Phil Giles: Making Sense Out of the Business of Money

Phil Giles
Cannabis Law Special Issue

A partner at the firm of Allen Barnes & Jones, PLC, Phil Giles has earned a stellar reputation as an award-winning, board-certified bankruptcy law specialist. Focusing his practice on assisting financially distressed businesses and high net worth individuals in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and out-of-court workouts, Giles also routinely represents creditors in commercial bankruptcy cases.

“For anyone facing bankruptcy, it’s a particularly stressful time,” he says, “and to be able to help alleviate some of that stress is very rewarding. My job is to offer solutions and guide my clients through the process that will help resolve these very serious financial problems. Typically, just having a plan moving forward goes a long way in addressing the mental burden and stress they are experiencing. Having that weight lifted also enables them to make the necessary adjustments to how they conduct their business going forward.

“For individuals, the relief is almost immediate as they realize that by implementing a viable agenda, they will be able to move toward their fresh start,” adds Giles. “It’s a great feeling being able to help them reach that point where they can see things moving in a positive direction. Finances are stressful enough. And the same goes for businesses, which is why I enjoy the opportunity to reorganize companies that are struggling. A successful reorganization positions those companies to continue with their operations and business owners can continue with their livelihood and get through the storm they’re currently dealing with.”

While he enjoys the positive outcomes Giles acknowledges there are challenges in his practice, one being managing client expectations.  When first meeting with a new client, he says, “It’s important for me to make it clear that there are many things that I can do to help them and lead them to the best possible outcome, but there’s no magic wand. They need to understand what is possible in the bankruptcy process and the relief the Bankruptcy Code affords and its limits.”

“Beyond that, while bankruptcy attorneys are not financial advisors, we do try to guide our clients and help them adopt better practices or good habits and help shift operations in a way that will improve how they deal with liabilities and creditors in the future.”

For Giles, the decision to become board certified was easy. “I think I came to a point where it seemed to be the next step in my career as a bankruptcy practitioner,” he says. “I knew I was committed to the practice, and I believe certification might lead to different types of cases and offer me more opportunities in the long term.”

“My law partners, Thomas Allen, Hilary Barnes and Michael Jones, were very encouraging and supportive through the process of becoming certified.”

Certified in 2020, right at the outstart of the COVID crisis, Giles was recently appointed to the State Bar Bankruptcy Advisory Commission which oversees this program.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to participate in this very important process,” he says. “I’m looking forward to see what we’re doing with the program and if there are areas where we might improve.”

When he’s not busy with his thriving practice, Giles enjoys spending time with his long-time partner Janeane and the two of them take every opportunity to travel, explore the Arizona landscape and enjoy live music.

Being named partner at his firm was a significant milestone for Giles who says, “I very much respect the folks I work with; they are a great group of people and professionals. The opportunity to become their business partner was an accomplishment that I’m proud of. It’s a reflection of how the firm sees me as a professional, and also a reflection of my commitment to the firm and the practice.”

Susan Cushing

Susan Cushing is the associate editor of Attorney at Law Magazine as well as a staff writer. She has been contributing to the magazine for more than eight years.

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