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Ryan K. Cochran

Partner, Practice Group Leader, Finance & Restructuring
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Ryan Cochran leads Waller's Finance & Restructuring practice. In his role as Practice Group Leader, Ryan oversees strategic initiatives, including client service and case management for the firm's Finance & Restructuring practice. Ryan has substantial experience representing creditors and debtors in commercial law matters, workouts, corporate reorganizations, and bankruptcy litigation. Ryan's clients include lenders, indenture trustees, and other creditors and debtors. He has experience working on insolvency and receivership proceedings involving municipalities, healthcare facilities, utilities, real estate ventures, and other businesses. Utilizing both his transactional and litigation experience, Ryan helps clients navigate through the complexities caused by financially distressed parties and projects, both in the structuring of corporate and credit transactions and in connection with bankruptcy proceedings.

Ryan takes a sincere interest in understanding his clients' businesses, and in learning what makes them successful and profitable.

Accolades

  • 2017 Mid-South Super Lawyer

Experience

  • Represented the Indenture Trustee for approximately $5.3 billion in special revenue water and sewer bonds issued by the City of Detroit, Michigan, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, in connection with Detroit's chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding. The water and sewer bonds collectively represented one-third of the total estimated $18 billion of indebtedness owed by Detroit. At the time of filing in June 2013, Detroit was the largest municipal bankruptcy on record.
     
  • Represented the Indenture Trustee in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in connection with litigation against Jefferson County, Alabama, arising out of defaults on approximately $3.2 billion in pledged revenue bonds (“Sewer Warrants”) issued to fund capital improvements to Jefferson County’s sewer system. The litigation against Jefferson County resulted in a $512 million judgment against Jefferson County and the appointment of a receiver to control and administer Jefferson County’s sewer system. The litigation concluded when Jefferson County confirmed a chapter 9 plan of adjustment supported by more than 95% of the aggregate principal amount of all outstanding Sewer Warrants. At the time of the filing in November 2011, Jefferson County was the largest municipal bankruptcy on record.
     
  • Represented business in obtaining a non-dischargeable judgment in bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2)(A) and 523(a)(4) against chapter 7 debtor who had obtained money from the business by fraud and misrepresentation and embezzled money for personal expenses and other business ventures while purportedly acting on behalf of the business.
     
  • Represented bank in obtaining a waiver of a chapter 7 debtor’s discharge in bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727.  In aid of execution on a $7.5 million judgment, the bank conducted post-judgment discovery.  After the debtor filed bankruptcy, discovery demonstrated that the debtor had hindered the bank’s efforts to execute on its judgment by concealing monies he had received in bank accounts in the name of his son, his daughter, and his mother. 
     
  • Represented investors who were victims of securities fraud related to their purchase of interests in oil and gas partnerships in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky. After a trial of a contested motion for the appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee the litigation against the Debtor resulted in the appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee over the general partner of the oil and gas partnerships.
     
  • Represented over 100 investors who were victims of securities fraud related to their purchase of interests in oil and gas partnerships in both the United States District Court and United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky in obtaining a $18.2 million judgment against the issuers of the securities, a receiver over the general partner that managed the partnerships and the numerous issuing partnerships, and in purchasing the assets of the oil and gas partnerships at a judicial sale conducted by the receiver.
     
  • Represented investors who unknowingly invested in what was later found to be a ponzi scheme in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in defending an Adversary Proceeding brought by the Chapter 7 Trustee for the bankruptcy estate of the perpetrator of the ponzi scheme to avoid as fraudulent transfers and preferences the investors’ returns from the ponzi scheme. The litigation was concluded at a multi-party mediation that included the Trustee and numerous investors. The ponzi scheme captured over $40 million in investors’ funds and was featured in Episode 41 of CNBC’s “American Greed.”
     
  • Represented healthcare facility owner in arbitration of a payment and delay dispute with general contractor seeking in excess of $1 million related to the construction of a healthcare facility in Texas. The litigation resulted in a favorable settlement.
     
  • Represented mass tort lawyers in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Middle District of Alabama and Southern District of Alabama who were sued by multiple Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Standing Trustees representing over 200 bankruptcy estates for turnover of alleged estate assets, alleged violation of the automatic stay for exercising control over estate property, allegedly accepting settlements on behalf of their clients who were in bankruptcy and disbursing attorneys’ fees without court approval. The litigation resulted in a favorable settlement.
     
  • Represented the Indenture Trustee for bonds issued to finance the acquisition, expansion and renovation of a 142-bed skilled nursing home facility in Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama, in litigation in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The litigation resulted in the appointment of a receiver to control and administer the nursing home facility. After obtaining control of the nursing home facility through the receivership, the nursing home facility was sold through a court-approved sale process.
     
  • Represented the Indenture Trustee for bonds issued to finance the costs of acquiring and renovating an 85-bed skilled nursing home facility in Reform, Pickens County, Alabama, in litigation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The litigation resulted in the appointment of a receiver to control and administer the nursing home facility. After obtaining control of the nursing home facility through the receivership, the nursing home facility was sold through a court-approved sale process.
     
  • Represented the Indenture Trustee for bonds issued to finance the acquisition and renovation of a 120-bed skilled nursing home facility located in Jasper, Jasper County, Texas and a 90-bed skilled nursing facility located in Pineland, Sabine County, Texas, in litigation to enforce the terms of a confirmed bankruptcy plan of reorganization in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The litigation resulted in the reopening of the obligor's bankruptcy case, setting aside the bankruptcy court's order dismissing the obligor's bankruptcy case, and obtaining the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee to control and administer the nursing home facilities.
     
  • Represented trust company serving as trustee of marital trust in litigation related to the sale of the marital trust's principal asset, an ownership interest in a private, closely held corporation. The litigation was consensually resolved through the sale of the marital trust's interest in the corporation, the making of terminating distributions to certain of the remainderman, and the appointment of a successor trustee.
     
  • Represented a 140-bed Arkansas not-for-profit hospital that closed and filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.

Professional

  • Member, Tennessee Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association, Health Law Section
  • ​Member, American Bankruptcy Institute, Bankruptcy Litigation Section
  • Member, Turnaround Management Association
  • Board Member, Mid-South Commercial Law Institute
  • Participant, National Institute of Trial Advocacy Trial Skills Program

Prior Affiliations

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • Externship to the Honorable Tamara O. Mitchell, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • Associate, Walston Wells Anderson & Birchall, LLP, Birmingham, Alabama

Education

  • J.D., magna cum laude, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, 2000,

    Curia Honoris - academic honor society; Editor in Chief - Cumberland Law Review

  • B.S., Auburn University, 1997

Legal Services

Industries Served

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Alabama

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits
  • Alabama, All State Courts
  • Tennessee, All State Courts

Up Close

Ryan and his wife Amy met while both were attending Auburn University. They married after Ryan graduated from law school and have two boys, Thomas and Robert. They currently live in Brentwood, Tennessee. Before joining Ryan's family in Nashville, Ryan and Amy lived in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.