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"Stephen Leach impresses clients with his 'knowledge and demeanor as well as his writing and oral argument skills.'"  Chambers USA

Steve’s four decades of experience, advising and representing creditors, debtors, trustees and committees in bankruptcy cases and workouts, sets him apart from the crowd.  He regularly appears before the bankruptcy and other federal and state courts of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Much of his practice involves identifying and implementing non-bankruptcy solutions to financial challenges and distress.  Applying his wealth of real-world experience in academia, Steve served for over two decades as an adjunct professor of bankruptcy law at American University’s law school in Washington, D.C., and as a member of the adjunct faculty of The Catholic University of America’s law school.

Steve is a former Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee and a past chair of the District of Columbia Bar’s Business Bankruptcy Committee. He serves on the panel of mediators of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, and has acted as a court-appointed and private mediator in numerous bankruptcy cases in the Washington, D.C. area.

Prior to joining Hirschler Fleischer, Steve was a partner with Venable LLP,  Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, and Tucker Flyer PC, in addition to having maintained his own firm, Leach Travell, for many years. Steve began his legal career in the public sector, serving in the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney and with the FTC as a trade regulation attorney.


Named the Best Lawyers® 2024 Litigation - Bankruptcy “Lawyer of the Year” in Washington, D.C.

Best Lawyers in America® for Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Litigation-Bankruptcy, 2010 - 2024

Virginia Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy: Business, 2007, 2009 - 2024

Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2015, 2017 - 2024

Named among "Top Lawyers Hall of Fame," Washingtonian magazine, September 2022 

Named among "Top Attorneys," Bankruptcy/Creditors' Rights, Arlington Magazine, 2021, 2023

Named among the "Top Lawyers" for 2020, Northern Virginia Magazine, December 2020, 2021

Selected as one of the “Top 100” lawyers in Washington, D.C. by, a Thomson Reuters company, 2018 and 2019

Named to “Legal Elite” (Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights), Virginia Business, 2016 - 2020, 2022

Named among the “Top Lawyers” for Bankruptcy, Washingtonian Magazine, December 2017

Named a “Lawyer of the Year, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Best Lawyers, 2017 and 2018

Received Chambers USA’s highest ranking, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2016

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent®  - This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.

Named a “Top Lawyer,” Bankruptcy, Washingtonian Magazine, 2011 - 2018

Harry L. Carrico Pro Bono Service Award from Legal Services of Northern Virginia

Certified in Business Bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification of the American Bankruptcy Institute since 1993

  • 2019 "Best Law Firms" Badge Artwork
  • 2021 Top Lawyers Northern Virginia Magazine
  • Best Law firms 2021
  • Best Law Firms 2022
  • Best Law Firms 2023
  • chambers 2018
  • Leach Chambers 2019
  • leach chambers logo 2020
  • Northern Virginia Magazine Top Lawyer 2020
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Virginia Legal Elite
  • Washington Top Lawyers



Debtor Representations

  • Antex Biologics, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Maryland). Vaccine developer.
  • Aptara Litigation Technology Services (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Litigation support services company.
  • Barker Restaurant LLC (Bankruptcy Court - District of Columbia).
  • Diamond Alexandria, LLC (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Mixed use residential-retail condominium.
  • Garfinckels, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - District of Columbia). Department store chain.
  • HomeVisit Productions, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Video services company.
  • Innovative Technology Application, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Government contractor.
  • Memphis Bar-B-Q Company (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Restaurant chain.
  • Movie Gallery, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Special litigation counsel for debtor.
  • MSTC, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Post-confirmation special counsel to liquidating debtor.
  • Persnickety, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Chain of furniture and accessories stores.
  • Pinebrook, LLC (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Residential subdivision developer.
  • Presidential Golf Partners, LLC (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Golf course development.
  • Preston Trucking Company (Bankruptcy Court - Maryland). Interstate trucking company.
  • Tidewater Marina Partners ((Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Commercial marina.

