Overview

Lara Roeske Fernandez joined the firm in November 2004 and became a Shareholder in 2008.  She currently serves on the firm’s Executive Board. and is a former practice group leader for the firm’s Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group. Lara is Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy.  Her clients include financial institutions, fiduciaries/trustees and private equity groups in the areas of business reorganizations, trustee representation, bankruptcy litigation, commercial foreclosures, and loan workouts and modifications.  Lara also serves as a Chapter 11 trustee and liquidation trustee.

Prior to joining Trenam, Lara served as the judicial law clerk for the Honorable Alexander L. Paskay, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Emeritus, Middle District of Florida, from 2001 through 2004, and for a year after graduating from law school.

Representative Matters

Creditors’ Representation

  • Represents lenders, landlords, individual, other financial institutions in bankruptcy, federal court and state court commercial foreclosures, receiverships, and general civil litigation.
  • Defends creditors and other third party debt collectors against alleged violations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, and other consumer collection statutes.
  • Advises clients on regulatory issues related to consumer protection statutes including FDCPA, TCPA, and FCCPA.
  • Represents judgment creditors in collection matters, including domestication of foreign judgments, garnishment, replevin, and proceedings supplementary.

Trustee Representation

  • Secured affirmances of (a) settlement agreement reached by chapter 7 trustee with primary creditor over debtor’s objection and (b) denial of debtor’s motion to convert chapter 7 case to one under chapter 11.  Daughtrey v. Rivera (In re Daughtrey), 2015 WL 5604764 (M.D. Fla. 2015); Daughtrey v. Rivera (In re Daughtrey), 2018 WL 354007 (11th Cir. 2018).  In affirming, the Eleventh Circuit determined, as a matter of apparent first impression in the circuit, the “abuse of discretion” standard of review applies to a bankruptcy court’s denial of a motion to convert a Chapter 7 case to one under chapter 11.
  • Extensive representations of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees and examiners in multifaceted bankruptcy cases and serves as Chapter 11 trustee, herself.
  • Represents Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 trustees in bankruptcy cases that included multiple appeals to both the District Court and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Business Restructuring

  • Represents purchasers of assets in bankruptcy setting and other distressed sales outside of bankruptcy, including note purchases.
  • Mediator for bankruptcy disputes.

Honors and Distinctions

  • BTI Client Service All-Star, 2019
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers, 2020, 2022
  • Chambers USA Ranked, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2015 – 2020, 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency & Reorganization Law, Bankruptcy Litigation, 2017 – 2022
  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, 2013 – 2022
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2009 – 2010, 2013 – 2022
    • Top 100: Florida Super Lawyers, 2016 – 2018, 2020
    • Top 50: Tampa Bay Super Lawyers, 2016 – 2020
    • Top 50: Women Florida Super Lawyers, 2016 – 2020
    • Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2009 – 2010
  • Tampa Magazine’s 2017 Top Lawyers List
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Woman of the Year, 2016

Professional Involvement

  • The American Board of Certification
    • Board of Directors, 2017-present
  • Divisional Advisory Board of Directors, Synovus Bank
    • Member, 2016 – present
  • Local Rules Lawyers Advisory Committee, United States Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida
    • Tampa Representative, 2014 – present
  • Tampa Bay Chapter, Federal Bar Association, Member
    • Board of Directors, 2015 – present
  • Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, Member, 1998 – present
    • Past Chair and President, 2011 – 2013
    • Executive Board, 2009 – 2013
    • Board of Directors, 2007 – 2013
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member, 2006 – present
    • Advisory Board,  Judge Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar, 2013 – present
    • Speaker at American Bankruptcy Institute
  • International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, 2012 – present
    • Florida Network Member
    • Speaker
  • The Florida Bar, Business Law Section, 1997 – present

Community Involvement

  • Champions for Children, Inc., Board of Directors, 2019
  • Emory University Alumni Association, Tampa Chapter, 1996 – present
  • “Ask a Lawyer” Program, Christ the King, 2015 – present
  • Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Troop Treasurer and Project Coordinator, 2008-  2015
  • Tampa Bay United, Team Manager U13, U14, U15 girls, 2013 – 2015

News

Thought Leadership

  • “Problem Loan Management and Workout Lessons Learned,” Panelist, Tampa Bay Chapter of the Risk Management Association’s April Fool’s Lending Stories Panel, April 2022
  • “Nuts & Bolts of Chapter 11 Practice,” Panelist, Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar, March 2022
  • “ABI Talks: Impact on Bankruptcy Practice of Five Recent Supreme Court Decisions or Pending Decisions,” Panelist, Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar, January 2020.
  • “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” A Practical Guide from the Seasoned Professionals, Panelist, TMA Florida NextGen Seminar, October 2019.
  • Can Retail Stores Reinvent Themselves?” Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine, September 2019.
  • “Contracting Away the Code: The Enforceability of Pre-Bankruptcy Agreements,” Speaker, ABA Business Law Section Webinar, August 2018.
  • “Contracting Away the Code: The Enforceability of Pre-Bankruptcy Agreements,” Speaker, ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting, April 2018.
  • “Understanding LLCs in Bankruptcy,” Panelist, Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar, January 2018.
  • “Equitable Mootness: Does it Still Exist?,” Panelist, ABI Annual Spring Meeting, April 2017.
  • Best Practices in Credit Reporting,” The Corporate Counselor, March 2017.
  • “What Every Litigator Needs to Know at Bankruptcy Court,” Speaker, Federal Bar Association Tampa Bay Chapter, March 2017.
  • “5 Ways For Bankruptcy Attys To Nail Their First-Day Motions,” Interview for Law 360, July 2016.
  • “Things a Bankruptcy Attorney Should Never Say In Court,” Interview for Law 360, June 2016.
  • “Business: Maximizing the Estate – It’s Not Just Avoidance Actions Anymore,” Speaker, ABI/Paskay Seminar, April 2016.
  • “Avoidance Action Issues in Chapter 7 Cases,” Speaker, Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association Consumer Luncheon Series, May 2016.
  • “Recent Case Updates; Supreme Court, 11th Circuit, Middle District of Florida,” Speaker, Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Professional Association, December 2015.
  • “Practice Excellence – Tips for Organizing your Attorney,” 2015 Association of Bankruptcy Judicial Assistants, October 2015.
  • “What’s New in Bankruptcy Law? An Update for Commercial, Business, and Bankruptcy Lawyers,” Speaker, American Law Institute Webcast Seminar, May 2015.
  • “Current Issues in Chapter 11, A Review of Recent Case Law,” Panelist, Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association, April 2015.
  • “Women in the Workforce,” Panelist, IWIRC Florida Network Annual Election Luncheon, Spring 2014.
  • “Consumer Session Part I, Residential Real Estate Issues in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Cases,” Panelist, Bankruptcy Seminar, March 2014.
  • “Florida Homestead Exemption and Asset Protection,” Panelist, Stetson Law School RPPTL Association, April 2013.
  • “Section 546 Jurisdictional or Affirmative Defense and Equitable Tolling – When it is Available and When it is Not,” Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, June 2010.
  • “Mining the Rough: Bankruptcy, Foreclosure and Tax Deed Sales. What Real Estate Agents Should Know When Brokering the Sale or Purchase of Real Property,” Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, June 2006.
  • “Homestead Exemption under BAPCPA,” Hillsborough County Bar Association, March 2006