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John W. Guzzardo Partner
  • D 312.242.3307
  • F 312.267.2251
jguzzardo@hmblaw.com
John W. Guzzardo

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleague, John W. Guzzardo. John was a gifted lawyer with an unwavering commitment to his family, friends and clients. Our hearts and thoughts are with John’s family. Read more about John here. If you are seeking assistance on a legal matter, please direct any communication to Bill Katris.

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John is a partner in HMB’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights Group and Chair of the Litigation Group.  He represents debtors, creditors, trustees and receivers in local, regional and national chapter 11 and 7 proceedings.

John also serves as a member of the Chapter 7 Trustee panel for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (Chicago).

With a strong emphasis on complex bankruptcy litigation matters, John represents debtors, creditors, creditor committees, trustees and liquidating trusts in local and national chapter 11 and 7 proceedings, with particular emphasis on prosecuting and defending preference and fraudulent transfer actions.

John also has extensive experience in:

  • Representing receivers in Illinois state proceedings
  • Analyzing and prosecuting breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • D&O insurance coverage of breach of fiduciary duty claims – including advising carriers of unique strategies only available in bankruptcy situations
  • Hotel and hospitality industry related litigation

Prior to joining HMB, John practiced at Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin, LLC for nearly a decade. He started his career as a litigation associate in the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP, where he was engaged extensively in the Delphi Corporation bankruptcy case for over 4 years.

Minimizing Exposure, Maximizing Recovery

With more than 17 years of experience, John has earned his reputation for providing clients solid business and legal advice combined with an ability to achieve results. Clients rely on his candid, practical advice and ardent focus on minimizing exposure or maximizing recovery in restructuring matters and commercial disputes.

Experience

  • Counsel for Liquidating Trustees of: a single engine airplane manufacturer (In re Thrush Aircraft, Inc. (Bankr. M.D. Ga.)); a commercial hemp processer (In re GenCanna Global USA, Inc. (Bankr. E.D. Ky.); and a Chicago food processor (In re Arro Corp. (Bankr. N.D. IL))
  • Represented Bisteca, LLC in its efforts to restructure the operations of Red, the Steakhouse in Miami Beach, FL – resulting in the TMA Chicago/Midwest Chapter 2020 Small Turnaround of the Year Award
  • Special counsel to D&O insurance policy carriers to assess, value and resolve significant breach of fiduciary duty claims against policies asserted by liquidating trustees
  • Special avoidance action counsel for chapter 7 trustee of In re Ryan International Airlines (Bankr. N.D. Ill.). Investigated, negotiated and litigated hundreds of preferential transfer recoveries totaling nearly $4.4 million – including a $1 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Counsel for Donald A. Shapiro and Foresite Realty Advisors, LLC, as real estate receiver of a Chicago loop office building in a highly contested foreclosure action with successive bankruptcy filings – and where defendants made multiple (unsuccessful) attempts to remove and obstruct the receiver (36 Holdings v. EHC, LLC, Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.) John also represented Foresite receiverships for multiple shopping malls and industrial sites, including a pita bread bakery
  • Represented plaintiff at trial in a breach of contract and servicing standards of a commercial backed mortgage security agreement relating to the sale of a hotel (Five Mile Capital v. Berkadia, Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.)
  • Counsel for chapter 7 trustees in multiple complex local and regional bankruptcy cases where he investigated, litigated and resolved claims such as avoidance actions and breach of fiduciary duty (and related insurance claims) and objected to discharge. (i.e., In re Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. and In re IFC Credit Corp.)
  • John has also represented a number of preference action defendants (in a wide array of industries, such as dairy, steel, furniture, computer hardware and insurance), including the defense of a $20 million preference action demand
  • Debtor’s counsel in the Delphi Corporation chapter 11 bankruptcy, extensively involved in nearly every contested matter in that case over a four-year period, including plan confirmation
  • Represented multiple lenders secured by commercial and residential properties in both bankruptcy court and in state court foreclosure proceedings
  • Counsel for a landlord creditor through two consecutive bankruptcies of a medical provider, including the negotiation of a commercial lease and holdover tenancy litigation (In re Northwest Pediatrics, Inc., Bankr. N.D. Ill.)
  • Counsel for reorganized debtor battery manufacturer, where he reconciled hundreds of claims, ranging from commercial contract and personal injury to environmental claims, through two successive chapter 11 bankruptcy filings (In re Exide Technologies, Inc.)

Education

Chicago Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Order of the Coif, Honors Scholar, J.D.

