John F. Horstmann

Of Counsel - Retired

  • John F. Horstmann
  • Phone: +1 215 979 1504

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    30 South 17th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103-4196
John F. Horstmann practices in the areas of bankruptcy law, corporate reorganization, creditors' rights, out of court workouts, bank transactions, complex commercial reorganizations, international finance transactions and commercial loan documentation.

Mr. Horstmann presently represents a large European-based international bank in the collection of its secured loans and related litigation involving a major luxury class resort hotel and time share development in the United States Virgin Islands.

Mr. Horstmann is currently involved in three of the largest Chapter 11 cases filed within the last year -- Enron, Adelphia and Federal Mogul. He represents numerous commercial banks, insurance companies and various financing institutions in secured lending, credit enhancement transactions and other types of commercial transactions.

Mr. Horstmann is a member of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association and its International Bankruptcy Subcommittee of the Business Bankruptcy Committee. An associate member of the Turnaround Management Association, Mr. Horstmann is also a member of the Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Corporate Reorganization, Business Bankruptcy and the Uniform Commercial Code subcommittees of the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America.

He is a 1976 graduate of Villanova University School of Law and a graduate of St. Joseph's University.

Representative Matters

    Bankruptcy Cases

  • Penrod Drilling Company and Placid Oil Company, Dallas, Texas, representing European American Bank in connection with $110 million of secured loans to an off-shore drilling rig partnership and a major closely held oil and gas producing company owned by Nelson Bunker Hunt, William Herbert Hunt and Lamar Hunt.
  • Arrowhead Jewelry Company, San Francisco, California, representing the First National Bank of Boston, Rhode Island Hospital Trust and Bankers Trust Company in connection with $40 million of secured loans to a jewelry manufacturing company with facilities in San Francisco, New York and Rhode Island.
  • Homestead Provision, Inc./Giant Snacks, Inc., San Francisco, California, representing American Financial Corporation in connection with $6 million of secured loans to a West Coast producer of meat snacks and sour dough chips.
  • Wickes Companies, Inc., Los Angeles, California, representing Fidelity Bank in connection with $26 million of loans to The Wickes Corporation, Wickes Credit Corporation, Gambles Credit Corporation, Gambles C&M Leasing Company and Wickes Leasing Corporation.
  • Braniff Airways, Incorporated, Dallas, Texas, representing thirteen insurance companies, including The Prudential Insurance Company of America, New York Life Insurance Company, Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, and Aetna Life Insurance Company, in connection with approximately $200 million of debts secured by aircraft and other assets of Braniff.
  • Brooks Shoes Manufacturing Company, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, representing the debtor in the restructuring of this running shoe business.
  • 1818 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, representing Bankers Trust Company, the first mortgage holder for $52 million in connection with the restructuring and eventual foreclosure against a forty-story office building.
  • Mel Powers Investment Builder, Houston, Texas, representing European American Bank in connection with the recovery of its $15 million secured loan to this Houston office building developer.
  • Dentalloy, Inc. Costa Mesa, California, representing the Chairman of the Unsecured Creditors' Committee, Engelhard Corporation, in connection with preparing and confirming the first Creditors' Plan of Reorganization which was approved by the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.
  • Philadelphia Athletic Club, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, representing the secured creditor, Equitable Life Assurance Society of America, in connection with the bankruptcy of this office building.
  • Abbotts Dairies of Pennsylvania, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, representing American Financial Corporation, the senior secured creditor in connection with collection of approximately $8 million of secured debt.
  • Out of Court Workouts

  • Representing a secured lender in connection with the restructuring of three companies based in Great Britain: one in the international project development sector involving approximately $35 million, one in the international trading and shipping sector involving approximately $40 million and one in the entertainment sector in Great Britain and Spain involving approximately $14 million.

  • Representing a major U.S. insurance company in connection with restructuring of its investor interests in several Texas-based, off-shore drilling rig limited partnerships, involving approximately $170 million of debt and equity investment.

  • Representing the largest Caterpillar tractor leasing company in California in connection with restructuring $75 million of its secured debt to various lenders.

  • Representing the third largest Caterpillar dealership in California in connection with the restructuring of $25 million of secured debt to its various lenders.

  • Representing the secured lender in connection with the collection of $10 million of secured debt, including the foreclosure on and disposition of a 3500-acre recreational and ski resort in Pennsylvania.

  • Representing the Middle Eastern investor interests in a mixed-use condominium and hotel project in Philadelphia and participating in attempted restructuring of $50 million of secured debt on the project to various lenders.

  • Representing a high-tech architectural and engineering firm in Boston, Massachusetts in connection with its restructuring of approximately $100 million of secured bank debt.

  • Counsel to a leading national financial institution serving as trustee for a note issue by a predecessor of a multinational environmental concern, and its affiliates, filed proceedings in Toronto, Ontario, and chapter 11 cases in Wilmington, Delaware. In pre-petition negotiations and recovery efforts, Duane Morris formed an informal noteholders committee, and advised our client on serving on the creditors committee in the chapter 11 cases. We advised the trustee and the bondholders regarding potential recoveries, and participated in intense negotiations leading to a successful outcome for the noteholders.

  • Counsel to a national law firm defending against a charge of breach of duty and failure to disclose material Information by its former chapter 11 debtor client. After extensive litigation in the bankruptcy and district courts, the firm achieved complete success for the client in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

  • Counsel to a national law firm defending against a multimillion dollar damage claim by the chapter 7 trustee of the firm's former chapter 11 debtor clients charging the firm with breaching its duties of fidelity and confidentiality. Duane Morris achieved a settlement after intensive discovery but before trial, which involved a small contribution to the chapter 7 estates to avoid the cost of further litigation.

Areas of Practice

  • Corporate Reorganization
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Creditors' Rights
  • Out of Court Workouts
  • Bank Transactions (Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code: Electronic Funds Transfer)
  • Complex Commercial Reorganizations
  • Commercial Loan Documentation


  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania


  • Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, J.D., 1976


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Member, Executive Committee, 1998-2011
    - Former Member, Partners Board
    - Chair, Corporate Practice Group, 2005-2010
    - Chair, Reorganization and Finance Section, 1994-2001
    - Of Counsel, 2014-present
    - Partner, 1984-2013
    - Associate, 1976-1984

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
    - Business Law Section
    -- Business Bankruptcy Committee
    --- Subcommittee on International Bankruptcy
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
    - Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
    - Business Law Section
    -- Past Chairman, Subcommittee on the Uniform Commercial Code
    -- Member, Subcommittee on Corporate Reorganization and Business Bankruptcy
  • Turnaround Business Management Association
    -Associate Member

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Best Lawyers Greater Philadelphia, 2016
  • Listed in U.S. News/Best Lawyers "The Best Lawyers in America," 1995-2020

  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, 2003-2012 editions
  • Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004-2013
  • Listed in Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2009 and 2010
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Board Memberships

  • North American Bus Industries Rt.

Selected Publications

  • Co-author, "Hidden Traps in Workouts - Environmental, Labor Laws May Complicate Reorganizations," Turnarounds & Workouts Survey, Volume 1, Number 5, November 1991
  • Author of chapter entitled "Other Considerations in Dealing with a Troubled Company," Dow-Jones Handbook of Restructuring in Distressed Companies, 1990
  • "Real Estate in Distress," Philadelphia Business Journal, May 1983
  • Co-author, "Highlights of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," Duane Morris Alert, October 6, 2008

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Equitable Subordination," How Hotly Contested Litigation Can Evolve From Highly-Leveraged Transactions, Kahn Consulting, Inc.'s Third Annual Litigation Conference, New York, New York, March 19, 1998