXPERIENCE
  • Advised supplier to multiple related debtors and party to several executory contracts in Chapter 11 cases.
  • Barnes & Thornburg assisted one of the parties to a $2 billion acquisition in successfully resolving claims that the acquirers had aided and abetted the breaches of fiduciary duty by the directors of the company to be acquired. The settlement provided for certain additional disclosures in the proxy statement of the acquired company and a payment of attorneys’ fees that were set by the Delaware Court of Chancery, and allowed the acquisition to close on time.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys pursued a series of claims, in the Delaware Chancery Court, on behalf of a common shareholder client whose ownership was being eliminated through a $300 million merger that benefitted only the preferred shareholders and the directors they controlled. Although the merger was not able to be blocked, the firm assisted the client in obtaining a substantial settlement.
  • Firm client Aequitas won a Section 225 action before the Delaware Court of Chancery during a four-day trial. The case ended with an order being entered in the client's favor and the favorable settlement of issues of corporate control and misappropriation of trade secrets. The settlement also resolved ownership of certain copyrights in our favor and settled claims, including violations of employment agreements and civil RICO, brought against our client in a separate action in California.
  • Representation of automotive suppliers, aircraft lessor, health insurance provider, and governmental authorities with tax claims in Chapter 11 case of tier one automotive supplier.
  • Representation of bidder on and prospective purchaser of operating business units in Section 363 sale.
  • Representation of investment banking firm with administrative claims for services rendered during Chapter 11 case.
  • Representation of landlord in Chapter 11 case, which included Section 363 sale of substantially all of the debtors' assets and business operations.
  • Representation of multiple parties as defendants in adversary proceedings brought on behalf of the bankruptcy estate to recover alleged preferential payments.
  • Representation of multiple suppliers as defendants in adversary proceedings brought on behalf of the bankruptcy estate to recover alleged preferential payments.
  • Representation of numerous parts supplier in Chapter 11 case of tier one automotive parts supplier.
  • Representation of parts suppliers and governmental authorities with complex secured and unsecured tax claims in Chapter 11 case of orignal equipment manufacturer.
  • Representation of parts suppliers and governmental authorities with tax claims in Chapter 11 case of original equipment manufacturer.
  • Representation of party to pre-petition business purchase and sale transaction, as holder of unpaid note, indemnity and other claims against Chapter 11 debtor involved in Section 363 sale.
  • Representation of pre-petition supplier of services in adversary proceeding brought on behalf of the bankruptcy estate to recover alleged preferential payments.
  • Representation of supplier of services in Chapter 11 case with contractual claim against holding company and quantum meruit claim against bank operating subsidiary.
  • Representation of suppliers under executory contracts for supply of goods, including post-petition treatment as critical vendors in Chapter 11 case.
  • Represented lessor of equipment in Chapter 11 case.
  • Represented supplier of goods and lessor of equipment in Chapter 11 case, involving numerous executory contracts, claims under Section 503(b)(9), and a Section 363 sale.
  • Served as lead counsel for bank holding company in Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
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