Mike engages in all aspects of commercial litigation across the country as a member of the Firm’s Litigation, Motor Vehicle, and Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights Groups. He applies a wealth of wide-ranging industry experience on both the state and federal level to champion his clients’ business interests at trial, in bankruptcy proceedings, and in pretrial litigation practice. Whether he’s representing a multinational manufacturer, a middle-market lender, or a small privately-held company, Mike counsels his clients to achieve their goals through tailor-made strategies, while always remaining prepared to try cases to verdict. Mike regularly works with industry leaders in a wide variety of fields as part of his practices. His cases involve complex expert analysis related to valuation, economics, corporate finance, forensic accounting, taxation, transfer pricing, leasing, energy, medical devices, and franchising.
Several of Mike’s most recent cases have resulted in resounding victories for clients. He’s filed successful dispositive motions in multiple cases across the country, including two cases in 2019 where the plaintiffs responded by voluntarily dismissing their cases. He also recently represented one of the largest banks in America in a plaintiff’s appeal that was dismissed by the Illinois Appellate Court
Mike also provides tax controversy assistance to clients as part of the Firm’s Tax & Business Planning Group. His practice experience includes litigation in the U.S. Tax Court and federal district court for IRC § 482 transfer pricing allocations, IRC § 481 disputes, debt-equity characterizations, leasing transactions, IRC § 1031 like-kind exchanges, tax penalties, and economic substance, sham-transaction and other substance-over-form doctrines. Prior to joining Barack Ferrazzano, Mike was an attorney in Mayer Brown’s Tax Controversy practice, where he worked on notable cases including the Tyco debt-equity litigation (which settled before trial for 5% of the alleged tax liability) and the Guidant/Boston Scientific transfer pricing litigation.
In addition to litigation counsel, Mike also has advised on a substantial number of transactions to avoid litigation altogether, including creditors in out-of-court workouts, automotive manufacturers in negotiating approvals for franchise buy/sell agreements, and private and publicly-held clients in numerous strategic transactions and out-of-court settlements. Mike has served as both a lead negotiator and deal architect for such arrangements, developing creative transaction frameworks to solve novel problems in highly regulated fields. Mike also has experience in evaluating warranty regulations that apply to automotive manufacturers’ dealership networks.
An active participant in pro bono legal services, Mike represents individuals in immigration, taxation, special education, and family law matters. Most recently, he aided a pro bono client in achieving asylum in the United States, based on persuasive and detailed briefing that was specifically commended by the judge. Mike’s work on this case resulted in “Rising Star” recognition by the National Immigrant Justice Center in 2019.
Outside the Courtroom
Mike spends his free time chasing after his rescue dog, testing out recipes on his family and friends, and keeping his fingers crossed for another Chicago Bears Super Bowl title in his lifetime.
Activities & Honors
- Member, Taxation Section, American Bar Association
- Member, Chicago Bar Association
- Member, Chicago Pediatric Cancer Research Board
- Comments Editor, The Chicago Journal of International Law
- Recipient, Rising Stars Award, National Immigrant Justice Center (2019)
- Recipient, Casper Platt Award, University of Chicago Law School (2014)
Speaking Engagements & Presentations
- Quick-Peek Reviews under Federal Rule of Evidence 502: Advantages and Disadvantages in Discovery and Privilege DisputesFebruary 2018 – Speaker (CBA Commercial Litigation Committee)
- Transfer Pricing Litigation Round-UpMay 2017 – Panel Discussion (ABA Taxation Section)
Articles & Publications
- May 12, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- April 15, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- March 29, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- March 27, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- March 20, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- March 18, 2020 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- February 25, 2019 – Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
- “The Common European Sales Law’s Compliance with the Subsidiarity Principle of the European Union,”Spring 2013 – Volume 14, Chicago Journal of International Law, No. 1, Article 10
- June 4, 2019 – Honoree, Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- October 23, 2018 – Barack Ferrazzano Press Release
- May 1, 2017
University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 2014
Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2011
Bar & Court Admissions
- State of Illinois
- U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court – Western District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Tax Court