Ashley M. McDow

Partner

Los Angeles
T +1 310.442.8846  |  F +1 310.820.8859

"[Ashley McDow is] a tireless, detail-oriented practitioner."

— Chambers USA 2016

Ashley McDow primarily practices in the areas of bankruptcy and commercial law, focusing principally on the representation of debtors in possession and creditor committees in chapter 11 reorganizations, chapter 7 and 11 trustees, and parties to various adversary proceedings. With experience representing clients on all sides of the bankruptcy process Ashley has developed a holistic understanding of the bankruptcy process, and utilizes this understanding to effectively and efficiently represent the interests of her clients.

Ashley serves as an editor on the editorial board of the California Bankruptcy Journal. She has authored a number of publications on bankruptcy and commercial law topics, including critical vendor motions, perfection of security interests in intellectual property and the enforcement of state court judgments in bankruptcy, and has guest lectured at the University of California Irvine School of Law on insolvency and restructuring matters. Ashley is the chair of the Executive Committee of the Commercial Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the secretary of the Executive Committee of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Advisory Board.

Select Experience

  • Represents a California healthcare district in its Chapter 9 bankruptcy case. As with many other California healthcare districts, the district faced an extended period of fiscal decline and rising operational expenses, which created a nearly insurmountable budgetary deficit and ultimately resulted in the resignation of management and the closure of some of the facilities operated by the district. Thereafter, Ashley was consulted about potential restructuring options and strategies. After the board voted to declare a fiscal emergency and commence a bankruptcy case under Chapter 9, she was retained as bankruptcy counsel for the district.
  • Represents the debtor in possession of a commercial real estate development and management company worth nearly $40 million in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Prior to the commencement of the bankruptcy case, the company owned certain commercial real estate in Ontario, California. The secured creditor threatened to foreclose on the property; accordingly, the company retained BakerHostetler to file a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. During the pendency of the case, Ashley negotiated a discounted pay-off agreement with the secured creditor and facilitated the sale of the subject property for a sum in excess of $20 million. In addition, Ashley and her team successfully litigated the disallowance of claims totaling nearly $1 million. Due to the reorganization efforts of Ashley and her team, there will not only be sufficient funds to pay all creditors in full, but also to make distributions to the equity holder (which in this case is a probate estate).
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Experience

