Jared Ellias, a corporate bankruptcy specialist, joins Harvard Law School

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Jared Ellias, a bankruptcy law expert and corporate governance expert, joins Harvard Law School as a professor of law, effective July 1.

Ellias, who writes and teaches on corporate bankruptcy law and corporate governance, is currently the Bion M. Gregory Chair in Business Law and Faculty Director of the Center for Business Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. In the fall of 2021 he was William Nelson Cromwell Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

“Jared is an outstanding bankruptcy scholar whose research reflects a combination of empirical rigor and in-depth knowledge of practice, qualities that have helped him shape the discussion of some of the most pressing issues affecting our economy today,” said John F. Manning ’85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “He is also an outstanding teacher and colleague who will bring tremendous enrichment to the Harvard Law School community.”

Ellias’ current research focuses on the leadership of large bankrupt companies, the role of activist investors and the impact of bankruptcy filings on companies. His research interests include corporate insolvency, corporate governance, contract law, empirical methods in the social sciences, and law and economics. In 2021, he received a grant from the American Bankruptcy Institute to learn more about how companies operate in Chapter 11 by examining novel datasets. He will continue this research at Harvard Law School.

Ellias also collaborates on a number of projects Ken Ayotte, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley Law School, who aims to use the text of court filings to learn more about how the bankruptcy system is administered and how large corporations reorganize. In addition, he has a line of research with George Triantisa professor at Stanford Law School who studies how government agencies use the rights granted to them by Congress when large regulated companies file for bankruptcy.

He joined the faculty of UC Hastings in 2014 and became the Founding Faculty Director of the Center for Business Law in 2018. He is the recipient of the UC Hastings Foundation Faculty Award for Faculty Scholarships, the highest research award bestowed by UC Hastings on the faculty. He was also an adjunct professor and associate professor at Stanford Law School and a visiting professor at Boston University School of Law.

His research Has been published or will soon be published in leading peer-reviewed legal and social science journals, including the Journal of Legal Studies, the Journal of Legal Analysis, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, as well as in leading student-edited legal journals, including the California Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Yale Journal on Regulation and Columbia Law Review Sidebar.

“In a very short space of time, Jared has produced several research papers on how the corporate bankruptcy system works off the books – what happens beneath the surface of the court‘s opinion and why law firms employ certain strategies,” said corporate bankruptcy and legal expert Mark Roe, the David- Berg Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Article by Ellias: “Bankruptcy Hardball‘, co-authored with Robert J. Stark, was named one of the Top 10 Corporate and Securities Law Articles of 2020 by the Corporate Practice Commentator. His work has been selected twice for the Harvard/Yale/Stanford Junior Faculty Forum and for presentation at the Weil, Gotshal & Manges Roundtable at Yale Law School.

“I am very excited to join the Harvard Law Community and have the opportunity to contribute to research and teaching in bankruptcy law, which has always been a key part of life on this campus,” said Ellias. “During my visit to Harvard, I enjoyed meeting many thoughtful colleagues and talented students whose thinking on the topics I study has already transformed my research. I look forward to permanently joining this community and continuing to learn from its outstanding faculty, staff and students.”

Ellias was appointed to chair the Large Corporate Bankruptcy Scholars COVID-19 Committee, which included nearly two dozen top scholars from multiple institutions and is one of four committees forming a larger working group of experts addressing COVID-19-related financial emergencies investigate. In this capacity, Ellias and the Large Corporate Bankruptcy Scholars COVID-19 Committee advised members of Congress and their staff on bankruptcy-related responses to the early part of the pandemic.

Ellias frequently advises state and state legislators on bankruptcy-related matters and has testified before the California State Senate on corporate bankruptcy issues and presented research at a variety of bankruptcy law conferences and events. He advised the California State Senate on the 2019 bankruptcy of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, one of the ten largest industrial bankruptcies of all time, which touched on many key issues of interest to the State of California.

In 2020 he was called Named to the American Bankruptcy Institute’s “40 Under 40” list for his scholarship and professional leadership.

He is frequently cited in the press, including by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Bloomberg News, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Prior to entering the academic community, Ellias was an associate in private practice at Brown Rudnick LLP in New York, where he represented financial institutions and ad hoc and statutory creditors’ committees on corporate restructuring transactions both before and outside of bankruptcy court. He has litigation experience in the bankruptcy courts of the District of Delaware, the Western District of Louisiana and the Southern District of New York.

Ellias received his JD from Columbia Law School in 2008 and his AB from the University of Michigan in 2005, where he majored in political science.

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