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300 N. LaSalle Street
Suite 4000
Chicago, Illinois 60654

(312) 715-5091
Fax: (312) 632-1727

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  Commercial Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights
  Appellate Litigation
  Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Professional Experience
Christopher Combest practices in the Firm’s Commercial Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights Group. His practice encompasses work for creditors and debtors in a variety of insolvency situations, on secured transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and on distressed acquisitions. He represents suppliers, equipment lessors, debtors, trustees, receivers, secured and unsecured lenders, commercial landlords, equity holders, defendants in bankruptcy avoidance actions, and purchasers of assets out of bankruptcy estates. His experience includes:
  • Representation of chapter 11 and chapter 7 trustee in consolidated cases of Giordano's Enterprises, Inc., and of chapter 11 debtors Renew Energy, LLC; Help at Home, Inc., and Statewide Healthcare Services, Inc.

  • Representation of federal equity Receiver for insolvent investment firm Wealth Management LLC and its six investment funds.

  • Representation of suppliers, customers, and lessors in bankruptcies of suppliers in automotive, electronics, and manufacturing industries and with respect to sales of bankruptcy claims.

  • Representation of one of the nation’s largest food distributors in bankruptcies of franchised restaurants, including experience with the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and with the treatment of supply contracts in bankruptcy.

  • Representation of commercial landlords in numerous tenant bankruptcies.

  • Representation of committee of members of a chapter 11 debtor generation-and-transmission power cooperative in Louisiana.

  • Representation of equity in chapter 11 case of debtor aquarium located in San Francisco; drafted plan and disclosure statement and consummated transfer of assets out of estate.
Education and Honors
  • Yale Law School (J.D., 1994)
  • University of Washington (Seattle) (M.F.A., 1985)
  • Yale College (B.A., summa cum laude, 1982)
    Phi Beta Kappa.
Bar Admissions
Illinois, 1994

Court Admissions
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2010
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2010
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2010
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2009
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2006
U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, 1998
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1995

Professional Recognition
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Rated.

Professional and Civic Activities
  • American Bar Association (Member and co-chair of Executory Contracts Subcommittee of ABA’s Business Bankruptcy Committee).

  • Chicago Bar Association (Member).

  • Speaking engagements include presentations to the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges; the Turnaround Management Association, the Commercial Mortgage Attorneys' Association; the Business Bankruptcy, Uniform Commercial Code, and Commercial Financial Services Committees of the American Bar Association; the National Business Institute, and the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference.
Teaching Appointments
Adjunct professor and guest lecturer, Bankruptcy and Insolvency, LLM Program in Real Estate Law, John Marshall Law School; former instructor, law section, review course for certification exam of the Association of Certified Turnaround Professionals.

Selected Presentations/Publications
  • D&O Policies and Advancement of Legal Fees, Chapter 13 of The Bankruptcy Claims Handbook (Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association 2013).

  • Panelist, “Municipal Financial Distress – Past, Present, and Future,” webinar presented by the Turnaround Management Association, May 23, 2013.

  • “Battles Begin Early in Chapter 9 Cases,” Journal of Corporate Renewal, May 2013, at 4.

  • Speaker, “Oh, Just Sign It, Nothing Can Go Wrong: Risks to the Grantor in Pledging Collateral,” American Bar Association’s UCC Committee and Commercial Finance Committee, November 14, 2012.

  • Co-author (with Faye Feinstein), “Seventh Circuit Holds Equity Receivers Not Found by State Law Priorities in Liquidating Hedge Funds,” BNA: Bankruptcy Law Reporter, 2011.

  • Moderator and Program Chair, “Unsure At any Speed: Understanding the Rights and Obligations of Suppliers and Other Parties to Contracts with Troubled Companies – Lessons from the Auto Industry,” Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Business Bankruptcy Committee, April 22, 2010.

  • Panelist, “A Simulated Multi-Party Mediation of a Chapter 11 Dispute Arising from (i) a Leveraged-Lease of a Las Vegas Casino and (ii) the Operation of the Claims Limitation Under Section 502(b)(6),” Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association's Business Bankruptcy Committee, October 19, 2009.

  • Presenter, “Leases and Executory Contracts Under the United States Bankruptcy Code,” Annual Meeting of the Oregon State Bar Association's Debtor-Creditor Section, October 9, 2009.

  • General Growth: Reality Check for Real-Estate Finance Industry?,” Dow Jones Small Cap Report (with Faye Feinstein), September 9, 2009.

  • “How Secure Is That Lease?,” Business Law Today, November/December 2006, at 11.

  • Moderator and Panelist, When Letter-of-Credit Law and the Bankruptcy Code Meet: What Attorneys Need to Know, Live CLE Teleconference sponsored by American Bar Association and Business Law Today.

  • “Bankruptcy Concepts Relevant to Commercial Leases,” Chapter 40 of Negotiating Commercial Leases (Practising Law Institute, Fall 2004, Real Estate Law and Practice Course Handbook No. N-508, vol. 2), at 759-804 (w/F.B. Feinstein).

  • “Bankruptcy and Limited Liability Entities,” The Practical Lawyer, April 1996, at 61 (Part 1), and June 1996, at 77 (Part 2) (both Parts w/M.R. Cohen).