Overview

Jon Henes is one of the country’s leading restructuring and corporate governance advisors. Jon has successfully guided numerous publicly-traded and privately-held companies through transformative restructuring transactions. Jon is a trusted advisor to boards of directors and senior managers regarding fiduciary duties and corporate governance issues in highly complex and “bet the company” situations. Jon has advised companies in a multitude of sectors, including retail, technology, automotive, energy, industrials, printing, media, radio broadcasting, television, healthcare. airlines and publishing. Notably, Jon led the engagement of Full Beauty, which achieved the first one-day Chapter 11 case in history. Jon followed this achievement with another one-day Chapter 11 case in Sungard, which won The Deal, Restructuring of the Year Award in 2020. Based on his experience, Jon wrote an opinion piece proposing an amendment to the Bankruptcy Code to codify current practice and include a provision for One-Day Bankruptcies.

Jon is described as “exceptional” by Chambers USA, as well as “a great negotiator with very good deal instincts” and “extraordinarily good in front of judges.” In addition, Chambers USA described Jon as a “terrific solution-oriented and collaborative attorney” who “works very hard for his clients and has the right combination of knowing when to be aggressive and when to make a deal,” and he “fights hard for his client to achieve a fair outcome.” Sources noted that Jon “understands the big picture and works relentlessly to achieve results” and that he is “particularly good in complicated, messy matters for both debtors and creditors.” Clients praised Jon for his “fantastic stature in the market” noting he “has good judgment and is good on his feet in court,” is “a real hands-on and roll-up-your-sleeves attorney who has terrific negotiation skills" and is "astonishingly knowledgeable and determined.” In 2017, the American College of Bankruptcy inducted Jon as a fellow in the 28th class of the college.

Jon is sought out for his views on a variety of restructuring topics by, among others, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNBC, The Deal, Bankruptcy Law360, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, and Bankruptcy Court Decisions.

Jon has lectured at Harvard Business School, New York University, Wharton Business School, Wake Forest Law School and Cardozo Law School regarding distressed investing, hedge funds involvement in Chapter 11 and the credit markets, and has published articles on, among other things, distressed debt trading and corporate decision making. Jon is the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Heyman Center of Corporate Governance, the mission of which is to raise public and academic awareness of pressing corporate and securities law issues and to produce and disseminate research on a broad range of corporate and securities law topics.

In 2011, Jon was the Honorary Chair for the Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation Gala. In 2012, Jon was selected as one of the Cardozo Law School’s Alums of the Year. In 2015, Jon was the Honorary Chair of the CaringKind, the Heart of Alzheimer’s Caregivers Gala. During that same year, Jon co-founded the Foundation for Education in Honduras, which to date has partnered with 14 rural, impoverished communities in Honduras to build schools and provide children with backpacks, uniforms, shoes, school supplies and safe places to learn. In 2016, Jon was inducted into Croton-Harmon High School’s Hall of Distinguished Graduates. In 2019, Jon was the National Finance Chair for Kamala Harris for President.

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Thought Leadership

Publications 

“Viewpoint: Congress Should Codify the One-Day Bankruptcy,” The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2020

Contributing Editor, Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law & Practice

"Henes: Three Steps to Fixing the US Economy," CNBC Guest Blog, July 23, 2012

"Henes: What Government Can Learn From the Robin Hood Foundation," CNBC Guest Blog, May 16, 2012

"Henes: Austerity By Inaction - An Economic Cliff Awaits," CNBC Guest Blog, May 9, 2012

"Henes: A Greek Tragedy in the Making?" CNBC Guest Blog, January 30, 2012

"Germany's Revised Bankruptcy Code," The Deal.com (Co-author), January 12, 2012

"Unfunded retirement liabilities in Europe and the US: can lessons be learned from corporate America?," Financier Worldwide Magazine (Co-author), January 2012

"Henes: NYC is Pension Model for 21st Century?" CNBC Guest Blog, December 21, 2011

"Henes: The Restructuring of the United States — Failure is Not an Option," CNBC Guest Blog, November 21, 2011

"BGOV Commentary: City Bankruptcy Effort in Rhode Island Is Working," Bloomberg Government @BGOV, October 18, 2011

"Henes: The Eurozone Hold Out Problem," CNBC.com Guest Blog, October 11, 2011

"Henes: The Top 5 Questions About the Bankruptcy of Central Falls, Rhode Island," CNBC.com Guest Blog, September 27, 2011

"Henes: The Jobs Act and the Super Committee — Is Anyone Else Confused?," CNBC.com Guest Blog, September 15, 2011

"The Ultimate Tribute to 9/11 Victims is Giving Back," CNN.com Opinion, September 8, 2011

"Henes: Economic Lessons Learned From Hurricane Irene," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 29, 2011

"Henes: Restructuring America—The 5 Top Economic Questions for the Remainder of 2011," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 10, 2011

"Bankrupt USAA+," Legal Bisnow NYC, August 8, 2011

"Henes: Top 5 Questions About the Downgrade, the Economy, and the Markets," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 8, 2011

"Henes: Top 5 Questions For the Weekend About the Economy," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 5, 2011

"Henes: Top 5 Questions About the Central Falls, RI Bankruptcy," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 2, 2011

"Henes: Top 5 Questions for 'Debt Ceiling Monday,'" CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 1, 2011

"Henes: Top 5 Questions for 'Debt Ceiling' Weekend," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 29, 2011

"Henes: 5 Things to Know About the Debt Ceiling," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 25, 2011

"Henes: Five Reasons Why the Debt Ceiling May Not Get Raised," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 21, 2011

"Henes: The Debt Ceiling Debate — A Good Old Fashioned Restructuring Negotiation," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 20, 2011

"Henes: The Debt Ceiling Debate is About the Future Role of Government," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 18, 2011

"Henes: States Need to Make Public Disclosures of Their Unfunded Pension Liabilities," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 15, 2011

"States Need to Restructure Pension Obligations," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 12, 2011

"Henes: Rules of Debt Restructuring," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 11, 2011

"Debt-Ceiling Debate: Beware of a Ratings Downgrade," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 8, 2011

"Debt Ceiling: Will the U.S. Follow Minnesota's Lead?" CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 6, 2011

"Deja Vu, All Over Again," New York Law Journal (Co-author), June 27, 2011

"Henes: Are We Watching the Sequel to 'Too Big to Fail?' Will Greece End Differently Than Lehman? Part II" CNBC.com Guest Blog, June 21, 2011

"Henes: Are We Watching the Sequel to 'Too Big to Fail?' Will Greece End Differently Than Lehman?CNBC.com Guest Blog (June 16, 2011

"Henes: The US Will Choose Not to Default on Its Bonds," CNBC.com Guest Blog, June 14, 2011

"Henes: You Can't Stop a Flood by Adding Water: It's Time to Reduce, Not Add, Debt for Long-Term Economic Strength," CNBC.com Guest Blog, June 3, 2011

"Henes: Focusing on Unsustainable Debt," CNBC.com Guest Blog, May 31, 2011

"State Pension Showdowns Call for New Federal Referee: Commentary," Bloomberg Government, May 18, 2011

"States Need Bankruptcy-Like Options for Leverage: Commentary," Bloomberg Government, April 20, 2011

"Henes: The Story of Unfunded State Mandates," CNBC.com Guest Blog, April 19, 2011

"Henes: It is Time for States to Regain Fiscal Health & We Need True Leadership," CNBC.com Guest Blog, March 18, 2011

"Henes: Bankruptcy Law for States: Rhetoric Vs. Reality," CNBC.com Guest Blog, February 22, 2011

"Creation of a State Fiscal Task Force," Philly.com, February 14, 2011

"States of Insolvency," TheDeal.com Judgment Call (Co-author), February 8, 2011

"Henes: State Disclosures Ahead for Municipal Bond Market," CNBC.com Guest Blog, January 31, 2011

"Henes: Bankruptcy Works: Why Congress Should Consider Bankruptcy for States," CNBC.com Guest Blog, January 21, 2011

"Bankruptcy works: Why Congress Should Consider Bankruptcy for States," The Hill, January 19, 2011

"Henes: Congress, Consider Giving our States a Chance!," CNBC.com Guest Blog, January 6, 2011

"Second Circuit: Pension Termination Premium Arises Upon Discharge, Cannot be Discharged," American Bankruptcy Institute: Labor and Employment Committee Newsletter (Co-author), January 2010

"Prudent Lessons From Judge Prudence Carter Beatty," The Wall Street Journal Blog: Bankruptcy Beat, January 8, 2010

