• Share
  • Email
  • Print

Daniel M. Eliades

Partner
+1.973.848.4018
Fax +1.973.848.4001
Daniel Eliades is a partner at the firm’s Newark office where he is a member of the restructuring and insolvency practice group. Mr. Eliades regularly represents franchisors, resort owners, real estate developers, automobile lessors, and financial institutions in all phases of debtor/creditor relations.

Mr. Eliades regularly represents franchisors in out-of-court workouts with distressed franchisees as well as collection and enforcement litigation, and appears on behalf of franchisors in bankruptcy cases throughout the United States. His representations include efforts to: (a) maximize the recovery of amounts due franchisors; (b) if appropriate, rehabilitate and restructure the exiting franchisor/franchisee relationship; (c) when directed, facilitate the transition of franchised businesses to “good standing” or new franchisees; and (d) protect franchisor marks and systems from unauthorized use or continued use by “bad acting” franchisees. Mr. Eliades’ representation of franchisors ranges from emerging systems to some of the largest franchisors in the world.

Mr. Eliades routinely assists financial institutions, finance entities, automobile lessors, real estate holding companies, and other entities in loan restructurings, compositions, assignments for the benefit of creditors, commercial collection and foreclosure actions, lease financing, and all phases of bankruptcy representation. His insight into the issues facing lenders well positioned Mr. Eliades for his service on the Board of Directors of a publicly traded financial institution.

Mr. Eliades also represents financially distressed businesses in out-of-court workouts and restructurings in bankruptcy proceedings. He has represented a wide range of retail businesses, manufacturers, timeshare developers, real estate investors and service providers in successful reorganization efforts.

Mr. Eliades advises timeshare developers, resort owners, associations, and exchange companies in a variety of debtor/creditor issues. He represents resort owners in inventory recovery programs in judicial and non-judicial foreclosure jurisdictions across the United States. Mr. Eliades also represents timeshare developers in bankruptcy litigation (including defense of consumer claims), financing matters, debt restructurings, HOA litigation, commercial disputes (including construction litigation), and disputes involving third party exit entities – “debt relief entities”.

Finally, Mr. Eliades has published numerous articles and served as a contributor in reference and practice series in the areas of bankruptcy law, franchise law, foreclosure and bankruptcy fraud. He is a frequent speaker on these and related issues and was formerly an Adjunct Professor, Bankruptcy Law, at New York University, School of Continuing Education.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Eliades served as a partner for a national law firm on its bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, franchise, and hospitality teams.

