• Yale University (B.A. 1989)
  • University of Southern California (J.D. 1994)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • 1997, California


  • Law clerk, Judge Erithe A. Smith (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 1994-96)

Malhar S. Pagay

Photo of Malhar S. Pagay
Los Angeles
Tel: 310.277.6910

Mr. Pagay is a business lawyer whose practice focuses on the development and implementation of strategic alternatives for and against distressed businesses. He has substantial experience representing chapter 11 debtors, trustees, unsecured creditors, creditors' committees, and other parties in the contexts of bankruptcy cases, adversary proceedings, commercial litigation, mediations, domestic and international business transactions, business reorganizations, and out-of-court corporate restructurings of debt. He has broad industry experience, including healthcare and life sciences, real estate, technology, retail, manufacturing, transportation, sports, and entertainment.

Mr. Pagay's recent representations include reorganizing the Ruby Tuesday casual-dining chain with over 200 restaurants through a debt-for-equity transaction with its secured lenders, implemented through a chapter 11 plan confirmed after only four months in bankruptcy; counseling technology entrepreneur Yueting “YT” Jia, the founder of mobility ecosystem company Faraday Future, in the successful restructuring of over $3 billion in debt held almost entirely by creditors located in the People’s Republic of China (this representation was recognized at Global M&A Network’s 13th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards as “Cross-Border Turnaround of the Year”); advising a creditors' committee in connection with a successful hospital reorganization; and completing the sale through section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code of a $100 million Class A commercial office property over the objections of co-owners. He has served as principal counsel to China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE) and its Chinese policyholders and clients in complex United States insolvency matters.

Mr. Pagay has lectured both in the United States and internationally regarding a variety of legal issues, including mass-tort bankruptcy cases arising from sexual-abuse liability and crossborder transactions and insolvencies. He has been named a "Super Lawyer" in the field of Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights every year since 2009 in a peer survey conducted by Law & Politics and the publishers of Los Angeles magazine, an honor bestowed on only 5% of Southern California attorneys. Mr. Pagay holds an AV Preeminent Peer Rating (Martindale-Hubbell's highest recognition for ethical standards and legal ability). He has been listed among The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation – Bankruptcy and was named to the 2023 edition of the Lawdragon 500 Leading Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers. Mr. Pagay is a graduate of Yale University and received his J.D. from the University of Southern California.


Professional Affiliations

  • Lawyer Delegate, Ninth Circuit Judicial Council (2018-2024)
  • Chair (2006-07), Executive Committee (2003-), Beverly Hills Bar Association Bankruptcy Section
  • Member, Board of Governors, Beverly Hills Bar Association (2008-2010)
  • First Vice-Chair (2011-2012), Treasurer (2010-2011), Executive Committee Member (2008-2013), Los Angeles County Bar Association International Law Section
  • Member, State Bar of California International Law Section Executive Committee (2010-2013)
  • Member, State Bar of California Business Law Section Insolvency Law Committee (2004-2007)
  • Member, Turnaround Management Association
  • Certified Commercial Arbitrator, Institute for Conflict Management LLC

Programs and Lectures

"Mass Tort Bankruptcy Update: From Asbestos to Abuse,” Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (2023); "Fold and Live to Fold Again: Perspectives on Mass Torts,” 35th Annual California Bankruptcy Forum Insolvency Conference (2023); "Crossfire Panel on Divisive Mergers (the 'Texas Two-Step')," ABI Bankruptcy Battleground West (2023); "The Wrath of Stern," ABI Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (2022); "Cross-Border Case Law Update," ABI Cross-Border Insolvency Program (2021); "Current Trends and Issues in Chapter 11 Cases," Conference of Chief Bankruptcy Judges of the Ninth Circuit (2019); "Restructuring Healthcare Entities in Bankruptcy: Unique Challenges and Benefits of Chapter 11," Navigating Medicare, Medicaid, HIPAA, Overpayment Liability and More (Strafford 2017); "Cross-Border Update," American Bankruptcy Institute Cross-Border Insolvency Program (2017); "A General Overview of Legal and Security Issues Arising From Employee Telecommuting," National Golf Hardware Credit Exchange Conference (2017); "Restructuring the Healthcare Provider: Successfully Navigating the Reorganization Process," ABA Health Law Section Washington Summit (2016); "Cross-Border Insolvency Proceedings," Canadian Bar Association National Insolvency Conference (2016); "China's New Normal: How Far, How Deep, and What Type of Impact?" AIRA Restructuring & Plan of Reorganization Conference (2015); "Outbound Activity: Chinese Participation in Western Restructurings and Insolvencies," ABI/NYU School of Law (2015); "U.S. Bankruptcies—Risks for Chinese Exporters,” China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation and Sun Yat-sen University School of Business International Transactions Risk Forum (2015); "Help! My Producer (or Software Licensee or Actor) Just Went Bankrupt—Now What?" Beverly Hills Bar Association, Bankruptcy Law, Intellectual Property, Internet and New Media Sections (2012); “Setoff and Recoupment in Bankruptcy” and “Nuts and Bolts—Current Litigation Issues,” Bankruptcy and Collections From a Government Perspective Seminar, National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), National Attorney General’s Training Institute (NAGTRI), States’ Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys (SABA) (2011); "Impact of Corporate Restructurings and Financial Distress on International Trade," International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) International Trade & Transport Symposium (2011); "PRC Insolvency Law: The New PRC Bankruptcy Law, NPLS and Out-of-Court Workouts," American Bankruptcy Institute Third Annual Hawaii Bankruptcy Workshop (2010); "2010 - A Year of Economic Transition in China and the United States: Risks and Opportunities for Chinese Companies," Asian Legal Business In-House Summit (Beijing, China) (2009); "Recent Developments in Cross-Border Transactions," INSOL International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals North American Regional Seminar (2008); "Dealing With a Failed International Construction Project: A Case Study," Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) 18th Annual Conference (2008); "Economic Overview and Outlook - Downturn in the US to Burst the Bubble in China" (2008); "China as Top Creditor - The Evolving Opportunities for Chinese Companies to Invest Abroad" (2007), Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors (AIRA) Restructuring and Investing Conference (Shanghai, China); "Bankruptcy/Insolvency - The Effects on Entertainment Industry Contracts," Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) 27th Annual Conference (Cancun, Mexico) (2007); "Issues 2006: America's Best Lawyers" American Airlines/ and (discussing impact of Bankruptcy Code amendments on business) (2006); Professor, Beijing Foreign Studies University School of Law (2012-2013)



  • Author, "Section 105(a) of the Bankruptcy Code," 2007 Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 473 (West 2007); 2006 Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 415 (West 2006); 2005 Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 689 (West 2005)
  • Author, "Improving The Odds of Repayment In Bankruptcy," 51 Practical Lawyer 45 (August 2005)
  • Author, "Section 105(a) of the Bankruptcy Code in 2002-2003 -- Two Years of Continued Development," 2004 Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 645 (West 2004)


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