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Michael J. Riela

Phone: 212-508-6773

Attorneys » R » Michael J Riela

Michael J. Riela


Michael advises clients in complex data privacy, cybersecurity, corporate restructuring, M&A, financing, and litigation matters. He is also an experienced business attorney, advising both clients in general corporate, finance and litigation matters, including negotiating and drafting complex commercial contracts.

Michael is a frequent author and speaker. The “Publications” and “Events” tabs highlight many of Michael’s recent articles and speaking engagements.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy:

Michael assists clients identify, evaluate and manage risks associated with their data privacy and security practices. He advises clients on various U.S. federal and state privacy and data security laws and rules, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (and the rules promulgated by the SEC and other regulators), the New York State Department of Financial Services cybersecurity regulation, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), and data security breach notification laws. Michael also advises clients in the US and overseas with respect to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and with respect to cross-border data transfers.

Michael helps clients evaluate their data security risks, and prepares and helps clients implement security documentation, including written information security programs, systems access policies and incident response plans. After a data breach occurs, Michael assists clients in addressing legal, operational and reputational risks arising from the breach.

Michael is a Certified Information Privacy Professional / United States Private Sector (CIPP/US), a Certified Information Privacy Professional / Europe (CIPP/E) and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), which are designations awarded by The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Creditors’ Rights & Business Reorganization and Insolvency Litigation:

Michael has in-depth experience in advising clients on corporate and real estate workouts, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, debtor-in-possession (DIP) and bankruptcy exit loan facilities, secondary market trading of distressed debt and trade claims, M&A transactions, insolvency-related litigation, and bankruptcy retention and fee agreements and disputes. Michael focuses on helping clients minimize cost, delay and risk by developing and implementing out-of-court strategies when possible.

Michael’s clients primarily include companies and boards of directors, indenture trustees, hedge funds, private equity firms, landlords, professional services firms (including major accounting firms), trade creditors, contract counterparties, plaintiffs and defenses in insolvency-related litigation, and shareholders.

The “Case Studies” tab lists a number of Michael’s most significant engagements.

Significant Matters

  • Distressed companies in out-of-court workouts and Chapter 11 cases, including:
    • FLAG Telecom Holdings Limited
    • Freedom Communications Holdings, Inc.
    • Solutia Inc.
    • SOMS Technologies LLC
    • Numerous out-of-court workouts
  • Lender groups, indenture trustees and administrative agents in major Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court workouts, including:
    • Atrium Corporation
    • Berkline/Benchcraft, LLC
    • Buffets Inc.
    • Delta Air Lines Inc.
    • Extended Stay Inc.
    • J.L. French Automotive Castings, Inc.
    • Legends Gaming LLC
    • Maher Terminals LLC
    • Nortel Networks Inc.
    • Pacific Energy Resources Ltd.
    • Premier International Holdings Inc.
    • Siméus Foods International, Inc.
  • Financial institutions as secured lenders in bankruptcies and state law remedies involving defaulted equipment financing arrangements.
  • Purchasers and sellers in distressed and non-distressed M&A transactions, including the following transactions:
    • Evergreen Solar, Inc.
    • SOMS Technologies LLC
    • Sonic Telecommunications International, Ltd.
    • Urban Communicators PCS Limited Partnership
    • U.S. Aggregates, Inc.
    • Vectrix Corporation
  • Lenders in connection with debtor-in-possession (DIP) and exit loan facilities.
  • Secured lenders in connection with foreclosure actions and in connection with credit-bidding for their collateral.
  • Defendants in litigation matters in jurisdictions throughout the United States, including:
    • American Home Mortgage
    • Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
    • Champion Enterprises
    • Federation Employment and Guidance Service, Inc.
    • First Magnus Financial Corp.
    • HomeBanc Mortgage Corp.
    • The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc.
  • Professional services firms in bankruptcy retention and fee litigation matters in bankruptcy cases throughout the United States.
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Delphi Corporation et al. Chapter 11 cases.
  • Servicers and master servicers in dozens of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 cases involving defunct residential mortgage originators.

Areas of Focus:

  • Creditors' Rights
  • Bankruptcy Reorganizations and Liquidations
  • Distressed M&A Transactions
  • Debtor-in-Procession (DIP) and Exit Loan Financing
  • Workouts
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Cybersecurity and Privacy



  • University of California at Los Angeles (Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics and Minor in Accounting 1998)

Law School:

  • University of Michigan Law School (JD 2001)

Prior Affiliations:

  • Vedder Price P.C.
  • Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP



  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Association for Corporate Growth
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • New York City Bar Association (Past Member of the Standing Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization until)
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Turnaround Management Association

Bar Admissions:

  • State of New York
  • State of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York and District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the Second and Third Circuits

Award Recognition:

  • Rising Stars - Super Lawyers: 2016
  • NY Metro Super Lawyers: 2018
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