Dennis J. Shaffer

With a 360-degree perspective on bankruptcy matters, out-of-court workouts, and protecting and advancing the interests of distressed debtors and their creditors, Dennis Shaffer provides seasoned and sophisticated representation for all parties involved in complex financial and business reorganizations and related matters. Fluent in the language of business and the letter of the law in equal measure, Dennis develops and implements creative, effective strategies that help his clients navigate the thicket of issues and competing constituencies involved when a business finds itself in dire financial straits.

Dennis has extensive experience representing debtors, creditors, creditors' committees, trustees, and plan administrators in all phases of distressed debt situations and related matters, including complex business reorganizations both in and out of bankruptcy and related complex civil litigation. He is particularly well-versed in proceedings under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, including the recently enacted Subchapter 5 for small businesses, and works closely with companies of all sizes to help them reorganize and emerge in a strong position for sustained success. Dennis' business background, including an MBA and 25 years of experience working with companies in difficult financial circumstances, allows him to provide holistic and practical advice and solutions for every client.

During his career, Dennis has represented clients in a broad spectrum of industries, including franchising, energy, retail, manufacturing, service, financial, real estate, railroad, and convenience stores. His background also includes real life experience working in the hospitality industry at the management level, providing a unique perspective on the sector's distinctive practical, economic, and operational challenges. This experience facilitates his effectiveness in representing industry participants, including both franchisors and franchisees in workouts and insolvency-related matters.

Dennis' advocacy extends beyond Bankruptcy Court, with significant experience litigating in state and federal court and other forums, including receiverships. Dennis also regularly serves as outside general counsel to businesses of various types.

A frequent speaker on bankruptcy and related matters at the local and national level, Dennis has presented on a range of topics, including the aspects of the newly enacted Subchapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code, how to address merchant cash advance agreements and alternative financing arrangements in a distressed debt scenario, and other matters. He recently spoke on a panel discussing small business restructuring issues at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges in October 2023.


Attorney Profile
  • University of Baltimore (M.B.A., 1999)
  • University of Baltimore School of Law, (J.D., magna cum laude, 1998)
  • University of Baltimore (B.S., magna cum laude, 1996)
Bar Admissions
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of Delaware