Hon. Shelley C. Chapman (Ret.) is Senior Counsel at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Judge Chapman served as a Bankruptcy Judge in the Southern District of New York from 2010 until her retirement from the bench on September 30, 2022. She presided over the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 and SIPA proceedings, as well as many other chapter 11 mega-cases and chapter 15 cross-border proceedings, including Boston Generating, Innkeepers, Ambac, LightSquared, Sbarro, NII Holdings, Sabine Oil & Gas, Cumulus Media, Toisa, Nine West, Century 21, and Aeromexico. She has also served as the court-appointed mediator in numerous complex chapter 11 cases, including Windstream, Frontier Communications, OneWeb, Avianca S.A., Purdue Pharma, and Sears. She is currently acting as the Lead Mediator in the Title III case of PREPA/The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Prior to her service as a Bankruptcy Judge, she was a partner at Willkie Farr in the Business Reorganization & Restructuring Department, where her practice included the representation of debtors, creditors, and other parties in interest in major chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings. Judge Chapman received a B.A. with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University in 1978 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, from which she graduated cum laude in 1981. She served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.
From 2001 through 2007, she served on the Board of Directors of HerJustice (formerly inMotion), a non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal services to indigent women and children in New York City, primarily in the areas of matrimonial, family, and immigration law. She served as Board Chair from 2004 to 2007, overseeing a broad expansion of the services provided throughout the five boroughs of the city. Prior to her appointment, she also served on the Executive Committee of the UJA-Federation of New York’s Bankruptcy and Reorganization Group and on the Advisory Board of the ABI New York City Bankruptcy Conference.
Judge Chapman is a Conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference, a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and a member of the Board of the International Insolvency Institute. She served on an advisory committee of the ABI Commission to Study Chapter 11 Reform, and served as judicial co-chair of the ABI New York City Bankruptcy Conference. In April 2015, she was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve as the Chair of the Federal Judicial Center’s Bankruptcy Judge Education Advisory Committee and served in such capacity until March 2020. She continues to act as a mentor judge for the Federal Judicial Center’s Orientation Program for Newly Appointed Bankruptcy Judges. In July 2016, she became a member of the FDIC’s Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee. She also served on the Editorial Board of Collier on Bankruptcy as a Contributing Author and was a member of the Second Circuit Civic Education Committee. She is a frequent lecturer on a variety of U.S. bankruptcy and international insolvency topics at conferences around the country and internationally.