Michael Pappone

Michael J. Pappone

Retired Partner
Michael J. Pappone

Michael Pappone, a retired partner in Goodwin's Financial Industry and Financial Restructuring practices, has more than 40 years’ experience in commercial insolvency and reorganization law. Mr. Pappone's practice spans the spectrum of representing principal parties in large corporate reorganizations to out-of-court workouts for numerous technology portfolio companies, including representation of equipment lessors, landlords, asset acquirers, creditors' committees or committee members and entities involved in leveraged buyouts. He also advises clients on commercial and insolvency issues arising in corporate litigations, restructurings, financings and securitization transactions. He is annually selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, with clients acknowledging he “is certainly one of the preeminent bankruptcy lawyers in Massachusetts”.

Mr. Pappone serves on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. An avid outdoorsmen, he was a member of the team that helped pro bono client The Trust for Public Land acquire 337 acres of forestland and endangered species habitat in Western Massachusetts.


Mr. Pappone served as counsel to debtors, purchasers of and bidders for distressed businesses and private equity and venture funds in cases around the country, including:

  • Bob's Stores, Inc. in its Chapter 11 sale to TJX Companies
  • Boston Bed & Bath Inc. in its Chapter 11 case
  • Weathervane Stores in their recapitalization pursuant to a Chapter 11 reorganization plan
  • E-commerce pioneer Value America, Inc. in its Chapter 11 liquidation in the Western District of Virginia, effecting payment in full of all creditors' claims
  • Numerous purchasers of and bidders for distressed businesses including the assets of Struthers, Inc. (Mississippi), Conseco Corp. (Illinois), Adelphia Communications (New York), Peregrine Systems (California), TLC Vision Care (Delaware) and Napster (Delaware)
  • Private equity and venture funds to structure bridge financings and out-of-court solutions to the difficulties of troubled portfolio companies

He has represented financial institutions in the insolvency aspects of a wide range of litigations, including:

  • Countrywide in connection with claims against mortgage underwriters in mortgage-backed securities litigation
  • Lenders in consumer mortgage bankruptcy court litigations
  • Lehman Brothers Bank in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of its parent corporation
  • The Bank of New York Mellon in connection with its ERISA claims in Chapter 11 reorganization matters
  • Boston Private Bank in connection with the Rothstein law firm bankruptcy in Florida
  • Anglo-Irish Bank in its claims against defaulting real estate borrowers

Professional Activities

Mr. Pappone is a member of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, a fellow in the American Bar Foundation and in the American College of Bankruptcy. He is a past chair of the American Bar Association's Commercial Financial Services Subcommittee on Creditors' Rights and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Banking Law Review and the Bankruptcy Law Review.

He also serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the Boston Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Law Section, and co-authored its strategic plan. He served as chair of the board of The Cambridge School of Weston and he co-authored its strategic plan. He serves as a member of the board of Mass Humanities and The Volunteer Lawyers Project. He also serves on the advisory board of The Massachusetts Audubon Society and is a member of the Greenlight Fund’s Selection Advisory Committee.

Mr. Pappone was the facilitator of the budget priorities dialog for the major social service organization responsible for provision of constitutionally mandated legal services for the poor. He is a participant in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts Diversity Initiative Task Force.




Harvard Law School

Artium Baccalaureus1970

University of California

(Phi Beta Kappa)



  • Massachusetts


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Recognition & Awards

Mr. Pappone is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Best Lawyers.


Mr. Pappone is regularly called upon by the media for industry commentary, and is a frequent participant in educational programs, providing seminars for both bar and finance organizations including:

  • Panelist, “The Mechanics of Prepacks: What Happens Pre-petition and How to Make It Stick Post-Petition” (July 2014)
  • Panelist, “Collateral Value and Claims following the SW Hotel Decision,” American College of Bankruptcy First/Fifth Circuit Meeting (March 2013)
  • Panelist, “Cramdown and the Indubitable Equivalent Standard,” American Bankruptcy Institute (July 2012)
  • Panelist, “Structured Dismissals – An Alternative to Confirmation or Conversion,” TMA (May 2011)
  • Panelist, “The Mortgage Documentation Mess,” American Bankruptcy Institute (January 2011)
  • Panelist, “Getting to Confirmation:  Confirmation Issues in Chapter 11,” MCLE (October 2009)
  • Panelist, “Project Level Work-out Issues,” IMN’s 2nd Annual Symposium on Distressed Real Estate (June 2008)

He has authored more than a dozen articles on lending, reorganization and workout issues.