John D. Cornwell



700 Milam Street
Suite 2700
Houston, TX 77002-2806

O: 713.222.1470
D: 713.222.4066

John is a senior attorney in the Insolvency, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights section of the Houston office of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr. He has practiced law in Houston for more than 10 years, assisting in the representation of secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, chapter 11 trustees, third-party purchasers and other interest holders in a wide variety of insolvency and restructuring matters.

John has been closely involved in representing primary lenders in chapter 11 proceedings ranging from reorganization of a telecommunications conglomerate with diverse international assets to a California timber company with a multitude of environmental, regulatory, and pension concerns. John also has experience representing the following entities:

  • Chinese exporters and banks
  • Energy, oil, and gas producers
  • Japanese-based industrial manufacturers
  • Law firms and small businesses
  • Local governmental bodies
  • Major domestic financial institutions
  • National and international distributors
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Telecommunication carriers


  • Bachelor in Business Administration from Texas A&M University
  • Juris Doctor from University of Houston Law Center
    • Moot Court Team
    • Order of the Coif


  • Texas Rising Stars, Bankruptcy, Thomson Reuters, 2010, 2012 – 2017


  • Texas
  • United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

  • Participation in billion dollar corporate restructuring and insolvency proceedings, including drafting plans of reorganization, disclosure statements, and trust agreements.
  • Preparing successful pleadings resulting in the appointment of chapter 11 trustees and examiners, conversion of chapter 11 cases to chapter 7 liquidations, and lifting of the automatic stay.
  • Defending against and negotiating settlements in avoidance actions and and other bankruptcy-related adversary proceedings.
  • Preparation of "nonconsolidation" and "true sale" opinions.
  • Advising clients on issues of perfection and priority of security interests and other Uniform Commercial Code matters.
  • Analyzing ERISA and other pension and employment issues in relation to chapter 11 restructurings.
  • Successfully pursuing "direct appeals" to the Fifth Circuit relating to issues of plan confirmation, use of cash collateral, treatment of absolutely assigned rents, and application of exceptions to the automatic stay.
  • Assisting clients (both creditors and third parties) in connection with the purchase and sale of distressed assets via section 363 "free and clear" sales and liquidating chapter 11 plans of reorganization, including substantially all of the assets held by telecommunication companies, televisions stations, and pharmaceutical- and technology-related intellectual property entities.

  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
  • American Cancer Society, Fundraiser
  • American Inns of Court, The Honorable Arthur L. Moller/David B. Foltz, Jr.
  • The Innocence Project – New Orleans
  • Houston Bar Association, Member, Legal Lines
  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Member
    • Representation of pro bono clients in Family Law and Bankruptcy Matters



January 2008
Chapter 11 Reorganizations in the Wake of the Subprime Mortgage Meltdown: How to Avoid the Worst of the Economic Fallout and Maybe Even Profit From the Credit Crunch

Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Bankruptcy Breakfast Seminar

January 2007
Recent Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code

Houston Bar Association's BAPCPA for Trial Lawyers Presentation

May 2006
Disposition and Administration of Estate Assets

University of Texas Law School Nuts & Bolts of Business Bankruptcy Conference

March 2006
Is An Issue Arising in Bankruptcy Arbitrable? – The Circuits are Split

University of Texas Law School Annual Bankruptcy Conference

March 2005
A Look at Transnational Insolvencies and Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

47 B.C. L. Rev. 23

January 2005
Recent Developments – Business Bankruptcy Cases

University of Texas Law School Annual Bankruptcy Conference