Jörn Kowalewski is a partner in Willkie’s Business Reorganization & Restructuring Group. He practices in Hamburg and is based in the Firm’s Frankfurt office.

Jörn is a top-ranked restructuring attorney with long-standing experience advising stakeholders within complex and mostly multijurisdictional and/or cross-border corporate restructurings, both out of court and within insolvency proceedings, as well as handling distressed M&A and debt-to-equity transactions. He is known for his entrepreneurial, pragmatic approach and negotiation skills and regularly advises distressed investors, lenders, and steering committees, as well as debtors, shareholders, and management. 

Jörn has received numerous accolades for his work including most recently "European Finance Team of the Year" at The Lawyers European Awards 2023 for the Leoni matter and the StaRUG implementation, and is top ranked consistently for restructuring and insolvency in legal directories, including JUVE, IFLR1000, Chambers Europe Germany, The Legal 500 Germany, and Handelsblatt Best Lawyers


Prior to joining Willkie in June 2024, Jörn was a partner at Latham & Watkins. Prior to his legal career, Jörn led a midsized international trading company and served as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. 
  • Band 1 – Restructuring/Insolvency (Germany), "Impressive activity in high-profile restructuring matters. He often advises prominent creditors and debtors alike on complex cases.” Chambers Europe 2024
  • Leading individual for Restructuring/Reorganization, "outstanding strategist and visionary; man of numbers, could also be board member", "one of the best lawyers, especially in complex stakeholder situations", “very entrepreneurial”, “great analytical and implementing skills“, "very operatively oriented and strong in implementation, JUVE 2017-2023
  • Leading Individual – Restructuring The Legal 500 EMEA 2022, 2023
  • Lawyer of the year for Restructuring and Insolvency, Handelsblatt Best Lawyers 2020
  • Highly regarded for Restructuring & Insolvency, “Brilliant performance. Worth every Euro. Dr. Jörn Kowalewski saved the restructuring negotiations we had to undergo.” (CEO) “He’s technically excellent with a pragmatic commercial approach to solve complex, multinational restructuring situations.” (auditor) “A great and knowledgeable guy with a good commercial sense and in-depth knowledge. A joy to work with.” IFLR1000 2017-2022
  • “A brilliant negotiator and strategist. Assertive, pragmatic and solution-oriented; an optimal negotiator.” “He has a very clear business strategic and tactical understanding.” “Stands out with his ‘entrepreneurial thinking’ and by ‘always being one step ahead and very committed.’” “Clients applaud his ‘creative and solution-oriented way of stakeholder management,’ … ‘It was excellent how he managed the parties.’” Chambers Europe Germany 2018-2023
  • “Very good ability for the overall process control and moderation of complex stakeholder groups, also beyond the purely legal problems, high solution orientation.” The Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Jörn’s experience includes advising:


  •  LEONI in the restructuring and implementation of the restructuring plan through StaRUG proceedings 
  • EMAG Group in the development and negotiation of a comprehensive restructuring concept
  • Scholz Group in restructuring post negotiation by Chiho-Tiande
  • HUF in its prolongation of various credit loans and promissory notes
  • R+S Group in its restructuring
  • GetYourGuide on its financing
  • Norddeutsche Reederei Group on its restructuring and merger with V. Group Germany
  • Hellman Worldwide Logistics in its restructuring
  • Uniper in its spinoff from E.ON Group
  • RENA in its debtor-in-possession proceedings and development of an insolvency plan option and dual-track sale


  • Bank consortium in the insolvency of TriStyle
  • Bank consortium in the restructuring of Gala Group
  • Bank consortium in the restructuring and refinancing of WKW Group
  • Bank consortium in the restructuring of BORGERS GROUP
  • Bank consortium in the restructuring of IFA GROUP
  • Bank consortium in the restructuring of BENTELER Group
  • Bank consortium in the restructuring of KSBG, shareholder of STEAG
  • Senior lenders and SteerCo in the financial and operative restructuring of Kathrein Group
  • Commerzbank as Agent in the protective shield proceedings and subsequent sale of Neumayer Tekfor out-of-insolvency
  • Senior lenders in the insolvency proceedings and subsequent sale of HONSEL
  • Senior lenders in restructuring of ICTS Europe Group


  • Riverside on the sale of the KEYMILE Group to NASDAQ listed Dasan Zhone Solutions
  • Summit Partners on the sale of RadioOnkologieNetzwerk (RON) to Medipass
  • Shareholders (including H.I.G. and BlueBay) on the sale of DSD - Duales System Holding (GRÜNER-PUNKT-GROUP) to Remondis
  • Trident in the in-court acquisition of Pickenpack Group
  • Chiho-Tiande in the acquisition of Scholz Group
  • Rockaway Capital SE in the acquisition of UNISTER out of insolvency
  • Shareholders in restructuring and sale of Nordic Yards
  • H.I.G. Europe and Anchorage in pre-packed protective shield proceedings and insolvency plans for Walter Services

* Jörn advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie.




University of Hamburg, Dr. jur., 2007 Higher Regional Court of Schleswig, Second State Exam, 2005 University of Hamburg, First State Exam, 2001

Bar Admissions