Diversity & Inclusion
Global Head of Corporate Restructuring
Jay M. Goffman is the Global Leader of Skadden’s Corporate Restructuring Group and a member of Skadden’s Policy Committee. He was named among “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers” by The National Law Journal in March 2010 and was recognized as one of The American Lawyer’s “Dealmakers of the Year” in April 2011 for his work in restructuring Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM), the largest prepackaged bankruptcy ever completed in under 33 days. In the 2011 Financial Times’ U.S. “Innovative Lawyers” report, Mr. Goffman was named as one of the 10 most innovative lawyers in the U.S. and recognized as a “pioneer” and a leader in out-of-court and prepackaged restructurings. He also was named one of Law360’s MVPs of 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the bankruptcy category, which recognizes those who have raised the bar in corporate law throughout the year, and was profiled in Turnarounds & Workouts Trends as a “Pioneer of the Pre-Pack” (November 2011). In August 2013, The Deal published an article chronicling Mr. Goffman’s career titled “Jay Be Nimble, Jay Be Quick,” summarizing many of his career achievements with a particular focus on his innovation and creativity in leading out-of-court restructurings and Prepacks.
In May 2013, Mr. Goffman was a recipient of the prestigious “Blue Cloud Award,” bestowed upon him in recognition of his many years of service promoting stronger relationships and cultural exchange between the United States and China. In June 2014, the AJC bestowed upon Mr. Goffman its National Human Relations Award recognizing his efforts to build a society that rejects hatred and bigotry and embraces human bridges of mutual respect and cooperation. In June 2015, the New York Institute of Credit bestowed upon Mr. Goffman its 42nd Leadership in Credit Education Award recognizing his demonstrated dedication and commitment to the New York Institute of Credit and Credit Industry. In May 2016, Mr. Goffman was presented with the Restructuring Leadership Achievement award at the 8th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards recognizing his leadership in guiding the turnaround and growth of many companies around the world and his numerous contributions to the broader restructuring community over the course of more than three decades. In June 2016, The American Lawyer bestowed upon Mr. Goffman its Transatlantic Finance Dealmaker: Restructuring (U.S.) award recognizing his extraordinary contributions to the field of international restructuring.
Mr. Goffman regularly is selected as one of the leading restructuring lawyers in the world by various corporate restructuring and legal organizations, including Turnarounds & Workouts (named among the top 12 U.S. restructuring attorneys), Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Lawdragon Magazine, The Best Lawyers in America, IFLR1000, Euromoney and Legal Media Group’s Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers, PLC Handbook (named among the top New York restructuring lawyers), The K&A Restructuring Register, The International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers and The Legal 500 U.S., among others. Mr. Goffman has led transformational restructurings and transactions throughout the world and his experience has encompassed virtually all major industries.
The vast majority of Mr. Goffman’s restructurings are completed through quick, cost-efficient out-of-court — or prepackaged — restructurings. Some of the highly successful out-of-court restructurings/recapitalizations led by Mr. Goffman include those of America West Airlines, Centro Properties Group, DS Waters, Everest Capital, Evergreen International Aviation, Globalstar, Intrawest Resorts, Ion Media, the Portland Trailblazers, RREEF, Offshore Logistics, Travelport, Torm and Westwood One.
In addition, Mr. Goffman was a pioneer in the use of prepackaged restructurings and is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the field. He has led many landmark Prepacks, including those of Memorex Telex I and II, Central European Distribution Corp., Globix, Grove Worldwide, Harvest Foods, Herbst Gaming, In-Store Advertising, MGM Studios, NTL, Mark IV, RCN, Specialty Foods and the “one-day Prepack” for Blue Bird Bus Corporation, which rewrote the way Prepacks are done and set a new standard for prepackaged restructurings by completing the entire Chapter 11 process in only 32 hours.
Mr. Goffman also played a leading role in Charter Communications’ prearranged restructuring, representing Paul Allen as the owner. The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York called the Paul Allen settlement the “lynchpin” of “perhaps the largest and most complex prearranged bankruptcy ever attempted,” which “in all likelihood ranks among the most ambitious and contentious as well.”
In addition, he has advised on numerous traditional Chapter 11 cases for U.S. and international companies, including SunEdison, Lyondell-Basell, Olympia and York, Eastern Airlines, Excel Shipping, Nautilus Shipping, Quigley, Syms, Filene’s Basement, Texaco and Saxon Industries.
Mr. Goffman also has represented lenders, committees and/or equity holders in many major restructurings, including those of Allegiance Telecom, American Airlines, AmeriServe, Atlantic Computer Systems, Bridge Information Systems, Chemtura, Focal, Colt Defense, Harry Macklowe/Equity Office Properties, Movie Gallery, Pan Am, Pocket Communications, Radio Shack, Sunbeam and XO Communications.
Mr. Goffman’s restructuring success has not been limited to the United States, as he also has led international restructurings in Europe, Australia, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, including Better Place, Centro, CEDC, Excel LyondellBasell, Nautilus, NTL, Roust, Russian Standard Bank and Travelport. Such restructurings have included out of court restructurings, schemes of arrangement and Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 cases.
