Jay M. Goffman - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Jay M. Goffman

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007
Phone: 215-735-2120

Jay M. Goffman is the Global Leader of Skadden’s Corporate Restructuring Group. He was named among “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers” by The National Law Journal in March, 2010 and was recognized as one of The American Lawyer’s“Dealmakers of the Year” in April, 2011 for his work in restructuring Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM), the largest prepackaged bankruptcy ever completed in under 30 days. In the 2011 Financial Times’ U.S. “Innovative Lawyers” report, Mr. Goffman was named as one of the 10 most innovative lawyers in the U.S. and recognized as a “pioneer” and a leader in out-of-court and prepackaged restructurings. He also was named one of Law360’s MVPs of 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the bankruptcy category, which recognizes those who have raised the bar in corporate law throughout the year, and was profiled in Turnarounds & Workouts Trends as a “Pioneer of the Pre-Pack” (November 2011). In August 2013, The Deal published an article chronicling Mr. Goffman’s career entitled “Jay Be Nimble, Jay Be Quick,” summarizing many of his career achievements with a particular focus on his innovation and creativity in leading out-of-court restructurings and Prepacks. In May 2013, Mr. Goffman was a recipient of the prestigious “Blue Cloud Award,” bestowed upon him in recognition of his many years of service promoting stronger relationships and cultural exchange between the United States and China. Also in June 2014, the AJC will bestow upon Mr. Goffman its National Human Relations Award.

Mr. Goffman regularly is selected as one of the leading restructuring lawyers in the world by various corporate restructuring and legal organizations, includingTurnarounds & Workouts (named among the top 12 U.S. restructuring attorneys),Chambers USAChambers GlobalLawdragon MagazineThe Best Lawyers in America,IFLR1000Euromoney and Legal Media Group’s Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Insolvency and Restructuring LawyersPLC Handbook (named among the top New York restructuring lawyers), The K&A Restructuring RegisterThe International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers and The Legal 500 U.S., among others. Mr. Goffman has led transformational restructurings and transactions throughout the world and his experience has encompassed virtually all major industries.

The vast majority of Mr. Goffman’s restructurings are completed through quick, cost-efficient out-of-court – or prepackaged – restructurings. Mr. Goffman was a pioneer in the use of prepackaged restructurings and is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the field. He has led many landmark Prepacks, including those of Memorex Telex I and II, Central European Distribution Corp., Globix, Grove Worldwide, Harvest Foods, Herbst Gaming, In-Store Advertising, MGM Studios, NTL, Mark IV, RCN, Specialty Foods and the “one-day Prepack” for Blue Bird Bus Corporation, which rewrote the way Prepacks are done and set a new standard for prepackaged restructurings.

Mr. Goffman also played a leading role in Charter Communications’ prearranged restructuring, representing Paul Allen as the owner. The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York called the Paul Allen settlement the “lynchpin” of “perhaps the largest and most complex prearranged bankruptcy ever attempted,” which “in all likelihood ranks among the most ambitious and contentious as well.”

Other highly successful out-of-court restructurings/recapitalizations led by Mr. Goffman include those of America West Airlines, Centro Properties Group, DS Waters, Evergreen International Aviation, Globalstar, Intrawest Resorts, Ion Media, the Portland Trailblazers, RREEF, Offshore Logistics, Travelport, Torm and Westwood One.

In addition, he has advised on numerous traditional Chapter 11 cases for U.S. and international companies, including LyondellBasell, Olympia and York, Eastern Airlines, Quigley, Syms, Filene’s Basement, Texaco and Saxon Industries.

Mr. Goffman also has represented lenders and/or committees in many major restructurings, including those of Allegiance Telecom, American Airlines, AmeriServe, Atlantic Computer Systems, Bridge Information Systems, Chemtura, Focal, Harry Macklowe/Equity Office Properties, Movie Gallery, Pan Am, Pocket Communications, Sunbeam and XO Communications.

Many of Mr. Goffman’s restructurings have received recognitions by a variety of publications. For instance, in 2014, the Central European Distribution Corporation restructuring was named the “Restructuring Deal of the Year” at the International Financial Law Review Americas Awards. In 2013, the Financial Times named the American Airlines merger with USAir (in which Mr. Goffman played a leading role on behalf of the Unsecured Creditors Committee) as one of the “Innovative Deals of the Year” and The M&A Advisor recognized Central European Distribution Corporation’s prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganization as “Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Over $1 Billion).” In 2012, the Centro Properties restructuring was named the “Turnaround of the Year (Large Market),” “Distressed M&A Deal of the Year (Upper Middle Market)” and “Real Estate Deal of the Year ($500 Million and over)” at the 2012 M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, as well as the 2012 “Restructuring Deal of the Year” — TMA (Turnaround Management Association) Australasia Turnaround Awards, the 2012 “Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year” — ALB Australasian Law Business Awards and 2012 “M&A Deal of the Year” — AFR (Australian Financial Review) CFO Capital Awards. The Travelport restructuring received the “Consumer Services Deal of the Year” at the 2012 International M&A Advisor Awards; and the MGM restructuring was named among Turnarounds & Workouts’ “Most Successful Restructurings of 2010” and received The M&A Advisor’s “2010 Media, Entertainment or Telecom Deal of the Year Award.” Additionally, LyondellBasell’s Chapter 11 reorganization received The M&A Advisor’s “2010 Industrial Good and Basic Resources Deal of the Year Award”; and the Intrawest restructuring received The M&A Advisor’s “2009 Out-of-Court Reorganization of the Year Award” and the “2009 Real Estate Restructuring of the Year Award.” And, in 2011, Mr. Goffman was named one of The American Lawyer’s “Dealmakers of the Year” for the MGM Studios Prepack.

Mr. Goffman frequently lectures and writes on a variety of restructuring topics, including Prepacks, mergers and acquisitions in distressed situations, distressed investing, fiduciary duties of boards of directors, “zone of insolvency” issues, confirmation issues, mass tort issues, and general and basic bankruptcy analysis. He assisted the National Bankruptcy Review Commission with respect to legislative amendments regarding Prepacks and co-chaired a committee of premier restructuring lawyers addressing potential bankruptcy legislation leading to certain congressional amendments to the Bankruptcy Code regarding Prepacks. He also was the Keynote Speaker at the 2012 Harvard Business School Turnaround Conference and one of the lead speakers at the 2013 Quadrennial INSOL Conference in The Hague.

Mr. Goffman is a member of the American College of Bankruptcy. He is also a member of Law360’s Bankruptcy Editorial Advisory Board and serves on the Board of Directors and the International Restructuring Committee of the American Bankruptcy Institute. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the China Institute and is a member of the Board of the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation. Mr. Goffman also is the current Co-Chair of the ABI Commission’s Plan Process Committee, whose mandate is to evaluate all aspects of the plan of reorganization process in conjunction with a study of proposed revisions to the Bankruptcy Code.

The State University of New York at BinghamtonBS University of North Carolina at Chapel HillJ.D.

Client Comments

"Jay Goffman's understanding, intellect and courage make him the best legal advisor a CEO or company could have when faced with insolvency related issues. He is direct and approachable when working with clients. He is creative and brilliant in the courtroom."

-Jeffry D. Bust

"Jay is perhaps the most innovative restructuring lawyer practicing today. He looks at every deal as an opportunity to break new ground, which is a refreshing break from those whose vision is bound by what has been done before."

"Goffman's team is amazing. Most impressive is the intelligence, attitude, and creativity to present solutions for the client's problems."

"Jay Goffman is super-creative. He can find a solution to every problem. He drives a deal like a bull through a china shop and forces parties to come to the table even if they think they did not have to do so."

"Jay is an extraordinarily experienced, business-minded bankruptcy and restructuring attorney. He is able to cut through issues very quickly, resolve difficult matters, and build consensus."

"I worked with Jay Goffman at Skadden on two occasions, both involving large corporations experiencing challenging solvency events. Jay was insightful and creative. He always provided counsel and took action with the best interests of all stakeholders in mind whether creditors, employees, or equity holders. On one occasion, he provided his services knowing that an unsuccessful outcome would result in an inability to pay legal fees, but did so because he was convinced it was the right thing to do for the company, its employees, and unsecured creditors."

-Jeffry D. Bust

"Jay is an exceptionally talented restructuring lawyer and deal maker who is able to drive toward consensus in incredibly complex and contentious situations."

-George Davis
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

Office Location

Four Times Square
New York, NY 10036
United States

Practice Areas

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
Litigation - Bankruptcy