Stephen Lerner is global chair of the Squire Patton Boggs Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group. He has an extensive national and cross-border restructuring practice in which he represents debtors, distressed businesses, committees of unsecured creditors, secured and unsecured creditors, equity interest holders, boards of directors, indenture trustees and acquirers of troubled businesses in Chapter 11 reorganization cases, Chapter 15 cross-border cases, Chapter 9 municipal restructurings and out-of-court restructurings throughout the US, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, South America and India. Stephen recently served as the Court Appointed Examiner in the precedent-setting Purdue Pharma Chapter 11 case in the Southern District of New York. In July 2022, the Ferrellgas restructuring team led by Stephen was honored with the Turnaround of the Year (Large) Award by Global M&A Network. He served as lead restructuring advisor to Dana Gas PJSC, the largest independent gas company in the Middle East, in its US$700 million Islamic financing restructuring, which was awarded the Middle East Restructuring of the Year in 2019 by the International Financial Law Review. The firm’s US restructuring team led by Stephen was named 2020 USA Restructuring Firm of the Year – Middle Markets by Global M&A Network.

Stephen has led the representation of debtors or other leading parties in the Chapter 11 cases and/or out-of-court restructurings of AmFin Financial, Blackjewel LLC, Chrysler, EaglePicher, Energy & Exploration Partners, Enron, Ferrellgas, Hartshorne Mining Group, Lehman Brothers, Midway Gold, Optima Specialty Steel, Patriot Coal, Station Casinos, Veris Gold and WorldCom, among many others, and he represented the Court Appointed Expert in the City of Detroit’s historic Chapter 9 case. Stephen served as Examiner for Purdue Pharma, as special counsel to the State of New Jersey in the out-of-court restructuring of Atlantic City and as lead restructuring advisor to Dana Gas PJSC, the largest independent gas company in the Middle East, in its US$700 million Islamic financing restructuring.

Stephen also led Squire Patton Boggs’ representation of the American College of Bankruptcy in filing an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in the significant Stern related case of Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Peter H. Arkison, Trustee of the Estate of Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.

The US Restructuring & Insolvency team led by Stephen was named 2020 USA Restructuring Firm of the Year – Middle Markets by Global M&A Network.

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  • Significant Debtor/Company Engagements include: All American Semiconductor, AmFin Financial Corporation, Atlantic City (acting for the State of New Jersey), Astro Container, Atna Resources, Inc., Beechknoll Nursing Homes, Blackjewel, L.L.C./Revelation Energy, L.L.C., Brendamour's, Inc., British American Insurance Company Limited, British American Isle of Venice, Cincinnati Incorporated, Dana Gas PJSC, Dominion Homes, EaglePicher Holdings, Ferrellgas, Flat Out Crazy LLC (Flat Top Grill and Stir Crazy Restaurants), Hartshorne Mining Group, Kenwood Towne Place, Lodestar Energy, Midway Gold Corp., Schulte Metal Finishing, Veris Gold USA, Inc., WCI Steel and WorldCom.
  • Significant Committee Engagements include: Advanced Marketing Services (committee member), BJ Services, Constellation Enterprises, Chrysler (Ad Hoc Committee of Chrysler Affected Dealers), Energy & Exploration Partners, Inc. (committee chair), EnviroSolutions, Enron Corp., F&M Distributors (committee member), INMET Mining (committee chair), J. Peterman, Mesaba Aviation, Midstates Petroloeum, Optima Specialty Steel, Phar-Mor (committee member), Phoenix Services TopCo, Republic Metals (committee chair), Santa Fe Gold Corporation and SHC, Inc. (Top-Flite).
  • Significant Institutional Lender/Investor/Creditor Engagements include: Adelphia Communications, Aleris International, Allegiance Coal, American Home Mortgage, Ames Department Stores, Amsterdam House Continuing Care Retirement Community, Baldwin Piano and Organ, Bethlehem Steel Liquidation Trust, Breitburn Energy Partners, Brooks Brothers, Calpine, Cambrian Coal, Carlton Cove, Casey Tool, Celsius Network, LLC, Chassix, Inc., Chiquita Brands International, Coal Network, Commercial Alloys Corporation, Crew Creative Advertising, DBSI, Inc., Energy & Exploration Partners, Inc., Fontainebleau Las Vegas, Frontier Communications Corporation, Furnas Farms, Gencor, General Motors, GLC Limited, Goodrich Petroleum, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), GVS Texas Holdings, Harvey Electronics, Hopedale Mining, IL & FS (India), INMET Mining LLC, James River Coal, KB US Holdings (Kings and Balducci’s), Lehman Brothers, Levitz Furniture, Loewen Group, Madoff Investment Securities, National Century Financial Enterprises, Omega Navigation Enterprises, Ownit Mortgage Solutions, Patriot Coal, Penson Worldwide, PG&E, PRS Insurance Group, PSL North America, Refco, Republic Metals, RG Steel, SandRidge Energy, Symphonic Audio, The Durrant Group, The Groves in Lincoln, Tropicana Entertainment, U. S. Coal, Walker Wood Products, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, Windstream Holdings, Inc., World Class Holdings, Wornick and Z Gallerie.
  • Significant Board, Board Committee and Director Engagements include: ATLS Acquisition, LLC (Liberty Medical), Elder-Beerman Stores, FirstEnergy Solutions, Jameson, JER/Highland, LTV, Station Casinos and Tuesday Morning.
  • Significant Examiner Engagements include:  Served as the Examiner for Purdue Pharma to  investigate  the  independence  of  the Special  Committee  of  the  Board  of  Directors; served as counsel to Randall Newsome, the Examiner for Vandevco Limited.


