Federal bankruptcy monitors are looking for shareholders willing to serve on a committee representing equity stakeholders in the bankruptcy liquidation of Filene’s Basement and Syms. Shareholders are hoping for a payout from the bankruptcy and the willingness of federal bankruptcy trustees to name a shareholder committee is unusual.

But Syms is an unusual case, said David L. Pollack, a Ballard Spahr partner The Wall Street Journal described as a “fixture in big Chapter 11 cases in which big commercial landlords have millions on the line.” Syms owns real estate that is valuable to shareholders and Filene’s Basement has leases on large stores, which could mean big lease rejection damages after the holiday season. “I’m not surprised there could be an equity committee,” Mr. Pollack said, adding that it’s too early to tell if the shareholders’ gamble on Syms will pay off.