Ann Marie Uetz

Partner

Overview

Ann Marie Uetz is a partner and trial attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP, and is vice chair of the firm’s national Litigation Department. Practicing for nearly three decades, Ann Marie represents lenders, creditors and debtors in all facets of financing, workouts, and formal restructurings.

Ann Marie focuses her practice on business litigation and bankruptcy, two of Foley’s practice areas recently ranked by U.S. News—Best Lawyers® as “national First-Tier” practices in recognition of excellence in client service, and is also a member of Foley’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice. Much of Ann Marie's work in this area focuses on distressed debt workouts, often representing lenders and related receivers and CROs in all phases of workouts. She provides training for her clients and ensures that they retain all of their legal and equitable rights in the event of a default. Ann Marie and her team negotiate and draft loan documents, forbearance agreements, related real estate documents and all documents necessary to protect the client's security interest in collateral securing loan obligations. She represented the special servicer for the secured lender in a deal involving more than ten properties included in a $300MM national loan portfolio, obtaining approval for the appointment of a receiver over the largest multi-family residential property on record in the State of Michigan, and currently represents the special servicer for the secured lender in a deal involving ten properties and three different federal court receiver appointments. Ann Marie’s team has led workouts in multiple industry sectors, including manufacturing, energy and healthcare.

Ann Marie’s work is integral to Foley’s focus on the manufacturing sector. She is one of the authors of “Accelerating Trends: Assessing the Supply Chain in a Post-Pandemic World,” Foley’s recent report analyzing trends and future developments in the supply chain. Ann Marie has been consecutively recognized by the National Law Review in multiple areas. She was recognized as a 2021 Go-To Thought Leader in the area of “Transportation Law” and was previously recognized as a 2020 Go-To Thought Leader in the area of “COVID-19: Manufacturing Impact.” 

Ann Marie is a member of the firm’s Manufacturing Sector including its Automotive Industry Team, and served as a founder and co-chair of its national Automotive Crisis Response Team, comprised of more than 50 attorneys across the firm in various disciplines, representing more than 100 automotive suppliers. She led Foley’s Coronavirus Task Force and was a co-founder of the firm’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Ann Marie works with an extensive network of business leaders and professionals, and in 2015 was included in Crain’s Most Connected list, highlighted as one of the 100 most connected businesspeople in metro Detroit.

 

Ann Marie Uetz is an exceptional attorney, and has been pivotal in the support of our organization. . . . Bright, insightful and focused, and an extremely valuable extended member of our team.

— a Foley client, commenting on Ann Marie’s representation for
Best Lawyers in America ©

Bankruptcy and Business Litigation Practice

Ann Marie is former chair of the Litigation Department in Foley's Detroit office and former vice chair of the firm’s national Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice. Foley's Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice provides a wide range of representation, including that of lenders, creditors and chapter 11 debtors. BankruptcyLaw360 has fittingly ranked this practice as one of the top ten bankruptcy practices in the nation.

Ann Marie represents clients in restructuring, bankruptcy and business disputes in federal bankruptcy and district courts across the country. She has also advised clients on the strategic sale and acquisition of distressed assets, both inside and outside of the court process. Ann Marie splits her practice between distressed debt workouts and contract/supply chain work for manufacturers, and often her work intersects these two areas. She provides counsel to customers and suppliers regarding their contracts and their best business position both prior to and after a bankruptcy filing by one of their suppliers or customers.

Ann Marie has extensive and unique knowledge of the manufacturing supply chain, including manufacturing and technology agreements. This includes supply contract negotiations, drafting supply contracts, surcharge and capacity issues, stop-ship situations and pricing disputes. These transactions often include tripartite agreements among the troubled supplier, its significant customers and its secured lenders to solidify the commitments of each party to keep the supplier operating while the workout (or bankruptcy) is progressing. These agreements commonly consist of access and accommodation agreements and subordinated participation agreements. Ann Marie has negotiated these agreements routinely in troubled company situations and is deeply familiar with them and the underlying issues.

