Bush, Strout & Kornfeld LLP
Gayle E. Bush, Partner
VCard for Gayle E. Bush
206 521-3859
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Gayle Bush specializes in commercial debtor and creditor issues, emphasizing out-of-court workout agreements, Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations, and liquidations. He has significant experience with financial problems involving a wide variety of businesses. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He is AV-rated, a 2014 recipient of the Turnaround Management Association’s Small Transaction of the Year Award for TC Global, Inc. (dba Tully’s Coffee Shops), has been included in every edition of The Best Lawyers in America since 1985 and was named Seattle Litigation-Bankruptcy “Lawyer of the Year” 2014 and Seattle Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization “Lawyer of the Year” for 2011, was named one of Seattle Magazine’s Top Lawyers 2004–2010, in the Bankruptcy Law Section, was named one of Washington Law and Politics Top 10 Washington Super Lawyers for 2007–2010, Top 100 Washington Super Lawyers for 2011–2014 and Top Washington Business & Transactions Lawyers for 2012–2014, and is a former President of the Federal Bar Association (Western District of Washington). Chambers USA, an independent directory which researches and assesses law firms and lawyers in America, cited BSK lawyers as “effective, pragmatic,” “creative and practical,” “(d)eservedly a Band 1 firm . . . a solid group of very strong lawyers,” and “[t]he lead boutique bankruptcy firm in the city,” cited Gayle Bush as “a top-tier debtor lawyer” and “a superb lawyer who does a great job for his clients,” cited Jay Kornfeld as “an outstanding negotiator,” “highly regarded among his peers for his excellent practice, particularly in general Chapter 11 work” and as “attract[ing] garlands for his bankruptcy, restructuring and workout engagements across a range of businesses and industries,” and cited the pair as “names that instantly spring to mind” and “a pair of creative problem solvers.”

Representative Cases

TC Global, Inc. (Tully's Coffee) The firm represented TC Global, Inc. (Tully's Coffee) in its sale process through Chapter 11, working with the company to set up an auction process and completing the details which lead to a closed-sale transaction sufficient to pay creditors all, or nearly all of their debt.  The process generated a greater return than estimated by financial professionals and proceeds are being distributed to unsecured creditors.

Mastro Bankruptcy BSK represents James F. Rigby, Jr., Trustee of the Michael R. Mastro bankruptcy estate. The case involves over $600,000,000 in total debt and substantial litigation against various parties related to the Debtor.

Coast Crane Creditors Committee BSK represented the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Coast Crane Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. The unsecured creditors in the case received an exceptional dividend even though the secured creditors were not paid in full. Payments were made to unsecured creditors within a few months of commencement of the bankruptcy proceeding.

Port Townsend Paper BSK represented Port Townsend Paper Corporation, the owner of a large paper mill in Port Townsend, Washington, in its Chapter 11. Port Townsend Paper employed more than 300 individuals in the U.S. and together with its affiliates generated annual sales of $200 million prior to its Chapter 11 filing. Port Townsend’s secured debt, including bond debt, exceeded $100 million. Port Townsend Paper successfully confirmed a Plan of Reorganization converting its secured debt to equity and continues to own and operate its mill.

Entellium Corporation BSK represented Entellium in a Chapter 11 that was filed to facilitate the sale of its business. Entellium successfully completed the sale and the distribution to creditors.

Brown & Cole Stores LLC BSK represented Brown & Cole in its Chapter 11 case. Brown & Cole initially operated 30 grocery stores in NW and Central Washington, has approximately 1,200 mostly union employees, and generates annual sales of almost $300 million. At the time of filing, Brown & Cole’s secured debt exceeded $100 million. After making modifications to its operations during its Chapter 11, Brown & Cole confirmed an operating Plan of Reorganization in December 2007, successfully restructuring its capital structure and pension obligations to facilitate its continued operation.

Deep Ocean Expeditions, LLC BSK currently represents Deep Ocean Expeditions in its Chapter 11. Deep Ocean’s business consists of re-fitting the M/V Alucia, a 183-foot vessel equipped with three deep diving submersibles used in deep ocean exploration and research. BSK negotiated a $6 million debtor-in-possession loan to immediately pay off all maritime lien claimants, complete the vessel refit, and market the vessel for sale at a $42 million listing price which would result in full payment to all creditors. A Plan of Reorganization was confirmed in February 2009.

