Nicole Grimal Helmstetter
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW
B.A., CUM LAUDE, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
NICOLE is counsel with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, focusing exclusively on bankruptcy, business restructuring and creditors’ rights. With a unique perspective from experience on all sides of bankruptcy cases, she works with creditors, debtors, fiduciaries, trustees, creditors’ committees, restructuring officers and all other parties involved in insolvency proceedings. Tapping into her expertise as a Board Certified Business Bankruptcy Law attorney by the American Board of Certification, she has successfully obtained confirmation of plans of reorganization for many small businesses, including schools and real estate-related companies, and has obtained bankruptcy discharges for high-net-worth individuals and local business owners. Additionally, she routinely represents purchasers of assets and other interested parties in bankruptcy cases and state court Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors proceedings. She also often represents traditional lenders and hedge and investment funds in the enforcement of their rights against their collateral, as well as in the execution of judgment or other collection efforts. In addition, she is known for her ability to keep parties out of bankruptcy by negotiating mutually beneficial out-of-court workouts. After honing her skills for 11 years in boutique bankruptcy practice, she joined Buchanan in 2021 and became the firm’s go-to insolvency professional in South Florida.
Nicole did not grow up in family of lawyers, nor was she exposed to them as a youth; her path to the insolvency field happened by chance. A first-generation American, she was taught to work harder than everyone else, be respectful and dream big. While in law school at the height of the recession, she joined the Consumer Bankruptcy Clinic, which served low-income community members. Through her work there, she not only found a mentor — a fellow Cuban American woman who was a partner at a large firm and a leader in her field — she found her passion. This experience gave her the ability to visualize her career potential and catapult herself into the insolvency industry. Due to her unwavering dedication, she was awarded the CALI Excellence award by the very clinic that ignited her love for the field, and she became committed to paying it forward.
Nicole is currently a committee chairperson with her local bankruptcy bar, after having previously served multiple terms as the Miami Brown Bag chairperson and as the Pro Se Clinic chairperson. She remains active in her memberships with ABI, the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, and many other professional organizations. Continuing to prioritize her community and recognizing her roots, she has mentored law students through other Bankruptcy Clinic programs and regularly engages in pro bono work representing Spanish-speaking individuals. Selected for Dade Legal Aid’s Inaugural Leadership Academy Class, she has been recognized for her community leadership and was presented with the Dade County Bar Association Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Bankruptcy Award in 2016. As a leader within her firm, she empowers her team and associates by dedicating time to their training, sharing her experiences and providing real-time feedback. She regularly seeks to promote other women, especially Latina women, in the legal and insolvency field by making referrals or nominations.