Jones Day loses bankruptcy chair

Second bankruptcy partner leaves to join Gibson Dunn in NY

Jones Day has been struck by a second high-profile departure in bankruptcy, this time losing the chair of its restructuring group to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

Highly-rated Richard Cieri has already moved across to Gibson Dunn, where he is based in the firm’s New York office chairing the business restructuring and reorganisation group.

His defection closely follows that of John Rapisardi, who recently rejoined Weil Gotshal & Manges‘ New York office after spending just a year and a half as co-chair of Jones Day’s restructuring group.

Rapisardi initially joined Jones Day from Weil Gotshal as part of a group of restructuring partners, which included the highly-rated Corinne Ball, in 2001.

The departures, in such quick succession, are a blow to Jones Day’s plans to bolster its firm-wide presence in bankruptcy.

Recently, the firm appointed Adam Plainer from SJ Berwin to head its London push into restructuring, with part of his remit being to work closely with the firm’s New York office on transatlantic reorganisations.

The chairmanship of Jones Day’s bankruptcy group will now be taken on by David Heiman, a senior partner at the firm and coordinator of the firm-wide business practice group. Heiman handed over the leadership of the bankruptcy group in 1995 to Cieri, after being appointed to be chairman of the firm’s corporate group.

During his time at Jones Day, Cieri worked primarily for debtors, but on a number of occasions also acted for creditor committees. Clients have included Trans World Airlines and Kmart.