Eli J. Vonnegut
  1. Partner

Mr. Vonnegut is a partner in Davis Polk’s Restructuring Group. He represents creditors, debtors, agent banks, hedge funds, lenders, bondholders and other strategic parties in a range of corporate restructurings, financing transactions, bankruptcy litigation, asset sales and acquisitions, as well as advisory matters relating to investments in complex distressed businesses. He also advises numerous financial institutions including all eight of the U.S.’s global systemically important banking groups (G-SIBs) and trade groups in connection with Dodd-Frank Resolution Planning.

Work Highlights

Notable Representations
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. as administrative agent, collateral agent, joint lead arranger and bookrunner in connection with a $2.3 billion ABL/FILO debtor-in-possession financing facility for Toys “R” Us-Delaware, Inc. and certain of its affiliates
  • Ad hoc group of GenOn Energy Inc. noteholders in connection with GenOn’s chapter 11 restructuring and M&A process
  • Citibank, N.A. as administrative agent in connection with the $450 million debtor-in-possession financing facility for iHeartMedia, Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries
  • The joint lead arrangers, joint bookrunners and the joint co-managers with respect to a $2.925 billion senior secured first-lien term loan facility provided to Avaya Inc. and a $300 million secured asset-based facility provided to Avaya and certain of its foreign subsidiaries in connection with its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • Pernix Therapeutics in its successful comprehensive out-of-court restructuring
  • All eight of the U.S.’s global systemically important banking groups (G-SIBs) in their resolution plans and numerous other major financial institutions in connection with Dodd-Frank Resolution Planning
  • The agent for the senior term lenders in the successful prepackaged bankruptcy of Key Energy Services
  • The ad hoc group of second-lien noteholders in connection with SandRidge Energy’s successful pre-arranged chapter 11 case
  • The secured creditors of JW Aluminum in a comprehensive out of court restructuring, in which the exchanging creditors received new term loans of approximately $136.5 million along with new preferred stock with an initial liquidation preference of approximately $138 million, convertible into 95% of reorganized JW Aluminum’s common stock, and 60% of the pre-conversion common stock of the reorganized company
  • The lead arrangers of a $1.5 billion bankruptcy exit facility for LightSquared Inc. and its affiliates
  • Lenders in connection with a portion of a $415 million new financing for Key Energy Services, which replaced an existing $400 million senior credit facility
  • Citibank, N.A. as administrative agent and collateral agent, and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. as sole lead arranger and bookrunner, for $692 million of debtor-in-possession credit facilities for Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. and certain of its affiliates and Citicorp North America, Inc. as the agent for the debtors’ prepetition credit facilities
  • Numerous hedge funds with respect to their investments in Caesars Entertainment, iHeart Communications, and other complex distressed companies
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Department of the Treasury with respect to their more than $150 billion in investments in the American International Group
  • J.P. Morgan as:
    • Agent for the prepetition senior lenders in the successful chapter 11 cases of The Tribune Company, where the lenders were owed more than $8.5 billion and received more than 98% of the stock of reorganized Tribune, in addition to cash distributions
    • Agent and arranger on a $600 million debtor-in-possession financing for NewPage Corporation
    • Agent and arranger on a $500 million debtor-in-possession financing for Exide Technologies
  • Patriot Coal Corporation and its affiliates with respect to the $802 million debtor-in-possession financing for their chapter 11 cases
  • Credit Suisse as agent for the Senior Secured and ABL Lenders in the out of court restructuring of over €1.3 billion in net debt of CEVA Group Plc
  • Citigroup as administrative agent on a $270 million debtor-in-possession accounts receivable securitization facility for AbitibiBowater, Inc. and subsequent $600 million bankruptcy exit asset-based revolving credit facility
  • The agent under CIT Group's $500 million exit letter of credit facility, including with respect to its various prepetition exposures to CIT Group
  • Hon. Warren Winkler, Chief Justice of Ontario, as mediator in the bankruptcy proceedings of Nortel Networks Inc. and its affiliates


  • Chambers USA – " Up and Coming Individual," 2020
  • Turnarounds & Workouts – "Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer,” 2017, 2018, 2019
  • American Bankruptcy Institute –  “40 Under 40,” 2018
  • IFLR1000 – "Highly Regarded," U.S.: Restructuring and Insolvency, 2018, 2019
  • Law360 – “Rising Star,” Bankruptcy, 2017
  • Turnaround Atlas Awards – “Cross-Border Turnaround of the Year” (Pacific Exploration & Production restructuring), 2017
  • Annual Turnaround Awards:
    • “Sec. 363 Sale of the Year (over $500 million to $1 billion)” (Sec. 363 sale of Alpha Natural Resources), 2017
    • “Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (over $5 billion)” (chapter 11 reorganization of Alpha Natural Resources), 2017
  • IFLR1000 – "Rising Star," 2017

Of Note

  • Member 2014-present; Secretary, Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporation Reorganization, 2010-2014, New York City Bar Association
  • Member, Secured Credit Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute

Professional History

  • Partner, 2015-present
  • Associate, 2007-2015

Practice Focus

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York


  • B.A., College of Letters, Wesleyan University, 2003
    • with honors
  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 2007
    • cum laude


  • Spanish