Menu

Education

  • University of California at Berkeley (B.A., magna cum laude)
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (J.D.)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • Montana

Clerkships

  • Law clerk, Chief Judge Albert Lee Stephens, Jr. (C.D. Cal.)

Dean A. Ziehl

Photo of Dean A. Ziehl
Los Angeles
Tel: 310.277.6910
New York
Tel: 212.561.7700

Mr. Ziehl has been a managing partner of the firm since it was founded in 1983, overseeing its growth into the nation’s largest law firm specializing in insolvency matters. Admitted to the bar in both California and New York, he has a national bankruptcy and litigation practice, specializing in complex bankruptcy proceedings and business litigation, with significant trial experience in both state and federal courts.

Mr. Ziehl has represented debtors, creditor committees, bondholders, trustees, examiners, and equity holders in many of the firm’s most notable engagements, including the high-profile chapter 11 cases of Lehman Brothers, Adelphia Communications, American Suzuki Motor Corporation and TK Holdings (Takata), as well as numerous out-of-court workouts. He is or has been involved in many other significant chapter 11 cases, including Washington Mutual, Mike Tyson, Webvan Group, Chrysler Corporation and Polaroid Corporation. In addition, he currently serves as the liquidation trustee and disbursing agent for SFX Liquidating Trust and as chair of the trustees overseeing the liquidations of Adelphia Communications and Physiotherapy Associates. He has also represented the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees as amicus curiae in the U.S. Supreme Court as well as on numerous appeals in federal courts of appeal and state supreme and appellate courts.  

Mr. Ziehl currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, the advisory board of the Loyola Law School Advocacy Institute, and the board of directors of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society. He is a former chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section and the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Central District Lawyers Representatives.

Mr. Ziehl is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and received his J.D. from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, where he was a member of the Loyola Law Review editorial staff. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Albert Lee Stephens, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Mr. Ziehl has long held an “AV Preeminent Peer Rating,” Martindale-Hubbell's highest recognition for ethical standards and legal ability; has been voted by his business litigation peers as a "Super Lawyer" since 2004 (Los Angeles Magazine); and was selected by Best Lawyers in America for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law as well as Litigation—Bankruptcy. In 2014, the Century City Bar Association honored him as its “Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year.“ 

Representations

  • Chapter 11 debtors: American Suzuki Motor Corporation, Breed Technologies, Dana Corporation (conflicts counsel), Clarent Corporation, Mike Tyson; Inacom Corporation, Webvan Group
  • Creditors' and equity committees: TK Holdings (Takata) (tort claimants' committee), Chrysler Corporation (conflicts counsel), First Executive Corporation, First Capital Holdings Corporation, Sun World International (equity committee), AgwayResidential Capital (conflicts counsel)
  • Chapter 11 trustees and examiners: Ezri Namvar and Namco Capital Group (special bankruptcy and litigation counsel), Galleria USA, Le-Nature's, Polaroid Corporation
  • Ad hoc bondholders' committees: Washington Mutual, Adelphia Communications
  • Chapter 11 creditors: Lehman Commercial Paper and Lehman ALI Inc. in In re Palmdale Hills Property LLC ("SunCal")
  • Litigation/Appeals:
    • Successfully sued the California Department of Finance on behalf of a real estate developer, obtaining a judgment after trial compelling the state to honor an obligation to pay the developer an estimated $180 million in property tax increment. Obtained a judicial declaration that the obligation, incurred by the Fontana Redevelopment Agency to repay our client’s development of municipal infrastructure between 1981 and 1992, survived the enactment in 2011 of legislation dissolving redevelopment agencies in California.
    • Co-lead class counsel for structured settlement payees in connection with systematic looting of irrevocable bond trust established to fund settlements
    • Represented investors and trustees against independent auditors in various accountant liability cases, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Andersen
    • Represented National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees as amicus curiae in USACM Liquidating Trust v. Deloitte & Touche (9th Circuit); Bondi (extraordinary commissioner of Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A.) v. Citigroup (Parmalat) (NJ Supreme Court); Peterson (chapter 7 trustee for Lancelot Investors Fund) v. McGladrey (7th Circuit); and Kirschner (trustee of the Refco Litigation Trust) v. KPMG (NY Court of Appeals)

Fiduciary Engagements

  • Litigation trustee:
    • Litigation trustee and disbursing agent for SFX litigation trust. SFX  is a live events, ticketing, and digital entertainment conglomerate that owned or operated electronic dance music festivals and concerts worldwide.

    • Chair of the board of trustees overseeing the PAH litigation trust. Physiotherapy Associates was the largest pure-play provider of outpatient therapy services in the United States with over 1500 clinicians and 581 rehabilitation, orthotics, and prosthetics clinics in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

    • Chair of the board of trustees overseeing the liquidation of the Adelphia Communications estate and the prosecution of litigation claims held by the Adelphia Recovery Trust, a public Delaware grantor trust. Adelphia was the fifth largest cable company in the U.S. before filing for bankruptcy after accounting scandals revealed $2.3 billion of off-balance-sheet debt.

Professional Affiliations

  • Board of Trustees, U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Advisory Board, Loyola Law School Advocacy Institute
  • Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society Advisory Council, 2011-2012; Board of Directors, 2012-present
  • Member of court-appointed committees, United States District Court, Central District of California
  • Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section (2001-02)
  • Chair, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Central District Lawyer Representative (1995-96; served multiple terms)
  • American Bar Association Business Law Section Task Force on Insurance Insolvency Steering Committee (1992-95)