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Baker Donelson’s Jan Hayden Named "2011 Woman of the Year in Restructuring" by IWIRC

(New Orleans, LA/December 6, 2011) The International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) has announced that Jan M. Hayden, a shareholder in the New Orleans office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, has been named IWIRC’s 2011 "Woman of the Year in Restructuring."

For nearly three decades Ms. Hayden has handled some of the most high-profile and complex bankruptcies and reorganization proceedings for retailers, real estate companies, gaming operations, the Louisiana World Exposition, and in one of her biggest cases, Babcock & Wilcox, the international manufacturing company that filed for bankruptcy after settling a drove of asbestos claims. She is also well known for her work on what was a very unique case, an alligator farm, where she applied her legal acumen and strong negotiation skills to reorganize secured debt and also ensure payment to unsecured creditors.

IWIRC inaugurated the "Woman of the Year in Restructuring" award in 2006 in recognition of women who have made, and continue to make, extraordinary contributions to the practice of reorganizations and corporate turnarounds. Nominees are evaluated on the basis of their contributions to the industry, specific field (law, accounting, turnaround and other consulting), and noteworthy restructuring matters.

"The 'Woman of the Year in Restructuring Award' furthers the mission of IWIRC by recognizing and promoting women who have made a difference in the bankruptcy and insolvency industry. This year, we had 11 nominees, each of whom was very deserving of this award. Ms. Hayden clearly embodies the essence of this Award, and IWIRC is proud to present the 2011 WOYR Award to Jan Hayden for her exemplary contributions to the industry,” said Jennifer Meyerowitz, Vice Chair of IWIRC.

Ms. Hayden’s contribution to the restructuring and insolvency community is nothing short of extraordinary. She began her bankruptcy practice after completing a clerkship with Justice Fred Blanche of the Louisiana Supreme Court. A dedicated practitioner and mentor, she has served on the Local Bankruptcy Rules Committee and as the Chairperson of the Consumer Protection, Lender Liability and Bankruptcy Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association for two terms as well as serving on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Committee. A Fellow with the American College of Bankruptcy and the Louisiana State Bar Foundation, Ms. Hayden has also been named to the Louisiana State University Law Center Hall of Fame.

"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized with an award that carries such prestige in our field," said Ms. Hayden. "There are many truly remarkable women in the bankruptcy and insolvency industry, so I am humbled to receive this recognition."

Ms. Hayden has been recognized consistently in Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America, the latter in which she was named the 2011 New Orleans Bankruptcy Litigation Attorney of the Year and the New Orleans Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights Attorney of the Year in 2010. In that same year, she was also named to New Orleans City Business magazine's Leadership in Law.

"Jan clearly has an outstanding reputation as a leader in her field, so while it is no surprise to us that she has achieved this level of distinction, we are nonetheless extremely proud of her and congratulate her on this outstanding accomplishment," said Roy C. Cheatwood, managing shareholder of the Firm's Louisiana offices.

Beyond her professional activities and commitments, Ms. Hayden is deeply involved in her community and strives to use her skills to effect positive change. She is the incoming chair for second harvest of greater new Orleans and Acadiana. She serves as Treasurer of The Pro Bono Project and in 2009, the Louisiana Bar Association honored her with its Pro Bono Publico Award for her mentorship of young lawyers and representation of New Orleans workers who suffered financial hardship following Hurricane Katrina. About her post-Katrina efforts Ms. Hayden has said, “My house was fine, my job was all right and my family was alive and well. I began to realize just how fortunate I had been and that drove me afterwards to share that grace.”

About International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC): IWIRC is committed to the connection, promotion and growth of women in insolvency and restructuring professions worldwide. Since 1994, IWIRC has been connecting women worldwide through a global membership of more than 1000 attorneys, bankers, corporate-turnaround professionals, financial advisors and other restructuring practitioners. The organization provides its members with relationship-building, educational, career enhancement and promotional opportunities. For more information, visit

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