michaelfencer_opulent_22_12

  • Bar Admissions
    Massachusetts

    U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • Memberships
    Boston Bar Association

    Massachusetts Bar Association

    American Bankruptcy Institute

    Turnaround Management Association
  • Awards & Recognition
    AV Peer Review Rated

    Named as a “Rising Star,” Massachusetts Super Lawyers – New England Edition, 2005-2009

    Named as a "Super Lawyer," Massachusetts Super Lawyers – New England Edition, 2011-2015

    Recognized as a top Bankruptcy lawyer in Top Rated Lawyers for 2012 by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Education
    Suffolk University Law School, Juris Doctor, cum laude, 2000

    Suffolk University College of Arts and Sciences, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, 1997
  • Honors
    Vice-President, Suffolk University Law School Moot Court Honor Board

    Member, National Moot Court Appellate Team

    Suffolk University Law School Jurisprudence Awards, Secured Transactions and Environmental Law
  • Publications & Speaking
    Panel Speaker, 15th Annual New England Bankruptcy Law Conference 2013, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, November 2013

    Co-author, Impact of Intercreditor Agreements on Subordinated Secured Claims in Bankruptcy,  New England Bankruptcy Law 2013, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (2013)

    Co-author, Section 507(b) Superpriority Administrative Expense Claims Loom Large When "Adequate Protection" of Secured Interests Fail,  New England Bankruptcy Law 2013, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (2013)

    Panel Speaker, The Morning After: Coping with the Consequences of the Failed LBO/Leveraged Recap Transaction, American Bankruptcy Institute Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, July 2013

    Panel Speaker, 12th Annual New England Bankruptcy Law Conference 2010, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, October 2010

    Co-author, Objection to Discharge and the Advice of Counsel Defense, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (2010)

    Panel Speaker, How to Organize a Privately Owned Business, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, October 2010.

    Panel Speaker, Diagnosing Causes of Business Failure, American Bankruptcy Institute Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, July 2008

    Panel Speaker, Kicking Over the Chessboard: Everything a Civil Litigator Needs to Know When Another Party Files Bankruptcy, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, April 2006

    Panel Speaker, Representing Low-Income Debtors in Bankruptcy, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, January 2005

    Panel Speaker, De-Mystifying Bankruptcy, Boston Bar Association, September 2003

    Board of Editors, Boston Bar Association Bankruptcy Law Section Newsletter and Blog, 2009-10

Michael is a partner in the firm’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group and Litigation Group. His primary areas of practice are commercial insolvency and reorganization, commercial litigation, construction law and administrative law. He has represented corporate and other business debtors, creditors, official committees of unsecured creditors, bankruptcy trustees and other parties in interest in bankruptcy proceedings in United States Bankruptcy Courts in numerous districts, including Massachusetts, New York and Delaware.

Michael has also prosecuted and defended claims on behalf of clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts involving matters such as fraudulent and preferential transfers, director and officer liability and insurance coverage claims, construction defects, and the enforcement of construction liens and bonds. In addition, Michael has advised and represented various parties to distressed merger and acquisition transactions, as well as asset and stock transactions. Michael also frequently represents licensed professionals and tradesmen in administrative enforcement and disciplinary proceedings before various state licensing boards and commissions. Prior to joining the firm in 2001, Michael served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Joel B. Rosenthal of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. 

notableexperience_opulent_22
  • Served as lead counsel to the official creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 cases of an international shipping company, achieving a substantial dividend for unsecured creditors after payment through a consolidated liquidating plan of the remaining secured debt and substantial administrative expenses. 
  • Served as special bankruptcy counsel to a state court appointed receiver to contest an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding initiated by creditors against a leading sleep medicine provider with offices in multiple states, and successfully negotiated a consensual dismissal of the bankruptcy proceeding to allow the proposed asset sale by the receiver under the supervision of the state court to be closed. 
  • Represented a buyer in connection with its purchase in bankruptcy of substantially all of the assets of a national flower bulb and perennials sales and distribution business, obtaining during the course of that representation, in addition to bankruptcy court approval of a private asset sale, bankruptcy court approval of an order fulfillment agreement that permitted the debtors' business operations to continue until the bankruptcy court could consider and ultimately approve the private sale to the client.
  • Lead trial counsel for a large energy industry supplier and contractor in state court litigation involving the prosecution of multi-million dollar back charge and indemnity claims, and the defense of the client against a subcontractor’s multi-million dollar claims for delay, inefficiency, and lost productivity in the course of a retro-fit installation of mercury and sulfur dioxide emissions reduction equipment on two 250 megawatt fossil-fueled steam electric generating units in Somerset, Massachusetts.
  • Served as lead counsel to the bankruptcy trustee of an e-commerce software development company seeking the recovery as fraudulent conveyances excess compensation, bonuses, and severance payments made to insiders resulting in the payment to the bankruptcy estate of a substantial six-figure settlement through informal mediation and settlement exchanges.
  • Lead counsel for subcontractor in prosecution of Miller Act claims and other related claims for delay and inefficiency damages arising on federal project in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Lead counsel to the official creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 case of a multi-divisional electrical contractor that included the successful recovery and collection of a substantial judgment for fraudulent conveyance and improper shareholder distribution claims against one of the debtor’s former shareholders.
  • Represented the creditors’ committee and then the post-confirmation Liquidating Supervisor of a credit card servicing company in suits against former officers and employees.
  • Served as lead defense counsel for the former president of a commercial and industrial oven manufacturer in an action involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty, and successfully obtaining full insurance coverage and other indemnity for the client on those claims.
  • Initiated bankruptcy court litigation on behalf of the bankruptcy trustee of a large excavation and site contractor for fraudulent conveyance and civil fraud conspiracy claims against insiders resulting in the payment to the bankruptcy estate of a substantial six-figure settlement through informal mediation.
  • Represented a critical, just-in-time supplier to an American light truck manufacturer in the distressed, out-of-court going-concern disposition of its business assets, which resulted in the satisfaction of substantially all creditor claims and the continued operation of the business and the employment of its personnel.
  • Initiated bankruptcy and state court litigation on behalf of a large energy industry supplier and contractor to create, perfect and enforce its state law mechanic’s lien on a hydro-electric power generation facility, resulting in full payment of its seven-figure claim.
  • Initiated bankruptcy and state court litigation on behalf of a cabinet and millwork supplier to create, perfect and enforce its state law mechanic’s lien and related payment bond claims, resulting in a six-figure settlement recovery for the client.
  • Documented, investigated and successfully resolved, through litigation and mediation, construction defect claims and related claims for breach of contract, negligence and unfair trade practices, with damages totaling in excess of $2 million, asserted on behalf of the owner of a residential apartment building.
  • Lead counsel to assignee for benefit of creditors of a biomedical company that developed DNA based diagnostic testing protocols, which resulted in distributions to unsecured creditors from sale proceeds of intellectual property and other assets.
  • Lead counsel to assignee for benefit of creditors of technology company that developed three
    dimensional video modeling software and source code resulting in distributions to unsecured creditors after marketing and sale of tangible and intangible technology assets.
  • Lead counsel to assignee for benefit of creditors of business-to-business seller of product content and commerce solutions for manufacturers, where assignee successfully marketed and sold the company’s tangible assets and intellectual property, resulting in distributions to unsecured creditors.
  • Counsel to the official creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 case of a high-end jewelry and watch retailer.
  • Counsel to the official creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 case of a multi-state clothing retailer.