2017 Banquet Honored Keith J. Shapiro

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Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement

Keith J. Shapiro (83L) is the Founding Chairman of the 170-lawyer Chicago office and former Vice President of 2000-lawyer Greenberg Traurig, LLP. For 18 years he has served as Co-Chair of the firm’s Restructuring & Bankruptcy Practice. He has been the Alumni Advisor to the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal and a mentor to a long line of Editors-in-Chief in coordinating the Journal’s Annual Banquet for over 25 years. Over the course of his 33-year legal career, Mr. Shapiro has made significant contributions to the insolvency industry and to those in need.

Throughout his career, Keith Shapiro has played central roles in the bankruptcies and restructurings of many notable businesses, including United Airlines; Conseco Finance Corp.; Tropicana Entertainment, LLC; Kmart Corporation; ICO Global Communications; and Montgomery Ward, among others.

Mr. Shapiro has also helped shape the Bankruptcy Code. He was the lead draftsman of Senate Bill 1914, which became the Bankruptcy Code’s first-ever healthcare bankruptcy provisions as part of the 2005 BAPCPA amendments to the Bankruptcy Code. He testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts in support of that bill. In his role as founding Chairman of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Committee on Professional Compensation, Mr. Shapiro also testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts in connection with the 1994 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code’s professional fee provisions. Additionally, he testified before the National Bankruptcy Review Commission at its inaugural hearing in November 1995.

Keith Shapiro has contributed to shaping academic discourse both at Emory Law School and in the greater legal community. In addition to his decades of service as the Journal’s Alumni Advisor, he has served on the Emory Law School Advisory Board since 2008. In 1999, Mr. Shapiro established and began funding the Journal’s Keith J. Shapiro Awards for Excellence in Consumer and Corporate Bankruptcy Writing. Last year, he generously endowed the awards to ensure their perpetuity. In the greater academic community, Mr. Shapiro has held numerous leadership positions with the American Bankruptcy Institute, serving as ABI president from 2000–2001 and as Chairman of the Board from 2002–2003. He has been a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy since 2000, has served as General Counsel to the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors for over 20 years, and is a past International Board member of Insol International and the Turnaround Management Association.

For years a role model in his community through his philanthropy and service on many charitable boards, Keith Shapiro is a past recipient of the American Jewish Committee's Judge Learned Hand Award and the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership organization's Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award. In 2015 he was appointed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner as Co-Chairman of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission.

Keith Shapiro received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his law degree from Emory Law School in 1983. While in law school, he was a member of the inaugural bankruptcy journal. He has been supported from his first days at Emory Law by Marci, his wife of 36 years, and is especially proud of his three sons, Jordan, Michael, Jacob, and his daughter-in-law Jenna. His commitments to advancing the practice, the Journal, and bankruptcy scholarship exemplify what the Distinguished Service Award was created to recognize. The Journal is honored to present this award to him during Emory Law School’s Centennial celebration.

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