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Aaron L. Hammer Chair | Bankruptcy Group
  • D 312.242.3293
  • F 312.242.3311
ahammer@hmblaw.com
Aaron L. Hammer
"I have worked with Aaron since the early days of his career. He is bright, personable and accessible. His response time and attention to detail go unrivaled. That said, the key reason for retaining him is creative solutions." – National Group Leader, Financial Services Industry

Aaron is a partner at HMB and leads the firm’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights practice. He devotes his practice to solving his client’s most challenging insolvency and creditors’ rights issues.

Over more than twenty years, Aaron led major engagements on behalf of corporate borrowers, lenders, vendors and financiers and, most notably, bankruptcy committees – both official and unofficial – in countless significant bankruptcies and workouts across the country and in many foreign countries. He represents clients, including chapter 7, chapter 11 and liquidation trustees, as they handle reorganizations and work to preserve and enhance recoveries in complex proceedings.

Prior to joining HMB, Aaron was a name partner at Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLP and Chairman of its Executive Committee. Aaron’s role leading major engagements both domestically and internationally has earned him the Turnaround Management Association’s prestigious Large Transaction of the Year award—twice.

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Relationship-Based Approach, Business-Oriented Solutions

Clients rely on Aaron’s business-oriented, relationship-based approach to solve their most challenging insolvency and creditors’ rights issues in both distressed transactions and related litigation. He is known for his leadership and commitment to charity in the Chicago community and beyond.

Experience

  • Counsel for Lason, Inc., DIRECTV Latin America, LLC and Metal Management LLC in their successful chapter 11 multi-million dollar debt restructuring proceeding before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
  • Counsel for the Official Committee of Equity Security Holders In re AgFeed USA, LLC, et al. in their successful sale of a multi-national farming operation before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
  • Counsel to the Official Creditors’ Committees for: In re World Marketing Chicago, LLC, et al. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Newton Manufacturing Co. (Bankr. S.D. Iowa); In re Natural Pork Production II, LP (Bankr. S.D. Iowa); In re Quadrant 4 Systems Corp. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Trainor Glass Company (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Lyon Workspace Products, LLC, et al. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Giordano’s Enterprises, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Midwest Banc Holdings, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Schwab Industries, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ohio); In re Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. (Bankr. S.D. Fla.); In re Arena Football League, LLC (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Orius Corporation, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Gluth Bros. Construction, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Trinsic, Inc. (Bankr. S.D. Ala.); In re Midcom Communications, Inc. (Bankr. E.D. Mich.).
  • Counsel to liquidating trustees and plan administrators in the prosecution of mass bankruptcy preference claims in various notable chapter 11 cases, including: In re AgFeed USA, LLC (Bankr. D. Del.); In re Newton Manufacturing Co. (Bankr. S.D. Iowa); In re World Marketing Chicago, LLC (Bankr. N.D. Ill); In re Trainor Glass Company (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Lyon Workspace Products, LLC, et al. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. (Bankr. S.D. Fla.); In re Duke & King Acquisition, Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn.); In re Workflow Management, Inc. (Bankr. E.D. Va.); In re Orius Corp. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); In re marchFirst, Inc. (Bankr. ND. Ill.); In re Gluth Bros. Construction (N.D. Ill.); In re Schwab Industries, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ohio); In re Mid-City Parking, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); and In re Knight-Celotex, LLC (Bankr. N.D.Ill.).
  • Bankruptcy counsel to a multi-national Fortune 500 information technology outsourcing company in several notable chapter 11 proceedings, including Hawaiian Telecom Communications, Inc. (Bankr. D. Haw.); Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.); Entergy New Orleans, Inc. (Bankr. E.D. La.); Interstate Bakeries, Inc. (Bankr. W.D. Mo.); Global Crossings, Inc. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.); WorldCom, Inc. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.); and NewPage Corporation (Bankr. D. Del.).
  • Bankruptcy counsel to a multi-national Fortune 500 insurance and professional services company in various notable chapter 11 proceedings, including Nortel Networks Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.); AbitibiBowater Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.); The Fairchild Corporation (Bankr. D. Del.); Tribune Company (Bankr. D. Del.); Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.); Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Bankr. D. Del.); R.H. Donnelley Corporation (Bankr. D. Del.); and AMR Corporation (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.).
  • Member of team that successfully represented Bank of America, N.A. before the U.S. Supreme Court in Bank of America v. 203 N. LaSalle Street Partnership, which resulted in a seminal decision concerning the ability of pre-bankruptcy equity holders to acquire equity in a reorganized entity.
  • Counsel to Rockwell Petroleum, Inc. and Deloitte and Touch, Inc., as receiver for CPI Plastics Group, Ltd. in their chapter 15 proceedings before the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Wyoming and the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
  • Counsel to the single largest aircraft financier to United Airlines, Inc. in connection with UAL’s chapter 11 bankruptcy, as well as to other aircraft and equipment financiers in the out-of-court restructuring of American Airlines and the chapter 11 bankruptcies of AMERCO, Inc. (Bankr. D. Nev.), the parent company of U-HAUL, and Atlas Air, Inc. (Bankr. S.D. Fla.).

