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.
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).
Teresa’s civic and professional leadership roles include the Board of Directors of The Executives’ Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network, and a Daniel Burnham Fellowship - Leadership Greater Chicago. She is Second Vice President, a member of the Executive Committee and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, a Fellow and Regent of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Teresa graduated with honors from The University of Chicago Law School, where she served on The Law Review and was President of the Law Students Association. She attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Alabama, and she remains an avid college football fan.