TERESA WILTON HARMON is the managing partner of Sidley’s Chicago office and a partner in the firm’s Global Finance practice area, focusing on financial transactions and commercial law. Her financial transactions experience includes secured and unsecured loans, workouts and restructurings, structured finance and securitization. For several years, Teresa’s practice has placed particular emphasis on financial transactions involving regulated and emerging industries, including derivatives, clearing organizations, exchanges, financial market utilities, student loan companies, electric utilities and fintech companies. Her experience and knowledge allow her to bridge the gap between complex legal regimes and sound financial principles. Teresa takes an active role in counseling regulated industry clients and financial market participants on liquidity solutions, collateral and risk management methods, default scenarios, counterparty risk, netting and adapting to new legal regimes.
Teresa’s commercial law practice includes all articles of the Uniform Commercial Code, with a special emphasis on Article 9 secured transactions. Teresa’s commercial law experience includes using the tools of commercial law to help clients build and navigate blockchain, distributed ledger technology, virtual currency, digital currency and tokenized security platforms. Teresa has honed her UCC knowledge as an active participant in UCC drafting committees, as a member of the Permanent Editorial Board for the UCC and as an adjunct professor teaching Secured Transactions at The University of Illinois College of Law. She is a nationally recognized speaker on UCC and other commercial law issues and is a co-author of a widely distributed annual Commercial Law Developments update.
In 2020, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer jointly honored Teresa at the inaugural “50 Women in Law Awards.” Teresa has been named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ 2019 “Notable Gen X Leaders in Law” list and 2020 “Notable Women Executives Over 50” list. She has also recently been named a “Trailblazer in Finance and Banking” by The National Law Journal (2019).
Admissions & Certifications
- The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1994 (with honors, Order of the Coif, Law Review, Law Students Association President)
- University of Alabama, MBA, 1991
- University of Alabama, B.S., 1990 (summa cum laude)
- Phyllis Kravitch, U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit (1994 - 1995)