The Vela Wood litigation and dispute resolution practice includes commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy, and receivership.

Our attorneys have represented clients in a variety of legal proceedings before state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels as well as in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association (AAA), Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

We represent commercial clients in all phases of business disputes, including pre-suit counseling and demands, litigation, arbitration, appeals, and mediation. Our services include:


  • Breach of contract
  • Business torts such as breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, tortious interference, and theft of trade secrets
  • Loan defaults, debt collection, and foreclosure on real and personal property
  • Real estate disputes involving commercial leases, sales, restrictive covenants, land use, easements, and lien validity and priority
  • Partnership disputes and unwinding or restructuring jointly owned businesses, including preparation of any associated corporate, finance, and real estate documents
  • Employment disputes involving compensation, non-competition covenants, and non-solicitation covenants
  • Workout negotiations and restructuring of debts and other contractual obligations


  • Corporate Chapter 11 reorganizations and Chapter 7 liquidations
  • Pre- and post-petition claims against the bankruptcy estate
  • Adversary proceedings involving dischargeability of debts, fraudulent transfer and preference claims, lien disputes, and property of the bankruptcy estate
  • Contested matters involving claim objections, relief from the automatic stay, executory contracts, cash collateral, post-petition financing, asset sales, utilities, and plans of reorganization
  • Purchase and sale of bankruptcy estate assets
  • Post-petition loans to debtors-in-possession


  • Representation of receivers appointed to assume control of, operate, and sell assets of ongoing business concerns
  • Representation of secured lenders seeking the appointment of a receiver over their collateral
  • Representation of post-judgment receivers in litigation related to judgment collection
Lead Attorneys

“Leave the roads; take the trails.”

– Pythagoras

Cleve Burke Partner

“Take dead aim.”

– Harvey Penick

Clark Smith Partner