James H.M. Sprayregen, P.C. - Partner

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James H.M. Sprayregen, P.C.

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Phone: +1 312-862-2481
Fax: +1 312-862-2200
New York
Phone: +1 212-446-4800
Fax: +1 212-446-4900
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Professional Profile

James H.M. Sprayregen is a Restructuring partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Kirkland & Ellis and serves on Kirkland’s worldwide management committee. Mr. Sprayregen is recognized as one of the outstanding restructuring lawyers in the United States and around the world and has led some of the most complex Chapter 11 filings in recent history. He has extensive experience representing major U.S. and international companies in restructurings out of court and in court around the globe and has handled matters for clients in industries as varied as manufacturing, technology, transportation, energy, media, retail, and real estate. He has extensive experience advising boards of directors, and generally representing debtors and creditors in complex workout, insolvency, restructuring, and bankruptcy planning matters worldwide.

Chambers & Partners has praised Mr. Sprayregen for his “outstanding reputation for complex Chapter 11 cases” noting he is a “great clients’ lawyer, admired for his unflustered ways.” Chambers said that clients it spoke to noted that he is “probably the best restructuring lawyer in the world.” Most recently, sources commented that Mr. Sprayregen is “a premier restructuring expert” and “in a class of his own” with “unbelievable technical capabilities” and “deep experience he can draw upon.” He was praised for his ability “to take extraordinarily complex issues and make them understandable for boards and executive management teams.” Prior editions of Chambers guides have described Mr. Sprayregen as “a world-class practice leader,” “one of the deans of the Bar,” and “a restructuring genius and one of the best strategists in the country” noting that clients look to him as someone who is “providing leadership and strategic guidance on the big issues.” Sources commended Mr. Sprayregen for his “incredible work ethic and skill” and for his ability to “bring a mastery of the law to practical application.” Clients are “impressed by his boundless energy to work on issues” and note that Mr. Sprayregen is “very good in complicated and difficult situations.”

In March 2010, Mr. Sprayregen was selected by The National Law Journal as one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.” Mr. Sprayregen was named “Global Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyer of the Year” in 2013 by Who’s Who Legal Awards, receiving more votes from clients and peers than any other individual worldwide. In October 2013, Mr. Sprayregen was inducted into the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Turnaround, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame‎. From 2013-2015, Mr. Sprayregen was appointed to serve a two year term as the President of INSOL International, the leading insolvency association in the world.

Mr. Sprayregen joined Kirkland in 1990 and built its international Restructuring Group. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 where he was co-head of Goldman Sachs’ Restructuring Group and advised clients in restructuring and distressed situations. He rejoined Kirkland three years later. Mr. Sprayregen is a frequent lecturer, speaker, and writer on insolvency, cross-border and distressed M&A issues. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, New York University School of Law, and a Lecturer-in-Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Representative Matters

Mr. Sprayregen has recently represented numerous multinational public and private corporations in many of the country's largest out-of-court restructuring matters and Chapter 11 cases, including the following:

Energy Future Holdings Corp. and 71 of its affiliates (collectively, “EFH”) in their Chapter 11 cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  EFH--the largest generator, distributor, and certified retail provider of electricity in Texas--is the product of the largest buy-out in history.  With over $49 billion in liabilities and $36 billion in assets, EFH’s Chapter 11 case is the largest operating Chapter 11 case ever filed in Delaware and the seventh largest Chapter 11 case filed in history.

Seadrill Limited and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries in their multi-jurisdictional restructuring of approximately $20 billion of contract and debt obligations. Seadrill is a leading global provider of offshore contract drilling services and employs nearly 4,000 individuals across 22 countries and five continents. Seadrill's pre-arranged Chapter 11 cases, one of the largest filings in 2017 based on asset size, resulted in the re-profiling of approximately $6 billion of secured debt, eliminated approximately $3.5 billion of unsecured bond and contractual obligations, and facilitated a capital investment of more than $1 billion. In the months preceding Chapter 11, Seadrill also consummated a series of ring-fencing transactions that successfully prevented its non-consolidated businesses from also having to commence Chapter 11 cases. Seadrill and its debtor subsidiaries confirmed their Chapter 11 plan with near universal consensus in approximately 7 months and emerged from Chapter 11 in less than 10 months.

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc. (“CEOC”) in its Chapter 11 restructuring. CEOC, a majority owned subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, provides casino entertainment services and owns, operates or manages 44 gaming and resort properties in 13 states of the United States and in five countries primarily under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brand names.  CEOC and its debtor subsidiaries had more than $18.4 billion in funded debt obligations as of the commencement of their Chapter 11 cases.

GGPLP L.L.C., and certain of its affiliates, in their Chapter 11 reorganization. GGP and its consolidated affiliates reported approximately $29.6 billion in total assets and $27.3 billion in total liabilities as of December 31, 2008. Through its affiliates, GGP owns and manages more than 200 regional shopping centers and other properties across 44 states. These filings constitute the largest Chapter 11 cases undertaken by a real estate investment trust in U.S. history. Less than one year following the commencement of its Chapter 11 cases, GGP confirmed and consummated plans of reorganization for 262 project-level debtors that restructured approximately $15 billion in debt and involved 108 loans across 144 properties. The Turnaround Management Association selected General Growth as its "2011 Transaction of the Year - Mega Company."

Japan Airlines Corporation, Asia’s largest air carrier with a fleet of more than 270 aircraft, as international restructuring counsel advising JAL on all aspects of the restructuring of its global operations and representing it in connection with Chapter 15 cases. JAL, headquartered in Tokyo, maintained $28 billion in debt at the time of its filing. It operates more than 900 daily flights from more than 60 airports in Japan and provides international flight services to 11 million international passengers in 34 countries each year.

UAL Corp., the world’s second largest airline, and certain affiliates, in all aspects of its complex Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings. The United case is among the largest bankruptcy cases ever filed, and included the restructuring of leases and mortgages on approximately 450 aircraft which resulted in approximately $850 million of annual savings, the restructuring of $1.7 billion in municipal bond obligations, and the restructuring of multibillions of dollars in labor and pension agreements.

iHeartMedia, Inc. and certain subsidiaries, one of the world’s leading global multi-platform media, entertainment, and data companies, in their Chapter 11 restructuring. iHeart is the largest radio broadcaster in the United States and specializes in radio, digital, outdoor, mobile, social, live events, on-demand entertainment and information services for local and national communities. The Company has consolidated debts of over $20 billion and the Chapter 11 cases, which are the largest of 2018 based on outstanding debt, seek to restructure over $16 billion of that debt. In connection with its restructuring, iHeart has reached an agreement with holders of more than $11 billion of its debt and its financial sponsors, reflecting widespread support across the capital structure, regarding a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that will reduce iHeartMedia’s debt by more than $10 billion.

