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With more than 42 years of experience, Christopher J. Horvay has represented senior creditors and asset-based lenders in complex litigation, workout, and bankruptcy matters across the country. His practice also involves the representation of asset-based lenders in the documentation of complex loan transactions and in litigation disputes as well as the representation of creditor committees and liquidation trustees in litigation relating to fraudulent conveyances. Chris has consistently been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2006, as well as an Illinois Leading Lawyer for the last two years in commercial bankruptcies and workouts.

Chris’s recent creditor representations include senior secured lenders in Clark Retail Enterprises and United Airlines, significant landlord interests in K-Mart Corporation, and as special counsel to plaintiffs in Price v. Phillip Morris. He also served as debtor’s counsel in a number of significant business bankruptcy cases, including Ben Franklin Stores in the Northern District of Illinois. Chris has represented numerous asset purchasers, including Newport News, Inc. and Spiegel Catalog, Inc., and sellers in transactions involving troubled companies as well as assignees for the benefit of creditors in out-of-court liquidations. He recently defended former directors and officers of troubled companies in litigation brought against them by bankruptcy trustees.

Chris has undertaken a leadership role in the Turnaround Management Association’s Chicago/Midwest chapter since its inception. He previously served as a TMA National Director from 1999 through 2002, as well as president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter in 1997 and 1998. In 2004, Chris was recognized by the Chicago chapter as its Educator of the Year. From 2014 through 2016, he served as President of the Chapter’s Scholarship Foundation Board. In November 2016, he received the Chapter’s Legend Award for outstanding service to the Chapter and the profession over numerous years.

Significant Engagements

  • Represented significant parties in interest in nationally recognized chapter 11 cases filed in Chicago from 2001 through 2006, including In re United AirlinesIn re K-Mart StoresIn re Clark Retail Enterprises and In re Conseco.

  • Led the representation of a single-asset debtor in its chapter 11 case, resulting in confirmation of plan of reorganization.  Pursuant to this plan, real estate and franchise rights were sold at competitive auction resulting in payment in full of all secured and unsecured debt, and dividend to equity holders.

  • Led the representation of a prominent Chicago not-for-profit corporation in its purchase of substantially all of the assets of a separate not-for-profit health and exercise facility which encountered financial issues.  The bankruptcy court approved the section 363 purchase after notice and hearing.

  • Led representation of liquidating trustee appointed by creditors’ committee to pursue fraudulent transfer litigation against former owner of metal recycling business who was the recipient of approximately $3.0 million in proceeds from sale of equity in business that was rendered insolvent by leveraged buy-out transaction.  Tried case to judgment against former owner, case settled amicably after judgment debtor forced into personal chapter 11.

  • Sourced and led representation of federal court receiver appointed to liquidate and sell four manufacturing plants located in multiple states, each with various environmental issues.  Coordinated the receiver’s efforts with those of bankruptcy trustee appointed to liquidate and sell the manufacturing business.

  • Sourced and led client engagement for purchaser of two nationally recognized catalog businesses from execution of letters of intent through approval of the client as the stalking horse bidder, culminating in winning bid at competitive auction conducted before the United States Bankruptcy for the Southern District of New York.  Negotiated final version of asset purchase agreement approved by the bankruptcy court.

  • Sourced and led client engagement for six completed and closed asset-based loan transactions totaling approximately $140 million in loan proceeds.  Negotiated substantially all intercreditor and subordination agreements in conjunction with loan documentation and closings.

Publications, Recognitions and Speaking Engagements

Selected by peers as a Leading Lawyer in Bankruptcy & Workout Law: Commercial (2009 – 2017)


Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditors/Debtor Rights (2006 – 2012, 2015 – 2020) 

Turnaround Management Association’s Educator of the Year (2004)
Turnaround Management Association’s Turnaround Legend (2016)

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated (1986)
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated – Judicial Edition (2022)

Professional Affiliations

  • Turnaround Management Association, National Director (1999 – 2002)
  • Turnaround Management Association, Chicago/Midwest Chapter, President (1997 – 1998)
  • Syracuse University College of Arts & Sciences, Board of Visitors (2004 – present)