Michael Small Attorney

As an accomplished lawyer specializing in corporate restructuring, bankruptcy, finance, and litigation, Michael Small brings his expertise to a wide range of legal matters. His client base includes financial institutions, asset purchasers, creditors’ committees, secured and unsecured creditors, and debtors involved in reorganization cases, liquidations, workouts, transactions, and federal and state court litigation.

With over two decades of experience, Michael Small has been a partner at the firm since 2000. He previously led the Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice Group and plays an active role in various industry teams such as Sports & Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Health Care & Life Sciences, and Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG). He is also a respected member of the Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Representative Experience

Throughout his career, Michael Small has handled numerous notable cases, including:

  • In re AmeriMark Interactive, LLC (acting as an asset purchaser)
  • In re Meridian Restaurants Unlimited (serving as a creditors committee)
  • In re FTX Trading Ltd. (representing a contract counterparty creditor)
  • In re Diamond Sports Group (representing contract counterparties)
  • In re Los Angeles Dodgers LLC (facilitating the acquisition of L.A. Dodgers)
  • In re Chicago National League Ball Club, LLC (facilitating the acquisition of Chicago Cubs)
  • In re Texas Rangers Baseball Partners (facilitating the acquisition of Texas Rangers)
  • In re Universal Cooperatives, Inc., et al (acting as debtors’ counsel)
  • In re AgFeed Industries, Inc. et al (serving as special counsel to the debtors)
  • In re Loves Furniture, Inc. (working with a creditors committee)
  • In re SquareTwo Financial Services Corporation (assisting in the acquisition by plan sponsor)
  • In re GenCanna Global USA, Inc. (representing a creditors committee)
  • In re The Financial Oversight and Management Board Puerto Rico (representing an infrastructure creditor)
  • In re Farmland Industries (representing a bondholder committee and liquidating trustee)
  • In re Sears Holdings Corporation, et al (representing a sale-leaseback counterparty)
  • In re Velocity Holding Company, Inc. et al (serving as a creditors committee)
  • In re Giordano’s Enterprises, Inc. (representing the largest ingredient supplier)
  • In re Standard Forwarding (working as a DIP lender)
  • In re Murray, Inc. (assisting a creditors committee)
  • In re Bridge Information Systems, Inc. (acting as a creditors committee)
  • In re Corcoran Hospital District (representing a chapter 9 debtor)
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Thought Leadership

Michael Small is a highly respected figure in his field and has shared his expertise at numerous conferences in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has also contributed to various legal publications, including:

  • Co-authored “Limited Options for Cannabis-Related Company Liquidations,” available at Garrity Traina (April 3, 2020)
  • “7th Circ. Does The Math, Settlement Upheld,” published in Bankruptcy Law360 (January 6, 2012)
  • “Learning From Recent Insider Preference Cases,” published in Bankruptcy Law360 (October 2011)
  • Co-authored “‘Unequivocal And Specific’ Claim Preservation,” published in Bankruptcy Law360 (July 2011)
  • Co-edited “Involuntary Bankruptcy” as a chapter within Business Bankruptcy Practice for Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2011 and 2013 Editions)
  • Co-authored “Protecting the Value of Potential Tax Refunds for Secured Creditors,” published in Bankruptcy Law 360 (June 8, 2010)
  • Co-authored “Financing Renewable Energy,” published in Commercial Lending Review, Volume 23, Number 2 (March – April 2008)
  • “A Bankruptcy and Restructuring Conversation: From Alchemy to Taxidermy,” a chapter in The Roles and Motivations of Key Players in Bankruptcy Cases, Aspatore Books (2006)


Michael Small’s exceptional skills and contributions to the legal field have earned him recognition and accolades over the years, including:

  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the practice area of Bankruptcy/Restructuring (2014-2018, 2021-2023)
  • AV Preeminent®, 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system
  • Recognized by the Legal 500 for his work in finance – corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy) (2013)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2011-2024) and Litigation – Bankruptcy (2011-2024)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers lists (2007-2023)*
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*Please note that the Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law, and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.


Michael Small’s educational background is as follows:

  • University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1991)
  • Jewish Theological Seminary of America (M.A., 1988)
  • Brown University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1985)


In addition to his legal practice, Michael Small serves as an adjunct professor, teaching chapter 11 and trial advocacy at Northwestern University’s Pritzker Law School and Washington University in St. Louis.


Michael Small is admitted to practice in the following jurisdictions:

  • Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
  • Eastern District of Missouri
  • United States Supreme Court

He has also appeared in federal and state courts in Delaware, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Utah, and Massachusetts.