Paul Steven Singerman is Co-Chair of the firm and concentrates his practice in troubled loan workouts, insolvency matters and commercial transactions.
Paul is active throughout the United States in large and complex restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy cases. His work in many cases has garnered the widespread respect of his peers.
Although Paul is best known for his representation of debtors in complex restructuring cases, he is also experienced in representing creditors’ committees, lenders, large unsecured creditors, asset purchasers in § 363 sales and trustees. Much of his work has involved companies with international operations or European or Asian parties-in-interest.
- Representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW). Prior to its bankruptcy, TBW was the largest independent mortgage originator in the United States. Headquartered in Ocala, Florida, TBW employed approximately 2,500 people across the United States in its main business and employed another 1,500 people in various subsidiaries. This case involved an excess of $11 billion in claims.
- Counsel to Judge Herbert Stettin as Chapter 11 Trustee for the law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt & Adler, P.A. This case is reported to be the largest Ponzi scheme in Florida history and involves approximately $1.2 billion in claims. The confirmed plan is expected to provide distributions to all non-subordinated general unsecured creditors representing the full amount of their allowed claims.
- Served as debtor’s counsel in Aloha Airlines, Adva-Lite, Inc., Puig Development, and Levitt and Sons; and as co-counsel to the debtors in the chapter 11 cases of AT&T Latin America, Atlas Air/Polar Air Cargo, and the TOUSA, Inc. et al cases.
- Served as special counsel in the liquidation of Havens Steel.
- Special litigation counsel to the debtors and then trustee in the American Tissue cases.
- Represented a large Asian investment fund in the Mutual Benefits case.
- Represented the Espirito Santo Group of Portugal and its affiliates in the Bankest bankruptcy cases in Florida. These cases involve the largest bank fraud in South Florida history.
Professional & Community Involvement
- Fellow, The American College of Bankruptcy
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Member, The American Law Institute
- Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
- Member, Commercial Law League of America
- Member, Florida Association of Managing Partners
- Member, The Spellman-Hoeveler American Inn of Court
- Member, Dade County and American Bar Associations
- Member, Dade Legal Aid Pro Bono Committee; Chair, Fund Raising Subcommittee 2012.
- The Florida Bar (Business Law Section: Chair, 1995-1996; Chair Elect, 1994-1995; Secretary/Treasurer, 1993-1994; Chairman, Legislation Committee, 1992-1993; Chairman, Bankruptcy/UCC Committee, 1990-1991; Continuing Legal Education, Special Programs and Meetings Committee, 1987-1990; Member, Executive Council of the Business Law Section, 1986-Present; Special Committee on Opinion Standards (The Special Committee authored the Report on Standards for Opinions of counsel in Business Transactions; Member, Pro Bono Committee, Present)
- Southern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association (Director, 1997-2000; Chairman of Pro Bono Committee, 1999-2000)
Awards & Recognition
- American College of Bankruptcy – Paul was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy in November 2002, and was inducted into the College on March 29, 2003.
- Chambers & Partners Global, The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Global Bankruptcy (2013)
- Chambers & Partners USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Bankruptcy/Restructuring (2003-2014)
- Recognized as a “Star Individual” in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2014). Paul is the only bankruptcy lawyer in the state of Florida in six consecutive years to receive Chambers’ highest ranking.
- Ranked nationwide for Bankruptcy/Restructuring and is one of two lawyers in the state of Florida to be included in the nationwide rankings.
- Expert Guides, a British publication produced by Legal Media Group, has recognized Paul as the top Insolvency and Restructuring lawyer in Florida. Paul received more nominations for this recognition than any other lawyer in the State.
- The American Inns of Court, Spellman-Hoeveler Chapter – Paul was nominated into membership of The American Inns of Court, Spellman-Hoeveler Chapter in September 2003. The American Inns of Court is a group of judges, lawyers and law professors with 20,000 active members throughout the United States whose mission is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility and legal skills in order to perfect the quality and efficiency of justice in the United States.
- The Best Lawyers in America® (Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization, Since 1995)
- Best Lawyers’ 2011, 2013 Miami Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Lawyer of the Year
- Florida Super Lawyers (2006-2012, 2014)
- Top Ten Florida Super Lawyers (2010, 2012, 2014)
- Top 100 Florida (2012, 2014)
- Top 100 Miami (2012, 2014)
- Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite (2004-2010)
- South Florida Legal Guide’s “Top Lawyers” (2005-2014)
- Lawdragon 500, named among the nation’s leading 500 attorneys by Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, fifth annual edition. Paul is the only attorney in the state of Florida listed in Bankruptcy category.
- Recipient for Most Effective Lawyer Award in Bankruptcy, Daily Business Review
- Recognized for work on Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW) bankruptcy, 2012
- The American Law Institute – Paul was elected into membership of the American Law Institute in December 2001.
