Zachary Smith is a Member and the Co-head of Moore & Van Allen’s Financial Restructuring practice.

Overview

Zach’s practice focuses on the representation of distressed companies in in-court and out-of-court restructurings, private equity sponsors of distressed portfolio companies, special situation funds, court-appointed receivers, acquirers of distressed businesses and distressed assets, and secured lenders.  Zach’s experience includes domestic and cross-border matters, and he has served as lead restructuring counsel on numerous complex restructurings in or pertaining to Puerto Rico. 

In addition, Zach serves as outside general counsel to private equity sponsors and family offices whose holdings include portfolio companies encountering a variety of forms of distress or other challenges – a broad role in which Zach advises sponsors and portfolio companies on a range of issues including business strategy, corporate, transactional, governance, and other needs. 

Zach is an adjunct professor at Duke University Law School where he teaches courses in bankruptcy and restructuring.

Representative Experience

  • Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), as sponsor, secured lender, and DIP lender, in connection with the Agspring Mississippi Region chapter 11 cases in Delaware
  • PIMCO, as JV counterparty, in connection with the LStar Management receivership in North Carolina
  • CBRE, Inc., as court-appointed receiver of the EpiCentre
  • Large multi-state franchisee of Sonic Drive-In and MOD Pizza restaurants in chapter 11 cases in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Private equity sponsors in the restructuring, sale, and other strategic transactions involving distressed portfolio companies
  • Filip Technologies, Inc. and certain domestic and foreign affiliates in chapter 11 cases in Delaware
  • Ares Management as secured lender in the Southern Produce and Imperial Frozen Foods chapter 11 cases in Eastern District of North Carolina
  • The Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico in its liquidation under Title VI of The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA)
  • FirstBank Puerto Rico as agent bank in several complex restructurings, including the Gatsby Stores chapter 11 cases in the District of Puerto Rico, the restructuring of a major Puerto Rico-based hotel and convention center, the chapter 11 case of Doral Financial Corporation, the restructuring of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, and the cross-border insolvency proceedings of the Scrub Island resort (simultaneous proceedings in the British Virgin Islands and Florida)
  • Private equity sponsor Putnam Bridge Funding, in its acquisition of Marina Puerto del Rey and a major San Juan-based real estate project through chapter 11 cases in Puerto Rico
  • United States Department of Treasury and the Presidential Task Force with respect to the restructuring of General Motors

Notable

Notable

  • Chambers USA - North Carolina, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2021-2022
  • Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2019-2023
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite, 2019-2022
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2021
  • Honoree, American Bankruptcy Institute "40 Under 40," 2017
  • Law360 Bankruptcy "Rising Star" (one of five, nationally), March 2013
  • Turnarounds & Workouts “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer” (one of twelve, nationally), May 2013
  • Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke University Law School, 2015-present
  • Board of Directors, Arts+, Class of 2023
  • Co-chair, Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship, 2022
  • Member, Mecklenburg County Bar Diversity & Inclusion Committee, 2020-present
  • Co-Chair, American Bankruptcy Institute Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, 2020-2022; Advisory Board Member, 2017-2020
  • Member, Moore & Van Allen Diversity Committee

News

News

Diversity

Media

Recognitions

Speaking Engagements

Affiliations

Affiliations

  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute 

Publications

Publications

  • Contributing Author, "The Section 363 Sale Process: Key Considerations for the Prepetition Secured Lender," The International Comparative Legal Guide to Lending & Secured Finance 2017, April 2017
  • Quoted, "Struck Down: Supreme Court Says No to Puerto Rico Restructuring Act," Turnarounds & Workouts, July/August 2016
  • Contributing Author, "Puerto Rico: Still in the Spotlight," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, June 2015
  • Featured, "Puerto Rico Restructuring, Potential Bankruptcy Option Not a Slippery Slope," Bloomberg Brief, April 2015
  • Co-Author, "Spotlight on Puerto Rico's Evolving Municipal Landscape, " Law360, March 2015
  • Author, "Puerto Rico's Municipal Debt Landscape Continues to Evolve," Law360, June 2014
  • Featured, "Charting a New Course: Hedge Fund's Involvement Facilitates Quick Resolution," Turnarounds & Workouts featuring the Marina Puerto del Rey Transaction, December 2013
  • Featured, “Revitalizing San Juan: Complicated Transaction Saves Puerto Rican Company, Turnarounds & Workouts featuring the La Ciudadela de Santurce Transaction, December 2013

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, Western North Carolina Bankruptcy Seminar, "Lessons Learned in Recent Restaurant and Retail Bankruptcies," May 2021

  • Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke Law School, "Advising a Distressed Enterprise and Its Stakeholders," 2016-present

  • Panelist, "Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Proceedings and Legal Landscape," Mecklenburg County Bar Continuing Legal Education, April 2019
  • Invited Speaker, 3rd Annual PROMESA Conference, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, February 2019
  • Panelist, “Puerto Rico’s Financial Crisis:  The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) in Action,” American Bankruptcy Institute 2017 Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, February 2017
  • Panelist, “Comprehending the Crisis:  A Survey of Puerto Rico’s History and Fiscal Situation, and Paths Forward,” American Bankruptcy Institute 2016 Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, February 2016
  • Panelist, Duke Business Law Society, "Modern Municipal Restructurings: Puerto Rico and Beyond," November 2015
  • Keynote Speaker, Southern Municipal Finance Society, “Puerto Rico’s Unique Legal Landscape,” June 2015
  • Panelist, Boston University School of Law Symposium, "Modern Municipal Restructurings: Puerto Rico and Beyond," March 2015
  • Panelist, The Puerto Rico Turnaround, "Restructuring Puerto Rico," Debtwire Municipals, Harvard Club NY, June 2014
  • Panelist, Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development & Commerce and Paulson & Co.'s 2014 Puerto Rico Investment Summit, “Opportunities Under Acts 20 and 22”
  • Moderator and Panelist, Boston University School of Law Symposium, "Distressed Municipal Financing: Navigating Uncharted Waters," 2014
  • Panelist, 2012 ABI Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, Beyond the Explosions: Environmental Liability, 363 Sales, and Insurance Issues in Caribbean Petroleum
  • Lecturer, Boston University School of Law, “Introduction to Financial Restructuring Practice,” 2012-present

Education

J.D., Boston University, 2003, cum laude

A.B., Harvard University, 2000, cum laude

Admissions

  • Eastern District of North Carolina, 2018
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 2017
  • North Carolina, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2012
  • New York, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2004
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"Zach is effective, incredibly strategic, diligent, and consistently demonstrates a genuine commitment to delivering results for his clients. He has great judgment, and we seek his counsel consistently on many topics." "Zach has been a great asset and has been integral in helping us." - Chambers, 2022

Chambers USA - North Carolina, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2021-2022

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