Debra McElligott Sinclair Profiled as a 2022 Law360 Rising Star

Debra was recognized as one of the top restructuring lawyers under the age of 40.

Partner Debra McElligott Sinclair has been profiled in Law360 as a “Rising Star” in recognition of her leadership and accomplishments in major restructurings. She is one of just five attorneys recognized in the Bankruptcy category as the top restructuring lawyers under the age of 40.

In a Q&A profile with Law360, Debra discussed her path to becoming a lawyer, the particular appeal of the bankruptcy practice, and her recent achievements in a series of high-profile chapter 11 cases.

A partner in Willkie’s Business Reorganization & Restructuring Department in New York, Debra said she was drawn to bankruptcy law because it enables her to be both “a professional advocate and a problem solver” for her clients, not only devising effective reorganization plans but also building consensus among stakeholders and arguing for them in court.

Law360 highlighted her role as debtors’ counsel in the chapter 11 restructuring of automobile industry supplier Pace Industries, a case that Debra advised remotely during lockdown, while pregnant, and that involved one of the first wholly remote first-day chapter 11 hearings.

"I left that case feeling I can handle any kind of challenge my career hands me," she told Law360.

Law360 also highlighted Debra’s role among the partners leading the team representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 restructuring of Grupo Aeroméxico, S.A.B. de C.V., Mexico’s principal airline, as well as her work advising the unsecured creditors’ committee the chapter 11 case of Avianca Holdings S.A., Colombia’s national airline.

It also noted her representation of the ad hoc group of first and second lien term loan lenders in the pre-packaged chapter 11 restructuring of department store chain Belk Inc., an expedited, one-day reorganization that eliminated $450 million of debt.

Read the full “Rising Star” profile here.