Michael Messersmith represents lenders, bondholders, agents, indenture trustees, hedge funds and other financial institutions, as well as borrowers, in distressed situations, workouts and bankruptcy proceedings throughout the United States. A primary focus of Mr. Messersmith's practice is advising ad hoc groups of lenders and bondholders in restructuring situations.

Mr. Messersmith has written and lectured on a number of restructuring and distressed credit topics. His contributions include: "Debt Management Best Practices for CEOs of VC-Funded Companies," ExecSense Webinars (July 22, 2011); "Distress in the Middle Markets – Liquidity, Logistics and Special Considerations," Distressed Debt Forum (September 2010); "Redemptions From Failed Hedge Funds: How Should They Be Treated by Courts?" Securities Regulation & Law (December 17, 2007); "Lender Liability Claims in the Big Apple—If They Can Make It There, They'll Make It Anywhere," The Secured Lender (May/June 2006).


  • Steering committee and, later, successor agent in out-of court restructuring of radio station group.
  • Successor agent in debt-for-equity restructuring of media enterprise.
  • Group of lenders in large hotel workout.
  • Bondholders and trustees in real estate and medical center restructurings.
  • Trustee in numerous bank holding company insolvency proceedings.
  • Hedge fund in purchase of large condo development in Orlando, Florida out of a pending bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Television enterprise in its bankruptcy proceeding in Delaware bankruptcy court.
  • Real estate development company in insolvency proceedings involving joint venture partners.
  • Lenders in several out-of-court restructurings of a promotional products concern.
  • Lenders in the restructuring and eventual bankruptcy of a leading bus manufacturer.
  • More than 50 hedge funds and institutional lenders in a number of pending merger transactions.
  • SEC-appointed receiver of a failed group of hedge funds.
  • Corporate debtors in pending bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Providing Funds with general restructuring advice in connection with a multitude of investments in distressed companies.
  • Significant aircraft lessor in several airline bankruptcies.
  • Trustee of a failed aluminum producer.


Supreme Court Bans Use of 'Structured Dismissals' to Circumvent Bankruptcy Code's Priority Scheme
Distressed Coal—Will the Cycle Ever Turn?
North American Distressed Debt Market Outlook 2015
Kaye Scholer LLP and DebtWire, Inc.
Distressed Debt Market Outlook Panel Discussion
Kaye Scholer LLP, Citigroup, Debtwire, and River Birch Capital Panel Discussion


Chambers USA
Bankruptcy & Restructuring (Illinois) (2013-2019)


  • JD, DePaul University College of Law, 1999, with honors, Order of the Coif
  • BA, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1996, magna cum laude
  • Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois

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