The focus here is on corporate bankruptcy, restructuring and the legal processes related to distressed businesses, which can either be reorganized or go into liquidation. In Bankruptcy Law, lawyers assist clients such as corporate debtors, investors and asset purchasers, secured and unsecured creditors and creditors’ committees, bondholders, insurers, directors of distressed companies and any other interested parties in corporate restructurings, bankruptcy proceedings. In addition to transactional work, bankruptcy also covers any related litigation, such as disputes between such parties in connection with distressed companies and Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 processes in the United States and the Insolvency Act in the U.K. Bankruptcy lawyers must have both litigation and transaction skills. They also must be skilled in analysis, negotiation, writing, and math. Because bankruptcy law can be confusing, it’s important that bankruptcy lawyers have the communication skills necessary to explain procedures to their clients.
Solving Drafting/ Editing Problems:
- Negotiation – When it comes to negotiations between parties in a Bankruptcy, perhaps the most important skill is the ability to assert your position with respect. English requires a degree of nuance in this type of discussion, as choosing the correct (or incorrect) words cannot only impact what you are trying to communicate, but also the mood or sentiment in which you are trying to communicate with. These skills require practice, and importantly speed, as leaving one party
waiting for your answer can communicate an entirely different message.
- Over-formality – With regards to the pleadings used in Bankruptcy or Insolvency proceedings, correct usage and context will be required. Most pleadings are straightforward, however, and should be manageable for most English-speaking attorneys. The laws and regulations may be more complex, so reading comprehension should be a focus for most. Being formal when dealing with the Court or with opposing counsel is good (to an extent), but we should be careful to tailor messages to
clients and non-sophisticated parties so that they can comprehend your meaning. Both formal and casual writing should be considered if you are working in Bankruptcy Law.
- Correct Usage – “Usage” means punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary. Grammar is important because it provides information that helps the reader’s comprehension. It is the structure that conveys precise meaning from the writer to the audience. Eliminate grammatical errors from your writing, and reward your readers with clear communication.
Legal Writing Resources:
- Legal Writing EU’s free Commercial Law Glossary – 250 of the most frequent and important words and phrases. Also used as a Twitter daily vocabulary practice tool.
- https://onlinelaw.wustl.edu/blog/legal-english-objection-dischargeability – Blog Article: Legal English: “Objection to Dischargeability”.
- http://www.legalwritingjournal.org/2016/11/04/reading-writing-and-listening-in-the-bankruptcy-courts – Blog Article: Reading, Writing, and Listening in the Bankruptcy Courts.
- https://www.legalwritingpro.com/blog/the-seven-writing-strategies-of-highly-effective-trial-judges – Online Article: The Seven Writing Strategies of Highly Effective Trial Judges.
Courses & Employers:
- https://www.stjohns.edu/law/academics/programs/bankruptcy-llm – #1 Ranked LLM Program for Bankruptcy in the United States.
- https://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/subject-area/law-pg/llm-international-commercial-law-with-insolvency-law.aspx – #1 Ranked Bankruptcy LLM Program in the U.K.
- https://www.dentons.com/en/find-your-dentons-team/practices/restructuring-insolvency-and-bankruptcy – The #1 ranked law firm in the world for Bankruptcy Law.
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