Ryan Blaine Bennett is a partner in Kirkland & Ellis' Restructuring Group and hiring partner for the Chicago office. Ryan's practice focuses on protecting and advancing the financial interests of corporate debtors and secured and unsecured creditors in the various transactional and litigation-related aspects of the debtor-creditor relationship.
Ryan has played a principal role representing sophisticated corporate debtors, investors and other key parties in some of the most complex restructuring cases and transactions during the past two decades.
In addition to his company-side representations, Ryan regularly counsels a number of private equity and investment fund clients, both in and out of court, with respect to acquisitions of distressed assets and investments and corporate governance matters related to such clients' portfolio companies. Ryan's fund clients include, among others, AE Industrial Partners, Audax Group, Blue Point Capital Partners, GTCR, GSO Capital Partners, Monomoy Capital Partners, Parthenon Capital, Summit Partners, and Sun Capital Partners.
Ryan often represents large, multinational corporations with respect to distressed supply chain, acquisitions and other commercial matters involving distressed counter-parties. His clients in this regard include Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, The Boeing Company, Global Hyatt Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, Motorola, Inc., The Tribune Company and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, among others.
Ryan was recognized in the 2023 edition of Chambers USA. Sources noted “he’s extraordinarily client-oriented, extremely commercial and excellent technically.” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and The Chicago Lawyer recently named Ryan to the “40 Under Forty” for 2015, selecting Ryan among over 1,000 nominees across all practice areas in the State of Illinois, Law360 also named Ryan as one of eight Bankruptcy “Rising Stars for 2014.” The Legal 500 U.S. recognized him for his "key role" in the Detroit Chapter 9 proceedings. Ryan was also named to the 2012 list of "Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers" by Turnarounds & Workouts, one of 12 individuals selected nationwide for their individual accomplishments in corporate restructuring.
Contributing Editor, NORTON JOURNAL OF BANKRUPTCY LAW & PRACTICE.
Prof. John Ayer, Michael Bernstein, Jonathan Friedland and Ryan Blaine Bennett, Chapter 11 "101" — Professional Retention and Compensation, AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE JOURNAL (February 2005).
Jonathan P. Friedland and Ryan Blaine Bennett, Turning Off the Lights: Safely Shutting Down an Insolvent Subsidiary, THE CORPORATE COUNSELOR, Volume 19, No. 4a (September/October 2004).
Prof. John Ayer, Michael Bernstein, Jonathan Friedland and Ryan Blaine Bennett, Chapter 11 "101" — What Every Unsecured Creditor Should Know About Chapter 11, AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE JOURNAL (June 2004).
Assistant Editor, Norton Bankruptcy Law & Practice: Use, Sale or Lease of Property Under 11 U.S.C. § 363 (West Group 2004).
Assistant Editor, Norton Bankruptcy Law & Practice: Use, Sale or Lease of Property Under 11 U.S.C. § 363 (West Group 2003).
Ryan Blaine Bennett, Safeguards of the Republic: The Professional Responsibility of the American Lawyer to Preserve the Republic Through Law-Related Education, 14 NOTRE DAME JOURNAL OF LAW, ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY 651 (2000).
Distressed Hedge Funds, co-moderated with Samuel M. Greene, at the WHARTON RESTRUCTURING AND DISTRESSED INVESTING CONFERENCE, in New York (February 22, 2019).
Sparking Transformation: Energy Restructurings, moderated at the WHARTON RESTRUCTURING AND DISTRESSED INVESTING CONFERENCE, in New York (February 22, 2019).
Board Members & Insolvent Companies They Serve, presented at the PRIVATE DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION (March 15, 2017).
Energy Master Limited Partnerships: Eye on Sabine Oil and Gas and What Will Follow, presented at ESSENTIAL POWER SOURCES: MANAGING ENERGY DEALS AND LEGAL COUNSEL, sponsored by Bloomberg, in Houston, Texas (October 3, 2016).
Energy Restructuring & Bankruptcy, presented at the ENERGY LAW SEMINAR at the University of Chicago Law School (May 13, 2016).
Panic In Detroit: Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Process from Soup to Nuts, co-paneled with Prof. Melissa Jacoby, William Kannel, Heather Lennox and Van Conway, at the AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE ANNUAL SPRING MEETING, in Washington, D.C. (April 2015).
Fictional Case Study Discussion and Seminar, co-paneled with Neil Walther and Brad Weiland (Kirkland & Ellis LLP), and presented at THE DISTRESSED RESTRUCTURING CONFERENCE at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, sponsored by Training the Street (April 15, 2012).
Cross-Border Insolvencies: Trends and Best Practices, co-paneled with Linc Rogers (Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP), and presented at THE ADVANCED PROGRAM IN CORPORATE INSOLVENCY AND RESTRUCTURING, sponsored by Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto (October 18, 2010).
Professional Compensation In the Context of Chapter 11, presented at the KIRKLAND INSTITUTE OF RESTRUCTURING TRAINING (July 26, 2006).
Understanding Practice Groups in Large U.S. Law Firms, co-paneled with Lane Winter Vanderslice (Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw), presented at the Notre Dame Law School (September 10, 2004).
Sections 1113 and 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code: Terminating or Modifying Collective Bargaining Agreements, Pension Plans and Retiree Benefits, presented at the KIRKLAND INSTITUTE OF RESTRUCTURING TRAINING (January 26, 2004).
Public Interest Law Initiative Fellow (Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation), Summer 2000
Memberships & Affiliations
Kirkland & Ellis Recruiting Committee, (Member, 2006–Present) (Co-Chair, Chicago office, 2020–Present)
Chicago Learning Exchange (Board of Directors, 2022–Present)
Bay Harbor Yacht Club (Board of Directors, 2021–Present)
Admissions & Qualifications
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois2000
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit2001
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan2001
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit2002
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan2003
- Supreme Court of the United States2004
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin2011
- Notre Dame Law SchoolJ.D.2000
Thomas J. White Scholar
Issue Editor, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy
- Michigan State UniversityB.A., Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy1996