Ann Marie Uetz is a partner and trial attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she represents upper and middle market businesses in their contracts and business disputes, as well as debtors, creditors and secured and unsecured lenders in all facets of financing and restructuring. Ann Marie focuses on the manufacturing industry – chiefly suppliers in the automotive and defense industries – and advises her clients on acquisitions, procurement and supply contracts, and disputes that arise within the supply chain. She is a member of the firm’s 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. Chambers USA recently recognized Foley’s Automotive Industry Team as a leading national practice for 2017, based on confidential in-depth interviews with clients and attorneys from across the country, scoring on technical legal ability, client service, diligence, and other qualities most valued by clients.
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. 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 manufacturer client, quoted in
Best Lawyers in America©, 2013
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. She provides clients who are working in distressed business situations with practical and creative representation to protect their interests and achieve their business goals. Foley's Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice provides a wide range of representation, including that of borrowers and Chapter 11 debtors, protecting creditor’s rights in insolvency, and advising on asset acquisition. 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 frequently represents debtors, secured lenders, creditor committees, indenture trustees, and trustees in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. 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. Through an accommodation agreement, the customers may provide (often as a group) accommodations that solidify the lenders’ collateral base through protections on inventory and receivables, commitments to continue sourcing of existing parts to the troubled supplier and limitations on setoffs, while the lender agrees to provide working capital financing and not to foreclose. An access agreement permits the customer, under certain circumstances threatening production and only as a last resort, to access the supplier’s plant to produce parts pending transfer of the contract or facility to a healthier supplier. 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.
Ann Marie is also a member of Foley’s Finance & Financial Institutions, and Real Estate Practices. Much of Ann Marie's recent work focuses on distressed debt workouts, representing banks and other lenders, lessors, receivers and CROs, as well as manufacturers who are borrowers and lessees, 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. Ann Marie has worked on real estate matters for 25 years, including trial work concerning property acquisitions, developments, and redevelopments; leasing disposition and contract negotiations with real estate providers; and financing arrangements. Ann Marie combines her experience in all facets of the real estate industry to provide sophisticated representation in complex real estate workouts. She won an order for a federal court appointed receiver for the largest multi-family residential dwelling in Michigan, leading the workout of a $100 million plus loan facility.
Peer Recognition and Awards
Having practiced for 25 years, 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.
Illustrative Current and Recent Representations
Over the course of her 25 year career, 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 Turnaround Management Association, American Bankruptcy Institute, and Inforum. She was selected as a Barrister lecturer by the DMBA Inns of Court program in 2013. 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. She 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. She has been a sustaining member of Cabaret 313, a non-profit organization recently formed that is dedicated to bringing world-class cabaret to Detroit (cabaret313.org). Ann Marie also volunteers her legal work on a pro bono basis 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. She supports and does pro bono corporate work for Affirmations, a non-profit organization that promotes the acceptance and empowerment of the LGBT community in the metro Detroit area. Ann Marie is also a member of the Saugatuck Yacht Club in Saugatuck, Michigan.