Creditor and Landlord Representations

  • Colossal Group Corp. (Bankruptcy Court - Maryland). Secured creditor.
  • Configuration, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Commercial landlord.
  • Filene’s Basement, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Delaware). Commercial landlord.
  • Global Systems & Strategies (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Commercial landlord.
  • Graystone Landing LLC (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Secured creditor.
  • Gunning Motors, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Commercial landlord.
  • LandAmerica 1031 Exchange Services (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Secured creditor.
  • NX Network, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Unsecured creditor.
  • PK Maintenance LLC (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Unsecured creditor holding nondischargeable claim.
  • Returnbuy, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Commercial landlord.
  • Southern States Cooperative, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Delaware). Unsecured creditor.

Committee and Trustee Representations

  • Capitol Resource Funding (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Unsecured creditors committee.
  • Greater Southeast Community Hospital Foundation (Bankruptcy Court - District of Columbia). Post-confirmation plan committee.
  • Hanes Home Improvement, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Special litigation counsel for chapter 7 trustee.
  • Koger Management Group (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Served as chapter 11 and chapter 7 trustee for debtor.
  • Osama El-Atari (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Special litigation counsel for chapter 7 trustee in 40+ fraudulent conveyance adversary proceedings.
  • Storehouse, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Special counsel to unsecured creditors committee.
  • Vijay K. Taneja (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Special counsel to unsecured creditors committee.
  • S. Airways II (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Local counsel for unsecured creditors committee.
  • Worldcom, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - New York). Counsel to ad hoc committee of large Worldcom customers.

Avoidance Action Representations

  • BearingPoint, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - New York). Avoidance action defendant.
  • Dornier Aviation (North America ) (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Avoidance action defendant.
  • Enron Corp. (Bankruptcy Court - New York). Avoidance action defendant.
  • Pathnet Operating (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Avoidance action defendant.
  • National Energy & Gas Transmission (Bankruptcy Court - Maryland). Avoidance action defendants and contract counterparties.
  • Spartan Masonry Company (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Avoidance action defendant .
  • Ward Television Corporation (Bankruptcy Court - District of Columbia). Avoidance action defendants.

Miscellaneous Representations

  • Computer Learning Centers (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Mediator for claim objections.
  • D2K Solutions (Bankruptcy Court - Maryland). Petitioner for involuntary bankruptcy.
  • Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP (Bankruptcy Court -New York). Senior partner of failed law firm.
  • Federal Bakers, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Asset purchaser.
  • FirstPay, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Maryland). Involuntary bankruptcy petitioner.
  • Gordon Properties LLC. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Court appointed examiner.
  • Ionosphere Clubs & Eastern Airlines (Bankruptcy Court - New York). Trade union as contract counterparty.
  • Qimonda A.G. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Local counsel for IBM, Samsung, Infineon, Elpida Memory as patent cross-licensees.
  • S. Airways I (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Local counsel for U.S. Bank as indenture trustee; contract counterparty; and avoidance action defendant.
  • USGen New England (Bankruptcy Court - Maryland). Contract counterparty.
  • Washington Health Club, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - District of Columbia).  Equipment lessor.
  • Xtreme Spectrum, Inc. (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Contract counterparty.
  • Xybernaut Solutions (Bankruptcy Court - Virginia). Freescale Semiconductor and Motorola, Inc. as contract counterparties.



Speaking Engagements




Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

American Bankruptcy Institute

Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association

Walter Chandler Bankruptcy Inn of Court, Washington, D.C.

Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association


The Hirschler Bankruptcy team is pleased to present Bankruptcy Couch Counsel, a series of brief videos addressing the legal and business issues keeping you up at night.

Have questions about the information we present or a topic you'd like to see covered on a future Bankruptcy Couch Counsel? Contact any member of the team.

The Impact of COVID-19

The Impact of COVID-19

It may soon be a rare business enterprise that is able to insulate itself from the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While we hope the economy will rebound once the pandemic begins to abate, until then, the Hirschler Restructuring and Creditors Rights Group stands ready to assist clients in addressing the financial challenges of these economically unsettled times. 

Whether you are facing the loss or interruption of business, challenging financing relationships, the need to downsize or restructure, or other creditors’ rights issues, the Hirschler team will work with you toward a successful outcome.  

Contact us to understand your options and devise a recovery strategy that protects your business and financial health.

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for continuing coverage of the financial impact of the pandemic. 

Stanford University Law School, J.D.

Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude

  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • California (inactive)
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court – District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court – District of Columbia
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Eastern District of Virginia
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