Kenneth N. Klee

Professor of Law Emeritus

  • A.B. Stanford, 1971
  • J.D. Harvard, 1974
  • UCLA Faculty Since 1979

Professor Kenneth Klee joined the UCLA Law faculty in July 1997 after teaching bankruptcy and reorganization law as a Visiting Lecturer commencing in 1979.  He taught at Harvard Law School during the 1995–1996 academic year as the Robert Braucher Visiting Professor from Practice and at Georgia State University College of Law during 2003 as the SBLI Visiting Professor.

Since 1975, Professor Klee has participated on several hundred programs for the continuing education of the bar in the area of bankruptcy and business reorganizations.  He has served twice as a Lawyer Representative to the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference and has served since 2011 on the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society Advisory Council.  Mr. Klee also serves as a member of The American Law Institute and was an Adviser on its Transnational Insolvency Project.  In addition, he is a founding member and past Director of the International Insolvency Institute.  Mr. Klee is a past president and member of the Board of Governors of the Financial Lawyers Conference of Los Angeles.  He served from 2011-2014 as one of 18 voting Commissioners on the American Bankruptcy Institutes' Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11.  He served from 2011-2014 as member of the executive committee of the National Bankruptcy Conference, a capacity in which he previously served from 1985 to 1988, 1992 to 2000 and 2005 to 2008.  Professor Klee served from 2011-2014 as Chair of the National Bankruptcy Conference's Committee to Rethink Chapter 11 and also served as chair of its legislation committee from 1992 to 2000.  Mr. Klee was Associate Counsel, Committee on Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives 1974-1977, where he was a principal draftsman of the Bankruptcy Code.  Since then, he has served periodically as a bankruptcy consultant to the House Judiciary Committee, 1977-1982, and to the United States Department of Justice, 1983-1984.

Mr. Klee served as a contributing editor to Collier on Bankruptcy from 1979 until 1996 and a consulting editor from 1980 to 1996.

Mr. Klee served from 1992-2000 as a member of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the United States Judicial Conference.  In June 1994, he led a mission to China sponsored by the International Republican Institute to assist in the writing of the Chinese Bankruptcy Laws.

In 2015, Professor Klee received the American College of Bankruptcy's Distinguished Service Award.  In 2013, Professor Klee was named by The International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers 2013 as one of the top ten most highly regarded insolvency and restructuring attorneys in the world.  In addition, he was inducted into the Turnaround Management Association’s Turnaround, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame.  Professor Klee also received The Bankruptcy Inn Alliance Distinguished Service Award for 2013.

Professor Klee is a founding Member of Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP, specializing in corporate reorganization, insolvency, and bankruptcy law.  Representative clients of Mr. Klee have included: Jefferson County, Alabama and Town of Mammoth Lakes, California, as Chapter 9 debtors; 400 South Hope Street Associates L.P., in which he served as lead debtor's counsel; the debtors in Barney's Inc., et al., as debtors' special counsel; the debtors in Anacomp, Inc.; the debtors in Sun World; the debtors in the five administratively consolidated Standard Brands Paint Company cases; the debtor in Financial Corporation of America; the creditors' committees in the Adelphia, Del Taco, Iridium, Momentive, Papercraft and Griffin Resorts, Inc. chapter 11 cases; the noteholders' committee in PG&E National Energy Group, and Marlene Penrod, as appellee before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in In re Penrod; the out-of-court bondholders' committees in the Charter Medical and Orion Pictures restructurings; the out-of-court Bondholders' Steering Committee in Primestar; and Pennzoil, in the Texaco Inc. chapter 11 case.  Equity investors in 203 N. La Salle Street Assocs.; Boston Chicken Plan Trust as majority equity owner of Einstein/Noah Bagel Corp.; Marshall, as appellee before the Supreme Court of the United States in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011); First Trust and Bank of New York, trustees, as appellees before the New York Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Chemical Bank v. First Trust (In re Southeast Banking Corp.); Maxwell Communication Corp. PLC, as appellant before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Maxwell Communication Corp. PLC v. Societe Generale, et al; counsel of record for Penrod in AmeriCredit Financial Servs. v. Penrod (In re Penrod), 611 F .3d 1158 (9th Cir. 2010), petition for rehearing en banc denied, 636 F 3d 1175 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 108 (2011).  He also has served as an expert witness in over 50 matters and as The Examiner in Tribune.

