Shawn M. Riley

Cleveland Managing Member

Practice Focus

Professional Experience

Shawn is the head of our Cleveland office and the founder of our Business Restructuring Services Department. For over 25 years, he has advised clients on strategic alternatives, including acquisitions, sales, mergers, affiliations, refinancing, recapitalizations, and restructurings. He has counseled boards of directors on meeting their fiduciary duties in a variety of circumstances. Shawn has experience in a number of industries, including automotive, energy, manufacturing, retail, casual dining, plastics, telecommunications, and healthcare – including community and rural hospitals and long-term care. He has counseled businesses ranging in size from $10 million in revenue to multi-billion dollar public companies. Although resident in (and the head of) the Cleveland office, Shawn’s clients are located throughout the Eastern United States.

Shawn is the author of numerous articles and is a frequent lecturer. From 2004-2016, Cincinnati magazine selected Shawn as an Ohio Super Lawyer, an honor bestowed upon 5% of the lawyers in the state. Chambers USA, publishers of the world’s leading lawyer directory, recognized Shawn in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012-2016 as being a leader in Ohio in his field of law.

Cases / Matters

  • Indiana Limestone Company (Victor Oolitic Company)
  • Ohio-based not-for-profit (restructuring of bank debt)
  • South Franklin Circle (N.E. Ohio CCRC)
  • Ohio-based $200 million revenue manufacturer of consumer products
  • Michigan-based $400 million revenue tier 1 auto supplier
  • West Virginia-based hospital system
  • Cheboygan Memorial Hospital
  • Arizona-based critical access hospital
  • Twin City Hospital
  • Bucyrus Community Hospital
  • Forum Health Services
  • BPI Energy Holdings, Inc.
  • Columbus-based building products supplier
  • Canton, Ohio-based home builder
  • Hawaii Medical Center
  • RMA Management Services, Inc.
  • Cleveland-based automotive parts maker
  • CCI (TGI Fridays franchisee)
  • West Virginia-based water and juice bottling company
  • Indiana-based automotive parts manufacturer
  • Republic Technologies International, LLC
  • DeVlieg-Bullard, Inc.
  • Tiro Industries, LLC
  • Copperweld Steel Company
  • Midland Steel Products Company
  • LTV Steel Railroad Subsidiaries
  • Bush Leasing, Inc.
  • National Bank Credit Card Unit (Special counsel in airline bankruptcy)
  • National Truck Leasing Company (Restructuring counsel)


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude (1986)
  • Kent State University, B.A., magna cum laude (1983)

State Admissions

  • Ohio

Professional Associations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Turnaround Management Association (Board of Trustees, Ohio Chapter)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute

