Peter Benvenutti is a business bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer in San Francisco, where he has practiced for over 40 years. He is a partner in Keller & Benvenutti LLP, a 5-lawyer boutique formed in 2013. Previously he was a partner at Jones Day (2008 – 2013), Heller Ehrman (1988 – 2008), and Dinkelspiel & Dinkelspiel (1974 – 1988 [associate until 1981]). He represents and counsels all types of parties in business insolvency situations and formal bankruptcy cases, including debtors in possession, trustees, creditors’ committees, lenders, investors, asset acquirers, and parties in insolvency-related litigation.
Most of Peter’s professional engagements involve middle-market or smaller businesses and unusual circumstances. He is currently representing New Cal-Neva Lodge, LLC, owner of the iconic Cal-Neva Lodge on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, in its chapter 11 reorganization case in Nevada. Notable prior public representations include the principal secured creditor and “stalking horse” buyer of Fisker Automotive, a start-up manufacturer of high-end electric cars that didn’t quite make it as the next Tesla and instead was sold off in Delaware bankruptcy court; the chapter 11 trustees of a gaming establishment (Garden City, Inc.) and an international supply chain management business (Software Logistics), both of which ended in successful going concern sales of the businesses; and an insulation company with massive asbestos-related liabilities as chapter 11 debtor in a case that resulted in a confirmed plan with an insurance-funded victims’ trust of about $400 million. Peter also served as the chair of Heller Ehrman’s dissolution committee, overseeing his former law firm’s liquidation and chapter 11 case.
Peter has long been active in professional legal and court-related organizations, including the Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum (chair of the organizing committee and first president), California Bankruptcy Forum (president, 1993-94), and the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (lawyer representative, chair of District delegation, member of various circuit-wide committees). He is a fellow of the prestigious, invitation-only American College of Bankruptcy, and serves as a“resolution advocate” (mediator) for the local bankruptcy court.
Peter received his law degree from Boalt Hall (1974, Order of the Coif), now known as UC Berkeley Law School, where he met his wife, Lise Pearlman, a classmate; they were married in 1974 the day before they graduated. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College (AB, 1971, cum laude) where his field of concentration was government. For virtually his entire life, Peter has been deeply interested in government and politics, as a reasonably well-read observer and conversationalist and regular donor to Democratic candidates and organizations. The IGS Advisory Board offers a welcome opportunity to pursue his life-long interest in a more concrete way.