Elizabeth J. Austin is a member and chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the firm’s Litigation Department. Her practice consists of the representation of financial institutions, creditors’ committees, debtors and trustees in both reorganizations and liquidations and related bankruptcy court litigation.
Prior to rejoining Pullman & Comley in 2006, she was the Assistant United States Trustee for the Southern District of New York, where she oversaw all Chapter 11 proceedings filed in the district including such major cases as Refco, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Delphi, Calpine and Dana Automotive. She argued crucial motions in major cases including the U.S. Trustee’s motions for examiners and trustees in the Refco, Delta and Adelphia cases. She also oversaw the appointment of creditors’ committees, including equity committees, in all major cases.
Prior to joining the Office of the United States Trustee, Liz was a member and chair of Pullman & Comley’s Bankruptcy Section.
In her bankruptcy litigation practice, she represented major creditors in the Chapter 11 cases of three airlines; debtors and creditors’ committees; official committees of working interest and royalty owners in numerous oil company bankruptcies; and debtors and creditors in real estate cases involving shopping centers, apartment complexes and office buildings.
In addition to her bankruptcy experience, Liz has considerable trial experience in federal court.
Liz has written on many aspects of bankruptcy law. She was a contributing author and editor to Examiners in Bankruptcy Cases: A Guide for Examiners, Courts and Practitioners, 2013-2014 Edition, published by Thomson Reuters Westlaw. Liz also wrote a case study titled “Alternatives to Bankruptcy for Insolvent Nursing Homes,” published by the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, and on matters related to bankruptcy fraudulent transfer avoidance, the bankruptcy collection process, bankruptcy ethics and the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994. She has lectured on bankruptcy law before numerous professional groups. She is currently serving as the Newsletter editor for the American Bankruptcy Institute Healthcare Committee.
- Representation of nursing homes, hospitals and their management companies in Chapter 11 reorganizations
- Successfully defended institutions of higher education in tuition claw-back law suits brought by Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees
- Representation of major creditor in high profile bankruptcy of a famous rapper
- Representation of a local trucking company in a liquidation
- Representation of owner of 25 multi-state nursing homes in sale through Chapter 11
- Representation of major pharmacy in Chapter 11 reorganization
- Served as Bankruptcy Court Appointed Examiner in Chapter 11 of 26 national donut franchises
- Representation of national air cargo airline in a Chapter 11 reorganization
- Representation of national manufacturer of friction materials in a Chapter 11 reorganization
- Representation of Court appointed receiver of large nursing home network
- Representation of national clothing retailer in a Chapter 11 reorganization
- Representation of the Chapter 11 Trustee in a sale of national donut franchises
- Representation of Official Committee of products liability claimants in a Chapter 11 reorganization of a national manufacturer of water drainage systems
- Representation of Chapter 7 Trustee in the sale of a national oil refinery
- Successfully negotiated substantial distributions to unsecured creditors in capacity as creditor’s committee counsel in Chapter 11 reorganizations
- Successfully prosecuted objections to use of cash collateral on behalf of secured creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings
- Represented creditors, debtors and trustees in Chapters 7, 11 and 13 in litigation concerning asset and debt restructuring, claims objections, discharge and dischargeability of debts, preferences, fraudulent conveyances, relief from the automatic stay, executory contracts and unexpired leases
- Connecticut Bar Association - past chair, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section
- American Bankruptcy Institute - Healthcare Committee newsletter editor
- Bankruptcy Committee of the New York City Bar
- Commercial Law League
- District of Connecticut Merit Selection Panel for Selection of Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Connecticut - past chair
- Federal Bar Council
- International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation
- National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees
Honors & Awards
- Named Stamford Lawyer of the Year in the "Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law" category in 2016 by The Best Lawyers in America
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law since 2012
- Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list since 2013 in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law
- Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell