George H. Singer

Partner

singerg@ballardspahr.com
Tel 612.371.2493
Fax 612.371.3207
Minneapolis

George Singer practices in the areas of corporate and commercial law, including finance, financial restructuring, capital recovery, and bankruptcy. He negotiates senior and subordinated financing arrangements and has experience with structuring credit facilities, perfecting finance documentation, and closing secured and lease finance transactions. His former experience as a business analyst for Dun & Bradstreet provided a solid foundation for a background in business and the extension of credit. George regularly represents lenders, lessors, funds, committees, business debtors, guarantors, and creditors in financial workouts, restructurings, distressed-sale transactions, intercreditor disputes, lender liability claims, successor liability issues, and preferential and fraudulent transfer litigation.

George has been practicing for over 20 years and regularly advises publicly and privately held companies on corporate governance, debt and equity financings, licensing issues, and risk management. He serves as corporate counsel on behalf of buyers and sellers and venture capitalists in complex merger, acquisition, divestiture, and joint-venture transactions.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Nancy C. Dreher, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota

Hon. William A. Hill, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of North Dakota

Staff Attorney

National Bankruptcy Review Commission

Representative Matters

  • Corporate Counsel. George serves as corporate counsel to clients in a variety of industries and regularly advises on matters of corporate governance, capitalization, finance, extensions of credit, collections, and business strategy.
  • Secured Transactions. George regularly represents banks, commercial finance companies, private equity firms, investors, and borrowers in all aspects of structuring, documenting, and enforcing secured loan arrangements and resolving defaults and intercreditor issues.
  • Administrative and Collateral Agents. George serves as legal counsel to administrative and collateral agents in connection with national secured and unsecured financing transactions. He also represents agents in bankruptcy cases, including In re Claire's Stores, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.).
  • Loan Participations. George served as counsel for lead lenders in loan participations, and has handled participant disputes as well as the restructuring, workout, and foreclosure of participated loan projects.
  • Distressed Transactions and Workouts. George served as counsel to an agricultural lender in connection with complex distressed debt restructuring and sale transactions. As bankruptcy and restructuring counsel to a financial institution debtor, George was able to save the subsidiary bank from being closed by federal and state regulators through a recapitalization. George regularly represents lenders and borrowers in out-of-court restructurings and workouts, including distressed sale transactions.
  • Litigation Management. George regularly represents clients across a broad spectrum of industries involved in corporate and commercial disputes in connection with the management and resolution of claims by working collaboratively with in-house corporate counsel and outside legal resources in a manner that leads to informed decision-making and greater control over both outcomes and costs. George serves in the role of trusted advisor to clients and regularly supervises litigation matters, guides strategy, and manages relationships to achieve a positive and efficient outcome for clients.
  • Secured Creditor Representation. George represents secured lenders in Chapter 11 cases and in various state court proceedings.
  • Equipment Lessors. George represents equipment lessors in connection with lease financing transactions, including default issues and protecting their claims and interests in various bankruptcy and collection proceedings, including In re HomeBanc Mortgage Corp. et al. (Bankr. D. Del.), In re S&B Surgery Center (Bankr. C.D. Cal.) and In re Winona Printing Co. (Bankr. D. Minn.).
  • Chapter 11 Debtor Representation. As bankruptcy, corporate, and M&A counsel to Chapter 11 debtors in In re Polaroid Corp. et al., George oversaw the auction and sale of assets in a contested section 363 sale that generated in excess of $87.6 million for the benefit of creditors. George also represented American Bancorporation in its Chapter 11 as bankruptcy and M&A counsel, resulting in the sale of the debtor's subsidiary, American Bank of St. Paul, and confirmation of a plan that provided a substantial return to the holders of Trust Preferred Securities.
  • Chapter 11 Trustee and Receiver Representation. George serves as counsel for the Chapter 11 Trustee and Receiver in connection with the Thomas Petters Ponzi scheme and related bankruptcy cases of In re Petters Company, Inc. et al. (Bankr. D. Minn.), which involve claims in excess of $3.8 billion and the prosecution of over 200 "claw-back" actions commenced on behalf of the Trustee.
  • Section 363 Sales. George serves as bankruptcy and M&A counsel to buyers in Section 363 sales throughout the country, including In re Genmar Holdings, Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn.), In re Hitchcock Industries, Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn.) and In re Fleming Co. (Bankr. D. Del.).
  • Creditors' Committees. George served as co-counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, as well as the designated litigation representative, in the Chapter 11 proceeding of In re Intrepid U.S.A., Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn.), which, along with its affiliated debtors, was one of the largest home health care providers in the United States.
  • Private Equity. George represented a consortium of private equity firms holding subordinated secured debt and equity instruments in connection with resolution of intercreditor disputes, renegotiation of a senior secured credit facility, and restructuring of debt in the Chapter 11 reorganization of In re M.A. Gedney Co. (Bankr. D. Minn.). He also represented Spell Capital Partners in connection with the acquisition of the Pearson Candy Company.
  • Agriculture. George represents ag-based lenders and operators in connection with the extension of credit and enforcement of remedies in connection with credit transactions. He represented a secured lender in a $250 million loan involving a one hundred thousand acre farming operation. He also has represented a multi-entity farming operation consisting of 25,000 acres in a complex loan workout.
  • Ethanol Industry. George has represented ethanol lenders, bondholders, and creditors in ethanol bankruptcy cases and complex workouts throughout the country, including In re Aventine (Bankr. D. Del.), In re Gateway Ethanol, LLC (Bankr. D. Kan.), In re Northeast Biofuels, LLC (Bankr. N.D.N.Y.), In re Pine Lake Corn Processors, L.P. (PLCP) (Bankr. D. Iowa), In re Otter Tail Ag Enterprises, LLC (Bankr. D. Minn.) and NEDAK Ethanol, LLC (Nebraska).
  • Consignment Transactions. George represented major consignment vendors in the Chapter 11 retail bankruptcy proceedings of The Sports Authority, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.), which involved litigation and appeals relating to the rights and priorities of various parties with respect to consignment inventory.
  • Landlords. George represented landlords and landlord groups in various bankruptcy matters throughout the country, including In re Sun Country Airlines (Bankr. D. Minn.), In re WorldCom (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.), In re Allegiance Telecom (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.), In re 2nd Swing, Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn), In re Video Update (Bankr. D. Del.) and In re VICORP (Baker's Square) (Bankr. D. Del.).