Ann Marie brings to the manufacturing sector a unique combination of knowledge and experience under the Uniform Commercial Code (i.e., the UCC), the Bankruptcy Code, as well as significant trial experience. She is thus able to advise her clients regarding their existing rights and legal obligations as well as counsel how those rights and obligations might be affected by the threatened insolvency or actual bankruptcy filing by her clients’ customers or suppliers. This provides her clients with the tools they need to gain traction in contract negotiations and best leverage their position in this evolving economic environment. She provides personal and remote training to her clients to help them manage their contracts and other risk.

Peer Recognition and Awards

Ann Marie has established herself as a go-to business counselor and litigator who partners with her clients. Her work stands apart from many of her peers, and she has been well recognized for her superior legal skills and client service.

  • Most notably, Ann Marie has been honored since 2013 in The Best Lawyers in America© for her work in Commercial Litigation, and since 2019 for her work in Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Ann Marie has also been recognized by Leading Lawyers: Top Lawyers in Michigan, including in 2020, in the following areas: bankruptcy & workouts, commercial litigation, and creditor’s rights
  • She has been honored since 2008 in the Michigan Super Lawyers® lists for her work in the areas of business litigation, bankruptcy and real estate, following a rigorous selection process involving peer reviews and independent research
  • She has been named to DBusiness Magazine’s list of Top Lawyers in the areas of bankruptcy, business law and real estate law – a list that draws nominations from over 21,000 attorneys.
  • Ann Marie was selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of its 20 Women in the Law for the year 2012
  • She has been peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system
  • She was named to Crain’s Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan in 2017
  • She was named to Crain’s Most Connected List, representing the 100 most connected businesspeople in metro Detroit
  • Ann Marie was recognized by JD Supra’s 2021 Readers Choice Awards in the Transportation category as one of the top ten authors writing about transportation on JD Supra during 2020.

Illustrative Current and Recent Representations  

  • Represented the lender and stalking horse purchaser of assets through a 363 sale in the automotive chapter 11 case of Jack Cooper Holdings, Co. (sale approved, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia)
  • Lead counsel to special servicer in obtaining a receiver appointment over commercial property pending a foreclosure, and enforcing its assignment of rents even post-redemption. Obtained a favorable decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, enforcing Michigan’s Assignment of Rents and Non-Judicial Foreclosure statutes, and holding that, even though an assignment of rents and the underlying mortgage were extinguished by a redemption payment, the lender’s property right in the pre-redemption rents had already vested and could not be undone by the redemption; WBCMT 2003-C9 Island Living LLC v. Swan Creek Limited Partnership, Case No. 17-2374
  • Lead counsel to the court-appointed receiver for Wilbanks Energy Logistics, which operated as a full-service energy logistics company until being placed into receivership due to adverse market conditions affecting the oil and gas industry. Less than sixty days after the appointment of her client as the receiver for Wilbanks, Ann Marie led and completed the sale of the assets of Wilbanks and its affiliates, which included a fleet of vehicles, heavy machinery and equipment
  • Lead counsel to secured lender in the loan workout of a tier 1 manufacturing company, including the negotiation of an access and accommodation agreement with one of the Detroit 3 OEMs, forbearance agreement and eventual refinancing to take out and pay her client in full
  • Lead counsel to secured lender regarding the default of a company operating skilled nursing facilities and a related prescription medication service provider in multiple states. Negotiated and finalized an agreement to take out and pay her client in full
  • Lead counsel to secured lender regarding the default of a failed skilled nursing facility in Wisconsin, where Foley is headquartered
  • Lead counsel to senior secured lender in the chapter 11 case In re A.M.S., in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • Lead counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 case Capitol Bancorp Ltd., a bank holding company which owns banks across the country (Plan of Reorganization confirmed, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan)
  • Lead counsel to Fortune 500 manufacturer to secure its contained supply of parts from Royal Oak Industries, which was subject to a court-appointed receiver. Before ROI liquidated its assets, Ann Marie negotiated and secured a five-party access and accommodation agreement with the supplier and its lenders, to ensure continued funding in the context of an orderly wind down/sale of assets
  • Lead counsel to senior secured lender in a commercial single-asset foreclosure/bankruptcy case, successfully defending against the debtors’ attack on a claim based on a nonrecourse loan, achieving a favorable ruling resulting in new precedent in the Seventh Circuit holding that § 1111(b) treats an otherwise nonrecourse loan as a recourse loan in bankruptcy regardless of whether there is any equity in the real estate securing that loan. In re B.R. Brookfield Commons No. 1 LLC, 735 F.3d 596 (7th Cir. 2013)
  • Counsel to a government-sponsored enterprise in more than 40 class action lawsuits filed in Michigan and across the country involving exemption from payment of real-estate transfer taxes (Published Appellate Decision in favor of Foley’s client: County of Oakland and Andrew E. Meisner; Genesee County and Deborah Cherry, Michigan Department of Attorney General and Michigan Department of Treasury v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10032, Nos. 12-2135/2136 (6th Cir. May 20, 2013))
  • Lead counsel to a government-sponsored enterprise in connection with the receiver appointments and completed non-judicial foreclosures, and related guaranty litigation, for more than ten properties included in a $300MM national loan portfolio, including the largest multi-family receiver appointment and foreclosure on record in the state of Michigan
  • Lead counsel to a Fortune 500 secured creditor (defense industry contractor) in connection with a license and IP contract held with a debtor in bankruptcy
  • Lead counsel to an EV startup advising on all aspects of procurement and supply contracts and working to minimize risk
  • Lead counsel to a multi-national technology company advising on the $1BB+ transformation of a manufacturing facility to accomplish vertical integration of certain products, including all procurement contracts related to the transformation
  • Lead counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Gissing North America, LLC in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Lead counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Loves Furniture Inc. in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Lead counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 automotive bankruptcy case of Shiloh Industries in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware

