Johnstone Adams’ banking, finance and creditor’s rights lawyers assist commercial clients with obtaining financing and banking clients with debt recovery litigation. Our attorneys are seasoned creditors’ rights advocates who work with our clients to determine how aggressive their strategy should be in order to meet their goals. We also represent trust departments, handle banking operational matters and defend lender liability cases. Our practice spans Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

Today’s financial markets are extremely volatile, which translates into increased restrictions for commercial borrowers. Having seasoned, experienced senior attorneys who understand market fluctuations and its impact on both borrowers and lenders, and have the know-how to assist commercial clients to obtain the loan packages they need to get the job done. To date, our experience includes loan packages valued at up to $20 million. We are also qualified to handle SBA loans.

Our special assets and lender liability defense clients include large regional banks, regional lenders loan servicing companies and private equity portfolio purchasers. Our clients, including Regions Bank, PNC, Trustmark Bank, Hancock Bank, Capital Crossing Servicing Co., and Coastal Bank & Trust, appreciate our banking and finance attorneys who bring decades of experience to the table and provide one point of contact with the ability to cross state lines.


How We Can Help You?

Snapshot of Strengths

Our wealth of experience means we don’t need to recreate the wheel. We have analyzed the necessary documents many times over and know how to quickly ascertain what’s missing. Our practice includes:


Commercial loans


Commercial loan workouts




Special assets litigation




Bankruptcy – borrower filing bankruptcy


Lender liability defense


Construction loans


Permanent loans


Inventory secured loans


Working capital loans


Asset-based loans


SBA 7(a) and 504 program loans


Preferred ship mortgages


Municipal and industrial bonds




Letters of credit


International business transactions


Lender liability for federal withholding taxes of borrowers


Lender liability for environmental law violations by borrowers


Lender liability in commercial transactions


Mortgage escrow account practices


Article 3, 4 and 9A issues


Loan collections


Statewide foreclosures

Finding the Funds

Whether you need financing for your next venture, your assets recovered or defense in a lender liability matter, experienced counsel who are immediately responsive is a priority. Johnstone Adams banking and finance attorneys are well prepared to assist, advocate and advise. We are effective navigators of today’s complex financial markets, and our partners will work closely with you to achieve your commercial finance goals.

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  • Represented numerous lending institutions in closing SBA 504 and 7(a) program loans.
  • Assisted a regional bank in closing more than $125 million in condominium construction loans.
  • On behalf of a regional bank, we handled various Article 3, 4 and 9A issues.
  • Helped a regional bank in preferred ship mortgage financing and recovery of collateral.
  • Represented an institutional lender in an eight-state, multi-complex industrial loan package totaling more than $40 million.
  • Aided a lender in closing agribusiness loans on poultry growing units and processing plants with loans totaling approximately $22 million.


  • Litigated on behalf of an institutional lender in a suit against an architect and a foundations contractor regarding negligent construction of a commercial office complex in recovering in excess of $1 million.
  • Represented large national bank affiliates in defending three loan fraud cases.
  • Represented a large regional bank in defending five lender liability tax cases.
  • Assisted a regional bank in takeover litigation.
  • Represented a large regional bank in defending two forgery matters.
  • Recovery of a claim against the United States government on behalf of a regional bank on a letter of credit.
  • Represented national and regional lenders in the defense of numerous consumer class actions involving residential real estate escrow charges, insurance sales practices, residential real estate mortgage discounts, banking industry checking account practices and credit life insurance.
  • Assisted secured institutional lenders in numerous litigated bankruptcy proceedings to obtain a stay relief for our client.
  • Served an institutional lender in obtaining possession of a golf course and the adjacent subdivision in litigated bankruptcy proceeding, including obtaining recovery from an individual guarantor in excess of $1 million.
  • Helped a secured lender obtain a judicial foreclosure on a high rise hotel and obtain a deficiency judgment against a guarantor of more than $3 million.
  • Represented an institutional lender in litigation against a general contractor and a condominium developer resulting in possession for our lender clients and credits against the general contractor for defective workmanship.
  • Advocated on behalf of a regional lending institution before Congress to obtain Congressional Reference legislation enabling the lender to proceed against the federal government in the U.S. Claims Court.
  • Represented a regional lender in the recovery of $1.2 million in cash collateral through a bankruptcy court proceeding.
  • Assisted a regional bank in connection with objections to various Chapter 11 Plans of Reorganization.
  • Representation of institutional lender in defending claims brought by beneficiaries of medical trust.
  • Facilitated the recovery of more than $600,000 in collateral from another creditor of a debtor together with a settlement of an alter ego claim in excess of $300,000 on behalf of our institutional lender client.
  • Represented a regional bank in a lender liability fraud action.

