Matthew FagenKirkland & Ellis LLP, New York, NY
MATT is a restructuring partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His practice involves representing debtors and creditors in out-of-court restructurings and chapter 11 cases. He has a broad range of restructuring experience across multiple industries, including retail, technology and energy. He has led many complex and large restructuring transactions in recent years, including as debtor’s counsel in such cases as Neiman Marcus (the first retailer with over $5 billion in funded debt to reorganize under chapter 11), Belk (still the fastest pre-packaged chapter 11 case in history, with just 16 hours between filing for chapter 11 and emergence), HONX (an ongoing case utilizing § 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code to resolve asbestos claims asserted against HONX and its parent, Hess Corp.), Frontera Generation Holdings, LLC (the only U.S.-based power plant that sells all of its energy production to the Mexican wholesale market), Philadelphia Energy Solutions (the original prepackaged case in 2018, and the subsequent case in 2019 necessitated by a catastrophic explosion at the refinery), and many other matters both inside and outside of the bankruptcy courts.
Matt was drawn to restructuring because he saw it as a fast-moving and varied practice area that has a major impact on the world at large. He places particular emphasis on developing the younger restructuring lawyers in his firm and on his teams, always making sure they get visibility into every aspect of leading a case to accelerate their own growth. Some of his proudest moments have been seeing associates he worked with grow from junior associates to partners, leading workstreams and mandates, and investing in younger associates themselves.
Matt has been published in scholarly and trade publications, including the Journal of Corporate Renewal and the New York Law Journal. He also has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and Lawdragon 500, and he was recognized by The Legal 500 United States for Restructuring: Corporate for 2023. Within the firm, he leads its annual “mock board” training program, where he organizes an annual competition between teams of Kirkland associates and junior bankers, who present to independent directors and other senior restructuring professionals. He also has taken on formal leadership roles within the restructuring and professional community, including serving on the leadership committee of Friends of the Children and the UJA NextGen Restructuring Group.
“[Matthew] represents the best of what the legal profession should always stand for: the highest level of competence, uncompromised ethics, unequaled preparedness and an unyielding dedication to the integrity of the bankruptcy process.”