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 advisory matters. He also advises numerous banks and financial institutions and trade organizations with respect to Dodd-Frank resolution planning and related issues.

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
  • Pernix Therapeutics in its successful comprehensive out-of-court restructuring
  • 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
  • Six major bank holding companies in their first round resolution plans and numerous other major financial institutions in connection with Dodd-Frank Resolution Planning
  • Credit Suisse as agent and Credit Suisse, Jefferies and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding as 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


  • IFLR1000 – "Highly Regarded," U.S.: Restructuring and Insolvency, 2018
  • Law360 – “Rising Star,” Bankruptcy, 2017
  • Turnarounds & Workouts – "Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer,” 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

Articles and Books

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