John W. Ames of Dentons Receives ABI's Lifetime Achievement Award

John W. Ames of Dentons Receives ABI's Lifetime Achievement Award

Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) announces that John W. Ames of Dentons (Louisville, Ky.) received ABI’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award during ABI’s luncheon at ABI’s 2021 Winter Leadership Conference, taking place Dec. 9-11, 2021, at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. ABI’s highest award recognizes the recipient’s sustained and deep commitment to the leadership and governance of the organization.

An ABI member since 1985 and a former ABI president and chairman, Ames is a senior partner at Dentons, where he works exclusively in the business reorganization process, both in chapter 11s and state law workouts. He represents debtors and secured and unsecured creditors. He also has served as a chapter 7 trustee for 24 years and a chapter 12 trustee for 12 years, and he is often appointed as creditors’ committee counsel.

Ames is a member of ABI's Taskforce on Veterans and Servicemembers Affairs, helping to forward the group's mission of uniting and effectively deploying the varied talent resources within ABI to understand, respond to, and coordinate with other institutions and organizations to educate, remediate, and prevent adverse debt concerns and impacts on veterans and service members. A former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps who served from 1967-72, Ames and a number of other Taskforce members were instrumental in the passage of the “Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act of 2019,” which corrected a statute to ensure that military veterans are able to exclude disability benefits from the calculation of “current monthly income” in bankruptcy.

Ames is a past chairman of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section, past chairman of the Louisville Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Committee and past vice president of the American Board of Certification. He was named in The Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy from 1989-2006, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, inducted in 1999. Ames received his B.A. in international affairs from the University of Louisville in 1967 and his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1973.


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 10,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit