Employee Priority in Corporate Bankruptcy

Faculty lead: Jared Ellias, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

As a matter of black letter law, employees of Chapter 11 firms have limited formal control rights in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. They are not represented by official committees and do not have the right to vote on plans of reorganization. Management has a duty to represent investor interests through the concept of the bankruptcy estate, but not the interests of employees or other stakeholders. As a matter of practice, however, employee interests have an important informal defender in the bankruptcy judge. Bankruptcy judges frequently make decisions based on employee and other stakeholder interests, and investors strategically align themselves with employee interests to sway the judge. On this project, we use analysis of text from bankruptcy documents to document this strategy, and to understand the investor strategies that form in light of the bankruptcy judge’s role.

The hired candidate will work a flexible schedule of 10 hours/week; work can be done remotely, though Prof. Ellias will also be available to meet on campus.

Skill Requirements

Knowledge of Python & STATA or R is helpful, but not required.

To Apply

Please contact Jared Ellias at jellias@law.harvard.edu with a short cover letter or email indicating why you were interested in this position, and a CV