Douglas E. Spelfogel



Douglas Spelfogel is a partner and business litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. He concentrates his practice on representation of creditors, creditors’ committees, venture funds, lenders, landlords, trustees, officers, directors, and debtors in complex financial restructurings, asset sales, workouts, and business reorganizations both out-of court and through Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Spelfogel has appeared as counsel of record in over two dozen reported decisions and served as counsel for various parties in such national reorganizations and liquidations, including Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC; General Growth Properties, Inc.; Frontier Insurance Group; Williams Communications; Enron, Inc.; Herman’s Sporting Goods, Inc.; and Sesame Street Retail Stores, Inc. Mr. Spelfogel has also represented Fortune 100 companies, fiduciaries, and financial institutions in various roles in bankruptcy proceedings and bankruptcy-related litigation, including the Special SIPA trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC; General Electric as secured lender; Wilmington Trust and Law Debenture as indenture trustee and plan trustee; Cordell Funds as non-institutional secured creditors; and Simon Properties and its predecessor, Corporate Property Investors, as landlord and creditor.

Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Spelfogel was a partner with Baker Hostetler where he was the head of their bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice in New York City and was also appointed a senior trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, Office of United States Trustee earlier in his career, where he oversaw many of the largest Chapter 11 cases in New York. This was an appointment with distinction under the prestigious United States Attorney General’s Honors Program earned following his graduation from law school. While with the Justice Department, Mr. Spelfogel supervised hundreds of reorganizations, conducted numerous trials, presided over statutory meetings of creditors and addressed congressional and public inquiries.


In recognition of his experience, Mr. Spelfogel has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. He was named one of the top 10 unsecured creditor attorneys in the nation by Bankruptcy Insider, a prominent industry publication. Mr. Spelfogel has also been selected for inclusion in the 2011 – 2016 New York Super Lawyers® lists.

Thought Leadership

Mr. Spelfogel has lectured before bar associations and trade organizations, including the New York State Bar Association on bankruptcy law, and the National Business Institute on revised Article 9 secured transactions, commercial lending, and bankruptcy law. He taught bankruptcy law courses at Hofstra University and Lehman College, City University of New York, and served as moot court judge for Touro University and St. John’s University Law Schools. In 2009, Mr. Spelfogel was a panelist and co-authored the publication for the fraud seminar for the American Bankruptcy Institute Northeast Conference Fraud Panel.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Mr. Spelfogel is a board certified mediator and has been appointed to the Mediation Panels for the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He is a member of the American, New York State, and Nassau County Bar Associations.