Ethan Birnberg represents clients across several industries, from middle market companies operating in the shale oil and energy industries, to RV park owners and luxury cruise tour operators. He is a litigator and frequently represents debtors, trustees, creditors, and receivers, predominantly for court-appointed receivers in Ponzi scheme cases. His expertise includes corporate restructuring, workouts and asset sales, advising management and officers regarding fiduciary duties, and all types of adversary proceedings.
Ethan’s clients benefit from his experience and knowledge of emerging business trends and their day-to-day operational and financial issues. Recognized as a leader of the next generation of bankruptcy practitioners, he frequently speaks at conferences, publishes articles, and is currently co-authoring a chapter on transnational business trends, chapter 15, and cross-border insolvencies.
Awards & Recognition
- Colorado Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2013-2017)
- Business Bankruptcy Specialist, certified by the American Board of Certification
- Next Generation Program Participant, International Insolvency Institute, Class V, Tokyo, Japan (June 2016)
- Turnaround Management Association, Co-Chair, Global NextGen Membership Committee (2017)
- Next Generation Program Participant, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (2015)
- Wyoming Bankruptcy Court Local Rules Committee, Member (2016-2018)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Rated
Chapter 11 Proceedings
- In re D.J. Simmons, Inc. Representation of three debtors that engage in acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas properties, primarily focused on extracting proved hydrocarbon reserves from wells located in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas.
- Representation of creditor interests in oil, gas, and energy restructurings, including executory contract assumption and rejection, 546(b) lien notices, perfection issues, objections, and claims in Triangle USA Petroleum Corp. (Bankr. D. Del), Emerald Oil (Bankr. D. Del), Breitburn Energy Partners, LP (Bankr. D. Del), and American Standard Energy Corp. (Bankr. W.D. Tex.)
- In re Luca Technologies Inc. Representation of biotechnology/energy company focused on extracting natural gas from coal seams, which resulted in court-approved structural dismissal after payment of almost all chapter 11 creditor claims.
- In re Valley Mortgage, Inc. Ponzi scheme involving several Valley Mortgage entities in Grand Junction, Colorado. Representation for court-appointed receiver in state court and Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession.
- In re Loveland Essential Group, LLC. Representation of Loveland, Colorado recreational vehicle park owner in single asset real estate case.
- In re EagleSpan Steel Structures. Representation of manufacturer of pre-engineered steel buildings and bridge structures in small business case.
- In re Storm Cat Energy, et al. Representation of oil and gas company/subsidiaries.
- In re Foresight Applications Systems & Technologies. Representation of debtor-in-possession and court-appointed receiver in bankruptcy of software developer and computer system designs.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Trustee
- Representation of several chapter 7 panel trustees in Colorado and Wyoming cases regarding asset investigations and collections, objections to claimed exemptions, preference and fraudulent transfer avoidance litigation, retirement plans and ERISA issues, asset sales including real and personal property and partial interest in closely-held companies or LLCs, objections to claims, and all other aspects of chapter 7 liquidations and administration.
- In re Centrix Financial, et al. Representation for Chapter 11 liquidating trustee in subprime auto-loan business bankruptcy. Ethan’s work included investigation of assets, objections and distributions on administrative, priority, and unsecured claims, and litigation of WARN Act claims.
- In re American Title Services Co. Representation of Chapter 7 trustee in liquidation of high-profile title insurance company where debtor’s principal concealed fraudulent actions and transfers for several years before bankruptcy.
- In re Adam Aircraft Industries, Inc. Representation of Chapter 7 trustee in liquidation of aircraft manufacturer.
- In re Grassy Creek Holdings Co. Representation of Chapter 7 trustee in liquidation of real estate development company in and around Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
- In re High Country Club, LLC. Representation of Chapter 7 trustee in liquidation of luxury vacation club.
Chapter 11 Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee
- In re Red Eagle Oil, Inc. Representation of Committee in bankruptcy of Cody, Wyoming based fuel distributor and owner of gas stations/convenient stores across Wyoming.
- In re Mountain City Meat Co., Inc. Representation of Committee in bankruptcy of meat processor company.
- In re Ceragenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Representation of Committee in bankruptcy of pharmaceutical company and its subsidiary.
- In re Western Biomass Energy, LLC. Representation of Committee in bankruptcy of company that owned the nation’s first demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol facility, used to produce cellulosic ethanol from sugarcane bagasse.
Media & Presentations
"Transnational Insolvency: A Guide to Cross-Border Bankruptcy Proceedings," co-author, The Law of Transnational Business Transactions
"A Fresh Start with Low Oil Prices, or Deja Vu All Over Again in Bankruptcy?"
Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting & Judicial Conference, Jackson, WY
“Protecting Creditors Rights and Problems for Secured Creditors in Bankruptcy,” Protecting Creditors’ Rights Seminar, Sterling Education Services, Inc., Cheyenne, Wyoming
“May 2013 Case Law Update,” Bankruptcy Subsection, Colorado Bar Association, Denver, Colorado
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