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Overview

Margie Venus is a principal at McKool Smith’s Houston office. She focuses on the areas of business reorganizations, debtors’ and creditors’ rights, and insolvency and acquisitions.

After practicing law for almost four decades, she has extensive experience representing distressed companies, committees and other diverse claimants in all aspects of corporate restructurings, formal bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court settlements, and representing acquirers of assets from bankruptcy estates and companies in financial distress.

Margie is admitted to the Supreme Court of Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts of Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas.

She’s also fluent in Spanish, with experience in restructuring-related matters, acquisitions and privatizations in Latin America. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and University of Houston Law Center, and her BA in Political Science and Spanish from Rice University.

Experience

Representative Matters

Prior to joining the firm:

Chapter 11 Committees. The following are examples of committee representations in Chapter 11 proceedings:

  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Appletree Markets, Inc., the former Texas Safeway chain (Southern District of Texas)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Blast Energy Services, Inc., a public company that provides services to the oil and gas industry (Southern District of Texas)
  • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Candescent Technologies Corporation, a flat panel display design company whose bankruptcy proceeding included the approval of a Bermuda scheme of arrangement (Northern District of California)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Digicon, Inc., a publicly held integrated geophysical services company (Southern District of Texas) the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Farmland Industries, Inc., a major agricultural cooperative (Western District of Missouri)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Food Barn Stores, Inc., the former Kansas/Missouri Safeway grocery chain (Western District of Missouri)
  • The Official Committee of Equity Holders of First City Bancorporation of Texas, Inc., a bank holding company (Northern District of Texas)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Imperial Sugar Company, a major U.S. sugar producing and marketing company (District of Delaware)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Lack’s Stores, Incorporated, eta, Texas’ largest furniture retailer (Southern District of Texas)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of MCorp Financial, a bank holding company (Southern District of Texas)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Metals USA, Inc., a nationwide steel processing and distribution company (Southern District of Texas)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of National Convenience Stores a/k/a Stop N Go, one of the largest operators of convenience stores with 985 stores throughout the south (Southern District of Texas)
  • The Unofficial Committee of Secured Bondholders of National Steel, a fully integrated U.S. steel company (Northern District of Illinois)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Oakwood Homes Corp., builder, seller, financer and insurer of manufactured homes (District of Delaware)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Petsec Energy Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration and production company (Western District of Louisiana)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Quality Beverage Company, Inc., Texas’ then-largest alcohol and spirits distributor (Southern District of Texas)
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Solutia, Inc., a leading producer of a variety of high performance chemical-based materials, which are used in a broad range of consumer and industrial applications (Southern District of New York)

Debtors. The following are examples of debtor representations in Chapter 11 proceedings:

  • Agrifos Fertilizer LLC, an international chemical manufacturer (Southern District of Texas)
  • Boston Chicken, Inc. and its 36 subsidiaries, a nationwide publicly traded restaurant chain (District of Arizona)
  • Century Offshore Management Corporation, a privately held oil and gas exploration and production company (Eastern District of Kentucky)
  • RIGCO North America, L.L.C., owners of semisubmersible drilling rigs and related assets (Southern District of Texas)
  • Southern Mineral, Inc., a publicly registered oil and gas exploration and production company (Southern District of Texas)

Other Representations

  • Representation of purchasers of distressed assets, including: the purchaser and co-plan proponent in the acquisition of steel assets of Border Steel (Western District of Texas); a private equity firm in a potential acquisition of the assets of Friede Goldman Halter, Inc. (Southern District of Mississippi); a private equity firm in a potential acquisition of vessels of Torch Offshore, Inc. (Eastern District of Louisiana); a leading specialty retailer in the potential acquisition of retail assets in G&G Retail, Inc. (Southern District of New York); and a private investment group in the successful acquisition of the refinery facility of Notre Dame Investors, Inc. (Western District of Texas)
  • Representation of secured creditors, interest holders and DIP lenders, including: a leading North American financial institution and a privately held multi-national real estate firm as secured creditors of Kingwood Professional Healthcare Center, L.P. (Southern District of Texas); a private investment firm as potential DIP lender and secured creditor of Bake-Line Group, LLC (District of Delaware); a New York-based private equity investment firm as DIP lender in Doctors Hospital 1997, L.P. (Southern District of Texas)
  • Representation of liquidating trustees, including: the Liquidating Trustee of Bridgeport Holdings, Inc. (District of Delaware); and the Liquidating Trustee of Petsec Energy Inc. (Western District of Louisiana)
  • Counsel to a private equity firm in the acquisition of media assets in South America Counsel to the Bolivian Ministry of Capitalization in connection with the recapitalization of YPFB, the Bolivian integrated state oil and gas company
  • Counsel to a European Union telecommunications company in the attempted acquisition of the Guatemalan telephone company through its privatization process

Recognition

Rankings & Honors

Martin Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated (2003-2013, 2016, 2017)

Best Lawyers in America

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights (2009, 2010, 2011)
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018)

Best Lawyers, Women in the Law (2016)

Corporate Counsel – Top Lawyers: Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights Law (2010, 2011, 2012)

The American Registry America’s Most Honored Professionals  – Top 1% (2016, 2017, 2018)

ALM 2015 Women Leaders in the Law (2015)

Houston’s Top Lawyers – H Texas Magazine (2007)

Texas Top Lawyers (2015)

Best Attorneys in Texas (2012)

Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers (2013)

Affiliations

Community & Professional Activities

Houston Bar Association

American Bankruptcy Institute

International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals

International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation

Articles

Publications

"Debunking Bankruptcy Myths - A Guide to Common Traps in Bankruptcy Cases" (2005)

"Director and Officer Liability: Zone of Insolvency and Deepening Insolvency" (2007)

Education

J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1982

        Georgetown University Law Center

B.A., Political Science and Spanish, Rice University, 1979

Clerkships

  • Hon. Randolph F. Wheless, Jr., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Texas
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