  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1985
  • University of Pennsylvania, M.A., magna cum laude, 1982
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., magna cum laude, 1982


  • New York, 1986
  • Ohio, 1991


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. of New York
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of New York
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Fellow and Chair of the Liaisons Committee of the American College of Bankruptcy, formerly Chair of the Board of Regents, Director and Regent for the 6th Circuit and Chair of the International Committee
  • National Bankruptcy Conference Conferee
  • Member of the International Insolvency Institute
  • Former Program Chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar
  • Vice President – International and Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Member of the Cincinnati chapter of the Turnaround Management Association
  • Founder and member of the Tri-State Association for Corporate Renewal
Authorship & Speaking Engagements
  • Co-author of “Blackjewel and Hartshorne: Overcoming § 1129 (a) (9) Obstacles,” ABI Journal, August 2021.
  • Frequently teaches and lectures throughout the United States, Canada and Europe on bankruptcy and restructuring issues.
  • Served as a guest lecturer teaching on the acquisition of distressed companies in the Private Equity Finance Course at Harvard Business School.
  • Served as a guest lecturer at The University of Michigan Law School where he spoke on his experience as counsel for a dealer committee in the Chrysler Chapter 11 case.
  • Regular speaker at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (including 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017) and ABI Conferences, including Annual Spring Meeting (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018), Central States Bankruptcy Workshop (2015), Northeast Bankruptcy Conference (2015) and Winter Leadership Conference (2020).
  • Moderated a series of discussions in 2020, co-hosted with the American Bankruptcy Institute, featuring a distinguished panel of professionals, including former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner and current senior US Senator of West Virginia Joe Manchin. Topics included tools to navigate the financial crisis related to COVID-19, COVID-19 relief funding and reopening the US, and what the presidential and senate races could mean for the economy.
  • Served as a panelist at the 75th Judicial Conference of the Sixth Circuit in Nashville, TN on a panel entitled “Using Chapter 11 to Sell Rather Than Reorganize” (2018).
  • Panelist, ABI 15th International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium in Paris, France on a panel entitled “The Broad, Developing International Paradigm for Restructuring: The Latest on the American Perspective”.
  • Participated in the ABI’s 2018 Annual Spring Meeting in a debate on “The Most Important Bankruptcy Case Ever.”
  • Delivered a keynote address at the TMA Annual Europe Conference in Rome, Italy (2016).
  • Participated in the Colorado Mining Association’s 118th National Western Mining Conference on a panel entitled "How to Manage Financial Distress in the Mining Industry."
  • Co-author of “Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Topics and Trends in 2014” published in the 2015 edition of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Restructuring Strategies, published by Aspatore Books as part of its Thought Leadership series.
  • A contributing author to the Bloomberg Law: Bankruptcy Treatise, which was first published online in December 2014.
  • Served on the Bankruptcy Working Group (and Chair of the Large Chapter 11 committee) of the Bankruptcy Court Structure and Insolvency Process Committee of the ABA Business Law Section which issued a “Best Practices Report on Electronic Discovery (ESI) Issues in Bankruptcy Cases” published in the August 2013 edition of The Business Lawyer (American Bar Association).
  • Co-authored “Not Every Promise is a Capital Commitment – Litigating Section 365(o) Claims by the FDIC” published in Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law (January 2013) which analyzes Squire Patton Boggs’ precedent setting litigation victory for client AmFin Financial Corporation over the FDIC in a $700+ million dispute.
  • Author of "Recent Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Law: Looking to 2013", a chapter of Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Law 2013, published by Aspatore Books as part of its Thought Leadership series.
  • Co-author of “Practicing Chapter 11 Restructuring and Bankruptcy in a Struggling Economy,” the lead chapter of the 2012 edition of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Restructuring Strategies, published by Aspatore Books as part of its Thought Leadership series.
  • Co-author with several colleagues of Pre-Bankruptcy Planning for the Commercial Reorganization – A Brief Guide for the CEO, CFO/COO, General Counsel and Tax Advisor, published by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
  • Named one of the 2022 Top 100 Global Restructuring & Turnaround Professionals by the Global M&A Network
  • Honored in 2022 by the Global M&A Network for Turnaround of the Year (Large) Award for our representation of Ferrellgas
  • Honored with several awards, presented by the Global M&A Network’s 2020 Turnaround Awards, including:
    • “Basic Resources Restructuring of the Year (Value above US$500 million) Award” for our representation of Blackjewel, LLC
    • Named “U.S.A Restructuring Law Firm of the of the Year – Middle Markets”
  • Honored as part of a cross-border team for the complex US$700 million financial restructuring of Middle East client Dana Gas PJSC, which was recognized as the 2019 Middle East Restructuring Deal of the Year by the International Financial Law Review
  • Honored with Turnaround Atlas Award for 2018 Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year ($500 million to $1 billion) for the representation of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Optima Specialty Steel (Delaware)
  • Honored by Chambers USA from 2004 through 2008 as Tier 1 Ohio Bankruptcy/Restructuring and, from 2009 to the present, as one of fewer than 15 bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers in the US to receive a Star Individual ranking 
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995
  • Named Best Lawyers' 2015 Cincinnati Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year
  • Recommended for Corporate Restructuring by Legal 500 2015
  • Named Best Lawyers' 2014 Cincinnati Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year
  • Named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Cincinnati Debtor/Creditor Rights and Insolvency/Reorganization Law Lawyer of the Year
  • Named Best Lawyers’ 2012 Cincinnati Debtor/Creditor Rights and Insolvency/Reorganization Law Lawyer of the Year
  • Named a perennial Ohio Super Lawyer and, in 2007, was honored as one of the top 10 overall Super Lawyers in the state of Ohio

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