John P. Melko



John Melko is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice focuses on complex sales, acquisitions, bankruptcies and financings in the energy sector throughout the United States, as well as shipping-related issues in both foreign and domestic cases and financings. John has years of cross-border and multinational experience with oil and gas exploration and production, refining and marketing, airlines, telecommunications, electric utilities, manufacturing, retail, rig and ship finance, mass torts and asset-backed securities.

He has represented:

  • Borrowers and debtors in possession
  • Creditors and creditors' committees
  • Securitized noteholders
  • Trustees
  • Investors
  • Buyers of assets and businesses in and out of restructuring or bankruptcy settings

Throughout his career, John has helped guide clients through dislocations in the energy, shipping, telecommunication, real estate and health care markets, utilizing chapter 7, chapter 11 and chapter 15 procedures.

John also serves as co-chair of the firm's Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice and vice-chair of the firm’s Oil & Gas Industry Team.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, State Bar of Texas, Business, Bankruptcy Law, and Natural Resources Sections
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Council Member for Oil & Gas Section, Houston Bar Association - Bankruptcy, International, and Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Sections
  • Member and on Board of Directors of Houston Chapter, Turnaround Management Association
  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Member, American Petroleum Institute, Houston Chapter
  • Member, Association for Corporate Growth, Houston
  • Member, Texas Independent Producer Organization

Honors & Awards

  • Named the Best Lawyers® Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/ Insolvency and Reorganization Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Houston (2022)
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of: 
    • Litigation – Bankruptcy (2011-2022)
    • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2009-2022)
  • Selected by Lawdragon as one of the 500 Leading U.S. and Global Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers (2020)
  • Recognized, IFLR1000
    • Aviation, Energy & Restructuring and Insolvency (2018)
  • Recognized, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Texas (2009-2021)
  • Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Super Lawyers Magazine 
    • Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights (2007-2017)
  • Recognized, the Best Lawyers® Bankruptcy Litigation Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Houston (2014)
  • Recognized, AV Preeminent®, 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®, Peer Review Ratings™   
    • Judicial Edition, Highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards (2019)

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Crisis in the Oil Patch – Danger or Opportunity for Lender and Distressed Investors? ," Distressed Investing 2019 26th Annual Conference, New York City (December 2, 2019)


  • South Texas College of Law (J.D., 1984)
  • Widener University (B.S., 1976)
    • Business Administration (Accounting)
  • Widener University (B.A., 1976)
    • English Literature


  • Texas (1984)
  • Texas State Courts (1984)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court