James D. Newell practices in the areas of bankruptcy and corporate reorganizations. His experience includes the representation of secured and unsecured creditors, debtors and official creditors' committees in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings throughout the United States.
Jim is the co-chair of the firm's Financial Institutions Practice and immediate past chair of the Bankruptcy & Insolvency and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group and has chaired Buchanan’s Advisory Committee, as well as Buchanan’s Associates Committee and Recruiting Committee.
Jim has significant experience in representing commercial lenders in loan workouts, out-of-court restructurings, the negotiation of intercreditor agreements and the purchase and sale of commercial loan assets. He represented the bankruptcy trustee in the country's oldest pending bankruptcy case and the parent holding-company of one of the largest medical liability insurers in Pennsylvania. Jim has represented purchasers of real estate and other assets in Section 363 sales in jurisdictions across the country, and he regularly defends corporate clients in preference and other avoidance actions.
Jim led a firm team in representing investors in a $1 billion transaction involving a sale-leaseback of a coal powered generation facility, advising the largest investor on bankruptcy planning and protections in structuring the transaction. He has more than 25 years of experience in representing financial institutions on treasury/cash management services provided to national retailers and industries in and outside of a Chapter 11 context.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals and Third Circuit Judicial Counsel have twice appointed Jim to the Judicial Merit Selection Committee to select candidates for bankruptcy judge openings for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Jim served as Chair of the Merit Selection Committee in 2013. Jim has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for bankruptcy and creditors’ rights each year since 2011 and was named "Lawyer of the Year" in the 2020 edition. He has also been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.
He lectures on the topics of bankruptcy law and bankruptcy legislation for the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. In addition, he conducts in-house seminars on corporate bankruptcy for major financial institutions and firm lawyers and has authored and co-authored articles on bankruptcy related topics.
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1987
The Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1984, Phi Beta Kappa
Business Bankruptcy Committee, American Bar Association Section of International Law
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, Allegheny County Bar Association
American Bankruptcy Institute
Board of Advisors, The Pennsylvania State University