Robert Trodella

Robert A. Trodella, Jr.

Rob began his career as a banker, graduating from Union Bank's commercial lending training program, followed by several years as a relationship manager providing working capital, acquisition, and asset based loan facilities to middle-market companies, and real estate construction loans to homebuilders. He then went to law school, and has spent the last two-plus decades representing lenders and borrowers across a range of industries and type, in virtually all aspects of financial transactions and disputes. 

His experience for lenders and borrowers includes syndicated, asset-based, DIP, REPO, leveraged, senior, subordinated, and cross-border loan facilities, as well as the restructuring, bankruptcy, and litigation matters related to them.  In that regard his practice differs from traditional finance attorneys, in that Rob has led multiple litigation and contested motion matters in and outside of bankruptcy court, which has informed his approach to the structuring of transactions on the front end.

During the 2008 financial crisis Rob represented lenders in state and bankruptcy courts across the country in seeking recovery of over a billion dollars in troubled loans.  He was on the forefront of succesfully applying the Bankruptcy Code's repo safe harbors to financial institutions whose securitized loans were documented under repurchase agreements (a then untested application of the law in that context).  He frequently led syndications in obtaining recovery, which sometimes consisted of lenders with divergent goals (either because of uneven liquidity requirements or displacement by private equity), and therefore required managing those internal disparities in a manner that resulted in superior global outcomes. 

Rob also advises clients who lease, sell, and purchase commercial and hotel properties across the country, including distressed projects operating in bankruptcy.  He led the sales of five operating plants of a billion-dollar beef processor, and represented the seller of San Francisco's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which received the ALIS National Transaction of the Year award for complexity and deal size. 

Companies Rob has represented include Total Gas & Power, Wells Fargo Bank, U.S. Bank, SunPower Corporation, Apple Inc., MasterCard, University of San Francisco, Kimpton Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, GE Capital, Strategic Restaurants Acquisition Company, Countrywide Corporation, Washington Mutual Bank, Credit Suisse, and Dine, S.A.B. de C.V. 

Rob is a frequent speaker and writer on lending, real estate, corporate governance, and bankruptcy related topics.  He has presented at the annual meetings for the California State Bar, the California Bankruptcy Forum, the Arizona State Bar, and multiple financial institutions, and has been published by the American Bankruptcy Institute and The Deal Pipeline.  He is a former member of the California State Bar's Uniform Commercial Code Committee, where he helped draft that Committee's Hidden Liens Report for use by commercial law practitioners.

Rob lives in Marin County, where he supports Mt. Tam School and is an avid hiker and mixed martial arts enthusiast.


University of San Francisco School of Law (J.D., cum laude; moot court board; Schoenbaum honor award)
University of California Santa Barbara and Irvine (double major B.A.s; honors political science program)


California, including all federal courts; U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit

Professional Experience

Trodella & Lapping LLP, Partner
Jones Day, Partner
Heller Ehrman, Shareholder
Baker & McKenzie, Associate
Murphy Weir & Butler PC (now Winston & Strawn LLP), Associate

Distinctions and Professional Affiliations

Named a "Northern California Super Lawyer" for banking, 2021

Recommended banking & finance attorney by The Banking Lawyers, 2020

American Bankruptcy Institute

Turnaround Management Association

Member, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, Bar Association of San Francisco

Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys

Speaking & Writing

  • "Did Jevic Provide a Gift for Those Who Want to Give One?," XXXVII American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, July 2018, available at or #Jevic article.
  • Skipping Priorities in the Post-Jevic World, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, April 2018.
  • Charting Recent Trends in 363 Sales, 29th Annual Insolvency Conference, California Bankruptcy Forum, May 2017. Lead Presenter on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2017 decision in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., and its potential effect on 363 sales and the doctrine of "gifting."
  • Lessening the Stress from the Distress - Practical Advice to Directors on Whether and When to Resign from Troubled Companies, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, February 2017.
  • Loan Administration and Documentation - Tips from the Trenches, presentation to homebuilder finance group, summer 2016.
  • Understanding Title Insurance and Endorsements, presentation to Wells Fargo Bank, fall 2015.
  • Practical Negotiation Strategies for Technology Companies, presentation to Yahoo!, spring 2015.
  • Winding Up for the Wind Down: Managing Risk and Creating Opportunity through an ABC, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, October 2014.
  • Client internal White Paper, Navigating the Employer Mandate Under the Affordable Health Care Act, March 2014.
  • Jones Day Commentary, Expansion by the Acquisition of Financially Distressed Health Care Facilities and Companies: Opportunities and Challenges, co-author, September 2013.
  • The Loan to Own, The Deal Pipeline, March 13, 2012.
  • Frequent speaker at client and internal law firm "lunch and learn" presentations, on topics relating to real estate, loan workouts, commercial and real estate lending, negotiations, supply agreements, bankruptcy, purchase and sale transactions, liquidation alternatives, receiverships, and assignments for the benefit of creditors.
  • Healthcare Roundtable, Presentation to Annual Meeting of Healthcare Chief Financial Officers on healthcare M&A opportunities and strategies, September 2013.
  • Bay Area Legal Forum, Unraveling the Mysteries of Bankruptcy, April 2012.
  • The 1111(b) Election, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, 2009.
  • The Subprime Financial Crisis - How Far and How Deep Will its Impact Reach?, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, 2008.
  • California's One Form of Action Rule, Annual Meeting of Arizona State Bar, 2008.
  • Hidden Liens, Annual Meeting of California State Bar, fall 2008.

In the News


Robert Trodella