  • Represents a California healthcare district in its Chapter 9 bankruptcy case. As with many other California healthcare districts, the district faced an extended period of fiscal decline and rising operational expenses, which created a nearly insurmountable budgetary deficit and ultimately resulted in the resignation of management and the closure of some of the facilities operated by the district. Thereafter, Ashley was consulted about potential restructuring options and strategies. After the board voted to declare a fiscal emergency and commence a bankruptcy case under Chapter 9, she was retained as bankruptcy counsel for the district.
  • Represents the debtor in possession of a commercial real estate development and management company worth nearly $40 million in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Prior to the commencement of the bankruptcy case, the company owned certain commercial real estate in Ontario, California. The secured creditor threatened to foreclose on the property; accordingly, the company retained BakerHostetler to file a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. During the pendency of the case, Ashley negotiated a discounted pay-off agreement with the secured creditor and facilitated the sale of the subject property for a sum in excess of $20 million. In addition, Ashley and her team successfully litigated the disallowance of claims totaling nearly $1 million. Due to the reorganization efforts of Ashley and her team, there will not only be sufficient funds to pay all creditors in full, but also to make distributions to the equity holder (which in this case is a probate estate).
  • Represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 case of two high net worth individuals, which is being jointly administered and currently pending in the Central District of California. After commencing an involuntary bankruptcy against the now debtors an behalf of three creditors, owed nearly $6 million, Ashley and her team successfully obtained the entry of an order for relief and the appointment of a Chapter 11 trustee. Ashley and her team are currently working closely with the trustee to locate and liquidate assets for creditors holding in excess of forty $40 million in claims.
  • Serves as general bankruptcy counsel to the Chapter 11 trustee in an individual bankruptcy case. One of the debtors in the case was a co-owner of an Internet service provider. After entry of a judgment against the company and the debtor, the debtor and his wife filed a joint Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The debtors were unable to confirm a plan; accordingly, the court appointed a Chapter 11 trustee, who retained Ashley as bankruptcy counsel. Thereafter, the trustee sought to recover more than $500,000 in fraudulent transfers to an insider of the company (a right granted to the trustee under the company’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization) and disallow an $8.6 million claim. As a result of these actions, the creditor voluntarily subordinated the claim, thereby increasing the potential recovery of non-insider general unsecured creditors. The trustee has recently filed an amended plan of reorganization, which is set for hearing before the end of 2016. Given the most recent amendments to the bankruptcy code, and a recent 9th circuit decision confirming that the absolute priority rule applies to individual debtors in Chapter 11, the proposed plan of reorganization raises issues of first impression that will need to be adjudicated in the confirmation process. 
  • Serves as general bankruptcy counsel to the Chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy case of an individual debtor. Prior to the commencement of the bankruptcy case, the debtor entered into a joint venture to acquire certain patented and unpatented mining claims worth nearly $1 billion. Following the acquisition of the mining claims, the joint venturer transferred the claims to entities solely owned by the joint venturer and disputed the debtor's interest in the corporate entities and mining claims. The trustee retained Ashley to assist in the recovery and administration of the mining claims, among other assets. With the assistance of counsel, the trustee was able to defuse a contentious dispute and negotiate a settlement agreement that provided for the administration of the debtor’s disputed interest in the mining claims without extensive litigation. 
  • Represents the Chapter 7 trustee in an individual bankruptcy case involving the concealment of valuable assets through a series of transfers to domestic and offshore shell companies. Following the commencement of the bankruptcy case, the trustee discovered certain fraudulent transfers of valuable assets. After a further investigation confirmed the trustee’s suspicion, Ashley filed suit against the debtors on behalf of the trustee and obtained an order appointing a receiver over certain non-debtor parties that held the majority of the concealed assets. As a result of these efforts, Ashley successfully negotiated a settlement agreement that will provide for payment of all claims against not only the bankruptcy estate, but against a host of related entities and individuals which the trustee believes would have been substantively consolidated with the bankruptcy estate had the trustee sought that relief. 
  • Represents a partner in pending litigation regarding the ownership and distributions from the partnership formed to rehabilitate and operate certain restaurant franchises. Based upon the efforts of Ashley and her team, in both litigation and settlements, a comprehensive settlement was reached which will enable the client to obtain funds in excess of what was originally sought by way of the initial complaint. 
  • Represents a finance company engaged in lending money for the purchase and lease of commercial and industrial equipment in various bankruptcy cases nationwide. In the course of this representation, Ashley has successfully negotiated the beneficial treatment of the claims under multiple plans of reorganization in jurisdictions all over the country.
  • Serves as counsel for the Chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy case of a well-known songwriter and record producer. Following the commencement of the bankruptcy case, the debtor failed to turn over royalties derived from pre-petition copyrighted works. Through counsel, the trustee pursued the misappropriated funds and, ultimately, obtained a non-dischargeable judgment against the debtor in the amount of the misdirected royalties. The trustee is currently liquidating the copyright catalogue which she anticipates will generate seven figures for the benefit of creditors. 
