Douglas E. Spelfogel

Restructuring, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate Trust & Agency

“Douglas Spelfogel is a truly exceptional attorney. He has the ability to get exceptional results for his clients without being overly adversarial. He provides practical business advice irrespective of whether it may benefit him. Doug is truly a trusted advisor who is beloved by both clients and colleagues alike.”
The Legal 500 2022


Douglas Spelfogel is a partner at Mayer Brown and co-leader of its Restructuring practice in New York. Doug concentrates his practice on representation of financial institutions, indenture trustee banks, lenders, private equity and hedge funds, creditors and creditors’ committees, landlords, trustees, officers, directors, and debtors in complex financial restructurings, asset sales, workouts, and business reorganizations, often involving multi-billion dollar transactions, both out-of-court and through Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Doug has appeared as counsel of record in over two dozen reported decisions and has served as lead counsel for various parties in national reorganizations and liquidations including JCPenney; Peabody Energy; Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC; FTS International; General Growth Properties, Inc; and American Airlines. He has also represented Fortune 100 companies, financial institutions, and fiduciaries in various roles in bankruptcy proceedings, cross-border cases, and bankruptcy-related litigation, including the Special SIPA trustee for the largest Ponzi scheme in US history; indenture trustees and plan trustees in national bankruptcies involving multi-billion dollars of secured and unsecured debt; and an ad hoc creditor group in connection with a billion dollar fraud litigation. Doug’s cases have earned national recognition including accolades for “Restructuring Deal of the Year” among others.


  • Represented the indenture trustee and largest creditor (holding over $2 billion in bond debt) of Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest coal manufacturer. As chairperson of the creditors’ committee, negotiated with the deal team to formulate the restructuring plan. Matter was awarded Restructuring Deal of the Year honors for Peabody Energy’s Chapter 11.
  • Represented the indenture trustee and collateral agent for $500 million in senior secured bond debt held against JC Penney, one of the largest retail bankruptcy filings resulting from the COVID-19 economic fallout. As counsel for the trustee, we oversaw the restructuring of the bond debt in connection with the complex multi-billion dollar Chapter 11. This includes credit bidding for the assets of the retailer as part of a pending transaction with Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners.

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  • Recognized in the 2023 edition of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading US Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers.
  • Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system.
  • Named one of the Top 10 Unsecured Creditor Attorneys in the nation by Bankruptcy Insider, a prominent industry publication.
  • “2018 Restructuring Deal of the Year” recognition by M&A Advisors Atlas Awards, for the restructuring of the largest coal manufacturer in the world.
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2011 – 2021, 2023 New York Super Lawyers® lists.


  • George Washington University, BA
  • New England Law, JD


  • Board certified Mediator served on the Mediation Panels for the US Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
  • Member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, American Bankruptcy Institute, and Nassau County Bar Association.