- Finalist for Most Effective Lawyer Award in Bankruptcy, Daily Business Review, 2011
- Pro Bono Service Award presented to the committee chaired by Paul in recognition of continuing support and outstanding contribution to “Put Something Back,” a joint pro bono project of the Florida Eleventh Judicial Circuit and the Miami-Dade County Bar Association – March, 1999.
- AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Articles and Presentations
- “Anatomy of a 363 Sale of a Law Firm,” ABI Journal, April 2013
- Contributing Author, “Creatively Rethinking Law Firm Growth,” Inside the Minds: Strategies for Growing a Law Firm, 2010 Ed., Aspatore Books
- “Collection of Attorneys’ Fees by Creditors – Effect of Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (2007)” and “Recent Developments in Chapter 11 cases” published in the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, 34th Annual Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Rules, Atlanta, Georgia (April 2008)
- “Doing Good in Chapter 11 Liquidating Plans” published in the December 2006 edition of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, Volume XXV, No. 10
- “Non-Consensual Third Party Plan Releases After Metromedia Fiber Network” (co-author) and “Continuing Viability of and Limits on Key Employee Retention Programs Under BAPCPA” (co-author), published in the April 2006 edition of Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute
- “Duties of Directors of Failing Companies” (co-author) and “Substantive Consolidation in Bankruptcy” published in the April 2005 edition of Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute
- “Actions Against Former Committee Members: Alleged Breach of Fiduciary Duty for Support of a Plan and Ramifications” published in the April, 2005 edition of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, Volume XXIV, No. 3.
- “Of Precedents and Bankruptcy Court Independence: Is a Bankruptcy Court Bound by a Decision of a Single District Court Judge in a Multi-judge District?” published in the July/August 2003 edition of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal.
- “Selected Claims Resolution Issues” published in course materials for the 73rd Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, San Francisco, Ca., October, 1999.
- “Bankruptcy First-Day Orders: The Beginning or the End of the Case?” published in course materials for the American Bar Association National Satellite Seminar on Bankruptcy First Day Orders, April, 1999.
- “Future Claims in Bankruptcy” published in the November 27, 1995 edition of The National Law Journal.
- “Selected Procedural and Transactional Issues” published by The Florida Bar in January, 1999 in course materials relating to a Continuing Legal Education Program on Chapter 11.
- “A Practice Guide to Bankruptcy Litigation for Commercial Litigators” published by The Florida Bar in December, 1992, in course materials relating to a Continuing Legal Education Program on Business Reorganization.
- “Voluntary Surrender of Collateral — An Alternative to Bankruptcy” published by The Florida Bar in May, 1990 in course materials relating to a Continuing Legal Education Program on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Issues.
Featured “In the News”
- Panelist, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 88th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, “Mindfulness in Law: Maintaining Your Focus in the Modern Practice of Law and Judging” (October 2014)
- Interview, CNBC’s “American Greed” on Mortgage Fraud and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (July 2012)
- Speaker, “The Road Back: Navigating Companies In Challenging Times,” 2012 Distressed Investing Summit & 6th Annual Turnaround Awards, Palm Beach, FL (January 2012)
- Speaker, “Communicating with Clients and the Role of Clients in Litigation,” Daily Business Review – View from the Bench: Litigation Best Practices, Miami, FL (June 2011)
- Speaker, “Cutting-Edge Litigation Issues: Ponzi Schemes, the Return of the Leveraged Buyouts, Valuation Disputes and More,” American Bankruptcy Institute – 29th Annual Spring Meeting (April 2011)
- Speaker, “The Current State of Bankruptcy & Foreclosure: A View from the Bench, Bar, Realtors & Bankers,” Bankruptcy & Foreclosure: View from the Bench, Miami, FL (February 2011)
- Speaker, “The Re-Emergence of Lender Liability (TOUSA/YELLOWSTONE AND OTHERS),” 84th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, New Orleans, LA (October 2010)
- Speaker, The Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association (NDFLBBA) Annual Seminar, Tallahassee, FL (September 2010)
- Speaker and Panelist, Opportunistic Corporate Acquisitions, The Florida Bar, Business Law Section Retreat, Naples, FL, (September 2010)
- Speaker, Alabama Bankruptcy Bar Association Conference, San Destin, FL (May 2010)
- Speaker, American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) 28th Annual Spring Meeting, Maryland (April 2010)
- Speaker, CLE International – Real Estate Restructuring – Loan Defaults, Workouts, Bankruptcy and Distressed Property Acquisitions, Miami, Florida, “Introduction to Bankruptcy: Who Can and Cannot be a Debtor; Forum Shopping; Chapters 7 and 11; Voluntary/Involuntary Cases; Single Asset Cases” (December 2009)
- Speaker, Winter Leadership Conference, American Bankruptcy Institute, La Quinta, CA, “The Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution: How ADR Can Expedite Efficiency for the Courts and Attorneys” (December 2009)
- Speaker, South Florida Chapter – The Strategic Forum at Nova Southeastern University (September 2009)