Toys“R”Us, Inc., the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, in their Chapter 11 cases pending before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division. The Company’s Canadian subsidiary also filed parallel proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Toys“R”Us intends to use these court-supervised proceedings to restructure prepetition indebtedness in excess of $5.2 billion, and to establish a sustainable capital structure. The Company obtained three separate debtor in possession financing facilities totaling $3.125 billion in the aggregate, which will improve the financial health and ongoing operations of the Debtors and their non-Debtor affiliates during the court-supervised process. Toys“R”Us has nearly 65,000 employees worldwide with approximately 1,900 locations in 38 countries.

Trans World Airlines, Inc., one of the nation's largest air carriers, in all aspects of its Chapter 11 case, including the company's sale to American Airlines and subsequent liquidation. Kirkland obtained the Bankruptcy Court's approval of a $5 billion sale including an asset purchase agreement providing for the sale of substantially all of TWA's assets to American Airlines, Inc., the assumption of hundreds of millions of dollars of TWA's debt, and the offer to employ TWA's 20,000 employees. Kirkland then represented the debtor in confirming a post-sale liquidating Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. Kirkland also represented the liquidating post-confirmation estate in winding up the estate, litigating post-confirmation matters, and making distributions to creditors.

Conseco, Inc., and certain of its subsidiaries, in what has been reported as one of the ten largest Chapter 11 filings in history. This extremely complicated case involved the heavily-regulated industries of finance, banking and insurance. After conducting a lengthy and spirited auction, Kirkland received court approval for the sale of the assets of the finance subsidiaries for more than $1 billion in cash. In addition, Kirkland negotiated the restructuring of the holding company debtors, which own the insurance subsidiaries. Only months into the case, Kirkland filed Chapter 11 plans of reorganization and the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2003.

Edison Mission Energy and certain subsidiaries (EME) in its Chapter 11 restructuring of approximately $5.0 billion of bond and project finance debt. EME, through its subsidiaries, owns or leases and operates a portfolio of more than 40 electric generating facilities powered by coal, natural gas, wind and biomass, as well as an energy marketing and trading operation.

LINN Energy, LLC and its affiliates in its Chapter 11 cases filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. LINN is a leading independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in 12 states and eight discrete U.S. regions.

Samson Resources, a privately held onshore oil and gas exploration and production company with headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in its Chapter 11 restructuring of more than $4 billion of debt. Samson has operations primarily located in Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, and operates, or has royalty or working interests in, approximately 8,700 oil and gas production sites.

SandRidge Energy, Inc., an oil and natural gas company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in its prearranged Chapter 11 cases. Sandridge filed with a restructuring support agreement signed by holders of more than two-thirds by principal amount of its $4.1 billion of funded debt.

Ultra Petroleum Corp., a publicly-traded, independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company—in its Chapter 11 restructuring in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Ultra has historically been one of the lowest-cost operators in the domestic oil and gas industry. Ultra’s principal assets are its Pinedale Field properties in Wyoming.

Cengage Learning, Inc., a leading educational content, software and services company for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide, in connection with its successful restructuring. With annual revenues of approximately $2 billion, the company had approximately 5,200 employees with operations in more than 20 countries worldwide. Throughout the restructuring, numerous complex issues threatened to prolong Cengage’s restructuring and put its customer-facing business at risk. Through months of negotiations and consensus-building, including nearly four months of mediation, Cengage and its advisors were able to facilitate an expedited resolution of all issues and reach a global settlement with nearly all of its creditor constituencies. Cengage emerged in less than nine months having successfully deleveraged by approximately $4 billion.

Syncora Holdings Ltd. and certain of its subsidiaries in connection with the City of Detroit’s Chapter 9 case, the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy case. Syncora, through its subsidiaries, insures or holds a substantial amount of the City of Detroit’s municipal finance debt obligations. The City of Detroit reported more than $18 billion in liabilities, approximately $9 billion of which related to municipal finance debt obligations.

MSR Resort Golf Course LLC and 29 affiliated entities (“MS Resorts”) in all aspects of their Chapter 11 reorganization. MS Resorts invested in, owned, and operated five iconic luxury resort properties with related real estate properties and amenities, including: the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa in Maui, Hawaii; the La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta, California; the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona; the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, Florida; and the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California. MS Resorts reported approximately $2.2 billion in consolidated assets and $1.9 billion in consolidated liabilities, including a $1.0 billion securitized mortgage loan and $525 million in aggregate principal of mezzanine loans, at the commencement of its Chapter 11 cases.

ITR Concession Company LLC (ITRCC), the operator of the Indiana Toll Road that stretches from Chicago to Ohio, in its prepackaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The plan, which secured the unanimous support of ITRCC's equity sponsors and nearly 99 percent of ITRCC's senior secured creditors prior to its Chapter 11 filing, will allow ITRCC to restructure more than $6.01 billion of senior secured debt that was incurred in connection with the 2006 privatization of the Indiana Toll Road, one of the largest public infrastructure privatization transactions on record.

Avaya Inc., a leading multinational technology company that specializes in telephony, wireless data communications, customer relationship management software, and networking, in its Chapter 11 cases. Avaya and its debtor-affiliates had more than $6 billion in funded debt obligations as of the commencement of their Chapter 11 cases, with annual revenues in excess of $3 billion.

Innkeepers USA Trust, the owner and operator of an extensive portfolio of extended-stay and select-service hotels, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Located in 19 states and Washington, D.C., Innkeepers operates 72 hotel properties under premium brands, such as Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and others. Through the Chapter 11 cases, the debtors are seeking to restructure approximately $1.4 billion in debt obligations, as well as to complete certain important capital investments to their hotel properties.

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) and its direct and indirect subsidiaries in their Chapter 11 cases. A&P employs more than 40,500 people at 395 supermarket and food and beverage stores throughout the northeastern United States under ten retail banners. A&P listed $2.5 billion in assets and $3.2 billion in debt as of the commencement of the cases.

Hawker Beechcraft Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft, in its prearranged Chapter 11 cases. Hawker, which listed more than $2 billion in assets and debt at the time of filing, cited market conditions and its leveraged capital structure as primary causes for the restructuring. Prior to filing, the company reached an agreement with multiple senior secured lenders and senior bondholders on a financial restructuring plan that would equitize $2.5 billion of funded debt and avoid $125 million of annual cash interest expense.

YRC Worldwide, Inc., one of the country’s largest LTL transportation businesses, with operations in U.S., Canada, Mexico and China, in a comprehensive multi-year out-of-court restructuring. The deal restructured more than $1.5 billion in bond and secured debt, converted parts of YRC’s senior credit facility into equity, provided for a $100 million new-money investment and extended the maturity of refinanced debt obligations and deferred pension obligations. The restructuring was supported by the major unions, more than 20 different multi-employer pension funds and all of the lenders.

