The coronavirus is threatening to destroy businesses large and small — and that’s got bankruptcy lawyers’ phones ringing off the hook. The economic shock of the social isolation measures being taken across the U.S. to mitigate the pandemic threatens to put millions of Americans out of work and leaves companies in a raft of industries wondering how they’ll make payroll. As bankruptcy lawyers adjust to the new routine of working from home, many are seeing a spike in business they haven’t experienced since the September 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2008 global financial crisis.
Kent Zimmermann sees a sharp ramp-up in the age of the virus with demand picking up for firms serving industries under stress, starting with energy and retail, but also including transportation, leisure and hospitality, and others. High-performing restructuring lawyers with big followings are an increasingly hot commodity. And he sees still other practice groups, including private equity, benefiting as well.