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Brian K. Gart

Partner 
350 East Las Olas Boulevard
Suite 1600
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
 
Tel:
954.712.6010
Fax:
954.463.2224
 
 

With over 30 years of experience, Brian Gart has focused his practice on complex business reorganization, insolvency, bankruptcy litigation, assignments for the benefit of creditors under State law, receiverships, and corporate restructuring matters, both in and out of court. Brian has represented publicly and privately held business debtors, all manner and types of secured creditors in complex commercial finance transactions, official creditors' committees, Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees, DIP lenders, plan funders, landlords, liquidating trustees, banks, and other financial institutions, indenture trustees and equity security holders. In addition, Brian has represented numerous lenders and borrowers in complex commercial finance transactions, including asset-based loans, mezzanine credit facilities, capital market transactions, and subordinated debt facilities. Brian has also served as an expert witness on a number of issues related to the fiduciary duties of directors under State law, substantive consolidation, and the formation of bankruptcy remote entities.

Over the past 10 years or more, Brian has also dedicated much of his professional attention to handling distressed mergers and acquisitions – helping clients buy and sell troubled, underperforming and "storied" businesses, in and out of court. These clients include private equity groups, hedge funds, family offices, strategic and financial buyers and sellers – often utilizing Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code and structuring the necessary financing required by such transactions.

Brian previously served as the Chair of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, which represents the interests of over 6,000 business lawyers within the State of Florida. Brian has been extremely active in the development and enactment of Florida’s business and commercial laws, having been a member of the Legislation Committee or The Florida Bar Business Law Section Task Forces that sponsored the: 2007 revisions of the Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors Statute (Chapter 727, Florida Statutes); the 2013 revisions of Florida’s "New Revised LLC Act" (as worked on by the Task Force over a four year period and creating a new Chapter 605, Florida Statutes); and the 2015 proposed revisions of Florida’s Proceedings Supplementary (Chapter 56.29, Florida Statutes). Brian has also helped author revisions to Article 9 of the Florida Uniform Commercial Code having served as Chair of the Bankruptcy/UCC Committee of The Florida Bar Business Law Section (1997-1999), and Chair of the Legislation Committee of The Florida Bar Business Law Section (2008-2010).
 
Representative Experience
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Lead representation of HearUSA, Inc., and its affiliates in the 2011 sale of substantially all of this public company's assets to Siemens Hearing Instruments, pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, valued at approximately $135 Million, which allowed the Debtor to confirm a liquidating plan of reorganization that paid creditors in full and allowed a $.93 per share return to equity.
 
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Representation of Gulfstream International Airlines, Inc., and its affiliates in Chapter 11 in the Southern District of Florida in connection with a pre-negotiated sale of the Company's 21 aircraft and other assets to a special purpose purchaser, and an affiliate of Victory Park Capital (now Silver Airways) in a transaction valued in excess of $60 Million, an amount sufficient to satisfy the pre-petition forbearance obligations to Raytheon Aircraft Credit Corporation, in a record 60 days.
 
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Representation of a special purpose entity formed by the ComVest Group and ComVest Equity Investment Fund to acquire certain assets of TWL Corporation through a Section 363 Sale in the Northern District of Texas (Plano Division) in a sale valued in excess of $120 Million. TWL was a technology-enabled learning and certification solutions provider for "first responders" and government agencies.
 
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Co-counsel in the 2013 representation of TransUnion as the "stalking horse" buyer of substantially all of the operating assets of TLO in a Section 363 Sale before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida(West Palm Beach Division). TLO was a leading data fusion, big data analytics, and information services firm located in Boca Raton, Florida. The Court approved the highly complex sale over multiple objections of several competing bidders, creditors and interest holders at a final evidentiary hearing following a nearly 24 hour "auction," overcoming competing bids from LexisNexis, Experion and Warburg Pincus, resulting in a gross sale proceeds of approximately $165 Million.
 
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Representation of an off-shore fund and private equity group in the acquisition of aircraft out of the bankruptcy of In re Avantair, Inc., including the structuring of a bulk "stalking horse" bid for as many of 56 Piaggio P180, twin turbo-prop aircraft and related engines and equipment valued in excess of $56 Million.
 
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Shared Responsibility for the 2011 debt restructuring and sale of Cirrus Aircraft Corporation to an offshore trust.
 
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Representation of the Trivest Group in the 2011 acquisition of Ryko Manufacturing Company and its affiliates.
 
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Representation of Perry Ellis International, Inc. in the $88.5 Million 2005 acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Tropical Sportswear, Inc. out of Chapter 11 in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, in a complex section 363 sale that was approved in a record 60 days.
 
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Representation of Encore Housing Opportunity Fund in its $37.7 Million purchase of the Plantation Fashion Mall out of a Chapter 7 trustee conducted sale approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida in March of 2015.
 
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Lead counsel to Tutor Time Learning Systems and its subsidiaries, a nationwide children's day care provider with over 300 owned and franchised centers, as debtor in a sale in Chapter 11 to Childtime Learning Centers.
 
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Representation of Fine Air Services Corp., Arrow Air, and its other affiliates, a Miami-based international cargo airline with over $275 Million in debt, as debtors in a Chapter 11 reorganization.
 
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Served as primary counsel to debtors, Empire of Carolina (a public company) and its subsidiary, Empire Industries, an international toy and sporting goods manufacturer, in a multi-staged sale of assets in a Chapter 11.
 
Awards & Recognition
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The Best Lawyers in America 2004, 2006-2017, Listed in Florida for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation - Bankruptcy; (Recognized in the 22nd edition, Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights/ Insolvency and Reorganization/ Distressed Transactions, for having been included in this peer selection for at least 10 consecutive years)
 
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Chambers USA 2003-2015, 2017 Ranked in Florida for Bankruptcy/Restructuring
 
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Super Lawyers Magazine 2006-2016, Listed in Florida for Bankruptcy
 
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Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyer in Bankruptcy, Winner, 2015
 
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M&A Advisor’s 9th Annual Turnaround Awards, Professional Services Deal of the Year for the Sale of TLO, LLC to TransUnion LLC, 2015
 
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The South Florida Legal Guide, 2002-2006, 2009-2015, Listed as a Top Lawyer
 
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M&A Advisor’s 6th Annual Turnaround Awards, Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Middle Market) for HearUSA, 2012
 
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Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyer in Bankruptcy, Finalist, 2011
 
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Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent
 
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Florida Monthly, The Annual Best of Florida Awards, Listed as a "Top Lawyer"
 
Published Works & Lectures
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ABI Journal, Author, "Recent Trends in Section 363 APAs - Exclusivity Provisions - Limiting or Enhancing Remedies Under the Code," September 2015
 
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Southeastern Bankruptcy Institute, Co-Author, "Post-Closing Issues: Pitfalls, Disputes and Problems That Can Arise in the Aftermath of a Section 363 Sale," March 2015
 
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Forty-First Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Institute, Co-Author, “Post-Closing Issues: Pitfalls, Disputes and Problems That Can Arise in the Aftermath of a Section 363 Sale” March 27, 2015
 
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ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee, Legislation Sub-Committee, Author and Presenter, "White Paper in Support of Proposed Amendments to Section 327 of the Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rule 2014 (Post-Petition Retention of an Existing 5 CRO)," September 2014
 
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ABA Business Law Section, Business Bankruptcy Committee, Presenter, "Legislative Update," May 2013 and May 2014
 
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M&A Advisor 2015 Distressed Investing Summit, Presenter, Stalwarts Roundtable, "Equity Holders Under Siege: Strategies and Tactics for Distressed Businesses," February 2015
 
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ACG South Florida Panel Discussion, Speaker, "Creating Corporate Growth in Tough Times," January 2012
 
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Nova University School of Law, Florida Bar Business Law Section, Speaker, "Practical Differences Between Studying the Law and Practicing Law," October 2010
 
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ABA Business Law Section, Business Bankruptcy Committee, Speaker, "Problems with the Solicitation Process: Who is the Client, What Statutes and Rules Apply, What are the Perceived Violations and Who Should Control Them?," Fall 2009
 
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ABI Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, Panel Presenter, "The Workings of Current Trends in Chapter 15," February 2009
 
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ABA Section of Business Law, Committee on Business Bankruptcy, Presenter, "Reality Bankruptcy: Survivors, Moles, Hold-Ups and Trickle Downs," Spring Meeting 2003
 
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Minority Mentoring Program, Mentor
 
Professional Memberships & Activities
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American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
 
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Turnaround Management Association, Member
 
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The Florida Bar Foundation, Member
 
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Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation, Board of Directors
 
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American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2012-2015
 
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The Florida Bar, Business Law Section, Past Chair 2012-2013; Chair Elect 2011-2012; Member from 1992-Present; Executive Council 2013-Present; Chair of Legislation Committee 2008-2011; Chair of Judicial Liaison Bankruptcy 2006-2009; Chair of CLE Committee 2002-2003; Chair of Bankruptcy/UCC Committee 1997-1998
 
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American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Business Bankruptcy Committee, Member, Co-Chair Legislation Subcommittee - Model Code Project; Legislation Subcommittee, Member; Committee on Uniform APA, Member
 
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Leadership Broward Foundation, Member
 
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Leadership Broward, Class XVII, Graduate
 
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University of Miami School of Law, Alumni Association, Director, 2005-2008
 
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United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, Local Rules Advisory Committee, Member, 2001-2006
 
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Bankruptcy Bar Association, Southern District of Florida, Member
 
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Leadership Fort Lauderdale, Inaugural Class 1, Graduate
 



Brian K. Gart

Practice
Bankruptcy & Reorganization
Education
J.D., University of Miami School of Law, 1983; cum laude
B.A., University of Miami, 1980; cum laude
Bar Admissions
Florida
 
 
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