Kenneth H. Eckstein - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kenneth H. Eckstein

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006

Kenneth H. Eckstein, Co-chair of the Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy department, has played a prominent role in many of the largest and most complex Chapter 11 reorganizations over the past 30 years. Mr. Eckstein represents creditors’ committees, bondholders and other stakeholders in both in- and out-of-court restructurings, as well as trustees, examiners and third parties seeking to acquire the assets or businesses of financially troubled companies. He also counsels and represents debtors in the complex legal, financial and operational issues arising in reorganizations, including obtaining debtor-in-possession financing; negotiating forbearance agreements; negotiating plans of reorganization with secured lenders, creditors’ committees and other stakeholders; and conducting sales of businesses.

A Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, Mr. Eckstein has been repeatedly recognized by Chambers and Legal 500 and as one of the pre-eminent bankruptcy practitioners both in New York and in the United States, and as an “outstanding” lawyer, “renowned in the field for his significant experience representing major parties to bankruptcy and restructuring cases, particularly large Chapter 11 matters,” and lauded for his “understanding of the financial and legal issues” and the way he “provides [clients] with a level of focus in complex negotiations.” (Chambers USA 2016). His clients describe him as “one of the best bankruptcy lawyers in court – very practical and very smart,” and “a real consensus builder” who “does a phenomenal job of getting people to focus on what the end game is and making sure the case stays on track.” (Chambers USA 2014). He is noted for being “great at organizing a creditors’ committee and getting it focused on a solution,” as well as “very learned in the bankruptcy arena, and easy to work with.” (Chambers USA 2015).

Mr. Eckstein’s recent work includes representing the ad hoc group of first lien bondholders holding more than $4 billion in bonds issued by Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. in connection with the company’s restructuring; funds managed by Elliott Management, Aurelius Capital, Davidson Kempner and Bracebridge Capital in the settlement of their 15-year dispute with The Republic of Argentina; the ad hoc group of senior noteholders holding more than $1.6 billion of unsecured notes issued by Peabody Energy Corp., the world’s largest private-sector coal company, in connection with the company’s bankruptcy; the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Residential Capital LLC in the largest bankruptcy of 2012; the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy of NII Holdings Inc., one of the largest Chapter 11 cases of 2014; Genco Shipping & Trading in the $1.4 billion shipping company restructuring that required negotiating with more than 25 sophisticated financial investors and resulted in a true “prepackaged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was confirmed in less than three months; and General Maritime in structuring a $75 million debtor-in-possession facility and negotiating a restructuring that enabled the shipping company to emerge from bankruptcy after eliminating approximately $600 million of financial debt and $42 million in annual interest expenses.

Additional Information

Court Admissions
U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York, 1980
U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York, 1980

Caesars Entertainment – representing the first lien bondholders holding more than $4 billion in first lien bonds issued by Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. (owner and operator of Caesars Palace and 30 other casinos and resorts under the Bally’s, Harrah’s and Horseshoe brands, among others). Mr. Eckstein continues to play a pivotal role in the restructuring and related litigation. He led negotiations that resulted in a restructuring support agreement supported by holders of more than $5 billion (80 percent) of first lien notes, the company and its parent and formed the basis for Caesars’ 2015 bankruptcy filing. He continues to represent the interests of his clients in connection with one of the largest pending Chapter 11 cases.

Peabody Energy Corp. – representing members of the ad hoc group of senior noteholders holding more than $1.6 billion of unsecured notes issued by Peabody Energy Corp., the world’s largest private-sector coal company, in connection with the company’s bankruptcy. Mr. Eckstein played a key role in pre-petition negotiations on behalf of the ad hoc group, and continues to represent the ad hoc group’s interests in connection with the bankruptcy case.

University of PennsylvaniaBA 1976New York University School of LawJ.D. 1979
American College of Bankruptcy American Bar AssociationNew York City Bar Association

Client Comments

"Ken Eckstein is the best of the best. He is very effective at achieving his clients' goals."

"Ken is an exceptional lawyer and it was a pleasure to work with him. I strongly recommend him."

"Kenneth Eckstein is one of the best bankruptcy partners in NYC. He is very commercial with a large breath of experience. He can quickly get to what the right answer is and what the right deal should be for a particular situation."

-Robert Hetu
Credit Suisse

"Ken Eckstein brought an effective balance of aggressiveness and reasonableness to our case, enabling us to achieve what I believe was the best possible outcome."

-R. Michael Collins

Office Location

1177 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
United States

Practice Areas

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