John has more than 40 years of experience advising hundreds of financial institutions and their boards on mergers and acquisitions, bank regulatory issues, corporate governance, and securities law matters. John is straight-forward, a good sounding board and strategic thinker, meticulous, and personable.
John is the founder and co-chair of BFKN’s Financial Institutions Group and has advised hundreds of financial institutions on strategic, corporate governance and other matters. His extensive experience includes the representation of numerous public companies, as well as regional and community banks. John spends considerable time counseling institutions and their boards with respect to mergers and acquisitions, bank regulatory issues, corporate governance and securities law matters.
John is frequently recognized as one of financial institution law's top-ranked practitioners by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, and other publications. He is also one of only three recipients to be awarded the Illinois Bankers Association’s Distinguished Bank Counsel Award.
John is active in the banking community. 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. John is also the Founder and past Chairman of the Community Bank Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Banking Law Committee.
John has served as an Adjunct Professor of banking law at a number of law schools for the past 25 years, including at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law since 2001.
- State of Illinois
- Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 1975
- Northwestern University, B.A., 1972
John has presided over building the Financial Institutions Group to more than 30 attorneys representing over 300 banks across the country. The group is a continual national leader in bank M&A deals the past 20 years, representing buyers and sellers of financial institutions in more than 300 mergers and acquisitions. A number of representative deals and matters follow.
- Represented Level One Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEVL) in its sale to First Merchants Corporation (Nasdaq: FRME).
- Represented Bankmanagers Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Park Bank, in its sale to First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: FMBI) valued at approx. $193.8 million.
- Represented Prairie State Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for Farmers State Bank of Danforth, in its sale to First Trust Financial Corp.
- Represented Southern Illinois Bancorp, Inc. in its acquisition of Heritage State Bank of HBancorp, Inc.
- Represented First Busey Corporation (Nasdaq: BUSE) in numerous M&A transactions, including its acquisitions of First Community Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: FCFP), Pulaski Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: PULB), Herget Financial Corp., Mid Illinois Bancorp, Inc., and The Banc Ed Corp., and the sale of certain mortgage origination offices to MB Financial, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBFI).
- Represented The First National Bank of Mattoon, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MGB Bancshares, Inc., in its sale to Washington Savings MHC.
- Represented First Trust & Savings Bank of Albany, Illinois in its merger into Morton Community Bank.
- Represented LincolnWay Community Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LWCBancorp, Inc., in its sale of substantially all of its assets and liabilities to CoVantage Credit Union.
- Represented SBC, Incorporated, the parent company for Countryside Bank, in its sale to Wintrust Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WTFC), in a cash and stock merger transaction.
- Represented Wonder Bancorp, Inc. in its sale to First Secure Bank Group Inc.
- Represented Level One Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEVL) in its acquisition of Ann Arbor Bancorp at approx. $67.8 million.
- Represented Andalusia Community Bank, in its merger with Midwest Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Illinois Bancshares, Inc.
- Represented QCR Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: QCRH) in its acquisition of Springfield Bancshares, Inc.
- Represented First BancTrust Corporation (OTCQX: FIRT) in its acquisition by First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: FMBH).
Capital Raising Transactions
- Represented Level One Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEVL) in its $32 million initial public offering of common stock.
- Represented Midland States Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: MSBI) in its $80.1 million initial public offering of common stock.
- Represent many financial institutions with respect to public offerings and private placements of common stock, subordinated debentures, and convertible subordinated debentures.
Formation of De Novo Banks
- Counsel to over 100 state and national de novo banks and bank holding companies across the country.
- 1st Quarter 2018
- June 23-25, 2019
- June 21-23, 2017
- Financial Services Regulation, Chambers USA
- Illinois (2022)
- Nationwide (2023)
- The Best Lawyers in America© (2007-2023)
- Banking and Finance Law
- Financial Services Regulation Law
- Illinois Super Lawyers (2009-2013, 2017-2023)
- Leading Lawyers Network (2006-2023)
- Top Rated Lawyer in Banking & Finance Law, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™
- IBA’s Distinguished Bank Counsel Award
- Adjunct Professor, Banking Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law (2001-Present)
- Adjunct Professor, Graduate Financial Services Program, IIT/Chicago Kent College of Law
- Co-Editor, Advising Illinois Financial Institutions, Two-Volume Handbook
- Associate Member, Illinois Bankers Association
- Member, Banking Law Committee, American Bar Association
- Founder & Former Chair, Community Bank Subcommittee, American Bar Association
"He's an impressive lawyer. He has a great vision of the industry."