Beckham Jr. Featured in Law360 After Being Elected To Chair Bankruptcy College's Board

April 12, 2024

Charlie Beckham Jr., a partner in the Haynes and Boone, LLP Houston Office, was recently featured in a Law360 article and a Q&A following being elected to take over as chair of the Board of Directors at The American College of Bankruptcy.

Melissa Kibler, senior managing director at financial and restructuring consulting firm Accordion Partners and the immediate past chair at the college, told Law360 that since she has worked closely with Beckham at ACB, he has brought a collaborative, fun and quick-thinking insight to the college.

"Charlie cares deeply about the college, and I can think of no better person in whom we can entrust the leadership of this organization," Kibler wrote in an email to Law360 . "He thinks quickly yet speaks slowly — that Texas drawl can be deceiving," she added.

Read an excerpt from Law360's Q&A with Beckham Jr. below:

What brought you to bankruptcy law? What has kept you there?
I started as a litigation associate at a very old Texas law firm called Kemp Smith, and I thought I would grow to be a wonderful trial lawyer someday. But the '80s had something else in mind for me. I was drafted into the fledgling bankruptcy section at Kemp Smith involuntarily, and became a bankruptcy lawyer in 1981. I was assured that my tenure as a bankruptcy lawyer was only going to be six months at the most. That was now 43 years ago.

Although there was an initial jolt of becoming a bankruptcy lawyer, I took to it pretty quickly. Because of the pace and the need for compromise that is often required, the Bankruptcy Code and the bankruptcy courts provide a forum and a balance to try and bring things to hilt on a speedy basis. So I like that part of the practice. And I like that the bankruptcy practice has remained smaller — as a result, I think it is often more collegial [than other practice areas].

Since you started your career in bankruptcy, what has changed the most in the practice? What has changed the least?
[What's] changed the least has probably been the need to be collaborative and work things out. Remote work has changed some of that, although it hasn't gone away entirely. The collegiality and collaborative nature of the bankruptcy bar has continued. What I'd say changed the most [is] the speed of things — things move quicker, because you get emails now instead of a letter.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments in your career?
I spent pretty much from 1982 through 1990 working on cases in the Permian Basin, primarily in the [U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the] Western District of Texas, which was as busy a bankruptcy docket as there was anywhere in the U.S. from a lot of oil and gas cases. The impact of the bust on the oil industry was pervasive and affected many families [and] all sorts of businesses. Most of the banks in Texas failed as a result of the oil bust in the '80s. We were trying to drink from a fire hose trying to figure out how to solve these problems, and bankruptcy is a solution. For many folks, it gives them the opportunity to file bankruptcy and get a fresh start. Bankruptcy also is the opportunity to rehabilitate a business and reorganize. And if you can be successful in doing that, you can save jobs.

I look at the opportunities where I've been able to serve the bar. The current opportunity to be chair of the American College of Bankruptcy is a nice way to cap off my practice with an opportunity to lead a great organization that is serving the bar [and] serving the public.

Why is it important to you to get involved in professional organizations?
This is a profession — it's not just a job. In the practice of law, no client is going to last forever, no matter how much you want. Those relationships you build through service to the bar, service to the public, they're going to be the things that make you smile and get a good night's sleep.

To read the full Q&A in Law360, click here.
To read Law360's feature on Beckham Jr., click here.

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