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Stephen D. Lerner


Stephen Lerner is chair of the Squire Patton Boggs Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group. He has an extensive national and cross-border restructuring practice in which he represents debtors, committees of unsecured creditors, secured and unsecured creditors, equity interest holders and acquirers of troubled businesses in Chapter 11 reorganization cases, Chapter 15 cross-border cases, Chapter 9 municipal restructurings and out-of-court restructurings throughout the United States. Stephen has led the representation of clients in the Chapter 11 bankruptcies of AmFin Financial, Station Casinos, Chrysler, Enron and EaglePicher, among many others. Stephen currently is representing the Court Appointed Expert in the City of Detroit’s historic Chapter 9 case.  Recently, Stephen led Squire Patton Boggs’ representation of the American College of Bankruptcy in filing an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in the significant Stern related case of Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Peter H. Arkison, Trustee of the Estate of Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.

Stephen is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy for which he has served as the Regent for the 6th Circuit and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995 and since 2004 Stephen has been placed in the highest echelon of Ohio’s bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. In every year from 2009 to the present, Stephen has been honored by Chambers as one of fewer than 15 bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers in the US to receive a Star Individual ranking. In addition, Stephen was named Best Lawyers' 2014 Cincinnati Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2013 Cincinnati Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law Lawyer of the Year and 2012 Cincinnati Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year. Stephen is a perennial Ohio Super Lawyer and, in 2007, was honored as one of the top 10 overall Super Lawyers in the state of Ohio.

In addition to numerous bar associations, Stephen is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the New York chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, a founder of the board of the Tri-State Association for Corporate Renewal and a member of the Executive Committee of the Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar. He frequently teaches and lectures throughout the United States on bankruptcy and restructuring issues. Stephen has served as a guest lecturer teaching on the acquisition of distressed companies in the Private Equity Finance Course at Harvard Business School. Stephen also has served as a guest lecturer at The University of Michigan Law School where he spoke on his experience as counsel for a dealer committee in the Chrysler Chapter 11 case. He is a regular speaker at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges where this October he will be participating in a panel discussing electronic discovery issues in bankruptcy cases.

Stephen regularly contributes to bankruptcy and restructuring scholarship. He recently served on the Bankruptcy Working Group (and Chair of the Large Chapter 11 committee) of the Bankruptcy Court Structure and Insolvency Process Committee of the ABA Business Law Section which issued a “Best Practices Report on Electronic Discovery (ESI) Issues in Bankruptcy Cases” published in the August 2013 edition of The Business Lawyer (American Bar Association). Stephen co-authored “Not Every Promise is a Capital Commitment – Litigating Section 365(o) Claims by the FDIC” published in Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law (January 2013) which analyzes Squire Patton Boggs’ precedent setting litigation victory for client AmFin Financial Corporation over the FDIC in a $700+ million dispute. Stephen also is the author of "Recent Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Law: Looking to 2013", a chapter of Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Law 2013 and co-author of “Practicing Chapter 11 Restructuring and Bankruptcy in a Struggling Economy,” the lead chapter of the 2012 edition of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Restructuring Strategies, each published by Aspatore Books as part of its Thought Leadership series. Stephen is a co-author with several Squire Patton Boggs colleagues of "Pre-Bankruptcy Planning for the Commercial Reorganization – A Brief Guide for the CEO, CFO/COO, General Counsel and Tax Advisor" published by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Representative Experience

  • Significant Debtor/Company Engagements include: Veris Gold USA, Inc., AmFin Financial Corporation, British American Insurance Company Limited, British American Isle of Venice, Flat Out Crazy LLC (Flat Top Grill and Stir Crazy Restaurants), Cincinnati Incorporated, EaglePicher Holdings, WorldCom, Dominion Homes, Kenwood Towne Place, All American Semiconductor, WCI Steel, Lodestar Energy, Schulte Metal Finishing, Astro Container, Beechknoll Nursing Homes and Brendamour's, Inc.
  • Significant Committee Engagements include: Chrysler (Ad Hoc Committee of Chrysler Affected Dealers), EnviroSolutions, Enron Corp., Mesaba Aviation, SHC, Inc. (Top-Flite), J. Peterman, Advanced Marketing Services (committee member), Phar-Mor (committee member) and F&M Distributors (committee member).
  • Significant Institutional Lender/Investor/Creditor Engagements include: General Motors, Lehman Brothers, PSL North America, RG Steel, James River Coal, Madoff Investment Securities, Penson Worldwide, The Groves in Lincoln, Bethlehem Steel Liquidation Trust, Calpine, Fontainebleau Las Vegas, Calpine, Refco, DBSI, Inc., Omega Navigation Enterprises, Aleris International, Z Gallerie, American Home Mortgage, Ownit Mortgage Solutions, Crew Creative Advertising, The Durrant Group, Walker Wood Products, Tropicana Entertainment, Wornick, National Century Financial Enterprises, Harvey Electronics, Levitz Furniture, Chiquita Brands International, Casey Tool, Commercial Alloys Corporation, Ames Department Stores, Baldwin Piano and Organ, Adelphia Communications, Loewen Group, Carlton Cove, Furnas Farms, Gencor and PRS Insurance Group.
  • Significant Board, Board Committee and Director Engagements include: Station Casinos, LTV, ATLS Acquisition, LLC (Liberty Medical), JER/Highland, Jameson and Elder-Beerman Stores.

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T +1 513 361 1220
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New York
T+1 212 872 9800


University of Pennsylvania, J.D., 1985
University of Pennsylvania, M.A., magna cum laude, 1982
University of Pennsylvania, B.A., magna cum laude, 1982


New York, 1986
Ohio, 1991
U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. of New York
U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of New York
U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio
U.S. Supreme Court

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