Residential Developers/Builders During late 2007 to date, BSK has represented and/or consulted with approximately 25 residential developers/builders in addressing the severe downturn in residential real estate. Cumulatively, these clients owe between $2.25–2.5 Billion in secured debt to lenders and own real estate throughout Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

MCE Television Unsecured Creditors Committee BSK served as local counsel to the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the MCE Television Chapter 11, including participation in potential D&O litigation in which the Committee spearheaded.

Spokane Archdiocese – Future Claims Representative Gayle Bush served as the Future Claims Representative and BSK served as counsel to the Representative in the Spokane Archdiocese Chapter 11, and participated in the substantial litigation and intense settlement process that ultimately led to a confirmed Plan of Reorganization and substantial distributions to and provisions for abuse victims.

Professional Activities

  • Member, Standing Bankruptcy Advisory Committee for the Eastern District of Washington
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Past President, Federal Bar Association
  • Past Elected Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Past Trustee of the Young Lawyers Section of the King County Bar Association
  • Law clerk to Justice James Dolliver of the Washington State Supreme Court 1977–1978
  • Regular speaker at CLE seminars on commercial debtor and creditor issues

Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
  • 2014 recipient of the Turnaround Management Association’s Small Transaction of the Year Award for TC Global, Inc. (dba Tully’s Coffee Shops)
  • Washington Law & Politics Super Lawyers® 1999–2014; Top Ten Washington Super Lawyers 2007–2010; Top 100 Washington Super Lawyers® 2011–2014
  • Washington Law & Politics Super Lawyers® Top Washington Business & Transactions Lawyers, 2012–2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America 1989–2015 (Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law), named Seattle Litigation-Bankruptcy “Lawyer of the Year” 2014 and Seattle Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization “Lawyer of the Year” for 2011
  • Seattle Magazine’s Top Lawyers, Bankruptcy Law Section 2004–2010
  • Martindale Hubbell AV-rated
  • Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Bankruptcy Section 2005–2013
  • The Best of the U.S., Bankruptcy Lawyer Section
  • Seattle Business Magazine’s Best Business Lawyers, Bankruptcy Law Section, 2007–2013

Presentations

  • Enforcing Secured Claims, Professional Education Systems, Inc.
  • Bankruptcy Litigation and Practice, Professional Education Systems, Inc.
  • Washington Secured Transactions, Professional Education Systems, Inc.
  • Chapter 12: The Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act of 1986, Northwest Bankruptcy Institute of Washington, Inc.
  • 1) Consumer Bankruptcies: Responsibilities When Representing the Debtor and When Representing the Creditor, 2) Roles in Commercial Proceedings, 3) Procedures in Adversarial/Contested Matters, Professional Education Systems, Inc.
  • Problems With Executory Contracts and Leases, Professional Education Systems, Inc.
  • Protection of Secured Interests in Bankruptcy in Washington, National Business Institute
  • Cash Collateral, King County Bar Association
  • Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling for the Business & Consumer Debtor, King County Bar Association
  • Partnership Bankruptcies, King County Bar Association
  • Executory Contracts & Unexpired Leases, Lorman Business Center, Inc.
  • Bankruptcy Law and Practice-Conflicts and Ethics, International Law Institute
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution in Bankruptcy, King County Bar Association
  • The Bankruptcy Compensation Process, Federal Bar Association (EDWA)
  • Appraisal and Other Expert Testimony in Bankruptcy, King County Bar Association
  • Corporate Insolvency, Washington Employment Lawyers Association
  • Valuation Analysis, Association of Insolvency Accountants
  • Real Property/Bankruptcy Update, King County Bar Association
  • Real Property Lease Issues in Bankruptcy, King County Bar Association
  • Amendments to Bankruptcy Code, Washington State Bar Association
  • E-Bankruptcies, Oregon State Bar Association

Education

Bachelor of Arts, Seattle Pacific University, 1971
Juris Doctor, cum laude, Seattle University, 1976

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