Professional Biography

Sara L. Chenetz Partner

  • Los Angeles

    D +1.310.788.3218

    F +1.310.788.3399

    Los Angeles

    1888 Century Park East, Suite 1700

    Los Angeles, CA 90067-1721


  • San Francisco

    D +1.415.344.7088

    F +1.415.344.7050

    San Francisco

    505 Howard Street, Suite 1000

    San Francisco, CA 94105-3204




Sara Chenetz represents clients with varied interests in bankruptcy, restructuring, workout, and litigation matters. She has served as first chair in multiple trials, arbitrations and mediations, in addition to serving as a court-appointed Chapter 11 trustee in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (In re Steve Sedgwick) and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada (In re L.V. Paradise I, LLC, et ano.) and as a mediator in bankruptcy cases in New York and California. Sara helps clients formulate and implement practical, and when needed complex, restructuring, workout, litigation, and settlement strategies in a variety of situations, including:

  • Bankruptcies
  • Out-of-court workouts
  • Assignments for the benefit of creditors
  • Distressed asset sales
  • Capital and transaction structures
  • Federal and state litigation and arbitration
  • Receiverships
  • Conducting business with financially troubled companies.

Sara has worked with businesses in an array of industries. These include aerospace, agriculture, autonomous vehicles, biotech, defense, ecommerce, entertainment and media, finance and investment management, healthcare, hotels and leisure, manufacturing, mining, professional services, real estate, retail, sports, technology, transportation, and wine.

Through the course of her career, Sara has represented parties in a myriad of roles in bankruptcy, restructuring, workout and litigation matters. She regularly counsels first and second lien holders, buyers of assets, businesses and claims, official and unofficial committees, debtors in possession, bond and equity holders, directors and officers, trustees, assignees and examiners, and businesses seeking to improve their capital structure and operating results. Additionally, Sara’s clients include vendors, customers, employee benefit plans, landlords, tenants, retained professionals, partners, plaintiffs, and defendants.

A senior fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, Sara has been ranked by Chambers USA, which highlighted such clients' comments as "so knowledgeable about bankruptcy" and "very bright...has a calm personality and is well attuned to clients' needs.” Sara is a frequent speaker and author on bankruptcy and restructuring issues. Sara has served as a mediator for more than 20 years, completing her first mediation training in 1997 and was recently named to the inaugural 2020 Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers.

2020 Chamber USA Logo

Ranked by Chambers USA Three Years in a Row

California Land Use and Development Report image

Legal Commentary on Planning and Development

Insights into legal issues relating to development and use of land and federal, state and local permitting and approval processes.


Professional Recognition

  • Listed in the Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers, 2020
  • Ranked by Chambers USA for Bankruptcy, 2009, 2011 - 2013, 2018 - 2020
  • Recipient of Changemaker Award presented by the Coalition Against Slavery & Trafficking for pro bono work representing survivors of human trafficking, 2018
  • Litigation Council of America, Senior Fellow
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Listed in Southern California Super Lawyers for Bankruptcy, 2005 - 2020
  • Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent in Martindale-Hubbell
    (AV® Preeminent ™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.)

Professional Leadership

  • Perkins Coie Economic Recovery & Opportunities Team, formed March 2020
  • Perkins Coie Billing & Collections Committee, Firmwide Chair, 2016 - present
  • ALI CLE Commercial Law/Bankruptcy, Advisory Panel Member, 2015 - present
  • Kellogg School of Management Strategic Leadership Programs, Northwestern University, 2015 and 2019
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Bankruptcy Battleground West Conference, Planning Committee, 2014 - 2017
  • Southern California Chapter of Turnaround Management Association, Former Vice President
  • International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, Former Member of International Board of Directors
  • Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, Former Member of Board of Directors
  • Turnaround Management Annual Convention, Planning Committee, 2011
  • Annual California Bankruptcy Forum, Co-Chair, 2008
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Central District of California, Panel of Mediators, record for completing the longest successful mediation sessions in both of the last two years






Bar and Court Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


  • American University Washington College of Law, J.D.
  • University of Massachusetts, B.A., magna cum laude