The PIPE Review

Q1-Q4 2016

Retailers may dominate bankruptcy headlines in 2017
Major retail bankruptcies jumped in 2016 and changing demographics may mean more are in store in 2017

Energy companies grabbed the biggest bankruptcy headlines in 2016 as U.S. bankruptcy filings in the sector rose 56% year-over-year (228 in 2016 from 146 in 2015), according to data collected by The Deal. Much of that rise can be traced to the secular pressure of continually low crude oil prices, which battered oil and gas producers and their ancillary service providers alike.


As the calendar flips to 2017, though, retailers may take center stage in bankruptcy courts.


The number of bankruptcy filings by U.S. retailers with at least $250 million in liabilities nearly doubled in 2016 (7 from 4).


Of the seven big retail filings in 2016, three chains suffered through large-scale closures (golf retailer Golfsmith International Holdings Inc., mall-based clothing retailer Aeropostale Inc. and casual dining chain Roadhouse Holdings Inc.). A fourth, clothing retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., closed hundreds of stores in the months before its bankruptcy, but only shuttered 10 while in Chapter 11.


A fifth, Sports Authority Holdings Inc., liquidated everything and a sixth, American Apparel LLC, will likely suffer the same fate after it failed to find a buyer for its retail business at auction.


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U.S. Bankruptcy League TablesFor Q1-Q4 2016
Bankruptcy cases with $25M+ in liabilities, minimum of 10 cases
Top Law Firms by Dollar Volume
Rank Firm
1 Latham & Watkins LLP
2 Duane Morris LLP
3 Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
4 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP
5 DLA Piper
6 Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
7 Clark Hill plc
8 Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP
9 Kirkland & Ellis LLP
10 Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Top Investment Banks by Dollar Volume
Rank Bank
1 Houlihan Lokey Inc.
2 Lazard Ltd.
3 Moelis & Co. LLC
4 PJT Partners Inc.
5 Jefferies LLC
6 Rothschild & Co
7 Evercore Partners Inc.
8 SSG Capital Advisors LLC
9 Seabury Securities LLC
10 Imperial Capital LLC

Top Crisis Management Firms by Dollar Volume
Rank Firm
1 FTI Consulting Inc.
2 Alvarez & Marsal LLC
3 BRG Capstone/Berkeley Research Group LLC
5 Ankura Consulting Group LLC
6 AlixPartners LLP
7 PricewaterhouseCoopers
8 McKinsey Recovery & Transformation Services U.S. LLC
9 Conway MacKenzie Inc.
10 Huron Consulting Group Inc.

Top Public Relations Firms by Dollar Volume
Rank Firm
1 Kekst and Co.
2 Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
3 Abernathy MacGregor Group Inc.
4 Epiq Strategic Communications
5 Sard Verbinnen & Co. LLC
6 Fogel & Partners
7 Liviakis Financial Communications Inc.
8 Owen Blicksilver Public Relations Inc.
9 BMC Communications LLC

Top Claims/Noticing Agents by Dollar Volume
Rank Agent
1 Prime Clerk LLC
2 Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC
3 Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC
4 Rust Consulting/Omni Bankruptcy
5 Donlin, Recano & Co.
6 BMC Group Inc.
7 Garden City Group Inc.
8 JND Corporate Restructuring
9 American Legal Claim Services LLC

Canada Bankruptcy League TablesFor Q1-Q4 2016
All petitions filed under Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA); in addition, petitions filed under Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA), with $25M+ in liabilities
Top Bankruptcy Law Firms by Dollar Volume
Rank Firm
1 Goodmans LLP
2 Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
3 Torys LLP
4 Stikeman Elliott LLP
5 Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
6 DLA Piper
7 Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
8 McMillan LLP
9 Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP
10 Miller Thomson LLP

Top Bankruptcy Monitors by Dollar Volume
Rank Monitor
1 FTI Consulting Inc.
2 PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.
3 Ernst & Young Inc.
4 Alvarez & Marsal LLC
5 Richter Consulting Inc.
6 KSV Advisory Inc.
7 Raymond Chabot Inc.
8 Fuller Landau LLP
9 Deloitte Restructuring Inc.
10 Hardie & Kelly Inc.