Corus Bankshares, Inc., formerly the bank holding company of Corus Bank, N.A., a federally chartered bank with approximately $7 billion in assets that was closed by its regulators on September 11, 2009, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed receiver, in its restructuring. The Corus case involves complicated interpretation of and litigation regarding the interplay between bankruptcy and banking law.

Visteon Corporation, a Fortune 500 global automotive supplier that designs and manufactures climate, interior, electronic and lighting products for vehicle manufacturers, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Located in 27 countries, Visteon reported $9.5 billion in revenue in 2008 with approximately 31,000 employees.

Lear Corporation, a leading global supplier of seating systems, electrical distribution systems and electronics to the automotive industry, in its prearranged Chapter 11 reorganization. With 2008 net sales of $13.6 billion, Lear employs more than 80,000 individuals at 210 facilities in 36 countries around the world.

Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., publisher of books, magazines, and entertainment products with more than 130 million customers in 78 countries, in its prearranged Chapter 11 cases. Reader’s Digest has more than 3,000 employees and annual sales of approximately $2.2 billion.

Majestic Star Casino LLC and its affiliates, a strong player in the gaming industry, in their Chapter 11 cases. Majestic owns and operates two riverboat casinos in Indiana, as well as land-based casinos in Tunica, Mississippi and Black Hawk, Colorado.

Source Interlink Companies, Inc., and its affiliates, one of the leading publishers and wholesalers of magazines and home entertainment products in North America, in its prepackaged reorganization. Source Interlink Companies produce and distribute magazines and home entertainment products, including CDs and DVDs, to more than 100,000 retail locations.

Sbarro Inc. and 27 of its affiliates in its Chapter 11 cases. Sbarro is the world’s premier owner, operator, and franchisor of Italian quick service restaurants and the largest mall-focused restaurant concept in the world, with more than 5,000 employees and 1,000 restaurants in 42 countries.

ION Media Networks, Inc., owner and operator of the nation’s largest broadcast television station group and ION Television, which reaches more than 96 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems, and 116 of its affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases.

DBSD North America, Inc. and its subsidiaries, a development-stage enterprise that is designing and developing an integrated mobile satellite and terrestrial services network to deliver wireless satellite communications services to mass-market consumers, in its ongoing Chapter 11 cases. DBSD North America, Inc. is currently engaged in developing a system that combines both satellite and terrestrial communications capabilities to allow the company to provide wireless voice, video, data, and/or internet service throughout the United States on mobile and other portable devices. DBSD North America, Inc. is seeking to restructure approximately $800 million in outstanding liabilities in its ongoing prearranged Chapter 11 cases.

Neff Corporation, a construction equipment rental company, in its prearranged Chapter 11 restructuring involving approximately $600 million in indebtedness. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan with eight affiliates. The Turnaround Management Association selected Neff as its "2011 Transaction of the Year - Mid-Size Company."

U.S. Concrete, Inc. and its affiliates, a leading provider of ready-mixed concrete and concrete-related products in select markets throughout the United States, in their restructuring of approximately $315 million in funded indebtedness through a prearranged Chapter 11 restructuring. Through the restructuring, U.S. Concrete successfully equitized approximately $285 million in bond debt, paid general unsecured claims in full, and provided existing equity with a warrant package to acquire up to 15 percent of the reorganized equity.

MEGA Brands, Inc., a global supplier of construction toys, stationery, and activities, in its Chapter 15 bankruptcy cases to recognize in the United States its Canadian restructuring proceedings under the Canadian Business Corporations Act (CBCA). The Company’s recapitalization transaction marked the first time a company restructured its debt under the CBCA, and then obtained recognition of such restructuring under Chapter 15. Kirkland worked closely with the Company and its Canadian counsel to complete the Chapter 15 process in less than two months.

South Bay Expressway LP, San Diego County’s only toll road, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. The South Bay Expressway opened in November 2007 and reported $21 million in revenue for the fiscal year ending June 2009.

An ad hoc committee of certain secured term loan lenders in the Chapter 11 cases of Capmark Financial Group, Inc. Capmark Financial Group, Inc. and its affiliates were involved in the commercial real estate lending market with more than $10.6 billion of funded debt, including a secured term loan facility of $1.5 billion.

Additional Representative Matters

Tower Automotive, Inc., and certain of its affiliates, in its Chapter 11 filing in the first quarter of 2005. Based on 2004 gross sales of more than $3.2 billion, Tower is one of the largest independent global suppliers of structural components and assemblies to the automotive industry. Tower’s major customers include most of the major auto makers including the Big Three in the U.S. Tower is the ultimate parent company to approximately 70 domestic and foreign subsidiaries conducting business at more than 60 facilities worldwide.

NRG Energy, Inc., a leading global energy business primarily engaged in the ownership and operation of power generation facilities and the sale and marketing of energy, capacity and related products throughout the world, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Highlights of the case include Kirkland’s negotiation of a $752 million settlement payment from NRG’s parent company and the design and implementation of a plan of reorganization that distributed $3.4 billion to NRG’s creditors and $2.2 billion to subsidiary creditors. NRG was the second largest bankruptcy filing in 2003.

Fleming Companies, the nation’s largest (at the time of its filing) distributor of consumable package goods to retailers, in all aspects of its restructuring. After 18 months of an often contentious bankruptcy case, Fleming confirmed a plan of reorganization that paid off the remaining balance of the company’s $609 million of senior secured debt, converted the remaining unsecured debt to equity, and created two post-confirmation trusts to liquidate and resolve claims. By maintaining operations during the Chapter 11 case, Fleming paid more than $7.7 billion to taxing agencies, third party vendor-suppliers, employees and service providers. Additionally, the reorganization included substantial new financing for the convenience store distribution business which emerged from bankruptcy and is now operating as Core-Mark International, Inc.

Dade Behring Holdings, Inc., the world’s largest company dedicated solely to the sale of in vitro diagnostics products, systems and services, in its prepackaged Chapter 11 case. Although its core business was sound, Dade Behring was negatively impacted by unfavorable currency exchange rates and interest rate trends. These trends resulted in an over-leveraged balance sheet. Kirkland assisted the company in negotiations with its lender syndicate, bondholders and significant shareholders. These negotiations culminated in an agreed upon debt to equity conversion of Dade’s bond indebtedness and a substantial portion of its secured bank debt. This agreement was embedded in a prepackaged plan of reorganization that was confirmed within 47 days of filing. Because a significant portion of the company’s revenues are generated overseas, often in jurisdictions where bankruptcy is synonymous with liquidation, Kirkland also assisted the company in a worldwide communications program to explain the Chapter 11 process to managers of Dade’s various foreign non-debtor subsidiaries. Ultimately, Dade suffered no material loss of customers during its short sojourn in Chapter 11.

