Robin Phelan


Education and Clerkships

J.D., Ohio State University, 1970, cum laude

B.S.B.A., Accounting and Finance, Ohio State University, 1967

Bar Admissions

Texas, 1971

Michigan, 1970


Robin Phelan's practice is exclusively devoted to insolvency, reorganization and related areas, including extensive litigation in the bankruptcy court and other federal courts. Chambers, Chambers and Partners, described him as "a recognised genius in the legal field – the guy you go to if you have a question you can't answer" and as an authority on bankruptcy and restructuring matters with a "masterful presence in the courtroom." He also works with other Haynes and Boone attorneys to analyze the effect of bankruptcy and insolvency on corporate and financial transactions. Robin is a frequent speaker on panels and programs throughout the United States and internationally regarding developments in bankruptcy and insolvency law and is the author of numerous publications, several relating to tax, intellectual property, financial contracts, international issues, governmental and environmental claims. He is a contributor to major treatises on bankruptcy and has testified before both the Congressional Bankruptcy Review Commission and the United States Congress on insolvency matters. He has participated in a program sponsored by the United States Department of State and the United Nations to develop model cross border insolvency provisions, has been a delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Laws and has participated in a White House program to improve the United States bankruptcy system.

Mr. Phelan:

  • Represents debtors and creditors in all types of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings ranging from sole proprietors to major publicly-held companies such as Zale's, LTV, Hawaiian Airlines, Greyhound, Fruehauf, Enron, Adelphia, Idearc and Mirant.
  • Works with clients acquiring financially troubled businesses and has acted as an operating trustee in bankruptcy cases.
  • Represents the class action claimants in the Chapter 15 case of the largest bitcoin broker in the world.
  • Successfully reorganized an environmentally challenged manufacturer by creating liquidating trusts beneficially owned by the State of California.
  • Has consulted with representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Indonesia regarding amendments to the Indonesian Bankruptcy Law.
  • Structured multiple pre-negotiated Chapter 11 cases in connection with the largest insurance company reorganization in the United States.


Chambers USA | Haynes and Boone, LLP

Haynes and Boone Retains Strong Showing in Chambers USA 2016 Rankings

Haynes and Boone, LLP has again been honored in the annual Chambers USA 2016 directory. The widely-respected legal publication singled out 19 firm practice groups and 51 individual lawyers for recognition.

Published by Chambers & Partners in May 2016



Chambers Global 2016 | Haynes and Boone, LLP

Haynes and Boone Repeats Impressive Showing in Chambers Global 2016

Haynes and Boone, LLP had another strong year in the recently released Chambers Global legal directory, with 10 practices and lawyers recommended as leading providers of legal services in the international marketplace.

Published by Chambers & Partners in March 2016

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • "Disclosure? We Don’t Need No Stinking Disclosure! Rule 2014 and Conflicts of Interest," panelist, 19th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, Amelia Island, Florida, July 24-27, 2014.
  • "Welcome Furriner, I’ll Keep Your Intellectual Property: The Manifestly Contrary to Public Policy Exception," panelist, International Insolvency Institute's 14th Annual Conference, Mexico City, Mexico, June 9-10, 2014.
  • "Unspeakable Evil: Preference and Fraudulent Transfer Claims," International Energy Credit Association 2014 Spring Conference, San Antonio, Texas, April 6-8, 2014.
  • "Survey Questions Concerning Treatment of Intellectual Property Licenses under National Bankruptcy Regimes and Laws," Fourth UNCITRAL International Insolvency Law Colloquium, Vienna, Austria, December 16-18, 2013.
  • "Past Presidents Policy Debate: Resolved, that the Chapter 11 Model is no Longer Viable for Middle Market Businesses," ABI 25th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, December 5-7, 2013.
  • "Forrest Gump and Bankruptcy: Stupid is as Stupid Does," Oklahoma Bar Association's 28th Annual Advanced Bankruptcy Seminar, Oklahoma, December 5-6, 2013.
  • "'Grede' is Good: Wall Street Welcomes Recent Bankruptcy Safe Harbor Developments," panelist, American College of Bankruptcy, Miami, Florida, October 21, 2013.
  • "Welcome Furriner, Now Go Away: The Manifestly Contrary to Public Policy Exception," ABA Section of International Law 2013 Fall Meeting, London, England, October 15-19, 2013.
  • "A Paucity of Pesos - Cross Border Insolvency Issues with Mexico," Haynes and Boone Cross-Border Insolvency and Restructuring Event, Houston, Texas, October 2, 2013, and September 17, 2013.
  • "A Magical Marriage, or Is He Just a Troll? The Divorce of Boris Badenough," panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute 18th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, Amelia Island, Florida, July 18-21, 2013.
  • "Down the Rabbit Hole of IP Solvency," panelist, Licensing Executives Society - Houston Chapter, Houston, TX, July 18, 2013.
  • "Granting and Refusing Recognition in Model Law and Chapter 15 Cases," International Insolvency Institute - 13th Annual Conference, New York, New York, June 16-18, 2013.
  • "Down the Rabbit Hole of IP Insolvency," panelist, Licensing Executives Society Webinar, Dallas, Texas, June 12, 2013.
  • "An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Burgers: How to Manage the Risk of Franchise Failures by Advance Planning and Negotiated Creditor Agreements," panelist, International Franchise Association 46th Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C., May 5-7, 2013.
  • "BK 360 Revisted: ABA Past-Presidents Panel," panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute 31st Annual Spring Meeting, National Harbor, Maryland, April 18-21, 2013.
  • "I’m Shocked – Shocked! – to Find that Unethical Conduct is Going On in Here!: A Tale of Ethics in Bankruptcy," panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute, 24th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, November 29 – December 1, 2012.
  • "Hello Furriner, How Can I Help You? An Overview of Cross Border Insolvency and Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code" and "Welcome to America, Now Go Away: The Chapter 15 Manifestly Contrary to Public Policy Exception," panelist, University of Texas – School of Law Continuing Education, 2012 Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference, November 8-9, 2012.
  • "Cross Border Recognition Issues Between U.S. and Mexico," panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2012 U.S. – Mexico Restructuring Symposium, November 7, 2012.
  • "Out of Court vs. In Court," "Out-of-Court Restructuring," "Bankruptcy Reorganization," "Comparison of the Alternatives," panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute, 9th Annual Complex Financial Restructuring Program, September 13-14, 2012.
  • "Boris Badenough CSI? Ethical and Civility Issues in Cases Tainted by Crime," panelist, American Bankruptcy Institute, 17th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, July 25-28, 2012.
  • "The Vice of Vice Versa: Cross Border Recognition Procedures," panelist, and "An Update on the Manifestly Contrary to Public Policy Exception," author, Haynes and Boone Seminar: Going South: Issues in Cross-Border Insolvency and Restructuring between the U.S. and Mexico, July 25, 2012.
  • "Recognition and Coordination of International Domestic Cases and Obstacles to Recognition of Foreign Proceedings under the Model Law," International Insolvency Institute Conference, June 20-22, 2012.
  • "A Potpourri of Stupid and/or Clever Tactics in Bankruptcy Cases: Ethical Considerations," 2012 Sun Mountain Bankruptcy Seminar, June 15-16, 2012.
  • "Criticisms of Special Treatment: Which Financial Contracts Warrant It?" American Bankruptcy Institute and World Bank Insolvency and Creditor's Rights Initiative: Financial Contracts Program, April 29, 2012.
  • "An Irishman, a Greek and an Italian Walk into a Bar, Demand that the Bartender Recognize Them and Buy Their Drinks. A discussion of Chapter 15 and Cross-Border Jurisdiction," panelist, The American College of Bankruptcy Fifth Circuit Fellows, April 27-28, 2012.
  • "An Update on the Manifestly Contrary to Public Policy Exception," American Bar Association: Section of International Law 2012 Spring Meeting, April 17-21, 2012.
  • "Credit Bidding And Cramdown," "Venue Selection," and "Treatment Of Executory Contracts," American Bankruptcy Institute's Complex Financial Restructuring Program, October 5, 2011.
  • "New Rules of Disclosure in Bankruptcy," The Distressed Debt Conference Sponsored by DealFlow Media, October 3-4, 2011.
  • "'The Examiner' Is Not a New HBO Mini-Series" and "Wizard of Debt...And Your Little House Too!" Cincinnati Bar Association's Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar, August 11-12, 2011.
  • "And Your Little House Too! Another Boris Badenough Production," American Bankruptcy Institute's 16th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, July 27-30, 2011.
  • "If We're Arguing About It How Can It Be Indubitable?" American Bankruptcy Institute's 29th Annual Spring Meeting, April 2011.
  • "Fundamentals of Chapter 15," Haynes and Boone Seminar, "Nuts and Bolts of (International) Insolvency," March 29, 2011.
  • "What You Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask," Young Lawyers Committee of the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Texas, January 28, 2011.
  • "Cram Down: What Can I Prove is Fair and Equitable These Days?" American College of Bankruptcy, January 2011.
  • "Mass Torts, Class Actions and Other Issues that May Arise from the Gulf Oil Crisis," American Bankruptcy Institute's 22nd Annual Winter Leadership Conference, December 2010.
  • "Don't Blame Me! You Made Me Do It! - Recent Trends on the In Pari Delicto Defense," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, panel the American Bar Association's Business Bankruptcy Committee, October 2010.
  • "The use of DIP financing as a mechanism to control the US corporate restructuring process," North American Regional Forum News, Newsletter of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division, Vol. 1, No. 1, October 2010.
  • "A Comprehensive Overview of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act," Haynes and Boone Webinar, July 21, 2010.
  • "Counsel for 1st Lien Lenders, Investment Banker for 1st Lien Lenders and 2nd Lien Lenders," "Priming Debtor in Possession Lender, 2nd Lien Lenders, Counsel for Vandelay," "1st Lien Lenders, 2nd Lien Lenders, Unsecured Creditors, Eastside (Stalking Horse)," and "Vandelay Counsel, 1st Lien Lenders, 2nd Lien Lenders, Unsecured Creditors, Counsel to Maestro," American Bankruptcy Institute's Complex Financial Restructuring Program 2010, September 20, 2010.
  • "Legal Updates for Investors in Distressed Situations," The Distressed Debt Conference 2010, September 2010.
  • "Chapter 11 Confirmation Issues: 'Gift Plans,' Class Skipping, Third Party Releases" and "Do You Recognize Me? Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code," Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar, Inc., August 2010.
  • "Surfside Chat: Deposed Former ABI Leaders Speak," and "It Rose from the Grave! The Return of Boris Badenough," panels, American Bankruptcy Institute's 15th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, July 2010.
  • "Smooth Sailing in Choppy Waters," Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors Annual Conference, June 2010.
  • "Rule 2019 - It's as Plain as the Nose on an Elephant's Face," Bloomberg Law Reports, Vol. 4, No. 18, May 3, 2010.
  • "An Increditable Result - Limits on Credit Bidding in Bankruptcy Cases," American Bar Association Webinar, April 15, 2010.
  • "One is the Loneliest Number: Chapter 11 Single Asset Real Estate Cases," 34th Annual Judge Alexander L. Paskay Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Practice Sponsored by Stetson University College of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute, March 2010.
  • "Fall Down - Go Boom! Lessons from the Mega Cases 2008-2010," 2010 Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute Seminar, March 19, 2010.
  • "Trashing the Promenade, The Company Town, The Dead Debtor and Many Other Recent Anomalies and Contradictions From Bankruptcyland," 2010. Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute Seminar, March 18, 2010.
  • "Tinkerbell, The Crude People and The Bankruptcy Code," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, February 2010.

