David Seligman is a partner in the Restructuring Practice Group who concentrates in all aspects of U.S. and worldwide corporate restructurings and insolvency proceedings. He has extensive experience advising large publicly-and privately-held U.S. and multinational corporations and their boards in complex domestic and international restructuring matters, both in and out of court. David also advises buyers and lenders in complex distressed situations and insolvency planning matters, as well as trustees, administrators and creditors committees, in all types of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings. David's experience is broadly across all industries, with particular focus on transportation, energy, financial institutions, gaming, technology and real estate.
David is a frequent lecturer and author on restructuring matters, having spoken at conferences sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, the Turnaround Management Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the Ontario Bar Association, among others. David also has taught several advanced restructuring courses at the University of Chicago’s Graham School, NYU Law School, Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. David served on the Advisory Committee for Labor and Benefits Issues as part of the 2013 ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11.
Described as “amazing” and “a great lawyer and tireless,” David has been recognized as a leading restructuring lawyer in Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business every year since 2006. In the 2021 edition, sources noted "he is very bright" and "he is a very practical lawyer." In other recent editions, Chambers acknowledged him as “well known and respected" and “outstanding to deal with and has a great command of the Bankruptcy Code and relevant case law." In 2019, Who’s Who Legal described David as “a distinguished name at the firm,” and someone who “continues to impress market sources with his deep understanding of Chapter 11 restructurings.” In 2015, sources commended David for being "calm under pressure, solution-oriented and extraordinarily responsive." Chambers has noted that clients find him to be “a thoughtful attorney,” “particularly effective when considering highly complex legal matters,” and “able to communicate those complex matters to his clients in a way that those issues can be understood and acted upon by boards.” Previous editions praise David as a “smart, professional problem solver” who possesses “extraordinary knowledge and responsiveness” and “can answer any question fired at him off the top of his head.” Best Lawyers named David the 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law in Chicago. Lawyer of the Year recognitions are awarded to individuals with the highest overall peer feedback for a specific practice area and geographic location. Only one lawyer is recognized as the Lawyer of the Year for each specialty and location. David also has been recognized for his successful representations in large corporate restructurings, including for: North American Petroleum (“Energy Deal of the Year” at the M&A Advisor 2012 Turnaround Awards); Calpine Corporation (one of Turnarounds & Workouts' “successful restructurings of 2007”); and United Airlines (Turnaround Management Association’s (Chicago/Midwest) 2006 Large Turnaround of the Year).
“No Recognition of Solvent ‘Foreign Proceedings’ in the UK,” Kirkland & Ellis Alert, January 2020.
Contributing Editor, Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law & Practice
"WaMu Court's Decision A Lesson for Hedge Funds," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, September 2011.
"Circuits Split Over Credit Bidding in Sales Under Chapter 11 Plans," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, July 2011.
"Treatment of Prepayment Prohibitions in Bankruptcy Is Proving to be a Tough Call for Courts," Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law, 2010.
"The race to the starting line: Developing prepackaged and prenegotiated reorganization plans to maximize value." Navigating Today's Environment, The Directors' and Officers' Guide to Restructuring, 2010.
"Decision Clarifies Scope of Chapter 15 "Stay" of Non-U.S. Lawsuits," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, September 2010.
"Break-Up Fee Denied for Stalking-Horse Bidder in Bankruptcy Asset Sale," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, February 2010.
"District Court Limits the Right to Credit Bid in Asset Sale Conducted Under Chapter 11 Plan," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, November 2009.
"Substantial Contribution Claims Require Intent to Benefit Estate," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, October 2009.
"Jury Finds Ex-Kmart CEO Liable for Making Misleading Statements About Kmart's Liquidity Months Before its 2002 Bankruptcy Filing," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, June 2009.
"Insiders' Last Resort Secured Loan to Cash-Strapped Company Cannot Be Equitably Subordinated Without Specific Evidence of Actual Harm to Creditors," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, August 2008.
"Pension Termination Premium Is Prepetition Unsecured Claim," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, April 2008.
"Mesa Air Ordered to Pay $80 Million for Misusing Confidential Investment Material Obtained in Hawaiian Airlines Chapter 11 Case," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, November 2007.
"Bankruptcy Court Denies Chapter 15 Protection for Hedge Fund," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, October 2007.
"Bankruptcy Judge Rejects Claims Based on Loss of Note Conversion Rights," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, August 2007.
"Increased Scrutiny Placed on Trading by Members of Creditors' Committees," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, August 2007.
"ABI's Pension Manual: A Practical Guide to Pension Issues Arising in Business Bankruptcy Cases," 2007 (Contributing Editor).
