Emil A. Kleinhaus



Honorable José A. Cabranes, United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2003 – 2004

Honorable Michael Mukasey, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, 2002 – 2003

Emil A. Kleinhaus

Emil A. Kleinhaus is a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.  He represents clients in litigation at the trial and appellate levels, with a focus on issues relating to bankruptcy, insolvency and creditors’ rights.  His areas of expertise include chapter 11 reorganizations, fraudulent transfer and fiduciary claims, and disputes under credit agreements and indentures. 

Emil has been involved in a range of litigation and restructuring matters.  He represented JPMorgan Chase in multi-billion dollar actions arising out of the Bernard Madoff fraud and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case.  He has represented secured lenders in negotiating and litigating chapter 11 plans, including lenders to Neiman Marcus and Toys “R” Us, as well private equity firms in portfolio-company bankruptcies, including the equity owners of Energy Future Holdings and EdgeMarc.  In the cross-border area, Emil represented Codere and Hibu in their chapter 15 proceedings in U.S. bankruptcy court.  Emil is also actively involved in disputes relating to out-of-court transactions.  As counsel for Education Management in litigation relating to its restructuring, Emil argued and won a precedent-setting appeal in the Marblegate case from a judgment under the Trust Indenture Act.

Emil is the author of more than a dozen publications, including “Prepayment Clauses in Bankruptcy” (2007), “Debt Repayments as Fraudulent Transfers” (2014), and “The Rise of the Net-Short Debt Activist” (2018).  He is the author of a chapter in Collier on Bankruptcy, the leading treatise in the field.  He was co-chair of the Bankruptcy Litigation Committee of the Federal Bar Council and was chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Subcommittee on Fraudulent Conveyance Law.

Emil has been identified as a “star” or leading lawyer in the litigation and bankruptcy areas by publications such as Benchmark Litigation, Lawdragon and Law360.  In 2018, Emil received the James H. Fogelson Emerging Leadership Award from the Lawyers Division of the UJA Federation of New York.

Emil received a B.A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Yale College, and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal.  Following law school, he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Michael B. Mukasey of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge José A. Cabranes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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