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Thomas Moers Mayer


Co-chair, Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy

Phone: 212.715.9169 Fax: 212.715.8000 New York

Thomas Moers Mayer, Co-chair of the Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy Department, has played a prominent role in many of the largest and most complex bankruptcy cases in history.

Mr. Mayer’s work involves both in- and out-of-court restructurings of distressed businesses on behalf of creditor committees, major secured and unsecured creditors, and bondholders. He has represented the official committees of unsecured creditors in some of the most well-known Chapter 11 cases, including General Motors, Chrysler, Capmark, Smurfit-Stone, Dana Corporation and Patriot Coal.

He has also played major roles in the largest recent municipal insolvencies, representing holders of $900 million in secured sewer warrants of Jefferson County, Alabama, in that county’s Chapter 9 case and the holders of $1 billion in certificates of participation in the Detroit insolvency. Mr. Mayer is the senior partner on the Kramer Levin team led by Amy Caton in representing holders of more than $10 billion of bonds issued by heavily-indebted Puerto Rico, including in litigation before the Supreme Court on behalf of the holders of $1.6 billion of bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

Mr. Mayer also counsels and represents investors seeking to acquire the assets or businesses of financially troubled companies. His most notable transactions include the 1991 acquisition of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation and the 2006 hostile takeover of WCI Steel Corporation, both through Chapter 11 plans supported by the United Steelworkers of America. In the second Patriot Coal bankruptcy, Mr. Mayer represented four funds that held over $360 million in secured prepetition debt and that agreed to extend $100 million in debtor-in-possession credit. Our clients subsequently funded the sale of substantially all Patriot assets to Blackhawk Mining LLC by extending more than $150 million and $30 million face value in five- and five and one-half-year term loans, respectively, and taking a 35 percent equity interest in Blackhawk. Mr. Mayer is the leading scholar on trading claims and taking control of corporations in Chapter 11, having authored (with Chaim J. Fortgang) the Collier Bankruptcy Manual chapter on the topic.

Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States Supreme Court appointed Mr. Mayer to the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules for a three-year term starting Oct. 1, 2014. Mr. Mayer is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, a nonpartisan organization of approximately 60 leading lawyers, law professors and bankruptcy judges that provides bankruptcy advice to Congress.

Mr. Mayer is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, an honorary association of approximately 800 leading senior insolvency professionals. He has been repeatedly recognized by Chambers and Legal 500 and as one of the preeminent bankruptcy practitioners in the United States. According to Chambers USA 2017, he is “described by one impressed source as ‘one of the smartest lawyers I have ever met.’” Another Chambers source attested, “He is thorough about every aspect of a case, and is about as prepared and knowledgeable as it’s possible to be. He is levelheaded, helpful and able to negotiate, and is second to none in terms of understanding the risks associated with the legal aspects of the case” (2016). He is particularly commended for his extensive creditors’ committee experience (Chambers USA 2015), his “encyclopedic knowledge” of the Bankruptcy Code and his penchant for “finding solutions outside the box that didn’t occur to others” (Chambers USA 2014).

J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1981
  • Editor, Harvard Law Review, 1980-1981
A.B., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Dartmouth College, 1977
New York, 1982
Honorable J. Edward Lumbard,  U.S.C.A., 2nd Circuit, 1981 - 1982
    -Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer, Turnarounds & Workouts (2012)
    -Conway Mackenzie & Dunleavy Award (Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer) (2007)
    -Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC’s Benchmark Litigation Litigation Star (2014-2017)
    -Woodward/White Inc.’s Best Lawyers (2005; 2007-2018)
    -Chambers and Partners’ Chambers USA (2004-2017)
    -Chambers and Partners’ Chambers Global (2007-2017)
    -Lawdragon 3000 (2011)
    -Lawdragon 500 (2007)
    -Legalease’s Legal 500 US (2006; 2009-2015; 2017)
    -Thomson Reuters’ New York Super Lawyers (2006-2009; 2011, 2016)
    -Thomson Reuters’ New York Super Lawyers Top 100 (2010; 2012-2016)
    -Law Business Research Limited, Who's Who Legal, One of the World’s Leading Restructuring & Insolvency Lawyers (2016, 2017)
    -American College of Bankruptcy, fellow; board of directors
    -National Bankruptcy Conference (2008)
    -New York City Bar Association