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International Insolvency

International Insolvency

posted 2 years ago


Mason Pollick & Schmahl, LLC is a Chicago-based business law firm with special expertise in the areas of business bankruptcy and reorganization, commercial real estate transactions, litigation in the federal and state courts, and general corporate matters. Our principals have over 100 years of combined experience practicing business law, including many years as colleagues in one of the world’s largest business law firms. Two of our principals also served for several years as in-house counsel for significant companies. The firm provides clients with big firm experience but greater flexibility on rates and methods of billing.



Mason Pollick & Schmahl LLC represents a wide range of clients in the following types of matters:

  • Commercial litigation in the state and federal courts
  • Commercial bankruptcy and reorganizations proceedings, including those involving non-U.S. parties
  • Federal receiverships
  • Commercial out of court restructurings and liquidations
  • Real estate transactions
  • General corporate transactions, including financing and sales of businesses
  • Commercial landlord/tenant transactions and disputes
  • Enforcement of commercial mortgages and remedies under the Uniform Commercial Code
  • Enforcement of out-of-state and out-of-country commercial judgments


Richard J. Mason


Mr. Mason represents significant business interests in transactions and litigation, with a strong concentration in the areas of business insolvency and debtor-creditor relations. He has extensive experience representing a range of clients in business matters throughout the United States and overseas.  He has represented clients in some of the country’s largest bankruptcies in Chicago, New York, Delaware, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.


Mr. Mason is an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he has taught bankruptcy law each year since 1983. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America, Illinois Superlawyers and Leading Lawyers Network and previously served as Co-chair of the Insolvency Section of the International Bar Association, Chair of the Education Committee of the American College of Bankruptcy, and Chair of the Use and Disposition of Property subcommittee of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association.  He also served as a delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law for both the ABA and the IBA.  He has published extensively on the subject of business bankruptcy and commercial litigation. He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs sponsored by organizations such as the American Bar Association, International Bar Association, American Bankruptcy Institute, Commercial Law League of America, Practicing Law Institute, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, and various state and local bar associations.


Mr. Mason has been admitted to and appeared in various federal courts in 20 states.





 U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)


Representative Matters

  • Representation of foreign entity purchasing business from restructuring debtor.
  • Representation of foreign insolvency representative in U.S. ancillary proceeding.
  • Representation of a state agency sued by a bankrupt estate for breach of contract and defamation.
  • Representation of the principal commodity trading partner of Chapter 11 debtor with several billion dollars in debt.
  • Representation of trustee in bankruptcy in multi-billion dollar Chapter 7 case.
  • Representation of a national chain of medical clinics facing regulatory matters.
  • Representation of directors in disputes concerning corporate governance.
  • Representation of an unsecured creditor’s committee of airline reorganizing in Chapter 11.
  • Representation of an unsecured creditor’s committee of printing equipment producer in Chapter 11.
  • Representation of a principal partner of a Midwestern real estate venture restructuring debts exceeding $3 billion.
  • Representation of various banks and insurance companies with financially troubled borrowers.
  • Representation of a company in a Midwestern telecommunications business suing to invalidate a $50 million leverage buy-out.
  • Representation of a leveraged lessor of approximately $100 million in hotels to a national hotel chain reorganizing under Chapter 11.
  • Representation of an unsecured creditors committee of Midwestern metal stamping manufacturer restructuring under Chapter 11.
  • Representation of an institutional landlord of approximately 30 properties to a Southwestern retailer restructuring debt under Chapter 11.
  • Representation of a trustee in bankruptcy of Midwestern publicly held limited partnerships with hotels undergoing Chapter 11 reorganization.
  • Representation of a purchaser of all operating assets of a Midwestern manufacturer of automotive parts undergoing Chapter 11 reorganization.
  • Representation of a group of creditors with multimillion claims against the bankruptcy estate of one of the country’s largest “Ponzi schemes”.
  • Representation of a purchaser of the operations of a leather belt manufacturer reorganizing under Chapter 11.
  • Representation of a defendant in asbestos-related litigation relating to a bankruptcy case.
  • Representation of a foreign bank defending allegations it improperly seized and liquidated the assets of a locomotive manufacturer.



  • Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Business Transactions
  • Cross-border Litigation


Affiliations and Recognition

  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy (Class X, 2000) (Chair of Education Committee, 2015-2019)
  • Fellow, International Insolvency Institute, 2015-present
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Illinois Superlawyers, and Leading Lawyers Network
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association, 1984-2016 (Chair, Subcommittee on Use and Disposition of Property, 1993-1998) ( Delegate, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, 1999-2002)
  • Member, Insolvency and Restructuring Section of the International Bar Association, 1990-present (Co-Chair, of Section, 2017-2019) (Delegate, UNCITRAL, 2018-present)
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute, 1986-present
  • Member, Section Counsel, Commercial, Banking, and Bankruptcy Law, Illinois State Bar Association 1984-1987
  • Trustee, Private Panel Maintained by Region 11 of the Office of the U.S. Trustee
  • Member, Board of Directors, Illinois Farm Legal Assistance Foundation, 1986-1988


Recent Publications

  • Will Recent UNCITRAL Projects Impact U.S. Bankruptcy Practice? American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, October 2019
  • Author, “How Bankruptcy Courts Will Treat Cases Involving Cryptocurrency Exchanges, ” The Bankruptcy Strategist, February 2019
  • Author, “Pursuing Relief Against Foreign Adversaries,” American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal, Fall 2018
  • Co-author, “When Do the Creditor’s Shoes Fit?: A Bankruptcy Estate’s Power to Assert the Rights of a Hypothetical Judgment Creditor,” The American Bankruptcy Law Journal, 2017
  • Author, “Is the Bankruptcy Concept of Nationwide Service Still Completely Intact?” American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, October 2017
  • Co-author, “Another U.S. Court Weighs In On The Debate Over The Extraterritoriality Of The Avoidance Provisions Of The U.S. Bankruptcy Code,” Insolvency and Restructuring International, September 2017
  • Author, “Debtor’s Rights/Local Government,” Illinois Municipal League Review, August 2017
  • Author, “Financially Distressed Local Governments: In Illinois, Relief Options are Limited.” Illinois Bar Journal, April 2017
  • Co-author, “Repatriating Proceeds Of A U.S. Avoidance Action To A Foreign Main Proceeding: Does Chapter 15 Authorize Structured Dismissals,” Norton Journal Of Bankruptcy Law And Practice, 2016
  • Co-author, “Pursuing Avoidance Actions Under U.S. Law Against Foreign Defendants,” ABI Journal, September 2016
  • Author, Perfecting Article 9 Security Interests Under Illinois Law, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2016
  • Co-author, “Strategies for Disposition of Partial LLC Interests in Bankruptcy,” The Bankruptcy Strategist , December 2015
  • Co-author, Can an Estate Effectively Liquidate a Fractional Interest in an LLC,” ABI Journal, October 2015
  • Author, “Liability to Third Parties for Lost or Damaged Property,” Bankruptcy. Trustees Journal, January 27, 2012
  • Author, Courts Broaden Exposure Under Certain “Bad Boy” Guarantees, McGuireWoods Legal Insights, January 11, 2012
  • Author, “Liability to Third Parties for Lost or Damaged Property” 27 Journal of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, 2011
  • Author, “Strategies for Use of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code by Foreign Insolvency Representatives,” Insolvency and Restructuring International, November 18, 2011
  • Author, Update on Partially Secured Creditors Rights in Bankruptcy to Credit Bid, McGuireWoods Legal Insights, March 24, 2010
  • Co-author, “Priorities Among Article 9 Security Interests and Competing Rights,” 2007



  • The University of Chicago, MBA, 1980
  • University of Notre Dame Law School, JD, 1977
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BA, with High Honors, 1973

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