Chiquita Brands, Inc., a multibillion-dollar international food products company operating in 60 countries, in connection with its prearranged Chapter 11 plan. Kirkland represented Chiquita in negotiations with bondholder constituencies and provided advice with respect to the global aspects of the reorganization. The entire case was completed in approximately four months.

Zenith Electronics Corporation, a historic leader and manufacturer of consumer electronics, in its prepackaged Chapter 11 case. The transaction that was approved under the Chapter 11 plan allowed for the company to be owned in full by its previous majority shareholder, LG Electronics. The case was concluded in under three months and included various cross-border insolvency issues.

AmeriServe Food Distributors, Inc., the largest fast food distribution company in the U.S., and its affiliates, with approximately $9 billion in revenue, in connection with its Chapter 11 cases, involving issues in Canada, Mexico and numerous Latin American countries.

United Artists Theatre Company, one of the largest movie theater chains in the country, and its affiliates, in connection with their prearranged bankruptcy plan of reorganization.

Harnischfeger Industries, Inc., a company which manufactures and markets products classified into pulp and papermaking machinery and mining equipment, and 59 of its subsidiaries, with annual sales of $2 billion, in their bankruptcy reorganization cases.

Babcock & Wilcox, Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of boilers and other products, with approximately $1.5 billion in revenue, in its Chapter 11 case. The case involved hundreds of thousands of asbestos claims.

W.R. Grace, Inc., a multibillion-dollar international chemical manufacturer, in its asbestos-related restructuring activities.

Jitney Jungle Stores, Inc., a grocery store retailer located primarily in the Southeastern United States, and its affiliates, with annual sales of approximately $2 billion, in all aspects of its corporate restructuring and Chapter 11 cases.

Loxley Public Company, Limited, a Thailand company, in the restructuring of $205 million in convertible bonds, involving issues in the U.S., Great Britain, Thailand and Singapore.

HomePlace Stores, Inc., a 200-store, national retailer, with revenues of approximately $1 billion, in connection with its Chapter 11 proceedings.

DavCo Restaurants, Inc., the world’s largest Wendy’s franchisee, in all of its restructuring activities.

KPS Capital Partners in its acquisition of certain assets of Waterford Wedgwood Plc.

Mr. Sprayregen also has experience representing committees including:

  • The Ad Hoc Committee of Non-Agent Pre-Petition in the Adelphia, Inc. bankruptcy case. The Committee consisted of approximately 70 financial institutions that own more than $2.3 billion in debt in Adelphia’s six pre-petition credit facilities. The Ad Hoc Committee represents the interests of all of the Non-Agent Lenders with respect to their treatment under Adelphia’s proposed plan of Reorganization and for all other issues in the cases that could affect the secured debt obligations.
  • The Ad Hoc Committee of bondholders and then the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Williams Communications, Inc., a large fiber optic network provider. The Committee led the investigation into the $2.5 billion in debt owed to the former parent, and whether or not such debt should be recharacterized as equity or equitably subordinated, and ultimately negotiated a consensual resolution with the former parent. Without the necessity for litigation and its costs, delays and uncertainties, the Committee and Debtor jointly proposed a reorganization plan which was confirmed within six months and converted approximately $6 billion in debt to equity. Pursuant to the plan, a new investor provided additional funds for the company and purchased the former parent’s debt.
  • Additional creditor representations include: Anschutz Corporation, Bain Capital, Bank of America Securities, Inc., Bankers Trust Security Corporation, Citicorp Venture Capital, First Chicago Capital Corporation, Greenwich Capital Markets, Inverness Group, Madison Dearborn Partners, Merrill Lynch, Sam Zell/Equity Financial Group, and Welsh Carson.

Memberships & Affiliations

Past President, Vice President and Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of INSOL International.

Member of the Civic Affairs & International Committees of The Executives Club of Chicago.

Member of the ABI Bankruptcy Commission.

Member of the National Bankruptcy Conference.

Chairman of the Middle East Forum's Chicago Board of Governors.

Member of the Board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Member of the Midwest Regional Board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Member of the American Jewish Committee Board of Governors.

Member of the Chicago Regional Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League.

Editorial Board of The Bankruptcy Strategist.

Advisory Board Member of the BNA Bankruptcy Law Reporter.

Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Member of the Turnaround Management Association.

Member of the Chicago Bar Association (Corporate and Bankruptcy Sections).

Member of the Illinois Bar Association (Insolvency Section).

Member of the American Bar Association (Sections on Litigation, Corporation, Banking and Business Law, Debtor-Creditor Relations Committee).

Member of the Commercial Law League of America (Bankruptcy Section).

Member of the International Insolvency Institute

Member of The World Bank Insolvency and Creditors Rights Task Force.

Appointed to Delaware Bankruptcy Rules and Practice Committee by Del. Chief District Court Judge Joseph J. Farnan.

Other Distinctions

Select Published Honors

Mr. Sprayregen was selected by Best Lawyers as “Chicago’s Lawyer of the Year 2013” for Bankruptcy and Creditor, Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

Mr. Sprayregen was featured in the Chicago Tribune article "Building Off the Messes of Others; James Sprayregen, United Airlines Lead Bankruptcy Attorney Has Created a Thriving Practice at Chicago Law Firm Kirkland & Ellis." The article states that "under his leadership, Kirkland & Ellis' bankruptcy practice has grown from a handful of attorneys to more than 100 and has emerged as a force in knotty restructurings."

Mr. Sprayregen has been listed in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business as a tier 1 bankruptcy attorney.

Mr. Sprayregen has been listed in Chambers Global, The World's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading lawyer in insolvency and bankruptcy.

In March 2010, The National Law Journal selected Mr. Sprayregen as one of "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers."

Mr. Sprayregen has been recognized as a leading lawyer by IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms.

Mr. Sprayregen was honored by Turnarounds & Workouts as an "Outstanding Bankruptcy Lawyer."

Mr. Sprayregen has been recognized for his representations of some of the largest and most successful bankruptcies in history, according to Turnarounds & Workouts annual lists.

Mr. Sprayregen was recognized by the Global M&A Network as the "Global Restructuring Lawyer of the Year."

Mr. Sprayregen received more nominations than any other practitioner and has been described as one of the "most highly regarded" restructuring and insolvency practitioners by Who's Who Legal.

The Chicago Sun-Times described Mr. Sprayregen as a "24-hour kind of player," who is a "tireless dealmaker and problem solver."

The American Lawyer stated, "even in the land of the notoriously hard working, James Sprayregen stands out," in the article "45 Under Forty-Five: The Rising Stars of the Private Bar."

