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Michael helps businesses, their owners, and their creditors manage the complexities associated with financial distress and bankruptcy law.

Michael’s practice touches on all areas of corporate restructurings, crisis management, and transactions involving financial distress. He routinely counsels debtors, creditors, asset purchasers, assignees, creditors’ committees, and trustees, among others, who require sound judgment and a deep knowledge of how to navigate the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

He has drafted multiple bankruptcy plans incorporating settlements with senior secured lenders, classifications of claims and financials underlying liquidation analyses and has represented numerous bankruptcy committees and creditor trustees across multiple industries, including agriculture, retail, restaurants, and manufacturing.

Michael has substantial experience guiding clients through the process of buying and selling assets out of bankruptcy, including operating assets and intellectual property. He also regularly represents clients in resolving disputes in the context of financial distress, including loan workouts and negotiations involving trade relationships.

Michael frequently writes and speaks on issues pertaining to financial distress, family business, and entrepreneurship. He currently serves as the President of Turnaround Management Association’s Chicago/Midwest Chapter and was named by the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) as a 40 Under 40 Honoree.




  • American Bankruptcy Institute 40 Under 40 Award (2021)
  • 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award, Turnaround Management Association, Chicago/Midwest Chapter
  • AV Preeminent Rating
  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star (2016-2021)
  • 2016 Emerging Leader of the Year, Turnaround Management Association Chicago/Midwest Chapter
  • M&A Advisor 8th Annual Emerging Leader Award


  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law
    • magna cum laude
  • B.A., University of Michigan
    • English


  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Turnaround Management Association, Chicago/Midwest Chapter, Past-President (2022)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, Associate Editor​
  • National Association of Credit Managers, Member
  • Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy Liaison Committee, Chair (2018 – 2020)
  • Lake Forest College, Co-Lecturer on Entrepreneurship and Law (Apr. 2020 and Apr. 2021)
  • Drafted multiple bankruptcy plans incorporating settlements with senior secured lenders, classifications of claims and financials underlying liquidation analyses.
  • Represented numerous bankruptcy committees and creditor trustees.
  • Counseled assignee in sale of national retail business assets and intellectual property through assignment for benefit of creditors.
  • Advised senior secured lender in sale of distressed pharmacy as going concern.
  • Represented secured lender in loan workout during contentious litigation with borrower.
  • Assisted sophisticated business in negotiating go-forward trade relationship with bankrupt client.
  • Negotiated release of millions of dollars in guaranties with lenders in assignment for benefit of creditors.
  • Directed complex sale transaction of national technology company to former employees.
  • Counseled high-profile client in prosecution of nationally publicized dispute with international consulting firm.
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Husch Blackwell Grows Insolvency Practice in Chicago

Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that Michael Brandess has joined the firm’s Chicago office as a partner in its Financial Services & Capital Markets industry team and Insolvency & Commercial Bankruptcy and Business Succession Planning practice groups.

Outside the Office

Michael loves spending time with his wife and three young kids.

He enjoys watching Michigan football and Cubs baseball (even during the down years). And summer concerts are always a good time.

Community Leadership
  • Deerfield Park Foundation, Director, 2018–2024
  • Deerfield Youth Baseball Association, Director, 2022–Current