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Salvatore A. Barbatano

Of Counsel


Salvatore A. Barbatano is internationally recognized in the bankruptcy field with more than 30 years of experience representing business clients in commercial disputes and bankruptcy litigation. He has been counsel to creditors' committees in a number of large cases including World Kitchens and Lancer Partners, L.P. (the first hedge fund Chapter 11 in U.S. history). Sal has also advised domestic and international banks and other financial institutions, pension funds, creditors' committees, trustees in bankruptcy, insurance companies, manufacturing companies, health care providers, and real estate developers regarding the structure of secured, credit-enhanced, and securitized asset-based transactions. He also has represented corporate clients in federal and state investigations.

Earlier in his career, Sal worked with the U.S. Department of Labor, where he investigated alleged violations of federal laws in the management and investment practices of the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund.

Sal is a former senior lecturer and adjunct professor at Loyola University Law School in Chicago and served as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association President's Select Committee in Bankruptcy Law Amendments in 1982 and 1983. He frequently lectures on bankruptcy law issues and has written or co-authored numerous articles. Recently, Sal was appointed to an American Bar Association Business Bankruptcy Committee working group to draft a proposed Model Bankruptcy Code.

Consistently recognized for legal excellence, Sal is included among “The Best Lawyers in America” (Woodward/White, Inc.), and is repeatedly selected as a “Michigan SuperLawyer” by Thomson Reuters, among numerous additional accolades.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Turnaround Management Association

Community/Civic Activities

  • Northern Illinois University College of Law
    • Member, Board of Visitors
  • Thomson Reuters Accelus Business Currents
    • Editorial Advisory Board

Honors & Awards

“The Best Lawyers in America” (1995 to 1996)

Selected by Woodward/White, Inc.

Michigan “SuperLawyers” (2006 to 2011, 2014, 2015)

Selected by Thomson Reuters Corporation

“Leading Illinois Lawyer” (2012 to 2013)

Selected by Law Bulletin Publishing Company

“Leading Chicago Lawyer” (2012 to 2013)

Selected by Law Bulletin Publishing Company

AV® “Preeminent”™ Lawyer (1989 to present)

Ranked by Martindale-Hubbell through peer review


  • State Bar of Michigan
  • State Bar of New York
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court   


  • Law Clerk to the Honorable James Daley, Judge of the Wisconsin County Circuit Court, Portage, Wisconsin (1972-1973)


Representative Matters

  • Represented a large investment fund in the negotiation and drafting of the Plan of Reorganization in In re Refco, Inc., a multi-billion dollar Chapter 11 case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Upon confirmation of the Plan of Reorganization, represented the client on the Plan Advisory Committee and the Litigation Trust Committee which implemented the Plan 
  • American Bar Association representative in a six-attorney international consulting group assisting the Legislative Committee of the Peoples’ Republic of China in the drafting of New Chinese bankruptcy legislation enacted in 2006
  • In Re Nippon Asset Management, Inc., F/K/A Japan Leasing, Inc.: Represented a major U.S. financial company and its Japanese affiliates, as Sponsor of Plan of Reorganization in the then-largest corporate reorganization in the history of Japan
  • Court-appointed Litigation Trustee under the Plan of Reorganization in the Corus Bankshares, Inc. Chapter 11 case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 
  • In Re Corcoran Hospital District; Counsel to Chapter Nine Debtor. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of California
  • Counsel to Official Creditors’ Committee, In Re Cherry Communications, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago, Ill.
  • In Re Vision Metals, Inc. Counsel to Debtor-in-Possession in Chapter 11 case in Delaware involving in excess of $100 million dollars
  • Counsel to Trustee in the reorganization and sale of the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago, Ill.
  • Counsel to several domestic and international institutional lenders as secured creditors in the reorganizations of: (i) Motel of America, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wilmington, Delaware; (ii) Larken Hotels Limited Partnership, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Iowa; (iii) America’s Best Inns, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Illinois.
  • Appointed Examiner by U.S. Bankruptcy Court, In Re Bucyrus-Erie Co. And in Re B-E Holdings, Inc., U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin. 
  • Counsel to mortgage insurer in the reorganization of Epic Associates, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Alexandria, Va.
  • Counsel to Debtor, In Re Pester Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Des Moines, IA
  • Counsel to Debtor, In Re Commodore Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, South Bend, Ind.
  • Counsel to principal secured lender. In Re Winston Industries, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Counsel to Debtor, In Re Chas A. Stevens and Co., Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago, Ill.
  • Counsel to Debtor-in-possession; In Re State Exchange Finance Co., U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Northern District of Indiana. 
  • Counsel to several farm cooperatives as shareholders, In Re Energy Cooperative, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago. Ill.
  • Representation of First National Bank of Chicago as underwriter of securities of Chicago Board of Education  in an investigation conducted by U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. 
  • Representation of First National Bank of Chicago in investigation conducted by U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board regarding lending practices in the Commercial Airline Industry.

News & Insights

Articles & Publications

  • Co-Author of Chapter 9 Bankrupcty Forms shown as model Chapter 9 documents in Collier’s on Bankruptcy
  • Numerous Continuing Legal Education articles and lectures

Practices ›

Education ›


  • University of Wisconsin School of Law, Madison, WI, J.D., 1974
  • Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, , B.A., 1969