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Margaret R. Westbrook

Margaret Westbrook is a partner in the firm's Finance practice. She has two distinct areas of practice: restructuring and insolvency and campaign finance. Currently serving as the U.S. practice group coordinator for the restructuring and insolvency practice group within the firm, she represents secured and unsecured creditors in restructuring and insolvency matters both in and out of the state and federal courts in North Carolina, in other U.S. jurisdictions including New York, Delaware, Texas and Virginia. Margaret advises transactional clients with respect to insolvency risks and debt restructuring. She represents purchasers and sellers of debt and assets from financially distressed companies in a variety of structures, including foreclosure sales, Article 9 sales and Chapter 11 Section 363 sales. She has handled a variety of cross-border matters involving informal restructurings and formal Chapter 15 proceedings. She has extensive experience with agricultural cases, including Chapter 12 proceedings, and with healthcare insolvency issues both in and outside of formal insolvency proceedings. In 2021, Margaret became a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy.

Margaret also advises corporations and trade associations on matters relating to the regulation of corporate political activity, including the formation and administration of state and federal political action committees, campaign finance regulations and gift laws. She formerly represented clients in the North Carolina General Assembly and currently advises clients regarding the development of political compliance programs.

Prior to joining the firm, Margaret served as law clerk to the Honorable J. Rich Leonard, Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 1996-1998. She works from the Raleigh, Research Triangle Park and Charlotte, North Carolina offices.

  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® as "Lawyer of the Year" for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law in Charlotte, 2022
  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow, Class 32, 2021
  • Recognized in Chambers USA for Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Band 1, since 2015
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law in Charlotte since 2019
  • Recognized in Business North Carolina Legal Elite for Bankruptcy Law, 2012-2015, 2017-2019, 2021-2024
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers, 2020-2023
  • Triangle Business Journal, Women in Business Award, 2007
  • American Bankruptcy Law Journal, Board Member (2020-2023)
  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fourth Circuit Admissions Committee, Education and Programs Committee
  • North Carolina Bar Association 
    • Bankruptcy Section Chair (2021-2022)
    • Vice Chair (2020-2021) 
    • Seminar Committee Co-Chair (2019)
    • Legislative Committee Chair (2008-2020) 
  • Turnaround Management Association-- Carolinas Chapter Vice Chair (2020-2021); Board Member (2015-present)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Southeastern Advisory Board Member (2016-present)
  • Eastern Bankruptcy Institute Board Member (2016-present)
  • Coach for Campbell Law School Conrad B. Duberstein Moot Court Team (2014-2021)
  • Wake County Bar Association (Grievance Committee, 2006-2009; Professionalism Committee Member, 2002-present)
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Local Rules Committee (2000-2019), Chair (2010-2019)
  • “Managing Contract Counterparty Risks,” K&L Gates “Under the Wire” CLE Seminar, February 2024
  • "Buying Distressed Farm and Food Assets,” American Agricultural Law Association Annual Agricultural Law Symposium, November 2023
  • “Agricultural Insolvency: What’s Different?” American Agricultural Law Association, September 2022
  • “Overview of New North Carolina Receivership Act,”  Mecklenburg County Bar Association Webinar, January 2021
  • “Receivership Statute Update,”  North Carolina Bar Association Annual Seminar, December 2020
  • “Corporate Political Engagement & Compliance: Preparing for the 2020 Election Cycle,”  Eighth Annual Under the Wire CLE, February 2020
  • “Attorney/Client Privilege and Agricultural Matters: Don’t let the Cow out of the Barn Door,” American Agricultural Law Association Education Symposium, November 2019
  • "Rescuing Hospitals from the Emergency Room," 23rd Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, American Bankruptcy Institute, July 2018
  • "Loose Lips Sink Ships, Top Ten Ways to Lose the Attorney Client Privilege," Sixth Annual Under the Wire CLE, February, 2018
  • "Agricultural Security Interests and Priority," American Agricultural Law Conference, October 2018
  • "Hot Ethics Topics for Bankruptcy Lawyers," Eastern Bankruptcy Institute, June 2011, 2012, 2014-2016
  • "Election Year Bootcamp – Is your organization in shape for the 2016 race?," K&L Gates "Under the Wire" CLE Seminar, February 2016
  • “Confirmation Issues in Municipal Bankruptcies," Moderator, Campbell Law School Symposium, October 2014
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • Appeals Chapter of the North Carolina Bankruptcy Practice Manual, Eighth Edition, North Carolina Bar Association, 2018
  • School Finance Litigation Comes to North Carolina, Comment, 73 North Carolina Law Review 2123, 1995
Additional News & Event Pages
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