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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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James Sprayregen

Work +1 312-862-2481
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Work Department



Experience representing major U.S. and international debtors, creditors and boards of directors both in and out of court in complex restructuring and distressed situations. Clients include Energy Future Holdings, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Avaya, SandRidge Energy, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Seadrill, General Growth, Hawker Beechcraft, Japan Airlines, United Airlines, Visteon, Edison Mission Energy and Reader’s Digest.


Kirkland & Ellis 1990-2006, 2008-present; Goldman Sachs 2006-08.


Former President of the Board of Directors of INSOL International; ABI Bankruptcy Reform Commission; National Bankruptcy Conference.


University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1985; University of Michigan, B.A., 1982.

United States: Finance

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate

Within: Leading lawyers

James Sprayregen - Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Within: Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate

The premier debtor-side practice at Kirkland & Ellis LLP had a bumper 2016 for work in the E&P sector. The firm acted as debtor’s counsel in the Chapter 11 of Magnum Hunter Resources and also of Sabine Oil & Gas, which was a particular achievement for the team after it was ruled midstream agreements could be rejected in the event of an upstream bankruptcy. The firm also successfully represented Sabine in litigation involving claims by unsecured creditors. Other debtor representations included LINN Energy, Midstates Petroleum and Penn Virginia Corporation - the last of which is notable for the decrease of funded debt obligations from $1.2bn to around $90m. James Sprayregen, who is a ‘great manager of cases and lawyers’ and ‘commands the respect of other law firms’, heads the practice from the Chicago office. Sprayregen leads representations of Energy Futures Holdings and Caesars Entertainment Operating Company alongside the head of the New York team Paul Basta. New York-based Nicole Greenblatt and Chicago-based Adam Paul, who has ‘great intelligence and capability’, are also names to note.

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal

Within: Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal

Kirkland & Ellis LLP continues to represent the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla in defense of the constitutionality of the Puerto Rico Emergency Moratorium and financial Rehabilitation Act and numerous executive orders, and the applicability of the automatic stay included in PROMESA. This is following on from the defense of the constitutionality of the Puerto Rico Public Sector Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, which ultimately was ruled by the US Supreme Court to be preempted by US Bankruptcy Code. The team is led by Paul Basta in New York and James Sprayregen, who splits his time between New York and Chicago.

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