William J. (Bill) McKenna is a partner and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP, and has over 30 years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of commercial litigation. He has conducted numerous commercial trials (jury and non-jury) in circuit, federal district, and bankruptcy courts around the country.
He has also conducted numerous contested administrative hearings before federal and state administrative bodies of all types. He has prosecuted or defended many appeals in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, and various federal courts of appeals.
Mr. McKenna’s experience has focused upon insolvency proceedings; financial institution and lender-liability litigation; real estate litigation; construction litigation; and energy-related litigation.
He is a member and former vice chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice as well as a member of the Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Construction Practices.
He has frequently represented secured lenders, creditor committees, indenture trustees, debtors-in-possession and trustees in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. In this setting he has conducted trials in various bankruptcy courts around the country on subjects including relief from stay, Section 363 sales, continued use of cash collateral, contested trustee elections, assumption or rejection of executory contracts, contested claims and confirmation of plans of reorganization. He has also litigated adversary proceedings raising an array of commercial litigation scenarios.
He has had extensive experience in representing developers, lenders, landowners, lessors, and lessees in all types of litigation relating to real estate. His trial work has included major condemnation, land-use, and zoning cases, as well as significant commercial foreclosures and disputes over leaseholds. He was chief trial counsel to the landowner in the largest Cook County, Illinois, jury award in a condemnation case in 1998.
He also represented the foreclosing lender in the then-largest foreclosure action in Cook County history, involving the foreclosure of a $100 million mortgage on one of Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive properties.
In the energy field, Mr. McKenna has represented electric utilities in condemnation matters to support construction of new transmission and distribution lines and facilities. He has defended electric and gas utilities in class action litigation in the federal and state courts.
He has litigated administrative proceedings regarding the prudence of utility operations and the appropriateness of various types of utility restructurings.
A law graduate of the University of Chicago (J.D., 1979), Mr. McKenna received his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College (B.A., 1975).
Professional Memberships and Admissions :
A member of the American Bar Association, he is admitted to the bar in Illinois and is admitted to practice before numerous trial, appellate and bankruptcy courts around the country.
Mr. McKenna is an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Northwestern University Law School and an instructor at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
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