Elizabeth J. Austin's clients value her wide range of experience and legal skill in handling complex litigation and bankruptcy matters. Liz has more than 35 years’ experience in business bankruptcy and corporate restructuring, and assists in insolvency matters in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, media and entertainment, airlines, transportation, manufacturing, franchise and real estate. She represents debtors, creditors, financial institutions, creditors' committees, and trustees in reorganizations, liquidations and related bankruptcy court litigation.
Liz is a member and past chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the firm's Litigation Department. She has practiced with Pullman & Comley since 1989, with the exception of 2005-2006, when she served as the Assistant United States Trustee for the Southern District of New York. In that role, 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.
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.
Connecticut Bar Association - past chair, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section
American Bankruptcy Institute - Healthcare Committee Educational Director
American Bar Association, Business Section
New York City Bar Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization Committee
Commercial Law League
Federal Bar Council
International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation
National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees
Tina's Wish Foundation, Leadership Council
Honors & Recognitions
Listed as one of the 2020 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers by Lawdragon
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law since 2012
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
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
*For more about the standards for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, please see https://www.bestlawyers.com/methodology.
- Representation of nursing homes, hospitals and their management companies in Chapter 11 reorganizations
- Representation of national media distributor in a liquidation
- 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 Secured Creditor in sale of leading bicycle manufacturer
- 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
News & Insights
Throughout the university’s transformation, it has called upon Pullman attorneys to provide guidance on many of the legal issues it has faced. These have included critical real estate and environmental matters encountered with its geographical expansion; personnel and employee benefit questions; litigation disputes; and helping the University realize the economic benefits of its varied revenue services.
Our bankruptcy team successfully transitioned Hebrew HealthCare’s 257 bed nursing facility in West Hartford to a new owner as part of its bankruptcy reorganization process. Hebrew HealthCare and its four affiliates filed for Chapter 11 in August and immediately sought permission from the Bankruptcy Court to sell its skilled nursing facility.
Pullman & Comley’s work with educational institutions extends beyond the K-12 classrooms to the campuses of several colleges and universities. Within the last year, attorneys from across the firm have partnered with college and university administrators on a variety of issues.
In the case of Curtis Jackson III a/k/a 50 Cent, Pullman & Comley’s Bankruptcy team successfully thwarted the rapper’s attempt to derail the trial in the case of Lastonia Leviston v. Curtis Jackson III, in which Ms. Leviston was suing Mr. Jackson for his release on his commercial website of a private, intimate tape which was never intended to be disclosed or made public.
Bar and Court Admissions
- New York
- First Circuit Court of Appeals
- Second Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
- United States Supreme Court
University of Nebraska School of Law, J.D., 1982
University of Nebraska at Lincoln, B.A., 1979