John W. Guzzardo Chair | Litigation
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John W. Guzzardo

John is a partner in HMB’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors’ Rights Group and Chair of the Litigation Group.  He represents debtors, creditors, trustees and receivers in local, regional and national chapter 11 and 7 proceedings.

With a strong emphasis on complex bankruptcy litigation matters, John represents debtors, creditors, creditor committees and trustees in local and national chapter 11 and 7 proceedings, with particular emphasis on prosecuting and defending preference and fraudulent transfer actions.

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John also has extensive experience in:

  • Representing receivers in Illinois state proceedings
  • Analyzing and prosecuting breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • D&O insurance coverage of breach of fiduciary duty claims – including advising carriers of unique strategies only available in bankruptcy situations
  • Hotel and hospitality industry related litigation

Prior to joining HMB, John practiced at Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin, LLC for nearly a decade. He started his career as a litigation associate in the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP, where he was engaged extensively in the Delphi Corporation bankruptcy case for over 4 years.

Minimizing Exposure, Maximizing Recovery

With more than 15 years of experience, John has earned his reputation for providing clients solid business and legal advice combined with an ability to achieve results. Clients rely on his candid, practical advice and ardent focus on minimizing exposure or maximizing recovery in their bankruptcy cases.


  • Special avoidance action counsel for chapter 7 trustee of In re Ryan International Airlines (Bankr. N.D. Ill.). Investigated, negotiated and litigated hundreds of preferential transfer recoveries totaling nearly $4.4 million – including a $1 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Counsel for Donald A. Shapiro and Foresite Realty Advisors, LLC, as real estate receiver of a Chicago loop office building in a highly contested foreclosure action with successive bankruptcy filings – and where defendants made multiple (unsuccessful) attempts to remove and obstruct the receiver (36 Holdings v. EHC, LLC, Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.) John also represented Foresite receiverships for multiple shopping malls and industrial sites, including a pita bread bakery
  • Represented plaintiff at trial in a breach of contract and servicing standards of a commercial backed mortgage security agreement relating to the sale of a hotel (Five Mile Capital v. Berkadia, Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.)
  • Counsel for chapter 7 trustees in multiple complex local and regional bankruptcy cases where he investigated, litigated and resolved claims such as avoidance actions and breach of fiduciary duty (and related insurance claims) and objected to discharge. (i.e., In re Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. and In re IFC Credit Corp.)
  • John has also represented a number of preference action defendants (in a wide array of industries, such as steel, furniture, computer hardware and insurance), including the defense of a $20 million preference action demand
  • Debtor’s counsel in the Delphi Corporation chapter 11 bankruptcy, extensively involved in nearly every contested matter in that case over a four-year period, including plan confirmation
  • Represented small business manufacturing and single asset real estate debtors in chapter 11 proceedings
  • Represented multiple lenders secured by commercial and residential properties in both bankruptcy court and in state court foreclosure proceedings
  • Counsel for a landlord creditor through two consecutive bankruptcies of a medical provider, including the negotiation of a commercial lease and holdover tenancy litigation (In re Northwest Pediatrics, Inc., Bankr. N.D. Ill.)
  • Counsel for reorganized debtor battery manufacturer, where he reconciled hundreds of claims, ranging from commercial contract and personal injury to environmental claims, through two successive chapter 11 bankruptcy filings (In re Exide Technologies, Inc.)
  • Counsel for a chapter 11 trustee in the successful reorganization of a large homeowners’ association. (In re Heritage Village Pointe Condominium Association, Bankr. N.D. Ill.) John was also counsel for a creditor homeowners’ association objecting a chapter 7 trustee’s proposed sale. (In re Glenwood Properties, Inc., Bankr. N.D. Ill.) and has provided (non-bankruptcy) legal advice regarding governance to multiple associations
  • Represented and negotiated resolutions for both plaintiff tenants and defendant landlords relating to the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance


Chicago Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Order of the Coif, Honors Scholar, J.D.

Northwestern University, B.S. in Speech (Theatre)



United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

United States District Court, Central District of Illinois


Illinois Super Lawyer and Rising Star, 2012 – 2020

Professional Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Bankruptcy Liaison Committee for the Northern District of Illinois (2014-2016)



  • Four Attorneys from the Litigation Group Named to 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars ListsFebruary 3, 2020

    One attorney from HMB's Litigation Group has been named as a 2020 Illinois Super Lawyer. Additionally, three attorneys were named to the 2020 Illinois Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding attorneys from over seventy practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The following HMB attorney was selected for…

  • HMB Elevates Grant Hendricks, David Machemer and Tim Rybicki to PartnerJanuary 8, 2020

    Chicago, IL December 12, 2019 HMB Legal Counsel, a preeminent provider of legal services in Business and Finance, State and Local Tax, Trusts and Estates, Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors' Rights, Real Estate and Litigation announced that three associate attorneys were elevated to partner. Grant R. Hendricks Grant is a member of the firm's Private Client, Trusts and Estates Group. He…

  • HMB Welcomes John W. Guzzardo And Continues To Expand Its Bankruptcy, Reorganization & Creditors' Rights PracticeApril 5, 2018

    CHICAGO, IL (April 5, 2018) - Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered ("HMB"), a preeminent provider of legal services in business and finance, litigation, trusts and estates, real estate, state and local taxes and bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors' rights announced that attorney John W. Guzzardo joined the firm as a partner in it's growing bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors' rights practice. John represents…

  • Chicago Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Order of the Coif, Honors Scholar, J.D.
  • Northwestern University, B.S. in Speech (Theatre)
  • Illinois
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

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