Achievements

  • AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell, 2016 – 2018
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2013 – 2018
  • Recognized in NJ Monthly’s “New Jersey Super Lawyers,” 2007 – 2018
  • Listed in “Bergen’s Top Lawyers” in 201 Magazine, 2012 – 2016
  • Recognized as a New Jersey Monthly “Rising Star,” 2006
  • Former Master in the William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Inn of Court
  • Member of District II B Ethics Committee, 2003 – 2007 (Appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey)
  • Special Master in the Matter of P.U.R.G.E. v City of East Orange, Election Dispute (Appointed by New Jersey Superior Court)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • American Resort Development Association
  • Commercial Law League of America
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • International Franchise Association
  • New Jersey Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • "Mock 2004 Examination," 20th Annual Hon. William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference, March 2018
  • “Real Estate Valuation in Bankruptcy Cases,” National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers, October 2012
  • “The Financially Distressed Franchisee – Advanced Strategies for Franchisors and Franchisees,” American Bar Association, Phoenix, Arizona, October 2007
  • “Litigation Against Non-Debtor Third Parties and Subordination of Claims,” New Jersey State Bar Association, 2006 Bankruptcy Bench/Bar Conference
  • “Small Business: Where Does it Fit in Bankruptcy?” New Jersey State Bar Association, 2001 Bankruptcy Bench/Bar Conference
  • “New Jersey Bankruptcy Practice,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2001
Publications
  • Editor, The Bankruptcy Handbook for Franchisors & Franchisees, 2018
  • “The Bankruptcy Filing—Initial Issues,” Chapter 2, The Bankruptcy Handbook for Franchisors & Franchisees, 2018
  • “Where Do We Go From Here? The Consequences Of Rejecting Contracts,” Westlaw Journal, April 2014
  • “Hungry For Cash, Casual Dining Co’s. May Flock To Ch. 11,” Quoted in Law360 article, February 2014
  • “Too Hot to Cybersquat: How Franchisors Can Use the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act,” American Bar Association, Franchise Law Journal, Spring 2012
  • “Elusive Sovereign Defendant: A Primer on Sovereign Immunity in Bankruptcy Proceedings under 11 U.S.C. §106,” New Jersey State Bar Association Bankruptcy Law Section Newsletter, November 1999
  • “Bankruptcy Fraud,” Chapter 34, Business Crime, Matthew Bender, 1999
  • “Partnerships,” Volume 12, New Jersey Pleading and Practice Forms Series, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 1996
  • “Fraudulent Conveyances,” Volume 9, New Jersey Pleading and Practice Series, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 1996
  • “The Fair Foreclosure Act: A Mixed Bag for Lenders and Borrowers,” ECBF Chronicle, December 1995
  • “Tax Assessors Personal Liability for Biased Assessments,” Real Estate New York, November 1995
Mr. Eliades has represented franchisors and/or lessors in over 2,000 workouts, bankruptcies, or receiverships involving franchised businesses and in such matters has recovered more than $75MM for clients from troubled franchisees and guarantors. These recoveries do not account for the economic benefits received after the conclusion of a bankruptcy case or workout resulting from: (a) assumption of franchise agreements (which may be restructured) by a franchisee; (b) assumption of franchise agreements by a franchisee together with assignment of that agreement to an approved third party; (c) rejection of existing franchise agreements and the entry of new franchise agreements with the debtor or a third party purchaser of the assets of the franchisee; or (d) the surrender of collateral to franchisor and the sale or assignment of that property to a new franchisee or an existing “good standing” franchisee.

Additionally, Mr. Eliades counsels clients on opportunities to utilize the bankruptcy process to enhance their positions with respect to existing franchisees or by entering into agreements with new franchisees. Examples of representations include:
  • Representation of hotel franchisor in bankruptcy proceeding and financial restructuring ($80MM) of iconic hotel and conference center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - resulting in rebranding of hotel with client and entry of franchise and management agreements in favor of client.
  • Representation of franchisor in multi-unit franchisee bankruptcy cases (+20 units in several Midwest states) resulting in assumption of all franchise agreements, payment to franchisor of nearly $1MM in past due pre-petition royalties, and maintaining franchisor/franchisee relationship post-bankruptcy.
  • Representation of franchisor in multi-unit out of court restructuring involving multiple “short sales” of franchised locations (20 units in California) to “good standing” (performing) franchisees and payment to franchisor of over $5MM in past due amounts.
  • Representation of business card franchisor in recovery of over $1MM from bankrupt guarantors of defunct franchisee.
  • Representation of franchisors as secured creditors in dozens of transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code involving the surrender of property by a troubled franchisee to its franchisor/secured creditor in exchange for full or partial satisfaction of the indebtedness due to the franchisor as secured creditor.
  • Representation of franchisor in multi-unit franchisee Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in Illinois. Debtor sought to compel restoration of suspended system privileges. After defeating the motion, we negotiated a resolution which provided for: (a) payment of then outstanding post-petition fees to franchisor; (b) acknowledgment of the nature, extent and validity of the full amount of the franchisors’ pre-petition claims; (c) assumption of the franchise agreement and payment of the pre-petition arrears over time; (d) release of affirmative claims/causes of action by franchisee against franchisor; and (e) modification of the franchise agreement to extend the term thereof. We have obtained similar relief in dozens of franchisee bankruptcy cases.
  • Representation of franchisors in claim litigation. For instance, a bankrupt franchisee objected to the proof of claim of a franchisor client, which consisted largely of liquidated damages resulting from the pre-petition termination of the franchise agreement. The franchised property was sold in the bankruptcy proceeding, yielding an amount sufficient to pay all secured and unsecured claims and return funds to equity holders. We litigated the claim objection, the claim was allowed in full (for nearly $1MM), and the franchisor ultimately received a distribution for the full amount of its claim.

