Ryan T. Schultz
Ryan Schultz is a capital partner in the Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights Group.
Ryan has extensive experience representing creditors, as well as chapter 7 and chapter 11 trustees, in all types of matters including complex bankruptcy, fraudulent transfer and preference litigation, appellate work, claim disputes and other sophisticated bankruptcy issues. He frequently represents chapter 7 trustees as general and special counsel in various corporate and individual bankruptcy cases. Such representations include liquidating assets of the bankruptcy estate and pursuing litigation on behalf of the bankruptcy estate to recover property of the estate, fraudulent transfers and preferential transfers. Ryan specializes in cases where fraud was the primary cause of debtors’ bankruptcy filings, including prosecuting actions against the former officers of the debtor for fraud.
Additionally, Ryan represents his clients in commercial litigation matters. These include matters involving breach of contract, copyright and trademark, employment-related actions and disputes related to the entertainment industry.
Trustee Representative Matters
- In re Lancelot Investors Fund, L.P. (Case No. 08-28225, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of a failed multi-billion dollar hedge fund as special counsel. Favorably settled large fraudulent transfer adversary proceeding against various insurance companies.
- In re William O’Malley (Case No. 13-48989, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of individual debtor case. Favorably settled exemption objection related to the debtor’s self-directed IRA fund. Responsible for investigating allegations of a scheme to hide and/or remove assets from the debtor’s estate.
- In re Michael Wolf (Case No. 14-27066, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of individual debtor case. Responsible for investigating allegations of a scheme to fraudulently transfer debtor’s business to an insider.
- In re Scientific Window, Inc. (Case No. 09-17180, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of a window manufacturer. 100% recovery for debtor’s non-insider unsecured creditors.
- In re P&P Realty, Inc. (Case No. 11-18133, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of a failed real estate brokerage firm. Achieved significant recovery for the debtor’s real estate agent creditors.
- In re Commercial Resources Construction Company (Case No. 10-28842, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of a failed construction firm. Favorably settled a large mechanic’s lien claim with the assistance of contingency fee counsel resulting in a significant dividend for unsecured creditors.
- In re CLC Industries, Inc. (Case No. 12-04931, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of a failed lighting company. Recovered sizeable pre-litigation settlement from former insiders of fraudulent transfer claims.
- In re H.H. Holmes Testing Laboratories, Inc. (Case No. 10-55500, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of a failed testing company as special litigation counsel pursuing preference claims. Achieved significant settlement recoveries and claim reductions through settlements.
- In re MAK Express (Case No. 10-36923, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented the chapter 7 trustee of a failed transportation company as special litigation counsel. Achieved favorable pre-litigation settlement of successor liability claims against the debtor’s insiders and related company.
Other Bankruptcy Representative Matters
- In re Trendsetter HR, LLC et al. (Case No. 16-34457, Bankr. N.D. Tex.): Represented insurance company in the bankruptcy cases of professional employment organization (PEO) debtors. Client was the largest unsecured creditor. Successfully litigated two contested confirmation hearings which resulted in a confirmed plan providing that our client be paid one hundred percent of its claim plus interest.
- Represented various insurance companies with respect to multi-million dollar claims arising out of loss-sensitive insurance policies.
- In re ISB Financial Corp. (Case No. 09-37225; Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented a trustee of a plan liquidation trust in a complex bankruptcy case, including investigating fraudulent transfers. Favorably settled fraudulent transfer claims against the debtor’s insiders.
- In re GAC Lansing, LLC (Case No. 11-40944, Bankr. N.D. Ill.): Represented a secured creditor bank in a bankruptcy case involving a self-storage facility. Negotiated a favorable settlement resulting in the sale of the collateral and significant recovery for the client.
- In re Brooke Corporation, et al. (Case No. 08-22786, Bankr. D. Kan.): Represented a group of insurers defending asserted fraudulent transfer claims and preference claims. Settled in excess of $35 million in asserted liability for low six figures.
- Represented secured debt holders in airline bankruptcy cases.
- Preparation of potential debtors for chapter 7 and 11 filings.
Commercial Litigation Representative Matters
- Represented majority owner of minority owned engineering firm with respect to dispute with his business partner. In this matter, the company’s operating agreement was silent as to separating as partners. As a result, the company had two options – court ordered dissolution or come to a mutually agreed buyout. After successfully mediating this “business divorce”, we assisted our client in obtaining a SBA loan to fund the agreed upon buyout and represented the company to close this financing.
