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Robert Klyman

Partner

Global Co-Chair and US Co-Chair of the Restructuring Practice

Incredibly smart, having terrific business judgment," "great in court" and a "great strategist
Sources quoted in Chambers
About

In his international practice, Robert Klyman represents companies, lenders, other creditors, acquirers, and boards of directors in all phases of restructurings and workouts. His practice includes advising companies and key stakeholders in complicated workouts, including traditional, prepackaged, and pre-negotiated bankruptcies, structuring cutting-edge distressed mergers and acquisitions, negotiating bankruptcy financings, and litigating complex bankruptcy and commercial matters related to financial distress.

Robert developed, and for 20 years co-taught, a case study for the Harvard Business School on prepackaged bankruptcies and bankruptcy valuation issues. He has also taught bankruptcy dealmaking and strategy classes at the University of Michigan Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, and UCLA Law School. Robert is also a frequent panelist on topics relating to financial distress and bankruptcy. He was also a member of the ABA Subcommittee that drafted the ABA Model Bankruptcy Asset Purchase Agreement.

Bar admissionsCalifornia
CourtsUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitUnited States District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of California
Robert Klyman has been widely and regularly recognized for both his debtor and creditor work as a leading bankruptcy and restructuring attorney by Chambers USA, where clients recognized him as "incredibly smart, having terrific business judgment," and "extremely hard-working and reachable at any time," "great in court," "a great strategist," and "incredibly technically sound."
— Chambers USA

EXPERIENCE

  • Represented a cutting-edge medical technology company specializing in pain management as debtor in its bankruptcy case which culminated in the sale of its assets following a hotly contested auction.
  • Represented a leading sports goods retailer with 425 leases and more than US$1 billion in debt as a debtor in its bankruptcy case.
  • Represented the owner of more than 70 newspapers and television stations as a debtor in its bankruptcy case and restructured with approximately US$1.1 billion in debt.
  • Represented a wireless communications company as the debtor in its bankruptcy case and restructured approximately US$2.6 billion in debt and more than 100 leases.
  • Represented a major Atlantic City hotel and casino company as the debtor in its bankruptcy case and restructured approximately US$1.5 billion in debt.
  • Represented an international vitamin manufacturer and distributor as the debtor in its bankruptcy case which culminated in the 363 sale of its assets to a pharmaceutical company for US$132.5 million plus assumed liabilities.
  • Represented a landlord with a master lease covering more than 200 locations with a single financially distressed tenant.
  • Represented an ad hoc group of bondholders representing approximately US$2 billion of debt issued by an international telecommunications company.
  • Represented a major Indian bank in the restructuring of its loan to a US manufacturing facility through a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Represented the largest shipping company in the world, in the acquisition of one of its biggest competitors through a plan of reorganization.
  • Represented a real estate company in its acquisition of a 222-unit condominium complex through a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
  • Successfully served as the lead trial attorney in contested confirmation hearings and other contested matters, including representing lenders who held both equity and debt in Chapter 11 debtors.
  • Successfully represented private equity funds and boards of directors in a wide range of industries in litigation against claims for breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, and equitable subordination brought by Chapter 11 debtors, Chapter 7 trustees, and litigation trusts.
  • Obtained a total defense verdict in a precedent-setting trial and successfully handled the Third Circuit Court of Appeal argument involving claims for subordination and recharacterization of debt claim.
Education
  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School

  • B.A., University of Michigan

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Chambers USA

  • Band 2, California Bankruptcy/Restructuring (2024)

The Legal 500 United States

  • Recommended, Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Corporate (2024)
Other recognitions
  • Named as one of the world's leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers by Euromoney, 2020
  • Recognized, "Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year," IFLR 1000, 2020
  • Recognized as one of the top 50 Restructuring Lawyers in the United States, Global M&A Network 2023
  • Recommended as one of the top 100 lawyers in the United States K&A Restructuring Register
  • Recognized, "Top Bankruptcy M&A Lawyer," The Deal's Bankruptcy Insider
  • Recognized as one of the 12 Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers in the United States, Turnarounds & Workouts, 2016
  • Recognized as one of the 12 outstanding bankruptcy lawyers in the United States under the age of 40, Turnarounds & Workouts,1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004
  • Recognized, "20 Lawyers Under 40 to watch in California," Daily Journal
  • Recognized, "Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights,” The Best Lawyers in America©

Publications and media

Prior Experience

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Robert served as a partner and Global Co-Chair of the restructuring practice of a multinational law firm and a member of the business restructuring and reorganization practice group. He was also a partner at another major AmLaw 100 international law firm for nearly two decades.

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