Ryan Blaine  Bennett
Ryan Blaine Bennett
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Corporate law
40 Under Class – 2015

Ryan Blaine Bennett has earned the respect of his colleagues and the loyalty of his clients.

That doesn’t rank as any secret formula. But this simple strategy explains why this corporate restructuring specialist with Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis has man- aged to build such a busy and successful law practice.

It doesn’t hurt, either, that Bennett knows his field and routinely guides his corporate clients to the best possible resolutions.

With his impressive skill set, knowledge and work ethic, it’s little surprise that Bennett has worked on several important and complex corporate-restructuring cases during his career. Recently, Bennett played a principal role representing Syncora Guarantee in the City of Detroit’s chapter 9 bankruptcy case. In that role, Bennett helped design and negotiate a comprehen- sive settlement among his client and Detroit, where Syncora acquired significant real estate interests in, and partnered with, the City.

Additionally, Bennett has played key roles in several restructur- ings within the Energy sector, including the successful Chapter 11 case involving North American Petroleum, U.S.

Bennett also worked on the huge Chapter 11 case involving NRG Energy, Inc. This case was a complicated $12 billion glob- al restructuring. As always, Bennett helped secure a successful resolution in this case for his client.

Iskender Catto, partner with the New York office of McDer- mott, Will & Emery, worked closely with Bennett on both of these Energy sector cases. And in both, Catto says, he came away impressed with his counterpart’s ability, knowledge and dedication to his clients.

“I worked with Ryan on many matters within each of these Chapter 11 cases, each bringing a new adversarial creditor or vendor party,” Catto said. “The one thing that was consistent throughout each of them was Ryan’s ability to defuse the hostil- ity of the counterparty. Ryan treats every counterparty the way he would like to be treated. He does so regardless of how he is initially treated.”

Catto says that Bennett injects a level of humanity into what are usually hostile and adversarial matters. He also seeks solutions, when possible, that work for all parties involved. Catto says that Bennett also searches for the “win-win” solution.

“Sadly, this type of lawyering is rare,” Catto said. “Too often, lawyers stake out a claim and fight for it. Fighting is easy, but rarely leads to a good result. Ryan’s method requires creativity. It requires seeking solutions, and alternatives. It requires coop- eration and civility.”

Catto says that Bennett will only continue to rise in the indus- try. It’s hard to argue. This young attorney has already com- pleted a long list of successful representations.

Bennett is currently representing Sabine Oil & Gas in its chap- ter 11 reorganization cases pending in NewYork, and is engaged in multiple non-public matters in the Energy and other industry sectors.