Ann Marie has tried many jury cases, bench trials and arbitrations. She has argued numerous cases in both state and federal courts. Ann Marie has extensive experience litigating contested matters, claims and adversary proceedings in bankruptcy courts. She has obtained and avoided preliminary injunctive relief in state, federal district and bankruptcy courts and has avoided class certification in federal courts. She has considerable experience in appellate litigation, having briefed and argued appeals from bankruptcy court orders and cases before the Michigan and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Lectures and Publications

Academic and Business Leadership, and Board Memberships

Ann Marie graduated, with distinction, from the University of Michigan (B.A., political science) in 1989. Ann Marie graduated, magna cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School in 1993, where she received the Eugene Driker Award for achieving the highest grade point average (4.0) in her class. Ann Marie was also selected for the Order of the Coif and served as an associate editor of the Wayne Law Review. Ann Marie is a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit XXV.

Ann Marie is admitted to practice before all federal and state courts in the state of Michigan, various federal district and bankruptcy courts throughout the country, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and before the United States Supreme Court.

Ann Marie has held leadership positions on the boards of several professional organizations, including as past chair, officer and board member of MIWIRC (the Michigan Network for International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation). She is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). She has served as a Barrister lecturer by the DMBA Inns of Court program. Within Foley, Ann Marie is committed to mentoring young attorneys, and was honored in 2009 with Foley’s Carl Hitchner Mentor of the Year Award.

A lifelong Detroiter, Ann Marie also dedicates her time to philanthropic and artistic endeavors in Southeast Michigan.

  • Director on the Board of the Society of Automotive Analysts
  • Director on the Board of Directors of First Tee of Greater Detroit, whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf
  • Served as a director on the board for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2008 through 2014, which tenure included the organization’s overall debt restructuring and reorganization
  • Pro bono work for Cap & Conquer, a non-profit startup whose mission is to raise funds to help subsidize Cold Caps, a scalp cooling technology to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy treatment, for those who cannot afford the treatment
  • Pro bono work for the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities in Chicago, Illinois, a non-profit voluntary association of organizations supporting services to persons with developmental disabilities
  • Ann Marie is also a member of the Saugatuck Yacht Club in Saugatuck, Michigan

 

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