Presentations and Publications

  • “Boardroom Challenges for the Distressed Organization,” LeadingAge Ohio 2015 Annual Conference and Trade Show, September 11, 2015.
  • “The Causes, Cures, and Killers of Health Care Cases,” Midwest Regional Bankruptcy Seminar, August 28, 2015.
  • "Code Can Protect Your Medicare and Medicaid Provider Agreement," ABI Journal, May 2015.
  • "Hospital Employment of Physicians: Diagnosing the Risks," Journal of Corporate Renewal, April 2015.
  • Quoted, "Few good options await East Cleveland," The Deal Pipeline, December 11, 2014.
  • "Rethinking the Bankruptcy/Non-Bankruptcy Restructuring Choice," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, September 2014.
  • "What Is 'Investment Plus'? Understanding a Private Equity Fund's Liability for a Portfolio Company's Pension Shortfall," Willamette Management Associates Insights, Winter 2014.
  • "Unique Financing Arrangements and Partnerships," panel presentation, 2013 LeadingAge CEMO Annual Meeting.
  • "Board Considerations in an Uncertain Environment," panel presentation, 2013 Rural Health Clinic & Critical Access Hospital Conference.
  • "Hospice for Hospitals -- Restructuring and Bankruptcy in the Health Care Industry," TMA Mid-America Conference, September 2013.
  • "What is 'Investment Plus?' Understanding a Private Equity Fund’s Liability for a Portfolio Company’s Pension Shortfall," Willamette Insights, Fall 2013.
  • "Start Your Engines! The U.S. Bankruptcy System and the Resurgence of the American Auto Industry," William J. O'Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute, June 2013.
  • “On the Frontlines: Early Warning Signs of Troubled Health Care Providers,” In-House Continuing Education Program, February 2013.
  • “Distressed & Turnaround Deals in Healthcare,” Investment and M&A Opportunities in Healthcare Conference, January, 2013.
  • “How Non-Profit Organizations Can Handle Financial Hardships and a Difficult Economic Environment,” Smart Business Magazine, February 2012.
  • “Court Issues Reminder That ‘Free and Clear’ Sales Are Not Totally Free and Clear,” McDonald Hopkins LLC Alert, July 2012.
  • “Director Liability to Creditors: The Changing Landscape,” Willamette Management Associates Insights, Spring 2011.
  • “Reaching the Last Resort: The Municipal Bankruptcy Option,” McDonald Hopkins LLC Alert, February 2011.
  • “Hospital Management During Tough Times: Six Prescriptions for Financial Health,” McDonald Hopkins LLC Alert, June 2010.
  • “Business Gems – How the Economy Has Created New Opportunities for Distressed Mergers & Acquisitions,” Smart Business Cleveland, February 2010.
  • “The Next (Tidal) Wave of Cases: Health Care Restructurings,” American Bankruptcy Institute 2010, Central States Bankruptcy Workshop.
  • “New Capital, Debt, and Structure Strategies in Response to Health Care Reform,” Physician Hospitals of America Conference 2010.
  • “Diamonds in the Recession: Are Distressed Companies Wise Investments?,” McDonald Hopkins LLC Roundtable Event February 2010.
  • “A Financial Check-Up for Physician-Owned Hospitals,” Physician Hospitals of America PHA Pulse, Winter 2009.
  • “Staying Afloat in a Drowning Market: Six Steps to Shore Up Your Financial Health,” The Journal of the Billing (Healthcare Billing and Management Association), March/April 2009.
  • “The Ripple Effect: What Impact Will the Subprime Mortgage Crisis Have on Ohio Businesses?,” Smart Business, 2008.
  • “After Things Go Bad: How the New Players Have Changed the Game,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Loan to Own Program, November 2008.
  • “Pension and Legacy: New Laws and Old Obligations”, American Bankruptcy Institute 2007, Central States Bankruptcy Workshop.
  • “The Impact of Pension Reform in Turnaround Situations,” Turnaround Management Association’s 10th Annual Business Workshop, December 2006.
  • “The Role of Examiners in Large Bankruptcy Cases,” 2005 William J. O’Neill Bankruptcy Institute, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • “Proposed Ohio Tax Reform,” teleconference, March 2005.
  • “Fiduciary Duties of Directors of a Financially Troubled Company,” ACC America Seminar, May 20, 2004.
  • “Obtaining Value From Intellectual Property Assets of a Debtor’s Estate,” Cleveland Bar Association Seminar, December 12, 2002.
  • “Bush Leasing—A Case Study,” Third Annual Conference on Corporate Reorganizations, September 21, 2000.
  • “Directors’ Role in Financially Distressed Company- Getting the Most Out of the Board,” TMA Fall Workshop, November 30, 1999.
  • “Whose Money Is It?—Understanding the Borrower’s Right to Use Cash After a Default of Bankruptcy,” TMA Fall Workshop, December 1, 1998.
  • “Addressing the Problems of the Financially Distressed Small Business,” Ohio CLE Institute, September 16, 1998.
  • “How a Company in Trouble Should Work with Banks,” TMA Fall Workshop, 1997.
  • “An Overview of the Federal Bankruptcy Process for Corporate Debtors,” July 1995.
  • “Basic Concepts in Chapter 11,” Cleveland Bar Association Bankruptcy Seminar, October 11, 1995.
  • “Business Development and Related Ethical Issues,” The Business of Bankruptcy Practice Seminar, November 15, 1995.
  • “Making Sense of US Bankruptcy Law,” International Company and Commercial Law Review, December, 1992, Japanese version published in Summer 1993.
  • “Sanctions in Bankruptcy Proceedings,” Cleveland Bar Association Bankruptcy Seminar, November 5, 1993.
  • “Soup to Nuts: Cases Under Section 1129,” Cleveland Bar Association Bankruptcy Seminar, November 5, 1992.
  • “Commercial Tenant Defaults—Bankruptcy and Insolvency,” American Conference Institute, May 8, 1991.
  • “Representing Purchasers or Sellers of Bankruptcy Claims,” Cleveland Securities Law Institute, March 1, 1991.
  • “How to Limit Losses and Preserve Value in Bankruptcy,” Venture Capital Journal, November 1990.
  • “Are Vulture Investors Changing the Face of Chapter 11?” Bankruptcy Law Review, Fall 1990.
  • “Preparing for a Portfolio Company’s Bankruptcy,” Venture Capital Journal, July 1990.
  • “An Introduction to Legal and Practical Considerations in the Restructuring of Troubled Leveraged Buyouts,” The Business Lawyer, November 1989.
  • “Banks Beware: ‘Vulture Investors’ Wield a Double-Edged Sword,” Banking Law Review, Summer 1989.

Awards and Honors

  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2006-2016)
  • Designated "Lawyer of the Year" in Cleveland for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law by Best Lawyers in America (2014)
  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers (2004-2016)
  • Chambers USA, “Leader Lawyers in Ohio,” (2004-2006, 2009, 2010, 2012-2015)
  • Turnarounds and Workouts, "Outstanding Young Business Lawyer"

Community Activities

  • Gates Mills, Ohio, Village Mayor
  • Cuyahoga County Charter Review Commission, Member
  • American Red Cross, Greater Cleveland Chapter, Board of Directors
  • Great Lakes Theater Festival, Board of Trustees
  • Cleveland Institute of Music, Board of Trustees
  • Leadership Cleveland, Class of 2012
  • 600 Superior Avenue, East
    Suite 2100
    Cleveland, OH 44114