Northwestern University, B.S. in Speech (Theatre)

Admissions

Illinois

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

United States District Court, Central District of Illinois

Honors

  • Small Turnaround of the Year – Turnaround Management Association, Chicago/Midwest Chapter (2020)
  • Illinois Super Lawyer and Rising Star (2012 – 2021)

Professional Memberships

  • Chapter 7 Trustee Panel, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees (NABT)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Bankruptcy Liaison Committee for the Northern District of Illinois (2014-2016)

Publications

  • Corporate Bankruptcies in 2021 and BeyondApril 12, 2021

    CHAPTER 11 FILINGS IN 2020 AND BEYOND Unless your January 2020 payroll included Nostradamus, the forthcoming global pandemic and resulting mass quarantines were largely unforeseeable. Last year’s unpredictability did, however, lead to the rather predictable material increase in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. Epiq Companies recently reported to the American Bankruptcy Institute that commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 29% in 2020.…

  • Procedures of the Circuit Court of Cook County During the CoronavirusJuly 1, 2020

    ***This article has been updated from the version posted on May 29th, 2020*** Actions Taken by the Circuit Court of Cook County In General Effective July 6, 2020, the Circuit Court of Cook County will begin hearing all matters in all Districts and Divisions with the exception of jury trials.  Unless otherwise ordered, all attorneys and self-represented litigants shall be…

  • Force Majeure? It’s Unorthodox, But I’ll Allow It: Bankruptcy Court Excuses § 365(d)(3) Performance Due to CoronavirusJune 10, 2020

    In an opinion for our troubled times, Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy Judge Donald Cassling granted debtor Hitz Restaurant Group (“Hitz”) some reprieve from § 365(d)(3)’s strict requirements due to a combination of COVID-19 shutdown orders and a favorably-worded force majeure clause. Hitz’s landlord, Kass Management Services, Inc. (“Kass”) moved to lift the automatic stay after Hitz stop making its…

  • John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman Published in Journal of Corporate Renewal - "Global Pandemic Is Surprise Addition to Restaurant’s Turnaround Menu"June 1, 2020

    View the PDF from Turnaround Management Association's Journal of Corporate Renewal here. John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman, with John B. Pidcock of Oxford Restructuring Advisors LLP, discuss how Red South Beach responded to the COVID-19 crisis by quickly taking a number of actions designed not only to survive but to emerge financially stronger once the crisis is over.…

  • Procedures of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois During the Coronavirus CrisisMay 30, 2020

    Actions Taken by the District Court On Tuesday, May 26, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois updated, for the fourth time, its General Order 20-0012 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The District Court’s original General Order extended all deadlines, whether set by the court or otherwise, by 21 days. On March 30, an Amended…

News

  • In Remembrance of John W. GuzzardoJune 11, 2021

    It is with great sadness that we inform you of the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleague, John Guzzardo. John passed away on Friday, June 4th at the age of 49 due to a car crash while on vacation with his family in California. John was a Partner at HMB, the Chair of the firm’s Litigation Group, a mentor to many and a friend to all.

  • Aaron L. Hammer Discusses Gencanna's $1.2M Lawsuit Against Pillsbury Winthrop with Law360February 4, 2021

    In this article by Law360, Aaron L. Hammer discusses GenCanna filing an adversary proceeding seeking $1.2 million back that the company paid to law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP ("Pillsbury"). Read the full article by Law360 here (paid subscription required). GenCanna, now known as OGGUSA Inc. after the company sold its assets as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, paid…

  • HMB Legal Counsel Retained as Counsel for Wind-Down Trustee In re OGGUSA, Inc. f/k/a GenCanna Global USADecember 29, 2020

    Aaron L. Hammer, John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman of HMB Legal Counsel have been retained as counsel for the wind-down trustee in In re OGGUSA, Inc. (f/k/a GenCanna Global USA, Inc.). Earlier this year, CBD giant GenCanna made national headlines when its creditors forced the company into a Kentucky bankruptcy court After a high stakes court battle which…

  • John W. Guzzardo Appointed to the Panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the Northern District of IllinoisDecember 11, 2020

    HMB is proud to announce that John W. Guzzardo has been appointed by the United State Trustee of Region 11 to the Panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. John is Chair of HMB’s Litigation Group and a partner in HMB’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights practice. "Over the past eleven years of my…

  • HMB Congratulates Client RED South Beach for Turnaround Management Association Small Business Turnaround AwardOctober 28, 2020

    RED South Beach and its turnaround professionals have been awarded the Small Business Turnaround of the Year Award from the TMA’s Chicago/Midwest Chapter. HMB attorneys Aaron L. Hammer, John W. Guzzardo and Nathan E. Delman served as legal counsel to RED South Beach in its turnaround. Although this year’s celebration will be virtual, the Chapter’s Awards Committee and Board will…

Education
  • Chicago Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Order of the Coif, Honors Scholar, J.D.
  • Northwestern University, B.S. in Speech (Theatre)
Admissions
  • Illinois
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

Phone: 312-606-3200 Fax: 312-606-3232
© HMB Legal Counsel 2021. All Rights Reserved.
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