Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Negotiation Competition

The Lowell Milken Institute sponsors student participants in the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Negotiation Competition in which teams consisting of two to three upper-level students from 12 law schools work through an identical mock bankruptcy case similar to what they will encounter in real-life practice.

The competition is based on a complicated fact pattern involving multiple parties with conflicting objectives, a set of historic financial data and projections, inconsistent facts and uncertainty about other facts. The competition consists of two rounds. In each round, the teams attempt to negotiate a possible plan of reorganization by a debtor. Teams represent the debtor, the official committee of unsecured creditors, or a secured bank lender. Each team prepares a term sheet that is shared with their opponents a few weeks before the competition followed by in-person negotiations. Judges provided by the American College of Bankruptcy evaluate teams both on their strategy and how well they interact with other members of their team.

In 2015, UCLA School of Law and the Lowell Milken Institute sent two teams to the American College of Bankruptcy LawMeet. Teams, consisting of two to three law students from 12 law schools, worked through a mock bankruptcy case. The 2015 competition was based on a complicated fact pattern, and the possible reorganization of a debtor that owned a winery involved multiple parties with conflicting objectives. Teams represented the debtor, the official committee of unsecured creditors, a secured bank lender or a landlord.

“Participating in the 2015 American College of Bankruptcy LawMeet was a rewarding opportunity to immerse ourselves in the transactional side of legal practice . . .”  Aimee Haynes (LL.M.) and Benny Heikali (3L) winners of 2015 Best Draft – Creditor’s Committee