Paul E. Harner

Tel 410.528.5678
Fax 212.223.1942
Tel 646.346.8020
Fax 212.223.1942
New York

Paul E. Harner is the partner in charge of Ballard Spahr's restructuring practice in New York. He has played a leading role in significant, national corporate restructurings, including Chapter 11 cases involving American Airlines, Six Flags Entertainment, Nextel International, National Century Financial Enterprises, Kmart Corporation, USG Corporation, R.H. Macy & Co., Federated Department Stores, NationsRent, Trans World Airlines, NextWave Communications, Imperial Home Decor Group, Lensar, Inc., OnCure Holdings, Laidlaw Inc., Loewen Group International, Rax Restaurants, and Allegheny Health Education and Research Foundation. He recently served as the court-appointed operating and reorganization Chapter 11 trustee of Molycorp Minerals LLC and currently is the court-appointed fee examiner in the Chapter 11 cases of Sears Roebuck & Co.

Paul represents debtors, committees, private equity investors, bank groups, institutional investors, secured lenders, and others in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court workouts (including single-asset real estate restructurings), and litigation. He writes and lectures nationally on topics involving corporate insolvency, workouts, and bankruptcy.

Paul also advises clients on issues involving distressed mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions. He counsels boards of directors and management in fraudulent conveyance, illegal dividend, preferential transfer, fiduciary duty, and corporate governance issues and has represented various enterprises in formation, spinoffs, secured financings, and recapitalizations.

Paul is a nationally recognized thought leader in bankruptcy, restructuring, and reorganizations. Turnarounds & Workouts has ranked him among the 12 “Outstanding Bankruptcy Lawyers” in the United States numerous times. He has been named a “leader in his field” for more than a decade by Chambers USA, which has called him a “terrific, multidimensional lawyer” and stated that “there is nobody better in front of a judge,” and in 2020, he was named to the Lawdragon 500 list of Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers.

Paul also has appeared in Who's Who Legal, The Legal 500 US, IFLR1000, and Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers and has been named by The Best Lawyers in America as "Lawyer of the Year" in the field of bankruptcy litigation.

Paul also is an elected Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and currently serves as a member of its Board of Directors and as Chair of the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation. He writes and lectures frequently on topics involving corporate insolvency, workouts, and bankruptcy.

Judicial Clerkship

The Hon. J. Dickson Phillips, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1988-1989

Professional Activities

Fellow (since 2007) and Director (since 2018), American College of Bankruptcy

Chair, American College of Bankruptcy Foundation, 2018-present

American Bankruptcy Institute

Federal Bar Council (including its Bankruptcy Litigation Committee)

American Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

Illinois Bar Association

Association of the Bar, City of New York

Recognition and Accomplishments

Turnarounds & Workouts, one of 12 outstanding restructuring lawyers in America (twice)

Turnarounds & Workouts, one of 12 outstanding young restructuring lawyers in America (thrice)

Chambers USA, Leader in the Field, Bankruptcy and Restructuring, 2004-present

The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Related Litigation, 2005-2021; "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Bankruptcy (Baltimore), 2017

Who's Who Legal; Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers; The Legal 500 US; ILFR1000; Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers; New York Super Lawyers, 2005-present

Duke University School of Law (J.D., with highest honors, 1988)
Order of the Coif
Anna Pierce Stafford Scholar

Duke University (B.A. magna cum laude, 1985)
Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholar
Phi Beta Kappa


New York

Not licensed to practice in Maryland