Nathan draws on over two decades of insolvency and workout experience to provide practical and insightful advice to clients. He builds relationships to obtain favorable results in both transactional and litigation matters.

Nate is the chair of BFKN’s Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights Group. He has extensive experience in all aspects of business reorganizations, workouts, and bankruptcies, inside and outside of court restructurings. This includes the representation of creditors, suppliers, equipment lessors, lenders, landlords, OEMs, and asset purchasers in small to large, complex Chapter 11 cases.

Nate also counsels parties in business restructuring and liquidation situations outside of bankruptcy such as assignment for the benefit of creditors and forbearance agreements. He represents suppliers to bankrupt and other distressed entities, including counseling on and prosecuting 503(b)(9) claims, advising on post-petition credit, and defending preference claims. He also works with transactional lawyers on distressed deal structures and provides legal opinions that support secured financings.

Nate is distinguished among his peers, consistently recognized in the areas of Bankruptcy and Reorganization in the Illinois Super Lawyers publication and in the Commercial Bankruptcy and Workout Law categories in the Leading Lawyers publication, and receiving the Peer Review Rating – AV Preeminent, the highest peer rating standard by Martindale-Hubbell.

Nate is actively involved in volunteer and charity work. Locally, he served as co-chair of the Bankruptcy Court Liaison Committee and serves on the Volunteer Attorney Panel in the Northern District of Illinois. Outside the practice of law, Nate has worked with World Bicycle Relief for years to fundraise and raise awareness for its mission to provide large-scale, comprehensive bicycle distribution programs to aid poverty relief in developing countries around the world.

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Nate is an active runner, often racing all distances from 5ks to marathons. Combining charity work with running is a passion. Nate has used running to raise tens of thousands of dollars collectively for Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Asha for Education, Doctors Without Borders, and World Bicycle Relief (WBR), most recently having run 3,000 miles in 2022 to support WBR.



  • State of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court -  Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan


  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2000
  • Dartmouth College, B.A. History, 1997





  • Band Ranked, Chambers USA (2023-2024)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • Best Lawyer, The Best Lawyers in America© (2021-2024)
    • Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights
    • Insolvency & Reorganization Law
    • Litigation - Bankruptcy
  • Super Lawyer, Illinois Super Lawyers (2016-2024) 
  • Leading Lawyers Network (2017-2023)
  • Top 100, Illinois Super Lawyers (2019)
  • Rising Stars, Illinois Super Lawyers (2009-2015)
  • Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rating - AV Preeminent
  • chambers_rugg_2024
  • bl_rugg_2024


  • Member & Author, American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, Advisory Board
    • Mid-Level Professional Development Program (Chicago), Advisory Board
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
    • Bankruptcy & Reorganization Committee, Vice-Chair
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
    • Commercial Banking, Collections & Bankruptcy Section
  • Member, Co-Chair, Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy Court Liaison Committee (2010-2012)
  • Volunteer Attorney Panel - Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois
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