Friedman & Springwater LLP
T: 415.834.3801


  • J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law, 1985, Order of the Coif
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1982, magna cum laude

Friedman & Springwater LLP
350 Sansome Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94104
T: 415.834.3800
F: 415.834.1044

Ellen A. Friedman


Ellen A. Friedman practices in the areas of commercial transactions, bankruptcy and insolvency.

Ellen has extensive experience representing both debtors and creditors. She has also represented many creditors serving on creditors' committees, including committees in the Circuit City, Inacom, Bridgeport Holdings, and Trigem bankruptcies. She has participated in financial restructurings ranging from small companies to large well-established hardware manufacturers and has provided legal advice in connection with the wind down of many companies. Ellen has also represented intellectual property licensees and licensors in bankruptcy cases, including the chapter 11 cases of Eastman Kodak and Technology Properties Limited.  Ellen has represented secured lenders in a variety of bankruptcy cases including real estate and retail.

Ellen has handled a wide range of commercial transactions.  These transactions include venture capital finance, inventory finance, sales of intellectual property, receivables, loans and sales of other financial assets, including securitized or off-balance sheet accounting and other credit enhancement devices.  She also has expertise in guaranty law and has represented several guarantors of real property in restructurings, workouts and civil suits.

Ellen has written extensively on bankruptcy and secured transactions (Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code). She is the author of Secured Transactions in California Commercial Practice (CEB 2001) and its yearly updates since 2001; “Security Interests in Trade Secrets,” Trade Secrets (CEB 1998) and its yearly updates; “Intellectual Property Issues in Bankruptcy,” in Technology & Emerging Growth M&As 2002 (PLI) [Reprinted in Internet Law & Business]; and “Acquisitions of Distressed Dot-Coms” (Bank and Corporate Governance Law Reporter, 2001). She is a lecturer for Executive Enterprises, the Practicing Law Institute, Professional Education Systems, Inc., the American Bar Association, Lorman Education Services, ExecSense, the California State Bar, the Commercial Finance Association and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Ellen has been included in Best Lawyers in America for the 2009-2018 editions in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, and is listed as a Northern California Super Lawyer in Creditor Debtor Rights for 2014-2019.

Ellen has served as Vice Chair, Legislation of the Executive Committee for the State Bar of California's Business Law Section. She was a Co-Chair of the State Bar of California Insolvency Committee. She has served on the State Bar of California Uniform Commercial Code Committee.  She is a member of the Board of Legal Aid at Work and has served on its Executive Committee.

Ellen's legal career began as an associate in the New York and San Francisco offices of Shearman & Sterling LLP.  Ellen was a partner at Murphy Weir & Butler and Murphy, Sheneman, Julian & Rogers in San Francisco. She is a member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of New York.