Su, Alexander

Steven K. Kortanek


1000 N. West Street Ste 1200
Wilmington, DE 19801

Steven K. Kortanek

Steve Kortanek heads up the firm’s Wilmington, Delaware office as our business restructuring and litigation attorney. For over 28 years, he has successfully represented parties in major Chapter 11 cases, primarily in Delaware, as well as in New York, California, and several other courts throughout the country. Mr. Kortanek is widely recognized for providing his clients creative and efficient solutions in the restructuring and bankruptcy arena, with a blend of negotiation and trial skills to help foster successful turn-arounds and outcomes involving multiple sophisticated stakeholders. Mr. Kortanek has extensive insolvency-related litigation experience in state and federal courts.


Mr. Kortanek’s clients have included participants in a wide range of industries facing headwinds in their respective verticals. He has provided highly engaged restructuring advice and in-court representation in numerous sectors, including retail, energy, manufacturing, technology, telecom, transportation, aviation, life science, restaurant and horticulture. His clients include Chapter 11 debtors, official committees, ad hoc committees, equity sponsors, asset purchasers, lenders, estate representatives, trade creditors, senior management, and major creditor and equity holder constituencies. Mr. Kortanek has also represented unique constituencies such as parties on complex class actions and Ponzi scheme victims in major chapter 11 cases.


Mr. Kortanek has represented clients in many very well-known cases over his years in practice, such as Woodbridge Group of Companies, American Apparel, Lyondell Industries, and Marvel Entertainment. He has represented clients in valuation and confirmation litigation, major claim litigation, competing Chapter 11 plan litigation, and other significant matters litigated in the Chapter 11 context. He is also a certified mediator who has served on the panel of Mediators by appointment of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court.


Mr. Kortanek previously served as the chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the Delaware State Bar Association.


Mr. Kortanek has provided pro bono legal services for at-risk youth as a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem in Delaware proceedings.

Bar Admissions

  • Delaware
  • U. S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U. S. District Court, District of Delaware
  • Pennsylvania (inactive)

Selected Presentations And Published Works

  • Speaker, ABI Talks Segment – “363 Version 2.0: Time for an Upgrade in Sale Cases”, 13th Annual ABI Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop, August 2017
  • Speaker, “Weathering the Storm: Understanding Your Troubled Customers to Maximize Collections,” NACM Gulf States, Houston, Texas, March 21 and 22, 2017
  • Speaker, “Judges’ ‘Shark Tank’ Panel,” 24th Annual ABI Bankruptcy Battleground West, Los Angeles, California, March 11, 2016

Past Employment Positions

  • XClaim, Inc.
  • Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP
  • Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, LLP
  • Klehr Harrison, LLP
  • Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP

Representative Matters

  • Successfully formed, over litigated opposition, a court-approved noteholder victim committee that represented $750 million of the $1.2 billion invested by victims of the Woodbridge Ponzi scheme, in the Woodbridge Delaware chapter 11 cases, and led the noteholder committee in negotiating the chapter 11 plan terms confirmed by the bankruptcy court.
  • Led the representation of the Official Creditors Committee in Katy Industries, in which a successful sale and Committee-led chapter 11 plan confirmation was achieved.
  • Served as primary counsel to the official creditors committee of Aerospace Holdings, successfully securing a material settlement for the general unsecured creditors and funding for a Chapter 11 exit.
  • Represented Halt Medical Inc. as lead counsel to the debtor in its Delaware chapter 11 case, in its restructuring of more than $150 million in debt and acquisition by a private equity joint venture, and the successful confirmation of its chapter 11 plan.
  • Represented Sundevil Power Holdings as the debtors in the $260 million Chapter 11 restructuring, which involved securing approval for a $45 million debtor-in-possession facility and the company’s sale.

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Guardian Ad Litem, Delaware.
  • env
  • address
  • print

Areas Of Practice

  • Bankruptcy and Restructuring
  • Commercial and Related Litigation


  • The University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    J.D. – 1991
  • Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
    B.A., Economics – 1988

Honors And Awards

  • Turnaround Atlas Award – Pharma & Medical Restructuring Deal of the Year (2018)
  • Turnaround Management Association, Transaction of the Year – Small Company Award (2011)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2019 – Bankruptcy – Delaware: Band 2 (“Steven Kortanek is a go-to lawyer for creditors and debtors in Chapter 11 cases. Sources say: ‘He’s analytical and good at reaching practical business decisions. He also has a very nice demeanor about how he approaches things.’”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2018 – Bankruptcy – Delaware: Band 2 (“Steven Kortanek draws accolades for his ‘strong courtroom presence.’ He is regarded as ‘an excellent committee lawyer,’ and is also skilled in the representation of debtors, lenders and asset purchasers in complex bankruptcy proceedings. Sources say: ‘He is well regarded, smart, creative, and someone who holds the respect of the Delaware judges.’”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2017 – Bankruptcy – Delaware: Band 2 (“Steven Kortanek of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP is described by commentators as ‘an extremely knowledgeable practitioner, not only of bankruptcy principles, but also how the system works in Delaware,’ adding: ‘He understands the rhythms of the court extremely well and the processes.’ He acts as counsel for a range of parties in Chapter 11 cases, including debtors, creditors’ committees and purchasers of distressed assets.”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2016 – Bankruptcy – Delaware: Band 2 (“Impressed commentators say that Steven K Kortanek … has ‘got a tremendous depth and breadth of experience in the bankruptcy process and understands the bigger picture.’ He has substantial expertise in representing a range of stakeholders in Chapter 11 cases.”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2015 – Bankruptcy – Delaware (“Steven Kortanek offers a full suite of insolvency services from Chapter 11 work to mediation and court-based resolutions. He elicits praise from sources for his excellent knowledge base.”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2014 – Bankruptcy – Delaware (“The ‘excellent’ Steven Kortanek is considered ‘very knowledgeable on substantive law, current developments in Delaware and trends in the court.’ He is notably active in claim and avoidance litigation, and recent highlights include representing Prommis Holdings in various contested matters.”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2013 – Bankruptcy – Delaware: (“Steven Kortanek is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer and litigator. He has extensive experience advising a broad range of different industries in the bankruptcy context. He recently served as local counsel to the committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 of Allen family Foods.”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2012 – Bankruptcy – Delaware
  • Chambers USA Guide 2011 – Bankruptcy – Delaware (“Steven Kortanek is ‘a key business driver, with clients highlighting him as someone they often ask for personally.’ Chambers also cited Kortanek for his ‘key role’ for a member of the official creditors’ committee in the Lyondell Chemical bankruptcy cases.”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2010 – Bankruptcy – Delaware (“Kortanek cited for ‘high intellectual capability, analytical skills and in-depth knowledge of Delaware’s procedural rules and requirements, all of which makes him a great choice for bankruptcy restructuring and litigation.’”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2009 – Bankruptcy – Delaware (“Kortanek is universally well thought-of and widely respected for his courtroom technique, which clients deem ‘polished and well-appreciated by judges.’”)
  • Chambers USA Guide 2008 – Bankruptcy – Delaware (“Kortanek ‘does a great job’ on the creditor side, and is ‘poised and effective’ in court.”)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016-2019, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/ Insolvency & Reorganization

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Turnaround Management Association: Past Board Member, Delaware/Philadelphia Chapter; Past Member, Delaware Educational Committee
  • Delaware State Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section: Chair (2015-2016); Vice-Chair (2014-2015); Secretary (2013-2014)
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Mediators Registry
  • American Bankruptcy Institute: Unsecured Trade Creditor Committee, Business Reorganization Committee, and Finance and Banking Committee