Joff Mitchell is a senior managing director and heads Zolfo Cooper’s U.S. practice. He has more than 30 years of management experience across a wide range of industries, including energy, shipping, infrastructure, manufacturing, distribution and others. His expertise includes acquisitions, debt financing and restructurings, divestitures, and successful bankruptcy reorganizations. He is recognized as an innovative executive whose exceptional leadership and interpersonal skills bring value to complex situations.
Joff is currently advising Toisa, a Greek-owned international shipping company. He recently served as CRO of Sabine Oil and Gas, an independent E&P company with $3 billion in pre-petition debt. In 2012 Joff was appointed chief restructuring officer of Dewey & LeBoeuf, where he led the wind-down of the global law firm. To maximize recovery value, Joff negotiated a first-of-its kind settlement with over 400 partners in less than six months. The partner settlement was the key to concluding the case in nine months, the swiftest time on record for resolving a law firm bankruptcy.
Joff has advised multiple stakeholders in numerous global port and shipping matters, including advising the lenders to a large tanker company; advising TTI, a critical U.S. infrastructure terminal; and advising the lenders in eight separate container terminal restructurings. In four of these situations he negotiated substantial debt reductions funded by sponsor equity contributions.
His experience spans diverse sectors and situations. In 2011 he advised Kerzner International (Atlantis Resorts & Casino) in its consensual out-of-court restructuring, including contingency planning and creditor negotiation. He was the chief restructuring officer of LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. and LandAmerica 1031 Exchange Services Inc. Joff was a financial advisor to Twin River Casino in its pre-arranged bankruptcy. Previously he served as chairman of Entegra Power Group, which owns the two largest gas-fired merchant power plants in the United States. At Entegra he led the company’s refinancing, raising $1.3 billion.
In the pre-arranged bankruptcy of two of TECO Energy’s power plants, Joff advised a 38-member bank group. He served as director of restructuring at NRG Energy, where he was responsible for raising $2.7 billion of exit financing and managing the sales process of electricity generating operations in the US and internationally.
Previous engagements also include Sunbeam, Washington Group International and Laidlaw. In addition, he served as interim CEO of Giftware Holdings, an importer and distributor. Prior to joining Zolfo Cooper, Joff spent 14 years in general management roles with companies such as Chep USA, Brambles Industries, Ceramco Corporation, Ltd., and Equiticorp Holdings Ltd.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Joff was named a Top 100 Restructuring and Turnaround Professional in 2013 by Global M&A Networks. In 2017 Joff's work on Sabine Oil and Gas was honored by the Turnaround Management Association with the Transaction of the Year Award.
Education, Certification & Professional Affiliations
- Diploma of Management from Auckland University of Technology
- Graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the University of Hawaii
- Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor
- Member of the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors
- Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute