You can sum up Michael Sutherland’s 35 years of work as a bankruptcy attorney in a few brief words: his first aim is to fix broken companies.
“Anyone can figure out a way to burn it down,” he says. “That’s sometimes necessary but doesn’t take much skill. But fixing the company and its problems is the most rewarding work there is.”
His clients have included large corporate debtors, lenders, healthcare companies, airlines and retail giants, as well as not-for-profits and municipalities. He has also defended officers and directors in cases of alleged negligence and fellow bankruptcy attorneys in cases of alleged malpractice, as well as a range of other business clients.
A common theme runs through Michael’s work, whatever the fact situation is: he believes in anticipating problems and in including people in discussions instead of excluding them.
Of course, he knows when it’s time to fight as well as when it’s time to negotiate. Understanding the difference and fitting the solution to the facts has brought him loyal clients and recognition on the list of Texas Super Lawyers, in Bankruptcy and Workout from 2004 to the present, as published in Texas Monthly.
As Michael says, anybody can pick a fight. He prefers to bring parties together and reason things out because this is often the most productive, and cost-effective approach to fixing what’s broken and to getting back to business. However, when it’s time to fight, not everyone is prepared to finish – Michael and the litigators at Carrington Coleman may be slow to pick a fight in a reorganization matter but are not reluctant to carry one through to the end.