Professor Klee is the author of: Bankruptcy and the Supreme Court (Lexis-Nexis, 2008) (Supreme Court bankruptcy case data base available at; and co-author of both Bankruptcy and the Supreme Court: 1801-2014 (West Academic, 2015) available at and Business Reorganization in Bankruptcy (West, 1996; 2d ed. 2001; 3d ed. 2006, 4th ed. ThompsonReuters/West, 2012) and Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law (ALI-ABA, 4th Ed. 1996, Supplement, 1998). He has authored or co-authored thirty law review articles on bankruptcy law.  Among his published works are "One Size Fits Some: Single Asset Real Estate Bankruptcy Cases," 87 Cornell L. Rev. 1285-1332 (September 2002); also published in 4 Legal Scholarship Network: UCLA School of Law Research Paper Series (Mar. 20, 2002), available at; "Asset-Backed Securitization, Special Purpose Vehicles and Other Securitization Issues," (with Brendt C. Butler), 35 U.C.C. Law Journal 23-67 (September 2002); "Teaching Transactional Law," 27 Calif. Bankr. J. 295-311 (2004); "The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 -- Business Bankruptcy Amendments,” (with Brendt C. Butler), 38 Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal 301-71 (2006); "Recalibrating Consent in Bankruptcy," (with Daniel Bussel), 83 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 663-748 (2009) Full Text; and "Rethinking Chapter 11," 21(5) Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice 465 (2012).


