O’Melveny Worldwide

Maria focuses her practice on complex financial restructuring and bankruptcy transactions for companies and municipalities. Her expertise provides clients with creative and proven solutions to preserve and maximize value.

Maria is a leading member of an O’Melveny team representing Puerto Rico in the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history and advising the Island’s government entities through recovery from two devastating hurricanes, political turmoil, earthquake swarms, and COVID-19. Maria represents the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in its on-going restructuring of more than US$8 billion in debt and led negotiations for the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority in its successful restructuring of approximately US$1 billion of debt under federal water and sewer programs.

Maria also advised the City of Long Beach, NY to settle an overwhelming over US$140 million judgment against the City and to address a long-history of being one of the most fiscally stressed municipalities in New York State. In her over 25 years of practice, Maria has represented companies in various industries including health care, manufacturing, energy, financial services, and for-profit education. Maria was lead counsel to women’s fashion boutique francesca’s® in its Chapter 11 case, which resulted in the successful going concern sale at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Complex Financial Restructurings

  • Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority in in-court and out-of-court debt restructuring under PROMESA.
  • City of Hartford, Connecticut, as restructuring counsel.
  • Consol Energy, Inc. in US$3.5 billion sale of its subsidiary that owned and operated five thermal coal mines to a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. 
  • Mexican satellite company Satélites Mexicanos S.A. de C.V. in restructuring of more than US$400 million in debt through a prepackaged Chapter 11 case.

Debtor Representations

  • Women’s clothing retailer, Fancesca’s Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries.
  • Optima Specialty Steel, Inc., one of North America’s leading independent manufacturers of specialty steel products.
  • SFX Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries, producers and promoters of live electronic dance music events throughout the world. 
  • MIG, Inc. (f/k/a Metromedia International Group, Inc.), owner of communications and media business that operates in the Republic of Georgia. 
  • For-profit higher educational companies Florida Career College, Anthem Education, and their subsidiaries. 
  • Canned vegetable producer Allens, Inc. 
  • Fast casual restaurant chain and franchisor BackYard Burgers, Inc. and its subsidiaries. 
  • Chem Rx Corp., long-term care pharmaceutical company, and its affiliates. 
  • Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc., leading auto parts manufacturer 
  • Neogenix Oncology, Inc., a clinical stage biotherapeutic company. 
  • Liquidating trust of Fruehauf Trailer Corp. 
  • Former securities broker-dealer GCO Services and Gruntal Financial. 

Lender/Creditor Representations

  • Secured creditor and purchaser of United Road Towing.
  • Secured creditor and purchaser of American Laser Centers. 
  • Multiple customer, creditors, and parties-in-interest in the MF Global and Lehman Brothers SIPC and bankruptcy cases. 
  • International financial institution in Adelphia Communications Chapter 11 cases. 


Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York


  • St. John’s University, J.D. 1997: magna cum laude; Articles and Notes Editor, St. John's Law Review; Dean's List; St. John's School of Law Scholarship; CALI Award for Excellence in Corporate Taxation
  • William and Mary, B.A., Government, 1994:  Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by Best Lawyers® for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law in New York, NY (2020-2024)
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US (2012-2013, 2015); Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Corporate (2019, 2022, 2024); Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Municipal (2022-2024)
  • Named to the Lawdragon 500’s list of Leading US Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers (2020, 2022-2023)
  • Named by Marquis Who’s Who in the World (2018)

Professional Activities


  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Catholic Renewal
  • International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation

Articles, Publications & Lectures

  • Speaker, “Bankruptcy & Reorganizations 2024: Current Developments,” Practising Law Institute (April 23, 2024)
  • Speaker, “Bankruptcy & Reorganizations 2023: Current Developments,” Practising Law Institute (April 26, 2023)
  • Speaker, “Bankruptcy & Reorganizations 2022: Current Developments,” Practising Law Institute (May 9, 2022)
  • Podcast, “Episode 5: Potential Changes to the Bankruptcy Code,” The Cramdown Podcast (June 7, 2021)
  • Podcast, “Episode 2: Financial Distress in Higher Education,” The Cramdown Podcast (September 28, 2020)
  • Speaker, “Unprecedented Times in the Municipal Market,” Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors’ (AIRA) 34th Annual Bankruptcy & Restructuring Conference (June 15, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Municipal Bankruptcies,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) 20th Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference (May 24, 2018)
  • Speaker, “The Most Important Bankruptcy Cases Ever,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) 36th Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Healthcare and Education,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) 19th Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference (May 18, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Multiple Debtors: Best Practices for Corporate Governance in Multi-Debtor Cases,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) 18th Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference (May 18, 2016)
  • Quoted, "Fewer Stalking Horse Perks Discourage Distressed Buyers," Law360 (March 14, 2014)
  • Mentioned, "Sager Creek Nabs Defunct Allens With $160M Bid," Law360 (February 7, 2014)
  • Mentioned, "Sealing The Deal: Greenberg Guides Consol's $3.5B Mine Sale," Law360 (December 3, 2013)
  • Mentioned, "Greenberg Among Firms on Consol Deal: Business of Law," Bloomberg (October 29, 2013)
  • Mentioned, "Five Firms Advise on $3.5 Billion Consol Coal Mine Deal," The Am Law Daily, (October 28, 2013) 
  • Presenter, "Notable Trends in Restructuring: The Latest in Exit Financing Structures," Greenberg Traurig presentation (June 30, 2011)