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Restructuring

Choosing the right professionals for a corporate restructuring—whether in or out of court—and can make the difference between success and liquidation. Your entire team: lawyers, financial advisors, investment bankers and communications professionals, must be both experienced and accomplished. This is not an area for beginners or on-the-job-training.

Sitrick And Company has the largest, most experienced and accomplished restructuring practice in the strategic communications industry. Since the firm’s founding in 1989, Sitrick executives have served as strategic communications counsel in more than 300 Chapter 11 reorganizations — including some of the nation’s largest and most complex — and nearly half as many out-of-court restructurings.

The firm’s Chapter 11 experience encompasses virtually every industry and nearly every imaginable situation, from asbestos liabilities to the largest municipal bankruptcy in history (Orange County, California). Its expertise includes developing and implementing strategy to deal with all key constituents including the media, employees, vendors, customers, unions, creditors and shareholders.

Properly handling strategic communications for a restructuring involves a great deal more than just preparation of documents and communiqués, though of course that is an important element. As critical, if not more critical, is sufficiently understanding the nuances of the process and the challenges so that you can quickly react to and come up with a solution to a problem, whether it is dealing with an employee morale issue, a customer, vendor or creditor crisis or getting to the right editor to correct or stop a story. Equally important is having a sufficient knowledge of the process so that you can work closely with the other professionals in developing and implementing actions to bring about a successful conclusion to the process.

The importance of the media in this process, both digital and traditional, is often underestimated. The way a restructuring is reported – from the filing to the emergence and each step along the way can make an enormous difference in the outcome. A company can tell its constituents that everything is fine, but if the next day a major national newspaper publishes an article stating that the Company is headed for liquidation – true or not—the effect could be devastating. In our firm’s 21 years of handling cases in this area, we have seen something as simple as a mishandled inquiry from a major newspaper cause a vendor stampede which resulted in the liquidation of a company. Sitrick’s expertise and track record in this area, like all other areas of our restructuring practice is nationally recognized as best in class.

Because the restructuring process requires the close involvement of many constituents, it is impossible to control every aspect from start to finish. The restructuring process, by its very nature, has a number of twists and turns along the way. That is why it is critical that a company surround itself with professionals who have the experience and expertise to help guide it through the entire process — not just the initial filing of the petitions.

The restructuring group’s senior practitioners each have from 10 to 28 years of experience in developing and implementing strategic communications in both in and out of court restructurings. Each of the firm’s senior people has been involved in more than 100 cases.

Actions include:

  • The development of communications strategies to help maintain stability and preserve the value of assets in periods of financial volatility and change
  • The creation of communications – both traditional and digital — that advance the company’s business goals and align with its legal strategy
  • Delivering communications that aim to maintain the confidence of all stakeholders while the company explores strategic alternatives
  • Managing expectations and calming uncertainties via direct, targeted communications; judicious use of the media; messages that resonate and help keep the process on track
  • Providing communications counsel, program development and implementation to those charged with the task of communications, business development, investor relations, franchise relations and other key functions