In Crain's Chicago Business' first annual law firm feature, Mr. Sprayregen was profiled as one of the best in the Restructuring practice area, stating that "Mr. Sprayregen understands the importance of successfully guiding large companies through difficult Chapter 11 filings."

Mr. Sprayregen is a Fellow of the 15th Class of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Mr. Sprayregen was a recipient of the New Trier Township High School Alumni Achievement Award.


"Bankruptcy Reform in Saudi Arabia: Bridging Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy?" The Bankruptcy Strategist, December 2016 (co-author).

“Arcapita and the Need for Mideast Restructuring Regimes,” INSOL World - The Quarterly Journal of INSOL International, Fourth Quarter 2014 (co-author).

"Leveraging Litigation to Drive a Deal and Establishing § 524(g) Trusts,” American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, November 2014 (co-author).

“Recent Lessons on Management Compensation at Various States of the Chapter 11,” Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable, April 22, 2014 (co-author).

"In Memoriam: Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland,” Law360, February 19, 2014 (co-author).

"Need for Speed: Utilizing Hybrid Solicitation Strategies to Shorten Ch. 11 Cases," BNA's Bankruptcy Law Reporter, October 2012 (co-author).

"Uncertainty In Complex Real Estate Restructurings," Law360, March 23, 2012 (co-author).

"Bankruptcy Court Rules CMBS Certificateholder Does Not Have Standing to Appear in Chapter 11 Case" Bloomberg Law Reports, February 13, 2012 (co-author).

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

"Too Much Discretion Exacerbates 'Too Big To Fail,'" Who's Who Legal, July 2011 (co-author).

"Orderly Liquidation Authority Under the Dodd-Frank Act: The United States Congress's Misdirected Attempt to Ban Wall Street Bailouts," INSOL World - The Quarterly Journal of INSOL International, Third Quarter 2010 (co-author). 

"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 (co-author).

"Third Circuit Overrules Long-Criticized Frenville Decision; Redefines When "Claim" Accrues for Future Claimants," Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law, July/August 2010 (co-author).

"Failing to Be Too Big to Fail," The Daily Deal, May 21, 2010 (co-author).

"Markets Party Like It's… 2007?" Financier Worldwide, March 2010 (co-author).

"Recent Bankruptcy Court Decision Reconciles Central Tenets of Commercial Real Estate Financing and Bankruptcy Law," Real Estate Finance Journal, Winter 2010, (co-author).

"Crossing Borders: International Reorganizations," Daily Bankruptcy Review, February 2010, (co-author).

"Credit (Bid) Where Credit's Due - Part Two," The Bankruptcy Strategist, February 2010, (co-author).

"Credit (Bid) Where Credit's Due - Part One," The Bankruptcy Strategist, January 2010, (co-author).

"The Financial System Meltdown of 2008 - A Year Unlike Any Other (Hopefully)," INSOL World - The Quarterly Journal of INSOL International, First Quarter 2009, (co-author).

"Rights Offerings Attracting Investors, Providing Cash for Turnarounds," Turnaround Management Association Journal of Corporate Renewal, November 2007, (co-author).

"Learning from the United Airlines Deal," Financial Executive, June 2006, (co-author).

"The Sum and Substance of Substantive Consolidation," Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law, 2005, (co-author).

"Chapter 11 - Not Perfect, But Better Than the Alternatives," Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, December 2005, (co-author).

"Deal Doing For Restructuring Professionals," The Bankruptcy Strategist, November 2005, (co-author).

"Country Q&A: United States," Global Counsel Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook, May 2005, (co-author).

"Bankruptcy Law Reform - New KERP Payment Restrictions Show Democrats' Influence," Daily Bankruptcy Review, April 2005, (co-author).

"Bankruptcy Law Reform - Amended Code Demands More Cash From Debtors In Ch. 11," Daily Bankruptcy Review, April 2005, (co-author).

"Bankruptcy Law Reform - Congress Tells Bankruptcy Participants: 'We Don't Trust You,'" Daily Bankruptcy Review, April 2005, (co-author).

"Bankruptcy Law Reform - Code Revisions Of 'Special' Interest To Businesses," Daily Bankruptcy Review, April 2005, (co-author).

"Bankruptcy Law Reform - The New Bankruptcy Code - A Solution In Search Of A Problem?" Daily Bankruptcy Review, April 2005, (co-author).

"The Middle Kingdom's Chapter 11?  China's New Bankruptcy Law Comes into Sight," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, January 2005, (co-author).

"A Look Back And A Look Ahead: Relax, Rest And Get Ready," Daily Bankruptcy Review, December 2004, (co-author).

"Investment Opportunities in China's Out-of-Court Restructurings," Financier Worldwide 2004 Asia Pacific Restructuring & Insolvency Review, June 2004, (co-author).

"Non-performing Loans in China: A Potential Win-Win Opportunity for Foreign Investors and China's Economy," Financier Worldwide Global Restructuring & Insolvency Review, June 2004, (co-author).

"Five Rules For The (Restructuring) Road," Daily Bankruptcy Review, April 2004, (co-author).

"Vulture Investors Heed Caution: Creditors Committees and Trading May Be a Dangerous Combination," Financier Worldwide, April 2004, (co-author).

"Looking Forward to 2004 and Beyond," Daily Bankruptcy Review, January 2004, (co-author).

"Recharacterization from Debt to Equity: Lenders Beware," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, November 2003, (co-author).

"Corporate Stewardship in the New Millennium," Financier Worldwide 2003 Global Restructuring & Insolvency Review, October 2003, (co-author).

"EC Regulations: Innovations in Restructuring," Financier Worldwide 2003 Global Restructuring & Insolvency Review, October 2003, (co-author).

"Country Q&A: United States," Global Counsel Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook, May 2003, (co-author).

"Cross-border Bond Restructurings," Global Counsel Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook, May 2003, (co-author).

"Doubledowning: Avoid Double Trouble - Structuring Alternatives for Additional Rounds in Troubled Portfolio Companies," The Journal of Private Equity, Fall 2002, (co-author).

"First Things First — A Primer of How to Obtain Appropriate 'First Day' Relief in Chapter 11 Cases," Journal of Bankruptcy Law & Practice, November 2002, (co-author).

"High Yield Bond Restructuring - Comfort or Caution from the Use of the US Model in Europe," INSOL World, September 2002, (co-author).

"Country Q&A: United States," Global Counsel Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook, April 2002, (co-author).

"The Legal Considerations of Acquiring Distressed Businesses: A Primer," Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice [Vol 11], March 2002 (co-author).

"Recharacterization From Debt to Equity: Do Bankruptcy Courts Have the Power?," The Bankruptcy Strategist, March 2002, (co-author).

"Fees in Chapter 11 Cases," 1992 Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education On Bankruptcy. 

"The Applicability of the Automatic Stay to OTS Actions," Norton Bankruptcy Law Adviser, No. 10, Oct. 1991. 

