James L. Patton, Jr.

Chairman of Firm and Partner
p 302.571.6684
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As Chairman of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP and a partner in the Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring section, Jim is nationally recognized particularly for his representation of large troubled companies in workouts and bankruptcies and his involvement in complex asbestos bankruptcies. 

Jim specializes in corporate restructurings, cross-border insolvencies, and mass tort insolvencies. He has extensive experience representing debtors, creditors’ committees, equity committees, future claimants representatives, and shareholder groups in out-of-court workouts, complex foreign and domestic restructurings, pre-planned bankruptcies and chapter 11 cases. 

Ranked as a leading Bankruptcy/Restructuring Lawyer in Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business since its inception, Jim is said to be “an even-keeled, unflappable attorney at the top of his game,” and a "true gentleman." (Chambers 2006; 2009) In recent comments, clients have described Jim as "dean of the Bar" and "just an excellent, excellent lawyer." (Chambers 2016)

He has been involved in virtually every significant bankruptcy in the region and numerous significant bankruptcy cases around the country including Alterra Healthcare Corporation, American Home Mortgage Holdings, Inc., Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc., Columbia Gas Systems, Inc., Continental Airlines, Inc., Days Inns of America, Inc., DBSI, Inc., Florida Coast Paper Company, Fuller-Austin Insulation Company, Global Industrial Technologies, Inc. (A.P. Green), Lomas Financial Corporation, MEI Diversified, Inc., Simmons Upholstered Furniture, Inc., Trico Steel, Transworld Airlines, Inc. In addition, Jim has represented debtors in over 40 prepackaged bankruptcy cases including the first successful asbestos related package, In re Fuller Austin. He has also represented the asbestos future claims representatives in connection with Armstrong World Industries, Inc., Babcock & Wilcox Company, The Celotex Corporation, Federal-Mogul Global Inc., Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, Mid-Valley, Inc. (Halliburton), North American Refractories Company, Owens-Corning, Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, and USG Corporation.  Jim's recent U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals arguments include Solow v. PPI Enters., E. Pilots Merger Cmte. v. Cont'l Airlines, Inc., and Construction Management Servs. v. Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.


  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2006-Present
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy, 2010 
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The American Trial Lawyers Association, 2010
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, 1993  - Present
  • The International Who's Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers, Delaware, 2010  
  • Delaware Super Lawyers®, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, recognized since 2007

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section; Business Bankruptcy Committee; Claims Trading Subcommittee, Chair, 2002-present
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Chairman, Bankruptcy Law Subcommittee, Commercial Law Section, 1986-2004 
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Turnaround Management Association, Member
  • Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, Member
  • Board of Contributors, Fletcher Corporate Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Dissolution, Clark, Boardman, Callaghan, 1992
  • Participant, Judge Scirica's Working Group on Mass Torts in connection with the Report of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and the Working Group on Mass Torts to the Chief Justice of the United States and to the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1999