Photo of John  Collen

John Collen



Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1980

Dartmouth College, A.B., 1977, summa cum laude



John Collen co-chairs the firm’s insolvency practice. He has more than 30 years of experience handling Chapter 11 reorganizations, out of court work-outs, creditors’ rights litigation and transactions involving troubled business entities. He handles these matters on behalf of debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees, shareholders, receivers, trustees, landlords and asset buyers. John’s clients operate across all industries, including real estate, retail, manufacturing, printing and graphics, airlines, toys, telecommunications, broadcast, health care, music, transportation, entertainment, floor covering and power generation.

John’s nationwide experience has included such reorganization matters as Rock Island Railroad, JarTran, Federated Stores, Handy Andy Home Improvement Centers, Flooring America, Grossman’s Hardware, K-Mart, United Airlines, and the Arena Football League. In October 2012, John was asked to testify before the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11; a testament to his recognition in the field nationally.

John has filed numerous briefs in the United States Supreme Court, including an amicus brief in support of the prevailing side (9-0) in Bank of America v. Caulkett, in which the court opinion, in part, followed arguments put forth in that brief. Outside the firm, John serves as an adjunct law professor in the Bankruptcy LLM program at St. John’s Law School in New York.


  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in bankruptcy and workout law

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: Chicago Bar Association; Chicago Loop Synagogue
  • Co-Chair Emeritus: American Bankruptcy Institute, Real Estate Bankruptcy Committee
  • Faculty Committee Member: American Board of Certification of Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Attorneys

Presentations & Events