Monthly Feature: Get to know... Sara Temes
February 1, 2018
By: Sara C. Temes
Each month in our "Get to know..." feature we will highlight an attorney in our firm. This month, we are proud to present Syracuse attorney and member of the firm’s business restructuring, creditors' rights and bankruptcy practice, Sara Temes.
“Many times, a business is worth more alive than dead. Never throw your hands up or give up on a client’s goals unless you have exhausted all the possibilities.”
Sara Temes’ law practice covers a wide range of matters, including out-of-court workouts, cross-border insolvency cases and representations of debtors, creditors, landlords, lenders and purchasers. She advises senior managers and boards of directors of financially troubled companies with respect to turnaround strategies.
Sara has proven her mettle helping a variety of companies find the best solution to their financial challenges. She recently led a team that successfully restructured a nationwide electrical contractor. “I learned their business and was able to advise management to cut back operations to select projects, negotiated with the bank for a forbearance and interfaced with other creditors to give the company the time and space it needed to turn around. We kept certain employees, but had to sever others. Ultimately, running leaner and more effectively, the company has rebounded.”
Sara graduated from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Although she initially planned to study medicine, junior year abroad studies at Dublin’s Trinity College introduced her to the law, and she later attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She took a summer associate position at Weil, Gotshal and Manges in post 9-11 New York, ultimately joining the firm and practicing there for three years.
“In the early 2000’s, Weil was debtor’s counsel for many of the first true mega-cases, including Enron, Worldcom and Global Crossing. I got drawn into the excitement of high profile bankruptcy, representing retailers, manufacturers and financial institutions.”
Although she thrived on the excitement of large-scale chapter 11 debtor work, Sara and her husband ultimately left their Manhattan law firm jobs for the slower paced lifestyle of Syracuse. “We had enjoyed idyllic childhoods in this small city, with great communities, schools and access to the region’s beautiful lakes and mountains for outdoor recreation. We wanted to give our future kids the same opportunities.”
Even better, Sara found that she did not have to give up the complexity of a sophisticated law practice or sacrifice her level of engagement to have a well-rounded life.
“In addition to working with a dynamic, brilliant, full-service law firm at Bond, my practice spans New York State and in many cases the Northeast. Problem solving for my clients and learning about different industries and businesses is endlessly rewarding.”
Sara contributes to the larger Central New York community through a variety of volunteer efforts. “Syracuse is a city in transition and I love playing a part in its revival through my practice and community service.” A board member and treasurer of the JCC of Syracuse, Sara received the organization’s inaugural Leslie Award in 2016 as a “rising star among young Jewish professionals.” She was also named a “Shining Star” by the New York Chapter of the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and was named a Syracuse 40 Under 40 honoree.
Sara actively mentors women attorneys and represents Wellesley as an alumnae interviewer for Central New York. She praises Bond’s Steve Donato and Joe Zagraniczny, co-heads of her practice group at Bond, for informing her own practice. “Joe taught me that you can’t ever quit when you’re advocating for a client. Never throw your hands up or give up on something that you think can accomplish for the client.”