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Shaffer, K. John

K. John Shaffer

Special Counsel
Direct Tel: +1 213-443-3667
Los Angeles
Tel: +1 213 443 3000 Fax: +1 213 443 3100

K. John Shaffer is recognized as one of the nation’s leading restructuring lawyers. His extensive experience includes representing debtors, creditors, and purchasers of assets in connection with a wide-range of industries, including financial services, real estate, healthcare, natural resources, and transportation. In addition to in-court representations, Mr. Shaffer has been involved in numerous out-of-court workouts, and he regularly advises hedge funds and other investors in distressed debt. Mr. Shaffer’s clients also have included creditors with significant positions in SIPC and FDIC-led receiverships, including Washington Mutual Bank and Lehman Brothers, Inc.

In addition to an active and sophisticated practice, Mr. Shaffer has been involved in the development of the nation’s bankruptcy laws and rules of practice. Mr. Shaffer was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, which he served on from 2000 to 2006. Mr. Shaffer also chaired the Judicial Conference’s Joint Subcommittee on Chapter 11 Venue Issues, and was a member of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure from 2006 to 2012.

Mr. Shaffer chaired the National Bankruptcy Conference’s Business Bankruptcy Committee, and he has served as Secretary of the Conference and as a member of its Executive Committee. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and has been President of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum and a member of the Board of Governors of the Financial Lawyers Conference. Mr. Shaffer twice has served as a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judge’s Educational Committee, and he is a frequent speaker on bankruptcy-related topics.

Mr. Shaffer clerked for the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, from 1990 to 1991, and the Honorable Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, from 1989 to 1990.

Various publications have recognized Mr. Shaffer as a leading insolvency professional, including Law & Politics Magazine’s Super LawyersSouthern California’s Best Lawyers in America, and Who’s Who Legal (Insolvency & Restructuring). He is described as a “dazzlingly bright but also practicallawyer who is very personable” (Chambers USA). He is also rated AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0.   Mr. Shaffer is a member of the California bar, and he is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court as well as many other courts around the country.

  • UMB Bank v. Caesars Entertainment Corp.: Represented indenture trustee in expedited litigation seeking the appointment of a receiver over Caesars’ operating subsidiary and to recover billions of dollars in improper transfers. 
  • Berry Petroleum Company: Represents the Ad Hoc Committee of Senior Noteholders.
  • Puerto Rico: Represents the Ad Hoc Group of Senior Bondholders of COFINA.
  • In re South Edge, LLC: Represented a consortium of four of the nation’s largest homebuilders in the successful restructuring of a master planned community in Henderson, Nevada.
  • In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Lehman Brothers, Inc.: Represented one of the estates’ largest creditors and counterparties, including in connection with the negotiation of LBHI’s chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
  • In re Fontainebleau Las Vegas Holdings: Represented the chapter 11 Examiner in connection with the sale of one of Las Vegas’ largest resort developments.
  • In re Utah 7000, LLC: Represented the chapter 11 debtors in possession in successfully restructuring a master planned community near Park City, Utah.
  • In re Mariner Post-Acute Network, Inc.: Represented one of the nation’s largest skilled nursing care providers in successfully restructuring in chapter 11.
  • Distressed Debt Investors: Regularly advises hedge funds and other investors in connection with some of the nation’s largest chapter 11 cases, including Washington Mutual, Tribune, and Madoff Investment Securities.
  • Bankruptcy & Restructuring
  • Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
    (J.D., Order of the Coif, 1989)
    • California Law Review:
      • Editor
    • Thelen Marrin Prize (first in graduating class)
  • Stanford University
    (A.B., Economics, Honors and Distinction, 1986)
  • Member, The State Bar of California
  • Member, The United States Supreme Court
  • Stutman, Treister & Glatt P.C.:
    • Shareholder, 1996-2014
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy:
    • Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 1990-1991
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Alex Kozinski:
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1989-1990
  • Legal 500 USA “Recommended Lawyers,” Finance: Restructuring (including bankruptcy), 2023 and 2024
  • Who’s Who Legal (Insolvency & Restructuring), 2023
  • Chambers USA Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • Selected as a LawDragon 500 Leading Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyer, 2022 and 2024
  • Southern California’s Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Bankruptcy Litigation, 2003-2022 
  • Super Lawyers (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights) by Law & Politics Magazine
  • Rated, AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0
  • Best Lawyers, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2003-2024
  • Best Lawyers, Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2003-2024
  • “Creditors’ Committee Under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code,” 44 S.C. L. Rev. 995 (1993) (with Klee)
  • Faculty Member, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, California Bankruptcy Forum, Norton Institutes on Bankruptcy, American Bankruptcy Institute, and American Law Institute - American Bar Association
  • Financial Lawyers Conference – Annual Commercial Insolvency Developments
  • National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center
    • Director, 2016-Present
  • National Bankruptcy Conference
    • Chair of Business Bankruptcy Committee, 2012-2015
    • Secretary and Executive Committee Member, 2008-2012
  • American College of Bankruptcy
    • Fellow, 2007-Present
  • Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure
    • Member, 2000-2006
  • Judicial Conference Joint Subcommittee on Chapter 11 Venue Issues
    • Chairperson, 2004-2005
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure
    • Member, 2006-2012
  • Financial Lawyers Conference
    • Board of Governors, 2004-2011; 2015-2018
  • Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum
    • President, 2007-2008
    • Director, 2000-Present