Donald L. Schwartz


Donald L. Schwartz retired from partnership on July 31, 2010. He was a partner in the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins, had practiced law since 1974 and focused on the banking practice area for that entire time. Mr. Schwartz devoted his practice principally to the representation of money center banks, foreign banks, investment banks, commercial finance companies and other lenders in transactional and out of court insolvency matters. Mr. Schwartz joined Latham & Watkins in 1988 from Sidley & Austin, where he had been the senior partner in charge of a major portion of that firm’s banking practice.

Mr. Schwartz’s practice lay primarily in finance and debt restructuring, with specialties in banking, commercial finance, corporate finance and insolvency. Mr. Schwartz regularly represented numerous commercial and investment banks, both US and international, and has wide experience in virtually all legal issues faced by banks and commercial lenders. He has been lead counsel on the financing by those clients of various acquisitions, securitizations, real estate projects, debt restructurings, portfolio purchases and international undertakings, including financing of mineral and mining operations, retailing, agricultural production and export, aircraft and railroad equipment and M&A transactions. Mr. Schwartz handled several large loan portfolio purchases and also has significant experience in letters of credit, acceptances and other trade finance techniques provided by his clients. He represented many of Latham’s lender clients in the restructuring of acquisition financings, documenting multibank secured and unsecured credit facilities, debtor-in-possession financings and out-of-court debt restructurings.

In addition to his financial practice, Mr. Schwartz was the lead counsel to a number of the firm’s corporate clients, with significant experience in advising those in the retail sector. Of particular note, he served for over ten years as the lead counsel for a fast growing, successful retail company that completed its IPO in 2007. In that capacity, he supervised all aspects of the company’s legal affairs and reported directly to both the CEO and the Board, including advising on executive compensation, litigation, antitrust, tax, supply chain, real estate, corporate finance and pre-IPO planning.

Mr. Schwartz was one of the founding partners of the firm’s Banking and Leveraged Finance practice and served as head of that practice group for over 9 years, ending in late 2004. He has also been active over the last three decades in the ABA Commercial Financial Services Committee and the ABA Uniform Commercial Code Committee and has served for nearly two decades as Associate General Counsel of the Commercial Finance Association, the trade association which represents asset-based lenders. Mr. Schwartz has spoken widely at continuing legal education seminars regarding banking, secured financing and bankruptcy topics.  Mr. Schwartz has been recognized as a leading Banking attorney in the Chambers Global and the Chambers USA legal guides in every year that those guides covered the Chicago legal market, and has been similarly rated in numerous other legal guides. 


  • Education
    • JD, University of Chicago Law School, 1974
    • BA, Macalester College, 1971
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