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Vault Law Resource Center

Bankruptcy / Restructuring


Bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers represent debtors, creditors, equity interest holders, and other entities that may be interested in a business (such as a prospective acquirer) that is confronting financial difficulties. The practice can involve out-of-court negotiations to restructure a company’s financial affairs without the intervention of a court or bankruptcy reorganization litigation; there are practitioners who focus on either one of these aspects and others whose practices encompass both. Likewise, there are firms that specialize in representing creditors, others that focus on the representation of debtors, and broad practices that do both. Lawyers are often drawn to restructuring work to straddle the business and litigation sides. Bankruptcy involves an arcane set of rules that can take a long time to master. There are limited in-house positions for bankruptcy attorneys, so much of the practice is in a law firm setting. The practice is counter-cyclical—bankruptcy lawyers are most in demand in down markets. A clerkship at a federal bankruptcy court can be helpful, especially for those more interested in the litigation side rather than restructuring transactions. Some bankruptcy practitioners also earn an LL.M. in bankruptcy at some point in their careers.

Top Ranked Firms

Practice Area Q&A’s

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Naomi Moss & Chance Hiner

Kirkland & Ellis

Jeff Michalik & Aparna Yenamandra


Dennis F. Dunne & Nelly Almeida

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Alice Belisle Eaton & Sean A. Mitchell

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Alexa Kranzley

Latham & Watkins

Jeff Bjork & Caroline Reckler


Jessica Liou

Advice from Vault Law

Practice Area Insights: How to Excel in Bankruptcy & Restructuring

Practice Area Insights: How to Excel in Bankruptcy & Restructuring

By Vault Law Editors