Well crafted outcomes for
businesses in distress

After 30 years at one of South Carolina’s most respected regional firms, Michael Beal founded boutique law firm Beal, LLC. His reason was simple: to offer companies with financial problems the sophistication of a large law firm without the client conflicts. His philosophy is equally simple: negotiate the most advantageous outcome possible. This most often means restructuring outside of court, or when more appropriate, litigation, or reorganization through bankruptcy.

In addition to corporate clients, the firm represents creditors’ committees, bankruptcy trustees, secured lenders, landlords, and asset purchasers in bankruptcy cases, as well as federal and state court receivers.


Practice Areas

  • Restructuring
  • Loan Workouts
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Foreclosures
  • Bankruptcy
  • Mediation
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University of South Carolina, JD, 1984
College of Charleston, BS, 1981



Michael M. Beal

Michael is a certified specialist in bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law. He works primarily with distressed companies, committees and creditors in workouts, Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, foreclosures, and related litigation and transactional matters.

Michael has led debtor restructuring engagements in manufacturing, distribution, hospitality, retail, and commercial real estate; creditor engagements or creditors’ committee engagements in hospitality, commercial real estate, health care and manufacturing; and represented an indenture trustee in the Chapter 9 restructuring of a toll road. He also has served as counsel to state and federal court receivers and bankruptcy trustees in numerous matters, including fraud cases.

Michael enjoys mediating complex bankruptcy and commercial matters and is approved to serve as a Circuit Court Mediator by the South Carolina Board of Arbitration and Mediator Certification and has completed the American Bankruptcy Institute and St. John’s University School of Law 40-hour Bankruptcy Mediation Training.

Prior to founding Beal, LLC, Michael led the bankruptcy practice at McNair Law Firm, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Bratton Davis, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge, District of South Carolina.

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Representative Experience

Debtor Engagements +
  • Debtor’s counsel in the South Carolina Chapter 11 case of a 325-employee, $200 million national paint sundries distributor
  • Debtor’s counsel in the South Carolina Chapter 11 case of a 500-employee, $225 million steel mill
  • Debtor’s counsel in the Georgia Chapter 11 case of a 900-employee, $150 million paper mill
  • Debtor’s counsel in the Delaware Chapter 11 case of a 5,000-employee, regional textile manufacturer
  • Co-counsel for the debtor in the Chapter 11 case of a restaurant holding company in which over $1 billion in debt was restructured
  • Co-counsel for the debtors in the Chapter 11 case of a national golf course resort community developer with liabilities of approximately $1 billion

Official Committee and Trustee Engagements +
  • Trustee’s counsel in the $70 million fraud case of a freight payment and audit company
  • Counsel to the unsecured creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 case of a 500-employee government contractor
  • Co-counsel to the unsecured creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 case of an international manufacturer of non-woven fabric which restructured over $600 million in debt

Creditor Engagements +
  • Co-counsel to the indenture trustee in the Chapter 9 restructuring of a toll road
  • Co-counsel to the ad hoc committee of term lenders ($250 million) in the Chapter 11 case of a regional grocery chain
  • Co-counsel to the major creditor in the Chapter 11 case of a resort hotel in which many significant reported decisions were issued regarding Chapter 11 confirmation requirements and lease rejection issues
  • Lead counsel of a syndicate of lenders ($60 million) in the South Carolina Chapter 11 restructuring case of a PET recycling company

Receiverships +
  • Counsel to the federal receiver for a regional textile manufacturer
  • Counsel to state court receivers in several commercial real estate matters and in the liquidation of a law firm

Professional & Community Involvement +

  • 2nd Congressional District Representative, Executive Committee of The State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina (2017)
  • Member-at-Large, Global Board of Trustees (Executive Board), Turnaround Management Association (2015–2016)
  • President, Carolinas Chapter, Turnaround Management Association (2012–2013)
  • Member, Columbia Chamber of Commerce (2015–2016)
  • Chairman, Columbia Advisory Board, Salvation Army (2007–2009)
  • President, Chairman and Chairman Emeritus, The Palmetto Club (2009–2016)
  • President, South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association (2000)

Awards & Recognition +

  • U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers®, "Best Law Firms" (2019)
  • Mega Company Turnaround of the Year Award, Turnaround Management Association, Atlanta Chapter (2013–2014)
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers®, Bankruptcy-Business (2008–2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2003–2018)
    • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
    • Bet-the-Company Litigation
    • Litigation – Bankruptcy
    • “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation: Bankruptcy – Columbia (2012)
    • “Lawyer of the Year,” Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights – Columbia (2010)
  • Benchmark Litigation® (2011–2016)
    • “Local Litigation Star” (2016), Bankruptcy and General Commercial
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating
  • William E. S. Robinson Award for Meritorious Advancement for the Practice of Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association (1997)
  • Columbia Business Monthly, "Legal Elite of the Midlands" (2015)

Reported Cases +

  • In re Judd, 471 B.R. 830 (D.S.C. 2012)
  • In re Tubular Technologies, LLC, 362 B.R. 243 (Bankr. D.S.C. 2006)
  • In re Georgetown Steel Co., 318 B.R. 336 (Bankr. D.S.C. 2004)
  • In re S. Textile Knitters, 65 Fed. Appx. 426 (4th Cir. 2003)
  • In re Mayfair Mills, Inc., 295 B.R. 827 (Bankr. D.S.C. 2002)
  • Gilchrist v. General Elec. Capital Corp., 262 F.3d 295 (4th Cir. 2001)
  • In re Landmark Land Co., of Oklahoma, Inc., 134 B.R. 557 (D.S.C. 1991)

Court Admissions +

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of South Carolina
  • South Carolina State Courts