• J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
  • A.B., Dartmouth College, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1980

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court (N.D. of IL)
  • U.S. District Court (N.D. of CA)
  • U.S. District Court (E.D. of WI)
  • U.S. District Court (W.D. of WI)
  • Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois

John Collen


233 S. Wacker Drive
22nd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60606
T 312.627.4193
F 312.627.1717


John Collen concentrates his practice on Chapter 11 reorganizations, out of court work-outs, transactions involving troubled business entities and creditors’ rights litigation. He has more than 25 years experience handling these types of matters on behalf of debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees, shareholders, receivers, trustees, landlords and asset buyers.

John’s representations have involved numerous industries, including real estate, retail, manufacturing, printing and graphics, airlines, toys, telecommunications, broadcast, healthcare, music, transportation, entertainment, floor covering and power generation.

He has been prominently involved in many nationally recognized cases, including the Rock Island Railroad, JarTran, Federated Stores, Handy Andy Home Improvement Centers, Flooring America, Grossman’s Hardware, K-Mart, United Airlines, and the Arena Football League.


John joined Tressler in 2009. Previously he was a partner with an AmLaw 100 firm.

John has achieved an AV® Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence. He has been listed in Marquis Who’s Who in American Law and Marquis Who’s Who in America. John has been selected for inclusion to the Illinois Super Lawyers® list nine times, most recently in 2014. He has also been named by Leading Lawyers® Network as a “Leading Lawyer” in Bankruptcy & Workout Law: Commercial Creditor’s Rights.

In addition to his practice, he serves as an adjunct law professor in the Bankruptcy LLM program at St. John’s Law School in New York.

John’s nationally recognized experience was honored when he was asked to testify in October 2012 before the ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Real Estate Bankruptcy Committee, Co-Chair Emeritus


John is a frequent author and speaker on commercial bankruptcy and related topics. Most notably, he wrote the book, "Buying and Selling Real Estate in Bankruptcy," West Group, 1997, and has written journal and CLE articles on such topics as bankruptcy and D&O insurance, asset valuation, sales free and clear of liens and encumbrances, and ethics.

Selected publications he has authored include:
  • Chapter, "Real Property Asset Sales," Bankruptcy Business Acquisitions, Second Ed., American Bankruptcy Institute and West Group, 2006.
  • "Bankruptcy from A-Z: An Introduction," CLE materials for Bankruptcy Bootcamp, a National Business Institute seminar, October 2012.
  • "Third Circuit Finds That Bankruptcy Code Permits Assignment of ‘Unassignable’ Insurance Policy," co-author with Mark Conzelman, Esq., published in Agents of’s E&O Weekly Prevention newsletter, July 26, 1012.
  • "Illinois Foreclosure and Receivership," Trigild 2012 Deskbook Guide to Receivership & Foreclosure.
  • "Understanding the Section 1111(b) Election," 19 Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice 227 (2010) (Lead article).

Community Involvement

  • Chicago Loop Synagogue, Board of Directors
John Collen
Tressler LLP
233 S. Wacker Drive
22nd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Phone 312.627.4193
Fax 312.627.1717