Awards & Recognition

Jessica Liou Named 2020 Rising Star for Bankruptcy

— Law360

Business Finance & Restructuring partner Jessica Liou has been named one of Law360’s “Rising Stars” for Bankruptcy in recognition of her expertise and record of success advising complex restructurings.

Law360’s profile highlighted Ms. Liou’s role advising PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company in their landmark chapter 11 cases. PG&E recently completed its restructuring and emerged from chapter 11, the successful culmination of 18-months’ work for Ms. Liou and her colleagues.

PG&E’s restructuring was highly complex and required not only legal expertise but also business acumen and the ability to build broad consensus among a vast array of stakeholders. The multidisciplinary nature of the work typified what Ms. Liou finds so compelling about the restructuring practice.

"I think the hallmark of a very good restructuring attorney is the ability to kind of bring all those disparate interests together and coalesce around a reorganization plan that has the ability to be viable and give the company, ultimately, a second chance or second lease on life, so to speak," she said.

The profile also noted Ms. Liou’s experience advising Sears in its historic chapter 11 restructuring that culminated in the $5.2 billion going-concern sale of 425 Sears and Kmart retail locations. The intellectual rigor and real-world impact of restructuring makes it a particularly gratifying field, Ms. Liou said. There is no greater motivation than the opportunity to preserve major businesses and save thousands of jobs.

"If you are able to successfully reorganize a company — even if it means selling the company to a buyer so that the company can continue in one form or another — the employees who depend on the company for a livelihood, their families, the vendors and suppliers, many of which are mom and pop stores, who depend on doing work and business with that company, they also have a shot at surviving as a result," she said.

Law360 also highlighted Ms. Liou’s commitment to pro bono advocacy, highlighting her longstanding work on behalf of Sanctuary for Families.

The “Rising Star” awards recognize top attorneys under 40 “whose legal accomplishments transcend their age.” The honorees were selected by Law360 from a competitive pool of more than 1,300 submissions.

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