G. Larry Engel

Practice Before Retirement:

Retired 12/31/2015 as a long-time partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP in the bankruptcy restructuring practice, working on national and cross-border matters, regularly traveling where needed from the San Francisco office

Mr. Engel has been honored for decades by numerous legal and business organizations and publications, including, among others:

  • American College of Bankruptcy
  • International Insolvency Institute
  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers
  • Corporate Counsel’s “The Best Lawyers in America”
  • PLC/Global Counsel 3000 “Highly Recommended” lawyer for Restructuring / Insolvency
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • World’s Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers (Euromoney Guide)
  • Northern California “Super Lawyer,” Law & Politics and SF Magazine
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review – AV Preeminent™ Rating

Mr. Engel is a frequent lecturer and author for numerous business and legal organizations, including the ABI, the International Insolvency Institute, the PLI, the ABA, and the State Bar of California.  For example, he has just updated for 2015 his chapter in the Business Workouts Manual (Thomson Reuters), entitled:  “Intellectual Property Considerations in Workouts.”  As a pro bono project, he is the co-author of the Navajo Uniform Commercial Code.

G. Larry Engel developed a national and international bankruptcy and restructuring practice with various specialties beyond his usual representation of secured and unsecured creditors, committees, and selected debtors in insolvency or distress, as well as foreign representatives or others in chapter 15 cases.  Among those specialties are distressed M&A, DIP and exit financing, the intersection of technologies / IP and bankruptcy, cross-border insolvency, failing hedge funds, financial institution insolvency, insurance insolvency, municipal and sovereign insolvency, complex structured finance and derivatives, as well as failed LBOs and distressed energy, utility, and real estate situations.  He is a pioneer in bankruptcy-proofing insolvency-sensitive transactions in many industries and other commercial tech services.

Mr. Engel is now working on select projects as either or both a bankruptcy/restructuring lawyer and distressed-business consultant. He also serves on occasion as an independent director, chief restructuring lawyer, expert witness, bankruptcy examiner, creditor or other committee members or advisor, and in other roles where he can add strategic value.  Now that he has retired from his Big-Law practice, he avoids traditional categories in favor of whatever the project requires. With low overhead, he is even more cost-effective.

Mr. Engel’s U.S. and global clients include technology companies, banks and other financial institutions, private equity, venture capital and hedge funds, strategic or financial buyers of distressed assets, IP licensors or other collaborators, joint venturers or strategic allies with failing partners, etc., parties to derivatives and other situations involving extraordinary counterparty risk, ad hoc and official committees and other creditors and parties in interest, including foreign representatives or their adversaries in chapter 15 cases.

Prior Professional History:

Formerly a partner at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison until it dissolved, transitioning with its Liquidation Committee to partnership at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius until clearing conflicts and joining his former Brobeck team at White & Case, until it closed its San Francisco office, and then he joined Morrison & Foerster


Northwestern University Law School
J.D. 1972, cum laude and Order of the Coif, Law Review Executive Editor

Northwestern University
B.A. 1969, magna cum laude,
Phi Beta Kappa


All State and Federal Courts in California

Quality In Multi-Disciplinary Skills-Experience

  • Top professional peer review ratings for decades
  • Selection by elite players for memberships in relevant professional “clubs”
  • Scores of important publications over decades, reflecting lessons learned in notable projects
  • Demonstrated successes for decades in relevant challenges in many kinds of problem-solving
  • Learned from the best clients, the worst adversaries, and the most expert Big-Law and other collaborators

Global Focus on Creative Solutions to Financial Distress, In or Out of Bankruptcy

  • As in chess, each move has offensive and defensive effects to anticipate
  • Unique industry practices and challenges, as well as cross-border dynamics, require adapting strategies and tactics for particular clients and against relevant adversaries.
  • The burdens of adverse history can often be overcome by evolving the game for better opportunities and improved defenses.
  • Useful collaborations and wise alliances can often improve results. Mistakes can be lethal.

What Larry Does for Fun:  Illustrations

As a retired partner able to select his future projects on their appeal to him, Larry’s three most notable pro-bono matters illustrate further both his range of interests and what he could do next, if offered the right project.

1. As a young law firm partner, Larry co-authored the Navajo Uniform Commercial Code. That collaboration with the Navajo Nation leaders and the UC Berkeley Center for Indian Economic Development was designed to promote commerce through legal transparency by adapting the UCC to what was appropriate for the tribe and explaining the variations in a manner that the outsiders could better understand by comparison to the UCC rules.

2. When part of L.A. burned in the Rodney King riots of an earlier period of discord, the local shopkeepers were all shocked to discover that their fire insurance policies were worthless due to scams by certain offshore insurers marketed by local U.S. surplus lines brokers who aided and abetted the frauds. Larry and others supporting Rebuild LA won the State Bar Association Pro Bono Project of the Year Award by helping engineer recoveries (and justice) that bankrupted the local brokers, the insurers and the crooks at the core of the fraud.

3. More recently, Larry developed a program strategy to save finally distressed independent bookstores. The solution involved more than just obtaining relief from creditors. Among other factors that added the financial credibility needed for maximum accommodations from creditors, Larry arranged a strategic alliance between the bookstore and a new nonprofit collaborator, which enabled the bookstore to reduce its costs and increase its community support and publicity.