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Jay M. Sakalo

Partner, Business Finance & Restructuring and Corporate Practice Group Leader
Area of Focus: Business Finance & Restructuring, Corporate
"[He is] able to understand and adapt to changing regulations and the complexities of transactions." - Chambers USA source
Jay represents clients throughout the financial spectrum, from structuring and restructuring complex financings on behalf of lenders, to representing secured creditors and purchasers in bankruptcy proceedings. He focuses on the representation of private equity funds, hedge funds, alternative lenders, borrowers and issuers.

As the Practice Group Leader for the Business Finance & Restructuring and Corporate Practices, Jay has extensive experience in the real estate finance, hospitality, healthcare, aviation, and gaming industries.
Q & A
How did you get into your practice area?
I majored in finance during college and knew heading into law school that I wanted to utilize that background in my legal career. During law school, I had the incredibly fortunate experience to clerk in the treasury department for JM Family Enterprises, one of the largest privately-held companies in the country.  While there, I had the opportunity to work on sophisticated financing deals and "it clicked" for me. Once I started practicing full time, I was in a practice group that combined finance work with bankruptcy and restructuring work (a cradle to grave approach). Working in that multifaceted group allowed me to develop the dual-headed practice I continue to have to this day. 
What kind of relationship do you have with your clients?
I think it is important to get to a point with your client where you can practically finish each other’s sentences -- in other words, know what they are thinking before they tell me. I strive for my clients to view me as their trusted advisor and an integral part of their team, not just their lawyer.
How does the collaborative environment at Bilzin Sumberg benefit your clients?
I have worked with virtually every attorney in our office at some point in time. When I am assembling a team for a matter, I can do so immediately, confidently, and with the knowledge of an individual attorney’s strengths and client chemistry to arrange the best group for a particular client’s needs.
Debtors' counsel to Fontainebleau Las Vegas Holdings, LLC, and two of its affiliates in their chapter 11 cases in the Southern District of Florida. The debtors had over $2 billion of funded debt, had used $500 million of equity, and were prosecuting claims for $800 million in unpaid additional finan...
Counsel to three investment funds that lent hundreds of millions of dollars to entities known as the "Banyon entities" which, in turn, used those proceeds to acquire structured settlements from Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler P.A. ("RRA"). These loans were guaranteed by the principals of the Banyon entit...
Representation of a joint venture between PTM Partners and Estate Investments Group in connection with a $55.4 million mortgage loan from Bank OZK and an $18 million mezzanine loan from Nationwide Life Insurance Company in order to finance the construction of 360 new, attainably priced, first-class ...
Defense of Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Washington University at St. Louis, and the University of Michigan in a fraudulent transfer lawsuit in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida. The claims arose out of our clients' position as limit...
  • University of Florida, J.D., Levin College of Law, with honors, 1998
    University of Florida, B.S.B.A., in Finance, with honors, 1995
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
    Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida
    The Florida Bar
    Business Law Section
    United Way of Miami-Dade
    Finance and Administration Committee, 2018
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • Band 2, Chambers USA, Restructuring & Bankruptcy, 2007 - present

    The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency & Reorganization Law, Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2010 - present

    Florida Super Lawyers, Top 100 Miami Super Lawyers, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021

    Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyers - International, Winner, 2017

    Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyers - Bankruptcy, Finalist, 2013

    Florida Super Lawyers, 2010 - present

    Florida Trends Legal Elite, 2005 - present

    South Florida Legal Guide, Top Lawyers, 2011 - present

    Daily Business Review, Top Dealmakers of the Year, Finalist, Distressed/Restructuring, 2010