"Dischargeability of Taxes in Bankruptcy," American Bankruptcy Law Journal, Vol. 64 No. 2, Spring 1990, pp. 209-227.

"Workers' Compensation In Bankruptcy, How Do The Parties Fare?," Tort and Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, Spring 1989, (co-author).

"Comparison of Japanese and American Bankruptcy Law," Michigan Yearbook of International Legal Studies, 1988 Vol. IX, (contributor).

"Conflicting Claims To Collateral," American Enterprise Institute, 1987 (co-author). 

"1984 Bankruptcy Code Amendments — Fresh From the Anvil," 89 Comm. L.J. 317 (1984).


“Comparative Restructuring Laws as Value-Drivers,” American Bankruptcy Institute VALCON 2018, May 16, 2018, Las Vegas, Nevada.

“ABI Reform Commission,” Distressed Investment Summit, April 23, 2015, Chicago, Illinois.

“Distressed Investing Opportunities and Dangers in the North American Oil and Gas Sector,” Grant’s Interest Rate Observer Spring Conference, April 7. 2015, New York, New York.

“Looking in – Foreign Perspectives on Canadian Restructurings,” INSOL One Day Seminar, November 17, 2014, Toronto, Canada.

"Born in The USA: Grown Abroad – How Different Foreign Jurisdictions Restructure Major Corporate Groups," 87th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, October 9, 2014, Chicago, Illinois.

"The Case for Business Bankruptcy Reform in the U.S. -- A Report on the Commission to Reform Chapter 11," International Association of Insolvency Regulators Annual Conference, September 10, 2014, Washington, D.C.

"Business Debate," American Bankruptcy Institute's 22nd Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, September 5, 2014, Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Labor and Employment Issues in Cross-Border Cases," American Bankruptcy Institute's 32nd Annual Spring Meeting, April 25, 2014, Washington, D.C.

"Honourable Donald Brenner Memorial Keynote Address," National Centre for Business Law's 11th Annual Review of Insolvency Law Conference, February 21, 2014, Vancouver, Canada.

"Asset sales in corporate restructurings and liquidations," Fifth Annual Turnaround Management Association Brazil Congress, November 25, 2013, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"Role of Professional Turnaround Manager," INSOL International Tokyo, Japan One Day Seminar, November 21, 2013, Tokyo, Japan.

"Municipal Bankruptcies," Chicago Bar Association's Headline Topics in Commercial Bankruptcy, November 12, 2013, Chicago, Illinois.

"Cross border operations: realising assets across borders and the problems caused by lack of harmonisation," International Association of Insolvency Regulators Conference and Annual General Meeting, September 24, 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland.

"Investing in distressed and restructuring assets," Eighth Annual Oxford Private Equity Forum, March 5, 2013, Oxford, England.

"Discussion of Current Key Legal Issues in Restructuring and Bankruptcy," J.P.Morgan High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference, February 26, 2013, Miami, Florida.

"Distressed Hedge Funds," Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference, February 22, 2013, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"Regulation and Remuneration of Insolvency Professionals: A Comparative Study," American Bankruptcy Institute International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium, October 18, 2012, Rome, Italy.

"Fiduciary Duty," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 86th Annual Conference, October 26, 2012, San Diego, California.

"The Ethics of Organizers - Ethical Challenges in Forming Official and Unofficial Committees," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 86th Annual Conference, October 25, 2012, San Diego, California

"Coping with Dodd-Frank Reforms and New Regulations During Turnarounds," Kellogg Turnaround Management Conference, May 2, 2012, Chicago, Illinois.

"A Discussion of Stern v. Marshall and What it Means to You — Ten Months Later," American College of Bankruptcy Fifth Circuit Fellows' Bankruptcy Jurisdiction - It is Not a Joking Matter, April 28, 2012, San Antonio, Texas.

"Judicial Panel," Turnaround Management Association's 2012 Spring Conference, April 5, 2012, Atlanta, Georgia.

"Judicial Panel," American Bankruptcy Institute VALCON 2012, February 23, 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Confirmation Issues: Settlements, Releases, Gifting, Death-Traps and More," American Bankruptcy Institute Delaware Views from the Bench, November 21, 2011, Wilmington, Delaware.

"North American Idol - Insights from Leading Turnaround Specialists," American Bankruptcy Institute 2011 Canadian-American Cross-Border Insolvency Symposium, November 7, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

"Confirmation: Hot Cases Roundtable," American Bankruptcy Institute and Georgetown Law CLE's Bankruptcy 2011 Views from the Bench, September 16, 2011, Washington, D.C.

"Effective Business Development Techniques: What Works? What Doesn't?," International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation Chicago's Fall Educational Event - Effective Business Development Techniques, September 12, 2011, Chicago, Illinois.

"Valuation: Issues in a Restructuring Context," M&A Network's Distressed M&A Forum, June 16, 2011, Chicago, Illinois.

"White Elephants in the Caribbean – How to Realize Value from Distressed Property Developments," INSOL International British Virgin Islands One Day Seminar, May 19, 2011, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

"CEO Panel," Moderator, Turnaround Management Association's 2011 Spring Conference, April 27, 2011, Chicago, Illinois.

"Update on Bankruptcy Filings and the Credit Market in the U.S." Dubai International Financial Centre Program (DIFC) on Insolvency in the UAE and Across the World, February 28, 2011, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

"The Return of Special Dividends: Fraudulent Conveyance Or A Brighter Future?" 7th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Turnaround Conference, February 18, 2011, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"The Impact of Long-Arm Legislation on Canadian Restructurings," 8th Annual Review of Insolvency Law Conference, February 4, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

"Important Cross-border Developments Impacting your Canadian Practice," The Canadian Institute's 11th Annual Forum on Advanced Commercial Insolvency & Restructuring, January 19, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

Keynote Speaker, ABI International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium, October 29, 2010, London, England.

"How Do I Advance At My Firm And Within My Profession," ABI Professional Development Program, October 28, 2010, New York, New York.

"Deal or No Deal - Hard Choices for Troubled Businesses," International Bar Association Annual Conference, October 5, 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia.

"Lucrative Opportunities Investing in Distressed Debt," Distressed Investing Experts Forum, September 21, 2010, New York, New York.

"Labor Issues," ABI Annual Spring Meeting, May 1, 2010, Washington, D.C.

"Legal Panel," University of Chicago Booth School of Business 5th Annual Distressed Investing & Restructuring Conference, April 16, 2010, Chicago, Illinois.

"Workouts:  Keeping the Borrower on the Hook," USC Law School Conference, April 14, 2010, Los Angeles, California.

