Salvatore A. Barbatano

Retired Partner


Salvatore A. Barbatano is a retired partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a former co-chair of the bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters in Foley’s Detroit office and was a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations and International Practices and also a member of the Automotive Industry Team. Mr. Barbatano was internationally recognized in the bankruptcy field, having more than 30 years of experience representing business clients in commercial disputes and bankruptcy litigation. He has been counsel to creditors’ committees in a number of large cases, including World Kitchens and Lancer Partners, L.P. (the first hedge fund Chapter 11 in U.S. history). He has also advised domestic and international banks and other financial institutions, pension funds, creditors’ committees, trustees in bankruptcy, insurance companies, manufacturing companies, health care providers, and real estate developers regarding the structure of secured, credit-enhanced, and securitized asset-based transactions.

Mr. Barbatano is a former senior lecturer and adjunct professor at Loyola University Law School in Chicago and served as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association President's Select Committee on Bankruptcy Law Amendments in 1982 and 1983. He was listed in The Best Lawyers in America (1995-6 edition). Mr. Barbatano was also selected for inclusion in the 2006-2011 Michigan Super Lawyers® lists for his work in bankruptcy, creditor and debtor rights.*

A 1974 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Mr. Barbatano served as law clerk for the Circuit Court in Portage, Wis., and worked with the U.S. Department of Labor, where he investigated alleged violations of federal laws in the management and investment practices of the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund. Mr. Barbatano has represented corporate clients in federal and state investigations. He received a B.A. in history from Oberlin College in 1969. He frequently lectures on bankruptcy law issues and has written or co-authored numerous articles.

Representative Transactions:

  • Represented large mutual fund in negotiation and drafting of Plan of Reorganization in In Re Refco, Inc. Currently serving on Plan Advisory Committee and as Ex Officio Representative to Litigation Trust Committee.
  • American Bar Association representative in a six-attorney international consulting group assisting the Legislative Committee of the Peoples’ Republic of China in analysis, assessment and drafting of new Chinese bankruptcy legislation enacted in 2006. July, 2000; October 2003.
  • In Re Nippon Asset Management, Inc., F/K/A Japan Leasing, Inc.; Represented a major U.S. financial company and its Japanese affiliates, as Sponsor of Plan or Reorganization in the then largest corporate reorganization in the history of Japan.
  • In Re MedPartners Provider Network, Inc.; Co-Counsel to MedPartners, Inc. (parent of Debtor-in-Possession) U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District of California.
  • In Re Corcoran Hospital District; Counsel to Chapter Nine Debtor. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of California.
  • Counsel to Official Creditors’ Committee, In Re Cherry Communications, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago, Ill.
  • In Re Vision Metals, Inc. Counsel to Debtor-in-Possession in Chapter 11 case in Delaware involving in excess of $100 million dollars.
  • Counsel to Trustee in the reorganization and sale of the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago, Ill.
  • Counsel to several domestic and international institutional lenders as secured creditors in the reorganizations of: (i) Motels of America, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wilmington, Delaware; (ii) Larken Hotels Limited Partnership, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Iowa; (iii) America’s Best Inns, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Illinois.
  • Appointed Examiner by U.S. Bankruptcy Court, In Re Bucyrus-Erie Co. and In Re B-E Holdings, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin.
  • Counsel to mortgage insurer in the reorganization of Epic Associates, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Alexandria, Va.
  • Counsel to debtor, In Re Pester Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Counsel to the debtor, In Re Commodore Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, South Bend, Ind.
  • Counsel to principal secured lender, In Re Winston Industries, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Counsel to Debtor, In Re Chas A. Stevens and Co., Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago, Ill.
  • Counsel to Debtor-in-Possession; In re State Exchange Finance Co., U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Northern District of Indiana.
  • Counsel to several farm cooperatives as shareholders, In Re Energy Cooperative, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago, Ill.
  • Representation of First National Bank of Chicago as underwriter of securities of Chicago Board of Education in an investigation conducted by U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.
  • Representation of First National Bank of Chicago in investigation conducted by U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board regarding lending practices in the commercial airline industry.
  • Representation of a joint venture of experienced casino owners in the preparation and dissemination of an alternative plan of reorganization focused upon the acquisition of Greektown Casino in Detroit, MI. In re Greektown Holdings, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit, MI.
  • Representation of the Village of Rosemont, IL. as proposed site of Emerald Casino. Negotiated joint plan of reorganization. In re Emerald Casino, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois at Chicago, IL.
  • Representation of ownership of casinos in Indiana and Nevada in the restructuring of secured indebtedness in out-of-court transaction.
  • Staff Attorney and Assistant Staff Director, U.S. Department of Labor Special Investigations Staff. Investigated the lending practices of Teamsters Central States Pension Fund. Activities included extensive analysis of fund's portfolio of casino loans.

Mr. Barbatano is admitted to practice in Michigan, New York, Wisconsin and Illinois federal and state courts, the Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.