Zachary McKay helps debtors and creditors across all industries navigate through the complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. He has extensive experience in untangling lien validity, priority, and value issues with a specific focus on statutory M&M and mineral liens. He has also represented hundreds of secured and unsecured oil and gas industry creditors ranging from small family-owned entities to the largest public companies in the world in all types of bankruptcy and restructuring settings.
Zach’s litigation experience includes oilfield job disputes, construction contract disputes, lien litigation, stay litigation, claim defense, creditor committee representation, and preferential or fraudulent transfer defense in state and bankruptcy courts across the United States.
Prior to joining Jackson Walker, Zach managed the bankruptcy practice group of a Texas-based law firm primarily focused on energy, oil and gas, and real estate law.
B.B.A., Texas A&M University
J.D., South Texas College of Law Houston
- South Texas Law Review, Editorial Board, Note and Comment Editor
- Jessup International Moot Court Competition
- Mack Kidd Administrative Law Moot Court Competition
- Spurgeon E. Bell Memorial Moot Court Competition
- South Texas Intramural Mock Trial Competition
- T. Gerald Treece Summer Academy Mock Trial Competition
U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
- Represented group of 19 Texas statutory mineral lienholders that held hundreds of liens totaling over $30.4 million. Appointed to steering committee and tasked to negotiate with debtor and other parties on behalf of the lienholder class. Over the course of many months, worked through competing issues to reach a global settlement with hundreds of lienholders and other parties to achieve a substantial recovery for clients.
- Representing creditor client owed $4.5 million in bankruptcy appeal to U.S. District Court alleging that the bankruptcy court erred in making final determinations on client’s direct claims against a non-debtor third party insurance company and a $20 million insurance policy interpretation issue.
- Represented lienholder in gas compression plant construction job dispute that was removed to bankruptcy court following chapter 11 petition. Successfully argued for statutory and contractual retainage and achieved substantial recovery for client.
- Represented Fortune 50 oilfield services company owed over $1.5 million in complex Wyoming statutory lien law dispute trial. Substantial recovery obtained following MSJ battle and settlement.
- Represented group of 15 Oklahoma statutory lienholders owed over $12 million in bankruptcy adversary case that sought to determine extent, validity, and priority of nearly 2000 mechanic’s and materialmen’s liens asserted over debtor mineral interests by 78 different claimants. After trial, the judge ruled in clients’ favor on certain of the issues, and certified the other issues to the Oklahoma Supreme Court because their impact was potentially too great on the state of Oklahoma. After certification, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in clients’ favor on the remaining issues, allowing for substantial recovery.
- Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors as Special Oil & Gas Counsel, selected for having “extensive experience in representing oilfield services companies,” and for “being a market leader and experts in best practices.”
- Defended client in massive $2 million preference lawsuit. After two years of discovery, three hired experts, and court-ordered mediation in Delaware, the preference exposure was favorably settled just prior to trial using aggressive ordinary course of business legal theories.
- Represented seven petitioning creditors owed over $500,000 in a chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy filing. Schedules later revealed over $2 million in assets.
- Represented sole petitioning creditor in individual chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy filing. Stayed insurance proceeds from being unjustly paid to non-client personal injury plaintiff. Insurance proceeds renegotiated, resulting in substantial client recovery.
- Defended oil and gas client from debtor alleging over $1.6 million was owed to the estate based on verbal “handshake” service contract and related text messages. After competing expert witnesses got involved, filed a Daubert motion and took their lead expert on voir dire at trial. The judge later called the target testimony irrelevant in his opinion that granted a significant win for client.
Texas Rising Star – Bankruptcy, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2020-2023
Zach speaks at seminars on topics of defending preferential claims, enforcing liens, and legal developments in the oil and gas industry. He has also served as a guest lecturer on bankruptcy law at the University of Houston, the South Texas College of Law Houston, and Texas Southern University.
- Turnover Management Association, Member
- Houston Association for Young Bankruptcy Lawyers, 2020-Present
- President, 2020-2022
- Arthur L. Moller-David B. Foltz, Jr. American Inn of Court, 2014-2023
- Executive Board, 2018-2023
- State Bar of Texas – Bankruptcy Section, Member
- Houston Bar Association – Bankruptcy Section, Member
- American Bankruptcy Institute – Member
August 4, 2023Mentions
The American Lawyer: Jackson Walker is Nation’s Top Local Counsel in Large Bankruptcies, as Bankruptcy and Restructuring Filings Rebound
The American Lawyer cited new research which named Jackson Walker’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring, & Recovery group as the top local debtor’s counsel in the nation so far this year.
June 21, 2023Attorney News
Zachary McKay focuses on helping debtors and creditors across all industries in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. He has extensive experience in untangling lien validity, priority, and value issues with a specific focus on statutory M&M and mineral liens.
“Jackson Walker’s bankruptcy and restructuring team is known for delivering stellar results in high-profile cases. I am confident that my clients will enjoy the value provided by Jackson Walker, and I am excited to be a part of the team.”