John (Jack) Wm. Butler, Jr.
Corporate Restructuring and Corporate Governance
Jack Butler is an internationally recognized leading attorney primarily involved in the firm’s corporate restructuring and corporate governance practices. He was named one of the decade’s most influential lawyers by The National Law Journal in March 2010, and is one of two practicing lawyers and ten inductees in the inaugural class of the Turnaround, Restructuring and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame. Mr. Butler has been twice recognized as one of The American Lawyer’s Dealmakers of the Year (in 2010, for his work on the U.S. automotive industry restructuring as lead counsel for Delphi Corporation and in 2004 for the Kmart Corporation, US Airways Group, Inc. and Xerox Corporation restructurings). He also was one of 10 lawyers profiled for delivering “creative solutions” to clients during the credit crisis in the Financial Times’ inaugural “U.S. Innovative Lawyers” report. Mr. Butler is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is given to Americans who exemplify outstanding qualities in both their personal and professional lives.
Mr. Butler’s practice focuses principally on advising companies and their stakeholders with respect to complex business reorganizations, troubled-company M&A, debt restructurings and financing matters, including advising directors and officers on corporate governance, fiduciary duty and strategic matters. He has assisted many global businesses in restructurings outside the U.S., executing cross-border financing and privatization transactions, and divesting various business lines and entities.
Mr. Butler’s representative engagements include transformational restructurings in the airline, automotive, energy, health care, manufacturing, media and telecommunications, retail and utilities industries on behalf of such companies as 360networks, Inc. (special counsel), AM International, Inc., Birmingham Steel Corporation, Delphi Corporation, Enron Corporation (special counsel), Friedman’s, Inc., Haynes International, Inc., Kmart Corporation, Master Graphics, Inc., Per-Se Technologies, Inc. (formerly Medaphis Corporation), Rite Aid Corporation, Singer N.V., Sprint Nextel Corporation, TIE/communications, Inc., US Airways Group, Inc., Venator Group, Inc., The Warnaco Group, Inc. (special counsel) and Xerox Corporation. He also represented Air Transport International LLC, Comdisco, Inc., FPA Medical Management, Inc., Peter J. Schmitt Co., Inc., Service Merchandise Company and USN Communications, Inc. in the disposition of their operating businesses and assets to third parties.
During his career, Mr. Butler has acted as lead counsel in transactional work with sellers, purchasers and creditors in hundreds of transactions across the Americas as well as transactions in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. These engagements have included representing senior lenders in the refinancing and/or reorganization of Air Atlanta, Inc., Bradlees, Inc., Daisy Systems Corporation, First Software Corporation, Fred Sanders, Inc., The Grand Union Company, Halls Motor Transit Company, Heldor Industries, Inc., London Fog Industries, Inc., Lyon Food Companies, Inc., Midway Airlines, Inc., Quality Manufacturing, Inc., Reading Tube Corporation, Richelieu Partners, L.P., Subler Systems, Inc., TAK Communications, Inc., Watervliet Paper Company and West Point-Pepperell, Inc. Mr. Butler also represented Credit Suisse First Boston in connection with the restructuring of the Long John Silver’s restaurant chain; Faurecia N.A., a French automotive equipment supplier, in connection with distressed acquisitions and other matters; Lightel, S.A. and Tess, S.A. in connection with the financing and structuring of various privatization transactions in Brazil; Prudential Securities, Inc. and its affiliates in connection with more than 40 real estate limited partnerships and investment funds sponsored by VMS Realty Partners; and Verizon Communications, Inc. in connection with the USGen New England, Inc. and National Gas & Energy Transmission, Inc. reorganizations.
Mr. Butler participates regularly in pro bono legal programs, including acting as a guardian ad litem in contested guardianship cases in Cook County, Ill.
Mr. Butler repeatedly has been recognized as a “leading lawyer” by, among others, Chambers Global; Chambers USA; The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers; Who’s Who Legal USA; Who’s Who Illinois; The Best Lawyers in America; U.S. News and World Report; Euromoney and Legal Media Group’s Guide to the Best of the Best and their Guide to the World’s Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers; IFLR1000; The Legal 500 United States; and The Lawdragon 500: Leading Lawyers in America. He also has been included regularly in the K&A Restructuring Register, the peer group listing of the top restructuring attorneys and financial advisors in the United States, and he has been the most frequently named individual to Turnarounds & Workouts’ annual ranking of the outstanding restructuring lawyers in America.
Mr. Butler is the consulting editor for Navigating Today’s Environment: The Directors’ and Officers’ Guide To Restructuring (BeardGroup, Globe White Page Ltd, 2010). He has published frequently on corporate governance best practices, including “Preserving State Corporate Governance Law in Chapter 11: Maximizing Value Through Traditional Fiduciaries,” 18 Am. Bankr. Inst. L. Rev. 337 (2010) and “Corporate Governance of Troubled Companies and the Role of Restructuring Counsel,” 63 Bus. Law. 855 (2008). In connection with the work of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, Mr. Butler organized and moderated the American Bankruptcy Institute National Bankruptcy Reform Symposia and testified before the commission on various subjects.
Mr. Butler served as chairman of the Turnaround Management Association for two years in 1996 and 1997 and is a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and International Insolvency Institute. A past director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, he founded INSOL’s Group of 36 and has served many other industry organizations, including the American Board of Certification, the Commercial Finance Association and its Education Foundation, and the New York Institute of Credit.
Mr. Butler joined the firm as a lateral partner in 1990 to help found the firm’s corporate restructuring and distressed M&A practice and has been active in firm management, serving as a practice leader for 22 years and on Skadden’s Risk Management Committee. Outside of the law, in addition to serving in leadership positions with numerous civic and charitable organizations, Mr. Butler officiated high school and college football for 25 years and is a lifetime member of the American Football Coaches Association.
American Bankruptcy Institute (Director, 1992-1998)
American Board of Certification (Chairman, 1997 and Director, 1993-2003)
American College of Bankruptcy (Fellow, Elected 1997)
Commercial Finance Association (Associate General Counsel, 1998-2002)
- Commercial Finance Association Education Foundation (Chairman, Governing Board, 1997)
- INSOL International (Co-Chair, World Congress, 2005 and Group of Thirty-Six, 1995-present)
International Insolvency Institute (Fellow, Elected 2002)
New York Institute of Credit (Director, 2010-present)
- Turnaround Management Association (Chairman, 1996-1997 and Director, 1991-1999, 2001-2004)
- Children Affected by AIDS Foundation (Executive Advisory Council, 2003-present)
- Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (Board of Governors, 1998-present)
- St. Chrysostom’s Day School (Advisory Board, 2005-2009)
- Princeton University (John Maclean Society, 1985-present)
- Albert Schweitzer Award (Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership)
- Celtic Medal of Honor (Irish Chamber of Commerce in the United States)
- Ellis Island Medal of Honor (National Coalition of Organizations)
- Leadership in Education Award (New York Institute of Credit)
- Turnaround, Restructuring and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame (Turnaround Management Association)
J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1980
A.B., Princeton University, 1977 (magna cum laude)