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Thomas Moers Mayer, co-chair of Kramer Levin’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring department, has played a prominent role in many of the largest and most complex bankruptcy cases in history. Tom’s work involves both in- and out-of-court restructurings of distressed businesses on behalf of creditor committees, major secured and unsecured creditors, and bondholders. He has represented the official committees of unsecured creditors in some of the most well-known Chapter 11 cases, including those of General Motors, Chrysler, Capmark, Smurfit-Stone, Dana Corp., Seadrill Ltd., Arch Coal and Patriot Coal.

Tom is the senior partner on the team led by Kramer Levin partner Amy Caton representing holders of more than $10 billion of bonds issued by heavily indebted Puerto Rico; the team has secured one victory in the U.S. Supreme Court and two in the First Circuit on behalf of the holders of $3.2 billion of bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. He has also played major roles in the largest recent municipal insolvencies, representing holders of $900 million in secured sewer warrants of Jefferson County, Ala., in that county’s Chapter 9 case, and the holders of $1 billion in certificates of participation in the Detroit insolvency.

Tom also counsels and represents investors seeking to acquire the assets or businesses of financially troubled companies. His most notable transactions include the 1991 acquisition of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. by investors in secured bank debt and the 2006 hostile takeover of WCI Steel Corp. by investors in secured bonds, both through Chapter 11 plans negotiated with the United Steelworkers of America over management opposition; and the 2019 acquisition of Westmoreland Coal. In the second Patriot Coal bankruptcy in 2015, Tom represented four funds that held more than $360 million in secured prepetition debt and that agreed to extend $100 million in debtor-in-possession credit. Kramer Levin’s clients subsequently funded the sale of substantially all Patriot assets to Blackhawk Mining LLC by extending more than $150 million and $30 million face value in five-year and five-and-one-half-year term loans, respectively, and taking a 35 percent equity interest in Blackhawk. 

Tom is the leading scholar on trading claims and taking control of corporations in Chapter 11, having authored (with Chaim J. Fortgang) three law review articles and the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide chapter on the topic.

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts appointed Tom to the U.S. Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules for a second three-year term starting on Oct. 1, 2017. Tom is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, a nonpartisan organization of approximately 60 leading lawyers, law professors and bankruptcy judges that provides bankruptcy advice to Congress, and is co-chair (with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein) of the ABA’s Government Bankruptcies Subcommittee.

Updated Sep 2021