Bruce concentrates his practice in business bankruptcy, creditor’s rights law and commercial litigation. Over a nearly 30-year period, Bruce has counseled and represented virtually every type of major constituent party in interest in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court workouts, and related litigation proceedings. He is also a member of the newly formed Distressed Company Task Force that was created to assist borrower clients in every way, including how to navigate discussions with their lenders and in addressing concerns over suppliers and stakeholders.
Bruce has represented commercial and retail landlords and tenants in connection with complex bankruptcy-related and litigation matters, and he has also handled substantial representations in a wide variety of complex commercial and business litigation matters. He has handled a variety of complex matters involving receiverships and the enforcement of secured lender’s rights against complex, major commercial properties and assets. He has also handled a wide variety of complex business, construction and real estate litigation matters, and has regularly represented a variety of parties in interest to bankruptcy matters involving construction companies and/or projects.
Bruce has served as Honorary Legal Advisor to Her Majesty’s Consul and is currently Chair Emeritus of the British-American Chamber of Commerce, Ohio, and a member of the Executive Committee of the British-American Business Council. Bruce is also President of the Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group. Bruce leads the firm’s relationship with the Interlex Group, a worldwide association of leading law firms that cooperate to provide a complete range of international legal and business services to clients.
Bruce is a frequent speaker at bankruptcy and commercial, real estate and litigation law seminars and has also lectured on the legal aspects of doing business in the U.K. He is a member of the Cleveland, Federal, and American Bar Associations. Since 2011, Bruce is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy Law. He was named by Best Lawyers as the Cleveland “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation – Bankruptcy in 2020. He is recognized by Chambers USA for Bankruptcy/Restructuring Law. For many years, Bruce has been listed as one of Northeastern Ohio’s Leading Lawyers and as an Ohio Super Lawyer for Bankruptcy Law. He is a former chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section and is a former co-chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s 2013 William J O’Neill Regional Bankruptcy Institute.
Bruce received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University in England. He is a Barrister-at-Law of the Middle Temple, having graduated from the Inns of Court School of Law in London, England. Bruce is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors of Easter Seals, Northern Ohio Chapter. He is a member of Elefence International, Inc., a non-profit organization facilitating wildlife conservation and humanitarian projects in Africa.
Honoree, Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers®, Litigation – Bankruptcy, Cleveland
Honoree, Best Lawyers in America® (2011 – present)
Chambers USA 2020 “Leaders in their Field” for Bankruptcy/Restructuring
Honoree, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Bankruptcy/Restructuring
Honoree, Ohio Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy: Business
(2004 – 2007, 2009, 2012 – present)
Honoree, Leading Lawyers (2001 – 2007)
All Service Areas
- Inns of Court School of Law (1976)
- St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, England (1972)
- Federal - Northern District of Ohio
- Federal - Southern District of Ohio
- State - Ohio
Bruce’s significant recent engagements include the successful representation of a major investor and purchaser of assets in connection with Chapter 11 proceedings and related litigation involving the Claddagh Irish Pub and Restaurant chain (S.D. Ohio), a major bankruptcy trustee representation in In re: Richland Hospital, Inc. (N.D. Ohio), resulting in 100% recovery for unsecured creditors and substantial recoveries for other claims. Before that, Bruce represented General Electric Company, General Electric Capital Corporation, and Minnesota Power, Inc. in connection with multi-million dollar claims in the LTV Steel Company Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases (N.D. Ohio), and acted as local counsel for Minnesota Power in connection with its successful purchase of LTV’s power generation plants in Northern Minnesota. Bruce was also significantly involved in the representation of the Superintendent of Insurance in Ohio in his capacity as the Liquidator of the P.I.E. Mutual Insurance Company, which until its liquidation proceedings, was the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurance carrier. Bruce was also lead counsel to the unsecured creditors committee in the Chapter 11 cases of Economy Lodging Systems Inc., and ELS Lodging, Inc., f.k.a. Knights Lodging, Inc. (N.D. Ohio), the owners/franchisors of the Knights Inns motel chain. These were the most significant Chapter 11 cases in Cleveland during the second half of the 1990’s, and achieved a distribution of almost 50% on allowed unsecured creditors claims.
Speeches and Publications
Panelist, Global Cleveland – Sister Cities Conference 2020, Oct. 2, 2020
Participant, Oxford University’s Leadership in Law and Practice Conference, June 2019
Participant, Transatlantic Conference of the British-American Business Network, held in Birmingham, England, June 2019
Presenter, Irish American Law Society of Cleveland “Brexit and the Potential Implications Regarding the Irish Border,” May 2019
Speaker, OKIMP Retail Development & Law Symposium, “Assumption, Rejection or What’s Behind Door No. 3: What’s a Landlord to Do About Sales of Leases in a Retail Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?” Feb. 2019
Taft Construction Law Bulletin: “Contractor Payments: Take the Money and Run, Even if the Bankruptcy Trustee Later Comes Calling,” Oct. 2015
- The Interlex Group
- Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group
- The Interlex Group
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Easter Seals Northern Ohio
Past Chair, Board of Directors
- Elefence International Inc.