Restructure This! Episode 13: The Gender Gap in Restructuring with Cullen Drescher Speckhart and Rachel Ehrlich Albanese


Sheppard Mullin's Restructure THIS! podcast explores the latest trends and controversies in chapter 11 bankruptcy, commercial insolvency, and distressed investing. In this week's episode, we're joined by Cullen Drescher Speckhart, Chair of Cooley's business restructuring & reorganization practice and partner in charge of its Washington, DC office, and Rachel Ehrlich Albanese, Chair of DLA Piper's U.S. restructuring practice and a partner in the firm's New York office, to discuss the ever-present challenge of recruiting, retaining and advancing women lawyers and professionals in the restructuring industry.


What We Discussed in this Episode:

  • Men account for a majority of the lawyers and other professionals in the restructuring industry. What explains this lack of parity?
  • Is having women in leadership positions important to encouraging other women to aspire to those heights?
  • Do you get the sense that restructuring is perceived as male dominated?
  • As head of your respective firm's restructuring groups, what are your observations regarding women's experiences today?
  • Do you spend time, energy and effort helping men in your group understand the contributions women can make?
  • Can you tell us a bit about your personal development and how you each came to be the woman you are today?
  • What has had the most significant impact on your success in the restructuring industry?
  • What should law firm leaders focus on as they work to improve gender parity going forward?

About Rachel Ehrlich Albanese

Rachel is Chair of DLA Piper's U.S. Restructuring practice and a partner in the firm's New York office. She has over 20 years of experience representing secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, equity holders, purchasers of distressed assets, and other parties in interest in a wide range of restructuring matters, including cases under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, out-of-court workouts, and cross-border insolvency proceedings.

Rachel has been involved in Puerto Rico's current restructuring efforts since their earliest days when she participated in dozens of meetings with U.S. Congress members and staff to develop the law that ultimately became PROMESA. She has subsequently been instrumental in many of DLA Piper's PROMESA-related matters.

About Cullen Drescher Speckhart

Cullen is Chair of Cooley's business restructuring & reorganization practice and partner in charge of its Washington, DC office. She is a top advocate in corporate restructuring and financial litigation, with a diverse practice spanning a range of industries, including healthcare, life sciences, technology, energy, and retail.

In addition to her deep experience in complex insolvency litigation, Cullen has led some of the largest and most significant restructuring engagements in a multitude of jurisdictions, including serving as lead restructuring counsel to official creditor constituencies in Mallinckrodt and LTL Management (Johnson & Johnson), Le Tote, and 24 Hour Fitness.

Contact Information

Cullen Drescher Speckhart

Rachel Ehrlich Albanese


"Rachel Albanese Speaks On Independent Directors"

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This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.

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