"Real Estate in Distress: Bankruptcy and Restructuring Cases," INSOL International Annual Regional Conference, February 23, 2010, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

"GM/Chrysler Cases," ABI Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference, January 22, 2010, Denver, Colorado.

"Financial Institution Recovery and the New Era in Banking and Finance," Renaissance American Management's 16th Annual Distressed Investing Conference, November 30, 2009, New York, New York.

"Bankruptcy - Unprecedented Times: What Does it Mean for Current and Future Transactions?" KMPG & University of Chicago M&A Forum, October 22, 2009, Chicago, Illinois.

"Aviation Industry in Distress," INSOL Europe Annual Congress, October 3, 2009, Stockholm, Sweden.

"New Dilemmas in DIP Financing," ABI Views from the Bench, October 2, 2009, Washington, D.C.

"Options in a Limited Credit Environment," Northwestern 48th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, October 1, 2009, Chicago, Illinois.

"Lions of Investing," Turnaround Management Association Breakfast Program, September 18, 2009, Chicago, Illinois.

"Target in Sight: Gaining Influence or Control," YPO Business and Personal Development Seminar, September 16, 2009, Chicago, Illinois. 

"Keynote Address - First Anniversary of the Financial Crisis and Latin America - Recent Complex Corporate Restructuring Cases," International Insolvency Conference, September 15, 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"Hot  Topics," Eighth World INSOL International Quadrennial Congress, June 24, 2009, Vancouver, British Columbia.

"How do I Advance at my Firm and Within my Profession?" ABI Professional Development Program, May 28, 2009, Chicago, Illinois.

"The Opportunities of Distress Real Estate Investing: A Distressed Acquisition Primer," 2009 International Council of Shopping Centers RECON Conference, May 19, 2009, Las Vegas, Nevada.

"DIP Financing," INSOL International Rio de Janeiro One Day Seminar, April 2, 2009, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"International Keynote Address - Managing Insolvencies and Corporate Restructurings after the Global Credit Crisis" and "Panel Presentation - What Caused the Global Credit Crisis and Future Predictions," Corporate Insolvency Conference, March 13, 2009, Auckland, New Zealand.

"Keynote Address - Essential Industry Update: Examining The Current Investing Landscape," Distressed Investing Forum, February 23, 2009, New York, New York.

"Bankruptcy Considerations for Creditors in Difficult Financing Markets," JP Morgan Annual High Yield Conference, February 2, 2009, Miami, Florida.

"Investment Bankers' Roundtable: Restoring Order," Renaissance American Management's 15th Annual Distressed Investing Conference, November 17, 2008, New York, New York.

"America Now," American Bankruptcy Institute International Insolvency Symposium, October 31, 2008, Frankfurt, Germany.

"Distressed Investing:  How to Make Money in 2009," Turnaround Management Association Annual Convention, October 28, 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana.

"The Intersection of the Credit Markets and Insolvency," IBA 2008 Annual Conference, October 14, 2008, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"Bankruptcy 101 Workshop," ILPA Conference, October 2, 2008, San Diego, California.

"The Big Picture — What's the Fate of Leveraged Deals?" New York Institute of Credit Summer Master Forum, July 16, 2008, New York, New York.

Keynote Speaker, Turnaround Management Association Holding Court 2008: A Bankruptcy Judges' Forum, May 29, 2008, Chicago, Illinois.

"Global Views of Restructuring," IPAA Journal and Conference, May 22, 2008, Sydney, Australia.

"Subprime Panel," 10th Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference, May 12, 2008, New York, New York.

"Balancing Interests: Insolvency Reform in the Asia-Pacific Region (Part 1)," 18th IPBA Annual Meeting and Conference, April 29, 2008, Los Angeles, California.

"Keynote Address:  The Ever Changing Nature of Distressed Debt Investing," Global Distressed Debt West Coast Investor Forum, April 1, 2008, Los Angeles, California.

Keynote Speaker, Wharton Restructuring Conference, February 22, 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"The U.S.-Based Multinational Corporation," The 2008 Global Distressed Investing Summit, January 29, 2008, New York, New York.

"Successful Strategies for Your Position in the Capital Structure," Renaissance American Management Distressed Investing Conference, November 26, 2007, New York, New York.

"Comparative Provisions & Implications of U.S. and China Bankruptcy Codes: Moving Towards Common Ground," AIRA China Restructuring & Investing Conference, October 21, 2007, Shanghai, China.

"New Corporate Raiders - The Role of Hedge Funds in Financial Restructuring," IBA Annual Conference, October 16, 2007, Singapore.

"The Ethical Issues When Hedge Funds and Distressed Debt Holders are Calling the Shots," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, October 11, 2007, Orlando, Florida.

"Early Experiences with Financial Restructuring: Successes and Lessons Learned," Automotive Industry Restructuring Finance Summit, September 19, 2007, Detroit, Michigan.

Keynote Speaker, Financial Research Associates 2007 Distressed Debt Summit, May 30, 2007, New York, New York.

Keynote Speaker, Turnaround Management Association 6th Annual Great Lakes Regional Conference, May 17, 2007, Concord, Ohio.

"Collapse of Multinational Corporate Groups: Lessons to be Learned," INSOL International Turnaround & Reorganization Ancillary, March 20, 2007, Cape Town, South Africa.

"The Changing Lender Constituency in Second Lien, Third Lien and Mezzanine," Institutional Investor 2007 Turnaround Management & Distressed Investing Forum, February 6, 2007, New York, New York.

"Keynote Roundtable Discussion: State of the Market," Turnaround Management Association Distressed Investing Conference, January 18, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Social Claims and Priorities in Reorganizations," International Insolvency Institute Sixth Annual International Insolvency Conference, June 13, 2006, New York, New York.

"The New Code's Impact on Chapter 11," ABI Delaware Views from the Bankruptcy Bench and Bar, June 9, 2006, Wilmington, Delaware.

"The Automotive Industry," INSOL 2006 World Conference, May 23, 2006, Scottsdale, Arizona.

"The Future of the Worldwide Airline Industry," INSOL 2006 World Conference, May 21, 2006, Scottsdale, Arizona.

"U.S. Chapter 11: A model for the Asia & Asia Pacific Countries?" Inter-Pacific Bar Association Annual Conference, May 2, 2006, Sydney, Australia.

"Social Protection: Priorities, Pensions and Other Strategies for Protecting Employees in the Context of Insolvency," Forum on Asian Insolvency Reform 2006, April 27, 2006, Beijing, China.

"Is the Substantive Consolidation Party Over?" ABA Spring Meeting, April 6, 2006, Tampa Bay, Florida.

"Vanishing Pensions and Shrinking Retirement Benefits: Does Chapter 11 Allow a Company to Take Away with One Hand What it Gave with the Other?"  ABI 14th Annual Bankruptcy Battleground West Conference, March 10, 2006, Los Angeles, California.

