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Francis J. Lawall

Francis J. Lawall, a partner in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP, concentrates in national bankruptcy and reorganization matters, including the representation of major oil companies in bankruptcy proceedings throughout the United States. He also has broad experience in the reorganization of companies plagued with massive toxic tort liabilities, as well as companies in the textile, automotive, clothing and construction materials industries. He has represented numerous buyers and sellers of assets in and out of bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr. Lawall has lectured and published on bankruptcy issues. He regularly presents bankruptcy seminars to the National Petroleum Energy Credit Association and the International Energy Credit Association. He has also presented numerous seminars to the Philadelphia Bar Association on various topics including Representing the Asset Purchaser in Chapter 11. In addition, he routinely lectures to various creditor groups concerning general bankruptcy issues, including preferences, reclamation, the role of creditors’ committees and related issues.

Mr. Lawall’s recent publications include:

  • Debt Adjustments for Municipalities Under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code, A Collier Monograph
  • “How to Turn Around a Corporation Plagued with Mass Toxic Torts” (co-author), Workouts & Turnarounds, The Handbook of Restructuring and Investing in Distressed Companies
  • “Representing the Performance Bond Surety” (co-author), Construction Defaults: Rights, Duties and Liabilities
  • “Remaining Effective and Up to Date,” Thought Leadership – Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring Law 2008, Aspatore (2008)
  • “Bankruptcy Trends: Paradigm Shift or Simple Evolution?,” Thought Leadership – Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring Law 2007, Aspatore (2007)
  • “Identifying the Problem and Developing a Solution,” Inside the Minds – Winning Legal Strategies for Bankruptcy and Restructuring Leading Lawyers on Determining Solvency, Minimizing Risk and Avoiding Liability, Aspatore (2006).
Representative cases in which Mr. Lawall has participated include:
  • Regal Group, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • Robert Bruce, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Southern District of New York – representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • A-Best Products Company, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Wilmington, Delaware — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • DI Distributors, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Wilmington, Delaware — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • Amatex Corporation, Chapter 11 proceeding, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • Pacor, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • Swann Oil, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Reading, Pennsylvania — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • US Automotive Manufacturing, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Wilmington, Delaware — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • Carrollton Graphics, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Wilmington, Delaware — representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • Metalforming Technologies, Inc., et al, Chapter 11 proceeding Wilmington, Delaware — representation of creditors’ committee
  • Androscoggin Energy LLC, Chapter 11 proceeding Bangor, Maine — representation of creditors’ committee
  • Portacom Wireless, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Wilmington, Delaware — representation of creditors’ committee
  • Price Oil, Inc., Chapter 11 proceeding, Birmingham, Alabama — representation of major oil company creditor
  • Continental Airlines, Chapter 11 proceeding, Wilmington, Delaware — representation of major oil company creditor.
Mr. Lawall is highly rated in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2005-2014), is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and was selected for inclusion on the 2013 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.

B.A. 1981, summa cum laude, Temple University
M.A. 1982 Temple University
J.D. 1985 Temple University School of Law; editorial board, Temple Law Review

Bar Admissions
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Francis J. Lawall
Phone: 215.981.4481
Fax: 215.981.4750
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Lawall, Francis J

Practice Area(s)
Class Action Litigation
Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy

Distressed Investments
Health Care Services

Natural Resources
Toxic Tort Litigation


Death and Bankruptcy Discharge Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Del. District Court Upholds Use of Pre-Confirmation Tender Offers

Chapter 11 Plan Assumes Medicare, Medicaid Provider Agreements

Bankruptcy Court Bakes Trademark Protection into Section 365(n)

A New Trend in Reducing Pension Obligations in Chapter 9?

Only Debtor's Intent Relevant in Fraudulent Conveyance Claim

Limits on Enforcement of Bankruptcy Code in Foreign Transactions

Bankruptcy to Remain Open Until Death of Life Estate Beneficiary

Preference Defendant May Utilize New Value from Third Party

Federal Gov't Shielded from Fraudulent Conveyance Action

Court Upholds Creditor-Friendly Liquidation Procedure

Limitations Imposed Upon the 'in Pari Delicto' Defense

Claims Bound by Section 524(g) Channeling Injunction

Upset Bids in Section 363 Sales

Limitation Period for Trustee Avoidance Action Expanded?

Issuing Final Judgment in Fraudulent Transfer Actions

Student Loan Discharge Upheld Under Clear-Error Standard

Chapter 9 Bankruptcy of Stockton, Calif., Moves Forward

Debtor Beware: Strict Enforcement of Contract Terms May Go Both Ways

Administrative Priority for Post-Petition, Pre-Rejection Lease Indemnification Obligations

A Stern Warning: Litigation Tactics Can Waive Jurisdictional Challenges

Substantial Contribution Claims: How Much Is Enough?

