Professional Biography

John S. Kaplan Partner

  • Seattle

    D +1.206.359.8408

    F +1.206.359.9408


    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4900

    Seattle, WA 98101-3099




Bankruptcy and insolvency law attorney John Kaplan has represented all major constituents in bankruptcy, receivership, and real and personal property foreclosure matters. His clients have included Chapter 11 debtors, trustees, and secured and unsecured creditors. John’s counsel to premier global clients in national bankruptcies has helped him earn recognition as Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” 2018 in Bankruptcy Litigation in Seattle. John represents leading business clients in areas related to bankruptcy claims, contract assumption and termination, and other commercial transactions and litigation matters.

John advocates for clients in complex bankruptcy matters involving high stakes and challenging legal issues. His experience includes the heavily contested Chapter 11 trustee appointment in In re Hawaiian Airlines Inc., as well as reported decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in In re Birting Fisheries Inc. and In re TreeSource Industries, Inc.

John has represented secured lenders —CMBS and otherwise—in single asset real estate bankruptcies, receiverships and foreclosures. He also represents borrowers in out-of-court restructurings, creditor compositions and secured loan transactions. 

John is ranked by Chambers USA as a leading business lawyer and serves as an executive committee member of the Creditor/Debtor Section of the Washington State Bar Association as well as a mediator with the Thomas T. Glover Mediation Program.

Chambers 2021 Logo

Ranked by Chambers USA 12 Years in a Row

Professional Recognition

  • Named Best Lawyers’ Seattle "Litigation - Bankruptcy, Lawyer of the Year," 2018
  • Listed in Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, "Best Lawyers in Seattle," 2011 
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2011 - 2022
  • Ranked by Chambers USA as one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers," 2010 - 2021
  • Listed in Washington Law & Politics, “Rising Stars of Washington Law," 1999 - 2003
  • Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell

    (AV®, BV® and CV® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.)

Professional Leadership

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • Washington State Bar Association, Creditor/Debtor Section, Executive Committee Member
  • King County Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section
  • CENTS (Consumer Education and Training Services), President, 2010 - 2012, Fundraising Chair, 2004 - 2010, Board of Directors, 2000 - present
  • Thomas T. Glover Mediation Panel, Mediator
  • Federal Bar Association


  • Hon. Daniel Moore, Jr., Supreme Court of Alaska, 1993 - 1994





Bar and Court Admissions

  • Washington


  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., with high honors, 1993
  • The University of Pennsylvania, B.S., Economics, cum laude, 1987