Alston hires 2 competitor restructuring attorneys amid anticipation of increased bankruptcy activity

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Amid rising interest rates and inflation, Leah Fiorenza McNeill, a new partner at Alston & Bird in Atlanta, expects restructurings and bankruptcies to increase next year.

McNeill, who joined Alston & Bird’s financial restructuring and reorganization group this week from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, is focused on advising clients in the healthcare and food industries. Alston & Bird continues to expand its restructuring practice and this week also added New York-based attorney Stephen Blank, coming from King & Spalding.

McNeill said there will be some clients who will move with her to Alston & Bird, as well as some “customer overlap”.

“Those in my field believe that the bankruptcy and the restructuring and solvency space are likely to increase over the next year or two, even though many in this industry have been predicting this uptick for years and it hasn’t materialized,” McNeill said in an interview. “Possibly not, but given the current macroeconomic indicators such as inflation and rising interest rates, this suggests more distress.”

During her time at BCLP, McNeill represented distressed healthcare organizations, including community hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, healthcare REITs and elder communities, in Chapter 11 cases and extrajudicial actions.

“It’s not that I couldn’t have done it at my previous company, but I think with the depth of Alston & Bird and their industry focus on healthcare and food and beverage, they have the number of resources and knowledge that If they have in those two sectors, we will be able to better serve our customers in those areas,” she said.

McNeill said she is “thrilled to be with Alston & Bird,” citing the firm’s resources, depth of knowledge and strength of the attorneys. “I believe that with Alston & Bird’s elite healthcare, food and beverage team and my background, we can really achieve some great things for our customers,” she said.

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