John Robert Weiss is managing partner of Duane Morris' Chicago office and practices in the area of business reorganization and financial restructuring. Mr. Weiss focuses his practice on corporate restructurings and recapitalizations, loan defaults, workouts and bankruptcies. His practice on behalf of creditors focuses on representing banks, institutional investors, indenture trustees, and holders of publicly and privately placed debt securities in complex corporate and municipal situations. His practice on behalf of debtors has included companies in the restaurant, golf, entertainment, hospitality, wire and cable, steel, trucking, aluminum smelting, and sampling businesses.
Mr. Weiss has worked for bank lenders and credit support providers for bond and loan instruments issued by continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and other health-care and senior-care facilities; special servicers and lenders in commercial mortgage loan workouts, foreclosures and bankruptcies involving properties located throughout the country. He has served both Agents and Participants in defaulted syndicated loans in devising and implementing asset recovery strategies necessary to optimizing recoveries, including preparation of forbearance agreements, amended credit agreements and ancillary documentation. Moreover, when forbearance and debt restructure efforts fail or cannot be implemented, Mr. Weiss routinely represents banks and other secured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.
Mr. Weiss also represents traditional bank and finance company clients in straight loan and asset-based lending facilities; institutional investor clients in negotiated secured and unsecured private placement transactions; indenture trustees for and holders of debt securities issued by multinational corporations and municipalities; and committees of creditors formed either before or after a bankruptcy case is filed. Mr. Weiss also has extensive experience in workouts involving investor-owned electric utilities and sponsors/suppliers of asset securitization transactions.
A member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Turnaround Management Association, Mr. Weiss is a 1985 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and a 1982 graduate of Northwestern University.
- Represented bank and non-bank lenders in restructuring transactions or bankruptcy cases involving over 300 nursing homes and more than $500 million of debt.
- Represented REIT owners of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in receivership or bankruptcy cases to transition operations from a defaulting tenant to a new tenant.
- Represented bank lenders in the bankruptcy of over a dozen hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals.
- Represented letter of credit banks in over 20 restructuring transactions or bankruptcy cases involving more than $800 million of bond debt secured by continuing care retirement communities.
- Obtained on behalf of a bank a verdict following a seven day jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in a contract action concerning a sponsor's breach of an agreement with the bank to provide financial support to a continuing care retirement community.
- Represented agent bank for matured $200 million construction loan secured by Florida condominium development in negotiating a restructuring proposal from the borrower and guarantor which was sufficient to attract takeout financing.
- Represented special servicers in pursuit of remedies in over $2 billion of commercial mortgage real estate loans including foreclosure proceedings in over 30 states, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, and bankruptcy proceedings.
- Successfully litigated the enforceability of prepayment premiums where borrowers paid their loans in full prior to maturity.
- Acted as counsel to trustees of collateralized debt obligation trusts, interpreting complex trust indentures, advising of rights and obligations under the indentures, and resolving conflicting demands upon trustees in the event of prospective or actual defaults under the indentures.
- Represented commercial debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings in the entertainment, hospitality, steel, trucking, metal smelting and golf industries.
- Advised numerous clients on optimal crafting of documents for preservation of rights in the event of insolvency, particularly regarding "split lien" remedies and inter-creditor rights for asset-based loans.
Areas of Practice
- Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 1985
- Northwestern University, B.A., 1982
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2006-present
- Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
- Partner, 1996-1998, 2000-2006
- Bell, Boyd & Lloyd LLP
- Partner, 1998-2000
- Chapman and Cutler
- Partner, 1993-1996
- Associate, 1985-1993
Honors and Awards
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2020-2022
Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2015-2021
- Listed in Who's Who in American Law
- Listed in Illinois Super Lawyers
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Quoted, "What's to Become of the Office?," Crain's Chicago Business, October 15, 2020
- Quoted, "Forget the Pro Forma: Opening a New Senior Housing Community During Covid-19," Senior Housing News, April 13, 2020
Profiled in "John Weiss," Leading Lawyers Magazine, September 2018
- "The Chapter 9 Crucible," The Bankruptcy Strategist, April 2017
- Quoted in "Bankruptcy Filings Drop 11 Percent," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 29, 2014