Cullen Drescher Speckhart is chair of Cooley's business restructuring & reorganization practice. She has deep experience in corporate restructuring and financial litigation across a broad range of industries.
Using this background, Cullen provides forward-focused advice to clients with respect to business risk management and strategic implementation. She represents a wide range of parties to insolvency proceedings, including debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, trustees and foreign representatives.
Cullen has represented clients in some of the largest bankruptcy cases filed, including In re Mallinckrodt PLC in which she represents the official committee of unsecured creditors; In re Ascena Retail Group in which she represents the debtors; In re Le Tote in which she represents the official committee of unsecured creditors; In re 24 Hour Fitness in which she represents the official committee of unsecured creditors; In re Toys R Us Inc. in which she served as co-counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors; In re Circuit City Stores Inc., in which she served as co-counsel to the debtors; In re White Birch Paper Company and Bear Island Paper Company, in which she served as counsel to the Canadian monitor; In re Workflow Management Inc.; In re USA Discounters Ltd; In re Eastman Kodak Company; In re Noranda Aluminum Inc.; In re Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc.; In re The Gymboree Corporation and In re Windstream Holdings Inc.
Cullen has led numerous engagements in the energy sector, representing clients in various roles, including In re Foresight Energy LP; In re Alpha Natural Resources Inc.; In re Arch Coal Inc.; In re Patriot Coal Company; In re James River Coal Company; In re Armstrong Energy Inc.; In re Cloud Peak Energy Inc.; In re Westmoreland Coal Inc.; In re Cambrian Holding Inc.; In re Blackjewel LLC and In re Peabody Energy Corporation.
In addition to her work in significant bankruptcy matters, Cullen provides tactical guidance to corporations in all aspects of solvency strategy, contingency planning, risk mitigation, and portfolio improvement through acquisitions and sales of assets and other distressed transactions. In this role, Cullen advises public and private companies, including high-growth firms, in devising proactive approaches to expansion and protection of valuable business resources.
Cullen has presented to national audiences on various legal considerations, including those surrounding corporate insolvencies, banking technologies and regulatory compliance. In 2021, Cullen was named Restructuring Lawyer of the Year by Global M&A Network’s 13th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards. In
2017, she was selected to the American Bankruptcy Institute’s inaugural 40 Under 40 list recognizing bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring professionals from around the world. In 2015, Cullen co- authored the American Bankruptcy Institute’s manual on Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. Cullen serves on the advisory board of the Institute for Restructuring Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Before entering private practice, Cullen clerked for the Honorable Stephen C. St. John, chief judge of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. During law school, she was the first prize winner of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s inaugural Bankruptcy Law Student Writing Competition, and the first law student ever to receive the Thatcher Prize for Excellence, which is presented annually to a William & Mary graduate student of outstanding scholarship, service and character.
· Harvard Extension School, Harvard University, Professional Certificate in Strategic Management
· The College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law JD
· Georgetown University, BA, Politics and Economics
· District of Columbia
· New York
· U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
· U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
· U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
· U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
· US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
· U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia
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