David D. Cleary

David D. Cleary


David D. Cleary focuses his practice on business restructuring and reorganizations, distressed asset dispositions and financings, debt restructurings and workouts, and litigation. David regularly represents individuals, distressed companies, financial institutions, secured and significant creditors, noteholders and bondholders, hotel/resort owner/operators, boards of directors, debtors, official and ad hoc committees, and insurance and surety portfolios.

David also handles health care, energy, and municipal and tax-exempt restructurings.


  • Corporate reorganization, restructuring, and refinancing
  • Mergers and acquisitions involving financially distressed entities and/or assets
  • Bank lending/financial institutions
  • Counsel to boards of directors and management
  • Health care
  • Tax-exempt restructuring
  • Energy
  • Gaming
  • Hospitality
  • Airlines



  • Represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 case of Hospital Acquisition LLC (aka LifeCare Holdings, LLC).
  • Represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 cases of Senior Care Centers, LLC.
  • Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of Sears Methodist Retirement System, Inc.
  • Represents the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in connection with debt restructuring under PROMESA.
  • Represented the City of Hartford, Connecticut, in connection with its financial restructuring.
  • Represented the Future Claims Representative in the Takata Holdings and Subsidiary cases.
  • Represented the bondholder committee in Conseco Finance bankruptcy case.
  • Represented the City of Chicago in the United Airlines and American Airlines bankruptcy cases.
  • Represented General Motors in its pre-bankruptcy preparation, reorganization, and corporate restructuring.°
  • Represented significant creditors in Kmart bankruptcy cases.
  • Represented credit enhancers in ATA, Delta and Northwest Airlines.°
  • Represented Richie Risk-Linked Strategies Trading (Ireland) Ltd (Life Settlement) as debtor in its Chapter 11 case.°
  • Acted as restructuring and bankruptcy counsel for Mercury Finance Company in its out-of-court restructuring efforts and subsequent Chapter 11 filing involving in excess of $2 billion indebtedness.°
  • Represented retiree committee in Florsheim Shoes.
  • Counsel to bondholder committee in restructuring and Chapter 11 case involving an energy facility in Alabama.
  • Counsel to bondholder committee in Chapter 11 case involving a waste to energy facility in Illinois.°
  • Represented indenture trustee of approximately $600 million of senior subordinated notes in National Gypsum Chapter 11 case.°
  • Represented major manufacturing company in connection with several acquisitions in and out of bankruptcy cases.
  • Represented indenture trustees in defaults and bankruptcy cases.
  • Represented bondholders, indenture trustees and credit enhancers in both tax-exempt and taxable issues for energy, health care, airline, and municipal-related transactions.
  • Provided restructuring and dispute resolution counsel as national coordinating counsel for insurance and surety companies (asbestos, construction, and mass tort).
  • Represented numerous receivers and other parties-in-interest in ancillary proceedings and credit enforcement engagements.

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Cleary prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2012-2020
  • Listed, AZ Business magazine, "Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona," 2018
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Southwest Super Lawyers, 2011-2019
    • "Top 50 Super Lawyers in Arizona," 2015-2017
  • Member, Winning Team, M&A Advisor’s Turnaround Awards, "Restructuring of the Year (Over $500mm to $1 Billion)" for the restructuring of FriendFinder Networks, 2015
  • Member, Winning Team, ACG New York Champion’s Awards, Technology, Media, Telecom (over $100mm) for Restructuring of FriendFinder Networks Inc. - Senior Secured Notes and Second Lien Notes, 2014
  • Member, Winning Team, "Media & Entertainment Turnaround of the Year” for the reorganization of FriendFinder Networks Inc., Global M&A Network’s Turnaround Atlas Awards, 2014
  • Member, Winning Team, ACG New York Champion’s Awards, Corporate/Strategic Acquisition of the Year (Over $250mm) and Consumer Services categories for Indianapolis Downs, LLC - Sale of Indiana Grand Casino and Indiana Downs Racetrack, 2013
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, "Law Firm of the Year" in Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2013
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    • Member, Liaison Committee
      • Chair, Complex Chapter 11 Rules Sub-Committee
    • Volunteer, Volunteer Attorney Panel
    • Member, Bankruptcy Court Rules Advisory Committee
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
    • Member, Bankruptcy Pro Bono Committee
      • Volunteer, Chicago Bankruptcy Help Desk Foundation
    • Past Chair, Rules Sub-Committee of the Bankruptcy Committee
  • Member, Seventh Circuit Bar Association
    • General Chair, Bankruptcy Law and Procedure Committee
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Past Co-Chair, Asset Sales Committee, Successor Liability Subcommittee
    • Past Co-Chair, Healthcare Committee, Legislative Subcommittee
  • Member, Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) Program (Chicago Chapter)
  • Volunteer, The Big Shoulders Fund 
  • Member, Federal Bar Association (Chicago Chapter)
  • Master (Alumnus), Arizona Bankruptcy Inn of Court
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, YWCA, Maricopa County
  • Past Co-Chair, American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Committee


  • J.D., with honors, DePaul University College of Law, 1987
    • Article and Note Editor, DePaul Law Review
  • B.A., cum laude, Arizona State University, 1984
  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
  • Trial Bar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois