Stephen A. Roberts
Stephen Roberts helps businesses across a broad array of industries with legal strategies, litigation, and financial reorganization. He also advises and protects creditors and parties conducting business with distressed companies and devotes a portion of his practice to representing healthy businesses with their legal strategies and litigation.
He has spent more than 39 years helping businesses and their owners troubleshoot their legal problems, whether those problems involve a single deal going sideways or an entire business going astray. As a regular advisor to creditors, trustees, lenders, creditors’ committees, and acquirers, Steve deploys various legal solutions including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation, reorganization, liquidation, and acquisition. Distressed businesses often have a legacy of undetected or unsolved legal issues that can impede or doom the prospects of recovery. Steve advises clients in addressing a wide array of legal issues, such as:
- organizational and financial restructuring
- fiduciary duty obligations
- sales and acquisitions
- fraudulent transfers
- voidable preferences
- business mediation, arbitration and litigation
- asset protection
Drawing on this practical experience, Steve devotes a portion of his practice to provide general legal counsel and advice to healthy businesses in an effort to help them prevent legal problems and avoid business failures, typically at a fraction of the cost of litigating unresolved issues later. He regularly advises clients in numerous industries, including energy, technology, real estate, telecommunications, manufacturing, health care, wholesale, retail, financial services, aviation, and construction. Steve employs his individualized approach to corporate strategy to counsel start-up companies, particularly in the art of avoiding pitfalls created by poor legal planning.
He also serves as the client management partner for a growing mid-market technology hardware company with international operations, coordinating the wide array of legal services provided by the firm’s specialists in corporate, intellectual property, and international law.
Named among Best Lawyers in America – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Right/Insolvency and Reorganization Law by Best Lawyers (1995-2022)
Named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters (2003-2017, 2021)
Named Austin Lawyer of the Year in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law by Best Lawyers (2011)
Downtown Austin Alliance, Chair of the Homelessness Task Force, Member of Executive Committee of the Board
Austin Bar Association, Director (1999-2003), President, Bankruptcy Section (1999-2000), Officer, Bankruptcy Section (1997-2001)
American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
Downtown Austin Alliance, Executive Committee of the Board, Member, Safety and Security Committee, Chair
Western District of Texas Bankruptcy Bar Association, President (2010-2012)
Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference for the Western District of Texas, Planning Committee Chair (2012), Planning Committee Member (2000)
State Bar of Texas Advanced Business Bankruptcy Conference, Planning Committee Member (2004)
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division, Court Liaison Committee (1999-2000)
State Bar Licenses
- Represented Houston-based directional drilling company in Chapter 11.
- Represented principal of single purpose entity which owns $50 million in acreage in fast-growing Austin suburb, successfully designing confirmed reorganization plan.
- Represented owner of manufacturing company in orderly wind down of company outside of Chapter 11.
- Represented group of companies faced with pension fund liability of failed affiliate in workout with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
- Represented creditors committee in Chapter 11 case of large fast food franchisee.
- Represented creditors in the bankruptcy case of an individual involved in securities fraud, successfully obtaining the appointment of a trustee.
- Represented securities firm holding company in Chapter 11.
- Represented individual accused of civil fraud in a jury trial, resulting in a jury verdict exonerating him.
- Represented parties potentially responsible to remediate superfund sites to protect their rights in several E&P Chapter 11 cases.
- Represented lenders and private equity funds in negotiating UCC article 9 private foreclosure sales in lieu of bankruptcy filing.
- Represented multi-office doctor’s group in reorganization or practice.
- Represented owner of large apartment complexes in Central Texas in successful Chapter 11 reorganization.
- Represented receivers, obtained appointment of receivers, and served as a receiver in Texas courts.
- Represented a non-profit corporation in its successful effort to save its hospital in a rural north Texas community by guiding it through a Chapter 11 bidding and sale process.
- Represented a multi-corporate medical practice in the restructuring of its business enterprise to provide increased protection for the doctors and to enable the growth of the practice.
- Represented the principal who had sold his executive compensation and benefits business in a highly leveraged buyout when the business subsequently failed.
- Represented retail debtor in Chapter 11 in a large indoor shopping mall in Houston.
- Represented a large volume furniture retailer in a Chapter 11 in El Paso.
- Represented a major developer in litigation over right and title to a major real estate parcel in downtown Austin.
- Represented party acquiring assets of distressed telecommunication company outside of bankruptcy proceedings.
- Served as Special Counsel to Trustee retained to investigate and unravel a significant Texas real estate Ponzi scheme.
- Represented inventors of GPS golf cart technology in contested valuation of patents sold under bankruptcy plan in Florida bankruptcy court.
- Advised board of directors regarding fiduciary issues in windup of insolvent bank holding company.
- Represented a shipowner and customer of Mobile shipyard in involuntary bankruptcy proceeding.
- Represented patent owners in protecting license rights in licensees’ bankruptcy proceedings.
- Represented several marine transportation companies as creditors of bankrupt customers, addressing issues arising out reclamation and administrative claims, executory contracts, voidable preferences, and asset purchases.
- Represented general contractors and subcontractors in refinery and chemical plant bankruptcies.
- Represented D&O Insurer in insured organization’s bankruptcy proceeding.
- Represented Debtors and other parties in real estate cases involving master planned communities, major shopping centers, and residential, retail and commercial development and construction.
- Represented Debtor in Chapter 11 of FAA certified general aviation engine and parts distributor owned by company in German insolvency proceeding, which resulted in successful sale of the company to international buyer.
- Represented Debtor in Chapter 11 of a publicly-traded drilling company, resulting in the successful acquisition of the company.
- Represented Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11s of Texas drilling companies.
- Represented oil field service companies in enforcing mineral lien rights against insolvent customers.
- Represented surety in U.S. ancillary proceeding in German insolvency proceeding.
- Represented lenders in international workout of computer equipment lessor in Mexico.
- Represented buyer of assets of medical imaging company under Chapter 11 plan.
- Represented Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 of an internet retailer, negotiating substantial reduction in secured creditors’ claim, setting up liquidating trust, and recovering funds from directors and officers for breach of fiduciary duty.
- Represented judgment creditor in Chapter 11 of closely held steel fabrication company, ousting management and obtaining appointment of trustee, and implementing hostile takeover through creditors’ plan.
- Represented Debtor in Chapter 11 of volume furniture retailer, resulting in successful reorganization.
- Represented Trustee in recovering fraudulently transferred biotechnology from insiders for benefit of bankruptcy estate and creditors.
- New York Bankruptcy Judge Sends Shudders Through Midstream Market, American Bar Association Energy Litigation E-newsletter (June 2016)
- Perils of Cash Management Systems in Insolvent Multi-Corporate Enterprises, San Antonio CPA Society (May 2014)