Willful Stay Violations Not Always Compensable

No Trademark License Vaporization: The Seventh Circuit's Approach to IP Contract Rejection

Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms Right of Secured Creditor to Credit Bid in Sale of Collateral Under Chapter 11 Plan

How to Locate Lucrative International Work

Lack of Bond Debt Not a Bar to Chapter 9 in Alabama

Arbitrating Bankruptcy Disputes – Pursue Timely or Risk Losing Rights

Reversing the Train: Plan Appeal Remains Viable Long after Effective Date

Pre-Petition Services 'Paid For' after Bankruptcy May Still Qualify for Defense

The End of the Road for Triangular Setoffs?

LLC Members Held to be Insiders for Preference Liability Purposes

2nd Circuit Provides Broad 'Safe Harbor' Protections Against Avoidance Actions

Late Filed Appeal Denied - Computer Oversight Not 'Excusable Neglect'

Court Blocks Sealing of Preference Defendants’ Financial Records

Successor Liability After a Section 363 Sale - Buyer Beware

Court Sheds Light on Jurisdiction in Cross-Border Insolvency Cases

United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Tenth Circuit Upholds Provision in LLC Agreement Prohibiting Filing of Bankruptcy

Third-Party Plan Releases Require Wide Support by All Creditor Classes

Bankruptcy Code Provides Enhanced Pension Plan Protection: Third Circuit

Fixed Quantity May Not Be Required to Satisfy Safe Harbor Defense

Vendor Beware: Unauthorized, Post-Petition Payments from Cash Collateral May Be Avoidable

Pleading Fraudulent Conveyance: Be Specific or Face Dismissal

Can A Bankrupt Nursing Home Sell Bed Rights?

Double Duty: UCC Definition of Goods Same for §503(b)(9)

Section 1031 Exchanges: Bankruptcy Court Opinion Causes Alarm

Has the Bell Tolled for Triangular Setoffs?

Plan Confirmation Bars Stay for Relief to Pursue Pre-Confirmation Events of Default

Critical Care: Meeting the Challenges in Health Care Bankruptcies

Success Fees Under Section 328: Be Reasonable and Specific

The Appointment of a Patient Care Ombudsman

Post-Petition Interest Denied: Court Finds Principal Comes First

Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Law 2007

'Free and Clear' Stock Sale Doesn't Waive Preference Claim Against Subsidiary

Sound as a Dollar: Estimating Asbestos Claims for Plan Voting

Carve-Outs Outside Reorganization Do Not Violate Absolute Priority Rule

Landlord's Cap Not a Claims Allowance Standard

Substantive Consolidation: The Uncertainty Continues

Claim Resolutions Are No Bar to Later Preference Suit

Bankruptcy vs. FERC: The Jurisdictional Battle Continues

In Pension Termination, Acting in Best Interests Is Best Practice

Missing Documents Alone Insufficient to Disallow Proof of Claim

The Power to Settle Litigation Claims in Bankruptcy

Physicians: Beware the New Bankruptcy Amendments

Pleading Gets a Little Easier in Cases of D&O Liability

Check the Scope: There's No Guarantee in Guaranties

Business Bankruptcies and the New Bankruptcy Amendments

Serving Objections and Objections to Service

Arbitration Clauses Don't Compel Arbitration of Preference Claims

Can Interim Counsel Fees Be Subject to Disgorgement?

Look for Nerve Center When Deciding Bankruptcy Venue

Look at Whole Transaction in 'Ordinary Course'

Stay Relief: What Actions Must a Creditor Take?

Revisiting Post-Confirmation Jurisdiction

Stiff Penalty Imposed for Filing Incomplete Proof of Claim

Sovereign Immunity and Bankruptcy: Still an Unresolved Conflict?

To Cure the Incurable Default: Another Look at Claremont and BankVest

Good Faith a Key Element in Asbestos Plan Confirmation

In Handling Setoffs, Pay Attention to State Law

Clash of the Titans: Bankruptcy Court Takes on FERC

Timing Could Be Everything in Resolving Proof of Claim Objections and Preference Actions

U.S. Trustee's Quarterly Fee Obligations Further Defined

Disclosure Critical to Avoid Judicial Estoppel

One Transaction Enough to Create Ordinary Course Defense


Crisis on Wall Street: Implications for the Financial Services Industry

New Light Shed by Fourth Circuit on Bankruptcy ‘Safe Harbors’ for Commodity Forward Contracts

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