Sean Southard


Mr. Southard’s practice is focused on middle market businesses with extensive experience in areas of financial restructuring, acquisitions, financing arrangements, commercial transactions, as well as complex commercial litigation. During his years of practice, he has counseled both debtors and creditors in many industries and varying sectors of the economy in a wide range of matters, essentially from formation to liquidation.

Mr. Southard is also a registered mediator with the panels established by the Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. In this capacity, he has extensive experience settling and mediating commercial disputes and claims. Mr. Southard routinely appears in prominent local and national bankruptcy cases and out of court restructurings and frequently speaks publicly on timely commercial law and restructuring topics.


St. John’s University School of Law
St. John’s University

Bar and Court Admissions:

State of New York
U.S. District Courts for Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

Professional Affiliations/Memberships:

American Bankruptcy Institute
American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, Member of Alumni Board and Mentor
Turnaround Management Association
Panel of Court Appointed Mediators, U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

Significant Representations:

Healthcare and Social Services:

  • Counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in Spectrum Healthcare, LLC, et al. (nursing homes) in jointly administered chapter 11 cases.
  • Counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in Long Beach Medical Center and Long Beach Memorial Nursing Home, Inc. (hospital and nursing home) in jointly administered chapter 11 liquidation cases.
  • Counsel to Tender Loving Care Health Care Service, Inc., et al. (home health care) in their jointly administered sales and chapter 11 liquidations.
  • Counsel to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart (not-for-profit corporations in New York and Illinois) in connection with the chapter 11 case of Cabrini Medical Center (not-for-profit hospital) and related transactions.
  • Counsel to SNCH purchaser in Victory Memorial Hospital chapter 11 cases.
  • Counsel to Miracle Makers, Inc. (not-for-profit provider of children’s social services).

Not-For-Profit Institutions:

  • Counsel to Dowling College, private not-for-profit higher education institution in connection with turnaround efforts and public bond restructuring, followed by closure and chapter 11 liquidation.
  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors in New York City Opera, Inc. in its chapter 11 case.
  • Counsel to several Long Island public schools in Metro Affiliates, Inc., et al. (including Raybern Bus Service, Inc.) in their jointly administered chapter 11 cases.
  • Counsel to private college preparatory school in relation to The Christian Brothers Institute, et al. chapter 11 cases.

Professional Firms:

  • Counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors in Binder & Binder – The National Social Security Disability Advocates (NY), LLC, et al. (largest national social security and disability advocates firm).
  • Counsel to several former partners in the bankruptcy cases of Dewey & LeBoeuf, LLP (law firm insolvency case) and Thelen, LLP (law firm chapter 7 case).
  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors in Dreier LLP (national law firm run by convicted Ponzi-scheme architect Marc Dreier) and thereafter post-confirmation representative.
  • Counsel to Coudert Brothers LLP (international law firm) in its liquidation.
  • Counsel to Maher & Lemmo, LLP (law firm) in its liquidation.

Wholesale and Retail:

  • Counsel to Hot Shot, LLC (junior miss wholesaler) in chapter 11 sale.
  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors and later the post-confirmation litigation trust in M. Slavin & Sons, Ltd. (seafood wholesaler).
  • Counsel to secured noteholders of R. Esmerian, Inc. and Ralph Esmerian (major New York jeweler) who successfully filed involuntary bankruptcy petitions against the debtors.
  • Counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors and later the post-confirmation estate in the GoodTimes (a/k/a GT Brands, REFCO, and Gymtime) (media companies—direct to consumer, wholesale and licensing) jointly administered chapter 11 cases.
  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Bare Feet Shoes of PA, Inc., et al. (retail shoe chain).
  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors of Star Diamond (wholesale diamonds).

