Luke Barefoot’s practice focuses on bankruptcy litigation, insolvency, corporate restructuring, and related litigation matters, with a focus on cross-border and international bankruptcy disputes.

Luke represents both debtors and creditors in restructuring matters, particularly contested matters where developing and executing on a litigation strategy can drive outcomes and recoveries. He is also active in the firm’s pro bono practice.

Luke joined the firm in 2004 and became a partner in 2013.

Notable Experience

  • LATAM Airlines Group and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and the United States in the voluntary reorganization and restructuring of their debt under Chapter 11 protection in the United States.

  • Alto Maipo SpA, a hydroelectric project in Chile, in its pre-arranged Chapter 11 proceedings in Delaware.

  • An ad hoc group of secured bondholders in connection with the hotly contested, but ultimately successful restructuring of Stoneway Capital Corporation, an Argentine energy company.

  • Genesis Global Capital, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, in its Chapter 11 restructuring proceedings and related litigation matters, many involving issues of foreign law.

  • ESL and Eddie Lampert as largest shareholder and creditor (with over $2.8 billion in claims) in the Sears Holdings Chapter 11 proceedings, including structuring and negotiating a complex credit bid and advising on prepetition transactions and related investigations.

  • Odebrecht S.A. and certain of its affiliates in Chapter 15 proceedings to seek recognition of their Brazilian restructuring plans in the United States.

  • Advised multiple parties in connection with the Grupo Aeroméxico bankruptcy proceedings, including:

    • Apollo Management Holdings, L.P., on behalf of certain of its affiliates and funds, as debtor-in-possession lenders to Grupo Aeroméxico and its affiliated debtors;
    • BBVA in connection with multiple relationships with Aeroméxico;
    • A group of lenders, led by Deutsche Bank as lead arranger, with respect to a $300 million secured term-loan facility; and
    • The largest airport authorities in Mexico. 
  • An ad hoc group of secured project finance lenders in connection with the restructuring, recapitalization, and reorganization of Constellation Oil Services Holding S.A. and its subsidiaries.

  • An ad hoc group of bondholders in connection with the $2.7 billion restructuring of Ocyan S.A.

  • Geoffrey LLC, owner and seller of the intellectual property of the Toys R Us group in the restructuring of the group’s business, including a series of Section 363 sales.

  • Pemex in its successful defense of attempts to pursue discovery in the Oro Negro Chapter 15 proceedings.

  • Steering Committee of bondholders in the Oi Brasil Holdings Cooperatief (Coop) Chapter 15 cases, including successful trial victory maintaining recognition of Brazilian proceeding by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and entry of order by Chapter 15 court enforcing terms of Brazilian plan.  Decisions established important new precedent on unchartered Chapter 15 issues.

  • P3A in various litigation and third-party discovery matters relating to the transformation of Puerto Rico’s energy system, including advising on litigation matters seeking to impede the concession of its transmission and distribution assets.

  • Petrobras in a securities fraud class action and dozens of related individual actions in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

  • Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company in exit financing facilities in the John Hammonds Trust Chapter 11 proceedings.

  • Overseas Shipholding Group Inc., one of the world’s largest publicly traded oil tanker companies, in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and successful restructuring, including successful defense and resolution of challenges to its plan of reorganization.

  • The Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico in various litigation matters relating to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

  • Barclays Capital in its purchase of Lehman’s North American investment banking assets, and various clients in resolving over $1 billion in outstanding derivative claims against the Lehman entities, both before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and in related European insolvency proceedings.

  • Nortel Networks in its Chapter 11 proceedings, a matter that has involved multiple material asset sales, including the unique and highly successful auctions of its patent portfolio and related businesses, which generated over $7.5 billion in proceeds

  • Truvo Group in winning confirmation of its plan of reorganization, which enabled the cross-border restructuring of approximately €1.5 billion of debt.

  • Noble Group in its successful bid to buy substantially all of the assets of SemFuel, a subsidiary of SemGroup, through a bankruptcy auction.

  • Mittal Family Trust in its acquisition of Escada through bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. and Europe.

  • Cascade Investment in the Chapter 11 proceedings of its portfolio company, Optim Energy.

See More

Selected Activities

  • Member, International Insolvency Institute
  • Member, Eastern District of New York Chapter 11 Advisory Committee

  • Editorial Board Member, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal


Could You Be a Debtor? SDNY Renders Decision in Chapter 15 Proceeding for SVB Cayman Branch,” American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, June 5, 2024

11th Circ. Ruling May Foreshadow Ch. 15 Clashes,” (co-authored with Thomas Kessler and Madeline Finnegan) Law360, May 15, 2024

Lender on Lender Violence: Mechanics and Trends,” (co-authored with Thomas Kessler and Miranda Hatch) INSOL World, March 22, 2024

Chapter 11 Restructurings of Latin American Energy Companies,” (co-authored with Richard Cooper and Jack Massey) ABI Journal, July 7, 2023

