Jim Conlan, transnational co-head of restructuring & insolvency, is the legal adviser clients turn to when facing their most difficult and complex financial challenges. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience leading some of the world’s largest and most complex restructurings, Jim is at home when collaborating with executives and boards of directors on strategies to advance their business goals in the face of company-defining challenges and opportunities.

Jim is known as a formidable presence in both the courtroom and the boardroom, and clients have recognized him for bringing a credible and articulate voice that cuts through the fray as they weigh options to resolve tough issues. Some of the most well-known companies and organizations around the world have entrusted Jim to work on their most complex restructurings and bankruptcies. Through his long track record working with prestigious national and global companies, he has established himself as one of the world’s preeminent advisers on bankruptcy and restructuring issues and strategies.

Prior to joining Faegre Drinker, Jim served as global practice leader, chairman, co-chairman and vice chairman of the restructuring practice at an AmLaw Top 10 firm.

Representative Experience

  • Exide (Company)
  • Maxus (client, YPF)
  • Maremont (client, Debtor)
  • Dynegy Holdings (client, Debtor)
  • Tribune Company (client, Debtor)
  • RH Donnelley (client, Debtor)
  • Smurfit-Stone Container (client, Debtor)
  • Merisant (client, Debtor)
  • Budget Rent A Car Corporation (client, Debtor)
  • Meridian Automotive Systems (client, Debtor)
  • Owens Corning (client, Debtor)
  • Federal-Mogul Corporation; T&N Limited, et al. (client, Debtors)
  • Pliant Corporation (client, Debtor)
  • Sea Containers Ltd. (client, Debtor)
  • Pegasus Satellite Television (client, Debtor)
  • Dow Corning Corporation (client, Baxter International, Inc., creditor and co-defendant)
  • Florida Coast Paper Company (client, 50% equity holder)
  • Pocket Communications, General Wireless, and Nextwave Personal Communications (client, Federal Communications Commission)
  • ANC (Alamo and National Car Rental) (client, MBIA)
  • Thorn Apple Valley (client, creditor and acquiror)
  • Medshares (client, Unsecured Creditors’ Committee)
  • Loewen Group, Inc. (out-of-court restructuring; client, senior debt syndicate)
  • Lone Star Steel Company (client, Lone Star Technologies, Parent)


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


University of Iowa College of Law
J.D. (1988)

University of Iowa
B.S. (1985)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Lectures and Articles

  • Lecturer, “Legacy Costs: Pension and Health-care Liabilities,” Milken Institute Global Conference 2005; Lecturer, “Cross Border Insolvency,” Insol (Cork, Ireland) 2003
  • Lecturer, “Bordering on Bankruptcy, Dealing with Troubled Companies in the New Economy,” Fall 2001
  • Lecturer, “What You Need to Know About Internet, eCommerce and Chapter 11, Investment Opportunities In The Distressed Market,” Spring 2000
  • Co-Author, “CLE, Abandonment — An Issue of Priority,” February, 1991
  • Co-Author, “U.S. Implications for U.K. Solvent Schemes of Arrangement, And More,” The Insurance Receiver, 1998
  • Co-Author, “Environmental Law Developments,” The Secured Lender, 1996-99
  • Co-Author, “Representing the Secured Creditor,” IICLE Bankruptcy Practice, 1990 (Supp. 1992)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Bimini Technologies, Kerastem, LLC, and Puregraft, LLC — Director


  • Chambers USA — Bankruptcy/Restructuring Law, 2010-21 
  • Best Lawyers®— Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law & Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2016-22
  • Chambers Global — Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2020
  • Expert Guides — "Best of the Best" Lawyers in Corporate Reorganization and Bankruptcy, 2018 
  • Turnaround & Workouts — "Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer," 2016

 Awards Methodology

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