Heather is an associate in the firm’s Financial Restructuring + Insolvency Practice Group. She has represented corporate debtors, creditors, and lenders in complex chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings, dissolutions, and wind-downs. Heather is experienced in guiding clients through the chapter 11 process and has regularly appeared and represented clients in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

In Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, two critical documents are the disclosure statement and the plan. These documents represent the culmination of a case and provide a roadmap for the debtor’s path forward. A Chapter 11 plan can be a plan of reorganization, where the debtor emerges from bankruptcy as a reorganized entity, or a plan of liquidation, where the debtor’s remaining assets are liquidated and the proceeds are distributed to creditors. The plan outlines how creditor claims will be paid and, in the case of reorganization, provides that a debtor is fully discharged from its prior debts.

Bankruptcy proceedings often involve preferences, a complex issue that can be mitigated or eliminated through several affirmative defenses provided by the Bankruptcy Code. This article focuses on one such defense: the contemporaneous exchange defense, codified in 11 U.S.C. § 547(c)(1). This defense encourages creditors to continue business with companies potentially facing bankruptcy and protects transfers intended as a contemporaneous exchange for new value given to the debtor.