- Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1975
- Northwestern University, B.A., 1972
Bar & Court Admissions
- State of Illinois
John E. Freechack
John is Chairman of the firm's Financial Institutions Group.
In addition to heading the firm’s banking practice, John has advised hundreds of financial institutions on strategic, corporate governance and other matters for over 30 years. His extensive experience includes the representation of numerous public companies, as well as regional and community banks. John spends considerable time counseling institutions with respect to mergers and acquisitions, regulatory enforcement, and securities and corporate law matters.
John has been teaching banking law and regulation at Northwestern University School of Law since 2001. He previously taught bank holding company law at Chicago Kent College of Law's graduate program in financial services law and has been a visiting lecturer at other law schools. He is a well-known speaker at national conferences involving the financial institutions area, addressing bank trade associations, regulators and industry groups across the country (link: Full List of Speaking Engagements). He is one of only three recipients of the Illinois Bankers Association’s Distinguished Bank Counsel Award.
He is the Co-Editor of the two-volume handbook, Advising Illinois Financial Institutions. A long time member of the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Banking Law Committee, he is the founder and also served as Chairman of its Community Bank Matters Subcommittee.
- Northwestern University School of Law, Adjunct Professor/Banking Law, since 2001
- Recipient of IBA’s Distinguished Bank Counsel Award
- Chairman, ABA Business Law Section’s Community Banking Subcommittee
- Graduate financial services program IIT/Chicago Kent College of Law, Adjunct Professor
- American Bar Association Banking Law Committee, since 1981
- Co-Editor of the two volume Advising Illinois Financial Institutions (2006)
- 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Banking & Finance Law, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™
- Selected, Illinois Super Lawyers (2009-2013)
- Selected, Leading Lawyers Network (2009-2014)
- Selected, Banking and Finance Law and Financial Services Regulation Law,The Best Lawyers in America® (2007-2014)
- Selected, Chicago's Best Lawyers
- Bank Mergers and Acquisitions
SNL Securities rankings has listed our firm as one of the top firms in the nation in number of announced bank and thrift merger and acquisition transactions during the past 10 years. For the last decade, our firm ranked #1 in the Midwest. In total, we have represented buyers and sellers of financial institutions in more than 200 mergers and acquisitions.
- Financial Institutions
The Financial Institutions Group has grown to 30 lawyers representing over 250 banks across the country. The group prides itself in providing to banks the same efficient, experienced and responsive service that its banking clients provide to their customers. As a result, we are a national leader in bank M&A deals the past 10 years. We also have one of the largest groups of regulatory attorneys in the country serving regional and community banks in regulatory enforcement, workout, restructuring and compliance matters.
- Shareholder Litigation Involving M&A is on the Rise
- New regulation puts additional burdens on compliance staff
Events & Speaking Engagements
- Illinois Bankers Association 123rd Annual Conference & Trade Show
- 2014 Financial Institution Strategic Forum Oak Brook, IL
- Bank Director's 2014 Acquire or Be Acquired Conference
- Illinois Bankers Association 122nd Annual Conference & Trade Show
- 2013 Financial Institution Strategic Forum (Oak Brook, IL /May, 2013)
- The BHCA Spring Seminar: Banking on High Performance
- Bank Director's 2013 Acquire or Be Acquired Conference
- Webcast: 2013 Capital Raising Environment for Banks
- FinCEN/SARs and Law Enforcement Investigative Case Studies
- Bank Director Webcast: Key Strategic Decisions for Bank Management and Boards
- Webcast: Making Sense of the Current Bank M&A Environment
- IBA's 121st Annual Conference & Trade Show
- "What Bank Management and Boards Need to Know in 2012," Acquire or Be Acquired Conference (Phoenix, AZ/January 2012)
- Compliance Summit (San Diego, CA/January 2012)
- Banker Roundtable (Chicago, IL/December 2011)
- Legal Guidance for the Board & Executive Management: Lessons Learned from Problem Banks, How to Avoid Becoming a Problem Bank (Washington, DC/September 2011)
- Corporate Governance, Regulatory and Compliance Update (Davenport, IA/August 2011)
- IBA Annual Convention (Lake Geneva, WI/June 2011)
- 2011 Acquire or Be Acquired Conference (Phoenix, AZ/January 2011)
- Compliance Summit: Bank on Trial (San Diego, CA/January 2011)
- Is Your Bank at Risk? (Webinar/October 2010)
- 2nd Annual America's Bank Board Symposium (Dallas, TX/September 2010)
- 2010 Illinois Bankers Association Annual Conference & Trade Show (Springfield, IL/June 2010)
- Legal Update for Community Bankers (Chicago, IL/May 2010)
- "Where Are the Banks Going?" TMA Distressed Investing Conference (Las Vegas, NV/January 2010)
- "What Bank Boards and CEOs Need to Know in 2010," Acquire or Be Acquired Conference (Scottsdale, AZ/January 2010)
- Corporate Governance Workshop, America's Bank Board Symposium (Austin, TX/September 2009)
- Presenter, Illinois Bankers' Association Annual Convention (Las Vegas, NV/June 2009)
- “Insight on Oversight,” Bank Director Magazine's 2009 Bank Audit Committee Conference (Chicago, IL/June 2009)
- Bank Recovery Strategies Webinar Series, May 19, June 16, July 29, September 8 and October 20, 2009 - various topics
- Presenter, Strategic Options for the Community Financial Institution (Oak Brook, IL/May 2009)
- Presenter, Bank CEO Network (San Antonio, TX/March 2008)
- Barack Ferrazzano Named in U.S. News 2014 Best Law Firms Ranking
- What Bank Boards and Management Need to Know About M&A in 2013
- Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Enhances Upper Midwest Focus
- Five BFKN attorneys named 2012 "Best Lawyers"
- When Should You Hire A General Counsel?
- Bank Director Report: 2012 Audit Committee Conference
- Eighteen BFKN attorneys named 2012 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Eighteen BFKN attorneys named Top 5% in Illinois by Leading Lawyers
- Seventeen BFKN attorneys named 2011 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Thirteen BFKN attorneys named 2010 Leading Lawyers
- Fifteen BFKN attorneys named 2010 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- John Freechack named one of "Chicago's Best Lawyers"
- Thirteen BFKN attorneys named 2009 Leading Lawyers