John Rapisardi

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

John J. Rapisardi, Chair of the Firm’s Global Restructuring Practice, has 35 years of domestic and international debtor and creditor restructuring experience across a variety of industries, including automotive, chemical, environmental, health care, energy, gaming, retail, real estate, municipal, satellite, sports franchises, textile and telecommunications.

John is leading O’Melveny’s ongoing representation of the Government of Puerto Rico with respect to all aspects of the financial restructuring of Puerto Rico’s debt obligations.

Consistently recognized  as one of the leading restructuring lawyers in the US, Chambers USA has recently described John as a “tremendous lawyer” who is “well regarded in the industry” and praises his approach to both company and creditor-side transactions as “very measured, smart, diligent and thoughtful.”

For his representation of the US Treasury Department in the Chrysler, General Motors and Delphi restructuring, Chambers USAdescribed John as a “go-to attorney on behalf of the US Treasury.”

This past year he received the “Distinguished Leader” award from New York Law Journal.  Similarly US Legal 500 has continually named John among their Elite Leading Lawyers and noted that he is “a superb tactician,” “a first rate restructuring lawyer – he combines knowledge of the law with the correct demeanor necessary to press his client’s agenda without allowing his ego to interfere with success,” and a “very smart, strategic thinker.”

He was recently named in Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Restructuring & Insolvency 2018, noting “he is reputed as one of the best in the business.” The Best Lawyers in America also has continually selected John as a leading lawyer in Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights, Insolvency and Reorganization, Bankruptcy Litigation.

John is a member of the American College of Bankruptcy (ACB), an honorary professional and educational association of tenured and highly regarded bankruptcy and insolvency professionals.

John has written extensively on the subject of lender rights and remedies under the new Chinese Bankruptcy Code. John is co-author of The PRC Enterprise Bankruptcy Law: The People’s Work in Progress (Beard Group, Inc., 2008) and for the past eighteen years, has been a regular bankruptcy columnist for the New York Law Journal.

John has also written and lectured extensively on the key aspects of the Brazilian bankruptcy code and its impact on U.S. investors.


  • Puerto Rico. Leads the ongoing representation of Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority with respect to the financial restructuring of Puerto Rico’s debt obligations.
  • Black Gaming. Represented the senior secured noteholders in Black Gaming LLC’s prepackaged bankruptcy filing in Las Vegas, Nevada in which the lenders wrote down a piece of their outstanding indebtedness in exchange for a new note on the company as well as a significant cash infusion by a plan sponsor group that is to be distributed pro-rata to the lenders.
  • Blockbuster. Represented Icahn Associates and certain of its affiliates, as the largest pre-petition and post-petition lender, and auction participant in Blockbuster Inc.’s chapter 11 cases.
  • Brookfield. Represented an investor consortium spearheaded by Brookfield Properties and affiliates in connection with Brookfield’s investment in bank debt of a Washington D.C. affiliate of major U.S. real estate developer, Tishman Speyer Properties.
  • Colt Defense. Represented Colt Defense, one of the world’s oldest and most iconic designers, developers, and manufacturers of firearms, in its chapter 11 cases. The Colt Defense restructuring was the recipient of a Turnaround Atlas Award for the “Turnaround of the Year.”
  • Contec. Represented Barclays as agent to the senior lenders in the pre-packaged bankruptcy of CHL, Ltd. and its affiliates in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
  • Fred Leighton. Represented Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital Inc. and another major financial institution in connection with the chapter 11 cases of high-end retail jeweler Fred Leighton Holding, Inc. and certain affiliates.
  • Halcon Resources. Represented an ad hoc second lien creditor group in the Halcon Resources chapter 11 case.
  • Inner City Media. Represented the secured lenders in the chapter 11 case of radio station operator Inner City Media Corporation.
  • La Paloma Generating. Represented the company in its chapter 11 case.
  • LINN Energy. Represented an hoc group of second lien noteholders in the LINN Energy chapter 11 case.
  • Peabody Energy. Represented Franklin in the Peabody Energy chapter 11 case.
    Quiznos. Represented Avenue Capital in Quiznos chapter 11 cases.
  • U.S. Department of Treasury. Represented the United States Department of Treasury and the Presidential Task Force with respect to the restructuring of Chrysler, General Motors and Delphi.
  • U.S. Department of Treasury. Advised the Treasury on the restructuring and Disposition of Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program investments in a number of financial institutions, including notably Treasury’s $2.3 billion investment in CIT.
  • Vertis Holdings, Inc. Represented the company in its chapter 11 case where it was sold to Quad/Graphics.
  • Xerium Technologies. Represented Xerium in its pre-packaged chapter 11 cases.
  • John also advised corporate clients in some of the most significant and innovative restructurings, including:
    • Caribbean Petroleum in its chapter 11 cases
    • LyondellBasell Industries in its chapter 11 cases
    • Metallurg in its chapter 11 case and related U.K. and German subsidiaries in insolvency proceedings
    • Portland Trailblazers in workout negotiations with its bondholders
    • Saint Vincent’s Medical Center in its chapter 11 case
    • West Point Stevens in its chapter 11 case and related U.K. subsidiaries in insolvency proceedings
  • Additionally, John acted on behalf of creditors, lenders and investors in restructurings, such as:
    • Aladdin Casino. Represented an investor in acquiring the casino in its chapter 11 case.
    • Barneys New York. Represented investors in the acquisition of the department stores in their chapter 11 cases.
    • BLB/Twin River Casinos. Represented Merrill Lynch as agent lender.
    • Blockbuster Inc. Represented Icahn Associates and its affiliates in the chapter 11 cases.
    • Centro Properties. Represented the agent lender for $2 billion of debt.
    • Fleetwood Enterprises. Represented the Ad Hoc Noteholders Committee.
    • Intrawest. Represented Lehman as agent lender for approximately $2 billion debt.
    • LandSource. Represented Barclays as agent/secured lender for $1 billion debt in the chapter 11 cases.
    • Lehman Brothers Holdings. Represented Citigroup, Inc. in the chapter 11 case.
    • NSM Steel. Represented an ad hoc bondholders’ committee in the restructuring under Thai bankruptcy law.
    • Owens Corning. Represented a bank steering committee in the chapter 11 case.
    • Pliant Corporation. Represented Merrill Lynch in the $300 million exit financing.
    • Safety Kleen. Represented a bank steering committee in the chapter 11 cases.
    • Solutia. Represented an ad hoc bondholders’ committee in the chapter 11 case.
    • Steve & Barry’s. Represented an investor in acquiring the retail department store chain out of chapter 11.
    • Trump Atlantic City Casinos. Represented the bondholders’ committee in the restructuring.


  • New York
  • US District Court, Southern District of New York
  • US Court of Appeals, First Circuit


  • New York University, LL.M., 1985
  • Pace University, J.D., 1982: Pace Law Review
  • Fordham University, B.S., 1979: beta gamma sigma


  • Honorable Edward Ryan, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District, New York (1983-1985)


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