Tribute To James R. Looman

James R. Looman, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, died unexpectedly July 22, 2009. He was 57 years old. Jim is survived by his wife of 32 years, Donna Craven, and their three children, Alison, Mark and Zachary. He is also survived by his parents, Alfred and Jane Looman and his brothers David (Courtnay) Looman, and Bob (Joni) Looman.

Jim earned his undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University in 1974 and served on the University’s Board of Directors at the time of his death. He graduated from The Law School of The University of Chicago in 1978. Outside of the office, Jim enjoyed golf, team sports, and playing guitar and banjo.

Jim joined Sidley & Austin as a member of the Chicago office Banking and Financial Transactions Group in 1983. He became a partner in 1986. Jim’s practice covered a broad variety of corporate and commercial finance transactions, including the representation of banks and finance companies in lending transactions, securitization, and equipment leasing. He served the firm for many years as Chair of The University of Chicago Law School Recruiting Team and as a member of the Opinion Committee. Jim loved both the practice of law and the mentoring of young associates, and he took a special interest in recruiting students and graduates of his alma mater.

Jim was recognized as one of the top commercial finance attorneys in the nation and was active in several professional organizations. He was included in the Banking and Finance section of the World’s Leading Lawyers published by Chambers & Partners, in the Banking section of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business published by Chambers USA, in the Banking and Finance Section of Practical Law Company’s Which Lawyer, and the Banking Section of Who’s Who Legal. Jim also served as a member of the Leading Lawyers Network Advisory Board. He served as Associate General Counsel of the Commercial Finance Association, was a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, and was past Chair of the Commercial and Financial Transactions Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.

Jim will be remembered not only for his excellent work as an attorney, but also for his collegiality, grace and wit. He will be deeply missed.