A litigator focused on commercial litigation and creditors' rights, Richard is known for his versatility and ability to handle all aspects of problem loan representation, ranging from complex workouts and restructures to contested litigation and lender liability defense. He regularly represents clients in commercial collections actions, workouts, restructurings, receiverships, bankruptcies, foreclosures and other collateral recovery, and has litigated a variety of business disputes in state and federal court, including matters involving fraud, misrepresentation and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Richard has built his practice on the belief that effective representation requires efficiency. In every matter, he navigates the most direct path to the desired result. 

Presentations

  • Post-Judgment Execution/Enforcement, NC Bar Association, Post-Judgment Collections CLE, February 2017.
  • Commercial Creditor’s Rights Case Law Update, NC Creditors Bar Association Winter Conference, February 2015 and 2016.
  • Pre-Judgment Remedies, NC Bar Association, Collection and Enforcement of Judgments CLE, December 2014.
  • Mechanic’s Liens and Payment Bond Claims for Practitioners, NC Bar Association, Construction Law Section Annual Meeting, September 2011.

Civic and Professional Activities

  • North Carolina Creditors Bar Association, Council Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association: Construction Law Section, Council Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Law School Liaison Committee 
  • North Carolina Museum of History Young Associates, Steering Committee Member

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2022
  • Selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Creditor Debtor Rights, Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Bankruptcy, 2016 – Present
  • North Carolina Bar Association Leadership Academy, 2012

Representative Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Represents regional bank in oversight and all aspects of collection of charged-off commercial loan portfolio (consisting of more than 500 accounts) in North Carolina.  
  • Represented regional bank in connection with term debt and ABL credit facilities to manufacturing company totaling $6.7 million.  Representation included negotiating favorable forbearance and, upon further default, developing default strategy, assistance in borrower’s Ch. 11 bankruptcy in Delaware, and advice and assistance in connection with sale of loan relationship to investment firm.
  • Represented investment fund in repeat Ch. 11 bankruptcies of poultry farming operation in eastern North Carolina.  Contested issues included pre-bankruptcy foreclosure of real estate collateral; use of cash collateral, including disputed assignment of receivables; and dirt-for-debt treatment of client’s claim under Ch. 11 plan.  
  • Represented regional bank in workout of ABL credit facilities totaling $8 million to ammunition distributor.  Representation included negotiating and facilitating a complex voluntary liquidation strategy via UCC sale/auction to avoid the borrower’s bankruptcy and maximize collateral values. 
  • Represented regional bank in multi-forum litigation and successful defense of lender liability claims for alleged unauthorized loan advances and fraudulent payment applications under a construction loan.  Borrower’s claims included breach of contract, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair and deceptive trade practices, all of which were resolved via stipulated dismissal.
  • Represented regional bank in connection with workout/restructure of credit facilities totaling $5 million to asphalt paving contractor who defaulted under its performance bond on a $30 million airport project.  Representation included negotiating a utilization agreement for debtor’s continued use of equipment collateral in exchange for a curtailment of existing debt paid and negotiating intercreditor protections with bond surety to enable debtor’s continued operation.
  • Represented regional bank in the workout of credit facilities totaling in excess of $1.8 million.  Representation included the restructure of the defaulted senior debt obligation and advanced negotiations to add mezzanine financing and document priorities related to common collateral. 
  • Represented investment fund in the forbearance/partial restructure and, ultimately, in exercise of default remedies, including foreclosure of real estate collateral, in connection with term debt in excess of $3.2MM.  After collateral was liquidated, representation included pursuing collection from 16 guarantors in multiple forums resulting in substantial deficiency recovery.
  • Represented private lender in multifaceted litigation pending in both the Bankruptcy Court and US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, including the successful defense of claims alleged against lender for constructive fraud, fraud by an attorney and economic duress.  
  • Represented consumer lender in successful defense of claims for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. § 3901 et seq., including claims for alleged actual and statutory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and attempted class action certification.  
  • Represented regional bank in connection with the extension and restructure of $20 million ABL credit facility to auto dealer.  
  • Represented regional bank in connection with the extension and restructure of $11 million ABL credit facility to auto dealer.  
  • Represented regional bank in connection with the extension and restructure of $2.1 million ABL credit facility to manufacturer/distributor of medical equipment.