Mr. James Ktsanes

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Mr. James Ktsanes

Latham & Watkins LLP, Chicago, IL

JAMES is a partner and advises creditors and debtors in workouts andbankruptcies, as well as buyers of distressed assets. He represents secured lenders, noteholder groups, asset-purchasers and corporate debtors in all aspects of out-of-court restructurings, bankruptcies and special situations. In advising clients, he draws on his knowledge of the banking industry and experience with a wide variety of financing arrangements.

Jim grew up in a large and passionate family without much money, not unlike the distressed situations he encounters daily in his bankruptcy practice. Providing a calming voice, bridging differences, and finding solutions that all sides can live with, all while not spending the small amount of money available, is something he feels he has trained for his entire life.

Jim co-developed and popularized the technique of using a strict foreclosure under the UCC to effectuate debt-for-equity exchanges out of court, a strategy that presents an opportunity to consummate a transaction over the objection of “hold-out” lenders without needing to file for bankruptcy and put the matter to a plan vote. This has had wide-ranging positive implications for clients and the restructuring industry at large, often saving clients millions in direct expenses and saving the company the risks attendant to filing for chapter 11. In addition, he maintains a pro bono practice representing veterans in appeals of disability ratings assigned by the military.


  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School