Kelly Hart & Pitre announces the opening of its second Louisiana location in the capital city of Baton Rouge.
The office will be led by former U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Louis M. Phillips, and transactional attorney Peter A. Kopfinger. As part of the new group, Rick Shelby will join the New Orleans office. The additions will bring Kelly Hart & Pitre up to 13 lawyers in Louisiana.

“We are pleased to bring these excellent lawyers into our Louisiana operation,” said Partner-in-Charge Loulan Pitre Jr. “They have already hit the ground running and we are excited about their future.”

The new lawyers provide bankruptcy experience, with accompanying transactional and litigation capabilities, to add to Kelly Hart & Pitre’s existing depth in energy and environmental law. The opening of the office will also give Kelly Hart & Pitre the opportunity to expand its public law and regulatory practices in Louisiana.

Joining Kelly Hart & Pitre are Louis M. Phillips, Peter A. Kopfinger, and Rick Shelby. 

Louis M. Phillips has a leading Bankruptcy/Debtor-Creditor practice, providing legal representation and consultation for debtors, creditors, and trustees over a broad practice area, including transaction and business structuring and restructuring, bankruptcy reorganization, and bankruptcy and commercial litigation. He tries civil cases in state and federal courts, and has handled matters before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Louis serves as the permanent chair of the annual Bankruptcy Law Seminar sponsored by the Louisiana State University Center for Continuing Professional Development. He has taught educational programs on bankruptcy law for state judges, and has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at LSU Law School since 1988. He is a contributing editor to the Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice 2nd, and is the author of numerous articles for law reviews and other periodicals.  

From 1988 - 2002, Louis Phillips served as the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Louisiana. During his tenure, he authored numerous opinions of first impression of Louisiana state law and bankruptcy law, and was the author of a number of opinions that ultimately were adopted by the Fifth Circuit and other courts as the law of those courts. Phillips received his J.D. from Louisiana State University; his B.A. from Rhodes College. He has also been recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. 

Peter Kopfinger represents clients in all aspects of commercial real estate, with an emphasis on acquisitions and dispositions of real property, commercial leasing and financing transactions representing a variety of corporate clients and individuals in all types of complex real estate matters, including office, hotel, and retail.  Mr. Kopfinger also has experience in the areas of debtor/creditor rights in bankruptcy and restructurings including negotiating and drafting sale and bidding procedures in Section 363 asset sales, debtor-in-possession financing documents, and also representation in preference matters.  Mr. Kopfinger received his J.D. from Louisiana State University Law Center, earned his B.S. from Louisiana State University, and received his LL.M., from Tulane University.   Mr. Kopfinger is also a Certified Public Accountant (in-active).

Rick Shelby is an experienced bankruptcy attorney who specializes in bankruptcy, restructuring, oil and gas litigation, commercial litigation and corporate governance. Mr. Shelby has handled virtually all aspects of bankruptcy work from complex chapter 11 cases representing debtors, creditors’ committees and secured creditors to consumer bankruptcy cases in chapter 7 and 13.  Mr. Shelby also represents clients in oil and gas litigation including the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act (LOWLA), master service agreements, permitting, adjudication, lease renewals, work orders, and decommissioning offshore projects.  Mr. Shelby earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from Loyola University.  He was honored with the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Medal of Excellence in Bankruptcy in 2007.

The addition of Phillips, Kopfinger, and Shelby, and the opening of the Baton Rouge office broaden the range of services Kelly Hart can provide to its clients in Louisiana. “The attorneys joining our firm are highly skilled legal practitioners, with particular strengths in business reorganization and bankruptcy, commercial transactions, and related litigation,” said Dee Kelly Jr., Managing Partner of Kelly Hart, “we are thrilled to have them.”  

The new office of Kelly Hart & Pitre is located at 301 Main Street, Suite 1600, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70801