Susan Poll Klaessy is a senior counsel and commercial litigator with Foley & Lardner LLP, who concentrates her practice in bankruptcy and insolvency matters, fiduciary liability, debtors’ and creditors’ rights, corporate dissolution, fraud, corporate governance disputes and complex business litigation. She has represented debtors, creditors, and other stakeholders in restructurings, liquidations and other distressed situations. Additionally, Susan is an experienced trial counsel and has litigated numerous business disputes, including class action cases, arbitrations, appeals and other high-stakes corporate disputes across a wide range of industries.
Susan is also an adjunct law professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Prior to law school, Susan worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Financial Services and the City of Chicago Department of Law.
- Represented debtor’s court-appointed receiver in achieving dismissal of unauthorized Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada, and prevailed on appeal
- Represented liquidating trustee in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, litigating multiple claims of fraudulent real estate transactions
- Represented corporate debtor in Chapter 11 proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and related appeals
- Represented commercial special servicers and lenders in various foreclosure, receivership and bankruptcy proceedings related to defaulted and distressed loans
- Argued and defeated emergency motion for Status Quo Order in Delaware Court of Chancery, allowing client to close financing deal the following day
- Represented bank in fraudulent transfer case, and prevailed on appeal before Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals
- Defended federal class action lawsuits alleging violations of Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Electronic Funds Transfer Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Constitutional discrimination claims
- Co-chaired and prevailed on insurance coverage trial, (Pac. Employers Ins. Co. v. Clean Harbors Envtl. Servs., Inc., 2011 WL 813905 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 24, 2011))
- Briefed and prevailed on breach of commercial lease appeal (LDS v. Southern Cross Food, 954 N.E.2d 696 (Ill. App. 1st 2011))
* Certain of these matters were handled prior to joining Foley
Susan has been peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system. She was also selected for inclusion in the 2020 Super Lawyers® list and 2014-2019 Super Lawyers® Rising Stars lists. Susan was also recognized as an “Emerging Lawyer in Illinois” in 2018 in a survey of her peers by Leading LawyersSM.
Susan earned her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2009) where she was senior editor of the Public Interest Law Reporter. She was the recipient of several awards, including a Certificate in Trial Advocacy and Pro Bono Recognition Award. Susan earned a degree in political science and philosophy from the University of Iowa (B.A., 2000).
Susan is admitted in Illinois, the District of Columbia and Virginia. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Virginia, Northern District of Illinois (including the Federal Trial Bar), and Eastern District of Michigan; the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Eastern District of Virginia; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Federal Circuit; the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Susan is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Turnaround Management Association (TMA), International Women’s Insolvency Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), Chicago Bar Association and Illinois State Bar Association. She also volunteers her time as an ambassador for the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and an instructor with Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE). Additionally, Susan serves as a member of the board of directors for the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice.
- Speaker, “Bankruptcy 101 – The Basics,” National Association of Credit Management Webinar (November 19, 2019)
- Speaker, “Partnering with Outside Counsel to Achieve Your Company’s Goals,” Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business (August 10, 2019)
- Co-author, “Treatment of Environmental Obligations in Bankruptcy,” Environmental Law in Corporate and Real Estate Transactions, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (May 22, 2019)
- Co-author, “Crypto as Commodity, and the Bankruptcy Implications,” Law360 (October 17, 2018)
- Speaker, “Leadership and the Legal Profession,” Loyola University Chicago School of Law (November 7, 2017)
- Speaker, “Anatomy of a Case II – Discovery,” Foley Institute for Professional Development (October 10, 2017)
- Speaker, “The Many Faces of Fraud in Bankruptcy,” Foley Institute for Professional Development (August 22, 2017)
- Speaker, “Women in Law,” Loyola University Chicago School of Law (October 18, 2016)
- Speaker, “Evidence in Bankruptcy, including Social Media,” Walter Chandler American Inn of Court (October 28, 2015)
- Co-author, “Employment Agreements Involving Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets,” Illinois Business Law: Miscellaneous Operating Issues (IICLE 2011 ed. & Supp. 2013)
- Co-author, “Confidentiality and Non-disclosure Agreements in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Illinois Business Law: Mergers and Acquisitions (IICLE 2011 ed. & Supp. 2013)
- Featured, “Non-Billable Hours,” Chicago Lawyer Magazine (October 2012)
- Speaker, “Attorney Ethics: The Attorney-Client Privilege,” Illinois Law and Leadership Institute Seminar (August 2, 2012)
- Speaker, “Conflicts of Interest: Identifying and Resolving Conflicts,” ARDC Professionalism Seminar: The Essentials of Ethical Practice (June 16, 2011)
- Author, “The Role of Attorney Ethics and Witness Misidentification in the 26 Year Incarceration of an Innocent Man,” 14 Pub. Int. L. Rep. 25 (2008)