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

Minnesota Bar Association

Association for Corporate Growth

American Bankruptcy Institute

Turnaround Management Association

Commercial Law League

Awards and Recognitions

Minnesota Lawyer, Attorney of the Year, 2016

The Best Lawyers in America, 2015, 2017-2020; "Lawyer of the Year," Minneapolis Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2015

Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2006-2017

North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), 2013-2019

Raeder Larson Public Service Award, MSBA Bankruptcy Section

Leonard Lindquist Pro Bono Recognition Award

American College of Bankruptcy, Commendation

National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Commendation

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Distinguished Service Award

Martindale-Hubbell AV® Rated

Publications

"Consignments and Secured Lenders: What You Know Can Hurt You," American Bankruptcy Institute Law Journal, 2019

Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Protects Trademark Licensees," Bench and Bar of Minnesota, July 2019

Co-author, "Supreme Court Limits Securities Safe Harbor in Bankruptcy Clawbacks," Bench and Bar of Minnesota, July 2018

Chapter author, Bankruptcy Practice in Minnesota Deskbook, Volumes 1 - 3, 2016-2018

"TOUSA: Fraudulent Transfer Risks in Loan and Restructuring Transactions," Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law, January, 2012

"The Art of the (Bad) Deal: Securing the 'Break-Up Fee' in Bankruptcy Sales," Dealmaker Counsel, April, 2010

"A Snapshot of the Polaroid Sale and Certain Considerations in 363 Sales," Dealmaker Counsel, July, 2009

"The Lender's Guide to Second-Lien Financing," 125 Banking L.J. 199, March, 2008

Speaking Engagements

"Does This Tractor Run – Fuel It, Fix It or Sell It?," Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute, 2019

"A Bit of Honey: The Pearson's Candy Company Acquisition," ACG Minnesota Private Equity Summit, 2019

"How to Consign under Article 9: Lessons Learned in Sports Authority Bankruptcy," MSBA Bankruptcy Section Presentation, 2019 

"Yes You Can! … Handle a Chapter 11," National Creditors Bar Association, 2019

"Chapter 11: Greatest Hits and One-Hit Wonders," Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute, 2018

"Key Issues for Commercial Landlords in Bankruptcy," MSBA Bankruptcy Section Presentation, 2018

"363 Sales," Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, American Bankruptcy Institute, Traverse City, Michigan, June, 2017

"Big Ideas for Small Businesses in Financial Distress," Minnesota Bankruptcy Institute

"Chapter 11 Issues for Lenders," Lindquist & Vennum Advanced Lending Seminar

"Hidden Liens and the Search for First Priority: Select Issues Under the UCC and Other Applicable Law for Bankruptcy Lawyers," MSBA Bankruptcy Section Presentation

"Bankruptcy Sales-Section 363, Liquidation Auctions," Minnesota CLE Distressed Assets Seminar

"Bankruptcy: Minimizing Surprise and Maximizing Recovery," Lindquist & Vennum Advanced Lending Seminar

"Purchase and Sale of Assets In and Out of Bankruptcy," Minnesota Business Law Institute

Community Activities

Sojourner Project, Inc., Director and past Chairman of Board of Directors

Play for Patrick Heart Foundation, Director

Dakota County Conciliation Court, Judicial Referee, Adjunct Judicial Officer

Hamline University School of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law), Adjunct Professor (Secured Transactions, Bankruptcy)

University of St. Thomas School of Law, Adjunct Professor (Secured Transactions)

University of Minnesota School of Law, Guest Lecturer (Corporate Bankruptcy)

University of North Dakota School of Law (J.D., with distinction, 1993)

University of North Dakota (B.B.A. 1987)

Minnesota

North Dakota

Wisconsin

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota