Philip Abelson

Partner, New York



Phil Abelson is a partner in the Financial Restructuring and Insolvency Practice at White & Case. Phil's practice focuses on debtors' and creditors' rights and corporate restructurings. He represents debtors, creditors, official and unofficial committees, bondholders, and third parties in both in-court and out-of-court restructurings.

Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Bankruptcy Law360, Phil was also lauded by Chambers as a leading lawyer. Clients interviewed by Chambers commented that "he commands the respect of the court" and "is tremendously smart, business-savvy and great to work with."

He frequently speaks on bankruptcy and governance issues, with recent engagements including: Debtwire's panel on Puerto Rico in 2015; ABI NYC Bankruptcy Conference, Municipal Bankruptcies, Insolvencies, and Restructurings, in 2014; the ABA, Business Law Section Spring Meeting, Chapter 11 Current Developments in 2013; the ABI NYC Bankruptcy Conference, Bankruptcy Fundamentals (Nuts & Bolts), Thompson Reuters Customer Summit (Corporate Governance), National Federation of Municipal Analysts, and Practicing Law Institute (Current Developments with Judge Gropper) in 2011; the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and VALCON in 2010; and the Heyman Center at Cardozo Law School (Distressed Investing & Deal Making) in 2009.

Phil also attended the working group session (model insolvency law) of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law at the United Nations on behalf of the New York State Bar Association.


Bars and Courts
New York State Bar
US District Court for the Southern District of New York
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
University of Michigan Law School
Indiana University


Representative engagements include:

Joerns Woundco Holdings, as counsel to the Company

Nine West, as counsel to the indenture trustee for the 2019 notes

Seadrill, as counsel to the coordinating committee of senior secured lenders

Light Tower Rentals, as counsel to the Debtors*

Penn Virginia Corporation, as counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors*

Caesars Entertainment Operating Corporation, as counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors*

Puerto Rico, as counsel to the Government Development Bank*

Nautilus Holdings Ltd., as counsel to a secured lender in a syndicated facility*

NewPage Corporation, as counsel to the Debtors*

Los Angeles Dodgers, as counsel to the Debtors*

Visteon Corporation, as counsel to an ad hoc group of equityholders*

Capmark Financial Group, as counsel to the Debtors*

Chrysler LLC, as counsel to Chrysler Financial*

Speaking Engagements

TMA Panel on Travel & Hospitality in 2020

INSOL Singapore 2019 Conference


Co-author, "Liquid debt markets hit the brakes on restructurings", Debt Explorer (June 24, 2021)

Co-author, "Fairfield Sentry: In the Last Chapter of the Saga, the Controversial Sale is Disapproved," International Corporate Rescue (Issue 3, 2016)

Co-author, "New York Choice of Law and Forum Selection in an Indenture is 'Property' Making a Debtor Eligible for Relief Under the US Bankruptcy Code," International Corporate Rescue (Issue 2, 2016)

Co-author, "Is It Time to Reform Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code?," International Corporate Rescue (Issue 4, 2015)

Co-author, "Madoff: Some Comfort for Foreign Investors Indirectly Investing in US Companies," International Corporate Rescue (Issue 1, 2015)

Co-author, "Recent Delaware Bankruptcy Court Decision Limits Secured Claimholder's Right to Credit Bid: The Fisker Decision and its Implications," International Corporate Rescue (Issue 3, 2014)

Co-author, "Fisker Threatens to Undermine Distressed-Debt Investing," Law360 (Jan 31, 2014)

Co-author, "The Public Pension Conundrum," Municipal Finance Journal (Winter 2012)

Co-author, "Why the Muni Bankruptcy Avalanche Has Not Arrived," The Bond Buyer (October 29, 2010)

Contributor, Distressed Debt Investing, various articles

Awards and Recognition

Leading lawyer: Bankruptcy/Restructuring – New York, Chambers USA, 2021

Up & Coming: Bankruptcy/Restructuring – New York, Chambers USA 2012-2013, 2019

The Legal 500 United States: Finance: Corporate Restructuring (Including Bankruptcy), 2016