Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal

Introduction: A Tribute to Keith J. Shapiro
Johnathan D. Green  Editor-in-Chief, Emory International Law Review.

Each year, the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal honors an individual who has significantly affected the field of insolvency and restructuring 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 W. DeConcini (2006); The Honorable W. Homer Drake, Jr. (2007); Professor Douglas G. Baird (2008); Senator Elizabeth Warren (2009); Barry W. Ridings (2010); Tony Alvarez II and Bryan Marsal (2011); The Honorable Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz (2012); Richard Levin (2013); Professor David Epstein (2014); Professor Marjorie Girth (2015); and Professor Grant W. Newton (2016). On April 3, 2017, we presented Keith J. Shapiro with the Nineteenth Annual Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Keith J. Shapiro has served his community and the restructuring and bankruptcy industry for more than thirty-five years. Keith is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Developments Journal, and of all recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, no one has had a deeper connection to the Journal than Keith. He has served as alumni advisor to the Journal for over twenty-five years and has been an essential partner in the success of the organization. His constant mentorship and advice has been the cornerstone of the Journal’s success.

Keith’s professional achievements in the law are remarkable. Keith is the founding Chairman of the Chicago office of Greenberg Traurig, and the former Global Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of the firm. He has also served in key positions on numerous bankruptcy and restructuring organizations. Keith served as one of the youngest Presidents and Chairmen of the American Bankruptcy Institute and was the first Chairman of the American Board of Certification, the first organization accredited nationwide to certify professionals as bankruptcy experts. He is also a fellow with the American College of Bankruptcy and former board member of INSOL and the Turnaround Management Association. Additionally, Keith was the principal drafter of the healthcare provisions of Bankruptcy Code’s 2005 amendments and has testified before Congress in connection with their passage.

Keith is active in his community and has been recognized by many organizations for his philanthropic and leadership achievements. Some of Keith’s achievements include the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award and the Jewish Seminary’s Judge Simon Rifkind Award. He has also been a member of the Emory University School of Law Advisory Board since 2008.

Keith received his J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and his B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduating from Emory, Keith clerked for Judge Richard N. DeGunther of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has permitted us to include a revised version of his acceptance speech from when we presented him with the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement in this Issue of our Journal. The Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal is delighted to be able to present Keith with this award, which signifies our appreciation for his tremendous contributions to the community, academia, and the practice of insolvency and restructuring law. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of Keith J. Shapiro.


Editor-in-Chief, Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal.