Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal

A Tribute to Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz
J. Stephen Ferketic,


Each year, the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal honors an individual who has made a significant impact on the field of bankruptcy law with the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement. Past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award include the Honorable William L. Norton, Jr. (1999), Kenneth N. Klee (2000), Frank R. Kennedy (2001), Harvey R. Miller (2002), the Honorable David H. Coar (2003), Gerald K. Smith (2004), the Honorable Conrad B. Duberstein (2005), Senator Dennis DeConcini (2006), the Honorable W. Homer Drake (2007), Professor Douglas Baird (2008), Professor Elizabeth Warren (2009), Barry W. Ridings (2010), and Tony Alvarez II and Bryan Marsal (2011). On April 2, 2012, the journal presented Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz with the Fourteenth Annual Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Mr. Justice Morawetz received a Bachelor of Laws degree from Western University in London, Ontario in 1978 and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1980. Justice Morawetz first practiced with the law firm of Borden & Elliot and in 1999 he joined Goodmans LLP where he practiced primarily in the area of corporate restructuring with an emphasis on cross-border and international transactions.

He is a Fellow of The Insolvency Institute of Canada (2005), a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy (2010), and a member of The International Insolvency Institute and INSOL International. He is co-author of Houlden, Morawetz and Sarra–“Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law of Canada,” and is an editor of the Canadian Bankruptcy Reports. Prior to his appointment to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 2005, Mr. Justice Morawetz was consistently recognized as a top-tier practitioner of restructuring and insolvency law, in both Canadian and international publications. In 2011 he was named in Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential in the Justice System and Legal Profession in Canada,” with the comment: “A judge who is practical and realistic, shaping the common law and making the law make sense.”

Justice Morawetz has authored a number of significant decisions, many of which arise out of the restructuring of Nortel Networks Corporation. He has been the supervising judge of the Nortel insolvency case since it filed under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in January 2009. In that proceeding alone, there have been over 30 reported decisions, many of which involved joint video conference hearings with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In addition, he has written significant Canadian decisions in areas ranging from DIP Financing to fraudulent preferences.

To mark the occasion, Steven Golick gave a rousing tribute to Justice Morawetz. Both Mr. Golick and Mr. Justice Morawetz have given the journal permission to include revised versions of both Mr. Golick’s tribute and Mr. Justice Morawetz’s acceptance speech. Please join us in celebrating the significant accomplishments of Justice Geoffrey Morawetz.