Our Attorneys

Merrilee A. MacLean

Creditors’ Rights Attorney & Senior Counsel

I help commercial clients collect money that is due them, both in and out of bankruptcy, using the tools available both in and out of court. Always aware of the economics of a situation, my goal is to achieve the quickest, most cost efficient result for the client.

My practice has been focused on creditors’ rights, commercial collections, bankruptcy, insolvency, and receivership for more than 35 years.  During this time, I have represented clients from individuals to large corporations, from collection disputes to complex chapter 11 cases involving many millions of dollars, in bankruptcy courts around the country.

In addition to representing individual clients in bankruptcy matters, I have been selected to serve as committee counsel or appointed trustee in a number of large chapter 11 cases, and served as a chapter 7 panel trustee for several years.

In bankruptcy and receivership matters, where one’s rights can be lost if no action is taken, it is important to seek guidance on what actions need to be taken to properly protect a client’s interests.  In some cases, it is as simple as filing a proof of claim, but in other cases, particularly where asset values are diminishing or where there are concerns about the debtor’s conduct, it can be vital to take a more active role.  I assist clients in understanding those rights and deciding the best course of action for that client.  With my years of experience, I both provide guidance, and can then take the steps necessary to work through the sometimes mysterious and confusing procedures of the courts to ensure that the client is in the best position possible.  I can also assist those that are seeking opportunities through acquisition out of the bankruptcy courts.

Prior to entering law school, I worked in the credit department of Crocker Bank in San Francisco, and was a credit manager for Stauffer Chemical Company, headquartered in Westport, Connecticut.

Personal & Professional

Merrilee is a published travel writer and photographer, and spends her free time traveling or planning trips.

  • Local Rules Committee, Bankruptcy Court for Western District of Washington 1995-2014
  • Member, Legislative Committee to Washington State Bar Association 2007-2014
  • Visiting lecturer, commercial law, at Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, Lithuania, 2014
  • President Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington 1999-2000
  • Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference 2000-2002
  • Executive Committee to Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference 2003-2005
  • Advisory Board to Ninth Circuit Judicial Council 2006-2009
  • Board Member, Wombats (Women Bankruptcy Attorneys), member since 1993
  • Member, National Board of Alumni, Lewis and Clark College, serving as President 1994-1996
  • Board Member, Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra 1985-1988
  • Founder, WAEWAG, Eastside Women’s Lawyers Group

Honors & Awards

  • Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell* since 1992
  • Rated 10.0 “Superb” by AVVO
  • Named as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics and Thomas Reuters since 2000
  • Named as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
  • Featured in Seattle Metropolitan as one of The Top Women Attorneys in Washington since 2013
  • Named as a Top Lawyer in Washington by Washington CEO and Seattle Metropolitan since 2008
  • Received Distinguished Service Award from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2006
  • Named to Who’s Who in American Law in 1994
  • Citation for Outstanding Service, Lewis and Clark College, 1997

*AV is a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Education & Admissions

  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1982
    • Chief Managing Editor, Hastings International & Comparative Law Review
  • B.S., Lewis and Clark College (History), magna cum laude, 1974
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy, General Litigation Program 1985, Bankruptcy Litigation Program, 1992
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle)
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington (Spokane)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Hawaii

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