Michael FishelKing & Spalding LLP, Houston, TX
MICHAEL is a restructuring partner with King & Spalding. His primary focus is advising both debtor and creditor clients through complex chapter 11 restructurings, out-of-court reorganizations and refinancings, distressed and opportunistic acquisitions, and contested business litigation proceedings. He represents clients in various market sectors, including energy, retail, health care, tech, travel and pharmaceuticals. He guides companies, boards of directors and executives through the web of fiduciary duties and options they confront during the life cycle of a restructuring. Among his notable cases, he represented publicly traded oil and gas company Legacy Reserves in the restructuring of its US$1.4 billion of funded debt. This deal was honored at the Global M&A Network’s Turnaround Atlas Awards in 2020 as the “Chapter 11 Restructuring Deal of the Year.” Previously, he was an associate at two Houston law firms and a judicial intern for Justice Eva Guzman of the Texas Supreme Court.
Michael was five years old when his family arrived in this country as refugees. He grew up in an environment that fostered a spirit that the only path to success was hard work, knowledge, persistence and care. As a nationally ranked junior tennis player, he learned early on not only how to win but also how to deal with loss and, most importantly, face challenges and overcome adversity. These traits helped guide his career, exemplified by the fact that he did not become a full-time restructuring attorney until his fourth year of practicing, when he moved from focusing on discrete bankruptcy litigation issues to core restructuring matters. He spent the next six years of his career catching up and absorbing as much bankruptcy knowledge as possible while simultaneously building his network and serving clients. His “breakout” moment occurred when he worked on the successful reorganization of Mattress Firm in his hometown, where he helped the company emerge from bankruptcy in less than two months.
Michael enjoys mentoring associates and was a permanent mentor at his previous firm’s 1L Diversity Program. He currently leads the firm’s restructuring group’s comprehensive overhaul of its knowledge management system. In three months, he helped to rebuild its database of internal knowledge and reference tools, something that is now used as a model for other practice groups. In addition, he was recently certified by the Emerging Leader Development Program at the Northwestern Kellogg School, an executive leadership education program. He is a frequent speaker and panelist on trending topics in bankruptcy, most recently on the issue of third-party releases at ABI’s New York City Bankruptcy Conference.
“One of the rare things about Michael is that he will always go out of his way to promote the associates he mentors in day-to-day practice, whether it is something as small as giving them credit for an idea, research, or document to the managing partner or client.”