Many of Mr. Goffman’s restructurings have received recognitions by a variety of publications. For instance, at the 2016 Turnaround Atlas Awards, the Nautilus Holdings restructuring was named “Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year ($500 million to $1 billion)” and the TORM restructuring and reverse merger with OCM Njord was named “Cross Border Distressed M&A Deal of the Year.” In 2014, the Central European Distribution Corporation restructuring was named the “Restructuring Deal of the Year” at the International Financial Law Review Americas Awards and “Global Finance Deal of the Year, Restructuring and Insolvency, Europe” at The American Lawyer’s 2014 Global Legal Awards. In 2013, the Financial Times named the American Airlines merger with US Airways Group (in which Mr. Goffman played a leading role on behalf of the Unsecured Creditors Committee) as one of the “Innovative Deals of the Year” and The M&A Advisor recognized Central European Distribution.
Many of Mr. Goffman’s restructurings have received recognitions by a variety of publications. For instance, in 2014, the Central European Distribution Corporation restructuring was named the “Restructuring Deal of the Year” at the International Financial Law Review Americas Awards and “Global Finance Deal of the Year, Restructuring and Insolvency, Europe” at The American Lawyer’s 2014 Global Legal Awards. In 2013, the Financial Times named the American Airlines merger with US Airways Group (in which Mr. Goffman played a leading role on behalf of the Unsecured Creditors Committee) as one of the “Innovative Deals of the Year” and The M&A Advisor recognized Central European Distribution Corporation’s prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganization as “Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Over $1 Billion).” In 2012, the Centro Properties restructuring was named the “Turnaround of the Year (Large Market),” “Distressed M&A Deal of the Year (Upper Middle Market)” and “Real Estate Deal of the Year ($500 Million and over)” at the 2012 M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, as well as the 2012 “Restructuring Deal of the Year” — TMA (Turnaround Management Association) Australasia Turnaround Awards, the 2012 “Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year” — ALB Australasian Law Business Awards and 2012 “M&A Deal of the Year” — AFR (Australian Financial Review) CFO Capital Awards. The Travelport restructuring received the “Consumer Services Deal of the Year” at the 2012 International M&A Advisor Awards; and the MGM restructuring was named among Turnarounds & Workouts’ “Most Successful Restructurings of 2010” and received The M&A Advisor’s “2010 Media, Entertainment or Telecom Deal of the Year Award.” Additionally, LyondellBasell’s Chapter 11 reorganization received The M&A Advisor’s “2010 Industrial Good and Basic Resources Deal of the Year Award”; and the Intrawest restructuring received The M&A Advisor’s “2009 Out-of-Court Reorganization of the Year Award” and the “2009 Real Estate Restructuring of the Year Award.” And, in 2011, Mr. Goffman was named one of The American Lawyer’s “Dealmakers of the Year” for the MGM Studios Prepack.
Mr. Goffman frequently lectures and writes on a variety of restructuring topics, including Prepacks, mergers and acquisitions in distressed situations, distressed investing, fiduciary duties of boards of directors, “zone of insolvency” issues, confirmation issues, mass tort issues, cross-border and international insolvency issues, and general and basic bankruptcy analysis. He assisted the National Bankruptcy Review Commission with respect to legislative amendments regarding Prepacks and co-chaired a committee of premier restructuring lawyers addressing potential bankruptcy legislation leading to certain congressional amendments to the Bankruptcy Code regarding Prepacks. He also was the Keynote Speaker at the 2012 Harvard Business School Turnaround Conference focusing on international restructuring, one of the lead speakers at the 2013 Quadrennial INSOL Conference in The Hague, Co-Chair of the 2015 INSOL Annual Conference in San Francisco, Co-Chair of the 2014 and 2016 ABI Valcon Conferences, and Co-Chair of the 2016 TMA Distressed Investing Conference.
Mr. Goffman is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He is also a member of the International Insolvency Institute, a member of INSOL and its G36 Organization, and a member of Law360’s Bankruptcy Editorial Advisory Board. Mr. Goffman serves on the Board of Directors and the International Restructuring Committee of the American Bankruptcy Institute. In addition, for many years, he was Vice Chairman and a member of the Board of Trustees of the China Institute, and he currently is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation and a member of the Advisory Counsel of the Jamestown Foundation. Mr. Goffman also was the Co-Chair of the ABI Commission’s Plan Process Committee, whose mandate was to evaluate all aspects of the plan of reorganization process in conjunction with a study of proposed revisions to the Bankruptcy Code. He also is Co-Chair of the Turnaround Management Association Futures Task Force.
J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1983 (with honors; Member, University of North Carolina Law Review)
B.S., The State University of New York at Binghamton, 1980 (Chemical Psychobiology with an emphasis in Neurochemistry; Honor's Thesis, "The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome As Related to Fetal and Infant Brain Neurochemistry")