Ellen Arvin Kennedy


Ellen focuses her practice on litigating and mediating high-stakes matters in federal, state and bankruptcy courts, and employs a practical, measured approach to helping her clients reach resolutions.

She has experience handling commercial bankruptcy, insolvency and creditors’ rights matters for clients, including advising Chapter 11 and liquidating trustees and both creditors and debtors in complex liquidations and corporate wind-downs. Her knowledge of bankruptcy law and her ability to tailor her approach to fit each client’s circumstances allows her to offer counsel at every step of the bankruptcy and restructuring process, including proactive counsel.

Ellen also leverages her knowledge of corporate law to guide investment groups through the purchase, reorganization and sale of companies and distressed assets in a variety of industries, such as coal, oil and gas, health care, education and manufacturing.

She provides restructuring assistance to clients looking for out-of-court resolutions, and handles foreclosures, complex collection actions and litigation matters in state courts and federal to enforce the rights of secured creditors. Because Ellen concentrates her practice in Kentucky, she is well known throughout the Kentucky bankruptcy bar. Among other positions, she has served as chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the Kentucky Bar Association twice (2008, 2010), and is frequently asked to lecture on bankruptcy practice throughout the state. Ellen was selected to serve two rotations on the Local Bankruptcy Rules Committee for the Eastern District of Kentucky. This service included a series of work sessions with the Western District Committee and court to unify bankruptcy practice rules throughout the state. 


  • University of Kentucky College of Law  (J.D., 2000)
    • Moot Court Board, First Amendment Moot Court Team
  • Centre College  (B.A., cum laude, 1997)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky


  • Mid-West Regional Bankruptcy Conference 2020 and 2021, co-chair
  • University of Kentucky David J. Rosenburg College of Law, Bankruptcy professor
    • Commercial Debtor and Creditor Relations
  • Member, American Inns of Court, Central Kentucky Chapter
  • Leadership Kentucky, class of 2014
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Bankruptcy Practice Section, past chair
  • Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Local Rules Committee
  • Fayette County Bar Association, Women Lawyers Section, former chair
  • Leadership Lexington, class of 2008
  • Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, board member


  • Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers©  
    • "Lawyer of the Year" in Lexington for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization (2016)
    • “Lawyer of the Year” in Lexington for  Litigation - Bankruptcy (2017)
    • "Lawyer of the Year" in Lexington for Litigation - Environmental (2016, 2019)
    • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2022-2024)
    • Litigation - Bankruptcy (2022-2024)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Bankruptcy, Creditor Debtor Rights and Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers© 
    • For Bankruptcy: Business (2013 - present)
  • Fayette County Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year, 2008