J. Mark Fisher’s broad experience helps clients seize opportunities in complex restructuring and bankruptcy cases and avoid pitfalls in secured, structured and mezzanine financing transactions.
A “lawyer’s lawyer,” he has drafted portions of the laws governing secured transactions, equipment leasing and bankruptcy that are central to his court advocacy, negotiations and drafting.
Mark has an innate ability to present the law and underlying reasons in practical terms, helping him resolve hundreds of deals and cases in his 35 years as a finance and restructuring lawyer.
Mark excels at quickly sizing up the documents, players and perspectives of a transaction, because timely advice is essential in identifying and addressing bankruptcy and creditors’ rights issues. Those insights are just as important in structuring a highly leveraged transaction or distressed acquisition as they are in enforcing a lender’s rights or defending against a lender liability or fraudulent transfer attack.
Mark knows he practices in the “intensive care” wing of the legal system. This includes counseling in the unique area where a bank holding company is in financial difficulty and itself must restructure or even consider bankruptcy.
Fortunately, Mark understands how to develop the appropriate agreement or pleading in unique matters where there is no template or form. He also has tried cases to courts and juries and handled complex appeals throughout the United States.
Mark represents some of the largest banks and insurance companies as well as smaller financial, manufacturing and real estate firms who face an opportunity or challenge with financing or insolvency matters. He continues to lead a joint defense group facing a $450 million fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty claim.
He also obtained, from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, en banc, vindication of a trademark licensee against a bankrupt licensor who could have put it out of business by using bankruptcy to reject key licenses. Mark has crafted laws that benefit commercial and industrial landlords regarding rejection claims, post-petition administrative claims and other issues across the United States.
Mark has had particular experience with leveraged acquisitions, secured lending and equipment leasing, commercial real estate leasing, and intellectual property transactions and bankruptcy cases. He has represented parties in over 50 financially-distressed acquisitions in and outside bankruptcy cases.
His successful defense of lenders, intellectual property (IP) licensees and landlords has won him many awards and a high rating. It has also helped solidify Schiff Hardin’s reputation as a “midsize firm that has the capabilities and professionalism you would expect of a top firm” (Chambers) in finance and restructuring.
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1978
- Yale University, B.A., 1975
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- American Bar Association, Section of Business Law, Committee on Business Bankruptcy
- Chicago Bar Association, Commercial Finance Committee, Past Chair
- Commercial Finance Association Education Foundation, Director
- Co-head of Insolvency Practice Group for the Americas of TerraLex (an international network of 15,000 lawyers in over 100 countries) and co-representative of Schiff Hardin as the Illinois member of TerraLex.
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