Professional and Community Activities

  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Former Director and Former President
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • American College of Bankruptcy
  • Dallas Bar Association, Former Chairperson of bankruptcy-related committees
  • State Bar of Texas, Former Chairperson of the Bankruptcy Law Section
  • American Bar Association, Former and current Chairperson of numerous committees
  • International Bar Association
  • International Insolvency Institute, Director
  • John C. Ford American Inn of Court


DMag Best Lawyers 2015

Haynes and Boone Maintains Strong Presence on D Magazine’s Best Lawyers List

D Magazine recognizes 36 Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers in their annual Best Lawyers of Dallas directory; an increase over last year’s showing and doubling the 2014 list.

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized as Best Lawyers' 2012 Dallas Litigation - Bankruptcy "Lawyer of the Year," Woodward/White, Inc., 2012
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers' 2011 Dallas Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights "Lawyer of the Year," Woodward/White, Inc., 2011
  • Recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2010-2016, and Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2012-2016
  • Recognized for Insolvency and Restructuring in Expert Guides, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2014
  • Recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers & Partners, for Bankruptcy and Business Restructuring, 2012-2016
  • Recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners, as one of the leading practitioners for Bankruptcy and Restructuring in the United States, 2008-2015, and in Texas, 2015
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters - Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2009-2015; a Top 100 Texas Super Lawyer, 2011-2012; and a Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Region Super Lawyer, 2010-2013, 2015
  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer in Dallas for Bankruptcy and Workout, D Magazine, D Magazine Partners, 2009, 2011, 2013-2016
  • Recognized in The International Who's Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers, Law Business Research Ltd., 2000-2008, 2010, 2014
  • Recognized as being among the outstanding attorneys practicing in restructuring, reorganization, insolvency and bankruptcy by The K&A Restructuring Register, America's Top 100, Eighth Edition, 2007
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™

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