Rachael Smiley brings more than fifteen years of legal experience to FBFK, offering knowledge of all steps of the Chapter 11 reorganization process, including asset sales, plan confirmation and post-confirmation plan administration. She also has experience litigating a variety of disputes, including contested matters and adversary proceedings, plus valuation disputes, claim objections and avoidance actions. She currently serves as Chair of FBFK’s Restructuring practice.

Prior to joining FBFK, Rachael held positions in boutique and large law firms, as well as in the Office of Supply Chain Management at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where she negotiated and drafted business agreements on behalf of the university and its hospitals. While there, Rachael also gained valuable insight into the complex and highly-specialized financial and procurement systems that support the healthcare industry.

Rachael was listed as one of the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America (2021 through 2024) in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and as a Texas Superlawyer for Business Bankruptcy in 2022 and 2023.

Presentations and Published Writings

  • “Bankruptcy 101: What In House Counsel Should Know About Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights,” Dallas Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section, May 2, 2023
  • “InfoWars and Sub V: Can Alex Jones’ Media Companies Use Small Business Reorganization to Curb Sandy Hook Liability?” Texas Law Book, April 28, 2022
  • “What if We Held an Equity Auction and No One Came?,” American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, August 2018, Vol. 37, No. 8
  • “Bankruptcy Litigation in the Wake of COVID 19” – Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, May 2021
  • “Out of Court Restructuring Strategies: Advising Businesses of All Sizes” – Turnaround Management Association Town Hall, April 2020, Dallas Bar Association Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, July 2020, and Tarrant County Bar Association Bankruptcy Law Section, September 2020
  • “Fraudulent Conveyances and Fundamentals of Solvency Analysis”, Dallas Bar Association Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, September 2019
  • “The Healthcare Restructuring Epidemic – Containing the Spread and Capitalizing on the Remains”, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Lone Star Chapter, January 2018

Admitted to Practice

State Bar of Texas
United States District Courts:
District of Colorado
Eastern District of Texas
Northern District of Texas
Southern District of Texas
Western District of Texas
Other Admissions:
United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas


Southern Methodist University, J.D., 2008, cum laude, Order of the Barristers
Texas Christian University, B.A., 1999, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Recognition, Honors, and Achievements

Winner, TMA Turnaround & Transaction of the Year, Small Business Category, 2023
Best Lawyers® “One to Watch” for Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2021-2024)
Texas Superlawyers selection for Business Bankruptcy (2022 and 2023)
Lawdragon 500: Leading Litigators in America (2023)
ABF Journal 2021 Top Women in ABL
Dallas Bar Association “WE LEAD” Women’s Leadership, Class of 2020
Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” for business bankruptcy in 2018
John C. Ford American Inn of Court, Rochelle Chapter 11 Course John King “Rookie of the Year” Award, 2009
Elliott Cup 5th Circuit Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition – 2008 Champion
Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition – 2008 Finalist (2nd Place) and Outstanding Oral Advocate

Professional Associations & Memberships

Rachael is a Life Fellow of the Dallas Bar Foundation, a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), and the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC).
She currently serves as President Elect for TMA at the Global level and has served as Chapter President of the TMA DFW Chapter (2019) and Chair of the DFW IWIRC Network (2020)

Representative Bankruptcy and Restructuring Matters

  • Lead chapter 11 counsel for Pogo Energy, LLC, a retail energy provider that successfully reorganized following the Texas winter storm of 2021.
  • Lead Chapter 11 counsel for Leading Life Senior Living, Inc., a senior living and memory care not-for-profit, in the successful sale of its facilities.
  • Represented the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in Texas Rangers Baseball Partners’ bankruptcy
  • Represented the Future Claimants Representative in General Motors’ bankruptcy
  • Represented the Asbestos Claimants’ Committee in ASARCO, LLC’s bankruptcy
  • Represented the senior secured lender in a Chapter 15 matter regarding the enforceability of Mexican corporation’s plan of reorganization against U.S. creditors
  • Represented a national real estate lender in strategies to address non-performing commercial and residential loans, both in and outside of bankruptcy
  • Represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the chapter 11 reorganization of Think Finance, an online consumer lender alleged to have violated consumer lending laws
  • Represented the chapter 11 trustee litigation related to the liquidation of assets of a real estate holding company that was determined to be a Ponzi-like scheme in order to return value to defrauded investors
  • Representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the reorganization of an international manufacturer of toy and hobby-grade drones and related devices where the Committee was the successful plan proponent
  • Represented a manufacturer of medical automated ventilators in a successful chapter 11 reorganization
  • Represented numerous small- and midsized businesses and landlords in successful out-of-court restructurings and workouts
  • Represented the creditors committee in a successful chapter 11 reorganization of a major hospital association in New Mexico
  • Represented the Debtors in a complex hotel and restaurant chapter 11 reorganization in East Texas
  • Represented a former equity holder in obtaining a “take nothing” judgement against a bank that alleged he had received a fraudulent conveyance of $550,000 for the redemption of his equity, as well as obtaining a full awarded of attorneys fees as a prevailing defendant under the Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act following a two-month trial in a multiyear complex commercial dispute
  • Represented creditors, including financial institutions and commercial landlords, in bankruptcy cases