Bankruptcy doyen Jan Baker has a formidable reputation, and is prized for his "thoughtful, smart and even-tempered" leadership and ability to "keep the temperature down in bad situations."Chambers USA 2017

D.J. (Jan) Baker


Jan Baker spent his legal career practicing in all phases of both out-of-court recapitalizations and restructurings as well as in-court-reorganization proceedings. In 2017, he retired from Latham & Watkins LLP, where he had been Global Co-Chair of the Corporate Restructuring Practice Group.

As a restructuring lawyer, Mr. Baker not only advised managements and boards with respect to core restructuring issues, but also with regard to fiduciary duty and corporate governance questions. Some of the more than 150 different public and private companies that he represented include the following:

  • A123 Systems
  • American Pad & Paper Company
  • Archstone
  • Boston Generating
  • CIRCLE K Company
  • The Delaco Company
  • Diamond M
  • DRECO Energy Services
  • FiberMark, Inc.
  • FoxMeyer Drug Company
  • GenTek, Inc.
  • Global Marine Inc.
  • Graham-Field Health Products, Inc.
  • Illinois Power Generating Company
  • Kaneb, Inc.
  • MCorp.
  • MicroAge, Inc.
  • RCN Corporation
  • RHI Entertainment, LLC
  • Safety Kleen Systems, Inc.
  • Spectrum Brands
  • Sterling Chemicals, Inc.
  • The Stroh Brewery Company
  • USEC, Inc.
  • Winn-Dixie Stores

During his legal career, Mr. Baker was regularly recognized by both legal guides and clients as one of the most accomplished restructuring lawyers in the country. The Legal 500 US Guide described him as providing “untiring counsel and expertise” and as being “particularly effective in sharing his invaluable judgment and providing a calm hand.” Named by Chambers USA as a “key individual” among all US restructuring lawyers, he was praised for his constructive and pragmatic approach. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and served as its President and then as the Chair of its Board of Directors. In 2014, UJA-Federation presented him with the Professor Lawrence P. King Award, and in 2016, Catholic Renewal selected him as the recipient of the St. Francis Service Award.

Since retiring from Latham, Mr. Baker has concentrated on board-related work. He currently serves as a director of Cumulus Media, Inc.; a member of the Board of Managers of Enduro Resource Holdings LLC; a director of Toisa Limited; a director of Toshiba Nuclear Energy Holdings (UK) Limited; a member of the Advisory Council of the Hastings Center, a bio-ethics institute; a member of the Executive Committee of the Bankruptcy and Reorganization Group of UJA-Federation; and a member of the Conservation Board of Philipstown, NY.

  • Education
    • JD, University of Houston Law Center, 1973
      magna cum laude; Editor in Chief, Houston Law Review
    • AB, Harvard University, 1966
      cum laude
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