"Recent Developments in Pension Restructuring," Kirkland & Ellis Alert, August 2006.
"Undoing Chapter 11: Learning from the United Airlines Deal," Financial Executive, June 2006.
"Restructuring Aircraft Fleets under Section 1110 of the Bankruptcy Code: Selected Issues," Air and Space Lawyer, Winter, 2005 (Author's Advisor).
Contributing Editor: Norton Bankruptcy Law Treatise, 2003–2005.
"Better Scarf it Down; The Third Circuit Applies PACA to Restaurants," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, May, 2000.
"Enforcing Judgments Against Property Held in Tenancy by the Entirety," 196 Ill. B.J. 87, 1999.
"Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Letter of Credit Litigation Following the Gulf War," 6 U. Miami Bus. L. Rev. 143, 1997.
“Distressed Investing,” Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, February 2019, Hanover, New Hampshire.
“Caesars: Lessons Learned,” American Bankruptcy Institute 34th Annual Spring Meeting, April 20–23, 2017, Washington, D.C.
“Pension Tension: Dealing with Plans in the Restructuring World,” American Bankruptcy Institute Webinar, February 26, 2017, Webinar.
"Case Study: Edison Mission Energy," University of Pennsylvania Law School, Distressed Dealmaking: Chapter 11 and Out-of-Court Restructuring, October 6, 2014, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"Navigating Recent Bankruptcy Law Trends," The University of Chicago Booth School of Business 9th Annual Credit, Restructuring, Distressed Investing & Turnaround Conference, April 4, 2014, Chicago, Illinois.
"Intellectual Property Rights in Chapter 11 and the Limits of Section 365 (n)," 87th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, October 30–November 2, 2013, Atlanta, Georgia.
"Legal Restructuring Panel — Recent Trends," The University of Chicago Booth School of Business 8th Annual Credit, Restructuring, Distressed Investing & Turnaround Conference, April 5, 2013, Chicago, Illinois.
"Chapter 11 – 101," Chicago/Midwest Turnaround Management Association Nuts and Bolts Program, October 14, 2010, Chicago, Illinois.
"Litigating the Section 1113 Dispute," American Bankruptcy Institute 28th Annual Spring Meeting, April 29–May 2, 2010, National Harbor, Maryland.
"Trends in Cross-Border Insolvency from the U.S. and Canadian Perspectives," Turnaround Management Association Spring Conference 2010, April 22, 2010, New York, New York.
"The US Bankruptcy Code - What Canadian Practitioners Need to Know," Osgoode Hall Law School of York University Intensive Short Course in Corporate Insolvency & Restructuring, November 19–20, 2009, Toronto, Canada.
"Situation Report: Calpine," Renaissance American Management and Beard Group 10th Annual Conference on Corporate Reorganizations, June 21–22, 2007, Chicago, Illinois.
American Bankruptcy Institute 25th Annual Spring Meeting, April 12–15, 2007, Washington, D.C.
“Negotiating Complex Deals in Corporate Restructuring,” NYU Law School, Fall Semester 2006, New York, New York.
"Selected Topics in Restructuring," Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors 22nd Annual Bankruptcy & Restructuring Conference, June 7–10, 2006, Seattle, Washington.
"Airline Reorganizations, Part I — The Takeoff: First-day Orders, DIP Financing and Beyond," American Bankruptcy Institute 15th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, December 4–6, 2003, La Quinta, California.
Memberships & Affiliations
American Bankruptcy Institute, Business Reorganization and Finance and Banking Committees.
Turnaround Management Association.
Dartmouth Lawyers Association.
Chicago Bench and Bar Liaison Committee, Founding Member.
American Jewish Committee
Tourette’s Syndrome Association, Advisory Council
Admissions & Qualifications
- 1996, Illinois
- 1998, Florida (inactive)
- 2011, New York
- University of Miami School of LawJ.D.summa cum laude1996
Class Rank 5/392
Editor, University of Miami Law Review
Dean’s Honor Full Scholarship Recipient, 1993 through 1996
Order of the Coif
Dean’s Certificate for Academic Excellence in the following courses: Corporate, Tax, and Antitrust Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions; Trial Litigation Skills Program; Pretrial Litigation Skills Program
American Jurisprudence and Corpus Juris Secundum Book Awards
Semifinalist, First Year Moot Court Competition
- Dartmouth CollegeA.B.cum laude1993
Government major with concentration in international economic development, comparative government, and Middle East politics
Rufus Choate Scholar, 1990 through 1993
Editorial Board, World Outlook Journal of International Relations
- London School of Economics and Political Science; Hebrew University of Jerusalem1991; 1992