Industry Overview

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the retail industry has been significant. As a result of mandated store closures, retailers took drastic measures to cut cost, including furloughing workers, closing stores on a permeant basis, and using curbside pickup. The pandemic has accelerated the trend for consumers to purchase online. Retailers are bracing for further turbulence as the coronavirus spreads across the country, forcing certain locations to close again or scale back their reopening plans.

How We Can Help

The Togut Firm provides cost-effective and creative legal advice for retailers and retail chains in Chapter 11. Our attorneys have served as lead counsel or co-counsel in several major retail bankruptcies involving national or regional companies.

Our law firm is familiar with the challenges that retailers face in Chapter 11 today, especially liquidity problems and the inability to buy enough inventory to maintain sales revenues to support operations.

Our familiarity with the demands of complex reorganizations and our commitment to containing legal costs make our firm especially well-suited for representing struggling companies through difficult times. Keeping our billing rates 25% below market, our firm represents companies that are considering whether to pursue a restructuring, including in or out of Chapter 11. Because we have no retainer clients or institutional relationships, our law firm can act independently in the interests of the debtor and the estate without the conflicts or complications presented by preexisting affiliations with lenders or parties in interest.

Relevant Experience

The Togut Firm has achieved outstanding results in several retail restructurings by providing independent, creative, and efficient client service. Our relevant experience in this area includes:

Confidential E-Commerce Business

The Togut Firm currently represents a middle market e-commerce brand incubator and aggregator that markets and sells nearly 1,000 products across a dozen brands, including lifestyle, home goods, beauty, nutrition, sports and fitness, maternity, orthopedic, pet supply, and electronic goods. In March 2023, the firm assisted the company and its corporate counsel in negotiating a letter of intent with one of the company’s senior secured lenders and certain preferred equity holders for an out-of-court transaction that will reduce secured debt by more than approximately $70 million and substantially reduce its cost structure.

Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc.

Co-counsel to the debtors, collectively one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of costumes and related accessories. The Togut Firm assisted the debtors in obtaining bankruptcy court approval of a section 363 sale of substantially all of their assets following an expedited three-month in-court process. The sale allowed the debtors to satisfy nearly $100 million of secured debt, assume and pay in the ordinary course approximately $35 million in postpetition trade payables after payment of more than $20 million prepetition to critical vendors, pay a substantial recovery to remaining unsecured creditors, and save hundreds of jobs.


Main counsel to the women’s fashion apparel clothing chain that operated 48 retail stores in major metropolitan areas. We were able to confirm a consensual Chapter 11 plan and keep management in place.

Ames Department Stores

Co-counsel to the debtors, the largest regional discount retailer in the United States before ceasing operations, and the first Chapter 11 case in which a plan restructuring of more than $1 billion in debt was confirmed.


Conflicts counsel with Skadden Arps to the debtors, a 485-store supermarket chain, in their Chapter 11 case in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida. The debtors successfully confirmed their cases and emerged from bankruptcy with $750 million in exit financing.

Joan & David Helpern Inc.

Main counsel to the debtor, the owner and operator of the Joan & David Helpern luxury footwear retail chain with more than 55 stores located worldwide.

FFJS (F/K/A/ Fortunoff Fine Jewelry And Silverware, LLC)

Main counsel in the successful sale as a going concern of the nationally known retailer, Fortunoff.

Fred Leighton

Represented the purchaser of substantially all the debtor’s assets and business rights.


Co-counsel to the debtors with Weil, Gotshal & Manges and counsel to the plan administrator under the confirmed Chapter 11 liquidation plan after the American shopping mall-based retailer of casual apparel and accessories sold substantially all its assets in a Section 363 sale. The Togut Firm successfully negotiated and litigated a reduction of administrative proofs of claim from more than $350 million to under $7 million to satisfy a key condition precedent to the effective date of the plan.

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