Jim Carr is Chair of Kelley Drye, a member of the Executive Committee, and previous Chair of the Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice (2005-2015). Jim’s practice focuses on creditor representations in corporate bankruptcy cases, with an emphasis on companies in the financial services, retail, gaming, petroleum, energy, chemical, and technology industries. He represents official committees of unsecured creditors, indenture trustees, owners and developers of shopping centers and individual creditors.
Jim regularly works with high-level executives to develop strategies to achieve their legal goals. Because he thoroughly understands the bankruptcy process from start to finish, he is able to communicate probable next steps and navigate around the challenges and obstacles his clients face. Jim’s clients truly appreciate his experience and well-earned reputation in the bankruptcy bar, his ability to guide them through challenges in a way that makes practical business sense, and the peace of mind that is a direct result of such comprehensive advice. Jim has a successful track record of delivering realistic, creative solutions to novel issues that often arise in complex debt restructurings.
Over the past three decades, Jim has been involved in all aspects of the bankruptcy process and has played leading roles in a number of high-profile billion-dollar cases. As such, he has developed one of the most robust practices in the country representing creditor constituents. He has established a thriving practice representing unsecured creditors’ committees, both in and out-of-court restructurings. Additionally, he has substantial experience representing indenture trustees in some of the largest and financially complex bankruptcy cases to date. Jim is also recognized for having built the finest retail bankruptcy practice in the industry, with a team of lawyers who have been involved in well over 400 retail cases.
One of Law360’s “10 Most Admired Bankruptcy Attorneys” (2010), Jim is listed and/or ranked as a premier bankruptcy lawyer in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America©, U.S. Legal 500, The Deal Pipeline, The M&A Advisor and Super Lawyers. Chambers USA describes Jim as an "experienced, pragmatic and deal-oriented" restructuring attorney. Also notable, Jim is a member of the Mediation Panels of the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern District of New York and the District of New Jersey.
Jim is also the founder and managing director of META Advisors LLC, an organization that specializes in executing plans of reorganization, plans of liquidation, and administering trusts in chapter 11 and chapter 7 bankruptcy cases and out-of-court workouts. Jim consistently strives for an efficient post-confirmation process for his clients. To accomplish this goal, Jim becomes involved prior to confirmation by suggesting appropriate provisions that should be included in plans of reorganization or liquidation and confirmation orders. He engages in the same process for out-of-court workouts and structured dismissals by focusing on the terms of the settlement agreements and provisions in orders dismissing chapter 11 cases. Jim has been involved in all aspects of post-confirmation liquidations for companies across numerous industries.
Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors
Conexant, Fuddruckers, GT Advanced Technologies, Jennifer Convertibles, Loehmann’s, MetroFuel, The Limited, TMT USA Shipmanagement, Real Mex Restaurants, Scout Media, Verestar
American Eagle Energy, Caesars Entertainment, Chapparal Energy, General Motors, ION Media Networks, James River Coal, Lehman Brothers, Midstates Petroleum, Motor Coach, Residential Capital, TerreStar, Trump Entertainment Resorts, VeraSun Energy, Vion Pharmaceuticals, Warren Resources
A&P, Aeropostale, BCBG, Blockbuster, Borders, Circuit City, Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer, Eastern Outfitters, Fortunoff, Friedman’s Jeweler’s, Hancock Fabrics, Linens ‘n Things, Mervyn’s, RadioShack, Sharper Image, The Sports Authority, Wet Seal, Wilson’s Leather
Ashley Stewart, Buffets, Coldwater Creek, Copperweld, Exide Technologies, Friendly’s, LandSource, Noranda Aluminum, VeraSun Energy; Vestis Retail Group, Wet Seal
Jim was selected as a fellow by the American Bar Foundation. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.americanbarfoundation.org/fellows/index.html.
He was recognized by the Global M&A Network Turnaround Atlas Awards as Turnaround of the Year for GT Advanced Technologies Chapter 11 Reorganization, 2017. A description of the selection methodology can be found at globalmanetwork.com/restructuring/turnaround-awards/.
Jim was selected for inclusion in 2014-2016 as a leading Bankruptcy attorney by Chambers Global. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.chambersandpartners.com/methodology.
He was recognized by The M&A Advisor as the Winner of the 2014 Retail Manufacturing/Distribution Deal of the Year (Sale of Oreck Corporation to Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co.). A description of the selection methodology can be found at maadvisorawards.secure-platform.com/a.
In 2010, Jim was selected for inclusion as one of Law360’s 10 Most Admired Bankruptcy Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.law360.com/articles/192875/most-admired-attys-kelley-drye-s-james-carr.
He was selected in 2010-2016 for inclusion in the Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Bankruptcy–Litigation areas as one of The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.). A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.bestlawyers.com/about/MethodologyBasic.aspx.
Jim was selected for inclusion with top-five honors in The Deal Pipeline’s Bankruptcy League Tables as a “Top Bankruptcy Lawyer,” 2010-2015. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.thedeal.com/league-tables/ma/.
He was listed in 2009-2015 in the Corporate Restructuring area by US Legal 500, a Legalease Publication. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/how-it-works.html#rank.
Jim was selected for inclusion in the 2007-2016 New York Super Lawyers lists, issued by Thomson Reuters. He was also selected ” as one of the New York Metro Top 100 Lawyers for 2014. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.
He was selected for inclusion in 2013-2016 (nationally) and 2008-2016 (New York) as a leading practitioner in the Bankruptcy/Restructuring area by Chambers USA. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.chambersandpartners.com/methodology.
Jim was recognized for representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Jennifer Convertibles, whose reorganization was named as 2011 Turnaround Atlas Awards’ Retail & Services Turnaround Deal of the Year. A description of the selection methodology can be found at globalmanetwork.com/restructuring/turnaround-awards/.
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The Notre Dame Law Association Board of Directors, president
University of Notre Dame Law Advisory Council
Notre Dame Lawyers of New York City, chair
American Bankruptcy Institute
International Council of Shopping Centers
New York State Bar Association, Bankruptcy Committee
Credit Research Foundation