- Panelist, Primer Encuentro InterAmericano Sobre Derecho Concursal, Buenos Aires, Argentina on the subject of “Cross-Border Insolvencies – Developments in Cooperation and Coordination” (September 2009)
- Moderator, American Bankruptcy Institute’s 20th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, Tucson, Arizona, “Real Estate Bankruptcies: What’s Happening Now, and What’s Next?” (December 2008)
- Moderator, The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Business Law Section, Miami and Tampa, FL, “Bankruptcy Law & Practice: View from the Bench” (November 2008)
- Speaker, The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Conference, San Francisco, CA, “Dream Maker’s Nightmare: Issues in Homebuilder Bankruptcies” (June 2008)
- Speaker, Thomson West’s Southeastern Private Equity Summit 2008, Atlanta, GA, “New Strategies for Today’s Market” (June, 2008)
- Speaker, Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute’s 34th Annual Seminar, Atlanta, GA, “Collection of Attorneys’ Fees by Creditors – Effect of Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (2007),” and “Recent Developments in Chapter 11 cases” (April 2008)
- Speaker, Turnaround Management Association’s Spring Conference, Orlando, FL, “Grab Your Surfboard – The Big Wave of Restructuring” (March 2008)
- Speaker, American Bankruptcy Institute’s Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, Miami, FL, “The Dangerous Intersection of Bankruptcy and Offshore Asset Protection: A Study of In re Lawrence” (January 2008)
- Speaker, The Florida Bar & The Florida Institute of CPA’s joint meeting, Miami, FL, “Commercial Insolvency Law Following the 2005 Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code” (January, 2008)
- Panelist, American Bar Association’s Tax Section’s annual meeting, Hollywood, FL, “Are There Geographical Limitations To Bankruptcy and Federal Tax Practice?” (February 2007)
- Speaker, Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute’s 32nd annual seminar, Atlanta, GA, “Non-Consensual Third Party Plan Releases After Metromedia Fiber Network” and “Continuing Viability of and Limits on Key Employee Retention Programs Under BAPCPA” (April 2006)
- Speaker, Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute’s 31st annual seminar, Atlanta, GA, “Duties of Directors of Failing Companies” and “Substantive Consolidation in Bankruptcy” (April, 2005)
- Speaker, Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association, San Francisco, CA, “Can an Asset Protection Plan Survive in Bankruptcy?” (August 2003)
- Featured Speaker, The Florida Bar’s Tax Section Annual Wealth Protection Conference, “Can Asset Protection Planning Survive in Bankruptcy Proceedings?” (May 2003)
- Speaker, Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association, Los Angeles, CA, “Ethical Issues for Counsel to Creditors’ Committees” (April, 2003)
- Speaker and Panelist, 29th Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute Seminar in Atlanta, GA, “Representation of Creditors’ Committees and Debtor-in-Possession Financing” (March, 2003)
- Speaker and Panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute Southeastern Workshop, “Alternative Dispute Resolution in Consumer and Commercial Bankruptcy Cases” (August 2002)
- Speaker, Professor David G. Epstein’s Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Class, Future claims and the treatment of future claims in the bankruptcy case of Piper Aircraft Corporation. (Spring 2002)
- Featured Speaker, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, San Francisco, CA, “So You Think You Have A Claim Against the Estate?” (October 1999)
- Author and Lecturer, Nationally televised seminar “Bankruptcy First-Day Orders: The Beginning or the End of the Case?”, The American Bar Association National Satellite Seminar (April 1999)
- Speaker and Panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute’s Southeastern Workshop in Amelia Island, FL, Trial Techniques. (August 1997)
- Featured Speaker, National Business Institute’s Seminar, Commercial Lending in Florida (October, 1996)
- Guest lecturer at the University of Florida College of Law on numerous occasions, including in connection with seminars/courses taught by Professor Jeffrey Davis. The lectures included presentations entitled (i) “Assignment of Leases of Non-Residential Real Property: Restrictions on Assignment and Adequate Assurance of Future Performance”; (ii) “Cash Collateral and Section 363″; (iii) “Section 510(b) and (c) of the Bankruptcy and Section 726 dealing with the Subordination of Tax Claims.”
- Lecturer at numerous continuing legal education programs for The Florida Bar on the subjects of advanced commercial loan documentation, creditors’ rights matters and bankruptcy. These include: “Selected Procedural and Jurisdictional Issues,” January 6, 1994.; “Voluntary Surrender of Collateral – An Alternative to Bankruptcy”, May 24- June 21, 1990.
- Paul and the Business Reorganization Team at Berger Singerman regularly prepare the Eleventh Circuit Law Case Summaries for E-mail publication and distribution by the American Bankruptcy Institute for cases decided by the Eleventh Circuit involving cases coming out of Bankruptcy and District courts in Florida.
- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan – September 1983 – April 1997 (Associate: 1983-1991, Partner: 1992-1997)
Admitted to Practice
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Court
- U.S. District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida
- J.D., with honors, University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law
- Order of the Coif
- Omicron Delta Kappa
- B.A., with highest honors, University of Florida