Construction and Commercial Real Estate:

  • Counsel to the official committee of unsecured creditors in Lehr Construction Corp. (general contractor and construction management).
  • Counsel to the debtor in Michael Mazzeo Electric Corporation, et al. (large subcontractor).
  • Counsel to chapter 7 trustee of Alliance Mortgage (mortgage originator) and its affiliated chapter 7 cases.

Mediation Services:

  • Selected to panel of mediators in avoidance actions brought in several chapter 11 cases, including Sears Holdings Corporation, et al., SunEdison, Inc., et al, Oldco M Corporation (f/k/a Metaldyne Corporation), et al. and DPH Holdings Corp (f/k/a Delphi Corporation).

Programs and Lectures/Awards/Publications:

  • TMA Turnaround Time Podcast, Episode 12: Building a Path to Entrepreneurship (December 21, 2022).
  • ABI Live Webinars 2021, October 30, 2021 – “The Bursting Bubble in Nonprofit Higher Education”.
  • Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, Advanced Restructuring & Plan of Reorganization Conference, November 13, 2017 (New York, NY) – “Life and Death of Higher Education”, an industry panel discussion of Higher Education.
  • TMA Annual Conference, October 6, 2015 (Scottsdale, AZ) – “Restructuring Your Alma Mater”.
  • Super Lawyers – Top Rated Bankruptcy Attorney in New York, NY selected for inclusion every year since 2012 (and Rising Star in 2011)


Sears Suppliers Are Getting Lowball Cash Offers for Receivables (New York Post; November 7, 2018)

Sears Tries to Reassure Suppliers After Bankruptcy Filing (New York Post; October 16, 2018)

Dowling College Brookhaven campus to be auctioned Dec. 7 (Newsday; October 18, 2017)

Dowling College campus top bidder out; NCF Capital new buyer (Newsday; June 28, 2017)

Dowling College Oakdale campus auctioned for $26.5 million (Newsday; April 7, 2017)

Advocates: Dowling buildings should be preserved (Newsday; April 7, 2017)

Dowling College Campus auction adjourned without a winner (Newsday; April 4, 2017)

Bankrupt Dowling College’s Campus Goes Up For Auction in Suffolk County (CBS New York; March 28, 2017)

Here’s What Happens to Endowments When Colleges Close (Bloomberg; March 6, 2017)

What Will Happen to Dowling College Campuses After Bankruptcy? (Long Island Press; January 7, 2017)

Closing Out a College (Inside Higher Ed, January 5, 2017)

Dowling College Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (NAICU; December 1, 2016)

Dowling Files for Bankruptcy Protection (Inside Higher Ed; December 1, 2016)

Dowling College files for Chapter 11, will sell its campuses (Newsday; November 30, 2016)

Dowling cites bond burden in bankruptcy filing (Long Island Business News, November 30, 2016)

Dowling College Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (WSJ; November 29, 2016)

Dowling becomes rare nonprofit college to file for bankruptcy (Reuters; November 29, 2016)

Dowling College Is to Close (WSJ; May 31, 2016)

Leap of Faith, An ambitious organization tries to reboot “the peoples opera” (The New Yorker; January 25, 2016)

New York City Opera Will Return, and Soon, Under Reorganization Plan (NY Times, January 12, 2016)

State Challenges Plan to Revive City Opera (NY Times; January 6, 2016)

Reorganization plan would revive NYC Opera for 2016-17 season (The Deal; October 8, 2015)

Plan to Revive New York City Opera Has Creditors’ Backing (NY Times; October 6, 2015)

Revival Is on the Table for Bankrupt New York City Opera (WSJ; July 2, 2014)

NY City Opera Can’t Pay Back Workers, Ticketholders (Law360; December 18, 2013)

Coudert Ruling Spells Trouble For Firms With Dewey Gains (Law360; May 29, 2012)

Dewey Partners Likely To Face Wrath Of Creditors (Law360; May 10, 2012)

Film Gives Marc Dreier a Forum to Explain How Career ‘Unraveled’ (New York Law Journal; March 15, 2012)