Michael Brandess of Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP Selected as One of ABI's 2021 "40 Under 40"

Michael Brandess of Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP Selected as One of ABI's 2021 "40 Under 40"

Alexandria, Va. ABI announces that Michael Brandess of Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP (Chicago) has been selected as one of ABI’s “40 Under 40,” ABI’s annual program that recognizes 40 of the top insolvency industry professionals under the age of 40. The honorees will be recognized at a special ceremony to be held on Dec. 10 at ABI’s 2021 Winter Leadership Conference at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Brandess is a partner at Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP, where he represents both healthy and distressed companies and their principals with their goals and material challenges. As a member of the firm's Business Transactions and Restructuring, Insolvency and Special Situations practice groups, he guides private businesses, asset-purchasers, private-equity firms, family offices, bankruptcy committees and plan trustees through both healthy and distressed transactions and situations. Additionally, Brandess has authored numerous articles on matters ranging from family business-related issues to topics related to economic distress. He regularly speaks on entrepreneurial, bankruptcy and insolvency matters.

Brandess has been named an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine since 2016 and is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. He has also been awarded Emerging Leader of the Year by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, as well as The M&A Advisor. Brandess received his J.D. in 2009 from the University of Illinois College of Law magna cum laude, where he received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in several courses, including Negotiations, Pre-trial Litigation and Counseling and Fact Investigations, and he received his B.A. in 2004 in English from the University of Michigan.

“The 2021 honorees are a testament to the future of the insolvency profession, with exemplary accomplishments in both their careers and communities,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “We look forward to this diverse collection of young leaders propelling ABI's full range of activities forward to advance the profession.”

The “40 Under 40” winners are distinguished by professional achievements and service and were selected by a group of experienced professionals from ABI’s current leadership. Nominations were submitted earlier this year by the candidates themselves or by colleagues via the initiative’s website, http://abi40under40.org. More than 200 candidates, each with outstanding records of professional achievement and community leadership, were evaluated by 20 judges. The majority of the applicants were partners, directors or managing directors at their firms.

Click here to view the full list of the 2021 “40 Under 40” honorees.


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 10,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.