Contact Information

One Battery Park Plaza
New York , NY  10004 US
Tel: 212-574-1366
Fax: 212-480-8421

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John R. Ashmead


Main Biography

John Ashmead is Chair of Seward & Kissel’s Bankruptcy and Reorganization Group.

John’s expertise is in insolvency and distressed situations.  His experience spans out-of-court workouts, chapter 11 cases, and foreign insolvency proceedings, where he represents lenders, bondholders and other creditors, borrowers, equity holders, acquirers, and members of and formal and informal creditor committees. In addition to restructurings of various sorts, the engagements include bankruptcy-related litigation, private equity and strategic investments, including acquisitions and plan sponsorships, and structured finance transactions.

John was a law clerk to the Honorable Cornelius Blackshear, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York from 1990-1992.

John appears before Bankruptcy Courts nationwide. He regularly authors articles in and the lectures on the bankruptcy and restructuring area.

John is a Fellow of the American College of Investment Counsel and has been recognized as a leading lawyer in bankruptcy by New York Super Lawyers (2010-2016) and as a Rising Star by Institutional Investor (2008).

Some of John’s recent representations include acting as lead counsel for: Law Debenture Trust Company as indenture trustee for $536 million in bonds in the Caesars chapter 11 cases; Delaware Trust Company as indenture trustee for $1.3 billion in bonds in the Ultrapetroleum chapter 11 cases; Wilmington Savings Fund Society as the administrative agent for a $1.8 billion credit facility in the prepackaged chapter 11 cases of Millennium Labs; DVB Bank SE as secured creditor and DIP lender in the International Shipholding chapter 11 cases; an ad hoc group of bondholders in a workout of the Trump Ocean Club (Panama); and various directors in the Miller Auto Parts chapter 11 cases.

Over the last several years, John has developed a noteworthy practice in the shipping sphere. He has been involved in numerous distressed shipping matters – advising company-side, lenders, investors and creditors in workouts, chapter 11 and chapter 15 cases, and foreign insolvency proceedings, including in the following matters:

Hanjin (vessel owner); Primorsk (vessel bidder); Nautilus Holdings (agent/lender); OSG (agent/lender); TMT Procurement Corporation (Official Creditors Committee); B+H Ocean Carriers (lending agent /syndicate); TBS International (agent/lender); General Maritime (company-side); U.S. Shipping Partners (I) (bond trustee); U.S. Shipping Partners (II) (refinancing lender); Omega Navigation (company-side); Marco Polo Steamship (ship owners, bunker supplier); Korea Line (agent/lender); Eastwind/Probulk (agent/ lender); Peregrine (equity investor); American Commercial Barge Lines (purchaser).


  • J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 1990, Law Review
  • B.S., St. John's University, 1987

Bar Admissions

  • New York


  • The Honorable Cornelius Blackshear, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, 1990-1992