What Our Clients are Saying

Brandy Walker

“My husband and I were referred to Johnstone Adams in the spring of last year. We are working very closely with Jessica Welch and Greg Watts on an ongoing and unwanted family estate matter. Ms. Welch and Mr. Watts have been so professional and knowledgeable.

In addition, considering the nature of the suit, Jessica has provided my husband and I with a peace of mind we didn"t think was possible during this extremely stressful time of our lives. She is an amazing trial attorney. They have gone above and beyond. To sum it up, I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for them. I would strongly reccomend either of them to my dearest friends and family members. I'm so thankful that we stumbled upon them. I'm actually going to miss Jessica Welch when this is all over.”

Andre Kistner

“I am currently using this law firm and they are informative, keeping me up to date with my case, and they return your calls/emails immediately. I am very satisfied.”

Stu Cookson

“My wife and I approached Johnstone Adams to help us make a better informed decision regarding her immigration. They have been a truly invaluable asset. They brought their knowledge, experience, confidence, and calm demeanor to the process, which put our minds at ease. The worry and anxiety that we were facing melted away, and we have been, literally, hand-held during this daunting process. We can’t thank or recommend Johnstone Adams enough and look forward to continuing to use their services in the future.”


Angela R.

“Johnstone Adams was a great help when it came to drawing up our family’s will and advanced directives prior to the birth of our first son. These are certainly things that no one wants to think about, but the process was easy. They were professional and knowledgeable, answering all of our questions along the way with compassion and sensitivity. Johnstone Adams responded quickly to any questions and was easy to get in touch with! We would highly recommend them for any legal work!!”

Alan C

“Jessica’s advice and assistance with our family's interests in a probate matter was exceptional from beginning to end-- always thoughtful, responsive and efficient, and focused and timely.

It was a genuine pleasure for the doubtless incorrigibly demanding old lawyer that I am to have a professional of her outstanding caliber assisting me on this matter—both generally and in my role as executor in particular—in a jurisdiction unfamiliar to me and on a matter completely outside of my own experience and expertise.

I might also point out that she was really excellent in interfacing, always in a timely and solution-oriented manner, with other parties involved in our matter to help keep our initiatives on track—including attorneys dealing with the disposition of residential real estate and financial assets.

Jessica and her excellent assistant, Shelly Perrone, also offered and provided pragmatic and efficient solutions to logistical and execution issues made significantly more challenging than usual given the COVID-19 crisis and my own location far from Mobile-- in Paris, France.”


“I highly recommend attorney Rick La Trace. Aside from being professional, polite, and yet firm, Rick is a combination of knowledge, detail, and responsiveness. (In my opinion, there are very few professionals who have ALL three qualities. Rick is one of the very few.) What makes him stand apart from the rest, is that he takes the time to listen to his client's concerns (no matter how "trivial"). He educates client’s on how the law works, shares his opinions, including the pros and cons of each. We would definitely use Rick's services again, and highly recommend him for anyone who wants a lawyer that they can trust to thoroughly handle their case from start to finish, even down to the small details. You can tell from working with Rick that he's not just about getting paid for his services, but that he enjoys working through problems and finding creative solutions for his clients. Also, I highly recommend the Johnstone Adams, LLC systems and processes. Shelly and Cathy were on top of things. I give Rick and Johnstone Adams more than five stars.”


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