"Henes: Failure is an Option—The Brilliance of our Corporate Restructuring Regime," CNBC.com Guest Blog, January 6, 2010

"Henes: Evolution From Trader to Owner - The Making of the Private Equity Hedge Fund," CNBC.com Guest Blog, November 18, 2009

"Debt-for-Equity Exchanges and Media Companies," Daily Bankruptcy Review (Co-author), October 21, 2009

"Henes: The Four Questions of Distressed Investing," CNBC.com Guest Blog, September 2, 2009

"Henes: The Boys are Back in Town: Hedge Funds are Trading Distressed Debt Again," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 18, 2009

"Henes: The DIP Loan - The New 'It' Investment," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 12, 2009

"Henes' Lessons of the CEO: How to Succeed in Restructurings and Life," CNBC.com Guest Blog, August 4, 2009

"Henes: Non-Traditional Owners Must Think Like a Private Equity Sponsor," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 31, 2009

"Henes: There's Gold in Them Hills - Private Equity and Distressed Investing," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 15, 2009

"Henes: Bankruptcy is not Just for Restructurings Anymore," CNBC.com Guest Blog, July 13, 2009

"Debt is the New Equity: How Private Equity Funds Will Sponsor Buyouts Through Chapter 11," Bankruptcy Structure Insights, Summer 2009

"Why Now Is NOT The Time To Focus On Growth," CNBC.com Guest Blog, February 26, 2009

"Coming to a Theatre Near You: The Stealth Takeover," Daily Bankruptcy Review, February 6, 2009

"2009 Corporate Restructurings: What to Expect," Daily Bankruptcy Review, January 21, 2009

"A 'TARP' For Distressed Companies," Forbes.com, November 18, 2008

"Henes: A Gameplan for Distressed Company Investing," CNBC.com Guest Blog, November 5, 2008

"Henes: Private Equity Opportunity: Buy The Distressed," CNBC.com Guest Blog, October 24, 2008

"Henes: Why the Feds Should Step Into Bankruptcy Loans," CNBC.com Guest Blog, October 22, 2008

"A Different Approach To Fixing The Financial System," Dow Jones News Service, October 1, 2008

"Amid Turmoil, Opportunity Awaits in Debt to Equity Conversions," Daily Bankruptcy Review, July 14, 2008

"Buyers Of Secured Debt, Beware: Solutia Ruling Shows OID Risks," Daily Bankruptcy Review, March 26, 2008

"Rule 2019 Opinion May Transform the Dynamics of Chapter 11 Cases," Daily Bankruptcy Review, March 7, 2007

Assistant Editor, Norton Bankruptcy Law & Practice, 2005

"Vulture Investors Heed Caution: Creditors Committee and Trading May Be a Dangerous Combination," 16 Financier Worldwide 30, April 2004

"Guidelines for Director Decision Making in Chapter 11," 21 The Bankruptcy Strategist 2, December 2003

Press Mentions

Jon has been profiled in, among other publications:

  • Law360, “Counsel Who Care: How Attys Are Helping During A Crisis,” June 2, 2020
  • The American Lawyer, “2020 Vision: How a Kirkland Partner—and the Legal Industry—Jumped Into the Race,” August 29, 2019
  • The American Lawyer, “In a Game of Chicken, Solutia Wins,” May 1, 2008, which chronicled Jon’s involvement in Solutia’s exit from Chapter 11
  • Bankruptcy Court Decisions Weekly News & Comment, “Diary of a Deal,” April 1, 2008, which also covered his work for Solutia, and “Panel Spars on Hedge Fund Participation,” April 10, 2007
  • The Deal, “After They Stopped Laughing,” April 23, 2004, which discussed Jon’s involvement in the negotiated resolution of AT&T Latin America’s complex Chapter 11 case

Jon is frequently quoted in national publications, including, among others:

  • The New York Times, “Dodgers File for Bankruptcy, Increasing Tension With Selig”, April 23, 2004
  • The Wall Street Journal:
    • “Prudent Lessons From Judge Prudence Carter Beatty,” January 8, 2010
    • “Snyder’s Six Flags Roller-Coaster Ride,” December 9, 2009
    • “CIT’s Swoon Hits Taxpayers,” November 9, 2009
    • “There is Life After Bankruptcy for Some Companies,” February 23, 2009
    • “Smurfit Says Bankruptcy is Possible Amid Crunch,” January 15, 2009
    • “‘DIP’ Loans are Scarce, Complicating Bankruptcies,” October 17, 2008
      “Barbarians in Bankruptcy Court — Merger Financiers Find Action Now in Chapter 11,” June 18, 2009
  • The Deal, “Bankruptcy Blues,” May 16, 2008
  • Bankruptcy Court Decisions:
    • “What Masonite’s CEO Understood That Your Client May Not,” June 30, 2009
    • “Negotiating a Deal in a Falling Market,” June 30, 2009