"Anatomy of a Bankruptcy: United Airlines," Harvard Business School Turnaround Symposium, February 23, 2006, Boston, Massachusetts.

"What United Has Taught Us - Part II," JP Morgan Airline, Aerospace, and Airfreight Conference, February 22, 2006, New York, New York.

"Dealing with Multi-National Insolvencies on Both Sides of the Border: Strategies for Success," Canadian Institute Insolvency Program, January, 19, 2006, Toronto, Canada.

"International Panel - Managing Multi-Jurisdictional Insolvencies," International Corporate Renewal Forum, December 5, 2005, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"The Effect on Investors of the New Bankruptcy Code," Distressed Investing Conference, November 29, 2005, New York, New York.

"The New Bankruptcy Code - A Solution In Search of a Problem," Navigant Consulting Legal Roundtable, November 18, 2005, Chicago, Illinois.

"The Purpose, Role & Importance of Restructurings in Corporate America," Cardozo School of Law Fall Symposium: Perspectives on Corporate Restructurings, November 14, 2005, New York, New York.

"Restructuring - Roulette, Rule Regulation, and Roughhousing - The Purpose, Role and Importance of Restructurings in Corporate America," Seventh Annual Distressed Debt West Conference, November 8, 2005, Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Jurisdictional Issues - Comparing the US and EU," ABI International Insolvency Symposium, September 23, 2005, London, England.

"Chapter 11 - Operations During the Case (Advanced Issues)," National Association of Attorneys General Bankruptcy Seminar, September 13, 2005, Denver, Colorado.

"Bankruptcy Experts Panel," JP Morgan Auto Conference, August 2, 2005, Dearborn, Michigan.

"Why is This Case There and Not Here, Venue Selection - A Practitioner's View," BBK Educational Forum, June 30, 2005, Detroit, Michigan.

"Crisis Management and Balance Sheet Restructuring in Today's Market Environment," Distressed Debt Investing Forum, June 30, 2005, New York, New York.

"Forum Shopping - Taylor Corporation United States," INSOL 2005 World Conference, March 15, 2005, Sydney, Australia.

"United Airlines: Labor and Cost Restructuring Update," JP Morgan Airline Conference, February 17, 2005, New York, New York.

"Ancillary Proceedings - Should the Tail Wag the Dog?" ABI American-Canadian Symposium, February 11, 2005, Toronto, Canada.

"When a Contract is Not a Contract: Bankruptcy Courts' Choice of Reason over Rigidity," Distressed Investing Conference, November 29, 2004, New York, New York.

"Chapter 11 Reorganization: Any Way to Reorganize an Industry?," ABA Air & Space Law Forum, October 29, 2004, Santa Monica, California.

"Priority Schemes in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, October 12, 2004, Nashville, Tennessee.

"What United has Taught us about Airline Restructuring," American Conference Institute Airline Conference, October 1, 2004, New York, New York.

Panelist, Vail Leadership Institute, Changing the Game Forum 2004, June 11, 2004, Vail, Colorado.

"Section 1110 and Public Aircraft Debt," JP Morgan, 2004 Airline Conference, March 2, 2004, New York, New York.

"Early Considerations to the Chapter 11 Filing of a Distressed Business," University of Chicago Graduate Studies Class, February 28, 2004, Chicago, Illinois.

"Cross Border Insolvencies - Does the Undefended Border Need Defending?," Turnaround Management Association, 6th Annual Symposium, February 26, 2004, Toronto, Canada.

"Commercial Loan Workouts," American Conference Institute, 3rd Annual Forum on Commercial Loan Workouts, February 2, 2004, New York, New York.

"Early Considerations Relating to a Distressed Businesses' Chapter 11 Filing," University of Michigan Law School, Advanced Bankruptcy Seminar, January 14-15, 2004, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"Bridging the Gap: Resolving Valuation Disputes in Chapter 11 Plan Negotiations," American College of Bankruptcy, 2003 Conference, March 29, 2003, Washington, D.C.

"The Airline Industry:  Soft Landing or Crash Landing?," Distressed Debt Investing Forum, December 5, 2002, Chicago, Illinois.

"Comparing & Contrasting Market Trends and Practices in the US and Europe," IIR Conference, Debt Restructuring in Europe, November 11, 2002, London, England.

"Current Issues in Debtor in Possession Financing," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, October 2, 2002, Chicago, Illinois.

"The Art of Bankruptcy Financing: When Does a Pig Become a Hog?," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, October 2, 2002, Chicago, Illinois.

"International Issues: Are You Ready for the New European Union Regulations?," American Bankruptcy Institute, 20th Annual Spring Meeting, April 20, 2002, Washington, D.C.

"Shareholder Rights and Fiduciary Duties of Directors of Insolvent or Near-Insolvent Companies," CLE International, Program on Counseling Distressed Businesses, November 11, 2001, San Francisco, California.

"Cash Collateral and DIP Financing," American Bankruptcy Institute, Hawaiian Bankruptcy Workshop, June 28, 2001, Maui, Hawaii.

"Acquiring an Insolvent Business in Bankruptcy or Outside of Bankruptcy: A Primer for Transactional Attorneys," Chicago Bar Association, February 16, 1999, Chicago, Illinois.

"Turning Sour Grapes into Fine Wine:  Resolving Israeli-American Disputes Through Litigation and Arbitration," American Bankruptcy Institute, February 8-11, 1999, Cross-Border Program in Israel.

"Defending Against the Vultures - Equity's Perspective" Corporate Reorganization, June 11-12, 1998, Chicago, Illinois.

"Fool Me Once, Shame on You; Fool Me Twice . . ." Price Waterhouse, L.L.P., 1997 Corporate Recovery Symposium, February 8-11, 1997.

Mr. Sprayregen has lectured at The London Business School, The University of Chicago Business School, The University of Illinois College of Law, The University of Michigan Law School, Yale Law School, and The University of Michigan Liberal Arts College.

Prior Experience

Lord, Bissell & Brook (1985 - 1989)

Rudnick & Wolfe (1989 - 1990)

Kirkland & Ellis (1990 - 2006)

Goldman Sachs (2006 - 2008)

Kirkland & Ellis (2008 - Present)


Admitted to Illinois Bar and U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1985;  admitted to Seventh Circuit Bar and U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, 1986;  admitted to U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin 1988;  admitted to New York State Bar, U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 1992. 

Appeared in Bankruptcy Courts and cases throughout the United States including N.D. Ill., E.D. Wis., C.D. Cal., N.D. Texas, S.D. N.Y., S.D. Ala., M.D. Tenn, D. Mass., D. S.D., N.D. Ind., C.D. Ill., W.D. Mo., D. Md., D. N.J., E.D. MI, D. AZ., S.D. Tex., S.D. OH.

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