  • Serves as counsel for the Chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy cases of two entertainment companies involved in the production and distribution of family-oriented films and television programming. In this role, Ashley has assisted the trustee managing the operations of the debtors’ enterprises pending administration and resolved a dispute regarding a pre-petition foreclosure on certain programming through a settlement and joint sale agreement, which maximizes the benefit of these assets for creditors of the estate. 
  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy case of the manufacturer of Bitcoin mining computers and related hardware. During the bankruptcy case, the committee defeated an attempt to fire-sale the tangible and intangible assets of the estate, substantively consolidated the estates of the manufacturer and parent company to make valuable intellectual property held by the parent company available to satisfy the debts of the manufacturer’s estate, and defeated the motion of the United States trustee to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee or, in the alternative, convert the case. Thereafter, the committee succeeded in confirming a plan of liquidation for the manufacturer and its parent company. Following plan confirmation, Ashley was retained by the liquidating trust to serve as general bankruptcy counsel. The trust has successfully negotiated the resolution of multiple preferential transfer actions and claim objections and resolved a very contentious D&O claim, resulting in a recovery of $1 million thus far. 
  • Represented a film and television actress in her individual Chapter 11 reorganization. The bankruptcy case was precipitated by the client's inability to service debt secured by two parcels of realty in Bel Air, California, and Jackson, Wyoming. Ashley was retained to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case to effectuate a controlled liquidation of these assets and restructure of the client’s obligations. Through the bankruptcy case, the team liquidated the subject properties and addressed significant tax liabilities arising from the substantial increase in the value of the Bel Air property during the client’s 40-year ownership of the property. Following the controlled liquidation, Ashley expeditiously and efficiently resolved the case through a structured dismissal, which resulted in a significant decrease in administrative expenses and increased equity distributions to the client. 
  • Represented an Internet service provider in its Chapter 11 reorganization. As a result of a judgment obtained by certain investors, the California Superior Court appointed a receiver to liquidate the company in satisfaction of the judgment. The receiver proposed a below-market sale of the company, which would realize little if any benefit for equity. Accordingly, Ashley was retained to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case for the company and remove the receiver. After the commencement of the bankruptcy case and adversarial litigation regarding the proposed sale and control of the company, she succeeded in regaining control of the company’s operations from the receiver and liquidated the business as a going concern for substantially more than the proposed receivership sale. As a result, the company was able to pay substantial distributions to shareholders following its liquidation. 
  • Represented an entertainment company in pending litigation regarding the ownership and control of a joint venture between the company and a joint venturer as well as a dispute pertaining to the distribution of revenues to the officers and directors. In conjunction with the joint venture, the company produced a popular television series. During its production, a dispute arose between the company and its joint venturer regarding, among other things, the future of the brand, the ownership of certain intellectual property rights and the division of proceeds. Ultimately, the joint venturer and one of the shareholders of the company commenced litigation. 
  • Served as special counsel for the liquidating trust of a national electronics retailer. In this capacity, Ashley represented the liquidating trust in its efforts to address a $30 million claim filed by the California Self-Insurers’ Security Fund and recover more than $10 million the fund drew from a line of credit secured by the company for potential workers’ compensation liability. In the course of the representation, Ashley successfully negotiated a full release of the fund’s $30 million claim. 
  • Served as counsel for the state court–appointed receiver for a precision machining company engaged in the manufacture of components used in military and aerospace applications, among others. Despite the appointment of a receiver, mismanagement and managerial misconduct persisted; accordingly, the receiver authorized the commencement of a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Ashley was relieved as receivership counsel and retained to represent the company in bankruptcy. With the support of the majority shareholder, the company liquidated its assets through bankruptcy under the control of the receiver.
  • Represented an Internet advertising company in the acquisition of certain domain names and associated intellectual property. Following the acquisition, a dispute arose between the client and a service provider regarding the domain names purchased, which Ashley was able to successfully resolve.

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Bankruptcy/Restructuring in California (2016)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2011 to 2016)

Memberships

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Commercial Law Committee: Former Chair
    • Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Committee Executive Committee: Vice Chair
  • American Bankruptcy Institute

Services

Industries

Prior Positions

  • Boutique insolvency and commercial litigation firm

Admissions

  • Washington, 2007
  • California, 2006

Education

  • J.D., Loyola Law School, 2006
  • B.A., University of Washington, 2003