Mr. Eliades and his team have, on many occasions, successfully litigated in bankruptcy or receivership cases for judgment authorizing termination of franchise agreements and/or leases of “bad acting”, infringing, or holdover franchisees. Relief generally afforded to our franchisor clients in these cases includes orders compelling the operator to de-identify the location from its appearance as a business franchised by our client. Mr. Eliades and his team have often obtained this relief on an emergent basis when issues of public health, safety and/or welfare are involved.
Mr. Eliades routinely represents timeshare developers in bankruptcy litigation (including defense of consumer claims), financing matters, debt restructurings, HOA litigation, commercial disputes (including construction litigation), and disputes involving third party exit entities – “debt relief entities”. Representative examples include:
  • Representation of resort owner in a Caribbean restructuring. A client faced lawsuits commenced by several homeowners associations at three resorts asserting claims against in excess of $245MM on account of alleged acts of the developer’s predecessor-in-interest. We represented the owner of the resorts as a debtor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding which ultimately resulted in a confirmed plan of the reorganization providing for: (i) payment by the debtor to the plaintiff associations of a small fraction of the amount claimed in the litigations; (ii) allocation of the settlement amount almost exclusively for repairs and improvements at the resorts – which increased the value of the intervals owned by our client at the resorts; (iii) releases and litigation injunctions in favor of client entities from/against the plaintiffs in the lawsuits, all other associations at the resorts, and all interval owners; (iv) amendment to the declarations and by-laws of each resort (which would have been time consuming and expensive outside of a bankruptcy proceeding); (v) transfer of common area property to the associations free of any tax obligations to the debtors; (vi) resolution of a dispute with a rental company resulting in release of more than $3.2MM in escrowed funds to our client; (vii) rejection of licensed interval interests in exchange for a transfer of a deeded interest or a de minimus cash option; (viii) favorable resolution of hundreds of claims against the resorts and restructuring of various leases and agreement; and (ix) an order compelling the local government to record deeds which had long been “held” pending payment demand of taxes – which tax claim was rejected entirely by the bankruptcy court.
  • Representation of resort owner in connection with: (i) acquisition of partner equity interests in a resort and Puerto Rico; (ii) restructuring of a $155MM mortgage loan; and (iii) restructuring of millions of dollars of unsecured obligations associated with the resort. In connection with this representation, we also represented the developer in the negotiation and/or restructuring of numerous agreements related to the resort.
  • Representation of timeshare developer which owned an Arizona golf course resort. Faced with claims in excess of $33MM on account of alleged actions of our client’s predecessor-in-interest, we represented the developer in a bankruptcy proceeding and achieved a favorable settlement which resulted in acquisition by our client of 100% of the interests in the entity which owned the resort, settlement of several lawsuits and restructuring of other claims and agreements related to the resort.
  • Successful representation of timeshare resort owners and exchange companies in multiple bankruptcy court cases of “debt relief entities” – including debtors which have “transferred” more than 100,000 intervals - in the prosecution of monetary and non-monetary claims. In connection with same, we have interfaced with many governmental entities and consumer protection agencies.

Mr. Eliades and his team have developed protocols for resort owners, exchange programs, and vacation clubs in handling bankruptcy proceedings by current or former members and owners. They also represent developers and/or associations in inventory recovery programs at resorts throughout the United States. Via these programs, they have recovered thousands of timeshare intervals for our clients by way of surrender (deed in lieu of foreclosure), judicial foreclosure or non-judicial foreclosure.