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Robert R. Barnes

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Robert R. Barnes is a partner in our San Diego office, where his practice focuses on debtor-creditor issues, with an emphasis on bankruptcy and real estate-related workouts and foreclosures, and commercial-finance, with an emphasis on UCC and structured-finance issues. He is known for combining a comprehensive knowledge of the law with a practical, results-oriented approach. Bob has represented lenders and borrowers in a wide variety of structured-finance transactions and commercial transactions involving private-equity interests and transportation assets as collateral. In insolvency contexts, he has also represented purchasers and secured creditors in hotel, apartment building, shopping center, industrial park, senior-housing, and other real-estate based workouts, foreclosures, receiverships, and reorganizations, including confirmation of several creditor plans.

As a debtor's lawyer, Bob has counseled clients whose businesses include biotechnology, rail-car leasing, heavy-equipment manufacturing, and higher education, in addition to real property owners and developers. He also represents trustees and creditors' committees, including cases involving casinos, real estate developers, and real estate lenders. In addition, a significant portion of his practice consists of advising lenders and borrowers at the front end of a transaction regarding bankruptcy and insolvency risks (and opportunities).

He is a regular author and lecturer on bankruptcy, commercial, and foreclosure matters. Recent panels include Structuring Special Purpose Entities to Achieve Bankruptcy Remoteness: Latest Developments (Avoiding Substantive Consolidation and Achieving True Sale With SPEs), "Strategies for Acquiring Distressed Properties" for the Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers Seventh Annual Conference, and "Today's Wave of Real Estate Workouts" for the Real Property Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has also been quoted on bankruptcy issues in various media, including The San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Bankruptcy 360.


  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Financial Lawyers Conference of Southern California 
  • Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers 
  • Former member of Commercial Transactions Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of California, Local Rules Committee


  • Selected for inclusion in San Diego Super Lawyers (2007)
  • The Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, State Bar of California


Bob received his B.A. from the University of Chicago (with general and special honors in economics) in 1982 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985.

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • United States Supreme Court (1988)