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Valerie Bantner Peo

Valerie Bantner Peo

Senior Counsel


  • Insolvency & Financial Law Group
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate

WSG Practice Industries


California, U.S.A.


Valerie Bantner Peo focuses her practice on creditors’ rights, real estate, finance and commercial litigation with significant experience at the trial and appellate levels in bankruptcy, federal and state court. She regularly represents financial institutions, including agribusiness lenders and alternative lenders, software licensors, commercial landlords and tenants, equipment lessors and creditor committees. Ms. Bantner Peo has significant experience litigating commercial lease disputes, including jury trials, and in all aspects of bankruptcy reorganization and liquidation including claim disputes, contract assumption and rejection, plan confirmation, cash collateral disputes, fraudulent transfer and preference liability, nondischargeability actions and out-of-court restructuring.

Ms. Bantner Peo currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (“IWIRC”) as the U.S. Networks Director for the 2021 term and served as co-chair of the Northern California IWIRC chapter from 2014 to 2018. In 2018, Ms. Bantner Peo served as co-chair of the inaugural IWIRC on the Vine conference; the conference has become an annual event that draws panelists and attendees from across the country and Canada. In 2016, Ms. Bantner Peo was named an IWIRC “Rising Star” finalist and was featured in the IWIRC Connection’s Member Spotlight. Ms. Bantner Peo is a current member and past Chair of the Executive Committee of the San Francisco Bar Association’s Commercial Law and Bankruptcy section. Ms. Peo was recognized by Super Lawyer Magazine as a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2019 and 2020.

Ms. Bantner Peo served as a law clerk for the Honorable Edward D. Jellen (Ret.), U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • Smith College
Areas of Practice

Insolvency & Financial Law Group | Litigation | Real Estate

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Bankruptcy Litigation & Restructuring

  • Represent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender in connection with dispute over funds advanced to a debtor in bankruptcy
  • Defend trade vendor in $45 million avoiding action brought by the representatives of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, pursuant to Title III of the Puerto Rico Oversight Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).
  • Regularly represents commercial landlords in all aspects of chapter 7 and chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Represent senior secured lender in chapter 12 “family farmer” bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Represented software licensor, vendors, and community choice aggregator trade organization in Pacific Gas & Electric chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Represented digital entertainment company in out-of-court winddown of business operations and resolution of creditor claims through ABC (Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors).
  • Represented senior secured lender in chapter 11 cases of multiple drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.
  • Pursued fraudulent conveyance claims, preference actions, and substantive consolidation against debtor’s numerous affiliated entities on behalf of Chapter 11 trustee of grower and processor of vegetable products, and handled cross-border insolvency issues to protect and enforce the bankruptcy estate’s claims to assets located internationally.
  • Represented holders of collateralized debt obligation (CDO) notes in defense of flip clause dispute.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Represent property manager in dispute with tenant.
  • Obtained district court judgment in favor of tenant department store against shopping center owner validating co-tenancy rent following anchor tenant closure. (Las Vegas).
  • Secondment with the Port of Oakland Port Attorney’s office for litigation matters including commercial lease disputes, evaluating and responding to claims made against the Oakland International Airport, and evaluating agency policies.
  • Extensive experience litigating retail shopping center lease disputes in state and federal court through trial.
  • Routinely and efficiently regains possession of commercial real estate on behalf of landlords.

Commercial Litigation

  • Achieved summary judgment on behalf of secured lender in state court litigation and successfully defended against business tort counter-claim at bench trial.
  • Obtained pre-judgment order for writ of attachment on behalf of unsecured creditor against defaulting borrower.


Ag “Distributor” Cannot Use PACA Trust to Jump Ahead of First-Lien Creditor, Circuit Court Rules
Buchalter, February 2021

  The Sixth Circuit recently ruled that an agricultural “multi-service finance company” had no claim to the proceeds of produce held in trust pursuant to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (“PACA”)[1] and could not circumvent the security interests of a senior lender...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Congress Incentivizes Rent Deferral During COVID-19 Pandemic Through Bankruptcy Code Amendments in Stimulus Bill
Buchalter, January 2021

In the recently-passed Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”), Congress provided much-needed cover for landlords that enter into forbearance agreements with their tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting landlords from exposure to preference litigation arising out of the deferred rent payments if the tenant were to later file bankruptcy...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Chuck E. Cheese: The Mouse Who Didn’t Get the (Rent Relief) Cheese
Buchalter, December 2020

  In a small victory for landlords of bankrupt tenants, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has ruled that the Chuck E. Cheese parent company may not use its bankruptcy filing to avoid paying its rent. The COVID-19 pandemic and related stay-at-home orders have prompted numerous retailers and restaurants to seek bankruptcy protection. Many of those companies successfully used the bankruptcy process to obtain relief from their rental obligations...

Additional Articles

  • Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: PPP Application Deadline Extended to May 31, 2021
  • Ag “Distributor” Cannot Use PACA Trust to Jump Ahead of First-Lien Creditor, Circuit Court Rules
  • Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: New Treasury PPP Rules Clarify Recent Changes to PPP Program, Extend Time to Obtain a PPP Loan to March 31, 2021
  • Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Congress Incentivizes Rent Deferral During COVID-19 Pandemic Through Bankruptcy Code Amendments in Stimulus Bill
  • Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: New PPP Changes in the Stimulus Bill: Second PPP Loan for Hardest-Hit Existing PPP Borrowers, Additional Categories of Forgivable Expenses, Tax Deductibility for Expenses Paid with PPP Proceeds, Lender Liability Limitations, Simplified Forgiveness Application for Loans of $150,000 or Less, and Other Changes
  • Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Chuck E. Cheese: The Mouse Who Didn’t Get the (Rent Relief) Cheese
  • What Every Technology Company Needs to Know About Assumption, Assumption and Assignment, Or Rejection Of Its Contracts In Bankruptcy
  • Insolvency: What Every Technology Company Needs to Know About Claims Against Bankrupt Customers And Business Partners

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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