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Joel H. Levitin

Joel H. Levitin


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Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
32 Old Slip
New York, NY 10005



  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1987, with honors
  • Duke University, A.B., 1984, with distinction, magna cum laude

Clerkship/Government Service

  • Honorable Norma L. Shapiro, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania


  • New York

Joel Levitin, Co-Chair of Cahill’s Bankruptcy & Restructuring practice, advises troubled or distressed companies, acquirers of such companies, and primary constituencies such as bank agents, secured creditors, trustees, boards of directors, bondholders, committees, and equity sponsors in significant corporate restructuring and reorganization matters, both in and out of court.

Joel has extensive experience negotiating and litigating issues arising in distressed situations, including the confirmation of plans of reorganization, DIP financing arrangements and the use of cash collateral, the appointment of examiners and trustees, lender liability and equitable subordination matters, purchases and sales of the assets of distressed companies, and preferential transfers and fraudulent conveyances. He has also served as an arbitrator in various cases.

A seasoned veteran,” Joel has been recommended as a leading bankruptcy lawyer by Chambers USA since 2012, being “praised by respondents both as a talented strategist and as a ‘hands-on’ leader,” “pragmatic, knowledgeable and works to commercial resolutions,” and “a smart guy who can build consensus and is effective in the courtroom,” for being “levelheaded – he never loses his cool and he gives pragmatic advice,” and for his “strategic thinking and his ability to analyze a situation and explain it to the board in concise and clear terms." Joel is recognized as Highly Regarded in the area of restructuring and insolvency by IFLR1000 and has been named to Lawdragon’s list of the “500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers” since 2020. Joel was also recommended as a leading bankruptcy lawyer by Global Counsel 3000 and Practical Law Company, and he was selected as one of Turnarounds & Workouts Magazine's eight “Outstanding Bankruptcy Lawyers 40 and Under” in 2001. In 2023, Joel was again recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for his expertise in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law. 

Joel is a prolific author and frequent speaker on bankruptcy and restructuring topics such as the fiduciary duties of officers and directors, DIP financing, intellectual property issues in bankruptcy, and investing in distressed companies.

Professional Activities:

Joel serves on the Board of Editors of The Bankruptcy Strategist, a prominent industry publication.  He is also active in the American Bankruptcy Institute, where he served on the board of directors, on the Advisory Board for the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, and as a committee chair (Young Members, Asset Sales, and Intellectual Property Committees) for many years. He currently serves as an editor for the ABI's "Volo" project, summarizing bankruptcy decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In addition, he is a member of the Turnaround Management Association. He previously served as a member of the board of directors of the American Bankruptcy Board of Certification, a leading administrator of certification programs for insolvency attorneys, co-chair of the IP/Bankruptcy Committee of the Licensing Executives Society (LES), a member of the prestigious Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization of the Association of the Bar of The City of New York and its working Subcommittee on Professional Disinterestedness, and a member of the Commercial Law League of America.

From 1993 through 1996, Joel was an adjunct professor at Temple University School of Law, where he taught a course on corporate reorganization in Chapter 11.