Ryan F. Kelley Receives American Bankruptcy Institute’s “40 Under 40” Award

Pierce Atwood attorney Ryan F. Kelley has received the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) “40 Under 40” Award, which identifies 40 top insolvency industry professionals under the age of 40 and recognizes them for their professional accomplishments and service.

Since joining Pierce Atwood in 2012, Ryan has been a critical member of the firm’s Business Group, first, as an associate from 2012-2020, and then as partner and co-chair of the Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights team. Ryan provides legal counsel to public and private companies regarding debt and equity financings, commercial transactions, and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters. He advises clients on issues arising at all stages of distressed situations, insolvency, and bankruptcy proceedings, regularly representing secured creditors, trade creditors, landlords, sellers and acquirers of distressed assets and entities, and other interest holders in workouts and restructurings, liquidations, and collection actions.

Ryan’s interest in the insolvency profession began in law school, after attending an American College of Bankruptcy event his first year. After graduating from Boston College Law School, he procured two bankruptcy clerkships before joining Pierce Atwood as the firm’s only bankruptcy associate. Ryan’s key to success is to forge strong client relationships by developing a deep understanding of, and appreciation for, each client’s business and tailoring his advice to best advance their interests.

Ryan serves on Pierce Atwood’s Pro Bono team, where he conceived of and leads an Eviction Defense Team that supports the Pine Tree Legal Assistance Eviction Defense Project in meeting the increased demand for legal services in this area, a critical need stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ryan’s own pro bono efforts include representing tenants facing eviction, Chapter 7 debtors, and guardians ad litem in child protection matters. He routinely encourages younger lawyers to pursue pro bono opportunities and offers his support and mentorship to those who take on matters.

Ryan is Chair of the Maine State Bar Association Consumer & Financial Institution Law Section, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Bankruptcy Section of the Boston Bar Association, where he co-chairs the Section’s New Lawyers Committee, helping train and mentor the newest insolvency lawyers. In 2016, Ryan was selected to participate in the Next Generation Program of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), and he remains an active alumnus and promoter of that program.

Ryan volunteers with several organizations that aim to foster and enhance financial literacy and entrepreneurship among young people, including serving as board member and Governance Chair of Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, and working with Junior Achievement of Maine, CARE, and the Boston Bar Association’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.

Ryan received his J.D. from BC Law in 2010 and his B.A. magna cum laude in History and Philosophy from Boston College in 2007, where he was also Phi Beta Kappa and Scholar of the College.