Seminars and Speaking Engagements

“Case Study: One Call Care Management,” Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference, February 21, 2020

“Case Study: Avaya,” Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference, February 23, 2018

"Analyzing In-Court Bankruptcy Trends," Debtwire's 7th Annual Distressed Debt Forum, May 21, 2013

"Plan of Reorganization or Liquidation," New York State Bar Association's Advising Distressed Businesses & Business Bankruptcy Cases Conference, December 13, 2012

"Restructuring New York: Will the State and the Cities Recover When the Economy Does?" The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center for Corporate Governance (moderator), April 18, 2012

"The Congressional Super-Committee's Debt Reduction Plan," America's Fiscal Crisis: Depression, Recession or Recovery? The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center for Corporate Governance, October 11, 2011

"The Coming Wave of Municipal Government Restructurings," The Distressed Debt Conference, DealFlow Media, October 3, 2011

"Today's Problems in Municipal Finance: Should Chapter 9 Be Extended to States?" Commercial Finance Association's Advocacy Conference, September 15, 2011

"Bailout or Bankruptcy: States Consider the Options:" Bloomberg, State and Municipal Finance Conference, March 22, 2011

"Is Bankruptcy a Viable Solution to the States' Fiscal Crisis?" The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance, March 21, 2011

"Distressed Paradox: Where Have All the Deals Gone?" Sixth Annual NYU Stern Private Equity Conference: A New Decade for Opportunities, March 4, 2011

"Legal Restructuring Panel - Governmental Involvement in Distressed Opportunities," Wharton School of Business Restructuring and Turnaround Conference 2010: Road to Recovery? Restructuring, Rebuilding and Regulation, February 19, 2010

"Selecting the Right Method to Valuate Distressed Debt and Estimate Recovery Possibilities," American Conference Institute's Distressed Debt and Turnaround Investing Summit, March 31, 200.

"Briefing on the Current Restructuring Market," Heyman Center for Corporate Governance (Keynote Interview by Jeff McCracken, Wall Street Journal), March 4, 2009

Distressed Investing Panel, Harvard Business School, 15th Annual Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference, January 31, 2009

Distressed Investing Panel, UBS Credit Conference, January 8, 2009

"Financing a Restructuring in the Middle of a Credit Crisis: Strategies for Survival," 15th Annual Distressed Investing Conference (Moderated Panel), November 18, 2008

"Utilizing Chapter 11 to Maximize Value and Emerge as a Successful Enterprise: The Solutia Case Study," Heyman Center for Corporate Governance (Moderated Panel, April 1, 2008).

"How the Hedge Fund Trader Has Changed the Dynamics of Chapter 11 Cases," Heyman Center for Corporate Governance: Perspectives on Corporate Restructurings (Opening Address) March 5, 2007

"Perspectives on Corporate Restructurings," Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Program, November 2005

Law and Business Investment Banking, Senior Tutor, The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at the NYU School of Law, 2005

American Conference Institute, New York (Panelist, issues regarding second liens), 2004

"Strategic Considerations When Converting Debt to Equity in Troubled Companies, "American Conference Institute, New York, May 2004

Harvard Business School Turnaround Symposium, Cambridge (Panelist), March 2004

Buyouts Symposium, New York (Panelist), March 2003

Memberships & Affiliations

Member, Board of Directors, Partnership for New York City

Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy

Co-Founder and Member, Board of Director Foundation for Education in Honduras

Member, Board of Directors, CaringKind, the Heart of Alzheimer’s Caregiving, 2016–2020

Member, Executive Committee, UJA Federation of New York, The Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group

National Finance Chair, Kamala Harris for President, 2019

Chairman, Advisory Committee, Heyman Center for Corporate Governance

Credentials

Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1997New York

Courts

  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan2001
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York1997
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York1997

Education

  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of LawJ.D.cum laude1996
    Managing Editor, Cardozo Law Review
  • Union CollegeB.A., History1991