What is the uniform of a bankruptcy lawyer? The rolled-up sleeves of the litigator, poring over library treatises? The broad pinstripes and wide lapels of the M&A bigshot, twisting arms in the boardroom? Or the Burberry plaid of the gentleman bank counsel?
The bankruptcy lawyer wears all these clothes - and that's just the beginning of his wardrobe. A bankruptcy practitioner is a master of disguise, morphing from role to role, one day negotiating the financing package that'll keep the debtor operating through bankruptcy; the next day massaging the employee retention package into place; and the day after that guns blaring into court to defend the debtor from a threatened, and potentially fatal, supply shutdown. The bankruptcy lawyer is last of the old-time generalists, armed and willing to perform any task to bring the bankruptcy proceeding to a successful conclusion.
And if a bankruptcy lawyer functions by being a chameleon, she only does so to perform its central role: Rescue worker. Companies are in bankruptcy for a reason -- theyve hit the perfect storm, and someones gotta come in and bring that boat into port, or at least make sure everyone gets out alive. That someone's the bankruptcy lawyer -- out to salvage the equipment, the crew, or, if youre real lucky, the whole boat.