Cross Border Restructuring & Insolvency 2012-2022: Cases and Developments,” Wolters Kluwer, June 13, 2023

Plan-Support Agreements: Uncertainty Abounds,” (co-authored with Brad Lenox) ABI Journal, February 1, 2023

New York State Supreme Court Allows Claims by Minority Lenders Not Participating in Uptier Debt Exchange to Survive Motion to Dismiss,” (co-authored with Richard J. Cooper, Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare, Kara A. Hailey, Carina S. Wallance, John Veraja) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, November 2, 2022

Strategic Considerations for International Airlines Restructuring Under Chapter 11,” (co-authored with David Schwartz) Journal of Corporate Renewal, November 1, 2022

Discharge of Mass Tort Liability, Due Process & Illusory Finality in Chapter 11,” (co-authored with Thomas Kessler and Jack Massey) Bloomberg Law, September 7, 2022

Recent Demand for Examiners in Major Chapter 11 Cases Highlights Ambiguity in the Code,” (co-authored with Thomas Kessler and Jack Massey) ABI Journal, March 23, 2022

Texas Bankruptcy Court Dismisses the NRA’s Chapter 11 Filing for Lack of Good Faith,” (co-authored with Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare and Laya Maheshwari) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, May 18, 2021

Second Circuit Reaffirms Its Preference for Equitable Mootness,” (co-authored with Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare, and Kristin Corbett) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, February 24, 2021

Supreme Court Holds Mere Retention of Property Does Not Violate Automatic Stay Under §362(a)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code,” (co-authored with Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare, Thomas S. Kessler and Jessica Metzger) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, January 19, 2021 

The Risks of Pre-Petition Executive Bonuses in Distressed Scenarios,” (co-authored with Caroline Hayday, Brad Lenox, and Shelbi Vaughn) ABI Journal, January 1, 2021

SDNY Rules Transocean’s Internal Restructuring Does Not Violate Notes Indenture,” (co-authored with Richard J. Cooper, Francisco L. Cestero, Lisa M. Schweitzer, Duane McLaughlin, Sean A. O’Neal, Adam Brenneman, Jane VanLare, John Veraja) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, December 23, 2020; republished by Law360

A Texas Bankruptcy Court Denies Debtors’ Rent Abatement Motion in the Chuck E. Cheese Cases,” (co-authored with Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare, Kara A. Hailey and Andrea B. Jung) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, December 18, 2020; republished by Law360 

Bankruptcy Court in Ultra Petroleum, on Remand, Finds Make-Whole Not Disallowed Under Bankruptcy Code,” (co-authored with Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare, Michael Weinberg and Jessica Metzger) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, December 17, 2020

Rough Justice: Third Circuit Holds Subordination Agreements May Be Superseded in Cramdown,” (co-authored with Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare, and Thomas Lynch) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, August 31, 2020; republished by Law360.  

Amending the Lease-Assumption Deadline in the Wake of COVID-19,” (co-authored with Thomas Kessler), ABI Journal, June 1, 2020  

Dynamic Trends in Chapter 15,” (co-authored with Sean O’Neal, Lisa Schweitzer, Jane VanLare, and Benjamin Beller), International Comparative Legal Guide to: Restructuring & Insolvency 2020, May 20, 2020

Are Special Revenues as Special as They Once Were?” (co-authored with Dan Soltman) ABI Journal, May 5, 2020

Buyer Beware! Claims Disabilities Travel with Transfers,” (co-authored with Sean A. O’Neal, Lisa M. Schweitzer, Jane VanLare, Rahul Mukhi, Kara A. Hailey, Ryan Yeh, Thomas Lynch) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, April 29, 2020

Healthcare Industry Stimulus: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” (co-authored with Lisa M. Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, and Jane VanLare), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, March 30, 2020

Top Considerations for the Retail Industry – What Mall Owners Should be Thinking About,” (co-authored with Joseph Lanzkron, Daniel C. Reynolds, Lisa M. Schweitzer, and Steven L. Wilner), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, March 24, 2020

Third Circuit Approves Non-Consensual Releases Based on “Exceptional Facts” in Millennium Lab Holdings,” (co-authored with Lisa Schweitzer, Sean A. O’Neal, Jane VanLare, and Thomas Lynch), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, January 6, 2020

US: Dynamic Trends in Chapter 15,” (co-authored with Benjamin Beller and Ryan Yeh), GRR’s Americas Restructuring Review 2020, December 12, 2019

Highland Filing Shows Benefits Of Ch. 11 For Hedge Funds,” (co-authored with Lisa Schweitzer and Srinath Reddy Kethireddy), Law360, November 19, 2019

“‘Cross’-Border Wall? Not for U.S. Recognition of Foreign Insolvency Proceedings” Chapter, (co-authored with Benjamin Beller and Ryan Yeh), International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Laws and Regulations 2019, May 21, 2019