- Represented court-appointed receiver of commercial property. After obtaining a judgment against a master tenant, intervened in a Federal case to unwind an asset protection scheme. District Court unwound the asset protection scheme and held the judgment debtor and a related creditor had committed a fraud on the court. Wildcat Enterprises, LLC v. Weber et al., 2017 WL 1545693 (N.D. Ill. 2017); Wildcat Enterprises, LLC v. Weber et al., 2016 WL 8711474 (N.D. Ill. 2016).
- Represented an artist and his related companies accused of copyright infringement. The case was dismissed as to some of the defendants and transferred to Puerto Rico, a favorable venue where the artist was from and well known. Moser v. Ayala, 11 C 3563, 2013 WL 1337187 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 29, 2013).
- Represented a leading multicultural event marketing and music touring/booking agency in an action against a former employee accused of embezzlement and breach of a non-competition agreement. Negotiated the return of the embezzled money ($300,000.00) plus an additional approximately $1 million going forward as a buyout of the non-compete.
- Represented a music promotion company in defending a breach of contract lawsuit in California arising out of a failed concert tour. Favorably settled achieving a reduction in potential liability of over a million dollars.
- Represented concert promotion company defending litigation alleging tortious interference claims. Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of the client.
- Represented a former employee of a major airline and his current employer in defending a non-compete case. Assisted with the successful defense of a TRO and favorable settlement.
- Represented bar/restaurant owner in a trademark dispute. Negotiated a favorable pre-litigation settlement whereby the alleged infringer agreed to modify their mark.
Transactional Representative Matters
- Ryan represented a leading multicultural event marketing and music touring/booking agency in striking a record breaking, multi-year touring agreement with an internationally known Latin music icon for $160 million. This deal is (or was at the time) the largest ever received for a Latin music artist and one of the most lucrative deals for an artist in any language. See Press Release
- Represented experiential hospitality sale and owners of same in connection with its sale to an ESOP. The firm assisted the client in the redemption of the owners’ equity interest and financing of the down payment.
- Represented a leading multicultural event marketing and music touring/booking agency with respect to obtaining a $20 MM line of credit.
- Represented a leading multicultural event marketing and music touring/booking agency with respect to a multi-year exclusive touring agreement with an internationally known Latin music icon.
- Represented client in a high-stakes “business divorce” negotiating a multi-million dollar buy-out of client’s stake in various real estate holdings and bar and restaurant operations. This representation involved the untangling and sale of interests in over 30 different legal entities.
- Represented a non-profit organization providing education to mentally handicapped children and adults in a refinance of publicly issued bonds and a buyout of an interest rate swap. The amount of the new bond issue was approximately $14.5 million.
- Represented group of investors with respect to obtaining a buyout of their substantial real estate investments from the investment organizer.
From 2012-2016, Ryan was selected to the list of Illinois Rising Stars, a list published by Super Lawyers, and since 2020, he has been selected to the list of Illinois Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars use a patented multiphase selection process which includes peer nominations and evaluations combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys who have been selected to the lists of Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars make up 5 and 2.5 percent, respectively, of lawyers in Illinois to receive the distinctions.
Since 2020, Ryan has also been named a Leading Lawyer in bankruptcy & workout law and commercial creditor’s rights/commercial collections law by The Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Only lawyers who are most often recommended by their peers in the statewide surveys are included in Leading Lawyers Magazine.
In addition, since 2022, Ryan has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law.
- “Catch Me if You Can: Strategies to Stop the Shell Game – Successor Liability,” National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees (2017).
- “Restaurant Bankruptcies – Should I Make a Reservation Now,” National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (2014).
- “Jargony – Insurance Basics for Bankruptcy Lawyers,” Chicago Bar Association: Young Lawyers Section Bankruptcy Committee (2013).
- “Magistrates and Federal Courts After the Supreme Court Speaks in Stern v. Marshall,” ABA Annual Meeting (2012).
Member, Auxiliary Board of Teach for America (Chicago), 2012 – 2019
- Wildcat Enterprises, LLC v. Weber et al., 2017 WL 1545693 (N.D. Ill. 2017)
- Wildcat Enterprises, LLC v. Weber et al., 2016 WL 8711474 (N.D. Ill. 2016)
- Moser v. Ayala, 11 C 3563, 2013 WL 1337187 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 29, 2013)