Timothy Nixon, a shareholder in the Milwaukee-based law firm of Godfrey & Kahn S.C., was recently elected to the American College of Bankruptcy, an honorary association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals. Nixon is one of five Wisconsin attorneys elected to the college in its history. Brady Williamson, a shareholder in Godfrey & Kahn’s Madison office, is also a member.
The American College of Bankruptcy is an invitation only organization, dedicated to the advancement of high professional standards, the pursuit of continuing education and pro bono bankruptcy work. The college has about 650 members from around the world, and elects about 20 new members per year.
Nixon is a member of Godfrey & Kahn’s business finance and restructuring practice group, as well as its corporate and litigation practice groups. His work includes state and federal insolvency cases. His clients include debtors, secured creditors, creditor committees, asset purchasers, receivers and trustees.
Bankruptcy and insolvency filings have risen throughout 2008 and business owners and executives facing a filing would be best served looking for an attorney elected to the college because of its emphasis on continuing education, Nixon said.
"You want to look for people who are not just lawyers, but are also involved in organizations," he said. "These lawyers work with each other all the time – they talk about what the law is and what it should be. That can cut through a lot of red tape."
Most bankruptcy and insolvency attorneys who are active in continuing education attend and present at the same seminars, Nixon said.
"When you have lawyers involved and continually educating themselves, they’re learning nuances of the law and what is still open for debate and what is not," he said. "This is a very specialized area of law and there are (more than) 400 judges administering it. Knowing what the law is in your area is very important."
Nixon was elected to the college by its Board of Regents. His selection is recognition by his peers of his professional qualifications and character, commitment to continuing education and education related to the insolvency process.
Bankruptcy and insolvency filings are on the rise this year, but Nixon said he believes there will be many more over the next several years.
"We’re on the brink of significant financial distress," he said. "The tip of the iceberg has just happened. It’s just getting started – we’ll be in this for the next three to five years."
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