Photograph of James J. Ohlig

James J. Ohlig

Senior Counsel

James J. Ohlig is a senior counsel in the New York office of Crowell & Moring. He is a recognized authority on global bank loan and claims trading matters. For more than two decades, James has represented global investment banks, broker-dealers, hedge funds, and other financial institutions in primary and secondary bank loan, high-yield debt, and bankruptcy and litigation claims trading. His transactional practice concentrates on trade structure and documentation as it relates to the allocation of credit risk in the fixed income trading markets.

He regularly advises clients participating in the market for troubled and non-performing loans and financial claims, providing experience, guidance, and insight to clients that originate, restructure, and trade commercial and industrial bank loans, distressed securities, claims arising from bankruptcy or other litigation proceedings, and any related obligations. James has counseled dozens of buy-side and broker-dealer clients in understanding the primary and secondary market standards, conventions, practices, and documentation for trading liquid and illiquid par and distressed bank loans and claims, both in the U.S. and internationally. 

He specializes in the preparation and negotiation of primary and secondary market loan and claims trading documentation, including agreements adopted under The Loan Syndications and Trading Association, Inc. (LSTA) and Loan Market Association (LMA) regimes and other bespoke purchase and sale contracts, as well as secondary market private securities trading documentation. James has been engaged by investors seeking to acquire strategic positions in companies undergoing financial restructuring or in bankruptcy, and often counsels these clients in reviewing and analyzing credit documentation and related reorganization or bankruptcy materials.

He has represented clients in connection with thousands of trading transactions in bank loans, bankruptcy or litigation claims, reorganization equity, and credit derivatives relating to both distressed and par borrowers in a variety of industries and geographic areas, including Safety-Kleen, EuroTunnel, WR Grace, Lyondell, Millennium Health, JCrew, Visa/Mastercard, and Hertz.

James is an active participant in the LSTA and sits on numerous LSTA committees.

Prior to joining the firm, he was counsel with Kibbe & Orbe LLP.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a “loan-to-own” private equity firm in purchasing controlling bank loan positions in distressed middle market companies across various industries as part of an overall portfolio acquisition strategy.
  • Advised a CLO investment manager in structuring and documenting sales of various bank loans and reorganization securities in bankruptcy or insolvency situations.
  • Represented a wide range of brokers, market-makers and investors in buying and selling class action and “opt out” claims related to the Visa/Mastercard interchange fee and merchant discount antitrust litigation.
  • Represented both major investment banks and institutional investors in structuring and documenting the expedited purchase and sale by participation of hundreds of bank loan assets in connection with numerous BWIC transactions.


  • Yale University, B.A. (1989) magna cum laude
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D. (1994)


Admitted to practice: New York

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Member, The Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA)

View More

Crowell & Moring Elects 13 New Partners, Promotes Seven to Senior Counsel, and 19 to Counsel (January 3, 2022)
Firm News / Announcement
"The Problem of “Debtor-Creditor” Language when Selling Loans by Participation," Trade Secrets Alert (September 15, 2021). Contacts: Gregory Gennady Plotko, James J. Ohlig, John A. Clark
Client Alert / Newsletter
Crowell & Moring and Kibbe & Orbe Join Forces (April 1, 2021)
Firm News / Announcement
"The Loan Settlement Waterfall And Why "Legal Transfer/Assignment Only" Can Be Misleading," Corporate Alert (May 1, 2020). Contacts: James J. Ohlig, Emilie Condie
Client Alert / Newsletter
"How to Buy a Distressed Loan," Corporate Alert (April 22, 2020). Contact: James J. Ohlig
Client Alert / Newsletter

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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