Filing For Bankruptcy To Manage Opioid Suits Is No Magic Pill,” (co-authored with Lisa Schweitzer and Ryan Yeh), Law360, April 29, 2019

Turnaround Legislation for Small Businesses,” (co-authored with Andrea Harris, Rosa M. Rojas Vértiz, and Wesley Rosslyn-Smith), Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, October 2018

No Registration? No Problem: Application of Bankruptcy Code’s Securities Registration Exemption in Chapter 15 Proceedings,” (co-authored with Richard Cooper and Daniel Soltman), American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, October 1, 2018

Eleventh Circuit Holds That Equitable Mootness Is Alive in Chapter 9,” (co-authored with Richard Cooper, Sean O’Neal, and Dan Soltman), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, August 21, 2018, republished by Law360, September 4, 2018

Hitting the Brakes: How a Potential PDV Holding Bankruptcy Might Affect Venezuela and PDVSA Creditors, ” (co-authored with Richard Cooper and Thomas Kessler), Social Science Research Network, August 18, 2018

A Growing Divide on Trademark License Rights in Bankruptcy,” (co-author with Daniel Ilan, Katie Dunn, and Michelle Elsner), Law360, June 13, 2018 

Ninth Circuit Holds That Impaired Accepting Class Requirement Applies to Plan Confirmation on a ‘Per-Plan’ Rather Than a ‘Per Debtor’ Basis,” (co-author with Jim Bromley, Lisa Schweitzer, Sean O’Neal, and Dan Soltman), the Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable, April 3, 2018

Supreme Court Holds Section 546(e) Safe Harbor Does Not Apply to All Transfers Made Through Financial Institutions,” (co-author with Seth Grosshandler, Mike Krimminger, Lisa Schweitzer, Sean O’Neal, Sandra Rocks, Penelope Christophorou, Humayun Khalid, Knox McIlwain, Thomas Kessler, and Brandon Hammer), ABA Business Law Today, March 29, 2018

Per Plan or Per Debtor? New Ruling Has Precedential Value,” (co-author with Dan Soltman), Law360, February 1, 2018

 “Unjust Enrichment or Fraudulent Transfer? Try Both,” (co-author with Matt Livingston), the American Bankruptcy Institute, September 9, 2017

Turning Bust to Boom: P3 Initiatives Under PROMESA,” (co-author with Richard Cooper, Adam Brenneman and Antonio Pietrantoni), Law360, July 19, 2017

Things to Watch in Retail: Key Takeaways,” (co-author with Steven Horowitz, Daniel Ilan, Lisa Schweitzer and Jane VanLare), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, June 23, 2017

Puerto Rico Files for Bankruptcy Under PROMESA Title III,” (co-author with Richard J. Cooper, Jessica E. McBride, Daniel J. Soltman, and Antonio Pietrantoni)  Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable, May 2017

Disarming Puerto Rico’s Pension Time Bomb,” (co-author with Richard Cooper, Daniel Soltman and Antonio Pietrantoni), Law360, April 19, 2017

Issues to Expect in a Title III Puerto Rico Restructuring,” (co-author with Richard Cooper, Jessica McBride and Antonio Pietrantoni), Microjuris, April 14, 2017

What Should Puerto Rico Offer Its Creditors?” (co-author with Richard Cooper and Jessica McBride), Law360, March 15, 2017

Pushed to the Bottom of the Pile: Subordinating Affiliate Securities Claims in Bankruptcy,” (co-author with Samuel Hershey), Bloomberg BNA’s Bankruptcy Law Reporter, March 9, 2017

Issues To Expect In A Title III Puerto Rico Restructuring,” (co-author with Richard Cooper, Jessica McBride and Antonio Pietrantoni), Law360, March 8, 2017

Why Puerto Rico Will Likely Rely On PROMESA Title III,” (co-author with Richard Cooper, Jessica McBride and Antonio Pietrantoni), Law360, March 1, 2017

“How to Get Noticed: Lessons from In re New Century TRS Holdings, Inc.,” (co-author with Anthony Ruiz), Bloomberg BNA’s Bankruptcy Law Reporter, October 15, 2015

“When to Pull the Trigger: Timing Considerations in Calculating Damages under Safe-Harbored Contracts Subject to 562,” (co-author with Danielle Levine), American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, March 2014

“Bankruptcy Removal Power Trumps Nonremoval Statutes,” (co-author with Hugh Murtagh), New York Law Journal, June 24, 2013

“Patenting New Protection for Chapter 15 Licensees,” (co-author with Emily Bussigel), American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, February 1, 2012

“Fee Reimbursements Without Satisfying the ‘Substantial Contribution’ Standard,” (co-author with Lindsee Granfield), U.S. Law Week, January 18, 2011

“Protection for Shareholder Payments in LBOs Gone Bad,” (co-author with Lisa Schweitzer), New York Law Journal, September 28, 2009