Deborah D. Williamson


For more than 30 years, clients have turned to Deborah Williamson for leadership and advice on bankruptcy and restructuring matters. Deborah is a national leader in bankruptcy law, and she leverages her experience and insight to advise clients across industries on counter-party risk, bankruptcy litigation, and asset acquisition.

Deborah is widely recognized as one of the top bankruptcy lawyers in the United States and one of the top lawyers—period—in Texas. She was selected to serve on the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Bankruptcy Reform Commission, received lifetime achievement awards from both ABI and The San Antonio Business Journal, and is recognized in legal publications such as Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers.

In 2016, Deborah authored the second edition of When Gushers Go Dry, The Essentials of Oil & Gas Bankruptcy to address new realities in the oil fields, the first guide to oil and gas bankruptcy. She had previously co-authored Bankruptcy Litigation for the Commercial Litigator.

Deborah has been named a leader in her field by Chambers USA since 2003. She was listed by Texas Super Lawyers among the “Top 100 Lawyers in Texas,” the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas,” and the “Top 50 Lawyers in Central Texas” since that honor’s inception. She has also been included in The Best Lawyers in America©for more than 20 years.

She has served as co-chair of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and chair of the SBOT Bankruptcy Law Section.

…a powerhouse and a formidable adversary. Deborah provides excellent legal advice and is very aware of the needs and expectations of her clients.
Client feedback, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
      • University of Houston Law Center, J.D., cum laude, 1981
      • The University of Texas at El Paso, B.A., with honors, 1977
  • Bar Admissions

    • Texas, 1982
  • Court Admissions

    • United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
    • United States District Court Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
    • Named to The American Lawyer's "South Trailblazers" list, 2022

    • Recognized by S.A. Scene, as an "Outstanding Women in Law" for Bankruptcy, 2022

    • Recognized as one of the "Top 50 Lawyers in Central/West Texas," Texas Super Lawyers®, 2022

    • Named to "Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers," 2020 and 2022

    • Recognized by San Antonio Magazine in "San Antonio's Top Attorneys" for Bankruptcy & Workout, 2019-2022

    • Named a Leading Bankruptcy/Restructuring Lawyer by Chambers USA, 2003-2022

    • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers® for Bankruptcy: Business, 2003-Present
    • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Law, Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 1995-Present. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC
    • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® PreeminentTM Peer Review Rating, 1993-present
    • Recipient of the San Antonio Business Journal's 2019 Outstanding Lawyers Award 
    • Recipient of the Michelle A. Mendez Award of Excellence for outstanding service to the Bankruptcy Law Section, 2017
    • Finalist in Bankruptcy for the "Go-To-Guide," Texas Lawyer, 2007 and 2012
    • American Bankruptcy Institute, "Lifetime Achievement Award", 2011
    • Named "San Antonio Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights Lawyer of the Year," The Best Lawyers In America®, 2011
    • Selected for inclusion as a "Top Lawyer," Corporate Counsel® - January 2010 Annual Guide
    • Selected for inclusion in the "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas," Law and Politics Magazine
    • Selected for inclusion in the "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas" Texas Super Lawyers®
    • Euromoney Guide to Leading U.S. Insolvency Lawyers 
    • Recognized by S.A. Scene in "San Antonio's Best Lawyers" for Bankruptcy
    • Strathmore's Who's Who
    • State Bar of Texas, Bankruptcy Law Section, Chair, 2006-2007
    • Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

    • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow (1998), Director, and Board of Regents, 2013-present 

    • American Bankruptcy Institute, President, 1997-1998

    • US Mexico Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2008-2013

    • American Board of Certification, Treasurer, 2007

    • Texas Board of Certification, Bankruptcy Law Commission, Chair, 2003-2006

    • American Bar Association Litigation Section, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee, Chair, 2010-2013

    • National Association of Federal Equity Receivers (NAFER), Member

    • Former Dykema Managing Director

    • Dykema Management Advisory Committee

    • San Antonio Public Library Foundation, former Director and Member of the Executive Committee
    • Hope for the Future, Board Member, 2015 - Present

      • Managing Director, Cox Smith

Latest News and Insights

Speaking Engagements10.11.23

Deborah Williamson and Danielle Rushing Behrends To Speak at National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Annual Conference

Deborah Williamson and Danielle Rushing Behrend will each serve as featured presenters at the…

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Press Releases6.1.23

Dykema Earns 16 Practice Area Rankings and 29 Individual Rankings in Chambers USA 2023

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that it received 29 individual attorney…

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Speaking Engagements5.12.23

Deborah Williamson To Serve as Keynote Speaker at Women Empowered 2023 Mother/Daughter Breakfast

Deborah Williamson will serve as a keynote speaker for the Women Empowered 2023 Mother/Daughter…

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