  • Books
    • Bankruptcy and the Supreme Court: 1801-2014 (with Whitman L. Holt). West Academic (2015).
    • Business Reorganization in Bankruptcy: Cases and Materials (with Mark Scarberry, et al.). 4th ed. Thomson Reuters (2012). Prior editions: 3rd, 2006; 2nd, 2001; and 1st (1996).
    • Bankruptcy and the Supreme Court. LexisNexis (2008). Chapter 1 Excerpt
    • Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law (edited by George M. Treister, Kenneth N. Klee, et al.). 4th ed. American Law Institute, ABA Committee on Continuing Legal Education (1996). Prior editions: 3rd, 1993; 2nd, 1988; and 1st, 1986.  Supplement: 1998.
    • Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice (edited by Kenneth N. Klee, et al.). 2nd ed. Clark Boardman Callaghan (1993).
    • Collier on Bankruptcy (edited by edited by Kenneth N. Klee). 15th ed.
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Rethinking Chapter 11, 21 (5) Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice 465 (2012).
    • Recalibrating Consent in Bankruptcy (with Daniel Bussel), 83 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 663-748 (2009). Full Text
    • The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 - Business Bankruptcy Amendments (with Brendt C. Butler), 38 Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal 301-71 (2006).
    • Teaching Transactional Law, 27 California Bankruptcy Journal 295-311 (2004). Full Text
    • Asset-Backed Securitization, Special Purchase Vehicles and Other Securitization Issues (with Brendt C. Butler), 35 Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal (23-67, 2002).
    • One Size Fits Some: Single Asset Real Estate Bankruptcy Cases, 87 Cornell Law Review 1285-1332 (2002).
    • Tithing and Bankruptcy, 75 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 157-96 (2001). Full Text
    • Sovereign Piracy (with G. Mitu Gulati), 57 The Business Lawyer 635-51 (2001). Full Text
    • State Defiance of Bankruptcy Law (with James O. Johnson and Eric Winston), 52 Vanderbilt Law Review 1527-1606 (1999). Abstract
    • Barbarians at the Trough: Riposte in Defense of the Warren Carve-Out Proposal, 82 Cornell Law Review 1466-82 (1997).
    • Restructuring Individual Debts, 71 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 431-51 (1997).
    • The Future of the Bankruptcy Rules, 70 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 277-86 (1996).
    • Adjusting Chapter 11: Fine Tuning the Plan Process, 69 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 551-72 (1995).
    • A Brief Rejoinder to Professor LoPucki, 69 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 583-88 (1995).
    • Creditors' Committees Under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code (with K. John Shaffer), 44 South Carolina Law Review 995-1066 (1993).
    • Tax Procedure Considerations in Chapter 11 Reorganizations, 20 Taxation for Lawyers 289-94 (1992).
    • Cram Down II, 64 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 229-44 (1990).
    • The Scope of the Chapter 11 Discharge, 15 ALI-ABA 83-98 (1990).
    • Timbers, Ahlers, and Beyond, 1989 Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 1-27 (1989).
    • Commencing a Case Under the Bankruptcy Code (with George M. Treister, et al.), 34 Practical Lawyer 17 (1988).
    • Ignoring Congressional Intent: Eight Years of Judicial Legislation, 62 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 1-36 (1988).
    • The Bankruptcy Aspects of Franchising, in 13A Franchising, (edited by G. Glickman, Matthew Bender, 1986).
    • Collective Bargaining Agreements in Bankruptcy, 10 ALI-ABA 41 (1986).
    • The Individual Debtor's Fresh Start Under the Bankruptcy Code (with George M. Treister et al.), 32 Practical Lawyer 43 (1986).
    • Tax Planning for the Financially Troubled Company: A Panel Discussion (with Richard Bacon, et al.), 36 University of Southern California Law School Law Tax Institute 14-1(63) (1984). Also printed in 36 Major Tax Planning 14.1-.63 (1984).
    • Conferences on the Bankruptcy Tax Act of 1980 (with Paul H. Asofsky et al.), 39 Institute on Federal Taxation 57-1(161) (1981).
    • Caveat Creditor: The Consumer Debtor Under the Bankruptcy Code (with Marc S. Cohen), 58 North Carolina Law Review 681-721 (1980).
    • A Lending Officer's Primer on the New Bankruptcy Code, 97 Banking Law Journal 388-425 (1980).
    • Legislative History of the New Bankruptcy Law, 28 DePaul Law Review 941-60 (1979). Reprinted in 1979 Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 21 (1979); and in 54 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 275-97 (1980).
    • Contributor, in Collier on Bankruptcy, 15th ed. (edited by Lawrence P. King, Matthew Bender, 1979).
    • All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cram Down Under the New Bankruptcy Code, 53 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 133-71 (1979).
    • The Impact of the New Bankruptcy Code on the "Bankruptcy Out" in Legal Opinions (with Robert Harter), 48 Fordham Law Review 277 (1979).
    • Secured Creditors Under the New Bankruptcy Code (with Ronald S. Orr), 11 Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal 312 (1979).
  • Other
    • Klee on the Supreme Court's Grant of Certiorari in In re Bellingham, 2013 Emerging Issues 7052 (2013).
    • How We Got To Where We Are Today: A Presentation to the UCLA School of Law Board of Advisors on the Current and Historic Downturns (2009). (pdf version of presentation)
    • Bankruptcy and Commercial Law: Creation of the Chapter 11 Reorganization Option, 25 Los Angeles Lawyer 24-6 (2002).
    • Recent Developments in Valuation and Cramdown, (with Efrat Zisblatt) (American Bankruptcy Association Conference, 2000).
    • Acceptance Speech of the Bankruptcy Developments Journal Distinguished Service Award March 23, 2000, 17 Bankruptcy Developments Journal 5-7 (2000).
    • Recent Developments in Valuation of Secured Claims for Cram Down Under 1129(B) (with Mareta C. Hamre), ALI-ABA Course of Study 139 (1998).
    • Dealing with the Government: Sovereign Immunity, Eleventh Amendment, and Bureaucratic Impunity (with James O. Johnston and Eric Winston), ALI-ABA Course of Study 159 (1998).
    • The Effect of Bankruptcy on Intellectual Property Rights (with Isaac Pachulski, David Fidler and Eric Watson), 69 ALI-ABA Course of Study (1998). (Updated 2002, 2001, and 2000.)
    • Book Review, 23 California Bankruptcy Journal 325-29 (1997). Reviewing Buying and Selling Real Estate in Bankruptcy, by John Collen.
    • Bankruptcy Reform Past, Present and Future (October 1997). Paper presented at the Seventy-first Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
    • Bankruptcy Jurisdiction Cases in the Courts of Appeals (August 1996). New York University Advanced Workshop on Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization. Program Materials.
    • Defining Success in Business Bankruptcies (May 6, 1995). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Bankruptcy Institute
    • The Concept of "Impairment" in Business Reorganization (August 1994). New York University Advanced Workshop on Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization. Program Materials.
    • What the Turnaround Professional Can Do to Control Fees in Reorganization Cases, Magazine for Turn Around Managers (1993).
    • Privileges in Bankruptcy (August 1993). New York University Advanced Workshop on Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization. Program Materials.
    • Public Utilities Under the Bankruptcy Code (August, 1991). Paper presented at the New York University Bankruptcy Institute
    • Toxic Claims Polluting Bankruptcy Law, Legal Times at 22 (June 5, 1989). Also printed in New Jersey Law Journal at 7 (July 6, 1989).
    • Bit by Bit, Special Interests Eat Away at Bankruptcy Code: Everyone Agrees That, To Permit Troubled Businesses to Regroup, Chapter 11 Must Cover All Parties. The Problem Is, Everyone Also Seems to Want an Exemption, Legal Times at 17 (July 4, 1988).
    • Chapter 11: This Once-Powerful Social Planning Tool May Be Undercut By Legislative Meddling, Los Angeles Daily Journal at 4 (Mar. 15, 1988).
    • Special Interests are Eroding Chapter 11, New Jersey Law Journal at 6 (Aug. 25, 1988).
    • Congress and the Bankruptcy Act of 1976, ABA Bar Journal at 1268 (Oct. 1975).