CHICAGOChapman and Cutler LLP mourns the loss of partner, colleague, and friend, Michael J. Mitchell, who passed away on November 25, 2018 in Chicago. He was 63.

For almost 40 years, Mike served as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, and borrower's counsel in connection with financings for not-for-profit entities. He worked with health care and cultural institutions ranging from large multistate borrowers to small providers of community health care. Mike served as underwriter's counsel to many of the Wall Street investment banks, as well as to a number of regional investment banks. Mike also represented commercial banks in connection with the provision of credit and liquidity facilities for health care financings. 

Mike, who resided in suburban Chicago most of his life, received both his undergraduate degree (B.S., Accounting, 1977) and his law degree (J.D., cum laude, 1980) from the University of Illinois. In addition to his law degree, Mike became a Certified Public Accountant. He was a summer associate at Chapman in 1979 and started his career at the firm in 1980 as an associate in the firm’s Municipal, Health and Education Finance Department. After practicing 18 years in the Chicago office of Jones Day, he rejoined Chapman in 2014 as a partner in the National Public and Health & Education Finance Department, a group for which he served as practice group leader.

“Many of us were fortunate to have Mike as a mentor early in our careers” said Tim Mohan, Chapman’s Chief Executive Partner. “He taught us many things, the most important of which is that you could be a great lawyer and a great person. He will be sorely missed.” 

“Mike was generous in sharing his insights and expertise with all of us at Chapman and Cutler,” said Nancy Burke, Chapman partner and co-practice group leader of the firm’s National Public and Health & Education Finance Department. “We learned new ways to serve our clients and help each other, and we also learned from Mike’s personal health challenges, how to persevere and fight the good fight. We will miss him greatly.”

“Mike was truly a wonderful human being and a fantastic lawyer who will be missed by everyone throughout the health care finance industry,” said David Kates, Chapman partner and co-practice group leader of the firm’s National Public and Health & Education Finance Department. “It has truly been my honor to work with Mike for the past 23 years and to call Mike a friend.  I have always said it is more important who you work with than what it is you do, and Mike was a huge reason that I (and many others in our group) do what we do today. He was an inspiration to us all and will be remembered so fondly.”

“Mike was beloved by his clients and his colleagues,” said Chapman partner Dan Bacastow. “He was a friend to all.  Always generous with his time, his resources, and his heart; he mentored many in the business, both at the law firms where he served as a partner as well as at his clients in the health care industry. Many of us, including me, owe our careers to Mike. Every day he taught us how to live life with joy and generosity despite the health challenges we knew he faced. Mike was larger than life in many ways and leaves a void that cannot be filled; but we can try by living our lives with the same generosity and love that he shared with us every day here at Chapman and Cutler.”

“I’m not sure there are enough complimentary adjectives to describe my friend and business colleague, Mike Mitchell”, said Terri Wareham, Managing Director, Kaufman Hall, a longtime business associate. “Mikey, as I have called him for years, was kind, humble, honest, genuine, and reliable. Though he was a rock of a human, he was a big cuddly teddy bear, with great hugs, warm chuckles, and a big heart always there for me both personally and professionally. We shared our good times and our challenges, often over Mexican food and margaritas. He was an incredibly compassionate listener and supporter to all of us that were lucky enough to know him. Most of all, we laughed a lot, which is what I will treasure always.”

Mike is survived by his wife, Denise; and sons, Matt, Andy, and Colin.

About Chapman and Cutler

Chapman and Cutler LLP is a national law firm with a practice that is focused on financial services transactions and clients. Founded in 1913, the firm has more than 240 attorneys with offices in Charlotte, Chicago, New York City, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit


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We have always been focused on finance.

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