Education

Northwestern University School of Law, Order of the Coif, magna cum laude, J.D.

University of Michigan, James B. Angell Scholar, Pi Sigma Alpha, B.A.

Admissions

Illinois

New York

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

United States District Court, Central District of Illinois

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court, Southern District of New York

United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (pro hac vice)

United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York

Honors

Recognized by Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for his “unrivaled business judgment and client service,” Aaron is widely acknowledged for his achievements on behalf of his clients.

  • Section 363 Sale of the Year ($10MM – 25MM) – The M&A Advisor (2018)
  • Refinancing Deal of the Year (Under $250MM) – The M&A Advisor (2017)
  • Leading Lawyer in Field – Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2011, 2013-2014, 2017)
  • Selected by peers as a Leading Lawyer in: Bankruptcy & Workout Law: Commercial; Creditor’s Rights/Commercial Collections Law (2008 – 2017)
  • Large Transaction of the Year – TMA Global (2014)
  • Consumer & Retail Products Deal of The Year – The M&A Advisor (2014)
  • Illinois Rising Stars – Super Lawyers (2010-2012)
  • Outstanding Young Restructuring Attorney – Turnaround & Workouts (2010)
  • 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch, Law Bulletin Publishing Company, publisher of Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer (2009)
  • Large Transaction of the Year – TMA Chicago/Midwest Chapter (2009)
  • 5.0/5.0 Overall Client Rating – Martindale.com
  • Adjunct Professor of the Year, Nominee – Northwestern University School of Law (2002, 2003)

Professional Memberships

Young President’s Organization

Anti-Defamation League

Turnaround Management Association

INSOL International

New York State Bar Association

Illinois State Bar Association

Events

Publications

  • Force Majeure? It’s Unorthodox, But I’ll Allow It: Bankruptcy Court Excuses § 365(d)(3) Performance Due to CoronavirusJune 10, 2020

    In an opinion for our troubled times, Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy Judge Donald Cassling granted debtor Hitz Restaurant Group (“Hitz”) some reprieve from § 365(d)(3)’s strict requirements due to a combination of COVID-19 shutdown orders and a favorably-worded force majeure clause. Hitz’s landlord, Kass Management Services, Inc. (“Kass”) moved to lift the automatic stay after Hitz stop making its…

  • Out-of-Court Distressed Asset Purchases - What You Need to KnowMay 1, 2020

    Out-Of-Court Distressed Asset Purchases, a Primer The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide, cutting wide swaths of through entire sectors of the economy.  The current government regime of subsidizing whole industries and individual businesses is still evolving.  Commercial lenders have been incentivized to forbear and defer defaults – but the piper must eventually be paid.  Enterprises that…

  • New Subchapter V of the Bankruptcy Code May Be the Salvation for Small Businesses to Survive COVID-19May 1, 2020

    The Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) was enacted in February 2020 with no one anticipating the global pandemic. Today, the financial consequences have hit small businesses hard. The SBRA, commonly known as Subchapter V, may provide much-needed relief to small businesses as they struggle through the crisis. With the Subchapter V election likely to surge during and after the pandemic,…

  • Bankruptcy in the Time of CoronavirusApril 6, 2020

    The Coronavirus crisis has arrived. This global pandemic has placed a hard stop on economic activity across the board, sending markets into freefall and skyrocketing unemployment claims to unprecedented heights. Chapter 11 filings are anticipated to surge, forcing bankruptcy courts to clean up large swaths of the crisis’ aftermath. But for now, it is anyone’s guess when the uptick in…

  • Zone of Insolvency and Fiduciary Duties – a Brief Summary of What Directors and Officers Need to KnowMarch 23, 2020

    The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide. As commercial operations continue to be shuttered and revenues cut off, principals of companies will likely find themselves questioning where their obligations and responsibilities lie when the entity’s solvency is questionable.  When a corporation is solvent, the fiduciary duties of the corporation's board of directors run to…

News

Education
  • Northwestern University School of Law, Order of the Coif, magna cum laude, J.D.
  • University of Michigan, James B. Angell Scholar, Pi Sigma Alpha, B.A.
Admissions
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (pro hac vice)
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

Phone: 312-606-3200 Fax: 312-606-3232
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