Exploring The Intersection Of Gender, Restructuring And Distress In The Life Sciences: A Discussion With Angela Allen (Podcast)

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP


Katten is a firm of first choice for clients seeking sophisticated, high-value legal services globally. Our nationally and internationally recognized practices include corporate, financial markets and funds, insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, structured finance and securitization, transactional tax planning, private credit and private wealth.
In the latest TMA Chicago Midwest Podcast episode, I was delighted to speak with Angela Allen, a partner at Jenner & Block in Chicago. Angela's law practice focuses on all aspects...
United States Insolvency/Bankruptcy/Re-Structuring
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In the latest TMA Chicago Midwest Podcast episode, I was delighted to speak with Angela Allen, a partner at Jenner & Block in Chicago. Angela's law practice focuses on all aspects of financial distress, from protecting clients against counterparty risk to litigation. She helps corporate clients navigate issues related to financial distress and guides trustees in investigations and litigation arising out of fraudulent enterprises. Angela is also a past president of the TMA Chicago Midwest Chapter.

During our conversation, Angela shared her journey into the field of insolvency and restructuring. She spoke about her time at the University of Michigan Law School, where she worked as a research assistant for a professor who specialized in bankruptcy law. This experience, coupled with the professor's assertion that "bankruptcy lawyers are the happiest lawyers he knows," piqued her interest in the field. She also shared how her professor's prediction about the booming business in bankruptcy law came true, as she started her career at Jenner just before the financial crisis of 2008.

We also delved into the topic of gender equity in the restructuring industry. Angela highlighted that while there has been some progress, the lack of representation and support for female restructuring professionals continues to be a problem. She emphasized the importance of reframing certain issues as parental issues rather than exclusively women's issues and the need for the industry to provide support to parents, especially those with young children.

Angela also shared her insights on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restructuring industry. She noted that while everyone is doing more work from home, the financial advisors are back to traveling just as much. She suggested that firms should consider flexibility post-pandemic as part of their larger attempt to address the imbalance and promote a more pro-family aspect.

We then discussed the increased distress in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries over the past couple of years. Bankruptcy cases have risen during this time as venture capital funding has dried up. Angela often represents buyers of distressed assets within this space, and we talked about the challenges faced in doing these acquisitions. Having a broad, diverse team of attorneys that includes experts in health care, intellectual property, M&A and commercial finance is important to not only successfully close these deals but also ensure a smooth transition to operation.

We also discussed the benefits of involvement in professional organizations, especially the TMA Chicago Midwest Chapter. Angela emphasized that the TMA has taught her how to navigate the industry and has provided her with a network of professionals that she can rely on.

It was a pleasure to have this enlightening conversation with Angela. Her insights into the restructuring industry, the role of women in it, and the life sciences were truly thought-provoking.

Click below to listen to the full episode. I hope you will find our discussion as engaging and informative as I did.

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