Mark A. Lightner is of counsel in the New York office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, where his practice focuses on advising senior management, boards of directors, and public figures on all aspects of complex corporate and municipal debt restructuring and related litigation.
Mr. Lightner has served as counsel to numerous chapter 11 debtors, including Real Industry, Inc., Real Alloy Recycling, Inc., Maxus Energy Corp., Gateway Coal, and the Sparrow entities in Sears Holdings Corp. He has also represented some of the largest creditors and trustees in numerous chapter 11 cases, including Sabre in American Airlines, Inc., Wilmington Trust in Residential Capital, LLC, and the United Auto Workers in The Budd Company, Inc. Mr. Lightner also represented the bankruptcy examiner in Lehman Brothers and drafted substantial portions of the Valukas Report, which detailed the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the cause(s) of the Financial Crisis.
From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Lightner served as counsel to the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico as the fiscal agent and financial advisor to Puerto Rico in the largest municipal debt restructuring effort in the history of the United States. He authored the Puerto Rico Emergency Moratorium and Financial Rehabilitation Act (Act No. 21-2016), which was the first debt moratorium enacted in the United States since New York enacted a debt moratorium for New York City in the 1970s, and he was a substantial contributor in the drafting and development of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (known as PROMESA), which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2016.
Mr. Lightner has published articles on the subject of bankruptcy and restructuring law in domestic and international publications that have been cited by numerous federal courts. His publishing credits include the Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, the New York Law Journal, the National Law Journal, International Corporate Rescue, the Arizona State University Law Journal, and Law360. Mr. Lightner has also been recommended by peer review organizations such as Legal 500 US.
Mr. Lightner has been involved in pro bono work and has authored numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the American Sociological Association that were filed in support of same-sex marriage. The briefs were filed domestically and internationally, including twice in the Supreme Court of the United States and in the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Colombia.
Mr. Lightner served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca White Berch, Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, and then as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert D. Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. He earned his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Arizona State University in 2007 and served both as an editor of Arizona State University’s law review and as an extern to the Honorable Michael Daly Hawkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Lightner held FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses.
Mr. Lightner currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Sandra Day O’Connor/Arizona State University College of Law Alumni Association.
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