• Boston University (B.S. business administration)
  • Boston University School of Law (J.D. cum laude)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York

Richard E. Mikels

Photo of Richard E. Mikels
New York
Tel: 212.561.7700

Mr. Mikels has extensive experience in commercial law, workouts, and reorganizations. He is known for representing significant debtor companies (both in chapter 11 and in out-of-court workouts), but also represents creditors' committees, boards of directors, insurance companies, hedge funds, claims traders, and acquirers of businesses.

Mr. Mikels served as an adjunct professor at Boston University School of Law for nine years. He has been listed in Chambers USA since 2003, Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation - Bankruptcy since 1983, and Massachusetts Super Lawyers since 2004. Best Lawyers named him Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Lawyer of the Year in 2010 and Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year in 2013. In 2004, Boston University awarded Mr. Mikels the Silver Shingle Award for Distinguished Service to the School of Law. He also holds an AV Preeminent Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability. He has been ranked as a "star performer" in Chambers for Massachusetts from 2008 through 2016, and is currently listed in New York and nationally. He was listed by Lawdragon as one of the 2020 "Lawdragon 500 Leading Global Restructuring & Insolvency Lawyers."

Chambers comments:

  • 2017: "Richard Mikels . . . has a wealth of experience representing clients in complex in-court and out-of-court bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings. Interviewees describe him as a 'very talented' lawyer and draw attention to his 'sheer ability and experience.'"
  • 2016: "'. . .a leader, not only of the Boston bar, but also of the national bankruptcy bar. . . . He is a true star and an outstanding lawyer.'"
  • 2015: "'a dynamic individual' and 'a really fine lawyer.'"
  • 2014: "'[D]ean of the bankruptcy bar,'. . . considered 'the gold standard in the market. He is highly regarded for his reputation in a range of organizations, notably large debtor companies, in out-of-court workouts and Chapter 11 cases.'"
  • 2013: "Star individual Richard Mikels is a revered practitioner with a name for debtor representation in complex restructurings. Clients speak at length about his calming presence during negotiations and his pragmatism, saying 'He has a unique ability to identify issues that should be negotiated as opposed to hard fought and he always finds a good compromise. He has the respect of everybody that he deals with.'"

Mr. Mikels earned his B.S.and his J.D. at Boston University.


Chapter 11 debtors: Filene's Basement, Malden Mills, Alsip Acquisition, Joan Fabrics, New Care Inc. (counsel to examiner), Lexington Jewelers Exchange dba Alpha Omega Jewelers, Great Northern Paper, Caribbean Petroleum, Globe Manufacturing

Out-of-court restructurings include a professional services provider, an internet retailer, a food-processing company, a religious institution of higher learning, a regional aquarium, a chain of furniture stores, and others in various industries including education, biotech, high technology, pharmaceuticals, print, real estate, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing

Creditors' committees: United Road Towing, Hampshire Group, Jevic, RadioShack (ad hoc dealer-franchise committee), Oscient Pharmaceuticals, and Buckingham Oil (ad hoc investor committee)

Mediator in multi-party disputes

Mergers & Acquisitions: Suffolk Construction, Alliance Tire, Silica Tech, Corners Inc., Molten Metal Technology, Craig Systems, Momentum Telecom, Manistique Paper

Equity representations: Town & Country Corporation, Corners Inc., Paperama, Cumberland Farms, Nets Inc., Manistique Acquisitions, One IP Voice

Creditors: Secured lender in Fort Square Associates, liquidity provider in Jefferson County, Alabama, bank group in Trend-Lines, private equity company in Rehrig International, and others

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy (chair, board of regents; former national vice president, board member, education chair)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute (former board member, plan advisory committee co-chair for Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, Mediation Subcommittee on Model Rules chair)
  • Past director, New England Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association
  • Member, Combined Jewish Philanthropies Scholarship Fund Committee
  • Member, Boston University School of Law Alumni Executive Committee (formerly president)
  • Past co-chair, Charles Normandin Fund
  • Past director, Jewish Vocational Services

Programs and Lectures

American Bankruptcy Institute, American Bar Association Business Law Section, Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, the Wharton School, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Boston Bar Association, Turnaround Management Association, Commercial Law League of America, West LegaEdcenter, Boston University School of Law


  • Coauthor, "Revel: To Stay or Not to Stay? Third Circuit Reveals the Answer," 35 ABI Journal 12 (Jan. 2016)
  • Coauthor, "ABI Mediation Committee's Model Guidelines for Mediation," 34 ABI Journal 24 (April 2015)
  • Coauthor, "Should Bankruptcy Waivers Be Enforceable?" 33 ABI Journal 12 (Dec. 2014)
  • Coauthor, "Is Possession a Requirement for Turnover?" 32 ABI Journal 34 (April 2013)
  • Coauthor, "Can a Counterparty to an Executory Contract Perform Preassumption?" 31 ABI Journal 28 (May 2012)
  • Coauthor, "Bankruptcy's Impact on Financial Markets," 30 ABI Journal 10 (Dec./Jan. 2011)
  • Coauthor, "Chrysler Reflects Modern Reorganization Practice," 29 ABI Journal 10 (Dec Jan 2010)


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