Alternate Office(s)
Areas of Practice
  • George Mason University School of Law
    JD, cum laude, 2009
    Articles Editor, George Mason Law Review

  • Texas A&M University
    BBA, Finance, magna cum laude, 2003
Bar Admissions
  • New York
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Western District of Texas
Joseph Bain
Suite 2900
811 Main St
Houston, TX 77002
713.437.1820 tel
646.512.8101 tel
713.437.1917 fax

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Joseph E. Bain is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group. He focuses his practice on business litigation, restructuring, and bankruptcy.

Joe is a trial lawyer who has litigated a diverse range of issues, including contractual disputes, oil and gas issues, franchise agreement disputes, collection issues, royalty disputes, partnership disputes, and personal injury. He has represented clients in federal and state courts across the country.

Joe's practice has a particular emphasis in the areas of restructuring and bankruptcy, where he has advised clients on and litigated a number of insolvency-related issues including valuation, Chapter 11 plan confirmation, international (Chapter 15) bankruptcy issues, issues affecting boards of directors, Chapter 7 liquidations, financing and cash collateral disputes, contested 363 sales, fraudulent transfers, preferences, receivership issues, disputes with trustees, equitable subordination, issues stemming from an assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC), recharacterization, substantive consolidation, breach of fiduciary duty, and similar issues. 

In addition, Joe has represented private equity funds, hedge funds, and venture capital funds in distressed situations, including as purchasers in distressed acquisitions and in litigating issues relating to prior investments.

Joe also regularly advises clients on insolvency matters that are specific to the oil, gas, and energy industries, including recharacterization risks, executory contract issues, treatment of statutory liens, treatment of utilities, application of bankruptcy safe harbors, and treatment of plugging and abandonment liabilities.


  • Texas Super Lawyers, "Rising Star," Bankruptcy (2018; listed annually since 2016)

Representative Matters

  • Represents a senior lender in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of a global media and entertainment company that specializes in radio, digital, outdoor, mobile, social, live events, and on-demand entertainment
  • Represented an intellectual property licensee in a contested Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of a California-based media company; based on representation, our client was able to acquire underlying intellectual property in connection with settlement of disputed issues
  • Represented an Israeli-based energy company as the purchaser in a 363 bankruptcy sale of deepwater drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico 
  • Represented a major retail energy provider in multiple bankruptcy cases regarding energy-specific bankruptcy issues, including application of the forward contract, swap agreement, and master netting agreement safe harbors contained within the bankruptcy code
  • Represented a statutory lien holder in seeking relief from a priming DIP order; through Joseph’s representation, the client successfully recovered its collateral—a wastewater disposal facility in Utah
  • Represented a seismic interpretation company in seeking orderly liquidation by negotiating a distressed debt transaction coupled with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing
  • Represented a fracking chemical manufacturer in a Chapter 15 international bankruptcy case and a Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceeding; as part of the litigation strategy, claims were pursued in state court to recover amounts from independent well operators based on Texas statutory lien rights—the cases were settled on favorable terms
  • Represented a major retail energy provider in a number of collection matters and general commercial litigation matters across the United States
  • Defended and advised a non-operator in a statutory lien foreclosure proceeding in North Dakota resulting from insolvency of a well operator
  • Represented an investment fund in defending against attempts to recharacterize the fund's position in term overriding royalties in offshore leases based on Louisiana law and the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act after the well operator filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • Represented a royalty trust in defending against attempts to recharacterize gas royalty interests under Alabama law in connection with bankruptcy filing by a metallurgical coal producer
  • Represented investment funds as senior secured lenders of a geophysical company in defending against efforts to prime the funds' security interest in connection with Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by the geophysical company
  • Represented an oilfield service company in successfully recovering outstanding obligations from the operator for drilling operations performed in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Represented survivors of Cameron Todd Willingham on a pro bono basis in a suit against the State of Texas, seeking posthumous exoneration from a capital murder conviction for which he was executed in 2004



  • Co-Author, "'Regrettable' Effect of Rule 11 in Dow Corning Case"
    Law 360, September 24, 2013
  • Co-Author, "'Fool Me Once': A Director’s and Officer’s Guide to Avoiding the Mistakes of the Past”
    Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law & Practice, Vol. 22 #1, Spring 2013
  • Co-Author, “Avoid Mistakes of the Past”
    Bankruptcy Strategist, May 2012
  • Co-Author, “Second Circuit Holds That Senior Creditors' 'Gifting' of Value to Existing Shareholder Under Reorganization Plan Violates Absolute Priority Rule”
    VC Experts, 2011
  • Co-Author, “Second Circuit Affirms Designation of Secured Lender Vote and Effective Cram Down: Warning to Vultures”
    Bankruptcy Strategist, February 2011
  • Co-Author, "In Re Scopac... 2 Years Later"
    Law 360, December 6, 2010


  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • The Hon. Arthur L. Moller-David B. Foltz American Inn of Court
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Energy Finance Group
  • New York State Bar
  • State Bar of Texas