Douglas E. Spelfogel

Foley & Lardner LLP


Douglas E. Spelfogel is a partner in Foley & Lardner LLP’s New York office and Head of the Bankruptcy and Business Reorganizations Practice Group in New York. Spelfogel specializes in advising both national and international based companies, hedge funds and equity investors, lenders, trustees, receivers, indenture trustees, and ad hoc and official creditors’ committees in connection with restructurings, purchase and sale of assets, loan-to- own acquisitions, operating businesses, debt and equity instruments, and complex forensic investigations, fraud, and claw-back litigation both out-of-court and through legal proceedings in state and federal courts, including under the Uniform Commercial Code and Bankruptcy Code. Spelfogel also represents various constituencies in some of the highest profile cross-border insolvency proceedings and workouts involving debtors in other jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, BVI, Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

Spelfogel is a former senior trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, Office of United States Trustee, where he oversaw many of the largest distressed asset sale transactions and Chapter 11 cases in New York.

Spelfogel represented various parties in connection with high profile funds’ litigation, restructurings, and asset sales, including, the official creditors’ committee and trustee for Stillwater Funds (relating to bankruptcy and liquidation of twelve related hedge funds with over $750 million in claims); Wilmington Trust, as indenture trustee for Hellas Telecommunications (relating to fraud and claw back litigation with respect to claims of nearly $1 billion); Spectrum Group (relating to the acquisition of a several hundred million dollar off shore oil drilling company); Best Buy (relating to the purchase of a warranty service provider for the Fortune 100 company); Oaktree Capital (relating to the acquisition of a several hundred million dollar retail chain); Berjaya Retail (relating to acquisition of certain assets and holdings relating to Radio Shack and Borders Bookstores); Lenzing Holdings (relating to acquisition of manufacturing facility as part of US expansion); Bancorp Bank (lender to PayPal, relating to acquisition of credit card processing company); NYRE Loan Fund (private equity fund, relating to purchase of commercial office building); Pacifica Connect (relating to acquisition of nursing homes); Raser Technologies (relating to acquisition of energy company); and Cordel Funds (relating to acquisition of real estate assets).

Other Notable Cases Include:

  • Peabody Energy- Represented Wilmington Trust, the largest creditor and chair of the creditors’ committee with respect to the restructuring of the multi-billion dollar coal giant, the largest coal manufacturer in the world. Peabody won 2018 Restructuring Deal of the Year (large case) honors at the prestigious M&A Advisors Atlas Awards.
  • American Airlines – Represented U.S. Bank, as secured indenture trustee with respect to over $1.5 billion in bonds secured against aircraft, routes, and slots, in connection with the restructuring and merger of American Airlines with U.S. Air, the resulting airline is the largest airline in the world.
  • Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC - Represented Irving Picard, as Trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC, the largest ponzi scheme case in U.S. history, including liquidation of the company’s salable assets, investigation of the fraud, and commencement of thousands of actions to recover assets for distribution to victims (representation while at prior firm).
  • General Growth Properties - Represented Wilmington Trust, as indenture trustee, in connection with over $1 billion in bond debt held against General Growth Properties. The reorganization represented the largest sale and equity raise through a bankruptcy in U.S. history.
  • Guaranty Financial Group. Represented the Court appointed trustee over the Liquidating Trust for Guaranty Financial Group. In such capacity, he co-leads the team partnering with the FDIC by assignment, in connection with the 10th largest savings and loan failure in U.S. history.
  • Named one of the top 10 unsecured creditor attorneys in the nation by Bankruptcy Insider, a prominent industry publication. Mr. Spelfogel has also been selected for inclusion in the 2011-2018 New York Super Lawyers lists.

About AIRA

AIRA is a nonprofit professional association serving the bankruptcy, restructuring and turnaround practice area. AIRA's membership consists of accountants, financial advisors, investment bankers, attorneys, workout consultants, trustees, and others in the field of business turnaround, restructuring and bankruptcy. AIRA members are among the most trusted and sought-after professionals in matters dealing with limited capital resources and deteriorating operating performance.

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